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Tanks at Gaza

From: Steve Becker
Date: 10/20/2001
Time: 5:32:16 PM
Remote Name: 210.215.40.8

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Does anyone have any info on the use of Tanks at the 2nd Battle of Gaza?

The main one I am after is the one attached to the 1st Anzac battalion ICC.

What is known is this;

The Tank a Mk 1 Female Tank with one officer (2/Lt Carr) and seven men formed up between the 1st Anzac Bn ICC and the 1/5th Bn Norfork Regt on the morning of the 19 April 1917.

It was to suport these battaions in the advance on the large redoubt on the Beersheba-Gaza Road (later known as Tank redoubt).

After starting the tank was forced to go around a small wadi which cut the line of advance crossing behind the right companies of the 1 Anzac Bn before resuming its position. Now during this move it was seen by almost all Light Horse regts there? even the 3rd Anzac Bn claimed it moved around them. this clearly could not have happen but it was one of those stories that follow the desert War.

This move had attracted the notice of a number of Batteries and a heavy fire was directed onto the 1st Bn and 5 Norforks. This followed the tank and men till a small sand ridge was gained about 8.30 where the tank appears to have disappeared till around 9.00 when the 1Bn and 5 Norforks made their faithfull charge into the redoubt with the Tank. The Tank was knocked out in the first Trench and its crew joined the survivors fighting till around 14.00 when the position was retaken by the Turks.

2/Lt Carr was captured with his men and died of wounds some days later, 22 Australian Cameliers including one officer were captured and an unknown amount of British soldiers.

This was the largest surender of Australians in War in Egypt and Palestine and the Australians of the Camel Brigade loss more men in the Battle then in any Battle of the War (in the Desert).

Can anyone fill in the gaps of, 1. Were the tank went when moving behind the 1 Bn and, 2. what happen to this tank during the missing time between 8.30 and 9.00?

I am writing the History of the Camel Corps Brigade and this has caused me some problems.

Yes I have read; Reid and Langley, the Offical histories both Bean and Falls also the all War Dairies including that for the Tank Co from the UK.


Last changed: October 20, 2001