Thursday, May 28, 2015

WIth the Australians on the ridge near Damascus on 21 June 1941

The company that had been holding the roadblock on the road to Beirut changed course. The commander, Parbury, thought that after daylight, he was in an untenable position. He decided to leave a platoon at the road, and the rest would climb the heights. The climb took two hours. A French armored car approached and they fired Bren guns at tbe car, which retreated. When they neared the top, they saw a fort and pill boxes. One pill box turned out to be empty. The fort started firing, so the men took cover. About this time, another company from the same battalion reached Fort Goybet. This was early on 21 June 1941, to the southwest of Damscus. Major Stevenson reached the 5th Indian Brigade Headquarters by 7am. He had been arranging for transport for the 2/3rd Battalion. Stevenson was the second-in-command for the battalion. He received word that the battalion headquarters had been captured. He was now the commander. They thought that Hutchison's ocmpany would be the only attackers, but they found Parbury and his company readying to attack as well. The plan was to fire artillery at the fort from 9am to 9:30am and then attack. The company headquarters personnel were being held in Fort Weygand, so that would attack that force after taking Goybet. This is based on the account in Vol.II of the Australian Official History.

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