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Wednesday, 18 February 2009
Aircraft with Ottoman Army Units in Palestine
Topic: Tk - Bks - Air Force

Pasha and Yildirim, the Palestine Front, 1915 to 1918


(R) Lt Midhat and (R+1) Capt Fazil, the first Turkish aviation personnel in Palestine, 1915.

[From: Ole Nikolajsen, Ottoman Aviation 1911 - 1919, p. 212.]


Part 10 - Aircraft with Ottoman Army Units in Palestine


Rumpler Doppeltaube


Rumpler Doppeltaube

Rumpler Doppeltaube Fethi arrived Aleppo 28 December 1914, crashed 29 December 1914.



Ponnier Acrobatic Trainer


Ponnier Acrobatic Trainer

Ponnier Acrobatic Trainer arrived 17 March 1915, crashed 9 April 1915






P6 arrived 3 October 1916 and delivered to 3ncü Tayyare Bölük. Rendered unserviceable, October 1916.
P7 arrived 3 October 1916 and delivered to 3ncü Tayyare Bölük. Last flight on 2 March 1917
F8 arrived 3 October 1916 and delivered to 3ncü Tayyare Bölük. Rendered unserviceable, February 1917.
P9 arrived 3 October 1916 and delivered to 3ncü Tayyare Bölük. Rendered unserviceable, February 1917.
P10 arrived 3 October 1916 and delivered to 3ncü Tayyare Bölük. Rendered unserviceable, November 1916.




AK28 delivered 26 November 1916 to 3ncü Tayyare Bölük. Crashed 27 November 1916.
AK30 delivered December 1916 to 3ncü Tayyare Bölük. Left in Medina.
AK31 delivered March 1917 to 3ncü Tayyare Bölük. To Aircraft Park, Damascus, April 1918.
AK40 delivered December 1916 to 3ncü Tayyare Bölük. Left unserviceable in Medina.
AK51 delivered April 1917 to 4ncü Tayyare Bölük. Crashed 5 March 1918.
AK59 delivered November 1917 to 3ncü Tayyare Bölük. To Aircraft Park, Damascus, April 1918.
AK72 delivered December 1916 to 3ncü Tayyare Bölük. Left unserviceable in Medina.





AK4 delivered March 1917 to 3ncü Tayyare Bölük. To Aircraft Park, Damascus, April 1918.





R1150 delivered November 1917 to 3ncü Tayyare Bölük. Destroyed at Maan, 8 May 1918.
R1837 delivered August 1917 to 3ncü Tayyare Bölük. Crashed 4 February 1918.
R1847 delivered November 1917 to 3ncü Tayyare Bölük. Rendered unserviceable, 18 May 1918.
R2626 delivered November 1917 to 3ncü Tayyare Bölük. Rendered unserviceable, 18 August 1918.
R2627 delivered August 1917 to 3ncü Tayyare Bölük. To Aircraft Park, Damascus, January 1918.
R2628 delivered November 1917 to 3ncü Tayyare Bölük. To Aircraft Park, Damascus, February 1918.
R2636 delivered November 1917 to 3ncü Tayyare Bölük. To Aircraft Park, Damascus, 1918.





AEG2 delivered December 1917 to 4ncü Tayyare Bölük. Lost on 28 March 1918.
AEG3 delivered December 1917 to 4ncü Tayyare Bölük. Rendered unserviceable March 1918
AEG22 delivered December 1917 to 4ncü Tayyare Bölük. Rendered unserviceable August 1918
AEG26 delivered February 1918 to 14ncü Tayyare Bölük. Rendered unserviceable September 1918.
AEG27 delivered February 1918 to 14ncü Tayyare Bölük. Rendered unserviceable July 1918.
AEG28 delivered February 1918 to 14ncü Tayyare Bölük. Rendered unserviceable May 1918.
AEG29 delivered February 1918 to 14ncü Tayyare Bölük. Burnt 24 June 1918.
AEG30 delivered February 1918 to 14ncü Tayyare Bölük. Rendered unserviceable Summer 1918.
AEG31 delivered February 1918 to 14ncü Tayyare Bölük. Rendered unserviceable September 1918.
AEG32 delivered February 1918 to 14ncü Tayyare Bölük. Burnt 24 June 1918.


