Topic: BatzS - Bir el Abd
Romani and Bir el Abd
Sinai, 4 - 9 August 1916
Falls Account, The State of The Royal Flying Corps in Egypt at the time of the Battle of Romani
The Battle of Romani, 4-6 August and Bir el Abd, 9 August 1916
[Click on map for larger version]
[From: Military operations: Egypt and Palestine, Sketch 10 facing p. 178.]
As part of the Official British War History of the Great War, Captain Cyril Falls and Lieutenant General George MacMunn were commissioned to produce a commentary on the Sinai, Palestine and Syrian operations that took place. In 1928, their finished work, Military Operations, Egypt and Palestine - From the outbreak of war with Germany to June 1917, was published in London. Their book included a section specifically related to the battle of Romani and is extracted below.
MacMunn, G. & Falls, C., Military operations: Egypt and Palestine, (London 1930), p. 203:
Part 9. The State of The Royal Flying Corps in Egypt at the time of the Battle of Romani.
The 5th Wing R.F.C., had two squadrons only in Egypt at the time of the Turkish advance: No. 14 Squadron, with detachments at Ismailia, Qantara, Port Said and Sollum; and No. 1 A.F.C. Squadron, with two flights at Suez, one at Kharga, and one forming at Heliopolis.
From the 19th July onwards all available machines were concentrated at Ismailia, Port Said and Qantara, even the half-flight at Sollum flying to Ismailia. An advanced landing ground was established at Romani. Continuous reconnaissance was carried out from this date onwards. The enemy's machines were single-seater Fokkers and two-seater Aviatiks, and were much faster than the B.E.2.C's, which formed three-fourths of the British aeroplanes, and five miles an hour faster even than the De Havilands, of which there were only three in Egypt. The fact that the Fokkers had interrupter gear, enabling the machine gun to fire through the propeller, gave them a further important advantage. Despite this fact, the British air service was able, from the beginning of the operations to the end, to give a considerable amount of information as to the enemy's movements. During the period of the operations it had, however, five machines damaged in fighting and one destroyed.
Previous: Distribution of E.E.F., 27 July 1916
Citation: Romani and Bir el Abd, Falls Account, The State of The Royal Flying Corps in Egypt at the time of the Battle of Romani