Wednesday, October 15, 2014

The French forces on 8 June 1941

The Australian Official History lists the French forces defending Syria and Lebanon on 8 June 1941. There were elements of seven infantry regiments:
6th Foreign Legion
1st Moroccan
16th Tunisian
17th Senegalese
22nd Algerian
24th Colonial
29th Algerian

There were 18 battalions from the seven regiments. Four of these were French Foreign Legion. The tank contingent were 45 Renault R-35 tanks from each of two regiments of the Chasseurs d'Afrique (90 tanks total). There were also about 150 locally-converted armoured cars with machine guns and some with 37mm guns. As for artillery, there were 30 batteries. There were also some Levantine troops that the Official History regarded as being unreliable. On 8 June 1941, on the coast, were some Algerian Spahis and other troops. More Algerians were located at Khirbe and Khiam. Some Senegalese, along with tanks and armoured cars, were located at Banias and to the east. One battalion had been at Sheikh Meskine and another at Kuneitra. This is based on the account in Vol.II of the Australian Official History.

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