"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
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The Battle of Ramadi, Mesopotamia, 28 September 1918, Outline Topic: BatzM - Ramadi
The Battle of Ramadi
Mesopotamia, 28 September 1917
Signallers at Ramadi resting before tragedy - within five minutes half the animals will be dead with shrapnel wounds.
Ramadi, an action fought in Mesopotamia on 28 September 1917, on the Euphrates River about 110 kilometres west of Baghdad. Realising that a Turko-German offensive was in preparation aimed at retaking Baghdad (q.v.), which had fallen to the British in March, Lieut.-General Sir Stanley Maude was determined to deliver the first stroke as part of a strategy of active defence. Ire accordingly moved against Ar Ramadi, where the Turks held a strong position, delivering a feint against the enemy's left flank between Lake Habbaniyah and the Euphrates while sending a column of cavalry supported by part of the infantry across desert to attack the opposite flank. When Maude commenced his attack on 28 September, the cavalry-having successfully passed around the enemy's line - cut across and by 4 p.m. were digging in and shelling the Turkish rear. This ensured that enemy attempts at escape were futile and the entire garrison of 8,545 men was taken captive, at a cost of only 995 British casualties (many of whom were only slightly wounded by high-bursting enemy shrapnel).
Mesopotamian operations. Ramadi is to the left of Baghdad.
Throughout the action the British cavalry's progress was reported (often under shrapnel fire) by a transmitting station of the 1st Australian Wireless Signal Squadron, which was formerly an 'Anzac' unit but had become wholly Australian following the withdrawal of the New Zealanders earlier that year; another station from the same unit was with the infantry. A few members of a second signal squadron newly arrived from Australia for service with the Indian Cavalry Division were also attached to the attacking force, purely to obtain experience.
1st Australian Wireless Signal Squadron operating at Ramadi.
Extracted from the book produced by Chris Coulthard-Clark, Where Australians Fought - The Encyclopaedia of Australia's Battles, Allen and Unwin, Sydney, 1998, p. 131-132.
Additional References cited by Chris Coulthard-Clark:
C.E.W. Bean, (1937), The Australian Imperial Force in France during the Main German Offensive, 1918, Sydney: Angus & Robertson.
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