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Third Transjordan attack

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Third Transjordan attack
Part of the Middle Eastern theatre of World War I
Date19–25 September 1918
Location
Jordan Valley, Jisr ed Damieh, Es Salt, Amman the Hejaz railway and Ziza
Result British Empire victory
Belligerents

 British Empire

Beni Sakhr
 Ottoman Empire
 Germany
Commanders and leaders
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland Edmund Allenby
Dominion of New Zealand Edward Chaytor
German Empire Otto Liman von Sanders
Ottoman Empire Mustafa Kemal Pasha
Ottoman Empire Mohammed Jemal Pasha
Units involved

Chaytor's Force

Seventh Army

  • III Corps; 1st and 11th Divisions
  • XX Corps; 24th, 26th, and 53rd Divisions

Fourth Army

  • II Corps; Hauran Detachment, Amman Division, Ma'an Detachment
  • VIII Corps; Caucasus Cavalry Brigade, 48th Division, Composite Division, Mule-mounted Infantry Regiment
  • Army Troops; 3rd Cavalry Division, German 146th Regiment, 63rd Regiment

The Third Transjordan attack by Chaytor's Force, part of the British Empire's Egyptian Expeditionary Force (EEF), took place between 21 and 25 September 1918, against the Ottoman Empire's Fourth Army and other Yildirim Army Group units. These operations took place during the Battle of Nablus, part of the Battle of Megiddo which began on 19 September in the final months of the Sinai and Palestine Campaign of World War I. Fought on the right flank and subsidiary to the Battle of Nablus, the Third Transjordan attack began northwards, with the assault on Kh Fasail. The following day a section of Chaytor's Force, attacked and captured the Ottoman Empire's 53rd Division (Seventh Army) on the main eastwards line of retreat out of the Judean Hills across the Jordan River. Retreating columns of the Yildirim Army Group were attacked during the battle for the Jisr ed Damieh bridge, and several fords to the south were also captured, closing this line of retreat. Leaving detachments to hold the captured bridge and fords, Chaytor's Force began their eastwards advance by attacking and capturing the Fourth Army garrison at Shunet Nimrin on their way to capture Es Salt for a third time. With the Fourth Army's VIII Corps in retreat, Chaytor's Force continued their advance to attack and capture Amman on 25 September during the Second Battle of Amman. Several days later, to the south of Amman, the Fourth Army's II Corps which had garrisoned the southern Hejaz Railway, surrendered to Chaytor's Force at Ziza, effectively ending military operations in the area.

The British Empire victories during the Third Transjordan attack resulted in the occupation of many miles of Ottoman territory and the capture of the equivalent of one Ottoman corps. Meanwhile, the remnants of the Fourth Army were forced to retreat in disarray north to Damascus, along with the remnants of the Seventh and Eighth Armies after the EEF victories during the Battle of Sharon and Battle of Nablus. Fighting extended from the Mediterranean Sea during these seven days of battle, resulting in the capture of many thousands of prisoners, and extensive territory. After several days pursuing remnant columns, Desert Mounted Corps captured Damascus on 1 October. The surviving remnants of Yildirim Army Group which escaped Damascus were pursued north during the Pursuit to Haritan when Homs was occupied and Aleppo was captured by Prince Feisal's Sherifial Army Force. Soon after, on 30 October, the Armistice of Mudros was signed between the Allies and the Ottoman Empire, ending the Sinai and Palestine campaign.

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  • ✪ Eugene Rogan: “The First World War in the Middle East”
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Transcription

