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Saturday, 18 April 2009
Suez Canal Attack, Egypt, The Times, 5 February 1915
Topic: BatzS - Suez 1915

Suez Canal Attack

Egypt, January 28 - February 3, 1915

 The Times, 5 February 1915

 

 

The Times, 5 February 1915, p. 8

 

The account is transcribed below.

 

TWO ATTACKS ON THE CANAL

FUTILE ATTEMPT TO CROSS ON RAFTS.

BRITISH WARSHIPS ENGAGED.

(FROM OUR CORRESPONDENT.)

CAIRO, FEB. 4

An official communiqué summarizes the events from Tuesday night until midnight last night as follows:

Toussoum post was attacked at 3 a.m. by the enemy's infantry; and at the same time a determined attempt was made under cover of heavy maxim fire to cross the Canal by means of pontoons and rafts. At day break the enemy were seen advancing. Their artillery fired on Toussoum and Serapeum, and was answered by our artillery and the fire from our ships. After a certain amount of fighting, including an advance from Serapeum; the enemy retired at 3.30 p.m.

During the action eight officers and 282 men were made prisoners, and a large number of dead were left lying in front of our position.

H.M.S. Hardinge * was twice hit by shells, and 10 men were wounded. Our other losses were two officers and 13 men killed and 53 wounded, of which one officer and two men killed and one wounded belonged to the Egyptian Field Artillery, which gave valuable assistance.

At the Ismailia ferry at daylight the enemy were found entrenching 700 or 800 yards from our posts. Two battalions fired on us with rifles. During the day there was intermittent fire, but no infantry attack, and no casualties on our side.

At El Kantara our outposts were attacked between 5 and 6 a.m. The enemy were driven off, leaving 21 killed and 25 wounded, and 36 unwounded prisoners were left on our hands.

Later them was a partial attack from the south, but the enemy were checked 1,200 yards from our position, and eight more of their dead were found.

Our casualties were one officer slightly wounded, four Indians killed, and 24 wounded.

The total strength of the enemy's forces engaged seems to have numbered at least 12,000 men, with six batteries, but the invasion of Egypt has merely taken the form of Turkish prisoners being brought to Cairo.

The conduct of the troops, British, Indian, and Egyptian, was excellent.

* H.M.S. Hardinge is one of the troopships of the Royal Indian Marine, which on the out break of the war were equipped with armament. She is a vessel of 6,520 tons, and carries six 4.7in. guns, six 3-pounders, and 4 machine guns.

Toussoum is near the centre of the Suez Canal and Serapeum is about five miles to the southward. A map illustrating the Canal line will be found on the preceding page.


LATE WAR NEWS

FOUR TURKS CROSS CANAL.

LATER.

During the fighting near Toussoum four Turkish soldiers reached the west bank of the Canal and escaped into the interior.  An active search for them is being made.


TURKISH PRISONERS IN CAIRO.

(FROM OUR SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT.)

CAIRO, FEB. 4.

Two hundred and fifty Turkish prisoners, including several officers, arrived from the Canal this morning. They were a miserable looking lot, poorly clad in the thinnest khaki or white uniform, and they visibly shivered as they marched through the town. Several were wounded.

The prisoners taken in Tuesday night's fight arrived in Cairo yesterday, closely roped together. The majority are wild-looking men, wearing tattered old Redif greatcoats, and presented a most unmilitary spectacle, resembling convicts more than anything else as they shuffled along between a guard with fixed bayonets.

An official communiqué states:-

The Canal was open for trance all day, and ships and trains passed without hindrance.

During the last few days deserters from the Turkish Army have been coming in. All state that they were forced to take up arms against their will, and they were most pleased to get away. Several belonged to an irregular body forcibly impressed from the Beduin and fellahin of Southern Palestine by Mumtaz Bey, who was formerly an aide-de-camp of Enver Pasha, and is now with the Turkish advanced guard. The deserters, who were in civilian clothes, complained of the want of supplies and the harsh treatment suffered at the hands of their officers, particularly of Mumtaz Bey himself.

They assert that large numbers are anxious to desert, and are only awaiting an opportunity.


A DISORDERLY RETREAT.

