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Monday, 19 October 2009
Bir el Abd, Sinai, 9 August 1916, Contents
Topic: BatzS - Bir el Abd

Bir el Abd

Sinai, 9 August 1916

Contents

 


Items

Bir el Abd, Sinai, 9 August 1916, Outline  

 

Roll of Honour

Bir el Abd, Sinai, 9 August 1916, Roll of Honour, British Forces

Bir el Abd, Sinai, 9 August 1916, Roll of Honour, Australia and New Zealand

Brigades

Bir el Abd, Sinai, 9 August 1916, Roll of Honour, 1st Australian Light Horse Brigade 

Bir el Abd, Sinai, 9 August 1916, Roll of Honour, 2nd Australian Light Horse Brigade

Bir el Abd, Sinai, 9 August 1916, Roll of Honour, 3rd Australian Light Horse Brigade

Bir el Abd, Sinai, 9 August 1916, Roll of Honour, New Zealand Mounted Rifles Brigade

Lest We Forget

 

Maps

Romani and Bir el Abd

Official Turkish Account Map

 

Bir el Abd

1:40,000 map of Bir el Abd area 

Anzac MD Post Battle Unit Deployment Map 

 

Romani

1:40,000 map of Mt Meredith area

1:40,000 map of Mt Royston area

1:40,000 map of Dueidar, Hassaia and Nuss area

Official British War History map of Romani, 4 August 1916

1st ALHR AIF account map

1:250,000 German map of Romani area

 

History

Official Turkish War History

Official Turkish Account

 

German History

Friedrich Freiherr Kress von Kressenstein Account 

Liman von Sanders Account

 

Official Australian War History 

Gullett Account
 
Official British War History
The British Occupation of Romani 
The Turkish Advance
The Turkish Attack on The 4th August 
The Pursuit on The 5th August 
The end of the pursuit 
The Results of the Battle 
Turkish and German Forces Engaged 
Distribution of E.E.F., 27 July 1916 
The State of The Royal Flying Corps in Egypt at the time of the Battle of Romani 
The Evacuation of the Wounded
 
Analysis
Romani and Bir el Abd summary, Keogh Account 

 

War Diaries

Australian War Diaries
General Staff Headquarters, Anzac Mounted Division, AIF, War Diary Account
Anzac Mounted Division Artillery, AIF, War Diary Account

1st Light Horse Brigade Account

1st Light Horse Field Ambulance Account

1st Light Horse Machine Gun Squadron Account 

1st Light Horse Regiment Account

2nd Light Horse Regiment Account

3rd Light Horse Regiment Account

2nd Light Horse Brigade Account

2nd Light Horse Field Ambulance Account 

2nd Light Horse Machine Gun Squadron Account

5th Light Horse Regiment Account

6th Light Horse Regiment Account

7th Light Horse Regiment Account

3rd Light Horse Brigade Account

3rd Light Horse Field Ambulance Account  - No War Diary entries for July and August

3rd Light Horse Machine Gun Squadron Account

8th Light Horse Regiment Account
9th Light Horse Regiment Account 
10th Light Horse Regiment Account
 
New Zealand War Diaries
New Zealand Mounted Rifles Brigade Account
Auckland Mounted Rifles Account
Canterbury Mounted Rifles Regiment Account
Wellington Mounted Rifles Account 

 

Unit History Accounts

Australian

1st LHR Unit History Account 

2nd LHR, AIF, Unit History Account

3rd LHR, AIF, Unit History Account

5th LHR, AIF, Unit History Account

6th LHR, AIF, Unit History Account

7th LHR, AIF, Unit History Account

3rd LHFA, AIF, Unit History Account

8th LHR, AIF, Unit History Account

9th LHR, AIF, Unit History Account

10th LHR, AIF, Unit History Account

11th LHR, AIF Unit History Account

 

New Zealand

New Zealand Mounted Rifles Brigade, Unit History Account

Auckland Mounted Rifles Regiment, Unit History Account

Canterbury Mounted Rifles Regiment, Unit History Account

Wellington Mounted Rifles Regiment, Unit History Account

 

 

Further Reading:

Battle of Romani, Sinai, August 4 to 5, 1916 

Bir el Abd, Sinai, 9 August 1916

Battles where Australians fought, 1899-1920

 


Citation: Bir el Abd, Sinai, 9 August 1916, Contents

Posted by Project Leader at 12:01 AM EADT
Updated: Monday, 30 November 2009 7:50 AM EAST
Brigade Scouts, Scouting or Protective and Tactical Reconnaissance Part 5 Co-operation of Patrols
Topic: AIF - DMC - Scouts

Scouting or Protective and Tactical Reconnaissance, Part 5

Co-operation of Patrols

Frederick Allan Dove

 

3rd Light Horse Brigade Scouts in the hills at Tripoli, December 1918

 

In 1910, Major Frederick Allan Dove, DSO, wrote a book on a subject he was very familiar with through practical experience called Scouting or Protective and Tactical Reconnaissance. This book set the intellectual framework for the formation of the Brigade Scouts during the Sinai and Palestine Campaigns as part of the Great War.

Dove, FA, Scouting or Protective and Tactical Reconnaissance, 1910.

 
12. - Co-operation of Patrols.

In the mutual co-operation of the units composing the Screen lies the whole secret of success. The various patrols (twos or fours) assist each other's advance by outflanking positions which might afford cover to a few of the enemy. Supposing a small hill to lie in front of the centre of the line. The centre patrols would halt or advance cautiously, the flanking patrols would move on quickly to try and look behind the hill.

In Sketch 2 the patrol at A is halted ready to open fire if necessary. The patrols L3 and C are pushing out round the flanks of the farmhouse and plantation to B1 and C1. Should there be a "sniper" or two in hiding, he will probably consider it advisable to clear out before his retreat is endangered.


Should there be an attempt to cut off the advanced men at B1 and C1 the patrol at A are ready to cover their retreat.
 



Above all others the Directing Patrol is the One that must be protected and assisted in its advance. Sketch No.3 illustrates this. Tile country represented is undulating fairly clear of bush or timber.

a, b, c, d, e, f are patrols extended preparatory to an advance; c is the Directing Patrol, with which is the officer in charge. He looks over the country in front; he sees that the route runs between hills A and 13, and that his right patrols must scout A before he can get ahead. He signals to a and b to advance. They move as shown by the dotted lines; when at al and b1 respectively, they signal "No enemy in sight"; the O.C. at once motions to d, e, and f to move and c also advances; the leader of patrol d sees that he must outflank the hill B in order to protect the directing patrol, therefore he pushes ahead. When c reaches c1 the left patrols are at d1, e1, f1. Meantime a and b patrol leaders note the hill F and move forward to Scout it, similarly d and e notice hill E; the leaders know that c cannot pass between E and F till they are known to be clear, and so they move on; f meantime outflanks the ridge C, D; so that we next have the line of patrols at a2, b2, c2, d2, e2, f2- The country being flat and clear in franc, the patrols resume a general line, a3, P, c3, d3, e3, f3.

13. Contact with the Enemy.

It must be impressed on Scouts that their business is not Fighting, but Observation. This will not be understood to mean that they are not to capture or disable an enemy's Scout if the chance occurs. But once the enemy are located, or have disclosed themselves by opening fire, the immediate function of the Screen has been fulfilled.

When suddenly fired upon it should retire, but no further than is necessary to prevent useless loss of life. Under these circumstances patrol and troop leaders rally their men tinder the nearest suitable cover. It is at this time that the enemy is most likely to disclose his positions, owing to, his excitement and to the fact that he is not being fired at. It is now that our Special "Observers" referred to in (A) 6 have the opportunity of proving their value. By keeping cool, and if they have carefully chosen their own line of advance, they may gain most important information. The opportunity may be a fleeting one. Hence the necessity of having some one detailed for the duty. "What’s everybody's business is nobody's business."

Should the enemy be encountered advancing, it, is a case of patrol versus patrol. Theirs must be checked and prevented from obtaining a view of our columns. The screen which is composed of well-organised patrols can always put up a good fight if compelled. The ultimate action of Course depends upon the decision of the O.C. Advanced Guard.

Our Scouts may perchance discover the enemy retiring. Instant report must be made to the O.C. Vanguard. At the same time, while keeping closely on the enemy's trail, on no account should fire be opened.