[ Music ] >> Joshua Landis: Now, let me introduce the other person who has put World War I in the Middle East really on the stage and that is Eugene Rogan and he has three virtues that I want to speak about today and his first virtue was that he was my roommate at Harvard when we both started our graduate study. And, he taught me how to cook. In fact, we both taught each other how to cook because we entertained almost every weekend on Garden Street where we had a little apartment, and he taught be how to make [foreign language spoken] which I still make today, occasionally, and many other delicious dishes. And, Eugene has used those skills, social charm, cooking, to become an institution builder. At Oxford, he has single handedly raised about 3 million pounds to build a new building for Saint Anthony's where he is the director of Middle Eastern Studies. And, to get the funding to keep it funded every year. But, most importantly, his virtue is his academic smarts. And, of all the people in my generation who came out of graduate school, Eugene has been by far the most successful. And, he has taught us how to write for popular market. His first books were real scholarly books. But, his The Arabs really broke out of the genre and sold tons of copies. The present book about which he's talking, The Fall of the Ottomans, The Great War in the Middle East, is now in its eighth printing. And, Eugene got the bad news just a few weeks ago, his publisher said, we're not going to bring it out in paperback any time soon because it's selling so well. It's in its eighth edition and it's sold thousands of copies and they're making too much money to bring it out in paperback. So, I guess, you know, you can get bad news like that sometimes as an academic. It's been translated into 15 languages and it's really a blockbuster. So. It's my great pleasure to introduce my friend and really my exemplar, Eugene Rogan. [ Applause ] >> Eugene Rogan: After an introduction like that, you kind of wish that the ice water was a bourbon. I am genuinely speechless but I feel it's incumbent on me to invite you all home for dinner after the lecture. But, I would like to echo one thing that Joshua Landis has said, one of the truer things that he said in that very generous introduction which is that the place of the Middle East in the First World War has really come out in the past few years in a way that was unthinkable before. I would argue that we're moving, even today, from familiar terrain of the western front, the part of a Great War that drew America most directly in, to one of the most exotic and least known fronts which would be that of the Ottoman Empire. And though it's one of the least known fronts, I would say that the Middle East was really essential in expanding what started out as a European conflict into a fully-fledged world war. There were skirmishes in the Pacific and East Africa, but they were nothing compared to the four years of long, drawn battles and trench warfare that marked the great war in the Middle East. So, it was, in that sense, a much more international part of the war that started out in Eastern Europe. It was also a place of intensely international armies. In the Ottoman Front, Turks, and Arabs, and Kurds, and Germans, and Austrians made war against Australians and New Zealanders against virtually every ethnicity of the Indian subcontinent. Against Moroccans and Algerians and Tunisians, Senegalese, and Emalians, the Irish, the English, the Scots, the Welsh, not to forget the French. It turned the Ottoman Front into a veritable Tower of Babel. It was the most international of all the warfronts of the Great War. So, the Middle East was absolutely decisive in the making of the First World War. And, of course, the war reciprocated the honor. The First World War was absolutely essential in the making of the modern Middle East. For one thing, nearly every state of the modern Middle East was drawn into that conflict in one way or another. If you just move across North Africa, Algeria, Morocco, Tunisia all sent conscripted soldiers to serve with the French, some of who later served through prisoner of war camps, changed sides and fought with the Ottoman Army. Libya, Egypt were both battlefields. Move down the Arabian Peninsula, the modern kingdom of Saudi Arabia, battlefield, home of the Arab Revolt, Yemen battlefield, Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, Israel and the Palestinian territories, Iraq, major battlefield, Bahrein, launching point of war, Iran, major battlefield, and of course, Turkey itself. So, though you don't think of the Middle East when you think of the First World War, the impact of that war on the region was absolute and it was across the board. But, it was perhaps the aftermath of the war that was going to be the most decisive of an enduring legacy on the Middle East because it was the moment when the multi-national, multi-sectarian empire, the Ottoman Empire, was to be replaced by a modern state system not arrived at in Wilsonian terms through a process of self-determination. But, rather, through a process of wartime partition diplomacy that evolved over the course of the war. It was very much shaped by the exigencies of that war. Starting in March of 1915, the little remembered Constantinople Agreement, in which Russia staked its claim to the Ottoman capitol of Istanbul or Constantinople and the strategic waterways linking the Black Sea to the Mediterranean. The Straits of Bosporus, the Sea of Marmara, and the Straits of the Dardanelles. They did so just on the eve of an invasion of those Straits so they wanted to make sure that no other power was to beat Russia to what it saw as its long-standing historic Desiderata in Ottoman territory. The French had their desires as well and as the Allies met to start talking about divvying up Ottoman territory, France was quick to concede Russia's wishes to Constantinople and the Straits but made its own claim to territory in Cilicia and in Syria. No clear boundaries on those territories but this too, Russia and Britain were happy to concede to the French. It's interesting to note that as of March of 1915 when this Constantinople Agreement was finalized, that Britain really didn't know what territory it sought from the Ottoman Empire. Thanks to this document, we can actually say the British entered the First World War in the Middle East without any territorial ambitions. But, they were balance of power, empire sort of guys, so they reserved a right without prejudice to claim equally strategic territory once they made up their minds. Believe it or not, that was the [inaudible] they framed the Constantinople Agreement, and I bring it to your attention today because you hear the word Sykes-Picot so often and what I would like to leave you with before we finish today's lecture is a sense that Sykes-Picot is not in itself particularly relevant, but it's rather a part of a process at this wartime partition diplomacy that really begins in March 1915 on the eve of the Gallipoli Campaign with that first agreement. That was of course followed, if we take the evolution of the wartime partition diplomacy, by the secret negotiations conducted by the British and the Sharifs of Mecca, known as the Hussein McMahon Correspondence, which travels the years 1915 and 1916 in which basically Britain promises to respect a creation of an Arab kingdom in natural boundaries as established by the Sharifs, excluding certain territories that the British maintained weren't entirely Arab along the coast of Syria and Cilicia in a way to try and honor their commitments to the French under the Constantinople Agreement and carving out for themselves an area that had been a growing sphere of influence for Britain, Iran, Mesopotamia or modern Iraq where British troops had landed. But, aside from those exclusions, Hussein McMahon created a wartime alliance in which Britain promised to recognize an Arab kingdom in return for the Arabs rising up and creating an internal front or revolt against the Ottoman Empire. The wartime diplomacy continued immediately after Hussein McMahon because no sooner did Britain make such promises to the Arabs that it realized it needed the French to put some specific boundaries on that Cilicia and Syria that they'd claimed at Constantinople. That's the background of Sykes-Picot. That was all it was about, to get the French to actually set the boundaries that Britain wouldn't queer relations with the French while trying to make new allies with the Arabs. And, that takes place a hundred years ago now, actually in 1916. The next major milestone in this wartime partition diplomacy, of course, comes in 1917 when the British have just broken through the southern frontiers of Palestine and broken through Ottoman lines when the British government gives its support to design its movement for the creation of a Jewish national home in Palestine. It looks very much as though the British were promising Palestine to the Zionists. I submit to you it was rather the British using the Zionist Movement as a tool to renegotiate one part of Sykes-Picot that the British government knew was not in its interest, having just fought a long, hard war through the Sinai to try and break through the southern frontiers of Palestine. That war experience had taught the British that you could defend the Suez Canal from the Sinai. The dry wastelands would not allow you to billet troops there. You needed the whole Palestine to secure Egypt. Britain's wartime demands were changing. The Zionist Movement was a useful ally to renegotiate terms with the French. And, if you want to talk about the map of the modern Middle East, and I know we're going to be doing more of that in the next session to follow, I would say that the process of wartime partition diplomacy reaches its culmination in April of 1920 as part of the Paris Peace Conference when Britain and France, with the Italians and Japanese as onlookers, have a side meeting in San Remo to agree on the final divvying up of the Arab provinces of the Ottoman Empire. And, it's at the moment that France secures Syria and Lebanon, Britain secures Iraq, Palestine, which included Transjordan, as mandates to be decided by the new League of Nations. So, there's the process of wartime partition. The fact is, the borders left by that process, with very few exceptions have survived down to the present day. So, they've been stable boundaries that have left very unstable relations in the Middle East that have left the region one of the most volatile in the 20th century and escalating conflict has led to a re-questioning of those boundaries in the 21st century. But, all of that tells you why the Middle East is significant to the Great War, why World War 1 was such a decisive moment in Middle Eastern history. But, it still leaves two questions that I'd like to explore with you today. And, the first really is, if this was a European conflict, why did the Ottomans enter Europe's war? And, if the Ottoman Front was a side show, whatever drew the British away from their emphasis on the Western Front to engage in the Ottoman Front? Well, let me turn first to the Ottoman's entry into the war. For the Ottomans, it was very clear they had no interests in the war that unraveled following the assassination in Sarajevo. In fact, since 1908, the Ottoman Empire had endured a revolution and three fairly catastrophic wars before 1914. In 1911, they lost a war to Italy, which was a war of conquests for the Ottoman provinces of Libya. In 1912, the Ottomans fell to a group of their successive states in the Balkans, countries like Greece and Bulgaria and Serbia and Montenegro. Not great powers. Actually, in Ottoman terms, small bit players, places that used to be provinces, had cobbled together and had proven their ability to defeat their old imperial master and drive the Ottomans out of nearly every bit of European territory they held in Thrace and Macedonia and in Albania. The catastrophic first Balkan War was followed by a second Balkan War which was when the Confederacy of Balkan States fell out among themselves over the partitioning of Balkan territories won from the Ottomans and the Ottomans took advantage of that opening to march in to reclaim so of their lost territory, notably the city of Adrianople, or Edirne, and were able to win back that little bit of Thrace that we still associate with the map of the Republic of Turkey today. So, they actually came out of the Second Balkan War ahead. But if you were sitting in Istanbul in the summer of 1914, the last thing in the world you wanted to contemplate was another war, let alone a war against the greatest powers of the day. By 1914, not only was the Ottoman Empire militarily worn out, but its economy was exhausted by years of war mobilization. So, its top priorities in 1914 were rebuilding. Rebuilding its army for which a German military mission had been appointed already at the end of 1913. Rebuilding its navy, which had been left of a British mission since 1912. Rebuilding its economy, and here, the French government made a very important development loan to the Ottomans in the spring of 1914 for 100 million U.S. dollars. It was an enormous loan. It was seen as throwing an economic lifeline to allow the Turks to begin to rebuild their infrastructure and their industry and if it had any further ambitions of reconstruction, it had to do with regaining territories lost to the Greeks in the Balkan Wars. In fact, if there's anybody that the Ottomans were thinking about going to war with in 1914, it would have been Greece over certain Aegean Islands very close to the shore of Turkey that they'd lost in the Balkan Wars and were not reconciled to having lost. Now, in the summer of 1914, as Europe began to go to war, the Ottomans had no interest in getting involved in that war. What they wanted to do was to try and secure a defensive alliance to protect their territory against the ambitions of the one power with whom they did not have good relations. You've already seen that they've got the British helping with their navy, the French with their economy, the Germans with their army, but it's their old adversary, Russia, that's going to draw them into the First World War because as early as February of 1914, in light of the instability in Ottoman-Balkan territory, Russia had made a policy decision to secure Constantinople and the Straits as we saw they formalized that with their allies the following year. But, this was not a secret to the Ottomans in 1914, they knew that in the context of a generalized European war, Russia was counting on the fog of war to cover their land grab for the Ottoman capitol city and its strategic waterways. And, with war beginning to unfold in Europe, the Ottomans were absolutely desperate to try and secure the alliance that would protect their territory against Russian ambitions. And to make a long short, though they tried knocking on the door of Britain and France, you weren't really going to enter into a mutual treaty of alliance with two of the Entente powers against the third member of the Entente. There was no way Britain and France would ally with the Ottomans against the Russians or go to war against the Russians to protect Ottoman territory. And, so the list really did come to a short list of one. The candidate was Germany as the only realistic option. Now, Germany, as I already mentioned, knew the Ottoman Empire from up close. It was heading up the military mission for the reconstruction of the Ottoman army. It had been deeply involved in infrastructural developments such as the Baghdad Railway Project. This meant that Germany knew how weak the Ottoman army and economy was actually. And, there were many voices in the German embassy in Istanbul writing back to Berlin to say, the Ottomans would be nothing but a liability to us. If we were to enter into an alliance with this country, they would drain our treasury and drag us down. They cannot contribute to the war effort militarily. But, there were others who had the ear of the Kaiser, who had persuaded him that the Ottomans held a secret weapon and here I am going to revert back to the subject of this morning's excellent lecture by Phillip to talk about the reverse side of the Crusade which was of course the Jihad. There were influential voices in German circles who believed that the Sultan of the Ottoman Empire, in his role as Kalif of not just Ottoman Muslims, but of the global community of Muslims, or the global oomba [phonetic], had the power to summon not just his own people but Muslims everywhere to rise in Jihad against the enemies of the Ottoman Empire. If you could harness this latent power of the Ottomans to unleash worldwide Jihad against Russia, Britain, and France, you could weaken the Entente through their colonial possessions which were people with millions of Muslims. In India, somewhere between 65 and 80 million Muslims lived under British rule. In Egypt, between 15 and 20 million. In French North Africa, another 20 million. In the Russian caucuses, over 10 million. You could imagine, if by a single edict by the Sultan Khalif, that these millions of colonial Muslims might rise up against their colonial masters, how Britain, France, and Russia would be weakened at the crucial Western and Eastern Fronts by having to try and put out colonial fires in their empires. So, to secure an alliance with the Ottoman Empire, Germany is willing to go the whole way of providing them with millions in bullion and unlimited supplies of state of the art artillery and guns and ammunition and all the material of warfare. But, in return, they demanded that the Ottomans not only had to enter the war, but they had to declare the Jihad. That alliance was struck very early in the summer of 1914 on the second of August, actually, as a secret alliance. And, we witness over the summer months of 1914, a great deal of Ottoman foot dragging that tells you a lot about what the Ottomans hoped might actually happen, that the German War of Motion would sweep through to an early victory and that the Ottomans might reap the benefit of the alliance with Germany without actually having to engage in the war. But, after three months of such foot dragging, the Ottomans were driven into starting hostilities by German naval vessels reflagged as Turkish ships who engaged with the Russians in the Black Sea and drew the Ottomans into the war in the beginning of November of 1914. And, after a couple of weeks, the Sultan, after a certain amount of prompting from Germany, carried out that last part of the deal and after finding a way to make such a thing as a targeted Jihad, now Muslims shall rise up again all Russians, French, and British, but will not, of course, kill any Austrians or Germans or Bulgarians, please. Something of an innovation in Islamic theology. After they'd sorted out how to make a targeted Jihad, the [foreign language spoken] Islam pronounced in the Sultan's name the necessary formula and I would argue that it was Jihad, the other side of Crusade that drew Great Britain into what it always declared to be the side show of the Ottoman Front. You see, Britain was very concerned about Muslim loyalties particularly in India and in Egypt. From the very opening of the war, the government of India had been very concerned about how to calm relations among the Muslim population in the event Britain should find itself at war against the Ottoman Empire. And, the British were increasingly unwelcome guests in Egypt. They'd been in occupation in that country since 1882. Egypt had witnessed the emergence of very eloquent Nationalists who had played on the way in which British rule was weighing and taxing on the Egyptians and how they had through their years of good governance earned their right to independence. So, you couldn't really say that the Muslims of India or Egypt would not pay heed to an Ottoman and Sultan's call to Jihad. And, the British were very concerned to try and calm things down and demonstrate that the Ottomans were not seriously in this war as soon as possible. I think the British jitters were only heightened when in February of 1915, so just three months after the declaration of Jihad, some 500 sepoys, or Muslim Indian soldiers mutinied in Singapore. And, for a week ran amuck, killing scores of British civilians and soldiers before loyal troops could be dispatched to put down the uprising in Singapore. They did so in direct response to the Ottoman Sultan's call for Jihad. And, I think for the British, the idea that Indian soldiers as far away from Ottoman Turkey, as Singapore, might respond to the call, meant that Muslims anywhere could. So, it put them very much on their edge and was very much important in the drive to knock the Ottoman Empire out of the First World War as soon as possible and in so doing put to rest the threat of Jihad. And, I think that really helped to contribute to the urgency with which Britain entered into the Gallipoli Campaign, and effort to seize the Dardanelles, force the Straits, so that Entente shipping could proceed and secure the Ottoman capitol, thereby producing the defeat of the Ottomans in short order would, they hoped, bring an end to the threat of Jihad. But as we all know, Gallipoli did not go to plan. On the 18th of March, after weeks of attempting to try and clear the straights of minds, the British government led to here by the first lord of the admiralty, Winston Churchill, bid for a naval attempt to try and force the Straits. Damn the torpedoes. Let the dreadnoughts force their way through. By the end of that day, they had just delivered the Ottomans their first military victory of the First World War. The British and French lost six ships, sunk or damaged beyond use, six of their very biggest dreadnoughts actually, and gave the Ottomans important time to rebuild the defenses around the Straits before the anticipated beach landing. That left the Allies really a little more than a month from the 18th of March to the 25th of April to try and organize something unprecedented. A complex beach landing on a place with no landing jetties, with very inaccurate maps, with no sense of the prevailing tides around headwaters that were filled with strong currents. And, the Allies knew the longer they took to launch the Gallipoli Campaign, the more time they left the Germans and Ottomans to defend their positions. In this race of time, we know the results were quite tragic for both sides. For on the 25th of April, you had the series of very bloody beach landings through which Britain and France managed to secure narrow beachheads at the price of very high casualties to both the attackers and the defenders. But, after 8 months of what was the prove the most hellish trench warfare of the entire First World War, veterans who served on the Western Front and at Gallipoli, were all in agreement that because the land they held was so narrow and because there was no back country to fall back on after a period of service at the front, the relentless presence of death in Gallipoli, the relentless machine gun fire, the relentless shrapnel from artillery, made Gallipoli the living hell of the First World War. And, after 8 months of it, it was the Ottomans who had won. The Allies were forced into an evacuation, the best thing about which they could say was they managed to withdraw every one of their soldiers without a single casualty. They anticipated very heavy casualties in trying to withdraw. But what had just happened was that the British had just delivered a massive victory to the Ottoman Empire and, remember, they were in a hurry to go into Gallipoli to deal the Ottomans a death blow to give the lie to the Jihad. Now, they've just blown fresh life into the Jihad because obviously God was siding with the Muslims against the infidels in protecting holy land. Whitehall genuinely feared that this Ottoman victory might cause such trouble in India and in Egypt that they felt it imperative to try and deal a defeat to the Ottomans in the nearest next front. And, that happened to be in Iraq, or in Mesopotamia, as they still called it, where British troops at the very beginning of the war had secured the city of Basra and the oil resources in [foreign language spoken]. But then, had to opportunistically extend their rule up the Tigris to Kut-al-Amara, and up the Euphrates to Nasiriyah to hold all of the province of Basra with those troops so close to Baghdad you could see the temptation for the war planners in Whitehall. We had been humiliated in Gallipoli, but we can deal the Sultan Khalif a blow by taking the fabled city of Baghdad, once a seat of the Abbasid Khalifs. This clearly would be the kind of prize that would compensate for Allied defeat in Gallipoli. But, it was a cruel irony that said the more successful the British had been in advancing up the rivers of Mesopotamia, the weaker they became because their line of communication grew longer, their numbers smaller, and the chance of relief, harder. And, as they advanced at the orders of the British government from Kut-al-Amara, to try and engage the Ottomans and take the city of Baghdad, the British found themselves brought to a stop at the decisive battle of Ctesiphon, otherwise known as Salman Pak, on the outskirts of Baghdad, and driven into a retreat under hostile fire. The British withdrew in November of 1915 to the bend in the river that they had formally held at Kut-al-Amara, knowing full well that they would be besieged in that location, but were confident that from Kut, they could protect their men while awaiting the inevitable relief column that would break through Ottoman lines and would deliver them from the siege. And, of course, Kut was to prove Great Britain's second massive defeat in the Ottoman Front. After 145 days of siege withstood by the Ottomans, against every effort by British relief columns to try and break through Ottoman lines and free the men trapped in Kut, and after every effort to try and re-supply these men by running steamships up the Tigris through chains made by the Ottomans, even for the first time tried to do air drops of food supplies to try and bring food to the starving soldiers besieged in Kut. Air drops being a very imprecise art in 1916. I have many Ottoman diaries of soldiers who applauded the British for dropping their sacks of flours on the Ottoman sides of the line. On the 29th of April, 1916, General Townshend delivered his sword to Halil Pasha, the commander of Ottoman forces, and with that 480 British and Indian officers and 13 thousand British and Indian men surrendered totally to the Ottoman Empire. Britain was then helpless as it watched thousands of its soldiers be either death marched or put into labor gangs. Humiliated, once powerful Britains, now the kind of symbolic power of the Ottoman Empire and of the appeal of Jihad. Further setback only drew the British deeper, deeper into the side show of the Ottoman Front. In fact, it's at this point that they're drawn into what Lawrence of Arabia famously referred to as the side show of the side show of the Arab Revolt. Because the British had no further armies that might deal a defeat to the Ottomans in Ottoman territory, they'd been held in Gallipoli, they had lost in Kut-al-Amara, and so they turned to the alliance with the Sharifs of Mecca, already referred to, negotiated by that correspondence with Sir Henry McMahon. Now, the idea was if you could get the senior most religious figures in the Arab world, the Sharifs of Mecca were the highest religious authority in the holiest city of Islam. Mecca, the original city of Islam and the place where the prophet Mohammed first revealed the religion to the faithful. This was, in the words of George Antonius, the most powerful thunderbolt in the whole Jihad strategy. If you could win over Sharif Hussein, to an Arab Revolt against his Ottoman sovereign, then you would be undermining the credibility of the Sultan in Khalif and weakening the Jihad effort. But, the Arab Revolt revealed the contradictions of these British counter Jihad policies. At the very start of the war, and you may recall, I said that the British were concerned about public opinion among Indian Muslims. The British had made a pledge at the start of the war that they would protect the holy cities of Islam and the Arabian province of the Hejaz from being a theater of operations. They'd use all of their naval resources to protect these cities. Now, they were up against a revolt, which having broken out with a certain amount of revolutionary [foreign language spoken], as any of you who've read Ed Lawrence's 7 Pillars of Wisdom will recall, immediately ran into trouble because they had a certain number of regular soldiers fighting with them. They were reliant mostly on irregular Bedouins and I emphasize the word irregular and against them was a garrison of 15 to 20 thousand regular Ottoman soldiers in the neighboring city of Medina. And, they come out of Medina and they're hunting down the Hashemites and their Bedouin allies are beginning to disappear into the desert and the British are faced with the very real possibility that this revolt that they have endorsed and are supporting and that was to be their counter pressure against the Ottoman Jihad, was going to be defeated by the Ottomans. And, if the Ottomans were to recover Mecca from the Hashemites, and put an end to the era of revolt, then the British really feared that that would be the end of their options for stopping the Jihad from coming to India and Egypt. But, what do you do when you promised Indian Muslims you're not going to land troops or engage Mecca and Medina as theaters of operations? So, Britain could not deploy troops to aid the Sharifs, but if the Ottomans defeated the Hashemites, and restored their control over Mecca, it would promote the Jihad. In the end, Britain decided that it was going to come up with a compromise solution. It limited itself to providing naval support and at one point that was quite crucial, parking 4 or 5 British warships so that guns pointing to shore protected the Arab armies that had gathered on the shoreline from the advancing Ottoman troops that did not want to come into the range of fire of those British naval guns. They extended the technical support and actually did have some British boots on the ground, obviously Lawrence was one of them. There were a handful of these men. They brought airplanes to counter the German airplanes that had been deployed by the Ottomans. They brought Rolls Royce cars with mounted machine guns. They brought some immobile artillery batteries and they brought technicians to train Arab fighters in how to use these. They brought Egyptian soldiers who could be deployed in the Hejaz without it bringing non-Muslims into the war. They brought gold and guns to try and help the Sharifs of Mecca retain the loyalties of their highly irregular Bedouins. And, in this way, they were able to keep the revolt going as an internal operation against the Ottoman Empire and prop up their Hashemite allies. By 1917 then, Britain which really never had wanted to get involved in the ottoman Front at all, had found itself engaged, not just in its defeated expeditions in Gallipoli, but in the Hejaz, in the Sinai where it was laying a railway track and pipeline through the desert to try and foster a re-conquest of that territory, in Iraq where after the defeat at Kut, the British remobilized to try and resume their advance. They were in minor campaigns in Egypt's western desert, when Sudanese tribesmen had come over across the Libyan frontier to attack British positions in alliance with the Ottomans, and they were trying to defend their coaling station in Aden against an Arab and Ottoman alliance. It was, in other words, a very deep venture into the side show. But, 1917 was a turning point. As I said, the British had renewed their result in Mesopotamia. In March of 1917, Britain managed to complete the conquest of Baghdad with Maude's entry into the city. In March of 1917, Britain could finally claim a significant victory on the Ottoman Front. But, in the immediate aftermath of that, they were dealt two very serious blows in March and in April 1917 at the southern gates of Palestine when the Ottomans defeated the British in the first and second battles of Gaza. In July of 1917, famous moment in Lawrence of Arabia the movie, Lawrence and his Arab partners manage with a very small number of tribal irregulars to conquer the fort in Aqaba from the Ottomans that allowed the whole center of operations to the Arab Revolt to move to the southern shores of Syria, when Allenby, the new commander of British forces in Egypt, conceived of a new Palestine campaign where once he could break through Ottoman lines in Southern Palestine, with the Arab Revolt in Aqaba as his eastern flank, they would advance up both sides of the Jordan River in a sort of pinscher movement towards Damascus. With this in mind, we see Allenby launch a successful bid in Palestine while the Arab Revolt was held more or less in check by the Ottomans. The Arab Revolt failed to capture any major territories after Aqaba. They tried to take the Ottoman Rail head at Maan, but were held back by the Ottomans. The most you could say about the strategic value of the Arab Revolt was not that it achieved the pinscher role Allenby had held for it, but that it succeeded in pinning down some 20 thousand Ottoman troops in points south of Amman and those are 20 thousand troops who might have been better deployed in the defense of Palestine or of Damascus. So, it was far from a useless contribution to the war, but certainly not the great strategic help that Allenby had hoped it might prove to be. But Allenby, in fact, did not need it. And by ruse, he managed in October, to break through Ottoman lines in Beersheba and following that in Gaza in November on a drive to take Jerusalem which he succeeded in entering on the 9th of December of 1917. So, by the end of 1917, Britain had pretty well put pay to its prime driver for entry in the Ottoman Front. There was no sting left in the Jihad by the beginning of 1918. The Ottomans had lost Mecca to the Sharifs, they'd lost Baghdad to the British in March of 1917, and in December of 1917, they'd lost Jerusalem. And, so it no longer looked as though the momentum of war favored the Jihad. It looked as though the British and the Arabs were now on the ascendant. The Ottomans were down but they weren't out. They still fought a tremendously tenacious war, right through the months of 1918. The dealt the British two further defeats in Transjordan in the first and second Transjordan Raid before Allenby actually achieved a major breakthrough in Palestine in the Battle of Megiddo in September and October of 1918, at which point British and Arab armies converged on Damascus on the 30th of September, and then you had that famous entry into Damascus on the first of October 1918, which really marked the effective end of the Ottoman Front. The remaining month of October was a march of triumph as British forces made their way up the rest of greater Syria and the Ottomans, stopped by the speed of British movement, from ever regrouping and defending a position, retired out of Arab territories entirely. They were never to return. The armistice was concluded with the Ottoman Empire on the 31st of October. It's just worth noting that the power that everyone had assumed was the weakest link in the Central Power's chain, only signed its armistice 11 days before the Germans exited the war. By the armistice, the Ottoman war effort had fully vindicated German expectations. It is true their war effort did not produce the global Jihad that the Germans had hoped it might. But, the Ottomans had succeeded in drawing Great Britain very deep into the Ottoman Front for the full four years of the war, not out of any geostrategic concerns so much as this fear of Jihad. In that sense, I would argue that Britain proved itself far more responsive to the Sultan Khalif's call for Jihad than did the global community of Islam. The Ottomans proved incredibly tenacious in defense of their territory for the four full years of the war. Now in the course of that, they managed to divert hundreds of thousands of British and colonial and French and their colonial troops away from the Western Front or the Eastern Front where everyone agreed the war would be won or lost and drained away the tonnage of war material and in the course of the war that would include things like tanks, state of the art aircraft, latest artillery, all the material it took to fight against so tenacious an enemy. And, in the process, inflicted hundreds of thousands of casualties on the Entente. To give you just the casualty figures for Gallipoli alone, Britain committed 410,000 troops to the fight for the Dardanelles. The French, about 80, 000. This is both metropolitan and colonial troops. So, nearly a half million allied forces drawn into the fight for Gallipoli alone, and of course, they suffered tremendous casualties in that relentless hell of Gallipoli. Of those that Britain sent in and France sent in, 56,000 died, 200,000 were wounded. So, out of a half million sent in, to over 10 percent die, and over 50 percent casualties overall. Of course, Ottoman losses were far greater. They fought heroically but they suffered terrible casualties. They committed between 200 and about 400,000 troops of which between 250 and 290,000 that were taken as casualties of which 86,500 died. So, the carnage of the Ottoman Front should never be forgotten when we talk about a secondary theater of operations. As a front, I think that it was to prove in every way as lethal and as terrible as the Great War and its industrial warfare was to prove everywhere and if we were to add to Gallipoli the losses in Mesopotamia, in Sinai, in Palestine, in Syria, in Arabia, in Egypt, the magnitude of the First World War in the Middle East becomes apparent. Now, I'm going to leave until the next session for the discussion of the enduring legacy of that war. But, I would say that in the way in which the war allowed Britain and France latitude to decide the fate of the Arab territories of the Ottoman Empire, we found in that whole partition diplomacy that the prime driver of Britain and France and their ally Russia, had been balance of empire politics. It was a process of negotiating how much territory each of the Allies might claim from Ottoman territories without upsetting the other Allies. And the importance of those territories grew as the war became more bitter and more casualties were suffered and these territories became sort of war prizes that might contribute to justifying the war effort. But, what it meant was that when the British and the French, the Russians having through their revolution exited all imperial claims on extra Russian territories, when they finally sat down to agree their final partition, what they had in mind was balancing the powers of Europe not to achieve a stable Middle East. And, it is in that sense that they were to leave us with the bitterest of legacies that would leave the Middle East the most volatile region to come out of the First World War not just in the 20th century, but today in the 21st. Thank you. [ Applause ] >> Joshua Landis: Thank you, Eugene.

