ANZAC Israel – The Battle of Beersheba

ANZAC Israel

1917, The Great War, The Holy Land is at the south of the once-great Ottoman Empire. The Ottoman Turks are allied with the Germans. Not only do the Turks hold the southern flank of the German, Austro-Hungarian and Turkish forces, but they are a threat to the British held Suez Canal.

The British, together with their Australian and New-Zealand allies try to break the Ottoman lines in Gaza. Twice they try and twice they fail. After the second failure, a new General takes over as commander of the British forces in the region. His name is General Edmund Allenby. He decides to surprise the Turks by attacking their line at Beer Sheba, a town 45 miles southeast of Gaza. The town and its surroundings have a strong line of defense. The Turks are led to suspect that Allenby will attack Gaza yet again. On October 30th, 1917, Allenby sends the ANZAC Light Cavalry on along all night detour in order to attack Beer Sheba from the South.

The battle of beer Sheva

The success of this attack depends on complete surprise and speed so that the Turks do not destroy the water and grain supplies that are vitally important for the horses and the troops. The main body of cavalry is ordered not to dismount when engaging the enemy and to use their bayonets as swords.

The attack, on October 31st, comes as a complete surprise. The main body of horsemen gallops over the trenches continue into the center of the town in order to capture the wells and food supplies before they are destroyed. Some soldiers dismount and engage the enemy in the trenches and some double back after leaping over the trenches to engage the enemy from behind.Anzac israel

The victory is complete, The Ottoman Line of defense is breached, and not long after, in December Allenby marches into Jerusalem.

ANZAC memorial Beer Sheva

The Anzac Memorial Center in Beer Sheba is worth a visit as is the Commonwealth War Graves Cemetery which includes the graves of 173 Australians and 31 New Zealanders who gave their lives in Beer Sheba in WW1.

 

<<Ramon crater (Makhtesh)

The Israeli Airforce Museum in Hatzerim>>

 

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ANZAC Israel – The Battle of Beersheba