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Australians reenact WW1 battle for Be'er Sheva

 
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BerichtGeplaatst: 31 Okt 2007 0:18    Onderwerp: Australians reenact WW1 battle for Be'er Sheva Reageer met quote

Quote:
Dozens of riders reenact World War I battle / Australians on horses recapture Be'er Sheva, 90 years later
By Mijal Grinberg

Fifty Australian horsemen crossed the barren plains of the Negev late Sunday afternoon. They wore green cavalry uniforms, high boots and Australian bush hats adorned with a feather. A cloud of dust rose in their wake.

The riders were kicking off a reenactment of the ANZAC (Australian and New Zealand Army Corps) cavalry campaign that led to the capture of the city of Be'er Sheva in 1917. The reenactment of the World War I battle, which took place 90 years ago, is a joint project of "World War I Heritage in the Land of Israel," a nonprofit organization, and an organization of Australian equestrians dedicated to preserving the memory of the ANZAC cavalry divisions.

"Our organization began with a handful of people who were obsessed with this subject," said Rami Harouvi, chair of the Israeli group and a member of Kibbutz Be'eri. "For years, we went around talking about it and collecting World War I memorabilia, like old buttons and shoes abandoned in the field. When we started talking to the Australians, they were interested in staging a trek along the entire route of the battles. We suggested that they reenact every stage of the events in an orderly fashion, and they agreed."

Harouvi said the "campaign" will continue for four days. Australian riders will pass through Eshkol National Park (called Mashlal during World War I) and Golda Park (then Bir Aslouj) before finally "attacking" the city of Be'er Sheva.

As World War I raged between the Allied and Central Powers, Britain decided to capture the Land of Israel and Syria to threaten the Turkish rear. British forces arrived in the Gaza Strip by way of Egypt, but suffered two resounding defeats in Gaza. General Edmund Allenby then suggested deceiving the Turks by mounting an attack from east of Be'er Sheva. He called for assistance from the Australia and New Zealand troops, who were familiar with riding in desert terrain.

The ANZAC riders led the charge. They rode for four days, hidden from view, until they arrived at the outskirts of Be'er Sheva. Thrown off guard, the Turks attempted to thwart the riders by firing cannons, but despite heavy losses, ANZAC forces continued to thrust toward the center of Be'er Sheva, finally capturing the city on October 31.

The occupation of Be'er Sheva changed the political map in the region. Two days later, Lord Arthur Balfour presented the Balfour Declaration, which declared that Britain would support the establishment of a Jewish national home in the Land of Israel.

For Australians, the battle of Be'er Sheva is a familiar chapter of their national history. Barry Rogers, a 60-year-old educator, is one of the riders who arrived in Israel this week.

"The ANZAC heritage is very important in Australia," Rogers noted. "Our army suffered the heaviest losses and contributed a great deal to the war against the German enemy. We lost an entire generation in those battles, and that is why the battle of Be'er Sheva has tremendous significance for us. It was a historically significant battle that ended in the declaration that led to the founding of the state of Israel."

Over the next two days, the Australian riders will continue the four-day campaign they began on Sunday. The campaign is slated to end tomorrow, when the riders enter Be'er Sheva, where memorial services for fallen Australian soldiers will take place. Once in the city, the riders will also reenact the ANZAC charge from Beit Eshel to the Turkish Bridge.





















































Source;
http://www.fresh.co.il/vBulletin/showthread.php?t=363603
http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/pages/ShArtVty.jhtml?sw=australia&itemNo=918246
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Kleine Vuurkruiser



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BerichtGeplaatst: 31 Okt 2007 9:30    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

Mijn hart klopt wild, paarden en uniformen.... yummie

Bedankt Vetje!
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BerichtGeplaatst: 31 Okt 2007 9:44    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

Quote:
Mmmmmmmmmmmmmmm.

Hadden ze dit toen ook al.


Dit is van alle tijden..... Embarassed
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BerichtGeplaatst: 31 Okt 2007 11:23    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

Enerzijds mooie plaatjes, anderzijds toch weer enkele jammerlijke gebreken.

