« September 2009 »
1 2 3 4 5
6 7 8 9 10 11 12
13 14 15 16 17 18 19
20 21 22 23 24 25 26
27 28 29 30
You are not logged in. Log in

Search the site:

powered by FreeFind
Volunteer with us.

Entries by Topic All topics  
A Latest Site News
A - Using the Site
AAA Volunteers
AAB-Education Centre
AAC-Film Clips
AAC-Photo Albums
AIF - Lighthorse
AIF - ALH - A to Z
AIF - DMC - Or Bat
AIF - DMC - Anzac MD
AIF - DMC - Aus MD
AIF - DMC - British
AIF - DMC - French
AIF - DMC - Indian
AIF - DMC - Italian
AIF - DMC - Medical
AIF - DMC - Remounts
AIF - DMC - Scouts
AIF - DMC - Sigs
AIF - DMC - Sigs AirlnS
AIF - DMC - 1 Sig Sqn
AIF - DMC - 2 Sig Sqn
AIF - DMC - Eng
AIF - DMC - Eng 1FSE
AIF - DMC - Eng 2FSE
AIF - 1B - 1 LHB
AIF - 1B - 6 MVS
AIF - 1B - 1 LHMGS
AIF - 1B - 1 Sig Trp
AIF - 1B - 1 LHFA
AIF - 1B - 1 LHR
AIF - 1B - 2 LHR
AIF - 1B - 3 LHR
AIF - 2B - 2 LHB
AIF - 2B - 7 MVS
AIF - 2B - 2 LHFA
AIF - 2B - 2 LHMGS
AIF - 2B - 2 Sig Trp
AIF - 2B - 5 LHR
AIF - 2B - 6 LHR
AIF - 2B - 7 LHR
AIF - 3B - 3 LHB
AIF - 3B - 8 MVS
AIF - 3B - 3 LHB Sigs
AIF - 3B - 3 LHFA
AIF - 3B - 3 LHMGS
AIF - 3B - 3 Sig Trp
AIF - 3B - 8 LHR
AIF - 3B - 9 LHR
AIF - 3B - 10 LHR
AIF - 4B - 4 LHB
AIF - 4B - 4 Sig Trp
AIF - 4B - 9 MVS
AIF - 4B - 4 LHFA
AIF - 4B - 4 LHMGS
AIF - 4B - 4 LHR
AIF - 4B - 11 LHR
AIF - 4B - 12 LHR
AIF - 5B - 5 LHB
AIF - 5B - 10 MVS
AIF - 5B - 5 LHFA
AIF - 5B - 5 Sig Trp
AIF - 5B - ICC
AIF - 5B - 14 LHR
AIF - 5B - 15 LHR
AIF - 5B - 1er Regt
AIF - 5B - 2 NZMGS
AIF - Aboriginal LH
AIF - Badges
AIF - Cars
AIF - Chinese LH
AIF - Double Sqns
AIF - Engineers
AIF - Fr - 22 Corps
AIF - Fr - 13 LHR
AIF - Honour Roll
AIF - HQ - 3rd Echelon
AIF - Marching Songs
AIF - Misc Topics
AIF - NZMRB - Sig-Trp
AIF - Ships
AIF - Ships - Encountr
AIF - Ships - Una
AIF - Wireless Sqn
BatzA - Australia
BatzA - Broken Hill
BatzA - Liverpool
BatzA - Merivale
BatzB - Boer War
BatzB - Bakenlaagte
BatzB - Belmont
BatzB - Bothaville
BatzB - Buffels Hoek
BatzB - Coetzees Drift
BatzB - Diamond Hill
BatzB - Driefontein
BatzB - Elands
BatzB - Graspan
BatzB - Grobelaar
BatzB - Grootvallier
BatzB - Hartebestfontn
BatzB - Houtnek
BatzB - Karee Siding
BatzB - Kimberley
BatzB - Koster River
BatzB - Leeuw Kop
BatzB - Mafeking
BatzB - Magersfontein
BatzB - Modder River
BatzB - Onverwacht
BatzB - Paardeberg
BatzB - Palmietfontein
BatzB - Pink Hill
BatzB - Poplar Grove
BatzB - Rhenoster
BatzB - Sannahs Post
BatzB - Slingersfontn
BatzB - Stinkhoutbm
BatzB - Sunnyside
BatzB - Wilmansrust
BatzB - Wolvekuil
BatzB - Zand River
BatzG - Gallipoli
BatzG - Anzac
BatzG - Aug 1915
BatzG - Baby 700
BatzG - Evacuation
BatzG - Hill 60
BatzG - Hill 971
BatzG - Krithia
BatzG - Lone Pine
BatzG - Nek
BatzJ - Jordan Valley
BatzJ - 1st Amman
BatzJ - 2nd Amman
BatzJ - Abu Tellul
BatzJ - Es Salt
BatzJ - JV Maps
BatzJ - Ziza
BatzM - Mespot
BatzM - Baghdad
BatzM - Ctesiphon
BatzM - Daur
BatzM - Kurna
BatzM - Kut el Amara
BatzM - Ramadi
BatzN - Naval
BatzN - AE1
BatzN - Cocos Is
BatzN - Heligoland
BatzN - Marmara
BatzN - Zeebrugge
BatzN - Zeppelin L43
BatzNG - Bitapaka
BatzO - Other
BatzO - Baku
BatzO - Egypt 1919
BatzO - Emptsa
BatzO - Karawaran
BatzO - Peitang
BatzO - Wassa
BatzP - Palestine
BatzP - 1st Gaza
BatzP - 2nd Gaza
BatzP - 3rd Gaza
BatzP - Aleppo
BatzP - Amwas
BatzP - Ayun Kara
BatzP - Bald Hill
