Topic: BatzJ - 2nd Amman
Palestine, 25 September 1918
Second Amman, an action which resulted in this town's occupation by British forces on 25 September 1918, as a direct consequence of the Turkish disaster at Sharon (q.v.) six days earlier. For the first days after the British breakthrough on the coast plain, the Turkish Fourth Army centred on Amman had continued to strongly defend its positions east of the Jordan River. By the morning of 22 September, however, elements of the Anzac Mounted Division (under Major General Edward Chaytor) began to detect signs of a withdrawal underway opposite them, the Turks moving back into the hills away from the river and east towards Amman with the apparent intention of thence making off north to Damascus. Chaytor quickly began pressing onto the enemy's heels, but determined resistance by the Turkish rearguard enabled the main body to get away so that the prisoner haul when Amman was finally taken was only 2,360 and six guns.
Chaytor next turned his attention to a body of 5,000-6,000 Turks at that moment retreating towards him from the positions they formerly occupied at Maan in Arabia, about 200 kilometres south. With its rail lines of supply severed by the British advance, this column faced being destroyed by the army of Hejaz Arabs under Emir Feisal, elements of which were already engaged in constant harassment. Having reached Ziza less than 30 kilometres from Amman but finding their escape route cut off, the enemy column surrendered on 29 September-but only after Anzac mounted troops arrived to provide protection from the 10,000 Arab tribesmen who were waiting to swoop on them. With this, the haul amassed by the division over nine days of operations amounted to 10,300 prisoners and 57 guns, along with much other equipment, all for a cost of 139 casualties (only 27 of whom were killed).
Extracted from the book produced by Chris Coulthard-Clark, Where Australians Fought - The Encyclopaedia of Australia's Battles, Allen and Unwin, Sydney, 1998, pp. 161-162.
Additional References cited by Chris Coulthard-Clark:
H.S. Gullett (1944) The Australian Imperial Force in Sinai and Palestine, Sydney: Angus & Robertson.
Citation: Second Amman, Palestine, September 25, 1918