Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Some success at the Litani river on 9 June 1941

After elements of the 2/16th Australian Battalion had crossed the Litani river on 9 June 1941, the company commander asked for artillery support. Communications were easier, as a signalman had put telephone lines across the river. The 2/4th Field Regiment had an observation post well-placed for observing the situation. After some concerted fire on the enemy positions, the platoons on the north side of the river were able to attack. They had six 25 pounders firing in support. The men had to advance over a plowed field with no cover. They had to cut wire, but eventually overran positions held by Algerian troops. For their efforts, they killed 30 troops, captured 38, and took 11 machine guns. The next step had Australians going left on the ridge. With artillery support again, they captured 12 men, a 75mm field gun, and two machine guns. One prisoner boasted that a "fresh company" of Algerians was "on the next ridge". So, at about 4pm, the Australians prepared to be attacked. This is based on the account in Vol.II of the Australian Official History.

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