The attack on the Canal at Toussoum south of Ismailia, is believed to have been made by an Arab regiment which seems to have been heavily punished, one battalion commander being reported a prisoner. The enemy appear to have been misled by our silence into believing that there was a gap in our line of defence, and their retreat, when vigorously attacked, it is said, by a Sikh regiment, was proportionately disorderly.

During the subsequent fighting the enemy are reported to have brought a heavy gun into action, which was responsible for two hits, but our losses were very slight considering how much ammunition the enemy expended, totalling at all points from midnight on January 2 to midnight last night two officer and 17 men killed and an officer and 92 men wounded.

In well informed quarters it is thought that the enemy were probably advancing on the Canal in three columns, of which we engaged the advanced guards. One column would seem to have advanced along the EI Arish road towards El Kantara by way of Katieh, another by way of Bir Saba - el Auga, and thence straight across the desert till it encountered our defences in the Ismailia region, while the third column believed to be near Suez and to have sent small band to make useless demonstrations in the Tor region. The last column probably followed this Akaba - Nakhl route, which is quite passable for a small force and quite impassable for a real army.

Meanwhile the beginning of real fighting a even a modest scale has aroused the utmost enthusiasm and self animation among the British Colonial, and Indian troops, some of whom till three days ago took a pessimistic view of the chance of ever seeing service in Egypt.

Vice Admiral Sir Frederick Doveton Sturdee arrived at his home at Droxford last night, and was received with great enthusiasm.

 

 

Further Reading:

Suez Canal Attack, Egypt, Contents

Where Australians Fought, Sinai, 1916-1917

Light Horse Battles

Battles where Australians fought, 1899-1920

 


Citation: Suez Canal Attack, Egypt, The Times, 5 February 1915


Posted by Project Leader at 12:01 AM EADT
Updated: Sunday, 26 April 2009 12:22 PM EADT
Suez Canal Attack, Egypt, The Times, 6 February 1915
Topic: BatzS - Suez 1915

Suez Canal Attack

Egypt, January 28 - February 3, 1915

 The Times, 6 February 1915

 

 

The Times, 5 February 1915, p. 11

 

The account is transcribed below.

TURKS' WITHDRAWAL FROM CANAL.

ENEMY'S LOSSES OVER 3,000.

(FROM OUR SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT.)

CAIRO, FEB. 5.

According to the latest information, the enemy has drawn off, but it' is most probable that the recent encounters were only the prelude to a real attack, which is likely to be entrusted to Turkish troops of the 4th Army Corps.

The following communiqué is issued:

There was no action yesterday of any importance.

Our patrols on the east bank of the Canal encountered and took prisoners about 200 of the enemy, also three machine guns, and a convoy of 90 camels, laden with stores and ammunition.

Evidently the engagements of the past two days were more important than, was at first imagined. The enemy left on the field more than 400 killed, and 600 prisoners were taken; but they removed most of their wounded.

Allowing five wounded for each man killed, this would give a probable total of at least 2,400 casualties, exclusive of the prisoners taken.

Among the dead at Toussoum was a German officer. There have been no fresh casualties elsewhere.

The first round of the battle for the Suez Canal may be said to have ended very decidedly in our favour. We have not inflicted a knock out blow on the enemy's advanced guard, but we have punished it severely, and scored heavily in points as far as captures and casualties are concerned. Djemal Pasha's lead off has cost him the best part of 3,000 men killed, wounded, and captured. Our losses are extraordinarily small, and the disparity in the casualties sustained certainly confirms the dictum of British official long resident in Turkey that the Ottoman Army, while not wanting either in courage or endurance, lacks "killing power."

On the other hand, though the enemy's tactics, to judge by the results, were ineffective, it is recognized that it was a fine performance on the part either of Djemal Pasha or General Kress von Kressenstein to have brought this force across the Sinai Peninsular, from Beersheba to Ismailia without imposing excessive hardships on the men.

Every report received from the front bears out the official bulletin concerning the admirable conduct of our troops, whose spirit is excellent and whose kindness to the prisoners is said rather to have astonished the latter. With such troops we have the right to be confident.

A MISLEADING SILENCE .

FEBRUARY 4.


The attack on the Canal at Taussoum, south of Ismailia, is believed to have been made by an Arab regiment, which sees to have been heavily punished, one battalion commander being reported a prisoner. The enemy appear to have been misled by our silence into believing that there was a gap in our line of defence, and their retreat, when vigorously attacked, it is said, by a Sikh regiment, was proportionately disorderly.

