Topic: BatzP - El Buggar
The Battle of El Buggar Ridge
27 October 1917
Turkish account of El Buggar Ridge
Colonel Hüseyin Hüsnü Emir, Yildirim, pp. 105-6.
Another entry below about the action at El Buqqar Ridge, this time from the Turkish perspective extracted out of the book written by Lieutenant Colonel Hüseyin Hüsnü Emir, called Yildirim. The following is a translation from pp. 105 - 106:
To clear up the situation east of Tel el Fara, Falkenhayen ordered a reconnaissance in force to be carried out on 27th October. A move was made early in the morning, and the 125th Regiment (of the 16th division) with reinforcements threw the enemy back from the Ruz el Basel. According to the report of the 8th Army, the enemy made two counter attacks and five cavalry regiments and a number of infantry and suffered severe casualties. Reports which came in after the event stated that there were 200 dead in front of the 20th Corps. At dusk our troops returned to their original positions. On the same day the 3rd Turkish Cavalry Division and a regiment of the 27th Division occupied Hill 230 and Toweil el Kabari respectively. The British protective forces on the 27th October were on the lines – Western slopes of the Kuz el Basel – Um Asad – Abu Siban Gharabi – Um Ajawa – Hill 310 nor on Aslouj. Aerial reconnaissances showed that there had been no important changes in the position of the enemy camps behind the enemy’s lines. Our casualties were ten killed including a Major and forty wounded.
On the Gaza Front during the night of the 26th/27th fighting between patrols took place and on the 27th artillery fire increased.
It is interesting to note that the Turkish action is described as a Reconnaissance in Force. The Turks were testing out the Allied defence and resolve to sustain the new positions taken up by them. The commentary indicates that the Turks had no intention of retaining the captured positions. The ultimate result of this attack was to alert the Turks that an attack on Beersheba was imminent.
Another point of statistical interest is the disparity in casualty figures. Colonel Hüsnü is claiming in excess of 200 Allied killed in action while the Turkish casualties were 10 killed in action and a further 50 wounded in action. The comparison to the Allied statement of casualties inflicted upon the Turks as to the actual casualties suffered by each side indicates a common belief amongst various armies that their attack inflicted heavier casualties than actually occurred. Similar to those armies on the defence. It is only after the conflict that some precision can be placed upon the casualties.
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Citation: The Battle of El Buggar Ridge, 27 October 1917, Turkish account of El Buggar Ridge