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Wednesday, 27 October 2010
The Battle of El Buggar Ridge, Palestine, 27 October 1917, Contents
Topic: BatzP - El Buggar

The Battle of El Buggar Ridge

Palestine, 27 October 1917

Contents

 

Items

Outline

The Battle of El Buggar Ridge, Palestine, 27 October 1917, Outline

Maps

Hill 720, El Buqqar Ridge Maps

 

British Accounts

Cyril Falls - Official British War History account of El Buqqar, 27 October 1917

S. F. Hatton, The Yarn of a Yeoman, El Buqqar, 27 October 1917

W.T. Massey, How Jerusalem was Won

 

Ottoman Account

Ottoman account of the Battle of El Buqqar Ridge, 27 October 1917

 

General Items

Major Alexander Malius Lafone Victoria Cross Citation

El Buqqar Casualty Discrepancies

 

War Diary Accounts

9th LHR description of the operations at El Buqqar Ridge, 27 October 1917

Egyptian Expeditionary Force War Diary Account, 27 October 1917
 
Roll of Honour

Australian Roll of Honour

British Roll of Honour

Turkish Roll of Honour 

 

Further Reading:

The Battle of El Buqqar (Buggar) Ridge, 27 October 1917 

The Third Battle of Gaza, Palestine, 26 October 1917 - 2 January 1918

The Third Battle of Gaza, Palestine, Z - 4, 27 October 1917, Roll of Honour

Battles where Australians fought, 1899-1920

 


Citation: The Battle of El Buggar Ridge, Palestine, 27 October 1917, Contents

Posted by Project Leader at 12:01 AM EADT
Updated: Wednesday, 27 October 2010 11:54 AM EADT
Monday, 26 October 2009
The Battle of El Buqqar (Buggar) Ridge, Palestine, 27 October 1917, Outline
Topic: BatzP - El Buggar

The Battle of El Buggar Ridge

Palestine, 27 October 1917

Outline

 

The scene from El Buggar Ridge, Hill 720, facing north west
 
[Photograph by Gal Shaine.]

 

The Battle of El Buggar Ridge took place on 27 October 1917. It began as a reconnaissance in force by the Ottoman forces to test the resolve of the Allied defensive perimeter around the newly opened supply station of Karm. It ended in a battle which progressively drew in more Allied forces until they were able to eject the Ottoman forces from the trenches on El Buggar Ridge.

With the completion of the rail link and water pipe from Tel el Fara to Karm, the final logistic preparations for the oncoming battle at Beersheba had been completed. To protect this vital supply depot from artillery harassment from the Ottoman forces at Abu Hareira, Henry Chauvel, the General Officer in Command of the Desert Mounted Corps decided to transform a ring of temporary outposts into a permanent defensive line. To that effect, on 22 October, he ordered the seizure of the outpost line and conversion into a permanent defensive line. The line traversed west to east from "Two Tree Farm", Point 510, Point 550, Point 630 and then south to Point 720 and crossing the Beersheba Road at El Buggar.

 

El Buggar Ridge defensive line.

[Click on map for larger version.]

 

The Allied Defence Perimeter consisted of minor trench works built after the 8th Mounted Brigade took possession of the outpost line when they relieved the Australian 4th Light Horse Brigade. By 27 October, the line was still disorganised with only weak redoubts constructed at Points 720 and 630.

For the Ottoman forces, the occupation of Karm created a major point of supply and water for the Allied troops in the immediate area. The placement of the station at Karm placed under threat the defensive positions known as the Hureira Redoubt and Rushdie System which formed a powerful bulwark against any Allied action. Karm Station pointed right to the heart of this system.

 

Karm Station today

 [Photograph by Gal Shaine.]

 

To overcome this, General Erich von Falkenhayn, the Commander of the Yildirim Group, proposed a two phase attack. Firstly the plan called for a reconnaissance in force from Beersheba for 27 October which was to be followed by an all out attack launched by the 8th Army from Hureira, ironically scheduled to occur on the morning of 31 October 1917, the day when the Battle of Beersheba began.

