Topic: BatzP - 3rd Gaza
The Third Battle of Gaza
Palestine, Z - 4, 27 October 1917
Egyptian Expeditionary Force War Diary Account
War Diary account of the Egyptian Expeditionary Force, Z - 4, 27 October 1917.
Z-4 27 October 1917
Kelab Kilo 207
0706 - Desert Mounted Corps report all clear.
0747 - XX Corps wired that 53rd Division report that outpost Mounted Brigade (8th Mounted Brigade) were being attacked between Point 720 and El Girheir.
0759 - Wire from XXI Corps saying that the scheme for advancing arrived in the vicinity of Donga had been successfully carried out.
0901 - Royal Flying Corps reported that there was no movement.
0915 - XX Corps wired that the Royal Flying Corps report has moved from Q23a2.6 to Q29d5.5 and estimated strength at 2,000: 2 guns were seen retiring and no reinforcements were seen approaching. Our line is 1,000 yards short of the enemy line.
Palestine Brigadier Royal Flying Corps confirmed this later by telephone and saw that 2 of our infantry Brigades were moving up in Artillery Formation about 1,500 yards behind.
0934 - Wire from Desert Mounted Corps saying that the reconnaissance detachment from Asluj to Matrack say no signs of enemy and finding details of the water supply at Alsuj, Khalassa and Abd Galyon and Malaga.
1045 - Informed XX, XXI and Desert Mounted Corps that from today an aerial patrol will be furnished by the Royal Flying Corps on general line Khalasa - Goz el Basal - Gaza between the hours of 0630 and dusk as long as the situation demands.
1250 - Chief London was asked to send out 2 new Squadrons, Royal Flying Corps to meet proposed reinforcements coming from Germany.
A summary of Recent Information regarding reinforcements in the Palestine Front was issued to Corps and Palestine Brigade Royal Flying Corps.
1333 - XX Corps wired that 53rd Division was moving east of Wadi Ghuzzee to support the 158th Brigade and troops of forward Mounted Division and that permission has been given to General Officer Commanding 53rd Division to move out and occupy such portions of El Buggar - Point 720 - Point 510 as he finds necessary by day light.
1629 - XX Corps wired that situation at 1300 was as follows:- Enemy's estimated strength - 1 Infantry Brigade, 2 Squadrons Cavalry and 2 Batteries holding his Point 720 - Point 620. 158th Infantry Brigade in position about Q26 - Q32: 160th Brigade marching on Point 720 has reached Sebil and has been ordered to reconnoitre line of attack on Point 720. 159th Brigade has been ordered to move in support of 160th Brigade and 229th Brigade has been ordered to move to 53rd Division Headquarters.
1803 - XXI Corps wired that artillery work had been carried out according to programme and that 2 deserters had surrendered.
1831 - Report from Desert Mounted Corps that 3rd Light Horse Brigade was operating in support of XX corps and that the 9th and 10th Light Horse Brigades (sic) were advancing on Point 720. Enemy aircraft flew over Camel Brigade at 1100 and over Esani at 1540.
1910 - Wired Desert Mounted Corps that troops at Asluj should report presence of hostile aircraft to the Commanding Wing Royal Flying Corps by priority message.
Colonel Newcombe was informed that arrangements were being made to supply him with a small Camel Corps detachment with 2 Vickers and 8 Lewis Guns to be used if possible on the Hebron Road in the event of enemy troops returning that way.
The men for this establishment were formed as follows:- 2 Officers and 16 NCO's from Advance School of Instruction, El Arish, 1 NCO and 4 men from 20th Machine Gun Squadron, 3 Signallers from 5th company Imperial Camel Corps who were all ordered to meet Colonel Newcombe at Gamli Station at 1200 on 28 October 1917.
Permission was granted to XXI Corps for a sea reconnaissance with a lighter to be made on 29 October 1917.
Instructions were issued for the 119th and 120th Anti Aircraft Sections to go to Belah and free the 121st Anti Aircraft Section to go to Kantara.
2300 - Evening Report to London and Baghdad saying that our plans are proceeding satisfactorily and that after some encounters with enemy w have taken up line to cover the Railway extension.
Citation: The Third Battle of Gaza, Palestine, Z - 4, 27 October 1917, Egyptian Expeditionary Force War Diary Account