Contents

Background

Following the victory at the Battle of Jerusalem at the end of 1917, and the Capture of Jericho in February 1918, the Egyptian Expeditionary Force (EEF) crossed the Jordan River, establishing bridgeheads in March prior to the First Transjordan attack on Amman. These bridgeheads remained after the Second Transjordan attacks on Shunet Nimrin and Es Salt when a second withdrawal back to the Jordan Valley took place from 3 to 5 May. This marked the end of major operations in the area until September 1918.[1] General Edmund Allenby, the commander of the EEF, decided to occupy the Jordan Valley during the summer of 1918 for a number of reasons. A retreat out of the valley would further enhance the morale of the German and Ottoman forces, and their standing among the peoples living in the region, following their two Transjordan victories.[2] So important did Allenby consider the support of the Hedjaz Arabs to the defence of his right flank, that they were substantially subsidised:

I think we shall manage the subsidy required as well as the extra £50,000 you require for Northern Operations ... I am urging for another £500,000 additional to the £400,000 en route from Australia and I am sure you will do what you can, through the WO to represent the importance of not risking a delay again in the payment of our Arab subsidy.

— General Reginald Wingate to Allenby on 5 July 1918[3]

The road from the Hedjaz railway station at Amman to Shunet Nimrin remained a serious threat to the occupation of the Jordan Valley, as a large German and Ottoman force could quickly be moved along this line of communication from Amman to Shunet Nimrin, from where they could mount a major attack into the Jordan Valley.[2][Note 1] As Allenby explains,

I am not strong enough to make holding attacks on both flanks, and the Turks can transfer their reserves from flank to flank as required. The Turks have more of these, the VII Army have 2400, and the VIII Army 5800 in Reserve. I must maintain my hold on the bridges of the Jordan, and my control of the Dead Sea. This will cause the Turks to keep a considerable force watching me, and ease pressure on Feisal and his forces. It is absolutely essential to me that he should continue to be active. He is a sensible, well–informed man; and he is fully alive to the limitations imposed on me. I keep in close touch with him, through Lawrence. I have now in the valley two Mounted Divisions and an Indian Infantry Brigade. I cannot lessen this number yet.

— Allenby letter to Wilson 5 June 1918[4]

By July, Allenby was "very anxious to make a move in September," when he aimed to capture Tulkarm, Nablus and the Jisr ed Damieh bridge across the Jordan River. He stated, "The possession by the Turks of the road Nablus–Jisr ed Damie–Es Salt is of great advantage to them; and, until I get it, I can't occupy Es Salt with my troops or the Arabs." He hoped the capture of this important Ottoman line of communication from Nablus along the Wadi Fara to the Jordan River at Jisr ed Damieh and on to Es Salt would also "encourage both my own new Indian troops and my Arab Allies."[5]

EEF front line

From the departure of the Australian Mounted Division in August steps were taken to make it appear the valley was still fully garrisoned.[6][7] On 11 September the 10th Cavalry Brigade, which included the Scinde Horse, left the Jordan Valley. They marched via Jericho, 19 miles (31 km) to Talaat de Dumm, then a further 20 miles (32 km) to Enab, reaching Ramleh on 17 September in preparation for the beginning of the Battle of Megiddo.[8]

Chaytor's Force held the right flank from their junction with the XX Corps in the Judean Hills 8 miles (13 km) north west of Jericho, across the Jordan Valley, and then southwards through the Ghoraniye and Auja bridgeheads to the Dead Sea.[9] This area was overlooked by well sited Ottoman or German long range guns and an observation post on El Haud.[10][11]

Ottoman front line

Detail of Falls Sketch Map No. 24 showing Jericho, Wadi Nueiame, Wadi el Auja, Wadi el Mellaha, El Musallabe, Bakr Ridge, El Baghalat, Kh Fasail, Meteil edn Dhib, El Musetter, and the fords from El Ghoraniye, to Umm esh Shert, Mafid Jozele and Jisr ed Damieh with the entrenched Shunet Nimrin position to the east overlooked by El Haud to the north east
Detail of Falls Sketch Map No. 24 showing Jericho, Wadi Nueiame, Wadi el Auja, Wadi el Mellaha, El Musallabe, Bakr Ridge, El Baghalat, Kh Fasail, Meteil edn Dhib, El Musetter, and the fords from El Ghoraniye, to Umm esh Shert, Mafid Jozele and Jisr ed Damieh with the entrenched Shunet Nimrin position to the east overlooked by El Haud to the north east

The Ottoman front line had been strengthened after the Second Transjordan attack. It began in the south, where Ottoman cavalry guarded tracks to Madaba before continuing with strongly wired entrenchments. In front of these, advanced posts extended from the foothills opposite the ford across the Jordan River at Makhadet Hijla to about 4 miles (6.4 km) north of the Jericho to Es Salt road. The road had been cut at the Ghorianyeh Bridge before the First Transjordan attack, in the vicinity of Shunet Nimrin. The front line was strengthened by advanced posts which were also wired on the left flank at Qabr Said, Kh. el Kufrein and Qabr Mujahid. From their right flank in the foothills a wired line of redoubts and trenches facing south ran from 8,000 yards (7,300 m) north of Shunet Nimrin, across the Jordan Valley to the Jordan River, 1,000 yards (910 m) south of the Umm esh Shert ford.[12][13][14] This line was continued west of the river by a series of individual "wired-in redoubts with good fields of fire,"[15] then as a series of trenches and redoubts along the northern or left bank of the Wadi Mellaha. These were followed by a "series of trenches and redoubts towards Bakr Ridge which were entrenched but not wired. A strong advanced position of well built sangars and [sic] [which were] wired in was held at Baghalat."[13] Bakr Ridge in the Judean Hills was situated to the west of the salient at El Musallabe which was held by the EEF. The Ottoman front line was supported by entrenched positions on Red Hill beside the Jordan River, which was also the site of their main artillery observation point.[12][13][14]