Source: The above extract is obtained from a self published work by Ole Nikolajsen called Ottoman Aviation 1911 - 1919Aircraft with Ottoman Army Units in Palestine comes from Chapter 8, Pasha and Yildirim, the Palestine Front, 1915 to 1918, p. 200. The text has been edited to remove errors and make it readable for an English speaking audience.


Further Reading:

The German Ottoman Air Force 

Air War on the Palestine Front, December 1915 to January 1917

Turkish Units - The Ottoman Air Force

Lieutenant Colonel Hüseyin Hüsnü Emir, Yildirim


Go To:

Previous Chapter: Aircraft Delivered To German Units in Palestine 1916-18

Next Chapter: Aircrew Serving In Ottoman Army Aircraft Units in Palestine


Citation: Aircraft with Ottoman Army Units in Palestine

Posted by Project Leader at 11:01 PM EAST
Updated: Sunday, 1 March 2009 9:26 AM EAST
Egyptian Army Camel Corps, A Study of the Tactical Employment of Camel Corps, Percy Account
Topic: AIF - 5B - ICC

Egyptian Army Camel Corps

A Study of the Tactical Employment of Camel Corps

Percy Account


Alan Ian Percy, 8th Duke of Northumberland, 1928.


In 1913, Captain Alan Ian, The Earl Percy, wrote an article about his experiences with the Egyptian Army Camel Corps over the previous decade. The article was called "The Egyptian Army Camel Corps and Their Work, a Study of the Tactical Employment of Camel Corps" which was published in The Army Review, Volume VI, Number I of January 1914.

Alan Ian Percy, 8th Duke of Northumberland KG CBE MVO TD (17 April 1880 – 23 August 1930) was the son of Henry Percy, 7th Duke of Northumberland and Lady Edith Campbell. He served as a Captain in the Grenadier Guards during the South African War from 1901 to 1902, obtaining the Queen's Medal. In 1908 he was in the Sudan Campaign, taking part in the operations in Southern Kordofan and gaining the Egyptian medal. For a time he acted as Aide-de-Camp to Earl Grey. During the First World War he served with the Grenadier Guards, and was made a Chevalier of the Légion d'honneur

Percy, Captain The Earl, "The Egyptian Army Camel Corps and Their Work, a Study of the Tactical Employment of Camel Corps", The Army Review, Volume VI, Number I of January 1914, pp. 1 - 6:


To many authoritative works have been written on the employment of the various arms of the service in time of war, that it is rather surprising that the use of troops mounted on camels – who play so considerable a part in our small wars in India, in Somaliland, and in the Sudan-should hitherto have been neglected. To some extent the need has been met by the "Camel Corps Training" which has recently been brought out, but its scope is necessarily limited. Officers who may find themselves in command of these troops as part of a force of all arms have little to guide them except what local knowledge they may themselves have gained as to their employment, either from personal experience or from those in immediate command of camel corps. It is surely time that definite principles be formulated for their action, as has been done in the case of mounted infantry ; for camel troops, while they have many advantages and are, indeed, quite indispensable in certain theatres of war, have also many limitations, and any wrong use of them may lead to disaster. An instance of this is afforded by the battle of Omdurman, where the Camel Corps very narrowly escaped being cut to pieces through the common error of imagining that it could be used for extended reconnoitring operations like cavalry or mounted infantry. Against a mounted enemy such action is courting disaster. The Egyptian Army Camel Corps has now been in existence 12 years, during which it has gained a practical experience of campaigning in desert country, in thick bush, and in the rocky hills of Southern Kordofan. It may be of interest, therefore, to readers of this REVIEW to give a short preliminary sketch of its service, its origin and its history, followed by an account of some very interesting manoeuvres lately held in the neighbourhood of its headquarters, El Obeid, which are considered to have provided most valuable lessons for the use of such troops in bush country.


Nature of the Service in Kordofan.

