Tuesday, November 18, 2014

The night of 9 to 10 June 1941 at the Litani

The large artillery barrage, which started at 9:30pm on 9 June 1941, lasted a half an hour. As many as 960 rounds were fired, and it was largely wasted, due to the earlier successes. After the firing ceased, Captain Horsely and his men moved back into the ground that they had captured. They were on the right, while a company from the 2/27th Battalion was on the left. The men from the 2/27th crossed the river in turns, in the one folding boat that was available. Two platoons had a stiff fight against machine guns and mortars. They won the fight and took "a company of Algerians". In the process, 20 commandos were set free. Beyond the river, there were caves dug into the cliff wall. They discovered "large quantities of food, weapons and ammunition". During the night, the 2/6h Field Company put a bridge over the river, east of the stone bridge that had been blown. This is based on the account in Vol.II of the Australian Official History.

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