Wednesday, December 03, 2014
Sergeant Davis and his partrol eventually return on 8 June 1941
By about 5am on 8 June 1941, Sergeant Davis decided to climb a nearby hill that would command the bridge over the Litani from the west side. He had his patrol and four French prisoners. They had taken five rifles and a machine gun. Davis hoped to hold the hill until his battalion got closer and then he would attack. This was early in the Australian attack on Syria and there was increasing firing and movements. The French civilians were moving north from the attack. There were French troops moving south to the battle. The French moved some men to the east of the river to deter Davis and his men. Gradually, more troops arrived and moved onto the overlooking heights near the bridge. The French blew the small bridge at 3pm and the main bridge at 4pm. Davis and his men were too few to interfere. An Australian soldier carrying an anti-tank rifle appeared. He had been at Khirbe the previous night and was lost, trying to find his unit. He had been hit on his head and was disoriented. They sent him downstream to find a place to cross the river. As it got dark, Davis and his men moved to a hill. In the morning, they crossed the river and headed south. After more adventures, including finding the corporal who had been hit on the head, they reached their battalion headquarters. This is based on the account in Vol.II of the Australian Official History.