Monday, March 30, 2015

Panic at Merdjayoun on 15 June 1941

at dusk on 15 June 1941, the French tanks moving on Merdjayoun had stopped. Not just the tanks, but the French attack in general had come to a stop. They would have been foolish to move tanks on mountainous roads in the dark. Still, there was panic among some troops near Merdjayoun with wild rumors of French tanks having broken through the position. The Royal Scots Greys, British cavalry, were among those affected. When some men of the Greys went to where their vehicle park and found that they were gone, the men panicked and they were out of control. This had been observed by an Australian artillery officer. Even the Australians got mixed up with the men in panic. There were four vehicles belonging to the 2/5th Field Regiment which got involved with the scramble of vehicles moving towards Metulla. They eventually received orders "to keep going and keep the roads clear". The "little convoy of four trucks" eventually was able to rejoin their unit after two days on the move. The field guns at Qleaa were eventually withdrawn after a harrowing experience after taking a wrong turn that led them over terraces. They were attacked by a French bomber that a Bofors gun shot down. They eventually the guns made their way to Metulla by dark. This is based on the account in Vol.II of the Australian Official History.

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