- Moeten die hoogspaningslijnen nu echt op de foto?
- idem voor frigobox met bier, de gsm tasjes, vrouwen in zomertopjes ...
- Ook hier weer Lee enfields N°4 (WW2 model), blijkkbaar populair aan het worden.
- ...

Het is echt jammer dat een vereniging zo veel moeite doet om zo een mooi event op poten te zetten en dan in bepaalde details zo de mist in gaan of nonchalant is.
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Wienne



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BerichtGeplaatst: 31 Okt 2007 13:44    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

Quote:
- Moeten die hoogspaningslijnen nu echt op de foto?

Wie weet wat er aan de andere kant te zien was? Smile
Mogelijk heeft de fotograaf voor het minste kwaad gekozen (een paar HS-lijnen en masten zijn makkelijker weg te photoshoppen dan een autostrade met 10 km file...)
Daarbij, het is een fotoverslag van een huidig evenement, dus moderne landschapselementen zijn niet te ontwijken en horen er zelfs bij.

Quote:
- idem voor frigobox met bier,

Idem ditto als hierboven: een fotoverslag van een hedendaags evenement. Vind het niet erg, benadrukt gewoon het alledaagse menselijke aspect van de tocht... Enne... het blijven Australiërs hé Smile

Quote:
de gsm tasjes,

Mij niet direct opgevallen, maar ik ben ook geen uniformen en uitrustingen specialist. Zo lang ze geen fluo of andere schreeuwerige kleuren van tasjes mee hadden, maar iets in lijn met hun uitrusting. Wie weet hadden sommige troepers niet één of ander zakmes bij in een apart riemtasje...

Quote:
vrouwen in zomertopjes ...

Had je ze liever gezien zonder topjes Wink
Maar goed, uitgaande van je originaliteitsprincipe zouden ze zelfs niet mogen meedoen...
En als we dat verder trekken, mag er waarschijnlijk bijna geen een meedoen. De meeste lijken mij ver over de gemiddelde leeftijd van de troopers uit WO1 te zitten (Werden AU cavalerie ook troopers genoemd?)

Quote:
- Ook hier weer Lee enfields N°4 (WW2 model), blijkkbaar populair aan het worden.

Verkrijgbaarheid zal er mogelijk wel iets mee te maken hebben?
Een groep bereden re-enactors vinden, die over alle kit beschikken en ook nog eens de tijd en het geld hebben om zo'n reis te ondernemen lijkt niet zo simpel.

Wienne
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Spiling



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BerichtGeplaatst: 31 Okt 2007 13:56    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

Quote:
Een groep bereden re-enactors vinden, die over alle kit beschikken en ook nog eens de tijd en het geld hebben om zo'n reis te ondernemen lijkt niet zo simpel


Ondanks mijn bemerkingen sluit ik mij aan bij Wienne z'n slotzin. Het initiatief blijft mooi.
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BerichtGeplaatst: 31 Okt 2007 15:29    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

Ik vind het prachtig om te zien maar zo dicht bij de stad[ik vermoed Alice Springs]had toch niet gehoeven.''The Outback'' is groot genoeg!
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BerichtGeplaatst: 31 Okt 2007 16:20    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

The skyline van Alice Springs heeft geen wolkenkrabbers. Het is dan ook in Israel. In de Negev.
De (Bijbelse) stad Beersheba is het decor.

Beersheba played an important role in the Sinai and Palestine Campaign in World War I.
On October 31, 1917, 800 soldiers of the Australian 4th Light Horse Brigade, under Brigadier General William Grant, with only horses and bayonets, charged the Turkish trenches, overran them and captured the wells of Beersheba.
This is often described as the last successful cavalry charge in history.
On the edge of Beersheba's Old City is a Commonwealth cemetery containing the graves of British and Australian soldiers.
On the last row on the right, is the grave of Captain Seymour Van den Berg of the Middlesex Hussars, a British Jew, was killed five days before the capture of Beersheba.