Kordofan has always been the storm centre of the Sudan and the Corps has had its hands full. The importance of El Obeid lies not only in the fact that it is the principal town and market of the province, but that it is a strategical centre, lying midway between the desert and low scrub country to the north, which is the home of the camel-owning tribes, and the forest country to the south, which is the home of the Baggara or cattle-owning tribes-the remnants of those fierce warriors who formed the main fighting strength of the Dervishes. Southern Kordofan is known to the Arabs as Dar Nuba, the country of the Nubas. These are the remains of the original negro inhabitants of the country ; they have been gradually driven by the Arabs out of the lowlands into the isolated rocky hills which are scattered all over the district, rising precipitously to a height of 2,000 or 3,000 feet above the surrounding swamps and forests. In these mountain fastnesses honeycombed with caves this strange race builds its villages, grows its corn, and tends its herds of sheep, cattle and goats. Generally speaking they are peaceable enough, but some of these gebel (or mountain) clans have an evil reputation for raiding the neighbouring Arabs, murdering isolated parties which may happen to stray too near their gebel, or carrying off their women. Most of the fighting done by the Camel Corps has been against these tribesmen, but its details, however thrilling, are hardly of interest to the student of military science. It has, however, demanded the highest qualities of discipline, enterprise and daring in the men. The tribesmen invariably retiree with the greater part of their personal property and live stock to the bowels of the earth, whence they maintain a hot fire on any troops who may happen to come within range of their milers and Remingtons. With these weapons, even though deficient of the backlight the use of which their owners cannot grasp they make fair practice up to 300 yards. The unsatisfactory nature of this fighting may be understood if the reader can imagine himself walking over a vast rabbit warren composed of enormous boulders, piled to a height of some 1,000 or 2,000 feet and covering several square miles in area, with an invisible enemy beneath hire whose whereabouts it is impossible to ascertain. It was easy enough, of course, to destroy the villages and crops and carry off what cattle remained on the surface; but what rendered the enemy's tactics peculiarly baffling was that in many cases the subterranean passages were of such vast extent that they could accommodate any number of cattle and sheep. The Government also wished to compel the tribesmen to surrender some of their rifles, partial disarmament being the only guarantee of good behaviour, but the damage inflicted by the troops was sometimes insufficient to enforce this act of submission. Officers naturally hesitated to engage in underground warfare in labyrinths, where whole battalions might be swallowed up, and where all the advantage lay with the enemy. Latterly, however, the problem has been tackled in a systematic manner by the Camel Corps, and in recent expeditions extensive cave-clearing operations have been carried out. Parties preceded by torch bearers have explored these recesses with great success, and though some loss has been sustained, the Nubas now know that their immunity is gone and that the arm of the Government is able to reach them.

Though troublesome, these tribes are not the real danger to the Government that is caused periodically by the rise of some nebbi (or prophet) proclaiming himself to be the successor of the Mahdi, with the signs and wonders, the visions and miracles, common to such impostors. There have been many such attempts, and salvation depends on nipping them in the bud. Apart from these requirements the force is called upon chiefly for police duties, such as providing patrols for disturbed districts, for protection against raiders from Darfur or the western desert, or to provide escorts for the inspectors of the Sudan Civil Service in their journeys.


Origin and History of the Camel Corps.

The present Camel Corps must not be confused with that which took part in the advance to Khartoum under Lord Kitchener. The latter, composed largely of Egyptians, was found to be entirely unsuited for the work which fell to it of restoring order and security in the frontier provinces. The Egyptian is not only unable to stand the climate, but he lacks the special characteristics which would render him fitted for such service. It was also found very difficult to ration the men when on patrol. In these circumstances Major Wilkinson, who commanded the force, proposed that it should be disbanded, that companies should be raised locally, and that the force should be placed on the footing of an “irregular" corps. The Egyptian companies were therefore abolished, the Sudanese companies were formed into one company, and two more companies were raised, composed of Arabs. The men were self-supporting, found their own food and clothing, and wore pretty much what they pleased. These conditions were subsequently altered to some extent by Captain Hawker, Coldstream Guards who commanded the Corps from 1903 to 1906. He "regularized" them a little more, introduced a khaki uniform and insisted on smartness in drill and dress. Henceforth, though having a special code off discipline and regulations, the, corps can hardly be described as an "irregular" one in the ordinary sense of the word.