BatzP - Balin
BatzP - Beersheba
BatzP - Berkusieh
BatzP - Damascus
BatzP - El Auja
BatzP - El Buggar
BatzP - El Burj
BatzP - Haifa
BatzP - Huj
BatzP - JB Yakub
BatzP - Kaukab
BatzP - Khan Kusseir
BatzP - Khuweilfe
BatzP - Kuneitra
BatzP - Megiddo
BatzP - Nablus
BatzP - Rafa
BatzP - Sasa
BatzP - Semakh
BatzP - Sheria
BatzP - Surafend
BatzP - Wadi Fara
BatzS - Sinai
BatzS - Bir el Abd
BatzS - El Arish
BatzS - El Mazar
BatzS - El Qatiya
BatzS - Jifjafa
BatzS - Magdhaba
BatzS - Maghara
BatzS - Romani
BatzS - Suez 1915
BatzSe - Senussi
BatzWF - Westn Front
BW - Boer War
BW - NSW - A Bty RAA
BW - NSW - Aust H
BW - NSW - Lancers
BW - NSW - NSW Inf
BW - Qld
BW - Qld - 1ACH
BW - Qld - 1QMI
BW - Qld - 2QMI
BW - Qld - 3ACH
BW - Qld - 3QMI
BW - Qld - 4QIB
BW - Qld - 5QIB
BW - Qld - 6QIB
BW - Qld - 7ACH
BW - SA - 2ACH
BW - SA - 4ACH
BW - SA - 8ACH
BW - Tas
BW - Tas - 1ACH
BW - Tas - 1TIB
BW - Tas - 1TMI
BW - Tas - 2TB
BW - Tas - 2TIB
BW - Tas - 3ACH
BW - Tas - 8ACH
BW - Vic
BW - Vic - 1VMI
BW - Vic - 2ACH
BW - Vic - 2VMR
BW - Vic - 3VB
BW - Vic - 4ACH
BW - Vic - 4VIB
BW - Vic - 5VMR
BW - Vic - 6ACH
BW - Vic - AAMC
BW - Vic - Scot H
BW - WA - 2ACH
BW - WA - 3WAB
BW - WA - 4ACH
BW - WA - 8ACH
BW Gen - Campaign
BW Gen - Soldiers
BW General
Cavalry - General
Diary - Schramm
Egypt - Heliopolis
Egypt - Mena
Gen - Ataturk Pk, CNB
Gen - Australia
Gen - Legends
Gen - Query Club
Gen - St - NSW
Gen - St - Qld
Gen - St - SA
Gen - St - Tas
Gen - St - Vic
Gen - St - WA
Gm - German Items
Gm - Bk - 605 MGC
GW - 11 Nov 1918
GW - Atrocities
GW - August 1914
GW - Biographies
GW - Propaganda
GW - Spies
GW - We forgot
Militia 1899-1920
Militia - Area Officers
Militia - Inf - Infantry
Militia - Inf - 1IB
Militia - Inf - 2IB
Militia - Inf - 3IB
Militia - Inf - NSW
Militia - Inf - Qld
Militia - Inf - SA
Militia - Inf - Tas
Militia - Inf - Vic
Militia - Inf - WA
Militia - K.E.Horse
Militia - LH
Militia - LH - Regts
Militia - LH - 1LHB
Militia - LH - 2LHB
Militia - LH - 3LHB
Militia - LH - 4LHB
Militia - LH - 5LHB
Militia - LH - 6LHB
Militia - LHN - NSW
Militia - LHN - 1/7/1
Militia - LHN - 2/9/6
Militia - LHN - 3/11/7
Militia - LHN - 4/6/16
Militia - LHN - 5/4/15
Militia - LHN - 6/5/12
Militia - LHN - 28
Militia - LHQ - Qld
Militia - LHQ - 13/2
Militia - LHQ - 14/3/11
Militia - LHQ - 15/1/5
Militia - LHQ - 27/14
Militia - LHS - SA
Militia - LHS - 16/22/3
Militia - LHS - 17/23/18
Militia - LHS - 24/9
Militia - LHT - Tas
Militia - LHT - 12/26
Militia - LHV - Vic
Militia - LHV - 7/15/20
Militia - LHV - 8/16/8
Militia - LHV - 9/19
Militia - LHV - 10/13
Militia - LHV - 11/20/4
Militia - LHV - 19/17
Militia - LHV - 29
Militia - LHW - WA
Militia - LHW-18/25/10
Militia - Military Orders
Militia - Misc
MilitiaRC - Rifle Clubs
MilitiaRC - NSW
MilitiaRC - NT
MilitiaRC - Qld
MilitiaRC - SA
MilitiaRC - Tas
MilitiaRC - Vic
MilitiaRC - WA
Militiaz - New Zealand
Tk - Turkish Items
Tk - Army
Tk - Bks - Books
Tk - Bks - 1/33IR
Tk - Bks - 27th IR
Tk - Bks - Air Force
Tk - Bks - Yildirim
Tk - POWs
Wp - Weapons
Wp - Hotchkiss Cav
Wp - Hotchkiss PMG
Blog Tools
Edit your Blog
Build a Blog
RSS Feed
View Profile
Open Community
Post to this Blog
Site Index
Education Centre
LH Militia
Boer War
Transport Ships
LH Battles
ALH - Units
ALH - General
Aboriginal Light H
Ottoman Sources