Een bezoekster schreef:
In Flanders Fields the poppies grow; between the crosses row on row. Lines of poetry from my school days came back to me
as I wandered among the graves in the Beersheva war cemetery, the resting place of 1,239 British and Australian soldiers
who died in World War I (1914-1919). Even if you are not a great fan of cemeteries, the Commonwealth Military Cemetery
on the edge of Beersheva's Old City is worth a visit.
The rows of white grave markers lined up with soldierly precision, the lush green of the lawns, the carefully tended flower
bushes, the silence.
It is such a contrast to the world outside: the parched yellow that overtakes any untended patch of ground in this desert
city, the hubbub of the streets where Jews, Arabs and Bedouin mingle, the high-rises and building cranes visible above the
cemetery wall.
Few people know that Beersheva was the site of one the most important battles in military history.
On October 31, 1917, the Australian 4th Light Horse Brigade, 800 soldiers with only horses and bayonets, broke through
Turkish defenses and captured the wells of Beersheva.
There were 17 wells, which the Turks were poised to blow up.
Toward evening, as the sun was setting, a daring cavalry charge was launched that took the Turks by surprise.
They had not adjusted their gunsights and ended up firing over the horsemen's heads.
At first glance all the gravestones look alike: rectangular slabs of marble inscribed with a cross. But one is different.
On the last row on the right (coming in from the entrance gate), is a grave marked with a Magen David - a Jewish star.
This is the grave of Captain Seymour Van den Berg of the Middlesex Hussars, a British Jew who was killed five days
before the capture of Beersheva.
You can see it from afar because there are always pebbles on it - an old Jewish custom signifying that someone has visited.
Engraved on his tombstone are these words: Far from home, close in the hearts of those who loved him.

Des te interessanter, zou ik zeggen.
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BerichtGeplaatst: 31 Okt 2007 17:38    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote



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BEERSHEVA, ISRAEL - OCTOBER 31: (ISRAEL OUT) Members of the Australian light horse association honor gourd ride their horses into the old city of Beersheva on the 90th anniversary of the World War I battle, October 31, 2007 in Beersheva, Israel. Hundreds of Australians are in Beersheba in the Negev desert to take part in the 90th anniversary of the Battle of Beersheba.(Photo by Uriel Sinai/***** Images)



Quote:

Australians wearing uniforms of the Light Horse brigade rest after they arrived 31 October 2007 at the southern Israeli town of Beer Sheva to mark 90 years to the battle of Beer Sheva in which Australian New Zeland and English soldiers captured Beer Sheva from Ottomans during World War 1. The victory is best remembered for the gallant charge of some 800 Australian horseman ,known as the light horse infantry
































Quote:
An Australian carries his national flag into the Beersheba Commonwealth Cemetery on 31 October 2007 to attend a ceremony marking the 90th anniversary of the Battle of Beersheba that took place during World War I on October 31, 1917 and changed the history of the region. Hundreds of Australians and New Zealanders are in Beersheba in the Negev Desert to take part in the 90th anniversary of the Battle of Beersheba when the Australian 4th Light Horse Brigade charged more than four miles at the Turkish trenches, overran them and captured the important wells at Beersheba. This battle is often referred to as the last successful cavalry charge in history













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vetje



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BerichtGeplaatst: 31 Okt 2007 17:45    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

Quote:
Ride of the light brigade
By GREER FAY CASHMAN Oct 29, 2007 22:08

Victory by 800 mounted Australians over 4,000 well-trained Turks seems a bit far-fetched. But that's exactly what happened on October 31, 1917, at the Battle of Beersheba, which 90 years ago arguably changed the direction of the Sinai and Palestine campaign during World War I.

It was a day of surprises for the Turks, one that had been planned far in advance: Already in May 1917, General Philip Chetwode wrote his Notes on the Palestine Campaign, which outlined a suggested plan of attack. There he suggested that the approaching Third Battle of Gaza should move inland and center around a relatively loosely guarded east flank of Beersheba. The Turks, he suggested, would not anticipate the mounted attack due to the scarcity of water for horses and soldiers alike. Chetwode, however, claimed that it would be easier and more efficient to secretly engineer water access to the area than to break through the more heavily guarded Gaza area.

At the same time, the Turks were led to believe through a series of British subterfuges that they would - for the third time - indeed choose a frontal attack on Gaza.

