Tuesday, April 28, 2015

The 25th Brigade holds at Jezzine on 17 June 1941

Brigadier Cox, of the 25th Australian Brigade, was determined to hold his ground at Jezzine. The brigade headquarters moved back to Kafr Houn. The brigade needed to be on the defensive, given the situation. The French made a battalion-sized attack on two Australian companies that were on high ground just to the east of the a road. The Australians consisted of Robson's company and Thomson's company. Thomson's company was able to stop the attack with heavy gunfire. The other company moved up to within 75 yards of the French. Two platoons charged with the support of the third and forced the French, actually mostly Senegalese, to surrender. The surviving troops were what surrendered. The Senegalese had been marched for some four days without adequate rest and food. Despite this setback, the French continued to attempt around the east. Another Australian company was sent forward, and with this reinforcement, the French were stopped by around 4pm. The Australians spent the rest of the day searching dead French soldiers for food and sent parties to collect wounded French soldiers and rendered aid. During the night, the French had fired on the Australians. By morning, one Australian company had attacked, but was stopped by heavy machine gun fire. The company commander and five other men were killed. This is based on the account in Vol.II of the Australian Official History.

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