Topic: Tk - Turkish Items
Bir el Abd
Sinai, 9 August 1916
Official Turkish Account
The following extract from the Birinci Dunya Harbinde Turk Harbi, IV. cilt, 1 nci Kisim Sina-Filistin Cephesi (Turkish War in WW1, Vol. 4, Part 1, Sinai Palatine Front) was kindly translated by the Turkish author, Tosun Saral.
Birinci Dunya Harbinde Turk Harbi, IV. cilt, 1 nci Kisim Sina-Filistin Cephesi (Turkish War in WW1, Vol. 4, Part 1, Sinai Palatine Front), pp. 387 – 388.
[Note: Turkish military records use Bîrülabd rather than Bir el Abd.]
The High Command of 1st Expeditory Forces gave the following order for withdrawal to “ Bîrülabd-Bîribayut line in the night of August 7/8 at 18:30.
[Note: The original of the document is held by the Military History and Study Department archive. (As.T. ve Str. E. Bşk= Askerî Tarih ve Stratejik Etüd Başkanlığı) As.T. ve Str. E. Bşk.Arş. 6/8056, Kls. 4770, Dos. 12, Fih.4 and Kls. 4775, Dos. H-10, Fih. 1-94.]“1- Strong enemy forces are on Errabah – Katya - Bîrihamizah line. English outposts approached towards east direction to our trenches. Strong cavalry units of the enemy are present around Hodelbudarem and Magaybra.
2- Expeditory Forces will be withdrawn on the night August 7/8 (tonight) to Bîrülabd – Hodumvayhelhilm - Bîribayut line.1st Group will withdraw to Bîrülabd on the north of Hodebugarab – Hodelfatr - Hodelbada line;
2nd Group will withdraw to north of Hodumvayhelhilm and South of Hodebugarab – Hodelfatr - Hodelbada line,
3rd Group (Mülman detachment) will withdraw over Hodumvayhelhilm to Hodelvillage. As soon as the darkness falls the artillary will change its position and move back.
However if the the group commanders has the possibility they might withdraw their units in parties or step by step after midday beginning from 1700.
The infantry will withdraw after the complete withdrawal of artillary in exteme silence, calm and quiet leaving behind a large front and strong rearguards. It is a matter of honour for the infanry to secure the withdrawal of artillary without any losses. If there is a delay at the movement of the artillary, the infantry will hold a new front until the movement begins.
The HQ of the 1st Expeditory Forces will start to move to Bîrülabd after the fall of darkness. All the raports will be sent to Hodelhilva till 2100 and later to Bîrülabd. With dawn an orderly officer from all groups will be ready for orders at the HQ of Expeditory Forces.”
On the other hand on August 7th artillary battles which increased its violence now and then, happened at the Turkish right flank and central. In this fire battle of the artillary the Austo-Hungarian mountain obüs (howitzer) battaries distinquished with exellent fire. The situation for 3rd Group (Mülman detachment) at left wing has became serious for a short time. The Smith group (1½ brigades) of the English which had great mobility, turned round the 3rd Turkish group. For that reason 3rd group was forced to fight that afternoon with its front towards east. The skill, endurance and solidity of this Group is praiseworthy. At the end, the commander of the Expeditory Forces ordered Major Mülman to withdraw his group to Hodumvayhelhilm after the darkness fell. He also forwarded to Hodumvayhelhilm an infantry battalion under command of major Mayer to lighten Müller’s burden and to built a defence line. That night great majority of the Expeditory Forces withdrew to Bîrülabd- Hodumvayhelhilm - Bîribayut line.
Acknowledgement: Many thanks are given to the translator, Tosun Saral, who is the author of the following works: Vatan Nasil Kurtarildi (How Fatherland Was saved), Macarlar ve Tuna Hakkinda Yazilmis Siirler 1300-2000 (Poems About Hungarians and Danube written by Turks between the Years 1300-2000), Gul Baba ve Masallari (Gul Baba and His Tales), and Buyuk Ustad Sehit Faik Pasa, adigar-i Macaristan asr-i Abdulhamid Han (Memories from Hungary During The Reign Of Sultan Abdulhamid Han).
Further Reading:Battle of Romani, Sinai, August 4 to 5, 1916
Citation: Bir el Abd, Sinai, 9 August 1916, Official Turkish Account