General Sir Edmund Allenby, who assumed command in July, adopted Chetwode's suggestions and by late October the British were ready for the Battle of Beersheba.

The attack on the unsuspecting Turks took place at dawn. However, the Anzac Mounted Division was delayed at Tel el Saba, causing the British forces to fall behind in the master battle plan, which had charted the capture of Beersheba before nightfall.

As a risky last-ditch effort, the commander of the Desert Mounted Corps, General Henry Chauvel, ordered the Australian 4th Light Horse Brigade (made up of the 4th and 12th regiments), under Brigadier William Grant, to secure the capture of Beersheba just before sunset.

Charging directly into the sun, the horsemen kicked up thunderous clouds of dust as they rode against the Turkish trenches. The frightened Turks, who assumed this was the beginning of a larger force, fled. The Australian soldiers secured the city and intact wells and reservoirs. (The story goes that a torrential downpour saved the remaining horses from dehydration.)

How much of the story is fact and how much is myth? No one really knows, admitted president of the Australian Light Horse Association Phil Chalker over drinks this week in his Jerusalem hotel, but the fact is that the charge was a success.

To what can it be attributed? In Chalker's view, it was because the 4th and 12th regiments had been in reserve, so there was an energy that other battle-weary soldiers may not have had. This was coupled with the element of surprise, the shock tactic of 800 horses coming down on the men in the trenches and kicking up so much dust that it was difficult for the Turks to aim directly at them.

For all that he paid tribute to the bravery of the Turks. "They didn't give up and run. They were very competent soldiers. Most of our casualties were shot from the trenches."

The charge was unexpected, continued the patron of the association, Maj.-Gen. (ret.) W. Digger James, who also arrived this week, "because they had to ride into the sun. One thing you're told is: 'Don't ride into the sun.' They charged straight into the west. It was 4:30 in the afternoon. It's a feature I've never understood."
Chalker termed the charge and its result "Australia's baptism of fire."

"The significance of the charge," Chalker said, "is how it took place and how successful it was. The actual success is the attraction because you don't put cavalry up against machine guns and infantry. It was done as a last resort - and it worked."

"The whole of Beersheba was a big army. Chauvel brought his horses in. They were desperately short of water. They'd die in 24 hours if they didn't have water. It was win or bust."

MORE THAN 60 riders, many of them descendants of the heroes of the Australian Light Horse Regiment, tomorrow will reenact the epic charge of their forebears in the Battle of Beersheba exactly 90 years ago.

Among them will be Deryn Binnie, granddaughter of Gen. Chauvel; and Bill Hyman, whose grandfather, Maj. Eric Hyman, won the Distinguished Service Order for commanding the 12th Light Horse Regiment when it joined with the 4th Light Horse Brigade in the crucial battle to seize the wells at Beersheba.

Cheering them on will be Australian, New Zealand, British, Turkish and Israeli diplomats, Australian and New Zealand expatriates living here, representatives of the Defense Ministry, members of the Israel-based Society for the Heritage of World War I, members of the Beersheba Municipality and the Beersheba Foundation and members of the Australian Light Horse Association who, like the riders, have made the long journey from down under to participate. The riders will be bearing the flags and standards and wearing the uniforms worn by Australian soldiers in World War I.

Their three-day ride from Eshkol Park near Gaza to Beersheba will culminate in an all-day festival and commemoration in Beersheba.

The ride into Beersheba is part of a year long Beersheba Light Horse project that was launched in May. It includes the construction of a recreational "Park of the Australian Soldier" in Beersheba. The park, which is being developed in partnership with the municipality and the Beersheba Foundation, is an initiative of the Melbourne-based Pratt Foundation, which supports numerous projects here.
When completed, it will include a playground with special access for children with disabilities, an amphitheater seating 300 people, a garden complex planted with Australian flora and a life-size bronze statue of a horse and rider by Australian sculptor Peter Corlett, who came to Beersheba last year for the 89th anniversary.