Battle of Megiddo 19 to 20 September

During the first 36 hours of the Battle of Megiddo, between 04:30 on 19 September and 17:00 on 20 September, the German and Ottoman front line had been cut by infantry of the EEF's XXI Corps. This allowed the cavalry of the Desert Mounted Corps to pass through the gap and begin their ride towards their objectives at Afulah, Nazareth, and Beisan. The two Ottoman armies were left without effective communications, and so could not organize any combined action against the continuing onslaught by the British Empire infantry in the Judean Hills. The Ottoman Seventh and Eighth Armies were forced to withdraw northwards along the main roads and railways from Tulkarm and Nablus, which converged to run through the Dothan Pass to Jenin on the Esdrealon Plain. There, retreating columns from these two Ottoman armies would be captured during the evening of 20 September by the 3rd Light Horse Brigade, who already occupied the town.[16][17][18][Note 2]

Liman von Sanders escapes

Otto Liman von Sanders, the commander of the Yildirim Army Group, was forced out of his headquarters at Nazareth during the Battle of Nazareth on the morning of 20 September by elements of the 5th Cavalry Division. He drove via Tiberias and Samakh where he alerted the garrisons, to arrive at Deraa on the morning of 21 September, on his way to Damascus. At Deraa, Liman von Sanders received a report from the Fourth Army, which he ordered to withdraw to the Deraa to Irbid line without waiting for the troops which garrisoned the southern Hejaz.[19][20][21][Note 3]

Prelude

Chaytor's Force

Major General Sir Edward Chaytor
Major General Sir Edward Chaytor

While the Battles of Sharon and Nablus were taking place, it was necessary to deploy a strong force, to defend the right flank of the Desert Mounted Corps, the XXI and the XX Corps fighting from the Mediterranean coast and into the Judean Hills. Their right flank in Jordan Valley was protected by Chaytor's Force from the threat of a flanking attack by the Ottoman Fourth Army.[22][23] This composite force commanded by Major General Edward Chaytor[24] has been described by Bou as "nearly equivalent to two divisions,"[25] being a reinforced mounted infantry division of 11,000 men.[26] By the end of operations on 30 September Chaytor's Force consisted of "8,000 British, 3,000 Indian, 500 Egyptian Camel Transport Corps troops."[27]

Medical support

In addition to the Anzac Mounted Division's medical units, the 1/1st Welsh and the 157th Indian Field Ambulances, the Anzac Field Laboratory, and a new operating unit formed from personnel of the 14th Australian General and the 2nd Stationary Hospitals, were attached to Chaytor's Force.[28]

A receiving station was formed from the immobile sections of light horse and mounted rifle brigades' field ambulances, a section from the 1/1st Welsh and the 157th Indian Field Ambulances with an operating unit, the Anzac Field Laboratory, and a detachment from an Egyptian hospital. This Receiving Station took over the site near Jericho, occupied by the main dressing station during the two Transjordan attacks, which could accommodate 200 patients in mud huts, 400 patients in tents, and 700 patients in the abandoned Desert Mounted Corps headquarters.[28]

Air support

Handley–Page 0/400 aircraft and Bristol Fighter aircraft at Australian Flying Corps aerodrome was frequently piloted by Captain Ross Macpherson Smith
Handley–Page 0/400 aircraft and Bristol Fighter aircraft at Australian Flying Corps aerodrome was frequently piloted by Captain Ross Macpherson Smith

The Royal Air Force's (RAF)'s 5th (Corps) Wing, headquartered at Ramle, deployed one flight of the No. 142 Squadron RAF on 18 September to Chaytor's Force. The flight was based at Jerusalem, with responsibility for cooperation with artillery, contact patrols, and tactical reconnaissance up to 10,000 yards (9,100 m) in advance of Chaytor's Force.[29]

No. 1 Squadron, Australian Flying Corps (AFC), operating Bristol Fighters, was to carry out bombing and strategic reconnaissance missions, provide a general oversight of the whole Megiddo battlefield, and report all developments. Meanwhile, Nos. 111 and 145 Squadrons, which were equipped with S.E.5.a aircraft, were to constantly patrol over Jenin aerodrome throughout the day to bomb and machine gun all targets in the area, and prevent any aircraft from taking off. Airco DH.9 aircraft from No. 144 Squadron were to bomb the Afulah telephone exchange and railway station, the Messudieh Junction railway lines, and the Ottoman Seventh Army headquarters and telephone exchange at Nablus. The newly arrived Handley Page bomber, armed with 16 112-pound (51 kg) bombs and piloted by the Australian Ross Smith, was to support No. 144 Squadron's bombing of Afulah.[30][31][32][Note 4]

Jordan Valley deployments

Chaytor took command of the Jordan Valley garrison on 5 September 1918. The right sector, under the command of Brigadier General G. de L. Ryrie, was held by the 2nd Light Horse Brigade and the 20th Indian Brigade. The left sector, under the command of Brigadier-General W. Meldrum, was held by the New Zealand Mounted Rifles Brigade, the 38th Battalion Royal Fusiliers, and the 1st and 2nd Battalions British West Indies Regiment, supported by a field artillery battery and an Indian mountain battery. The 39th Battalion Royal Fusiliers formed the sector reserve, while the 1st Light Horse Brigade was in force reserve.[33][34]

While the Ottoman Fourth Army continued to hold the eastern side of the Jordan Valley, Es Salt, Amman and the Hejaz railway, Chaytor's smaller force was to continue the EEF's occupation of the Jordan Valley. As soon as possible, Chaytor's Force was to advance northwards to capture the Jisr ed Damieh bridge, which would cut a main line of retreat for the Ottoman Seventh and Eighth Armies. This was also a main line of communication between the two armies west of the Jordan River in the Judean Hills with the Fourth Army in the east.[23][35][36][37] The expectation was that, the attacks on the Eighth Army by the XXI and Desert Mounted Corps, and the start of the Battle of Nablus attacks on the Seventh Army, would force the Fourth Army to withdraw northwards along the Hejaz railway to conform with the withdrawals of the Seventh and Eighth Armies.[9]

Preliminary operations

Lieutenant General Harry Chauvel, the Australian commander of Desert Mounted Corps, instructed Chaytor to hold his ground "for the present," but to closely watch the Ottoman forces during around-the-clock patrolling, and to immediately occupy any abandoned enemy positions.[28][38] From 16 September, the Ottoman front line was closely monitored, while the New Zealand Mounted Rifles Brigade and the British West Indies Regiment's infantry battalions carried out demonstrations to the north on the western side of the Jordan River. Chaytors Force was prepared to exploit all withdrawals by the Fourth Ottoman Army, including a third Occupation of Es Salt and a Second Battle of Amman.[12][38][39]

In addition to the close patrol work, demonstrations against Ottoman defences were made during the nights of 17 and 18 September, by the 1st Light Horse Brigade and a regiment of 2nd Light Horse Brigade, which rode out from the bridgeheads in the Jordan Valley. The Ottoman "heavy high-velocity gun" retaliated, firing shells on Jericho, and to the north of town on Chaytor's headquarters in the Wadi Nueiame.[13][40]

Yildirim Army Group

Otto Liman von Sanders
Otto Liman von Sanders

The Yildirim Army Group commanded by von Sanders consisted of 40,598 front line infantrymen armed with 19,819 rifles, 273 light machine guns and 696 heavy machine guns in August 1918.[Note 5] The high number of machine guns reflected the Ottoman Army's new tables of organization and the machine gun component of the German Asia Corps. The infantry were organised into 12 divisions and deployed along the 90 kilometres (56 mi) of front line from the Mediterranean to the Dead Sea: the Eighth Army from the coast into the Judean Hills, the Seventh Army in the Judean Hills and towards the Jordan, with the Fourth Army east of the Jordan River.[41]

An operational reserve was formed from the 2nd Caucasian Cavalry Division in the Eighth Army area and the 3rd Cavalry Division in the Fourth Army area.[42]

Fourth Army

The Ottoman Fourth Army consisting of 6,000 infantry and 2,000 cavalry supported by 74 guns was commanded by General Mohammed Jemal Pasha.[Note 6] The army was headquartered at Amman.[Note 7] This army was composed of the VIII Corps' 48th Infantry Division, the Composite Division of a German battalion group,[Note 8] the Caucasus Cavalry Brigade, the division-sized Serstal Group, the 24th and 62nd Infantry Divisions, with the 3rd Cavalry Division in reserve. There were 6,000 Ottoman soldiers with 30 guns in the II Corps, known as the Seria Group or Jordan Group, which garrisoned the Hejaz railway along the line from Ma'an southwards towards Mecca.[42][43][44][45]

Deployment

The Seventh and Fourth Armies touched at Baghalat, 6 miles (9.7 km) west north west of Umm esh Shert. Both sides of the Jordan River were defended by the 24th Infantry Division and the 3rd Cavalry Division, and both sides of the Ghoraniyeh to Es Salt Road were held by the VIII Corps's 48th Division. The Composite Division was on their left, while the Caucasus Cavalry Brigade and the Mule-Mounted Infantry Regiment held outposts extending southwards towards the Dead Sea. The II Corps was responsible for some 200 miles (320 km) of the Hejaz Railway, a strong detachment of about seven battalions was at Ma'an and about eight battalions were deployed between Ma'an and Amman. The Fourth Army's reserve was formed by the German 146th Regiment, the 3rd Cavalry Division and part of the 12th Regiment at Es Salt.[14]

The Fourth Army strongly garrisoned Shunet Nimrin, the entrenched area in the foothills which had repulsed an attack by Chetwode on 18 April and a second attack at the end of April during the Second Transjordan attack. The Fourth Army also held substantial forces at Amman, and guarding tunnels and viaducts along the Hejaz railway near Amman.[46]

Battle of Nablus eastern flank 19 to 21 September

sketch map shows all the towns, roads and main geographic features
Transjordan theatre of operations 21 March to 2 April 30 April to 4 May, and 20 to 29 September 1918

Chaytor's Force continued to vigorously patrol the eastern flank as the Battles of Sharon and Nablus developed. They were opposed on the western side of the Jordan River by the Ottoman 53rd Division (Seventh Army) to the west of Baghalat and units of the Fourth Army, which held the Ottoman front line to east of Baghalat. The Auckland Mounted Rifle and Wellington Mounted Rifle Regiments carried out patrols north from the Wadi Aujah and west of Baghalat before dawn on 19 September, but were "compelled to withdraw" due to heavy artillery and machine gun fire. Progress made by the 160th Brigade (53rd Division, XX Corps),[Note 9] in the Judean Hills enabled one of its mountain batteries to direct fire at the Ottoman front line position on the Bakr Ridge during the afternoon. Three companies of the 2nd Battalion British West Indies Regiment, (Chaytor's Force) supported by the 160th Brigade's battery, "drove in" Ottoman outposts and captured a ridge to the south of Bakr Ridge at 15:25, despite intense enemy artillery and machine gun fire. Although heavily shelled, they dug in and held their position.[33][47][48] The British West Indies Regiment advances towards Bakr Ridge were consolidated, and continued at dawn on 20 September, when their 2nd Battalion captured Bakr Ridge. An attack by the 38th Battalion Royal Fusiliers (Chaytor's Force) at Mellaha opposed by machine gun and rifle fire, was less successful. An advance by the 1st and 2nd Battalions, British West Indies Regiment had by 7:00 captured Grant Ridge, Baghalat and Chalk Ridge. A large Ottoman force was seen south of Kh. Fusail in the late morning on the western side of the Jordan River. By 19:00 the New Zealand Mounted Rifle Brigade had begun its advance towards Tel sh edh Dhib. Jericho was shelled again in the mid-afternoon.[40][47][48]

The 2nd Light Horse Brigade and Patiala Infantry, (Chaytor's Force) advanced on 20 September eastwards across the Jordan Valley toward the strongly entrenched Shunet Nimrin position, and Derbasi on the Ottoman left flank. The 6th Light Horse and 7th Light Horse Regiments, with a company of Patiala Infantry, were shelled by guns from El Haud in the foothills of Moab as they moved across the valley. Positions east of the Jordan River, including Mellaha, continued to be strongly held by Fourth Army units.[40][47]

Part of the Wadi Fara road between Balata and the Jisr ed Damieh bridge
Part of the Wadi Fara road between Balata and the Jisr ed Damieh bridge

