Topic: BatzS - Romani
Battle of Romani
Sinai, August 4 to 5, 1916
New York Times Account of Romani, 6 August 1916
New York Times Account of Romani
[From: New York Times, 6 August 1916.]
The Battle of Romani was a series of engagements that took place over the period of about five days. It involved a advance from the Turkish forward base at Ogratina with the objective of taking Romani and thus allowing Turkish artillery the ability to harass shipping in the Suez Canal. The reports of this battle and many other battles often appeared in the New York Times prior to appearing in any media within the British Empire. Below is the first report in the New York Times of 6 August 1916.
Turkish Army Attacks British in Egypt
14,000 Troops Trying to Take Romani in Attempt to Reach Suez Canal.
Warships Shelling Foe
Repeated Assaults on Fortified Positions Repulsed by Defenders, Who Capture 500 Turks.
LONDON, Aug. 5. - British positions near Romans, east of Port Said, are being attacked by 14.000 Turks, according to an official statement issued by the War Office. The Turks are attacking along a front of seven to eight miles, the statement says, and have so far been repulsed.
The text of the announcement is appended:
The following report, timed 11:10 P. M. on the 4th of August has been received from the general officer commanding in chief in Egypt:
Since midnight of Aug. 3-4 Turks, whose strength is estimated at 14,000, have been attacking our position near Romani, east of Port Said, on a front of seven to eight miles.
The position at dusk on the 4th of August was that their attacks had made no impression on our fortified position, while on the southern flank the fighting also was going in our favor, and between 400 and 500 prisoners had been captured there.
Ships of the Royal Navy rendered valuable assistance from the Bay of Tina.Fighting still was in progress when this report was dispatched. The temperature posture during the day reached 100 degrees in the shade.
The Turkish attack comes as no surprise to those who are in close touch with the operations in that part of the world. General Sir Archibald Murray, who commands the British Army there, has long realized that the Turks with the assistance of the Austrians and Germans, might make a serious attempt on the canal, even at the hottest period of the year.
Austrian and German engineers for many months have been digging for water which, close to the Mediterranean coast, exists in many oases at no considerable depth under the sand, although it mostly is too brackish for use by European troops. The Turks must, therefore, have made very thorough arrangements for the storage and 'transportation of water, the country being a pure sand desert with small widely scattered oases of date palms growing around ancient wells. At Romani, where fighting is in progress, the Turks must bring up every drop of water from Aughratina,* ten miles away.
It is understood the Turks have with them some 1,000 to 2,000 Austro-German infantry, + as well as a large number of Bedouin irregular horse.
Their choice of the coast route instead of the caravan road from Katia to Kantara, which they took the last time, brings their flank under the fire of warships in the Bay of Tina.
* Aughratina = Ogratina
+ The complete War Diary of the 605th Machine Gun Company may be found on this site at the following address:
Battle of Romani, Sinai, August 4 to 5, 1916
Bir el Abd, Sinai, 9 August 1916
Battles where Australians fought, 1899-1920
Citation: Battle of Romani, Sinai, 4 to 5 August 1916, New York Times account of Romani, 6 August 1916