The statue will be air-freighted here in time for next year's ANZAC Day Commemoration on April 28 in Beersheba in the presence of high-level diplomats from Israel, Australia, New Zealand and several other countries, plus a large contingent of Australians. ANZAC Day, traditionally held on April 25, commemorates the ill-fated landing of Australian and New Zealand forces in Gallipoli in April 1915, but also takes into account Australian and New Zealand soldiers who fell in battle in subsequent wars.

James, patron of the Australian Light Horse Association, and its president, Chalker, arrived here on Sunday and will participate in the 90th anniversary celebrations. The Australian Light Horse Association is a non-profit organization dedicated to the preservation of the history and tradition of the regiment and its predecessors.

THE MOST obvious question is why has it taken 90 years to put up a monument to one of the most glorious chapters in Australian military history? According to Chalker, there was a monument erected a few years after the war, but it was destroyed during the Arab uprisings of 1929. What was left of it was transported to Australia.
Then with the 90th anniversary of the Gallipoli landing two years ago, there was pressure to construct a monument to commemorate the Battle of Beersheba, which is annually recalled in Australia and is taught in its schools.

Although he disclaims credit, it was James who initially came up with the idea of a meaningful memorial in Beersheba. Bill Billson, Australia's minister for veterans' affairs, said at the official launch of the Light Horse project in Melbourne in May: "The Australian victory at Beersheba in 1917 set in train some remarkable events - the liberation of Jerusalem, the fall of the Ottoman Empire, the British Mandate in Palestine and ultimately the establishment of the State of Israel."

A little known fact, supplied by Australian Ambassador James Larsen, is that the discussion on the Balfour Declaration was held by the British War Cabinet on October 31, 1917, just as the British, Australian and New Zealand troops were capturing Beersheba, but Lord Balfour, although he informed his friend Chaim Weizmann, later to become Israel's first president, of the decision, did not formally write to Lord Rothschild until November 2, when the British media reported the victory over the Turks.

This is corroborated in ANZACs Empires and Israel's Restoration 1798-1948 by Kelvin Crombie, an Australian historian and tour guide who lived in Israel for 15 years, and of course both James and Chalker knew all about it. Some two-and-a-half years ago, James was a guest speaker at Victoria's Parliament House. He invited his childhood friend Richard Pratt and his wife Jeanne to come along and afterward the Pratts joined James and his wife Barbara for lunch. Someone at the lunch asked Pratt if he traveled much, and he replied that he was going to Beersheba to get an honorary doctorate from Ben-Gurion University.

That immediately set James off, and he began raving on about the 12th Light Horse. He talked so much that Pratt eventually turned around and said: "Do you and Barbara want to come with us?" The reply was unhesitatingly affirmative, and thus the seed for the Park of the Australian Soldier was planted.

In a letter to Billson in February 2006, James wrote: "...The charge at Beersheba was the key to everything that followed. It is one of the great inspirational victories in Australian military history. Indeed the Australian Light Horse charge, which made it possible, has itself been described as 'the last great cavalry charge in history.'
"Although the Australian Light Horse has been celebrated in at least two feature films, in documentaries and in many books and articles, and while there are memorial statues and other forms of commemoration at various locations in Australia, there is no memorial as such in Beersheba.

"There is a military cemetery in Beersheba dedicated to soldiers who served with armies of the British Commonwealth, which includes the graves of many of the Australians who were killed in the charge on October 31, 1917. But there is no memorial in Beersheba specifically dedicated to the Australian victory."
Now there will be.

RELAXING OVER their drinks in the lounge of their Jerusalem hotel on Sunday, James and Chalker took great pains to explain the difference between a light horse soldier and a cavalryman. Light horse, James said, are infantry soldiers with infantry weapons. "They're unique. They don't carry sabers. The horse carries the soldier into battle. He dismounts and enters the battle with his weapons, and a horse handler takes the horses and handles them."

Australia is "a very horsey country," said Chalker. "In the early 1900s horses were the only mode of transport. Up until the 1930s motor vehicles were hardly used for transport in rural areas." As far as Chalker is aware, more than 300,000 Australian horses were exported up to and including World War I. Australians also served in the Boer War.

"We raised an army of mounted men by saying 'bring your horse and we'll pay you later,'" said James. It was this attitude of people coming with their own horses that made it possible to raise 23 Light Horse regiments in a short period, said Chalker.

