Now all roads lead to France and heavy is the tread
Of the living; but the dead returning lightly dance.
Edward Thomas, Roads

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Beersheba and Gaza Captured in Third Battle of Gaza, October & November 1917

In late 1917, the appointment of General Edmund Allenby as theater commander led to a re-energized British effort in Egypt and Palestine. His first major operation involved the capture of Beersheba and Gaza in what is now called the Third Battle of Gaza. The battle took place over the end of October and early November and led quickly to the Christmas-time capture of Jerusalem.

America was now in the war and had an observer along on the campaign, military attache Lt. Col. Edward Davis. I discovered his photos of the battles in the U.S. Army digital archives. They are not of the highest quality, but are interesting, and I've never seen them in other publications about the war in the Middle East. Here is a selection. Alas, they did not lend themselves to large formatting.

Lt. Col. Davis on the Right in British Trench at Gaza

British Desert Corps and Division HQ; Beersheba Road in Bed of Wadi Ghuzze; Camel Train Advancing on Beersheba

Beersheba Before the Attack; Main Turkish Defensive Trench; 4th Brigade Australian Light Horse in Beersheba After Its Capture

Damaged British Caisson and Dead Horses After the Attack on Gaza;  British Troops Entering Gaza

Artillery Damage in Gaza Mosque Used to Store Ammunition; Captured Turkish Ambulance

1 comment:

  1. Warfare is a fascinating subject. Despite the dubious morality of using violence to achieve personal or political aims. It remains that conflict has been used to do just that throughout recorded history.

    Your article is very well done, a good read.