In every case of contact with the enemy the Scouts absolutely fall in their duty if they do not remain in touch with him at all hazards.

14. - Summary of Instructions regarding the Advanced Guard Screen.

1. The Screen to be thoroughly organised before extension; direction and frontage clearly explained to every man.

2. After extension, Keeping Touch, Observation, Communication the main points to observe,

3. Co-operation by patrols the secret of success.

4. Directing Patrol to maintain the true line of advance and regulate the average pace.

5. "Observers" to be detailed.

6. Advancing enemy to be delayed. Halted enemy to be drawn into disclosing his positions. Retiring enemy to be kept touch with, but not to be attacked without orders.

7. Passing of verbal and written messages to be constantly practised.

8. The halted Screen to become a Line of Observation Posts.

9. Reports to tell, if possible:

Where are the enemy?

How many are there?

What are they (cavalry, infantry, &e.)?

What are they doing?

10. Touch with Scouting Troops to be maintained by Connecting Files. Signallers may be used if they call conceal their movements from ground possibly held by the enemy.

 

Previous: Part 4, Patrol Formations 

Next: Part 6, Lecturettes 

 

Further Reading:

Obituary, Frederick Allan Dove

Brigade Scouts

The Light Horse

Australian Light Horse Militia

Militia 1899 - 1920

Battles where Australians fought, 1899-1920

 


Citation: Brigade Scouts, Scouting or Protective and Tactical Reconnaissance Part 5 Co-operation of Patrols

Posted by Project Leader at 12:01 AM EADT
Updated: Saturday, 26 December 2009 3:32 PM EAST
Sunday, 18 October 2009
Bir el Abd, Sinai, 9 August 1916, Outline
Topic: BatzS - Bir el Abd

Bir el Abd

Sinai, 9 August 1916

Outline

 

A view from the crest of Mount Meredith looking eastwards towards Qatiya.

[Photo by Terry Kinlock, author of Devils on Horses: in the Words of the Anzacs in the Middle East 1916-19.]

 

Keeping constant pressure on the Turks resulted in one engagement tending to merge into the next, as was the case with Katia and Bir el Abd. This was an oasis 22 miles east of Romani, on the track to El Arish.

El Arish was on the south-east corner of the Mediterranean and came to be considered by the Anzacs as some far-off Holy Grail. If the enemy could be dislodged from Bir el Abd, he must retreat the 50 miles further on to El Arish because there was almost no water between the two places. El Arish was close to the Palestine border, where the Sinai desert ended. Elopes and dreams began to form and tantalise. They could get off the sand! Mirages, milk-and-honey visions of plains and trees, cities, grass feed, roads, water, flowers beckoned.

First things first: attack the enemy rearguard, capture his guns, destroy the remainder of his force. Reconnaissance early on 8 August showed that the Turks had abandoned Oghratina. Patrols probed forward and found him at Bir el Abd.

Chauvel shifted his HQ forward to Oghratina, with the New Zealand and Yeomanry brigades. Royston, temporarily in command of both the 1st and 2nd Light Horse Brigades, was to march from Katia overnight and at daylight on the 9th take up a position just north-east of Abd. The New Zealanders and the 3rd Light Horse Brigade were to start the advance, the first directly on the Turks centre, the second to swing round behind them from the south, blocking their retreat. The Yeomanry were in reserve.

The whole ANZAC Mounted Division would be engaged, though it was reduced by sickness and exhaustion of both horses and men to 3000 dismounted rifles. Two regiments of Royston's were down to 180 rifles and the 7th Regiment mustered 214. But the Turks were said to be weak and the operation looked to be relatively easy. Because of the distances, no infantry were to be used and the job fell to the mounted troops again.

The Turks proved to be decidedly strong: 6000 men deployed on commanding sandhills, well supported by artillery.

 

Bir el Abd and surrounding area topography.
 
[Click on map for larger version.]

 

The overnight ride by the 1st and 2nd Brigades was marked by precipitous sand cliffs, up or down which no horse would have gone, had it seen them. With daylight, the troopers were awed to see what they had come through.

