Tuesday, April 21, 2015

At Kuneitra again

Early on 17 June 1941, the machine gunners sent a force towards Kuneitra. They had General Wilson's order still in force to try and reinforce Kuneitra. They had a machine gun company, two armored cars from the Palestine police, and two two-pounder anti-tank guns. Kuneitra was some 25 miles away from the machine gun battalion. The force was commanded by Captain Gordon. He met an officer from the Fusiliers who had been at Kuneitra. Given the news about the French in Kuneitra. By 6am, they met another Fusiliers officer who gave more detailed information about the French force in Kuneitra. There were apparently still about 160 Fusiliers, including 17 officers. The machine gunners took a position on a ridge looking down on Kuneitra. They could see some French vehicles and troops. They started firing, hoping to draw the tanks into anti-tank gun range. Instead, the armored vehicles returned to Kuneitra and the cavalrymen dismounted. The Palestinian armored cars then moved towards the cavalry, which then "scattered". The machine gunners could see three tanks in the nearby town. They could also see artillery moving on the road. The guns turned out to be British and they drew French artillery fire. The British artillery fire then drove off the French tanks. The machine gunners then sent the armored cars to the British artillery position to let them know of their positions. This is based on the account in Vol.II of the Australian Official History.

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