Mobility is the great essential of such a force. The camels are all procured from the Eastern Sudan, where the best riding camels are bred. Great mortality sometimes occurs among these animals, owing to the necessity of patrolling Southern Kordofan during the rainy season. The fly in those districts gives them a disease very much akin to sleeping sickness in a human being, while even in the dry season the heavy clay soil, baked by the sun, forms cracks, which impede their progress and lame them.

Frequently, also, the paths are ploughed up with elephant tracks, in which they flounder helplessly. Owing to the fatal nature of the climate to camels a mule company was raised in 1904, but this has since been transferred to Omdurman and has become No. 1 Company Mounted Infantry. In 1905 this company marched from El Obeid to Wau, in the Bahr-el-Ghazal, in order to take part in an expedition against the tribes of Niam-niam. The distance traversed was 430 miles. During this march it was found necessary to amputate a man's arm, an operation which Captain Percival, who commanded the company, successfully performed himself with the aid of an Egyptian officer.

In 1906 a detachment of Sudanese infantry at Talodi, in Southern Kordofan, was treacherously attacked and a large number of its men were massacred by some neighbouring Arabs, who apparently believed that the rainy season would prevent any troops from El Obeid from reaching the scene until a considerable time had elapsed. Every available plan was, however, dispatched immediately; a mixed force of Camel Corps, 12th Sudanese, and a few guns covered the 240 miles in little more than a week and took summary vengeance.

During 1906 another company of Arabs was raised, bringing the total number of companies up to four. Early in 1907 a disaster occurred to a detachment of No. 2 Company which was stationed at Bir Natrun, an important post in the desert west of Dongola. A convoy which was to supply them with provisions having failed to arrive at the appointed time, the Egyptian officer in charge of the detachment decided that the risk of remaining there was too great and set out to march to Dongola. The party lost its way in the terrible sandstorms, the women and children were discovered by the belated convoy and rescued in the, last stage of exhaustion, but of the men who had scattered it, the hope of finding water about 20 perished, including the officer. The incident revealed the extraordinary courage and endurance of which the Arabs are capable.

Many of them refused to kill their camels, though the only hope of prolonging their lives lay in the course always taken in such circumstances of opening the camel's stomach and drinking the water inside animals they said, were the property of the Government and they were responsible for them. The most remarkable feat was that of a sergeant who eventually reached water alone, the small party who accompanied him having lain down to die. Having refreshed himself and his camel lie returned to his insensible comrades and revived then, by pouring; water into their eats, their tongues by that time having, swelled to such an extent that they could swallow nothing. The inquiry subsequently held showed the marvellous fortitude; and calmness which these men display under the most trying circumstances.

In 1907 a company of Shaygieh Arabs was raised for service in Egypt, but this company was afterwards transferred to the Sudan and became No. 5 Company.

In 1908, 1909, and 1911 occurred various expeditions against the hill tribes already referred to. On two occasions a force of all arms from Khartoum has been employed, but it is not unfair to say that the bulk of the work has fallen to the Camel Corps.


Organization and Characteristics of the Corps.

The above short sketch will give some idea of the nature of the service and history of the Camel Corps. Of the five companies, two are stationed at El Obeid, two at Bara (about 50 miles to the north east), and one, No. 5, is at Wad Medani, on the Blue Nile. Companies are 150 strong, each being under the command of a British officer, with the rank of bimbashi (or major), having under him five Egyptian or Sudanese officers. The Sudanese are trained at the Military School at Khartoum, which has already turned out excellent material. The bimbashi is given the full powers of a commanding officer. He can enlist and discharge any man he pleases, and has complete control over his command. That these duties are not of a light character will be readily understood when it is mentioned that they include a meat deal of practical knowledge of veterinary surgery, of the peculiar habits of camels and all that concerns their welfare, the necessity of knowing his men thoroughly, of regulating their domestic affairs to the extent of allowing them to marry and to divorce their wives, and of looking after the comfort of their families. The Arab has all the virtues and the faults inseparable from an excitable, highly-strum; nature. Intensely brave and capable of extreme devotion to leaders whom he trusts, he is yet subject to gusts of passion, naturally careless, and apt to get out of hand when lie can get as much drink as he likes, or when there is a chance of plunder. He requires an iron discipline, plenty of hard work and officers whom he likes and in whom he has confidence. In these circumstances there is no better soldier in the world. He will do the longest clays on foot without food or water, and submit to any hardships without complaining. The whale secret lies it, the, fact that each company has a British officer who knows is men inside and out, and is, within certain limits, absolute foal over them.

