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Sunday, 19 September 2010
The Battle of Menin Road, Belgium, 20 September 1917, Outline
Topic: BatzWF - Westn Front

The Battle of Menin Road

Belgium, 20 September 1917

Outline

 

'Clapham Junction', Menin Road between Hooge and Geluveld.

 

Menin Road, the first operation of the Third Battle of Ypres in which Australians took part, was fought on 20 September 1917. In preparation for this attack, the 1st and 2nd Australian divisions took over a portion of the front-line east of the town, on the main ridge at Glencorse Wood and a spur just north of there called Westhoek Ridge. I Anzac Corps formed the left flank of the Second Army for this attack, while north of the Australians would be three divisions of the Fifth Army-thus making for an attack frontage of thirteen kilometres.

 

Map detailing the area of action.

 

Following an intense artillery barrage, the two Australian divisions advanced at 5.40 a.m., the first time two AIF formations had attacked side by side. Moving in two bounds with a one-hour and a two-hour pause in between, they covered the 1,500 metres to their final objective and were able to secure this with minimal interference from the enemy, who were unable to deliver counter-attacks because of the British standing barrage. Despite the effective cover thus provided the infantry, the troops still had much hard fighting against pillboxes and other strong points. Enemy artillery fire was also brought to bear, and at one stage the Australians were accidentally hit by their own guns. While this battle proved the worth of step-by-step tactics, the two AIF divisions still sustained 5,013 casualties and the total British loss was between 20,000 - 27,000 men. The Germans had suffered to about an equal extent, but whereas the attackers were elated the effect on the enemy was practically crushing.

 

Frank Hurley's photograph of the wounded on 20 September 1917 at Menin Road, Belgium.

 

Extracted from the book produced by Chris Coulthard-Clark, Where Australians Fought - The Encyclopaedia of Australia's Battles, Allen and Unwin, Sydney, 1998, p. 130.



Additional References cited by Chris Coulthard-Clark:

C.E.W. Bean, (1933), The Australian Imperial Force in France 1917,  Sydney: Angus & Robertson.

P.A. Pedersen, (1985), Monash as Military Commander, Carlton, Vic.: Melbourne University Press.

 

Further Reading:

The Battle of Menin Road, Belgium, 20 September 1917

The Battle of Menin Road, Belgium, 20 September 1917, Roll of Honour

Battles of the Western Front

Battles where Australians fought, 1899-1920

 


Citation: The Battle of Menin Road, Belgium, 20 September 1917, Outline

Posted by Project Leader at 12:01 AM EADT
Updated: Monday, 20 September 2010 10:18 AM EADT
The Battle of Nablus, Palestine, 20 September 1918, Outline
Topic: BatzP - Nablus

The Battle of Nablus

Palestine, 20 September 1918

Outline

 

Nablus, the action following the British breakthrough at Sharon (see Megiddo) on 19 September 1918 which saw the Turkish Seventh Army under Mustafa Kemal (later known as Kemal Attatürk) put to flight and forced to male a hasty and costly retreat north-east across the Jordan. After creating the gap in the Turkish defences on the coastal plain for the cavalry to pass through, the British 21st Corps wheeled north-east towards the hills to attack Tul Keram which contained the headquarters of the already overwhelmed Turkish Eighth Army. The left flank of this advance was protected and pressed ahead by the 5th Light Horse Brigade under Brig.-General George Macarthur-Onslow. Passing north of the town, the task of cleaning out the pockets of resistance was left to the infantry and the light horsemen concentrated on the column of Turks fleeing east along the road to Anebta and Nablus. By 6 p.m. the Australians had captured 2,000 prisoners and fifteen guns.

Moving during the early hours of 20 September, Macarthur-Onslow's brigade pressed on across the trackless hills northeast of Tul Keram. The purpose was to reach Ajjeh, a point on the railway line running north to Jenin, and to destroy the track to cut off this avenue of escape for Turks in the area around Samaria and Nablus. By 7 a.m. the leading Australian elements had achieved this objective. After re-assembling at Tul Keram, the 5th Brigade was ordered to resume an easterly advance the next morning down the road from Anebta towards Nablus. Troops from several British infantry divisions were already moving up against these places from the south, so that the route of the Australian horsemen effectively brought them in upon the enemy rear. Enemy resistance - already weakened by masses of troops in disorganised flight - quickly began to collapse in the face of this vice-like movement, so that by nightfall the Seventh Army was in full retreat.



Extracted from the book produced by Chris Coulthard-Clark, Where Australians Fought - The Encyclopaedia of Australia's Battles, Allen and Unwin, Sydney, 1998, pp. 159-160.

 

Additional References cited by Chris Coulthard-Clark:

H.S. Gullett (1944) The Australian Imperial Force in Sinai and Palestine, Sydney: Angus & Robertson.