"At a mile distant their thousand hooves were stuttering thunder, coming at a rate that frightened a man - they were an awe inspiring sight, galloping through the red haze - knee to knee and horse to horse - the dying sun glinting on bayonet points..." Trooper Ion Idriess

The Australian Light Horse Studies Centre aims to present an accurate history as chroniclers of early Australian military developments from 1899 to 1920.

The Australian Light Horse Studies Centre site holds over 12,000 entries and is growing daily.

Contact: Australian Light Horse Studies Centre

Let us hear your story: You can tell your story, make a comment or ask for help on our Australian Light Horse Studies Centre Forum called:

Desert Column Forum

WARNING: This site contains: names, information and images of deceased people; and, language which may be considered inappropriate today.

Thursday, 3 September 2009
el Qatiya, Sinai, 23 April 1916, Falls Account, Sir A. Murray's Appreciation
Topic: BatzS - El Qatiya

el Qatiya

Sinai, 23 April 1916

Falls Account, Sir A. Murray's Appreciation


As part of the Official British War History of the Great War, Captain Cyril Falls and Lieutenant General George MacMunn were commissioned to produce a commentary on the Sinai, Palestine and Syrian operations that took place. In 1928, their finished work, Military Operations, Egypt and Palestine - From the outbreak of war with Germany to June 1917,  was published in London. Their book included a section specifically related to the battle of Romani and is extracted below.

