Tuesday, March 10, 2015

15 June 1941 in the east, the French counter-attack

Early on 15 June 1941, the Indian troops attacked. The 3/1st Punjab Battalion and a company from the 1/Royal Fuisiliers, advanced on Kiswe, a village. There was a wide and deep anti-tank trench, so the men carried wooden ladders to help them cross. They had artillery support from the 1st Field Regiment. By 6am, the troops had crossed the wadi and were fighting in the gardens and houses. A company flanked the position and attacked from a different side. At 8:30am, the Indians had overcome the French. They were aided by catching the French relieving troops. Some of the weapons were already loaded on trucks. With momentum on their side, the Rajputana moved through the Punjabi and attacked the hill. On the left, the Free French marines and fusiliers took Moukelbe. They had fought four Vichy French battalions and had pushed them back. Another attack on the right had failed, though. The Free French had taken Jebel el Kelb, but they were stopped by fire from the flank. Way to the right, the cavalrymen were also stopped by artillery and tanks. Brigadier Lloyd got bad news, though, about an attack on their supply line. Behind them some 35 miles, On 14 June, an attack had driven out the Transjordan Frontier Force at Ezraa. This was on the railway and near the road. This is based on the account in Vol.II of the Australian Official History.

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