Palestine Diaries: the light horsemen's own story, battle by battle

Palestine Diaries: the light horsemen's own story, battle by battle

by Jonathan King

Paperback(US edition)

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The third instalment in Jonathan King’s acclaimed World War 1 centennial trilogy

In the history of the world there never was a greater victory than that which was achieved in Palestine.’ — Prime Minister Billy Hughes addressing the Australian Parliament in 1919.

Culminating with the cavalry charge at Beersheba on 31 October 1917, Palestine Diaries is the story of Australia’s Light Horsemen of World War I, told in their own brutally honest words — day by day, battle after bloody battle.

One hundred years after that now-legendary battle — widely considered the last great cavalry charge — Dr. Jonathan King argues that the breathtaking achievement of the 4th Light Horse Brigade should become the cornerstone of our national identity.

The soldiers in these pages were the first to achieve incredible victories for their new nation — ahead of the Western Front, and unlike the defeats of Gallipoli. These young Australians helped demolish the centuries-old Ottoman Empire by driving the Turks from the strategic
Suez Canal across the Sinai, and up through Palestine, Jordan, and Syria to be first into the enemy stronghold of Damascus — a victory that would not only change the course of the war, but would also plant the seeds of the modern Middle Eastern conflicts.

Published together here, many for the first time, are the diaries,
letters, and photos of those brave young men, whose service and sacrifice helped shape a nation.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781947534216
Publisher: Scribe Publications Pty Ltd
Publication date: 04/24/2018
Edition description: US edition
Pages: 448
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.20(h) x (d)

About the Author

Award-winning historian Dr Jonathan King has been producing books and films about World War I since 1994. He leads battlefield tours to Gallipoli and the Western Front, and is a regular television and radio commentator, as well as a writer for newspapers. After lecturing at The University of Melbourne for many years, he has written more than 30 books and produced 20 documentaries. He is based in Sydney with his fellow adventurer and wife, Jane. They have four daughters and seven grandchildren.

Table of Contents

Foreword Brendan Nelson, Director of the Australian War Memorial ix

Preface xiii

Introduction: 'Equal to the world's best' 1

Part 1 Gallipoli 1915

Prelude: Gallipoli 1915: Massacre of the unmounted at The Nek, 7 August 1915 23

Part 2 Sinai 1916

1 Romani, 3-5 August 1916: Sand-dune struggles in Sinai 51

2 Magdhaba, 23 December 1916: Defying top brass orders to win a neck-and-neck battle 81

Part 3 Palestine 1917-1918

3 Rafa, 9 January 1917: Kiwis ignore orders to retreat, defeating Turks hands down 105

4 First Gaza, 26-27 March 1917: Panicky British general snatches defeat from jaws of victory 125

5 Second Gaza, 17-19 April 1917: 'The Nutty' British tank leads hundreds to their death on a suicide mission 147

6 Beersheba, 31 October 1917: History's last successful cavalry charge 185

7 Third Gaza, 1-8 November 1917: Third time lucky 227

8 Jerusalem, 17 November-11 December 1917: First Christians to capture Holy City for 650 years 249

Part 4 Jordan 1918

9 Es Salt and Amman, 22 March-4 May 1918: Allenby meets his match 287

Part 5 Syria 1918

10 Damascus, 16 September-11 November 1918: The 'road to Damascus' experience 331


Political betrayal breeds future conflict 368


Appendix 1 Timeline 383

Appendix 2 Who Was Who 386

Appendix 3 Tribute 389

Acknowledgements 394

Picture Credits 397

Index 399

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