El Obeid is now connected with Khartoum by rail, and the day may not be far distant when British influence will be extended further west to include the province of Darfur. Darfur is a perpetually disturbing factor. It is nominally British but is not occupied, and has been allowed to retain its Sultan Ali Dinar, who pays annual tribute to the Government. His rule is a precarious one, slavery flourishes unhindered, and the tribes are unruly to a degree. How the problem will be solved it is impossible to say, but it is evident that the situation may at any time become acute, and the Western Sudan will long remain a source of anxiety. The population of Kordofan is increasing enormously ; and with growing prosperity, and as they feel the effects of recovery from the exhaustion of the terrible wars of the Mahdi and the Khalifa, and the famines and pestilences which devastated the country, there may come a revival of the turbulent spirit which has always marked their history. Those whose work lies on this outpost of our Empire have to prepare for such contingencies as a native rising on a large scale, and warfare against forces consisting principally of mounted men operating in a country where information is peculiarly difficult to get, where reconnoitring is almost impossible, and where sudden attack must ever be looked for.


The Manoeuvres near El Obeid.

The manoeuvres which were held at the end of January, 1913, were planned to afford lessons in this species of warfare. The country where they took place lies some 205 miles south of El Obeid. It is rolling country, covered with more or less dense thorn scrub about 12 feet in height; it is intersected at frequent intervals by khors or watercourses-dry in winter, but swift-running streams during the rainy season. In the neighbourhood of these khors the bush is much denser and higher, and there are many forest trees. Extensive clearings are made round the villages and planted with crops, but these grow to such a height that a man walking through them on foot is completely concealed from observation. There are, of course, many native tracks through the bush, and the main routes connecting the principal villages have been cleared by the Government and allow of four camels marching abreast.


Further Reading:

Imperial Camel Corps, AIF

Imperial Camel Corps, Roll of Honour 

Battles where Australians fought, 1899-1920

Double Squadrons  


Citation: Egyptian Army Camel Corps, A Study of the Tactical Employment of Camel Corps, Percy Account

Posted by Project Leader at 12:01 AM EAST
Updated: Friday, 5 February 2010 7:16 PM EAST
The Battle of Magdhaba, Sinai, December 23, 1916, 9th LHR, AIF, Unit History Account
Topic: AIF - 3B - 9 LHR

The Battle of Magdhaba

Sinai, 23 December 1916

9th LHR, AIF, Unit History Account


9th LHR men sorting through rifles captured at Hamissah.


Major Thomas Henry Darley produced a unit history of the 9th Light Horse Regiment, AIF, called With the Ninth Light Horse in the Great War, in which included a section specifically related to the Battle of Magdhaba and is extracted below.

Darley, TH, With the Ninth Light Horse in the Great War, Adelaide, Hassell Press, 1924, pp. 60 - 63.


El Arish and El Magdhaba Operations

El Magdhaba is situated on the banks of the Wadi El Arish, about 23 miles, as the crow flies, from the sea. Except from a military point of view, it was a place of no importance, but standing in a natural defensive position it was well garrisoned with a view to holding up our further advance. It could also be used by the enemy as a starting place for a turning movement against our right flank. It was clear to all that no further advance could be made in our direct line until this menace to our communications was removed, and the Commander in Chief decided that the Anzac Mounted Division would efficiently carry out this duty.

