Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Back to Jezzine from 20 June 1941 onwards

The 2/32st Battalion of Australians had taken losses over the period when they held on at Jezzine. This fight was in parallel to the long, hard-fought battle st Merdjayoun. The French had attacked the men at Jezzine on 17 and 18 June 1941. There were but two companies from the 2/31st holding on against the French. On there left was the Cheshire Yeomanry. The French were within rifle shot. There were two French Foreign Legion companies. There was also a Senegalese infantry battalion. They had some African cavalry mixed into the force. The Australians frequently had incoming artillery and mortar fire. The men had to be supplied with food, so parties were sent to the battalion headquarters store. While the French were harassing the Australians, they were not prepared to conduct another attack. On both sides, the men were too tired to do anything but hold their ground. To reinforce the men at Jezzine, the 2/14th Battalion was transported from the coast. They moved into a position on the right of the 2/31st Battalion. The men of the 2/14th were also very tired. The men were all from Vitoria on the southeast coast of Australia. Brigadier Cox decided to use his new unit to attack the French. The attack would start on the night of 21 and 22 June 1941. This is based on the account in Vol.II of the Australian Official History.

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