Monday, January 05, 2015

With the cavalry on 11 June 1941 in Syria

Early on 11 June 1941, the 2/14th Battalion and the cavalry squadron received orders to resume the forward move. The cavalry were able to move to the juncture of the coast road with the road to Es Sakiye. At that location, there were French tanks with supporting anti-tank guns. The cavalry commander, Lt. Mills ordered his three light tanks to shelter behind a ridge. He moved forward with some carriers. He and some men dismounted and moved to a position that dominated the French. The Australians had an anti-tank rifle and they started firing at the tanks and the anti-tank guns. The tanks withdrew in the face of the fire. They then fired at the anti-tank gun and crew. The gun was over the road cutting. Lt. Mills then went forward but then encountered some French troops who had dug in for protection. Mills' sub-machine gun had jammed. There was another group, though, and Cramp attacked them and then both groups of French troops surrendered. They had captured 45 men from the French Foreign Legion, machine guns, mortars, and the two anti-tank guns. This is based on the account in Vol.II of the Australian Official History.

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