At 4 am, the New Zealanders attacked the Turkish centre and the 3rd Light Horse Brigade started its encircling movement from the south. They encountered strong resistance. Royston's brigades, coming in from the north, were also checked. The dispositions left large gaps between the ANZAC units: 800 yards between Chaytor's New Zealanders and the 2nd Brigade on the left, a mile between Chaytor and the 3rd Brigade on the right.

Suddenly, things started to look grim. There were fire fights all along the line. The scattered Anzacs, after galloping in until the machine-gun and artillery fire became too heavy to risk the horses, dismounted and sent them back. For some hours, it was a near stalemate of no advance and no retreat, though marked by particular strokes of brilliance such as a bayonet charge by the Wellingtons, before which the Turks refused the steel and bolted, and the 'admirable tenacity and reckless courage' of the out-gunned batteries of Royal Horse Artillery, which from close behind the dismounted men waged an unequal contest with the Turkish guns.

 

British soldiers filling their canteens with water near Romani.

 

About midday, the Turks counterattacked from one end of the line to the other and threw Chauvel's troops on the defensive. There were seesawing attacks and counterattacks for two hours, and while the ANZAC front was unbroken, they suffered a net loss of ground. Sniffing victory, the Turks' fire reached a pitch of concentration never experienced before, even at Gallipoli.

By 4.30 Royston's left had been almost completely turned and the Turks threw between 2000 and 3000 men against his centre. The ensuing crescendo of fire was most destructive to both sides. The New Zealanders gave no ground in their forward position, even as a retirement of the 3rd Brigade on their right and another by Royston's brigades on their left exposed them to enfilade fire on both sides. Still they hung on.

At 5.30, Chauvel ordered a general withdrawal. It was then a matter of getting away unscathed in a fighting retreat, another searching test of steadiness under fire, with troop deliberately laying back on troop and squadron laying back on squadron, while keeping the enemy at bay with their own shooting.

That accomplished, the Anzacs were once more exhausted. They had ridden all night and fought from daylight to sunset on a quart of water in the heat of a ship's stokehold. Their elbows were blistered from constant contact with the scalding sand as they fired their weapons. Chauvel's choice was between bivouacking that night nearby and resuming the assault next day, or retiring to Oghratina. After consulting his brigade commanders, he opted for the latter, posting the 3rd Brigade out on the flank.

Two hundred and ten wounded were carried out of Abd and greatly hampered the withdrawal, but with the exception of a few New Zealanders their countrymen could not possibly reach, all were borne back safely. The standard 'ambulance' was a camel cacolets, or litter - a narrow, swaying pannier atop the beast that so tormented wounded men they came to be feared by the Anzacs, and led to the Australian innovation of sand carts. However, these could not be deployed to the front line and the men were taken out on horses; and their preference then was to ride them home. Two men of the 5th Regiment with broken thighs rode home from Abd and one survived.

This 'law' about saving wounded men was dangerous and frowned on by anonymous high command mandarins, but the men went into action knowing that if it was humanly possible to be carried out, they would not be allowed to fall into the Turks' hands, or left to the murderous Bedouins who prowled around the edges of battlefields. As vindication, after two and a half years of constant fighting, only 73 Light Horsemen had been taken prisoner, most of them wounded, and not a single officer was captured. But they themselves captured between 40,000 and 50,000 Turks.

Casualties for Bir el Abd were 73 dead and 243 wounded.

 

Bir el Abd after its capture.

 

Extracted from the book produced by Lindsay Baly, Horseman, Pass By, East Roseville, N.S.W. : Simon & Schuster, 2003, Ch. 5.



Further Reading:

Battle of Romani, Sinai, August 4 to 5, 1916

Bir el Abd, Sinai, 9 August 1916

Battles where Australians fought, 1899-1919

 


Citation: Bir el Abd, Sinai, 9 August 1916, Outline

Posted by Project Leader at 12:01 AM EADT
Updated: Thursday, 22 October 2009 8:33 AM EADT
Brigade Scouts, Scouting or Protective and Tactical Reconnaissance Part 6 Lecturettes
Topic: AIF - DMC - Scouts

Scouting or Protective and Tactical Reconnaissance, Part 6

Lecturettes

Frederick Allan Dove

 

3rd Light Horse Brigade Scouts in the hills at Tripoli, December 1918

 

In 1910, Major Frederick Allan Dove, DSO, wrote a book on a subject he was very familiar with through practical experience called Scouting or Protective and Tactical Reconnaissance. This book set the intellectual framework for the formation of the Brigade Scouts during the Sinai and Palestine Campaigns as part of the Great War.