Aircraft reconnaissance, during a second dawn patrol on 20 September reported the whole area quiet, from Jisr ed Damieh bridge north to Beisan and from the bridge east across the Jordan Valley to Es Salt. Bristol Fighters attacked 200 vehicles at the Wadi Fara elbow, seen withdrawing from Nablus towards Khurbet Ferweh.[49] The last aerial reconnaissance of the day reported seeing a brigade of Desert Mounted Corps' cavalry entering Beisan on the Esdrealon Plain. They also reported that three large fires were burning at Nablus railway station, while fires were also reported at the Balata dumps, and the whole Ottoman line from El Lubban to the Jordan appeared to be "alarmed", according to Cutlack.[50]

Only the Fourth Army remained intact by 21 September after the successful attacks during the Battle of Sharon and the Battle of Nablus. Allenby's next priority became the destruction of the Fourth Army, which had begun to move to conform with the withdrawals of the Seventh and Eighth Armies. Chaytor's Force was to advance eastwards to capture Es Salt and Amman, and to intercept and capture the 4,600-strong southern Hejaz garrison.[23][35][36][37] During the first days of the Battle of Megiddo, the Fourth Army had remained in position, while Chaytor's Force carried out demonstrations against it.[51]

Asia Corps retreat

Liman von Sanders had been out of contact with his three armies until he reached Samakh on the afternoon of 20 September. As soon as he was able, he placed the 16th and 19th Infantry Divisions of the Asia Corps (Eighth Army) under his direct orders. These two divisions made contact with Asia Corps commander von Oppen to the west of Nablus during the morning of 21 September, when Asia Corps was being reorganised; remnants of the 702nd and 703rd Battalions (Asia Corps) were amalgamated into one battalion, while the 701st Battalion remained intact.[52] At 10:00 that morning, von Oppen was informed that the EEF was approaching Nablus and that the Wadi Fara road was blocked. He attempted to retreat down to the Jordan at the Jisr ed Damieh bridge via Beit Dejan, 7 miles (11 km) east south east of Nablus, but found this way blocked by Chaytor's Force. He then ordered a retreat via Mount Ebal, leaving behind all guns and baggage. Asia Corps bivouacked at Tammun with the 16th and 19th Divisions at Tubas on the evening of 21 September, unaware that Desert Mounted Corps had already occupied Beisan.[53]

Capture of Kh Fasail on 21 September

Detail of Falls Sketch Map No. 24 showing Jericho, Wadi Nueiame, Wadi el Auja, Wadi el Mellaha, El Musallabe, Bakr Ridge, El Baghalat, Kh Fasail, Meteil edn Dhib, El Musetter, and the fords from El Ghoraniye, to Umm esh Shert, Mafid Jozele and Jisr ed Damieh with the entrenched Shunet Nimrin position to the east overlooked by El Haud to the north east
Detail of Falls Sketch Map No. 24 showing Jericho, Wadi Nueiame, Wadi el Auja, Wadi el Mellaha, El Musallabe, Bakr Ridge, El Baghalat, Kh Fasail, Meteil edn Dhib, El Musetter, and the fords from El Ghoraniye, to Umm esh Shert, Mafid Jozele and Jisr ed Damieh with the entrenched Shunet Nimrin position to the east overlooked by El Haud to the north east

The Seventh and Fourth Armies had begun to withdraw, and before dawn on 21 September Chaytor ordered the Auckland Mounted Rifles Regiment to advance and capture Kh Fasail, 2 miles (3.2 km) north of Baghalat on the road to the Jisr ed Damieh bridge. The regiment, supported by one section of their brigade's machine gun squadron and two guns from 29th Indian Mountain Battery, advanced along an old Roman road on the western bank of the Jordan River, with patrols pushed towards Jisr ed Damieh and Umm esh Shert. They captured Kh Fusail and Tel es edh Dhiab, along with 26 prisoners and two machine guns. Shortly afterwards the regiment discovered an Ottoman defensive line stretching from the ford at Mafid Jozele on the Jordan River to El Musetterah 3.5 miles (5.6 km) to the north west, defending the Jisr ed Damieh bridge. Units of the Seventh Army were seen withdrawing along the Wadi el Fara road from Nablus towards the Jisr ed Damieh bridge. This Ottoman defensive line was reported at 08:05 to be strongly held, but movement in the rear was detected and at 16:15 the Auckland Mounted Rifles Regiment reported they were withdrawing from Mafid Jozele.[48][54][55][56]

Meldrum's Force, commanded by Brigadier-General W. Meldrum, was formed at 20:30 from the New Zealand Mounted Rifles Brigade and their machine gun squadron, mounted sections of the 1st and 2nd Battalions British West Indies Regiment, the 29th Indian Mountain Battery, and the Ayrshire (or Inverness) Battery RHA. This force concentrated half an hour later east of Musallabeh, to begin their advance to Kh. Fusail where they arrived just before midnight. At the same time, the Commander Royal Artillery (CRA) pushed guns forward into Mellaha to attack Ottoman guns on Red Hill on the eastern bank of the Jordan River, while the 1st Light Horse Brigade took over the New Zealand Mounted Rifles Brigade position at Madbeh.[48][54][55]

Kh. Fusail was about half way to the Jisr ed Damieh bridge, and after waiting for the dismounted sections of Meldrum's Force to arrive, the consolidated force advanced to attack Jisr ed Damieh. The 2nd Battalion, British West Indies Regiment remained to garrison Kh. Fusail, occupying a position at Talat Armah to protect Meldrum's right flank and rear, and if necessary to block the track from Mafid Jozele.[48][56][57] Aerial reconnaissance flights during the evening of 21 September, confirmed that Shunet Nimrin in the rear of Meldrum's Force was still strongly garrisoned, and that the roads and tracks running west from Amman were carrying normal traffic.[58]

Battle for Jordan River crossings 22 September

Jisr ed Damieh

Chaytor ordered Meldrum to cut the Wadi el Fara road from Nablus to Es Salt west of the Jordan River, occupy the headquarters of the Ottoman 53rd Division at El Makhruk, and capture the Jisr ed Damieh on the Wadi el Fara road over the Jordan River.[48] Meldrum's Force left Kh Fusail at midnight on 22 September with the Auckland Mounted Rifles Regiment as vanguard, followed by the 1st Battalion British West Indies Regiment, which dumped their kits and blankets to move "at once" towards the bridge.[48][54][59]

The Auckland and Wellington Mounted Rifles Regiments advanced north along a Roman road, across a narrow plain between the Judean Hills to the west, but exposed to artillery fire on the eastern side across the Jordan River.[54][60] The Auckland Mounted Rifle Regiment's objective was to capture the Damieh crossing from the north east, while the Wellington Mounted Rifle Regiment's objectives were to make a frontal attack on El Makhruk, capture the headquarters of the Ottoman 53rd Division, and cut the Nablus road.[54][60]

The Wellington Mounted Rifles Regiment, with one section of machine gun squadron attached, reached the Nablus to Jisr ed Damieh road early on the morning of 22 September and captured their objectives.[55][57][61][Note 10] Meanwhile the Auckland and Canterbury Mounted Rifles Regiments, supported by the 1st Battalion, British West Indies Regiment, advanced to attack the Ottoman garrison holding Jisr ed Damieh. After a "hot fight" by the infantry and mounted riflemen, they forced the defenders to withdraw in disorder, and the bridge was captured intact.[57][62]

Umm esh Shert and Mafid Jozele fords

To the south of Jisr ed Damieh, the Umm esh Shert ford was captured by the 38th Battalion Royal Fusiliers (Chaytor's Force). At 03:00 on 22 September they took advantage of the absence of Ottoman defenders at Mellaha, to advance to occupy trenches overlooking the ford at Umm esh Shert, which was captured shortly afterwards.[54][63]

The Mafid Jozel ford was captured by the 2nd Battalion British West Indies Regiment, reinforced by the 3rd Light Horse Regiment, 1st Light Horse Brigade. Despite encountering strong resistance at Mellahet umm Afein, this force attacked and "drove in" the rearguard defending the ford and an Ottoman column withdrawing across the ford. Mafid Jozele was captured by 05:50 on 23 September, along with 37 prisoners, but the bridge had been destroyed at the ford.[64][65] The last remaining Ottoman defences on the western bank of the Jordan south of the Jisr ed Damieh bridge had thus been captured, although most of the Ottoman defenders of these two fords managed to escape.[63] Captures included 105 prisoners, 4 machine guns, 4 automatic rifles, transport, horses and stores.[64]

Air support on 22 September

Cutlack's Map 6 The Dead Sea section of the Hejaz Railway in 1918
Cutlack's Map 6 The Dead Sea section of the Hejaz Railway in 1918

No. 1 Squadron (AFC) patrols found the Shunet Nimrin garrison still in place on the morning of 22 September, but Rujm el Oshir camp (to the east of Jericho, half way between the Jordan River and the Hedjaz railway) had been broken up, and fires burned west of the Amman railway station. Ain es Sir camp (south east of Es Salt, half way between the Jordan River and Amman) was found to be full of Ottoman troops, but at about midday the Ottoman garrison at Es Salt was hastily packing. Australian airmen reported the whole area east of the Jordan to be on the move towards Amman by between 15:00 and 18:00, when two Bristol Fighters bombed a mass of traffic at Suweile, half-way between Es Salt and Amman, and fired nearly 1,000 machine-gun rounds.[58]

Asia Corps withdrawal continues

Von Oppen's battalions and about 700 German and 1,300 Ottoman soldiers in the 16th and 19th Infantry Divisions were moving north towards Beisan on 22 September when they learned it had already been captured. He planned to continue his withdrawal north to Samakh during the night of 22 September, where he correctly guessed that Liman von Sanders would order a strong rearguard action. However, Jevad, the commander of the Eighth Army which included Asia Corps, ordered von Oppen to move eastwards across the Jordan River. Von Oppen got all the German and some of his Ottoman soldiers across the Jordan River before the 11th Cavalry Brigade attacked and closed that line of retreat during fighting to close the Jordan River gaps. All those who had not crossed the river were captured.[66][Note 11]

Fourth Army withdrawal

While at Deraa on 21 September during his withdrawal from Nazareth to Damascus, Liman von Sanders ordered the Fourth Army to withdraw. They were to move without waiting for the II Corps/Southern Force, which had also begun to withdraw north from Ma'an and the southern Hejaz railway. The army was in general moving northwards from Amman along the railway towards Deraa by 22 September, where they were ordered to form a rearguard line from Deraa to Irbid.[19][21][67][68] Aerial reconnaissance aircraft spotted the Ottoman army withdrawal from Amman towards Deraa. Ottoman units in the hills to the south west, and a column of all arms, were seen moving from the Es Salt area towards Amman. The aircraft bombed and machine gunned this column, then flew back to report at Ramleh.[69]

Advance to Es Salt 23 September

Gullett's Map 35 shows positions on 2 May 1918 during the Second Transjordan attack, also shows the Naaur and Ain es Sir tracks to Amman
Gullett's Map 35 shows positions on 2 May 1918 during the Second Transjordan attack, also shows the Naaur and Ain es Sir tracks to Amman

Chaytor's Force issued orders at midnight for attacks on Shunet Nimrin, Kabr Mujahid and Tel er Ramr when the retreat of the Fourth Army became apparent at 23:35 on 22/23 September. These attacks were to be carried out by the 2nd Light Horse Brigade and the mobile sections of the 20th Indian Brigade, armed with 1,500 rifles and supported by three sections of machine guns and 40 Lewis guns. This force moved eastwards along the main road from Jericho, across the Jordan River at Ghoranyeh to Es Salt towards Shunet Nimrin, while the immobile section remained in defence in the right sector of the occupied Jordan Valley. The CRA was to support this advance by targeting Shunet Nimrin.[64][70] Before Haifa on the Mediterranean coast, was captured by the 14th Cavalry Brigade during the Battle of Sharon, Chaytor's Force had crossed the Jordan River on 23 September to climb to the Plateau of Moab and Gilead on their way to capture Es Salt that evening. (See Gullett's Map 35.)[46][67]

Chaytor's Force entered the hills of Moab on a front stretching from north to south of almost 15 miles (24 km). The New Zealand Mounted Rifles Brigade, the northernmost, left one squadron and the 1st Battalion British West Indies Regiment to hold the Jisr ed Damieh bridge. The brigade then advanced south east along the road from the bridge 8 miles (13 km) across the Jordan Valley to the foothills of Moab, with patrols to the east and north, to make the 3,000 feet (910 m) climb to Es Salt. The 1st Light Horse Brigade in the centre, advanced across the Jordan River at the Umm esh Shert ford at 09:10. They met no opposition as they rode up the Arseniyet track (also known as the Wadi Abu Turra track) to arrive at Es Salt at midnight. To the south, the 2nd Light Horse Brigade moved round the southern flank of the Shunet Nimrin position, captured Kabr Muahid at 04:45, before climbing to Es Salt via the village of Ain es Sir. All wheeled transport vehicles moved along the Shunet Nimrin road to Es Salt.[46][64][67][71][Note 12]

Capture of "Jericho Jane" in the Wadi Nimrin
Capture of "Jericho Jane" in the Wadi Nimrin

