Thursday, January 22, 2015
One Australian company is decimated at Sidon on 13 JUne 1941
Major Wain's company almost reached its objective at the Wadi Abou Zare, but they were out of touch with Horley's company and were vulnerable, so they pulled back. This was at Sidon on 13 June 1941. They pulled back south of Sidon into a safer position where they were in touch with their supporting company. Horley's company, on the right, when advancing, had been attacked by French tanks. The tanks were more aggressively handled and the Australians did not have any effective means of combating them. Horley was killed and his supporting company was dispersed into the hills. Eventually, with Captain Mackenzie in charge, the company was reduced to a sergeant and 17 men. They were eventually able to break free and reach the road. The tanks stayed away from the road because it was too open. The cavalry was sent to deal with the tanks and brought up a 25-pounder field gun and two anti-tank guns. They were at too long range for the anti-tank guns to be able to damage the tanks and one gun was knocked out. This is based on the account in Vol.II of the Australian Official History.