Monday, July 27, 2015
changes at Jezzine on 24 June 1941
On 24 June 1941, General Allen made a change in the command of the 25th Australian Infantry Brigade. We find that Brigadier Cox was too ill to continue in command and should have been in a hospital. Brigadier Plant was appointed as the new brigade commander. The brigade had two battalions: the 2/31st and the 2/14th. By the afternoon of 24 JUne 1941, when Brigadier Plant arrived, the men of both battalions were very tired. They had also taken many casualties were low in strength. The French that the Australians had been fighting were also tired. During the day on 24 June, as many as ten French Foreign Legion troops surrendered, complaining of the Australian artillery fire. General Allen advised Brigadier Plant not to continue infantry attacks on "the heights" and just use artillery to clear the ridge. Brigadier Plant was a veteran of Gallipoli in the Great War, and considered the area at Jezzine to be rougher than what he had seen at Gallipoli. General Allen's plan was to have a mobile column from the coast attack into the mountains. Once they could see how the French reacted, the 25th Brigade could move forward and join the 21st Brigade. The 21st Brigade had been halted to give the operations at Merdjayoun time to progress. This is based on the account in Vol.II of the Australian Official History.