In well informed quarters it is thought that the enemy were probably advancing on the Canal in three columns, of which we engaged the advanced guards. One column would seem to have advanced along the El Arish road towards El Kantara by way of Katieh, another by way of Bir Saba - el Auga, and thence straight across the desert till it encountered our defences in the Ismailia region, while the third column is believed to be near Suez and to have sent a small band to make useless demonstrations in the Tor region. The last column probably followed the Akaba - Nakhl route, which is quite passable for a small force and quite impassable for a real army.

Meanwhile the beginning of real fighting on even a modest scale has aroused the utmost enthusiasm; And animation among the British, colonial, and Indian troops, some of whom till three days ago took a pessimistic view of their chance of ever seeing service in Egypt.


 

Further Reading:

Suez Canal Attack, Egypt, Contents

Where Australians Fought, Sinai, 1916-1917

Light Horse Battles

Battles where Australians fought, 1899-1920

 


Citation: Suez Canal Attack, Egypt, The Times, 6 February 1915


Posted by Project Leader at 12:01 AM EADT
Updated: Sunday, 26 April 2009 12:39 PM EADT
Bert Schramm's Diary, 18 April 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 April 1919

 


Bert Schramm's Handwritten Diary, 16 - 18 April 1919

[Click on page for a larger print version.]

Diaries

Bert Schramm

Friday, April 18, 1919

Bert Schramm's Location - Zagazig, Egypt.

Bert Schramm's Diary - Good Fri. Things have been quiet all day and we have been in camp all day. I posted a parcel of photos home today, 9th

 

 

9th Light Horse Regiment War Diary

9th Light Horse Regiment Location - Zagazig, Egypt.

9th Light Horse Regiment War Diary - Good Friday voluntary church services held at 0930, 10th Light Horse Regiment.

 

Darley

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

No Entry


Previous: Bert Schramm's Diary, 17 April 1919

Next: Bert Schramm's Diary, 19 April 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 April 1919


Posted by Project Leader at 12:01 AM EADT
Updated: Saturday, 9 May 2009 7:31 PM EADT
Friday, 17 April 2009
5h Light Horse Field Ambulance, Contents
Topic: AIF - 5B - 5 LHFA

5th Light Horse Field Ambulance

5th Australian Light Horse Brigade

Contents

 

 

 

 

 

5th Light Horse Field Ambulance

The Imperial Camel Corps Camel Field Ambulance was renamed the 5th Light Horse Field Ambulance in July 1918 .

 

Structure

The Australian Light Horse – Structural outline

Australian Light Horse Order of Battle

 

Corps

Desert Mounted Corps (DMC)

 

Division

Australian Mounted Division 

 

Brigade

Imperial Camel Corps - units

5th Australian Light Horse Brigade

 

 

Field Ambulance

5th Light Horse Field Ambulance

 

History

 

 

Further Reading:

Australian Light Horse Order of Battle - Outline 

The Australian Light Horse - Structure

Australian Light Horse Order of Battle

Double Squadrons  

 


Citation: 5th Light Horse Field Ambulance, Contents

Posted by Project Leader at 9:53 AM EADT
Updated: Friday, 17 April 2009 9:54 AM EADT
5th Signal Troop, Contents
Topic: AIF - 5B - 5 Sig Trp

5th Signal Troop

5th Australian Light Horse Brigade

Contents

 

 

 

 

5th Signal Troop

The 5th Signal Troop was created in July 1918 and formed from the Signal Troops within the 1st, 3rd and 4th Battalions,  Imperial Camel Corps.

 

Structure

The Australian Light Horse – Structural outline

Australian Light Horse Order of Battle

 

Corps

Desert Mounted Corps (DMC)

 

Division

Australian Mounted Division  

 

Brigade

Imperial Camel Corps - units

5th Australian Light Horse Brigade

 

 

Troop

 5th Signal Troop

 

History

 

 

Further Reading:

Australian Light Horse Order of Battle - Outline 

The Australian Light Horse - Structure

Australian Light Horse Order of Battle

Double Squadrons  

 


Citation: 5th Signal Troop, Contents

Posted by Project Leader at 9:32 AM EADT
Updated: Friday, 17 April 2009 9:35 AM EADT

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