Dove, FA, Scouting or Protective and Tactical Reconnaissance, 1910.

 
Method of Preliminary Training of a Squadron or Company in Protective Reconnaissance.

Preliminary training in Protective Scouting should be a combination Q theoretical and practical instruction. Lectures should be short (about fifteen minutes) and should immediately precede the practical lesson. A lecture given a week or even it few days before the practice is a waste of time. Hereunder are suggestions for three, lessons. The O.C. Squadron (or company) is presumed to be the instructor. It is essential that suitable ground should be chosen, and which is not too difficult for beginners.
 
FIRST LESSON: Lecturette -
Explain the necessity for Protection, and what may happen when precautions are neglected - Historical examples can be quoted; that Protection is afforded to columns on the march by Advanced, Flank, and Rear Guards; that the men pushed out nearest to the enemy are called Scouts; that it is better for the Scouts to work in small units - patrols - than singly; that to be of really protective service the patrols must cooperate. Explain fully what is meant by "keeping touch" necessity for a Directing Patrol.

Practical Work. Each troop (section of infantry) in turn to be extended by twos or fours with about fifty yards interval, a central unit being named to direct. The extended line to be advanced, retired, advanced, made to change direction to an angle of not more than half a right angle, and all in absolute silence, neither voice nor whistle being used. If time permit, repeat with greater intervals between patrols.
 
SECOND LESSON: Lecturette. -
Revise very briefly the work of the first day. Deal next particularly with the subject of keeping direction, i.e., marching on a distant objective, of the amount of frontage to be covered in order to ensure adequate protection ; that the number of patrols required depends on the nature of the country; that each patrol leader has considerable latitude in his choice of a: line of advance, and in the interval he keeps from the next directing patrol; illustrate by reference to the country in view, or by a diagram on the ground, or by a makeshift arrangement of a few stones, sticks, &c., to represent, hills and hollows (ride Co-operation of Patrols, and Sketches and 3).

Practical Work. - See that each troop (section of infantry) is organised into a number of patrols; name an objective for the directing patrol. Then place yourself in the position of an enemy - that is, go to or near the objective. Arrange for your senior subaltern to send the troops on in succession eight or ten minutes after each other. From your coign of vantage watch the work of the troop as a whole and also the individual patrols. Take notes of both good and bad work. When all have finished their attempt and closed, criticise freely, and be not sparing of either praise or blame; but let the latter be of a kindly and instructive nature. Remember that neither Rome nor Scouts were made in a day.

 
THIRD LESSON: Lecturette. -
A few words on the Advanced ward, its duties, and its distribution into,

Vanguard - Scouting Screen.

Supports.


Emphasize that the O.C. Advanced Guard directs the whole, and that he is usually with the Mainguard. Explain how touch and communication is maintained by Scouts, by connecting files and by signallers; whose special duty is observation; how results of observation are to be communicated. Remind patrols and patrol leaders of their mistakes on the previous day.

Practical Work - Show on a small scale the distribution of the squadron (or company) into Vanguard and Mainguard half a squadron in each-and the former subdivided into en and Supports; connecting files to be placed, and flank patrols from the Support and Mainguard. Have all this done on a piece of ground with only 25 or 50 Yards between the units, so that every one may see the whole distribution and his own position therein, thus:

Give an objective, extend to correct intervals and distances; practise advances and changes of direction (only to small angles), the whole being controlled completely by the O.C. from his position at the head of the Mainguard.

Close again. Repeat this work with the other half squadron (or company) leading.

The above completes the lessons on what might be called the "mechanism" of Advanced Guard work. Much attention must be paid W the working of each patrol; practice must he obtained in observation, and much practice in passing orders and reports before a reasonable degree of efficiency can be obtained.

