Tuesday, August 25, 2015

The artillery plan for the attack at Damour in July 1941

The plan for the attack at Damour in in early July 1941 was comprehensive. The Australian division commander, General Allen, was able to request naval gunfire support for two days prior to the attack on the day of the attack. He also requested air support for the attack. The primary air role would be to protect the ground forces from French air attack. The Vichy French air force had proven itself to be a major factor. Were the French fighter aircraft superior to the British and Australian fighters involved? The French bombers had also proved themselves to be vert capable. The 21st Australian Brigade would attempt to turn the French flank and take out the foremost French forces. The artillery support would be primarily from field guns, but there was also a medium battery. The 17th Brigade was in place to continue the advance, if the initial attack was successful. The terrain for the attack would be very challenging. On the left was the ridge. Four battalions on the right would try to march through rough terrain where the men would have to carry all the loads. They might or might not be able to use mules. The attack would start during the night of 5 to 6 July 1941. This is based on the account in Vol.II of the Australian Official History.

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