 

Further Reading:

The Battle of Nablus, Palestine, 20 September 1918

The Battle of Nablus, Palestine, 20 September 1918, Roll of Honour

Battles where Australians fought, 1899-1920

 


Citation: The Battle of Nablus, Palestine, 20 September 1918, Outline

Posted by Project Leader at 12:01 AM EADT
Updated: Monday, 20 September 2010 10:28 AM EADT
The Battle of Megiddo, Palestine, 19-21 September 1918, Contents
Topic: BatzP - Megiddo

The Battle of Megiddo

Palestine, 19 - 21 September 1918

Contents

 

Items

Outline

The Battle of Megiddo, Palestine, 19-21 September 1918, Outline

 

Roll of Honour

The Battle of Megiddo, Palestine, 19-21 September 1918, Roll of Honour 

Lest We Forget

 

 

Further Reading:

The Battle of Megiddo, Palestine, 19-21 September 1918

The Battle of Megiddo, Palestine, 19-21 September 1918, Roll of Honour

Battles where Australians fought, 1899-1920

 


Citation: The Battle of Megiddo, Palestine, 19-21 September 1918, Contents

Posted by Project Leader at 12:01 AM EADT
Updated: Monday, 20 September 2010 10:44 AM EADT
Saturday, 18 September 2010
The Battle of Megiddo, Palestine, 19-21 September 1918, Outline
Topic: BatzP - Megiddo

The Battle of Megiddo

Palestine, 19 - 21 September 1918

Outline

 

Megiddo, the name given to the great northern cavalry drive which split apart the Turkish defence of Palestine on 19-21 September 1918 and brought the war in the Near East to an end five weeks later. After encouraging the Turks to believe that his next offensive would take place inland, along the section of battlefront facing the Jordan River, the British commander-in-chief, General Sir Edmund Allenby, took the enemy by surprise by launching his main assault on the coastal Plain of Sharon. To this end he had secretly moved the Desert Mounted Corps (4th and 5th divisions of Indian cavalry plus Australian Mounted Division), under the command of Lieut.-General Sir Harry Chauvel, from the Jordan Valley into olive and orange groves near modern Tel Aviv in readiness to exploit the anticipated breakthrough. To conceal their departure from their former base areas, elaborate deception measures were taken.

Before the 383 gun cannonade and infantry assault at dawn on 19 September, British and Australian aircraft had also bombed out key Turkish communications centres. This ensured that large sections of the enemy line remained unaware when Chauvel's corps passed through the gap created on the Mediterranean flank at 9 a.m. on the 19th and immediately began sweeping north and north-east, aiming to get astride the enemy's vital routes for supply and reinforcement (and withdrawal). Many units were taken completely by surprise when Chauvel's horsemen appeared in rear of their positions, and within 24 hours the cavalry's advance had carried it 50 - 65 kilometres into the Turks' rear. The Turkish Eighth Army had effectively ceased to exist, and the Seventh Army next in line on its left flank was reeling back and attempting to escape impending catastrophe by getting away across the Jordan to join the demoralised but still largely intact Fourth Army.

After crossing the Carmel Range, by dawn on the 20th Chauvel's troops had reached Lejjun near the ancient fortress of Megiddo, on the edge of the plain of Esdraelon (the Armageddon of the Old Testament). While part of the 5th Division made for Haifa, the rest swung east and that evening had reached Nazareth. Here they almost captured Field Marshal Liman von Sanders, the German who had taken over supreme command in Palestine in February, but a spirited resistance by his headquarters staff enabled him to escape along the road to Tiberias. Meanwhile the 4th Division, which had also swung east, made for Beisan - the seizure of which cut the main Turkish line of communications across the Jordan. The Australian Mounted Division, moving as corps reserve during the drive up the coast, was now swung south-east towards Jenin with the aim of blocking the main escape route as the enemy's centre attempted to fall back from the disaster inflicted at Sharon. The 3rd Light Horse Brigade (under Brig. General Lachlan Wilson) was in Jenin by the evening of the 20th and by next morning had taken 8,000 prisoners. Other actions which also flowed from Sharon are Nablus, Wady Fara and (Second) Amman (q.v).



Extracted from the book produced by Chris Coulthard-Clark, Where Australians Fought - The Encyclopaedia of Australia's Battles, Allen and Unwin, Sydney, 1998, pp. 158-159.

 

Additional References cited by Chris Coulthard-Clark:

H.S. Gullett (1944) The Australian Imperial Force in Sinai and Palestine, Sydney: Angus & Robertson.

 

Further Reading:

The Battle of Megiddo, Palestine, 19-21 September 1918

The Battle of Megiddo, Palestine, 19-21 September 1918, Roll of Honour

Battles where Australians fought, 1899-1920

 


Citation: The Battle of Megiddo, Palestine, 19-21 September 1918, Outline

Posted by Project Leader at 12:01 AM EADT
Updated: Monday, 20 September 2010 10:51 AM EADT
Sunday, 12 September 2010
The Battle of Bitapaka, New Guinea, 11 September 1914, Contents
Topic: BatzNG - Bitapaka

The Battle of Bitapaka

New Guinea, 11 September 1914

Contents

 

Items

Outline

The Battle of Bitapaka, New Guinea, 11 September 1914, Outline

 

History

Official Australian War History, Volume 10

Mackenzie Account

 

Military Journal, January 1915

Military Journal January 1915 Account

 

Burnell's Photographic Essay, 1914

Burnell's Photographic Essay, 1914, Part 1

Burnell's Photographic Essay, 1914, Part 2

Burnell's Photographic Essay, 1914, Part 3

Burnell's Photographic Essay, 1914, Part 4

 

War Crimes

Flogging Germans, New Guinea, 30 November 1914 

 

 

Roll of Honour

The Battle of Bitapaka, New Guinea, 11 September 1914, Allied Forces, Roll of Honour 

Lest we forget

 

 

Further Reading:

The Battle of Bitapaka, New Guinea, 11 September 1914

The Battle of Bitapaka, New Guinea, 11 September 1914, Allied Forces, Roll of Honour 

Battles where Australians fought, 1899-1920

 


Citation: The Battle of Bitapaka, New Guinea, 11 September 1914, Contents


Posted by Project Leader at 12:01 AM EADT
Updated: Friday, 4 February 2011 6:11 AM EAST

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