Thursday, December 18, 2014
Captain Bennett's company on 10, 11, 12, and 13 June 1941 in Syria
Captain Bennett's company of the 2/33rd Battalion spent 10 June 1941 trying to hold their position. His battalion was still four miles away from his position. The first attack was by a company-sized French unit that came along the road from Hasbaya. They made three attacks. The first was at 10am, the second at the middle of the day, and the last at 4pm. At the same time as the last attack, some fifty French cavalrymen on horseback attacks the company's rear, back at Ferdisse. This attack was also turned back. Early on 11 June, the French took Ferdisse, leaving the Australians without a water supply. The French commander sent a Syrian who said that the French commander wanted to talk with him. Bennett told the Syrian that the French commander could visit him at his headquarters "under escort". They didn't hear back about the proposal. By 12 June, the company was still surrounded. Bennett decided to fall back on his company, after night fell. Captain Bennett and his headquarters had reached the battalion headquarters at night on 13 June. His three platoons had arrived earlier in the day. The company's only losses were the six wounded men and stretcher bearer taken at Ferdisse. This is based on the account in Vol.II of the Australian Official History.