What's fascinating to James is the number of people "who are now coming out of the woodwork and saying that their father or grandfather was there. And they're so proud."


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BerichtGeplaatst: 01 Nov 2007 10:58    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

De no4 zullen wel met importbeperkingen in Israel te maken hebben.

Een van de ruiters ken ik, dit jaar nog gesproken in Fort Nelson en in Zonnebeke. Die zag er destijds al naar uit. Vooral het feit dat de Australiers alles vooraf probeerde te regelen en hij simpelweg gewoon die kant op vloog en klaar...
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BerichtGeplaatst: 08 Apr 2008 11:29    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

te laat.... Sad had ik dat maar eerder geweten . had graag willen meerijden.

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BerichtGeplaatst: 07 Nov 2009 16:38    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

October 31st – 92nd Anniversary of the Charge at Beersheba
By Glenn, October 28, 2009 in General Military Articles |

G’Day Everyone,

This Saturday, the 31st October, marks the 92nd anniversary of the Charge at Beersheba by the 4th Light Horse Brigade as part of the 3rd Battle of Gaza during the Sinai and Palestine campaign against the Turks.

The highlight of the battle was the now famous charge of the Australian 4th Light Horse Brigade, which covered some six kilometres to overrun and capture the last remaining Turkish trenches, and secure the surviving wells at Beersheba.

The plan to break the Gaza-Beersheba line had been formulated by General Chetwode (Commander XX Corps) following the failure of the two frontal assaults against Gaza. The Turkish defences were formidable in the vicinity of Gaza but in the east there was a wide gap between the last redoubt and the Beersheba fortifications. The Turks trusted that the lack of reliable water in this region, other than at the wells in Beersheba, would limit British operations to mounted raids.

Chetwode believed that the lack of water would be easier to overcome than the Gaza fortifications and so a mammoth engineering and supply effort was undertaken to make a forward base in the vicinity of Beersheba from which infantry and mounted troops could stage an assault. The plan, however, depended on the town and water supply being captured swiftly. If the attack was repulsed on the first day, the British would be forced to retire in search of water.

The attack on Beersheba by Chetwode’s XX Corps commenced at 5.55am on 31 October when the artillery, more than 100 field guns and howitzers, commenced bombarding the Turkish trenches. Twenty of the heavy guns were engaged in counter-battery work against the enemy artillery, which was operated by Austrian gunners.

The first infantry went in at 8.30am to capture some Turkish outposts. The main attack of four infantry brigades began at 12.15pm. They quickly reached all their initial objectives and so were in position for the main assault on the township to coincide with the light horse and New Zealanders. It was at this point that the infantry commanders saw that the way to Beersheba was clear and asked for permission to carry the attack through to the town. Allenby refused permission and ordered the infantry to remain in their current positions as the task had been specifically assigned to the Desert Mounted Corps. So the first opportunity to take Beersheba within the next hour was lost.

When the Turks realised that the British infantry had halted, they began to regroup and strengthen their defensive line with a smaller perimeter. Prior to the fall of the southern trenches, the trench system supporting Tel el Saba to the south east of Beersheba was empty. Now it was filled with about 300 veterans, exactly in the line of the projected charge.
731px-battle_of_beersheba_map

Positions of forces at dusk on October 31, 1917, during the Battle of Beersheba at the time of the charge of the 4th Light Horse Brigade.
British forces are shown in red, Turkish forces are shown in blue. The position reached by the regiments of the 4th Light Horse Brigade after the attack is shown in pale red.

The 4th Light Horse Brigade, commanded by Brigadier William Grant, contained the 4th (Victorian), 11th (Queensland and South Australia) and 12th (New South Wales) Light Horse Regiments. The 11th was dispersed but the 4th and 12th were quickly ready to make the charge. Although Grant commanded the Brigade, the charge on Beersheba was led by Lieutenant Colonel Bourchier. The plan for the attack was devised by Lieutenant Colonel Cameron.