At daybreak, shortly after arrival at Es Ria, the Regiment took up a position about 3,000 yards north of El Magdhaba. From this point the 1st Light Horse Brigade could be clearly seen closing in to the attack. At 9.45 a.m. the Brigade commenced to move round the enemy's right flank, whilst the New Zealanders occupied some prominent sand hills; the Inverness and Leicester Batteries, Royal Horse Artillery, being between them and the Imperial Camel Corps. These batteries immediately opened fire on the redoubts, thus enabling the advancing troops to gain ground. The enemy up to this had lain low, but he prepared to give his usual display of defensive fighting and opened heavy and accurate fire at ranges of from 1,000 to 1,200 yards.

The Regiment now took up a position on the left of the New Zealanders and was supported by the 8th Light Horse Regiment. The two Regiments dismounted and advanced in extended order. The country at this particular point was practically level for a distance of 2,000 yards, whilst the enemy trenches were on a slight rise, and so placed that their fire would sweep the whole plain. A few grassy hillocks dotted over the plain afforded slight cover, but these were few and far between. As the Regiments advanced the line was shortened by the 8th Light Horse Regiment advancing on a slightly different direction, and two troops were dropped back as support.
When about 1,000 yards from the enemy position snipers and Lewis guns were pushed forward to cover the advance, which was made by alternate rushes, troop by troop, each troop supporting the advance by rapid fire. The heavy and accurately placed fire of the enemy began to take effect, and a number of casualties occurred, but by 2.30 p.m. the line had been advanced to within 500 yards of the position, and drew the attention of the enemy gunners who opened a brisk fire with shrapnel.

The line was now straightened up and reserve ammunition brought forward for the Lewis guns. At 3.15 p.m. the line again advanced by rushes of 25 yards, whilst the batteries kept up a brisk fire on the redoubts. On arrival at 150 yards from the redoubts, the line laid low for a spell and at 3.45 p.m. bayonets were fixed ready for the final rush. At a given signal the whole line leapt to their feet, and, rushing forward with wild cheers, carried the outer trenches, many of the enemy being bayoneted before the remainder surrendered

Our machine guns, which had been in rear supporting the move by overhead fire, now came forward, and together with the Lewis guns and rifles, opened a heavy fire on the enemy position to our right thus enabling the Imperial Camel Corps and New Zealanders to advance. In the meantime the 10th Light Horse Regiment had moved round the right flank for the purpose of cutting off any attempt at escape.

The 8th and 9th Light Horse Regiments now advanced against the buildings from which rifle fire was being directed, the 8th Light Horse Regiment capturing a battery of light guns during the move. As the prisoners were being rounded up news arrived that the 10th Light Horse Regiment were hard pressed on the far side of the buildings, and McKenzie, Major KA, with 50 men were immediately sent to their support.

Royston, Brigadier General JR, called for two mounted troops, and as the horses had just arrived, these were despatched under the command of Chanter, Captain JC, but this party on arrival found that the enemy force had already surrendered to McKenzie, Major KA, and his party. McKenzie, Major KA, with C Squadron did excellent work during the day, and to them fell the honour of taking the first enemy trench.

The Royal Flying Corps was by no means idle during the day, our pilots skimming the enemy trenches frequently and doing good work with their machine guns. They also dropped a liberal supply of light bombs on enemy strong points, doing considerable damage and with good moral effect.

This was the first action in which the Lewis gun teams had used their new guns, their work showing great initiative and tactical judgment, special credit being due to McKenna, 804 Corporal B; Harley, 471 Corporal A; and, Carter, 892A Corporal WH, for the manner in which they handled their teams, reconnoitred the position, and brought effective fire to bear with economical use of ammunition. Cruddas, 397 Trooper GF; and, Fulwood, 11 Trooper AL, did splendid work in bringing up supplies of ammunition under heavy machine gun fire, whilst the stretcher bearers, Crack, 1472 Trooper AH; and, Currie, 645 Trooper AH, did excellent work amongst the wounded.

