The Great War Part 187, March 16th 1918

THE STANDARD HISTORY OF THE WORLDWIDE CONFLICT CHAPTER CCXXVIL ALLENBYS VICTORIOUS ADVANCE INTO PALESTINE AND THE SURRENDER OF JERUSALEM. B y Robert M achray. High Interest of the Holy Land— Beginning of the Advance from Egypt— General Murrays Despatch— The First and Second Battles of Gaza— British Co-ordination in Palestine and Mesopotamia— General Maude Co-operates with General Allenby— Falkenhayn’s Indecision— Bombardment of Gaza Defences— Brilliant British Victory at Beersheba—Turks Left Flank Smashed— Scots Take Umbrella Hill near Gaza— Battle of Sheria— Crushing Defeat of the Enemy— Fall of Gaza—Turkish Line Rolled Up— Allenby Pushing On Northward— Magnificent Charge of Midland Yeomanry-—British Governments Sympathy with Zionists— Suggests Palestine a National Home for Jewry— Fine Political Move— Germanys Vexation— Allenbys Rapid Progress— Heavy Enemy Losses— Turks Make a Stand— A Futile Effort— British Capture Important Railway Junction-—Jaffa Occupied— Advance Eastward on Jerusalem—Turkish Attempt to Hold It— Partial Success— Great Fight for the Holy City— Allenby the Conqueror —His Simple but Dignified Entry on Foot— Jerusalem Delivered from the Turk. 0 Christians everywhere no country had the same high interest as that attached to the Holy Land. Especially was this true of the vast majority of the English-speaking peoples who familiar with the Bible from their earliest years knew its place-names, with their religious and historical associations as well as— orin some cases even better than— those of their several counties or neighbouring districts. Consequently the campaign i n Palestine derived from the past a significance all its own but it also possessed an extra­ordinary importance both in itself and in relation to the whole world-war. In Chapter C X C V .(Vol. xo page 65) which dwelt more particularly on the safeguarding of the Suez Canal b they expulsion of the Turks from the Sinaitic Peninsula there was narrated the beginning of the advance of the British beyond the eastern frontier of Egypt and some in­dication was given of the great possibilities that lay before this new crusade. It was indeed a crusade yet of a novel kind for under the segis of Great Britain and her Allies not only Christians but Mohammedans and Jews were to share in its benefits. Sir Edmund Allenby who had been in command of the Third Arm yin France replaced Sir Archibald Murray as head of the Egyptian Expeditionary Force on June 30th, 1917. On that date and for about four months afterwards the position of the British was a few miles south of Gaza, the modern Ghuzzeh, or Ghuzze in ancient times the chief city of the Philistines and about fifteen miles north of afaR on the Egyptian side of the boundary. B they middle of March, M urrays engineers had pushed on the railway from the Suez Canal along the coast byway of the old caravan route toR afa where they con­structed a large station some twenty miles from Gaza and nearly thirty-five miles from A 1 PRIZE OF WAR FROM THE AIR. Sir Edmund Allenby K.C.B. Commander-in-Chief in Palestine inspecting a German aeroplane which had been driven down and captured by a British airman during the infighting the Holy Land.
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