Thursday, June 11, 2015

On June 24 1941, the 2/3rd Battalion is further depleted

The 2/3rd Battalion, such as it was, was under the command of Brigadier Lomax of the 16th Brigade. Brigadier Lomax had Major Stevenson withdraw to Adsaya, except for one company. That company would join the Leicesters. However, Hutchison's company was ordered to take Jebel Mazar. Brigadier Lomax thought that the peak was unoccupied, which turned out not to be true. The company was sent by trucks to Yafour. The peak was 1,600 feet high and was a dominant feature. It is in familiar territory, as it is connected to Mount Hermon. We know that there were artillery observers on the heights. They were calling in artillery fire from remote locations, out of sight. The Australians headed out from Yafour at about 8:30pm. Their guide took them to a lesser high point, thinking that was where they were going. Hutchison realized the error, but they waited until morning to go further. By 8am, they tried to move, but were under machine gun fire and a heavy mortar. The fresh company from Sidon was released to rejoin the 2/3rd to help with the assault on Jebel Mazar. This is based on the account in Vol.II of the Australian Official History.

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