MacMunn, G. & Falls, C., Military operations: Egypt and Palestine, (London 1930), pp. 170 - 174:

Sir A. Murray's Appreciation

G.S. Z.33.

The Chief of The Imperial General Staff.
War Office,
London, S.W.
15th February 1916.


1. It is clear that the security of Egypt against an attack from the east is not best assured by the construction of a great defensive position in proximity to the Suez Canal-among other reasons because such a position is wasteful in men and material. In order to effect the object aimed at, it would be far preferable to push out across the Sinai Peninsula cowards the Egyptian frontier, making dispositions for an active defence. Less troops will actually be required for an active defence than for a passive or semi-passive defence of the Canal Zone.

2. In the Sinai Peninsula itself there are four chief points of importance, namely, El Arish, El Hassana, Nekhl, and El Kossaima. The three latter are important road centres--the course of the roads in Sinai being determined by water supply-which any hostile invading force, except one marching y the northern coast road and El Arish, must pass on its way to Egypt. Of the three, El Kossaima is of greater importance than either of the others, for enemy forces, moving down from Syria and Palestine must pass El Kossaima or between El Kossaima and the northern Sina Coast, whether the subsequent line of march is via Nekhl or El Kossaima. [Sic. It would appear that "via Nekhl or El Hassana" is meant.]

3. Strategically, therefore, the true base of the defensive zone of Egypt against invasion from the east is not the 80 or 90 miles of the Canal Zone, hut the 45 miles between El Arish and El Kossaima.


1. The first factor which it is necessary to weigh is the extent and magnitude of the danger implied in the word "invasion." At present, and during the early spring, it would be possible for the enemy, given adequate arrangements on the Syrian railways, to bring down to Beersheba and to push across the Sinai desert a very considerable force, say, 250,000 men. The water difficulties which would confront him during this season would be reduced to a minimum, and with sufficient previous preparation his other difficulties could be surmounted. We have, however, so far, no definite information of an enemy movement on a really large scale in this direction. Our intelligence does indeed tend to show that the Turks themselves are anxious to undertake the invasion of Egypt, but it also tends to show that their German military advisers in Turkey are averse at the moment to this undertaking. The time at their disposal is already becoming short, even if it be assumed that they have two months for the completion of their preparations and for the inception and achievement of their undertaking. The forces at our disposal for the defence of Egypt are now considerable, and so long as they remain in this country the enemy can have little hope of a successful issue to his enterprise.

2. When once the hot weather begins, the enemy's difficulties will necessarily be largely increased. Heat of itself is no bar to operations; but both men and animals require considerably more water during the hot weather, and the supply of water along the roads which cross the Sinai Peninsula is naturally far more difficult during that period. In the hot weather the enemy will be confined to the existing wells or to carrying the water required by his troops.

3. At El Arish it is estimated that a force of 40,000 to 50,000 troops could be concentrated without experiencing any great difficulty in obtaining water even during the hot season.

It may be noted here that if El Arish were in our occupation we should be in a comparatively advantageous position with regard to water, since the water-bearing area lies comparatively close to the sea and within range of naval gunfire. An enemy attack on El Arish would, on the other hand, be hampered by water difficulties, since it appears that he would mainly have to depend on water supply from the south of Magdhaba (20 miles S.S.E, of El Arish) and from Rafah (28 miles E.N.E, of El Arish). It is estimated that it is possible for the enemy to bring up 60,000 men to attack, but he would fight with a comparatively waterless country immediately in rear of him.

If El Arish is not in our possession and the Qatiya district is, the hostile forces advancing from El Arish to, say, Bir El Abd, would be obliged to cross a region of 30 or 40 miles with a very indifferent water supply and to fight with this behind them. The difficulties of the road are also considerable, and it is estimated that the Turks could not bring a larger force than 25,000 men to attack at Bir El Abd after early spring.

