Topic: BatzS - Magdhaba
The Battle of Magdhaba
Sinai, 23 December 1916
BRITISH OFFENSIVE IN EGYPT,
TURKISH STRONGHOLD IN SINAI TAKEN.
The recapture of El Arish, the Turkish position on the coastal route in the Sinai peninsula, has been quickly followed by a victory at Magdhaba, between the coast and the central route. Our operations were completely successful, a strong enemy position being carried, and 1,130 prisoners captured.
British official reports :-
On December 22 our aircraft carried out several successful raids in the El Arish region [29 miles from the Turco-Egyptian frontier] At Magdhaba [south-east of El Arish and 25 miles from the frontier] about a ton of high explosives was dropped on an enemy concentration, causing many casualties to personnel.
Attacks were made on Beersheba and Auja [about 40 and five miles on the Turkish side of the frontier. Beersheba being the Turkish base] and an important railway bridge over a deep ravine at Tel-el-Sharia, 15 miles north of Beersheba, was seriously damaged. All our machines returned safely.
On the Afternoon of December 23 our mounted troops carried a strong enemy position at Magdhaba [20 miles south-south-east of El Arish) after an engagement which commenced at 9 a.m.; 500 prisoners were taken.
Aircraft cooperated in the attack, both with bombs and with machine-gun fire from a low attitude.
Although the fall report of the action at Magdhaba on 23rd inst. is not yet to hand, the following further particulars have been received. The total captures now amount to 1,130 prisoners, at least two guns, and a large quantity of arms and war material.
The enemy's casualties in killed and wounded are considerable.
Our aeroplanes are continuing to harass the enemy.
THE RETAKING OF EL ARISH.
(From our Correspondent)
CAIRO, Dec. 23
The retaking of El Arish, over which the Egyptian flag floats again after nearly 26 months of Turkish occupation, auspiciously inaugurates the third year of Sultan Hussein's reign. This success has been received with much satisfaction locally. News from the eastern frontier had been momentarily awaited, as it was known that an advance was in progress, but the facile recapture of the place was a great surprise, as it was expected that the Turks would sternly resist from the hills beyond commanding the town.
Further Reading:Battles where Australians fought, 1899-1920
Citation: The Battle of Magdhaba, Sinai, December 23, 1916, Times Account