Chaytor's Anzac Mounted Division headquarters moved at 14:25 to the Ghoraniyeh crossing of the Jordan River on the main road to Es Salt from Jericho. By 18:15 in the evening, the 20th Indian Brigade had reached Shunet Nimrin with a squadron of the 2nd Light Horse Brigade as advance guard. Here they found the 150-mm long-range naval gun "Jericho Jane", also known as "Nimrin Nellie", abandoned on its side in a gully beside the road.[64][72][73][74] Patterson's Column, which had been formed at 15:00 on 22 September by the 38th and 39th Battalions Royal Fusiliers (Chaytor's Force) under the command of Lieutenant Colonel Patterson, concentrated at the Auja bridgehead just across the Jordan River to the north of Ghoraniyeh, ready to follow the 20th Indian Brigade to Shunet Nimrin.[64][71]

Capture of Es Salt

The New Zealand Mounted Rifles Brigade' advanced guard was opposed by a line of outposts and a strongly wired Ottoman redoubt located across the main Jisr ed Damieh to Es Salt road 1 mile (1.6 km) west of Es Salt. This extensive rearguard position was attacked and outflanked by the New Zealand Mounted Rifles Brigade advanced guard consisting of the Canterbury Mounted Rifles Regiment. The Ottoman redoubt had been defended by nine officers and 150 other ranks armed with rifles and machine guns. All defenders were captured, and at 16:20 on 23 September, Es Salt was occupied by the New Zealand Mounted Rifles Brigade. After establishing outpost lines and searching for prisoners and intelligence, the brigade bivouacked at Suweileh for the night, to the east of Ain Hummar on the north western road to Amman. Total captures for the day were 538 prisoners, four machine guns, two automatic rifles, two 4.2-inch howitzers, one 77-mm gun, and supplies of stores and ammunition. The brigade was reinforced by the 1st Light Horse Brigade, which reached Es Salt at 24:00, while Patterson's Column, less the 38th Royal Fusiliers, moved towards Shunet Nimrin.[48][64][73][75]

This was the third time Es Salt had been captured by the EEF in six months. The 3rd Light Horse Regiment (1st Light Horse Brigade) had captured Es Salt on 25 March, and the 8th Light Horse Regiment (3rd Light Horse Brigade) had captured Es Salt on 30 April.[64][72][73]

Air support on 23 September

At dawn on 23 September, aircraft "observed a column of fairly orderly traffic of all arms streaming down the road from Es Salt to Amman," which was subsequently bombed and machine gunned. Groups of retreating Ottoman soldiers were seen moving from the hills to the south-west towards Amman. Bombing formations attacked these columns with 48 bombs and 7,000 machine gun rounds shortly after 07:00. Eight direct hits on lorries and wagons blocked the road, and the retreat became a disorderly rout.[76] At about the same time, airmen reported that camps at Samakh and Deraa were burning and long trains "with steam up [were] facing east" and north, but "would never arrive anywhere" because the railway lines were cut. Retreating German and Ottoman forces from Nablus were seen approaching Deraa. "And this was the refuge towards which the Fourth Army from Amman was making in headlong retreat!"[76]

Consolidation of Chaytor's Force at Es Salt

During the night of 23/24 September, Allenby's General Headquarters (GHQ) instructed Chaytor's Force to continue harassment of the Fourth Army, cut off their retreat north from Amman, gain touch with the Arab Army, and maintain the detachment guarding the Jisr ed Damieh bridge.[64][72]

Horse artillery negotiating a blocked road
Horse artillery negotiating a blocked road

The main road from Jericho to Es Salt, along which all wheeled transport and supplies for Chaytor's Force travelled, had been severely damaged by the retreating Fourth Army. The 20th Indian Brigade, which had been marching up this road, was ordered to provide working parties to unblock it. This was completed by 08:50 on 24 September, when the 20th Indian Brigade continued their march to Es Salt, where they took over garrison duties from the New Zealand Mounted Rifles Brigade.[72][77]

The 2nd Light Horse Brigade continued their advance to Es Salt up the Wadi Jeria and Wadi Sir, reaching Ain es Sir at 10:30, with forward patrols to the cross roads and north east of the village. During this advance the brigade was fired on by two Ottoman 77 mm guns located near Sueifiye. These guns fired 16 shells, then withdrew as the light horse patrols approached. The brigade bivouacked for the night on the road from Ain es Sir to Ain Hummar when a strong picquet line was maintained throughout the night. (See Falls Sketch Map 24 Amman detail) Most of the land to the west of Amman was cleared of enemy forces during the afternoon of 24 September, and by that evening Chaytor's Force, less the 2nd Light Horse Brigade, the 38th Royal Fusiliers at Shunet Nimrin and the Jisr ed Damieh detachment, was concentrated at Es Salt with mounted troops at Suweileh.[75][78][79][80]

Raid on Hejaz railway

Four officers and 100 men from the Auckland Mounted Rifles Regiment carried out a successful raid from Suweileh on the Hejaz railway line north of Amman during the night of 24/25 September. This force, carrying nothing but tools and weapons, advanced 12 miles (19 km) to the railway, where they destroyed part of the Hejaz railway line 5 miles (8.0 km) north of Amman near Kalaat ez Zerka station. They "returned next morning without the loss of a man" to rejoin their regiment eleven hours and 20 miles (32 km) later.[78][81][82][Note 13]

Allenby's assessment of the battle

The Turks East of Jordan are retreating North; and I am sending all available troops from the Jordan Valley after them, via Es Salt. I've been going round hospitals today. All the sick and wounded are very cheerful and content. I've told them that they've done the biggest thing in the war – having totally destroyed two Armies in 36 hours! The VII and VIII Armies, now non–existent, were the best troops in the Turkish Empire; and were strongly backed by Germans and Austrians ... I have just heard that my cavalry have taken Haifa and Acre, today. They had a bit of a fight, at Haifa; but I have no details yet. I think my Jordan troops will probably reach Es Salt tomorrow; but they won't catch many Turks there. However, my aeroplanes have been pulverising the retreating Turks in that locality.

— Allenby, letter to Lady Allenby 23 September 1918[83]

Battle of Amman 25 September

Amman was an important city on the Ottoman lines of communication. All of the supplies and reinforcements for the Ottoman army force defending the line on the eastern edge of the Jordan Valley had passed through it. Now the city was on the main line of retreat.[84][85]

The defences at Amman had been greatly strengthened since the First Transjordan attack on Amman, with the construction of a series of redoubts that were defended by machine guns. However, the boggy ground which had limited movement during the first attack in March, was by the early autumn, firm and now favoured a rapid mounted attack.[86][Note 14]

Amman in foreground, Hill 3039 behind
Amman in foreground, Hill 3039 behind

Orders were issued for the New Zealand Mounted Rifles and the 2nd Light Horse Brigades to advance at 06:00 on 25 September to capture Amman followed by the 1st Light Horse Brigade who left at 06:30. They were to strongly assault the defenders, if the town was lightly held. If Amman was found to be held in strength the assault on the town was to be deferred until infantry could reinforce the mounted infantry. Only the outlying or forward trenches were to be attacked, artillery was to fire on the town, all lines of retreat northwards were to be cut. Aerial bombing of Amman was requested. The 1st Battalion British West Indies Regiment arrived at Suweileh at 07:00 to take over garrison duties from the New Zealand Mounted Rifles Brigade.[78]

Within two hours the light horse and mounted rifle brigades were in sight of Amman and the attack had begun. The movement of Ottoman units were seen behind Amman, on Hill 3039. Two batteries of small guns and a number of machine guns opened fire. Several Ottoman posts 4 miles (6.4 km) from Amman were attacked and captured by the 2nd Light Horse Brigade along with 106 prisoners and four machine guns.[78][81][85][87] One regiment of the 1st Light Horse Brigade was sent at 10:00 to reinforce the left flank of the New Zealand Mounted Rifles Brigade and came under Meldrum's command. The Auckland Mounted Rifles Regiment advanced half an hour later, on the right of the Wellington Mounted Rifles Regiment, with the 2nd Light Horse Brigade on their left. They eventually forced the Ottoman front line defenders to retire back to the main line of defence, which was also strongly supported by machine guns.[78][81][88] At noon the Canterbury Mounted Rifles Regiment advanced towards "the main entrance to Amman," but they were stopped by fire from concealed machine guns. However, by 13:30, fighting in the streets of the town was underway, when the Auckland Mounted Rifles Regiment continued their steady advance, and the 5th Light Horse Regiment entered the southern part of the town. At 14:30, a second regiment of 1st Light Horse Brigade was ordered to reinforce the New Zealand Mounted Rifles Brigade's left. The Canterbury Mounted Rifles Regiment advanced to a position from which they were able to enfilade the defenders in the Citadel, and shortly afterwards the 10th Squadron, with a troop of the 8th Squadron, attacked and "stormed" the Citadel.[78][81][88] By 15:00 the Canterbury Mounted Rifles Regiment was in Amman and, with the 5th Light Horse Regiment, were "hunting out snipers and capturing prisoners."[88]

By 16:30 on 25 September the Anzac Mounted Division, captured Amman along with between 2,500 and 2,563 prisoners, 300 sick, ten guns (three of which were heavy), and 25 machine guns.[57][89][90] The mounted infantry method of systematically "galloping to points of vantage and bringing fire to bear on the flanks of such machine gun nests," combined with quick outflanking of machine guns eventually won all obstacles, and the opposition was broken.[91]

During the Third Transjordan attack, Chaytor's Force suffered 139 casualties, consisting of 27 killed, 7 missing and 105 wounded. Of these the Anzac Mounted Division suffered 16 men killed and 56 wounded, while the 2nd Battalion British West Indies Regiment suffered 41 casualties.[92][93][94] Historian Earl Wavell notes that "the Anzac Mounted Division here ended a very fine fighting record. It had taken a gallant part in practically every engagement since the EEF had set out from the Canal two and a half years previously."[95]

Aftermath

By the evening of 25 September, the 1st Light Horse Brigade held the Amman railway station area, the New Zealand Mounted Rifles Brigade held the area to the south, while the 2nd Light Horse Brigade bivouacked on the western slope of Hill 3039.[78] A squadron from the Auckland Mounted Rifles Regiment was sent to Madeba where they captured a number of prisoners and a very large amount of grain. Emergency rations were supplemented by food bought from the inhabitants.[96][97] The 20th Indian Brigade along with the VIIIXX RHA Brigade and 1st Battalion British West Indies Regiment were ordered to march to Amman, leaving the 39th Royal Fusiliers at Suweileh to take over the defence of Es Salt.[78][98]

Allenby wrote to Henry Wilson, Chief of the Imperial General Staff at the War Office regarding his plans for the Anzac Mounted Division: "I shall leave one cavalry division in the Amman area to operate against and cut off the enemy retreating Northwards from Ma'an, and thereafter it will proceed to Damascus and rejoin Desert Mounted Corps."[99]

Pursuit of Fourth Army north of Amman

Gullett's Map 43 shows Ziza and Jericho to Semakh and Deraa with positions of the 4th Light Horse Brigade at Samakh, the 4th Cavalry Division, retiring Ottoman forces, the Ottoman Fourth Army headquarters at Deraa and Chaytor's Force at Amman on 25 September
Gullett's Map 43 shows Ziza and Jericho to Semakh and Deraa with positions of the 4th Light Horse Brigade at Samakh, the 4th Cavalry Division, retiring Ottoman forces, the Ottoman Fourth Army headquarters at Deraa and Chaytor's Force at Amman on 25 September

Only a rearguard of the Fourth Army was captured at Amman. The remainder of the garrison was already retreating northwards, following orders received from Liman von Sanders on 21 September, four days before Chaytor's attack. Those who had escaped by train, before the line was cut by Chaytor's Force during the night of 24/25 September, were forced to detrain south of Deraa. Here they found the railway line cut by Arab Sherifial forces.[19][20][98] A retreating column of 3,000 infantry and cavalry, 300 horse transport and guns, and 600 camels was seen at Mafrak, withdrawing northwards from Amman in the early morning of 25 September. Ten Australian aircraft bombed Mafrak between 06:00 and 08:00. The railway station, a long train and several dumps were destroyed, and the railway was completely blocked. A number of trains continued to arrive at Mafrak from Amman during the day, but each was attacked by aircraft. No. 1 Squadron AFC bombed the area three times, dropping four tons of bombs and firing almost 20,000 machine gun rounds. The survivors were forced to abandon their wheeled-transport, and only a few thousand managed to escape on foot or horse towards Deraa and Damascus.[100]

The 1st Light Horse Brigade was ordered to capture the nearest water in the Wadi el Hamman 10 miles (16 km) north of Amman, to deny it to the retreating columns. A regiment of the brigade captured Kalaat ez Zerka railway station, 12 miles (19 km) north east of Amman. Here, "after a short action" on 26 September, they captured 105 prisoners and one gun.[98][101][102] Aircraft guided the 1st Light Horse Brigade to the location of an Ottoman force on 27 September, which the aircraft then machine gunned. Subsequently the light horsemen captured 300 prisoners and two machine guns. By evening, they had captured the water at Wadi el Hamman, while one regiment occupied Kalaat ez Zerka.[98][101][103] The next day the 1st Light Horse Regiment advanced to Qalat el Mafraq, 30 miles (48 km) north north east of Amman. Here they captured several trains, one Red Crescent train full of wounded, along with 10 officers and 70 other ranks found sick at Kh es Samra.[98][101] Woodward claims the Red Crescent train at Qalat el Mafraq had been looted and all the sick and wounded killed.[104]

