Tuesday, October 07, 2014
The 5th Indian Brigade on 8 June 1941
The 5th Indian Brigade was on the extreme right (eastern) end of the attack into Syria. Like the other groups, the 5th Indian Brigade was divided into columns, rather than being concentrated. There were four columns. On the left were the 1/Royal Fusiliers, along with artillery and :"other troops". They were headed towards Kuneitra, which they approached by 5am on 8 June 1941. At Kafr Naffakh, the infantry dismounted and moved forward on foot. Two miles west of Kuneitra, the most forward troops took fire from a hill southwest of the town. They sent a French officer and a British officer forward. They said that they thought that some of the younger officers would like to join the Free French, but the commander wanted to fight. They eventually found that the defenders were a Senegalese battalion and six armoured cars. A French officer came out and informed the attackers that they would start firing at noon, which is what happened. The infantry attacked and took Tel Abou Nida. The next morning, on 9 June, the attackers found that the French had withdrawn during the night. This is based on the account in Vol.II of the Australian Official History.