At four o'clock on the morning of 27 October, the outpost at El Buggar was fired upon by a Troop of Ottoman cavalry. An hour later the attack developed across a wide front employing some 2,000 Ottoman infantry, 1,200 cavalry, supported by a three batteries of Mountain Guns, some twelve guns in all. The advancing Ottoman forces debouched from the Kauwukah defensive system to attack the Allied forces occupying the ridge.

The initial battle occurred around Point 630. The Ottoman infantry, the 125th Infantry Regiment, worked its way around both flanks of the redoubt and brought heavy machine-gun and artillery fire to bear on the squadron holding it. Flying overhead on the day, the Royal Flying Corps estimated that a force of about 2,000 men had attacked the garrison, which was at that time cut off from any support.

In response, the 1/1 City of London Yeomanry sent a squadron to reinforce the surrounded 1/1 County of London Yeomanry squadron at Point 630. The relieving force was held up by an effective machine gun barrage and after several attempts at entering the redoubt, was compelled to withdraw. In further assistance, two squadrons from the 10th Light Horse Regiment were despatched but they too were held up. Despite these set backs, the garrison held out in a support trench close behind the crest of El Buggar Ridge. Here they repeatedly fought off Ottoman attempts to rush them. The garrison held out until relieved later that evening.

In contrast, the assault on Point 720 against "B" Squadron, 1/1 County of London Yeomanry was far more determined. The attacking force was composed of 1,200 men from the Ottoman 3rd Cavalry Division supported by an under-strength battalion from the 27th Infantry Division. Following a heavy volume of shell and machine gun fire the Ottoman force launched two charges which were beaten off. After regrouping, a third charge pressed home the attack and gained possession of the hill. "B" Squadron had held out for six hours. Except for three men, all the defenders were either killed or wounded.

In support of the beleaguered garrison, at noon, the 9th Light Horse Regiment despatched two squadrons to relieve the 1/1 County of London Yeomanry at Point 720. By 3pm, two infantry brigades of the 53rd Division were moving towards the ridge. A officer's patrol from the 9th Light Horse Regiment at 7 pm established that the Ottoman forces had withdrawn from their positions on Point 720 which allowed the Allied forces to re-occupy El Buggar Ridge without further casualties. That night 229th Infantry Brigade took over the defensive perimeter and re-established Allied control over the area.

The recapture of El Buggar Ridge had two strategic effects.

In the first instance it gave the Ottoman forces the wrong message as to where the projected Allied offensive might strike. Subsequent Turkish air reconnaissance indicated that nothing had changed with the Allied forces dispositions. Falkenhayn drew the inference that he needed to act first with a pre-emptive strike at the heart of the Allied logistic system and thus set in motion the planned attack by the 8th Army scheduled for 31 October, and by doing so, inadvertently unbalanced the Ottoman defensive system.

By diverting the attention of the Ottoman forces, Allenby was able to direct the movement of some 40,000 men from two corps (the XX Corps and the Desert Mounted Corps) to the Beersheba perimeter in complete secrecy. This was possibly one of the most brilliant pieces of staff work in the Allied forces at that time. When the two corps debouched from the hinterland onto the Beersheba defences, the Ottoman forces were taken by complete surprise.

 

Major Alexander Malins "Laffy" Lafone, the Commander at Point 720 redoubt was awarded a posthumous Victoria Cross for this action.

 

References cited:

AWM 253, 455-5-705, 3rd Light Horse Brigade Routine Orders, 1917.

Falls, Cyril, Palestine, Official British War History, (London 1929).

Massey, W.T., How Jerusalem was Won, (London 1918).

Major General Hüseyin Hüsnü Emir (Erkilet), Yildirim, (Ankara 1922).