A total of 6,000 or 7,000 retreating soldiers from the three Ottoman armies, mostly from the Fourth Army, escaped the combined encirclement by the XX Corps, the XXI Corps, the Desert Mounted Corps and Chaytor's Force, to retreat towards Damascus.[100]

Capture of Fourth Army units south of Amman

Some of the 4,500 prisoners captured by 2nd Light Horse Brigade
Some of the 4,500 prisoners captured by 2nd Light Horse Brigade

Chaytor's Force blocked the road and railway at Amman and prepared to intercept the Ottoman II Corps of the Fourth Army, which was retreating north from Ma'an. This large Ottoman force which had garrisoned the towns and railway stations on the southern Hejaz Railway, was reported to be 30 miles (48 km) south of Amman on the evening of 25 September, advancing quickly north towards Chaytor's Force.[78][98][105][106]

Consisting of Ottoman, Arab and Circassian soldiers,[Note 15] the II Corps had three options: to pass to the east of Amman along the Darb el Haj direct to Damascus, although water would be a problem in that desert region, to attack Chaytor's Force at Amman, or to move westwards, to try to get to the Jordan Valley. Patterson's Column was ordered to entrench Shunet Nimrin, Es Salt and Suweileh in case they moved westwards.[Note 16] On the Royal Fusiliers' right the 2nd Light Horse Brigade closely guarded the country to the south, in particular the Madaba to Naur to Ain Hummar road across the plateau, with a strong detachment occupying Ain es Sir.[98][107] The New Zealand Mounted Rifles Brigade sent a detachment at about midday on 26 September to investigate a report of Ottoman and German soldiers with guns at Er Rumman, but none were found. They subsequently sent a second detachment east of Amman to watch the Darb el Haj.[101] The 20th Indian Brigade of infantry arrived after dark on 26 September to take over garrison duties at Amman.[108][Note 17]

The 2nd Light Horse Brigade was ordered to blow up the railway line as far to the south as they could, in order to obstruct and delay the northward movement of the Ottoman II Corps. They cut the railway line just north of Ziza Station. By 08:30 on 27 September, they had captured some Ottoman soldiers south of Leban Station, 12 miles (19 km) to the south of Amman. One of the prisoners said the advanced guard of a 6,000 strong retreating column had reached Kastal, 15 miles (24 km) south of Amman.[98][101][102] Aircraft located the Ottoman Southern Force at 06:55 on 28 September at Ziza, about 20 miles (32 km) south of Amman, where three trains were in the station. A message dropped at 15:15 called on them to surrender. They were warned that all water north of Kastal was in EEF hands, and that they would be bombed the next day, if they refused to surrender.[101][109] No answer had been received by 08:45 on 29 September, and arrangements were made for the bombing to be carried out in the afternoon.[101]

The 5th Light Horse Regiment (2nd Light Horse Brigade), meanwhile had reached 3 miles (4.8 km) north of Ziza at 10:30, where an Ottoman officer delivered a letter from the commander of the II Corps. The 5th Light Horse regimental commander was informed at 11:40 by 2nd Light Horse Brigade headquarters that, unless the Ottoman force surrendered, they would be bombed at 15:00. Negotiations for a surrender began at 11:45, and the 5th Light Horse Regiment moved across the railway to within 700 yards (640 m) of the Ottoman force, which was surrounded by Bedouin. Reports were received by 12:45 that the Ottoman force at Ziza would surrender, and the bombing raid was cancelled. The remainder of the 2nd Light Horse Brigade was ordered to "make a forced march" from Amman to Ziza, and the New Zealand Mounted Rifles Brigade was ordered to follow at dawn the next day. The 7th Light Horse Regiment (2nd Light Horse Brigade) arrived at Ziza late in the afternoon.[80][101][110][111] The remainder of the 2nd Light Horse Brigade, less details and patrols, left Amman at 13:45. They moved slowly at first, through hilly and stony country between Amman and Leban, then trotted to Ziza, where they arrived at 17:20. The Bedouin force which surrounded the Ottoman II Corps were Beni Sakhr Bedouin Arabs. They demanded that the Ottoman force be handed over to them. This was refused, and after the arrival of the 2nd Light Horse Brigade, the Beni Sakhr force became openly hostile.[80][104][Note 18]

Chaytor arrived at about 17:00, and informed the Ottoman commander that his soldiers were to "be prepared to defend" themselves for the coming night.[111][112] The Ottoman commander Colonel Kaaimakan Ali Bey Whahaby agreed to be a hostage in exchange for the cooperation of his men with Chaytor's Force, and left for Amman with Chaytor at 17:30.[80][113] The 5th and 7th Light Horse Regiments galloped through the encircling Arabs into the Ottoman position, and placed troops in position at intervals in the Ottoman line, where they remained until the morning.[80][93][114] Two small clashes between Beni Sakhr Arabs and Ottomans occurred before dark, but a cordon was put round the Ottoman force after the arrival of the 2nd Light Horse Brigade. The Beni Sakhr were warned to keep back, though they attempted to raid the hospital.[115][116] During the night, several attacks by the Beni Sakhr Arab force were driven off by Ottoman machine gun fire and light horse rifles.[80][113]

The New Zealand Mounted Rifles Brigade arrived at 05:30 on 30 September to take over the position and the care of the 534 sick, as well as collecting the 14 guns, 35 machine guns, two automatic rifles, three railway engines, 25 railway trucks, lorries and large amounts of ammunition and stores. After assurances by Brigadier General Ryrie commanding the 2nd Light Horse Brigade, that the sick and wounded Ottoman soldiers would be cared for, the Ottoman force concentrated at dawn near Ziza railway station while the light horsemen took the bolts from the Ottoman rifles. Two Anatolian battalions remained armed in case the Beni Sakhr attacked during the march. The 5th Light Horse Regiment marched between 4,068 and 4,082 prisoners, including walking wounded, north to Amman. They were followed by 502 sick.[80][113][114][117]

All prisoners were mustered. Walking sick cases were collected under shelter of the station buildings, and cot cases were transferred to 2nd Light Horse Field Ambulance cacolets. The prisoners escorted by 5th Light Horse Regiment, less one squadron at Amman with one squadron 7th Light Horse attached, moved off to Amman at 07:15. All arms and equipment were collected and put in railway trucks. This task was finished by 15:30. The Canterbury Mounted Rifles Regiment remained to guard the sick until transport was organised. One hundred sick walking cases were sent on to Amman in New Zealand Mounted Rifle Brigade transport wagons and the 2nd Light Horse Brigade commenced its return journey to Amman. They arrived at 21:00, while the New Zealand Mounted Rifles Brigade remained in charge at Ziza.[80][116]

Chaytor's Force's total captures from the beginning of operations to 30 September were 10,322 prisoners, 57 guns including one 5.9-inch gun, three 5.9-inch howitzers, one anti aircraft gun, ten 10 cm guns, 32 77 mm guns, six 75 mm guns, two 3-inch guns and two 13 pounder HAC guns, 147 machine guns, 13 automatic rifles including one Hotchkiss rifle and one Lewis gun, two wireless sets, 11 railway engines, 106 railway rolling stock, 142 vehicles and large quantities of artillery shells, small arms ammunition (SAA) and other material.[94][113]

Medical establishments and evacuations

Roman Amphitheatre at Amman
Roman Amphitheatre at Amman

The mobile sections of the field ambulances followed their brigades to Es Salt with their camel transport. They travelled up the Umm esh Shert and Jisr ed Damieh tracks, while their wheeled transport followed by the Shunet Nimrim road.[67] A divisional collecting station was established at Suweileh, during the Second Battle of Amman, by the immobile section of the 1st Light Horse Field Ambulance and the Anzac (No. 7) Sanitary Section. Both of these units arrived from Jerusalem early on 25 September, following the wheeled supply vehicles along the Shunet Nimrin road. Subsequently a dressing-station was opened in the ruins of the Roman amphitheatre at Amman. There, 268 sick and wounded light horsemen were admitted up to 30 September and evacuated from Amman by motor ambulance wagons. Two Ottoman hospitals in the town were found to hold 480 patients, a number which quickly grew to more than 1,000. These patients and the Ottoman medical staff were evacuated to Jerusalem by motor lorries. There were also 1,269 British and Indian sick evacuated from Amman in the ten days between 30 September and 9 October.[118]

A hospital and camp in the hills of Moab, Jordan
A hospital and camp in the hills of Moab, Jordan

These large numbers of evacuations to Jericho, eight to ten hours away, travelled mostly in motor lorries. Motor ambulances were reserved for the most severe cases. The trip was broken about 2 miles (3.2 km) south of Es Salt, where the Welsh Field Ambulance fed the patients and rested them for two hours before they resumed their journey. One group of motor ambulances drove between Amman and the Welsh Field Ambulance, and a second group drove from the Welsh Field Ambulance to Jericho. Motor lorries and some cars of No. 35 Motor Ambulance Convoy evacuated the sick from the Anzac Mounted Division receiving station near Jericho to the casualty clearing station at Jerusalem.[92]

Health among the troops

Downes Map 20 Desert Mounted Corps medical situation 27–28 September 1918
Downes Map 20 Desert Mounted Corps medical situation 27–28 September 1918

Many of the troops at Amman had garrisoned the malarial Jordan Valley for over six months, during the summer. The hot, humid Jordan Valley sits at about 1,000 feet (300 m) below sea level, while the troops at Amman were now some 3,000 feet (910 m) above sea level in a climate where the nights were cold. With malaria dormant in their blood, the change of climate caused many cases of attacks of malaria fever.[84][98][Note 19] Before the returning 2nd Light Horse and New Zealand Mounted Rifles Brigades reached Jerusalem on their way back to Deiran, they, along with the 1st Light Horse Brigade still the Amman area, were struck by a heavy outbreak of disease.[119] "Between 19 September and 3 November, 6920 men in Chaytor's Force were listed as sick. In the Anzac division, 1088 men were sick in September; the number trebled in the following month ... In some regiments, riderless horses were let loose and herded down into the valley like a mob of cattle."[94]

The Anzac Mounted Division evacuated more than 3,000 sick in the last three weeks of September 2700 of which were cases of malignant malaria.[120] The divisional collecting station was brought forward from Suweileh on 30 September, and at one time treated as many as 246 cases, the majority of which were seriously ill.[119] The 1st Light Horse Brigade evacuated 126 cases during the seven days following 28 September, and 239 cases by 10 October. The New Zealand Mounted Rifles Brigade evacuated 316 cases and the 2nd Light Horse Brigade had 57 cases, many of whom suffered a high fever of 105° to 106 °F.[121] More than 700 cases of mostly malignant malaria were reported during the first 12 days of October, and the New Zealand Mounted Rifles Brigade lost about one third of its strength.[122] Of the approximately 5,000 New Zealanders, about 3,000 were either in hospital or in convalescent depots, mostly with malaria.[123]

On 21 September 1 Light Horse and the New Zealand Mounted Rifle Brigades accompanied by the 1st and 2nd Battalions British West Indies Regiment advanced to the Jisr ed Damieh. The surrounding area was swampy ground where no mosquito management had been carried out. "The air was full of hordes of peculiarly aggressive and blood–thirsty mosquitoes, laden with as subsequent events proved the parasites of malignant malaria." While the other units advanced to Es Salt and Amman, the 2nd Battalion remained to guard the bridge and was subsequently virtually the whole unit was infected with malaria. By 19 October 726 soldiers from this unit, had been evacuated with malignant malaria. Within the units of Chaytor's Force which moved to Es Salt and Amman cases of malignant malaria began to appear in much smaller numbers on 28 September and up to 10 October 2 Light Horse Brigade which had not been in the Jisr ed Damieh area evacuated 57 soldiers compared with 239 from the 1st Light Horse Brigade and 316 from the New Zealand Mounted Rifle Brigade.[124]

To people accustomed to ordinary benign tertian malaria the serious and dramatic nature of the malignant type was most alarming. The men attacked were suddenly prostrated in high fever, 105° and 106 °F (41 °C). being frequently reported, they were often delirious and occasionally maniacal. Unless treated immediately and efficiently with quinine the mortality was high.

