Syria and Lebanon 1941

Syria and Lebanon 1941

The Allied Fight against the Vichy French

Campaign 373
  • Author: David Sutton
  • Illustrator: Graham Turner
  • Short code: CAM 373
  • Publication Date: 17 Feb 2022
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About this Product

A detailed study of the Syrian and Lebanon campaign of World War II.

In June 1941, Australian, British, Indian and Free French forces invaded the Vichy French-controlled mandate of Syria and Lebanon. They faced an enemy that had more artillery, tanks and aircraft. They fought in rocky, mountainous terrain, through barren valleys and across swollen rivers, and soon after the initial advance faced a powerful Vichy French counter-attack on key strategic positions. Despite these difficulties, the Allies prevailed, and in doing so ensured that the territory did not fall into German or pro-German hands, and thus provide a springboard from which Axis forces could attack British oil interests in Iraq, the key territory of Palestine or the Suez Canal. This book examines the high military and political strategy that lay behind the campaign, as well as the experiences and hardships as endured by the men on the ground. The battles in Syria and Lebanon were complex actions, often at the battalion level or below, and this work uses extensive war diaries and available records to make sense of the actions and examine how they affected the wider campaign.

Biographical Note

Dr David Sutton is a historian in the Military History Section at the Australian War Memorial in Canberra, Australia. He specializes in World War II, in particular the early stages of the Nazi-Soviet War, and Australian actions in Europe, the Middle East and North Africa. His doctoral thesis focused on operations Barbarossa and Typhoon, in particular, Hitler's drive towards Moscow in 1941.


- Allies
- Vichy
- Allies
- Allied order of battle
- Vichy
- Vichy order of battle
- Allies
- Vichy
- Coastal column, 7-15 June 1941
- The war in the air and on the sea
- Central column, 7-15 June 1941
- Right column, 7-15 June 1941
- The Vichy French counter-attack
- Taking Damascus
- Continued fighting at Merdjayoun and Jezzine
- Mopping up around Damascus
- North Syria and Palmyra
- Attacks along the Euphrates
- The final push on the coast
- The Battle of Damour
- The war at sea

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