The Regiment had little time to collect prisoners, but five officers and 154 other ranks taken in the first trench were handed over to the Division. It had been stated that the enemy had destroyed their water service when all hope of a successful resistance had been abandoned, but this was found to be incorrect, and both horses and men drank to their heart's content from his abundant supply. A party was sent out to collect the wounded and bury the dead, whilst another party from one of the Brigades was sent to clear up the battle ground.

A plentiful supply of wood was found, and as the night was drawing in and was bitterly cold large fires were lighted. It was indeed a strange sight to see our men and the Turks, who one hour before had been fighting a bitter fight, sitting side by side round the fires, sharing their evening meal and cigarettes, apparently on the best of terms.

At 11 p.m. the Division moved off on the return journey, arriving at Bir Lahfan at 3 a.m., where it halted and bivouacked. The huge column of prisoners arrived at 4.30 a.m. and halted. A convoy of 400 camels had been sent out from El Arish, and at daybreak each enemy prisoner received a ration consisting of one tin of bully beef, one pound of biscuits, and one quart of water. For the purpose of distributing these rations the prisoners were paraded in line, and were told off in parties of 20, under their own officers and Non Commissioned Officers. Each party was then given 20 tins of meat and one tin of biscuits, and were marched off a short distance, where the supplies were distributed amongst the party. It is doubtful whether they had ever received such a generous ration during the whole of their desert campaign.

At daybreak the Division resumed the march to El Arish, and went into bivouac at Hod Masaid, which was reached at 9 a.m. on the 24th December 1916. The operations had been a severe test on the endurance of both men and horses, as three night marches had been done during the past four nights, with plenty of hard work during the intervening days.

That the operations were an unqualified success is proved by the fact that the whole garrison of roughly 2,000 had been captured, together with a large quantity of stores, a battery of guns, and many machine guns. The prisoners were a mixed lot, representing many tribes, but were all of fine physique. Several Germans were amongst the bag, and one black officer was seen. After a short rest and meal they were conducted to El Arish and sent to Egypt.

The work of the transport was very trying throughout these operations. When the force moved from the Wadi El Arish on the night of the 22nd December 1916, the transport camels allotted to the Brigade were collected and marched to the supply depot on the beach at El Arish by Darley, Captain TH, and loaded with further supplies. At 10 a.m. on the 23rd December 1916 this party commenced the long and trying journey to El Magdhaba, 80 per cent of the camels carrying drinking water. By continuous marching El Magdhaba was reached at 9.30 p.m., and the supplies were issued to the various units. The convoy immediately started on the return journey, arriving at Bir Lahfan at 2 a.m. where it halted. After the prisoners had been rationed the two convoys were moved back to El Arish, arriving at 3 p.m. on the 24th December 1916.


Further Reading:

9th Light Horse Regiment, AIF

9th Australian Light Horse Regiment, Roll of Honour 

The Battle of Magdhaba

The Battle of Magdhaba, Sinai, December 23, 1916, Roll of Honour, Australia and New Zealand

Battles where Australians fought, 1899-1920


Citation: The Battle of Magdhaba, Sinai, December 23, 1916, 9th LHR, AIF, Unit History Account

Posted by Project Leader at 12:01 AM EAST
Updated: Sunday, 21 March 2010 2:19 PM EADT
Bert Schramm's Diary, 18 February 1919
Topic: Diary - Schramm

Diaries of AIF Servicemen

Bert Schramm


During part of the course of his military service with the AIF, 2823 Private Herbert Leslie Schramm, a farmer from White's River, near Tumby Bay on the Eyre Peninsular, kept a diary of his life. Bert was not a man of letters so this diary was produced with great effort on his behalf. Bert made a promise to his sweetheart, Lucy Solley, that he would do so after he received the blank pocket notebook wherein these entries are found. As a Brigade Scout since September 1918, he took a lead part in the September 1918 breakout by the Allied forces in Palestine. Bert's diary entries are placed alongside those of the 9th Light Horse Regiment to which he belonged and to the 3rd Light Horse Brigade to which the 9th LHR was attached. On this basis we can follow Bert in the context of his formation.

 Bert Schramm's Diary, 18 February 1919


Bert Schramm's Handwritten Diary, 18 - 21 February 1919

[Click on page for a larger print version.]


