Thursday, June 9, 2011

Day 647 June 8, 1941

About 30,000 Allied troops invade Vichy French Lebanon and Syria (Operation Exporter), defended by 35,000 regular Vichy troops and 10,000 colonial Levantine irregulars. At 2 AM, Australian, Free French, British and Indian troops advance North from Palestine heading for Beirut (Southern Lebanon) and Damascus (Southwest Syria) under the assumption that Vichy forces will not put up much resistance. Australian 7th Division moves 35 miles North along roads towards Beirut but is held up by French troops dug in on the Litani River in Lebanon. A planned landing of 420 British commandos from the Mediterranean near the Litani River is abandoned due to rough seas. In Syria, British, Indian and Free French troops meet little resistance but make slow progress across the rocky desert.

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