Olden, ACN, The Westralian Cavalry in the War - 10th Light Horse AIF, (Melbourne 1921)

 

Further Reading:

The Battle of El Buqqar (Buggar) Ridge, Palestine, 27 October 1917

The Third Battle of Gaza, Palestine, 26 October 1917 - 2 January 1918

The Third Battle of Gaza, Palestine, Z - 4, 27 October 1917, Roll of Honour

Battles where Australians fought, 1899-1920

 


Citation: The Battle of El Buqqar (Buggar) Ridge, Palestine, 27 October 1917, Outline

Posted by Project Leader at 12:01 AM EADT
Updated: Sunday, 17 October 2010 11:23 AM EADT
Sunday, 25 October 2009
The Battle of El Buggar Ridge, Palestine, 27 October 1917, British Maps of El Buggar Ridge
Topic: BatzP - El Buggar

The Battle of El Buqqar Ridge

Palestine, 27 October 1917

British Maps of El Buqqar Ridge

 

Below are two map sections from a 1:20,000 scale map of the El Buqqar Ridge area. Within the maps are all the features mentioned in the accounts posted in this section.

 

Hill 720 to Hill 630

[Click on map for larger version.]

 


El Buqqar to Hill 720

[Click on map for larger version.]

 

Further Reading:

The Battle of El Buqqar (Buggar) Ridge, Palestine, 27 October 1917

The Third Battle of Gaza, Palestine, 26 October 1917 - 2 January 1918

The Third Battle of Gaza, Palestine, Z - 4, 27 October 1917, Roll of Honour

Battles where Australians fought, 1899-1920

 


Citation: The Battle of El Buggar Ridge, Palestine, 27 October 1917, British Maps of El Buggar Ridge


Posted by Project Leader at 12:01 AM EADT
Updated: Sunday, 17 October 2010 11:32 AM EADT
Saturday, 24 October 2009
The Battle of El Buqqar (Buggar) Ridge, Palestine, 27 October 1917, British Forces, Roll of Honour
Topic: BatzP - El Buggar

The Battle of El Buqqar (Buggar) Ridge

Palestine, 27 October 1917

British Forces

Roll of Honour

 

Poppies laid on the London Cenotaph

 

The following Roll of Honour, while incomplete, reflects the large number of casualties suffered by the British forces during the Battle of el Buggar Ridge. The Roll of Honour contains the soldier's full identity, where ever possible, and the unit to which he was attached. The fate is detailed as to whether the soldier was Killed in Action between 27 October 1917 or died of wounds some days later.

 

Roll of Honour

 

Sydney ASHLEY, Middlesex Hussars, Killed in Action, 27 October 1917.

 

William BAKER, Middlesex Hussars, Killed in Action, 27 October 1917.

Clifford George BULLEN, Middlesex Hussars, Killed in Action, 27 October 1917.

 

William George CAIN, Middlesex Hussars, Killed in Action, 27 October 1917.

Frederick George Thomas CAINES, City of London Yeomanry (Rough Riders), Killed in Action, 27 October 1917.

Eustace Gordon COSSINS, Middlesex Hussars, Killed in Action, 27 October 1917.

 

Stanley Harry DAVIES, Machine Gun Corps (Cavalry), Killed in Action, 27 October 1917.

Edward William DODD, Middlesex Hussars, Killed in Action, 27 October 1917.

 

Frederick John FRAMPTON, Middlesex Hussars, Killed in Action, 27 October 1917.

 

Frank Nelson GREEN, City of London Yeomanry (Rough Riders), Killed in Action, 27 October 1917.

 

Robert B HAIGH, Machine Gun Corps (Cavalry), Killed in Action, 27 October 1917.

Frederick Cosby HARPOUR, City of London Yeomanry (Rough Riders), Killed in Action, 27 October 1917.

Charles James HITCHCOCK, Machine Gun Corps (Cavalry), Died of Wounds, 28 October 1917.

Sydney James HOLLIES, Middlesex Hussars, Killed in Action, 27 October 1917.

