Monday, January 19, 2015

The plan for taking Sidon on 13 June 1941

The plan was for the 2/16th Battalion to take the port city of Sidon. The battalion had been held in reserve for the last four days and now would see action. The plan was for the battalion to pass through the position held by the 2/27th Battalion and to move forward past the town of Sidon to a line two miles north of Sidon. Two companies of the battalion had moved up to Darb es Sim, but the battalion commander had lost touch with them, so they did not participate. A cavalry squadron would provide flank protection to the battalion during their advance. The attack commenced at 10am with artillery support from the 2/4th Field Regiment. The left company (they advanced with two companies forward) ran into machine gun posts south of Sidon. They outflanked them and the French withdrew. They eventually reached a point east of the center of Sidon, after seeing two French tanks that were timidly handled. This is based on the account in Vol.II of the Australian Official History.

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