Charge of Beersheba: Re-enactment during the Australian Movie “The Light Horsemen”

The men who possibly charged with the 4th Light Horse Regiment and 12th Light Horse Regiment lined up in three consecutive squadrons, the first two, “A” then “B” Squadrons assembling in line of troop while the last squadrons, “C” Squadron assembled in line of column. A hand drawn map was made created by Lieutenant FR Massie, Adjutant of the 12th Light Horse Regiment which illustrated the lines prior to the famous charge.

The regiments commenced the charge at 4.30 pm, the 12th on the left and the 4th on the right. They advanced by squadrons (i.e., three waves) with about 500 yards between squadrons. They were armed with bayonets in hand; their rifles slung over their shoulders. The 11th Regiment and the 5th Mounted Brigade followed more slowly to the rear and the British 7th Mounted Brigade, which was attached to the Desert Mounted Corps headquarters, also approached from the south.
799px-battle_of_beersheba_90_anniversary16

90th anniversary of the WW1 Battle of Beersheba: Re-enactment of the Australian Light Horse charge

The Turkish artillery opened fire with shrapnel from long range but it was ineffective against the widely spaced horsemen. Turkish machine guns that opened fire from the left (which might have inflicted heavy casualties) were quickly silenced by a battery of horse artillery. When the line of horsemen got within range of the Turkish riflemen in the trenches, they started to take casualties but the defenders failed to allow for the speed of their approach so once they were within half a mile of the trenches, the defenders’ bullets started passing overhead as altering sights on rifles when confronted with rapidly moving horsemen became a difficulty. This kept the numbers of casualties low for the charging Light Horsemen.
4th

Unofficial collar badges (Egyptian made) worn by some members of the 4th Australian Light Horse Regiment

The light horsemen jumped the front trenches and dismounted behind the line where they turned and engaged the Turks with bayonets. The Turks were in many cases so demoralised that they quickly surrendered. One Australian who was dazed after having his horse shot from under him, recovered to find his five attackers with their hands up, waiting to be taken prisoner.

The later waves continued through the town which the Turks were abandoning in a panic. The charge was finally halted on the far (northwest) side of Beersheba where the light horsemen encountered more Turkish defences. Isolated resistance in the town continued for a little while but by nightfall, the remainder of the garrison had been captured. The Turks had attempted to torch some buildings and blow up the railway but the majority of the wells (15 out of 17) were captured intact. Also, a heavy rainfall left temporary pools of water on the ground, allowing the horses to drink.

After the capture of Beersheba, Allenby’s order directing Chauvel to take the town by night fall arrived. The action of the 4th Light Horse Brigade had saved the opening offensive of the Third Battle of Gaza and with it, Chauvel’s reputation.

The 31st October is also celebrated as Beersheba Day by the Royal Australian Armoured Corps in recognition of the Australian Light Horse.

If you are interested in further reading on the Beersheba Charge or the Battle of Gaza, we currently have in stock copies of the 4th Light Horse, 11th Light Horse and 12th Light Horse unit histories.

Other books of interest include:

The Advance of the Egytian Expeditionary Force – 1917 to 1918

Men of Beersheba, The Chargers of the 4th Light Horse Regiment

The Miraculous “Lives” of a Man Called Jack – 4th Light Horse

Hooves, Wheels and Tracks – 4th/19th Prince of Wales’s Light Horse

The Desert Mounted Corps


Good Reading,

Glenn and the Regimental Books Team

Copyright and photographs:
http://regimental-books.com.au/2009/10/october-31st-92nd-anniversary-of-the-charge-at-beersheba/
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BerichtGeplaatst: 31 Okt 2010 14:15    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

Nog wat achtergrond:
The Battle of Beersheba

Palestine, 31 October 1917

Outline

Aerial view of Beersheba, 1917.

Beersheba, the most famous mounted charge involving Australians, was carried out by light horsemen against Turkish fixed defences in Palestine on 31 October 1917. After two previous British failures that year to take the strategic coastal city of Gaza (q.v.), preparations were made for a third attempt by the newly appointed commander-in-chief of the Egyptian Expeditionary Force, General Sir Edmund Allenby. The plan he devised entailed turning the left flank of the Turkish defensive line which rested on Beersheba, a small town situated in the desert about 43 kilometres south-east of Gaza. To this end British infantry corps were to make frontal attacks against both ends of the Turkish line simultaneously, while the Desert Mounted Corps (commanded by Australian Lieut.General Harry Chauvel) made a wide circling movement to approach Beersheba in the rear, from the east and north.