If we occupy neither El Arish nor Qatiya it is possible that the enemy might gradually collect troops in the latter district, and with good arrange_ ments and care it is considered that 80,000 men is not an excessive estimate of the number for whom it would be possible to find sufficient water, even in the hot weather.

4. On the central road via El Hassana the water supply is very limited. The enemy has been laying a pipe-line from Kossaima towards El Hassana, but the difficulties are apparently very great and it seems doubtful if the prolongation of the pipe-line westwards-certainly beyond El Hassanais possible; and even so, El Hassana is about 90 miles from the Canal. A hostile advance on this line in spring or summer would, therefore, appear impracticable for a force of any size.

On the southern roads from Nekhl, where perhaps 20,000 men could be concentrated, there is an almost waterless stretch of 40 miles between Nekhl and Ain Sadr, and a second waterless stretch, also of 40 miles, between Ain Sadr and the Suez Canal, necessitating the carrying of water for an invading force over, say, three stages. [Ain Sadr, or Ain Sudr, halfway between Nekhl and Suez, is just south of the southern limit of Map 8.] The roads are also in bad order at present, and pass through defiles which would render water transport difficulties very great. It is estimated that these roads could hardly be used in the hot weather by any forces exceeding 10,000 men.

5. To summarize, therefore, the enemy is working upon a very narrow margin of time if he contemplates any really serious efforts during the next six or eight weeks. The fact that the present season has been unusually wet may, indeed, increase this margin, since his difficulties as regards water may perhaps not become serious so early in the year as usual. During the hot season, however, providing that the Qatiya district be occupied by us, the limit of the possibility in this way of an invasion from the east would seem to be an advance of, say, 40,000 troops, with their transport, if the enemy should use all available roads.


1. In the first part of this paper, stress has been laid upon the strategic importance of El Arish. In the second part, the factors limiting the enemy's power to strike have been briefly considered.

In any case the enemy's first step must be to collect his forces, either towards Beersheba, or further south, say about Ma'an, on the Hejaz railway. The latter is not considered a very likely contingency, since the Pilgrim road from Ma'an, to Nekhl is very difficult for wheeled traffic, while the roads from Nekhl to the Canal, as has already been stated, are in bad order, cross a difficult country with little water, and during the hot season milt hardly admit of the passage of any large force.

If, however, the enemy concentration should take place in the Beersheba region, his main forces must advance to the invasion of Egypt by way of El Kossaima and El Arish, or between those places.

2. From the point of view of the permanent security of Egypt, therefore, it is highly desirable that El Arish should be occupied by us with mobile forces of sufficient size:

(a) To be able to meet and oppose such enemy forces as might attempt to march against Egypt by the northern coast road.

(b) To be able to attack in flank any enemy forces attempting to move against Egypt by way of the central or southern roads which cross the Sinai Peninsula, diverging from El Kossaima.

(c) To be able to undertake rapid offensive operations against enemy concentrations, or the heads of enemy columns, in southern Palestine (Beersheba region).

If El Arish could be held, the permanent occupation of other points in the Sinai Peninsula outside the Canal Zone would appear to be unnecessary, unless the concentration about Ma'an should necessitate reconsideration of the desirability of occupying Nekhl.

3. The importance of El Arish emerges more and more clearly the further the problem is considered. To undertake its occupation immediately insufficient strength is, however, out of the question. It would be necessary to employ a considerable number of troops, and sufficient camel transport is not yet available to maintain a force of the required size at a distance of seven marches from the Canal. The question of the possibility of supplying the force from the sea from a depot within, or near the eastern end of, the Bardawil Lagoon, has been fully gone into with the Navy; and it has been found that the formation of the coast would render this impracticable.

4. In these circumstances it appears certain that it will be necessary to build a railway for the maintenance of any considerable force pushed out across the northern part of the Sinai Peninsula. Our reliance on the railway, yet to be constructed, necessarily limits the possibilities to a gradual forward movement.