I have gone very fully into the work of the Advanced Guard Screen, because with slight, modifications the principles methods apply equally to the work of the Flank and Rear Screens.

 

Previous: Part 5, Co-operation of Patrols 

Next: Part 7, The Flank Screen 

 

Further Reading:

Obituary, Frederick Allan Dove

Brigade Scouts

The Light Horse

Australian Light Horse Militia

Militia 1899 - 1920

Battles where Australians fought, 1899-1920

 


Citation: Brigade Scouts, Scouting or Protective and Tactical Reconnaissance Part 6 Lecturettes

Posted by Project Leader at 12:01 AM EADT
Updated: Saturday, 26 December 2009 3:33 PM EAST
Saturday, 17 October 2009
1st Australian Light Horse Regiment, Contents
Topic: AIF - 1B - 1 LHR

1st LHR, AIF

1st Australian Light Horse Regiment

Contents

 

1st Light Horse Regiment Colour Patch

 

Formed in August 1914 as part of the 1st Contingent and attached to the Australian Division, the 1st Light Horse Regiment was made up of Light Horsemen from five different Militia Regiments. This was the only New South Wales Regiment recruited from a majority of men drawn immediately from the Militia formations.

 

Structure

The Australian Light Horse – Structural outline

Australian Light Horse Order of Battle

 

Corps

Desert Mounted Corps (DMC)

 

Division

Anzac Mounted Division

 

Brigade

1st Australian Light Horse Brigade 

 

Regiment

1st Australian Light Horse Regiment, AIF, History

 

History

Romani

1st ALHR AIF Unit History account about Romani

1st ALHR, AIF, War Diary, account about the Battle of Romani 

Bir el Abd

Bir el Abd, Sinai, 9 August 1916, 1st LHR, AIF, War Diary Account
Bir el Abd, Sinai, 9 August 1916, 1st LHR, AIF, Unit History Account 

Bir el Mazar

1st Light Horse Regiment Account

1st LHR Unit History Account  

Magdhaba

1st ALHR, AIF, War Diary, account 

1st ALHR AIF account 

Beersheba

1st ALHR AIF Unit History account about the fall of Beersheba

1st ALHR, AIF, War Diary, account about the fall of Beersheba 

 

Routine Orders

1st LHR Routine Order 80, 16 June 1918 

 

Embarkation

Full Roll

Roll: A - C

Roll: D - F

Roll: G - J

Roll: K - L

Roll: M - Q

Roll: R - S

Roll: T - Z

 

Individual Rolls

Regimental Headquarters Section

A Squadron

B Squadron

C Squadron

Machine Gun Section

1st Reinforcement

2nd Reinforcement

3rd Reinforcement

4th Reinforcement

5th Reinforcement

6th Reinforcement

7th Reinforcement

8th Reinforcement

9th Reinforcement

10th Reinforcement

11th Reinforcement - Mashobra Group 

11th Reinforcement - Hawkes Bay Group

12th Reinforcement - Hawkes Bay Group

12th Reinforcement - Beltana Group

13th Reinforcement

14th Reinforcement

15th Reinforcement

16th Reinforcement

17th Reinforcement

18th Reinforcement

19th Reinforcement

20th Reinforcement

21st Reinforcement

22nd Reinforcement

23rd Reinforcement

24th Reinforcement

25th Reinforcement

26th Reinforcement

27th Reinforcement

28th Reinforcement

29th Reinforcement

30th Reinforcement

31st Reinforcement

32nd Reinforcement

33rd Reinforcement

34th Reinforcement

35th Reinforcement

 

Personnel

2826 Pte Donald McBean 

50  Regimental Quartermaster Sergeant Robert Hamilton, MM, 1st Australian Light Horse Regiment, "C" Squadron.

 

Roll of Honour

1st Australian Light Horse Regiment, Roll of Honour

Lest we forget

 

Further Reading:

1st Australian Light Horse Regiment, AIF

1st Australian Light Horse Regiment, Roll of Honour

Battles where Australians fought, 1899-1920

 


Citation: 1st Australian Light Horse Regiment, Contents

Posted by Project Leader at 12:01 AM EADT
Updated: Tuesday, 19 January 2010 5:24 PM EAST

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