On 27 October the 15,000 Australian and New Zealand horsemen in the two divisions of the Desert Mounted Corps available to Chauvel embarked on a series of night marches which took them east, to concentration areas at the water-points of Khalasa and Asluj more than ten kilometres south of Beersheba. Three days later they were positioned in readiness for the 25,000 men of the British 20th Corps to begin their assault on Beersheba from the west and south-west at dawn on the 31st. Chauvel's first assigned objective was to capture enemy positions beside the Hebron road behind the town, thereby completing its encirclement. Stubborn resistance was overcome to take these posts by 3 p.m., by which stage the seizure of the town itself was becoming critical because of the attackers' need for water. With only two hours remaining before nightfall Chauvel decided to send in Brig.General William Grant's 4th Light horse Brigade, which so far had been hardly involved in the day's fighting: "Put Grant straight at it." was his terse instruction.

Although the conventional use of light horse units was as mounted infantry only, the urgency of the situation prompted Grant to adopt the hazardous cavalry-style tactic of an open charge. Concealed behind a ridge some eight kilometres south-cast of' the objective, the two leading regiments of Grant's brigade - the 4th from Victoria on the right, and the 12th from New South Wales on the left - were drawn up in three lines 300-500 metres apart, with five metres spacing between men. As neither unit was equipped with the normal shock action cavalry weapons of lance or sabre, the troops were ordered to carry their long bayonets in their hands.

At 4.30 p.m., just on sunset, the attack force moved off at the trot with Grant initially at its head. The 400-500 horsemen were already at the gallop when they crested the ridge and came into Turkish view, but the speed and momentum of their charge quickly carried them through the curtain of fire from enemy field-guns, machine-guns and rifles. The Turkish positions - unprotected by wire - were breached without difficulty by the leading ranks, who leapt their horses over the trenches before dismounting and engaging the defenders in brutal hand to hand combat. Two squadrons of the 12th Regiment raced on into the town, in time to prevent the destruction of all but two of seventeen wells by the fleeing Turks. Within an hour of the charge's commencement all resistance collapsed, as those defenders, who could made a rush for the safety of hills to the north and north-west. Nine guns and more than 1,000 prisoners were taken from the reinforced 27th Division occupying the town, and the commander of the Turkish 3rd Corps himself barely escaped capture. All this at a cost to the Australians of only 31 killed and 36 wounded.


The dramatic fall of Beersheba opened the way for the whole Turkish defensive line to be outflanked and rolled up from east to west. After further heavy fighting, the Turks abandoned Gaza on 6 November and began a northerly retreat deeper into Palestine. The charge was a truly memorable and heroic feat of arms, fully deserving of the epic status it has subsequently achieved. The absences of' the sort of casualties which might have been expected from an assault across nearly 6,000 metres of open ground swept by automatic weapons owed much to the speed of' the unexpected attack. This was later discovered to have caused many Turks to forget to make range adjustments on their weapon sights, with the result that during the final stages of the charge much of the defenders' fire had passed harmlessly over the Australians' heads.


(c) http://alh-research.tripod.com/Light_Horse/index.blog/1886842/beersheba-palestine-october-31-1917/

En deze niet te missen:
http://alh-research.tripod.com/Light_Horse/index.blog?topic_id=1105601

Voor de bijbehorende foto's verwijs ik ook naar de site i.v.m copyright
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BerichtGeplaatst: 11 Dec 2011 18:59    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

Deze week in De wekelijkse podcast over de Grote Oorlog: Sir Edmund Allenby en het jagen op de bliksemschicht (zondag 9 december 1917)

http://veertienachttien.weblog.nl/

En meteen een schopje voor dit prachtige topic.
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BerichtGeplaatst: 11 Dec 2011 19:15    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

Schitterende topic met dito foto's (ondanks de foutjes) Rolling Eyes
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