Monday, August 03, 2015

On to Chehim and Daraya on 27 June 1941

On 27 June 1941, after encountering two French armored cars with troops on board, Captain Marson's two companies were able to disable them with stick bombs. Sticky bombs had only recently become available, seemingly, because they might have helped in earlier encounters with French tanks and armored cars. After dealing with the cars, the Australians were able to call in artillery fire on the town. That caused two French cars packed with 25 men to leave, heading north-east. The people of the town gathered in the market square and "wailed". The Australians ordered them to return to their homes. They found that the road to Mazboud was clear. That allowed four carriers to travel to Chehim. There was no opposition until they reached Hasrout, after passing through Daraya. They felt like their position on the east was secured, so now the advance could proceed on the coast. They troops there had moved north so that they were in position to attack Damour.

Back at Jezzine, Brigadier Plant had decided to hit the two hills, 1284 and 1332, with heavy artillery fire. Hill 1284 was checked by a patrol from the 2/31st Battalion on the night of 28 and 28 June. They found the hill abandoned. The French hit the hill with heavy fire from mortars and machine guns, so the patrol had to abandon the place. On 29 June, two sections staged a mock attack. They again moved through Hill 1284 "on to 1332". Hill 1284 had received very heavy Australian artillery fire, which had caused it to be abandoned. That was a better approach than infantry attacks. The fortunes of the 25th Brigade, now under Brigadier Plant's command, improved greatly. There was now a great deal of aggressive patrolling. After having a great deal of success in the area near Jezzine, the 2/14th Battalion learned that they would be withdrawn and returned to their brigade on the coast as of 1 July. This is based on the account in Vol.II of the Australian Official History.

No comments:

Amazon Ad