Bert Schramm

Tuesday, February 18, 1919

Bert Schramm's Location - Tripoli, Lebanon.

Bert Schramm's Diary - All our horses were classed today and I believe the majority of them are being taken by the Indian Division here. No news. They are now calling in all saddlebags and part of our equipment.



9th Light Horse Regiment War Diary

9th Light Horse Regiment Location - Tripoli, Lebanon.

9th Light Horse Regiment War Diary -  0900 Squadrons commence handing in spare gear to Regimental Quarter Master ready to return to ordinance in view of proposed move to Egypt. Units complete by boat.

Shaw, Lieutenant OJ; and, 30 Other Ranks returned from leave in Egypt.



Darley, TH, With the Ninth Light Horse in the Great War, Adelaide, Hassell Press, 1924.

No Entry

Previous: Bert Schramm's Diary, 17 February 1919

Next: Bert Schramm's Diary, 19 February 1919


Further Reading:

9th Light Horse Regiment AIF War Diary - Complete day by day list

Bert Schramm Diary 

Bert Schramm Diary - Complete day by day list


Additional Reading:

Darley, TH, With the Ninth Light Horse in the Great War, Adelaide, Hassell Press, 1924.


Citation: Bert Schramm's Diary, 18 February 1919

Posted by Project Leader at 12:01 AM EAST
Updated: Sunday, 3 May 2009 9:20 PM EADT
Tuesday, 17 February 2009
Hangard Wood, France, April 7, 1918
Topic: BatzWF - Westn Front

Hangard Wood

France, 7 April 1918


Hangard Wood, scene of an ill-conceived attack on 7 April 1918 against German positions south of Villers-Bretonneux (q.v.) Following the successful defence of that Village on 4 April, the Australian 5th Brigade (under Brig.-General Robert Smith) was detached from its parent division-the 2nd, fresh from Flanders-to take over the front-line south of that place to where the British Fourth Army joined with French forces on the River Luce. As a preliminary to a larger operation aimed at returning the front some distance to the east of its present alignment, the Australians were ordered to 'clean up the woods and ravine north and north-east of Hangard'. This entailed making an attack against the eastern half of the woods which the Germans had captured three days earlier.

Although wearied by the process of relieving the British troops already in the vicinity, the Australian 19th and 20th battalions were eager to take on the task when orders reached them about midnight on the 6th for an assault at dawn. The forces involved were small-in several places no more than platoon posts of about 25 men, while the main attack was entrusted to just two companies. The northern assault party, despite showing great dash in the delivery of their attack, could find no tenable position upon which to base a defence once they had gained their objective. The southern force found itself subjected to searching fire from enemy machine-guns across the ravine, and with dead-ground on both flanks which left them vulnerable to counter-attack. From this quarter the Germans launched just such an attack at 6 a.m. and overran the Australians' southern posts. Although continuations of this attack were beaten off, there was no viable alternative for the attack parties but to withdraw to their lines.

The attempt had cost 151 casualties in the two companies required to carry forward the attack. It was nonetheless remarkable that the enemy forces they engaged-two battalions of a regiment of the 24th (Saxon) Reserve Division - suffered vastly more loss, apparently more than 600. The Australians continued to be involved in minor operations here until withdrawn and returned to the Australian Corps on 19 April. In fighting on 15 April another 84 casualties were sustained by one of the 5th Brigade's battalions, though German losses were again worse - nearly 500 in another of the Saxon division's regiments.


Extracted from the book produced by Chris Coulthard-Clark, Where Australians Fought - The Encyclopaedia of Australia's Battles, Allen and Unwin, Sydney, 1998, pp. 141-142.


Additional References cited by Chris Coulthard-Clark:

C.E.W. Bean (1937) The Australian Imperial Force in France during the Main German Offensive, 1918, Sydney: Angus & Robertson.


Further Reading:

Battles where Australians fought, 1899-1920


Citation: Hangard Wood, France, April 7, 1918

Posted by Project Leader at 11:01 PM EAST
Updated: Sunday, 5 April 2009 12:16 PM EADT

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