Monday, February 09, 2015

General Lavarack's plan on 12 June 1941

General Lavarack really wanted to be making faster progress to the north. The area north of Merdjayoun seemed to be terrain that would aid a defender, so the General decided to join the 25th Brigade with the 21st at Sidon to push north along the coast. While the bridge over the Litani to the southwest of Merdjayoun had been blown, there was a large boulder in the middle of the river. That proved suitable for anchoring a bridge, so two sections were joined at the boulder to make a new bridge over the river. They would use the bridge in the run over to Sidon from Merdjayoun. The General would leave the 2/33rd Battalion to hold the Merdjayoun. They would also have the cavalry and an artillery battery. The cavalry would move to the northeast along two routes, "Route A" and "Route B". Route A was to the right and Route B was to the left. They were divided by "Col's Ridge". The cavalry was quickly halted by accurate artillery and gunfire. They realized that the French were in strong defensive positions and would be difficult to overcome. This is based on the account in Vol.II of the Australian Official History.

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