5. The first step seems to be clear, namely an advance to a suitable position east of Qatiya and the construction of a railway to that place. Even apart from the question of El Arish, the occupation of the Qatiya district is most necessary. By pushing out to the neighbourhood of Bir El Abd, east of Qatiya, we should deny this comparatively well-watered region to the enemy. So long as we do not occupy Qatiya it is open to the enemy gradually to concentrate a considerable force within two marches of the Canal; and his force would be limited only by the amount of water obtainable, which is estimated to be sufficient for as many as 80,000 troops, even in summer.

6. Preparations for this preliminary movement are now, therefore, being actively pressed on. The question of the construction of the necessary railway has already been taken up, and it is anticipated that sufficient camels will be available to equip a force of one Division and one Mounted Brigade with camel transport very shortly. A force of the size named is considered sufficient to clear and occupy the Qatiya district and to hold the eastern end of it, with a reserve at Qantara. Once occupied, a Turkish attack on the line of the northern coast road could only be made in very difficult circumstances. As has already been pointed out, the enemy would have to deliver his attack with a 40-mile desert zone, and with bad roads on the line of which the water supply is very indifferent, behind him.

7. Finally, the question arises as to what number of troops it is necessary for us to maintain in Egypt for the defence from the east. At present, and until the hot weather begins, i.e., about 15th April, no very material reduction in the strength of our forces actually in the country is deemed advisable. From the beginning of the hot season, however, it would appear that one Army Corps of three Divisions on the Canal would be sufficient, provided that we held the Qatiya district with one additional Division, and that three Mounted Brigades were available for all purposes. As the extent of front to be watched and patrolled is extensive, it is necessary that units should be at full war strength, otherwise four Divisions will not be sufficient. It must be remembered that day and night the whole 80-mile length of the Canal has to be carefully watched to prevent the enemy placing mines in the Canal or Bitter Lakes, which feat has already been accomplished, and that every ship and boat passing up and down has to have its guard for the same purpose.

If the reoccupation of El Arish should eventually be practicable, it is considered that, besides an Army Corps and two Mounted Brigades in the Canal Zone, two mobile Divisions and two Mounted Brigades would be needed to undertake an effective offensive-defence from El Arish and to occupy that place. This would involve the retention in Egypt of a fifth Division ; but against the disadvantage of increasing the size of the force left in Egypt must be set the fact that a sufficient mobile force operating from El Arish should go far to render the defence of Egypt from the east permanently secure, irrespective of seasons.



General, Commander-in-Chief, Mediterranean Expeditionary Force.


Previous: The Composition of the Turkish Force at Qatiya

Next: el Qatiya, Sinai, 23 April 1916


Further Reading:

el Qatiya, Sinai, 23 April 1916

Battles where Australians fought, 1899-1920


Citation: el Qatiya, Sinai, 23 April 1916, Falls Account, Sir A. Murray's Appreciation

Posted by Project Leader at 12:01 AM EADT
Updated: Sunday, 13 September 2009 10:40 PM EADT

View Latest Entries

Full Site Index

powered by FreeFind
Let us hear your story: You can tell your story, make a comment or ask for help on our forum.

Desert Column Forum

A note on copyright

The Australian Light Horse Studies Centre is a not for profit and non profit group whose sole aim is to write the early history of the Australian Light Horse from 1900 - 1920. It is privately funded and the information is provided by the individuals within the group and while permission for the use of the material has been given for this site for these items by various donors, the residual and actual copyright for these items, should there be any, resides exclusively with the donors. The information on this site is freely available for private research use only and if used as such, should be appropriately acknowledged. To assist in this process, each item has a citation attached at the bottom for referencing purposes.

Please Note: No express or implied permission is given for commercial use of the information contained within this site.

A note to copyright holders

The Australian Light Horse Studies Centre has made every endeavour to contact copyright holders of material digitised for this blog and website and where appropriate, permission is still being sought for these items. Where replies were not received, or where the copyright owner has not been able to be traced, or where the permission is still being sought, the Australian Light Horse Studies Centre has decided, in good faith, to proceed with digitisation and publication. Australian Light Horse Studies Centre would be happy to hear from copyright owners at any time to discuss usage of this item.


Australian Light Horse Studies Centre

eXTReMe Tracker