Ernest Eli HUDSON, Middlesex Hussars, Killed in Action, 27 October 1917.

 

Albert Edward JOHNSTON, Middlesex Hussars, Killed in Action, 27 October 1917.

 

George KEKEWICH, City of London Yeomanry (Rough Riders), Died of Wounds, 28 October 1917.

 

Alexander Malins "Laffy" LAFONE, Middlesex Hussars, Killed in Action, 27 October 1917.

Vivian Cliff LATHAM, Middlesex Hussars, Died of Wounds, 29 October 1917.

Harry LEGG, Middlesex Hussars, Killed in Action, 27 October 1917.

Ernest Harold LUKER, Middlesex Hussars, Killed in Action, 27 October 1917.

 

Arthur Frederick MILNER, Middlesex Hussars, Killed in Action, 27 October 1917.

 

Arthur Douglas NEWTON, Royal field artillery, Killed in Action, 27 October 1917.

 

Otto OPFERMAN, Middlesex Hussars, Killed in Action, 27 October 1917.

 

William Herman Alfred SEIDEL aka William Herbert SPENCER, Middlesex Hussars, Killed in Action, 27 October 1917.

John SHEPPERD, Machine Gun Corps (Cavalry), Died of Wounds, 29 October 1917.

 

Symour James Henry VAN DEN BERGH, Middlesex Hussars, Killed in Action, 27 October 1917.

 

Lest We Forget

 

 
Further Reading:

The Battle of El Buqqar (Buggar) Ridge, Palestine, 27 October 1917

The Third Battle of Gaza, Palestine, 26 October 1917 - 2 January 1918

The Third Battle of Gaza, Palestine, Z - 4, 27 October 1917, Roll of Honour

Battles where Australians fought, 1899-1920

 


Citation: The Battle of El Buqqar (Buggar) Ridge, Palestine, 27 October 1917, British Forces, Roll of Honour

Posted by Project Leader at 12:01 AM EADT
Updated: Sunday, 17 October 2010 11:38 AM EADT
El Buggar Ridge, Palestine, 27 October 1917, Turkish Roll of Honour
Topic: BatzP - El Buggar

The Battle of El Buqqar (Buggar) Ridge

Palestine, 27 October 1917

Ottoman Forces

Roll of Honour

 

Turkish commemoration of martyrs

[From: BBC _44596705_anzac3_ap466]

 

The following Roll of Honour, while incomplete, reflects the number of casualties suffered by the Turkish forces during the Battle of el Buggar Ridge. The Roll of Honour contains the soldier's full identity where ever possible, and the unit to which he was attached. The fate is detailed as to whether the soldier was Killed in Action between 27 October 1917 or died of wounds some days later. The names are compiled from the Turkish Book of Martyrs commonly known as Sehitlerimiz.

 

Roll of Honour

Ahmet, the son of Mumin, Killed in Action, 27 October 1917.

Elmas, the son of Yakup, Killed in Action, 27 October 1917.

Hasim, the son of Mehmet, Killed in Action, 27 October 1917.

Ismail, the son of Osman, Killed in Action, 27 October 1917. 

Kanber, the son of Mustafa, Killed in Action, 27 October 1917.

Mustafa, the son of Mehmet, Killed in Action, 27 October 1917.

Lest We Forget

 

 

Further Reading:

The Battle of El Buqqar (Buggar) Ridge, Palestine, 27 October 1917

The Third Battle of Gaza, Palestine, 26 October 1917 - 2 January 1918

The Third Battle of Gaza, Palestine, Z - 4, 27 October 1917, Roll of Honour

Battles where Australians fought, 1899-1920

 


Citation: The Battle of El Buqqar (Buggar) Ridge, Palestine, 27 October 1917, Ottoman Forces, Roll of Honour

Posted by Project Leader at 12:01 AM EADT
Updated: Sunday, 17 October 2010 11:42 AM EADT

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