— Major C. Hercus DADMS Anzac Mounted Division[124]

Of the many hundreds sent to hospital with malaria, many died, many recovered in hospital but later suffered a relapse and went to hospital again, many men were invalided home as a result of malaria, with their health badly undermined.[125] With so many men sick amongst the British Empire forces, it became common for one man to be placed in charge of eight horses. At this time, the horses were fed newly threshed barley, which resulted in the deaths of 15 horses in Chaytor's Force, while a further 160 became seriously ill.[121]

Return to Richon le Zion

Leaving the Jordan Valley for the last time. Jericho in middle distance with hills of Moab in the background
Leaving the Jordan Valley for the last time. Jericho in middle distance with hills of Moab in the background

The New Zealand Mounted Rifles Brigade returned from Ziza to Amman between 1 and 2 October, then continued on to Ain es Sir on 3 October and returned to the Jordan Valley the next day. At Ain es Sir, the Wellington Mounted Rifles Regiment captured a number of Circassians "suspected of involvement in the May attack and escorted them to Jerusalem for trial."[126][127][Note 20]

The brigade left the Jordan Valley after three days at Jericho, bivouacking at Tallat ed Dumm on 8 October. They paused at midday on 9 October at the Mount of Olives, near Bethany, then "rode down into the Valley of Jehosophat for the last time, past the Garden of Gethsemane, up round the old walls and then through the streets of Jerusalem, past the Jaffa Gate, on to the Hebron road." The New Zealand Mounted Rifles Brigade rested for a few days near Jerusalem, then returned to Richon le Zion on 14 October to rest and recuperate.[123][126][128]

Notes

  1. ^ The Ghoraniyeh bridgehead was just 15 miles (24 km) from Jerusalem direct. [Maunsell 1926 p. 194]
  2. ^ Nazareth has been mentioned as the objective of the 3rd Light Horse Brigade, who were to "await the retreating Turks beginning to stream back through the Dothan pass". [Keogh 1955 p. 248]
  3. ^ It has been stated that the Fourth Army began its withdrawal towards Damascus as a consequence of the loss of Samakh on 25 September. [Keogh 1955 p. 252]
  4. ^ Ross Smith was no relation to Charles Kingsford Smith, with whom Ross and his brother Keith flew after the war. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 16 September 2012. Retrieved 11 April 2012.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  5. ^ The only available German and Ottoman sources are Liman von Sanders' memoir and the Asia Corps' war diary. Ottoman army and corps records seem to have disappeared during their retreat. [Falls 1930 Vol. 2 pp. 494–5]
  6. ^ The commander has also been referred to as Cemal, [Erickson 2001 p. 196] Cemal Kucjuk Pasha [Kinloch 2007 p. 303] and Djemal the Lesser. [Bruce 2002 p. 236] [Carver 2003 p. 232]
  7. ^ The Fourth Army had been headquartered at Es Salt during the Second Transjordan attack at the end of April, having moved forward from Amman after the First Transjordan attack in March/April.
  8. ^ This Composite Division of a group of German battalions is not identified in any more detail by any of the sources quoted.
  9. ^ The Ottoman 53rd Division and the British Empire 53rd Division both took part in the Battle of Nablus.
  10. ^ This was the second time that a commander of the Ottoman 53rd Division had been captured by the New Zealanders. The first occurred at Gaza in March 1917. [Falls 1930 Vol. 2 p. 551] [Hill 1978 p. 173]
  11. ^ Liman von Sanders was very critical of Jevad's intervention, which considerably weakened the Samakh position, but von Oppen would have had to break through the 4th Cavalry Division's piquet line across the Esdrealon Plain from Afulah to Beisan, to get to Samakh. [Falls 1930 Vol. 2 pp. 521, 546]
  12. ^ Falls refers to four columns. [Falls 1930 Vol. 2 p. 553]
  13. ^ One source claims the raid took place during the night of 23/24 September. [Powles 1922 pp. 249–50]
  14. ^ "The memory of those four days of bitter fighting [during the First Transjordan attack on Amman] in the rain and cold were yet fresh in everyone's memory." [Powles 1922 p. 250]
  15. ^ The inhabitants of the region, from Beersheba to Jericho, varied greatly in their background, religious beliefs and political outlook. The population was mainly Arab of the Sunni branch of Islam, with some Jewish colonists and Christians. At Nablus, they were almost exclusively Moslems excepting the less than 200 members of the Samaritan sect of original Jews. To the east of the Jordan Valley in the Es Salt district were Syrian and Greek Orthodox Christians, and near Amman, Circassians and Turkmans. [GB Army EEF Handbook 9/4/18 p. 61]
  16. ^ Patterson's Column, which was formed at 15:00 on 22 September by the 38th and 39th Battalions Royal Fusiliers under the command of Lieutenant Colonel Patterson, ceased to exist at 12:15 on 28 September. [Anzac MD War Diary pp. 4, 6]
  17. ^ On 30 September, Allenby reported to the War Office his intentions for the occupied area: "I am not extending the existing Occupied Enemy Territory Administration to places east of Jordan in the "B" area, such as Es Salt and Amman, but until such time as an Arab administration be formed later, I am merely appointing a British officer to safeguard the interests of the inhabitants." [Hughes 2004 p. 191]
  18. ^ These were not Feisal's men, but Bedouin of the Beni Sakhr tribe, who had agreed to co–operate with the EEF during the Second Transjordan attack in April, but were out of the area when the attack occurred. [Wavell 1968 p. 222]
  19. ^ Many of Chaytor's Force became sick towards the end of operations, and the New Zealand Mounted Rifles Brigade lost almost 60 per cent of its strength sick to hospital during the period. [Moore 1920 p. 151]
  20. ^ This incident occurred during the First Transjordan attack, on 1 April at 07:45, during the retreat from Amman. See First Transjordan attack on Amman.

Citations

  1. ^ Bruce 2002 p. 203
  2. ^ a b Powles 1922 pp. 222–3
  3. ^ Hughes 2004 pp. 167–8
  4. ^ Hughes 2004 p. 160
  5. ^ Allenby letter to Wilson 24 July 1918 in Hughes 2004 pp. 168–9
  6. ^ Hamilton 1996 p. 135–6
  7. ^ Mitchell 1978 pp. 160–1
  8. ^ Maunsell 1926 p. 212
  9. ^ a b Falls 1930 Vol. 2 p. 547
  10. ^ Gullett 1919 p. 32
  11. ^ Maunsell 1926 p. 199
  12. ^ a b c Hill 1978 p. 162
  13. ^ a b c d Anzac Mounted Division General Staff War Diary AWM4-1-60-31 Part 2 Appendix 38 p. 1
  14. ^ a b c Falls 1930 Vol. 2. pp. 547–8
  15. ^ Falls 1930 Vol. 2 p. 548
  16. ^ Blenkinsop 1925 p. 241
  17. ^ Massey 1920 pp. 155–7
  18. ^ Wavell 1968 p. 211
  19. ^ a b c Keogh 1955 p. 251
  20. ^ a b Wavell 1968 p. 223
  21. ^ a b Falls 1930 Vol. 2 pp. 511, 545
  22. ^ Gullett 1919 pp. 25–6
  23. ^ a b c Powles 1922 pp. 233–4
  24. ^ Powles 1922 p. 231
  25. ^ Bou 2009 p. 194
  26. ^ Kinloch, p.321
  27. ^ Anzac Mounted Division Admin Staff, Headquarters War Diary 30 September 1918 AWM4-1-61-31
  28. ^ a b c Downes 1938 p. 721
  29. ^ Falls 1930 Vol. 2 p. 460
  30. ^ Cutlack 1941 pp. 151–2
  31. ^ Carver 2003 pp. 225, 232
  32. ^ Maunsell 1926 p. 213
  33. ^ a b Falls 1930 Vol. 2 pp. 548–9
  34. ^ Powles 1922 pp. 231, 235
  35. ^ a b Blenkinsop 1925 p. 242
  36. ^ a b Pugsley 2004 p. 143
  37. ^ a b Bruce 2002 p. 235
  38. ^ a b Anzac Mounted Division General Staff War Diary AWM4-1-60-31 Part 2 Appendix 38 pp. 0–1 (E1/71-72)
  39. ^ Wavell 1968 p. 199
  40. ^ a b c Falls 1930 Vol. 2 p. 549
  41. ^ Erickson 2007 pp. 132, 2001 p. 196
  42. ^ a b Erickson 2001 p. 196
  43. ^ Keogh 1955 pp. 241–2
  44. ^ Wavell 1968 p. 195
  45. ^ Falls 1930 Vol. 2 p. 674
  46. ^ a b c Gullett 1919 p. 39
  47. ^ a b c Anzac Mounted Division General Staff War Diary AWM4-1-60-31 Part 2 Appendix 38 pp. 2–3
  48. ^ a b c d e f g h New Zealand Mounted Rifles Brigade War Diary AWM4-35-12-41
  49. ^ Cutlack 1941 pp. 155–6
  50. ^ Cutlack 1941 p. 158
  51. ^ Wavell 1968 p. 220
  52. ^ Falls 1930 Vol. 2 pp. 511–2, 675
  53. ^ Falls 1930 Vol. 2 pp. 511–2
  54. ^ a b c d e f Anzac Mounted Division General Staff War Diary AWM4-1-60-31 Part 2 Appendix 38 p. 3
  55. ^ a b c Falls 1930 Vol. 2 p. 550
  56. ^ a b Powles 1922 p. 245
  57. ^ a b c d Wavell 1968 p. 221
  58. ^ a b Cutlack 1941 p. 162
  59. ^ Falls p. 551
  60. ^ a b Powles 1922 p. 246
  61. ^ Powles 1922 pp. 245–6
  62. ^ Moore 1920 pp. 148–50
  63. ^ a b Falls 1930 Vol. 2 p. 552
  64. ^ a b c d e f g h i Anzac Mounted Division General Staff War Diary AWM4-1-60-31 Part 2 Appendix 38 p. 4
  65. ^ Falls 1930 Vol. 2 pp. 551–2
  66. ^ Falls 1930 Vol. 2 p. 546
  67. ^ a b c d Downes 1938 p. 722
  68. ^ Wavell 1968 pp. 220, 223
  69. ^ Cutlack 1941 p. 165
  70. ^ Falls 1930 Vol. 2 p. 552, note
  71. ^ a b Falls 1930 Vol. 2 pp. 552–3
  72. ^ a b c d Falls 1930 Vol. 2 p. 553
  73. ^ a b c Powles 1922 p. 248
  74. ^ Gullett 1919 p.52
  75. ^ a b Falls 1930 Vol. 2 pp. 553–4
  76. ^ a b Cutlack 1941 pp. 165–6
  77. ^ Anzac Mounted Division General Staff War Diary AWM4-1-60-31 Part 2 Appendix 38 pp. 4–5
  78. ^ a b c d e f g h i Anzac Mounted Division General Staff War Diary AWM4-1-60-31 Part 2 Appendix 38 p. 5
  79. ^ Cutlack 1941 p. 166
  80. ^ a b c d e f g h 2nd Light Horse Brigade War Diary AWM4-10-2-45
  81. ^ a b c d Falls 1930 Vol. 2 p. 554
  82. ^ Powles 1922 pp. 249–50
  83. ^ Hughes 2004 pp. 183–4
  84. ^ a b Moore 1920 p. 151
  85. ^ a b Powles 1922 p. 250
  86. ^ Powles 1922 p. 252
  87. ^ Kinloch 2007 p. 315
  88. ^ a b c Powles 1922 p. 251
  89. ^ DiMarco 2008 p. 332
  90. ^ Kinloch 2007 p. 316
  91. ^ Powles 1922 pp. 252, 257
  92. ^ a b Downes 1938 pp. 723–4
  93. ^ a b Falls 1930 Vol. 2 p. 559
  94. ^ a b c Kinloch 2007 p. 321
  95. ^ Wavell 1968 p. 222
  96. ^ Falls 1930 Vol. 2 pp. 554–5
  97. ^ Powles 1922 pp. 255–6
  98. ^ a b c d e f g h i Falls 1930 Vol. 2 p. 555
  99. ^ Allenby to Wilson 25 September 1918 in Hughes 2004 p. 188
  100. ^ a b Cutlack 1941 pp. 166–7
  101. ^ a b c d e f g h Anzac Mounted Division General Staff War Diary AWM4-1-60-31 Part 2 Appendix 38 p. 6
  102. ^ a b Powles 1922 p. 253
  103. ^ Powles 1922 p. 254
  104. ^ a b Woodward 2006 p. 202
  105. ^ Wavell 1968 p. 221–2
  106. ^ Moore 1920 pp.160–1
  107. ^ Anzac Mounted Division General Staff War Diary AWM4-1-60-31 Part 2 Appendix 38 pp. 5–6
  108. ^ 2nd LHB War Diary
  109. ^ Falls 1930 Vol. pp. 555–6
  110. ^ Powles 1922 pp. 254–5
  111. ^ a b Kinloch 2007 p. 318
  112. ^ Falls 1930 Vol. 2 pp. 556–7
  113. ^ a b c d Anzac Mounted Division General Staff War Diary AWM4-1-60-31 Part 2 Appendix 38 p. 7
  114. ^ a b Kinloch 2007 pp. 318–9
  115. ^ Anzac Mounted Division General Staff War Diary AWM4-1-60-31 Part 2 Appendix 38 pp. 6–7
  116. ^ a b Powles 1922 p. 255
  117. ^ Falls 1930 Vol. 2 pp. 558–9
  118. ^ Downes 1938 pp. 722–3
  119. ^ a b Downes 1938 p. 723
  120. ^ Preston 1921 p. 246
  121. ^ a b Blenkinsop 1925 pp. 243–4
  122. ^ Pugsley 2004 p. 144
  123. ^ a b Moore 1920 pp. 166–7
  124. ^ a b Powles 1922 pp. 261–2
  125. ^ Moore 1920 p. 142
  126. ^ a b Kinloch 2007 p. 323
  127. ^ Powles 1922 p. 256
  128. ^ Powles 1922 pp. 256, 263

References

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Further reading

  • Carey, Gordon Vero; Scott, Hugh Sumner (2011). An Outline History of the Great War. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-1-107-64802-9.

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