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Edmund Allenby

Edmund Allenby


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Edmund Allenby was born in 1861. After an education at Haileybury and Sandhurst he joined the Inniskilling Dragoons. He served in South Africa (1884-88) and fought in the Boer War (1889-1901).

At the beginning of the First World War Allenby was put in charge of the Cavalry Division of the British Expeditionary Force. After taking part in the first Battle of Ypres, Allenby was promoted to commander of the Third Army. Allenby disagreed with Sir Douglas Haig about the tactics used at the Battle of Arras and as a result he was transferred to the Palestine Front.

In Palestine Edmund Allenby made efficient use of his mechanized forces and it has been claimed that his methods were similar to the blitzkrieg tactics used by Nazi Germany during the Second World War.

By December, 1917 Allenby had captured Beersheba, Gaza and Jerusalem. The following year he defeated General Otto Liman von Sanders and the Turkish-German Army in Palestine. He followed this with victory over the Egyptians at Megiddo, which enabled him to take Damascus in October, 1918.

Promoted to Field Marshal, Allenby was High Commissioner in Egypt between 1919 and 1925. Sir Edmund Allenby died in 1936.


What did your Allenby ancestors do for a living?

In 1940, Laborer and Housewife were the top reported jobs for men and women in the US named Allenby. 40% of Allenby men worked as a Laborer and 50% of Allenby women worked as a Housewife. Some less common occupations for Americans named Allenby were Miner and Owner .

*We display top occupations by gender to maintain their historical accuracy during times when men and women often performed different jobs.

Top Male Occupations in 1940

Top Female Occupations in 1940


Who's Who - Sir Edmund Allenby

Sir Edmund Henry Hynman Allenby (1861-1936) who was born in Brackenhurst on 23 April 1861, began his military career with the Inniskilling Dragoons in 1882 following an education at the Royal Military Academy (Sandhurst), serving in South Africa between 1884-88 and taking part in the Second Boer War from 1899-1901. By the end of the war, Allenby had reached the rank of brevet colonel.

During the First World War Allenby commanded the cavalry division of the British Expeditionary Force (BEF) on the Western Front. Following First Ypres Allenby was promoted to commander of the Third Army.

In 1917 he was given command of the Egyptian Expeditionary Force (chiefly because of a disagreement with Sir Douglas Haig over tactics used at the Battle of Arras). His reputation derives from his command in the Middle East.

During his campaign against the Turks in Palestine he captured Gaza in November and Jerusalem in December 1917 and, after defeating the enemy on the plain of Megiddo in September 1918 (click here to read his report), took Damascus and Aleppo. In 1919 he was created a Field Marshal and ennobled. He served as High Commissioner to Egypt from 1919-25.

Sir Edmund Allenby, who retired in 1925 becoming Rector of Edinburgh University, died in London on 14 May 1936. He is buried in Westminster Abbey.

Click here to read Allenby's account of the fall of Jerusalem in December 1917. Click here to read Allenby's official proclamation of marshal law following the city's fall.

Saturday, 22 August, 2009 Michael Duffy

The "linseed lancers" was the Anzac nickname assigned to members of the Australian Field Ambulance.

- Did you know?


Seizing Jerusalem

Next, Allenby pushed on to Jerusalem. He launched his first attack against the city in mid-November but it stalled due to a lack of artillery support and ineffective supply lines.

Allenby was better prepared when he launched his second attack against Jerusalem, which began on 7 December. This time he had his supply line secured.

He attacked from the south of the city, rather than through the Judean Mountains, so that supplies could be moved easily along the road from Ramleh. This plan did however mean that he would be attacking the city’s strongest defences.

When the attack came, the Allies expected to encounter a determined defence. In fact they found that the morale of the Ottoman defenders had been broken and the city was abandoned after just one day of fighting.

On 11 December, Allenby entered the city. He recognised the religious importance of Jerusalem and so chose to enter on foot. This respectful entrance contrasted sharply with the arrival of Kaiser Wilhelm II in 1898, who rode into the city on a white horse and was viewed as arrogant by the residents.

Kaiser Wilhelm entering the city in 1898. Credit: Getty Images

Back home, Lloyd George described Allenby’s victory as “a Christmas present for the British people.”


General Edmond Allenby Marches into Jerusalem

The Palestine theater of war (there was another battle zone in the Middle East &ndash the war in Mesopotamia/Iraq in which the British suffered one of their worst defeats &ndash the siege of Kut el-Amara) was secondary to the European war (especially the western front, but also the eastern front) but on the other hand, it was a more dynamic and fast going war, unlike the static and indecisive war on the western front.

Turkey entered the war on November 2, 1914, after concluding a secret pact with Germany. The war in the Middle East started at the end of that month, when a British force, sent from India, landed in Basra and conquered it. On February 1915, a Turkish force (under German command) attacked the British-controlled Suez Canal - and was repulsed. The British decided that the best way to defend the Strategic Canal was by capturing the Sinai Peninsula and advancing on Palestine. On January 1917, the British took Rafah and on March and April tried to capture Gaza (the gate to the land of Israel since ancient times) and failed.

After the failure in the second battle of Gaza (in which the British used gas and tanks), the British commander, General Archibald Murray was recalled and replaced with General Edmond Allenby. Allenby, a veteran cavalry officer, had commanded the 3 rd British army on the western front and commanded the Arras offensive in France in the spring of 1917. Although the initial stages of the attack were successful (relatively for the western front), the battle soon deteriorated into regular static trench warfare. Allenby was removed from his command and was returned to Britain.

Allenby received the command of the Palestine front in the summer of 1917 and started preparing for another attack on Gaza, but this time in another fashion: He made the Turks and the Germans believe that he was about to attack Gaza again but instead attacked Beersheba. Australian, New Zealand and British cavalry (The Palestine front saw the deployment of large cavalry forces &ndash including French and Indian cavalry units &ndash something that the western front's trench system and fire power did not allow) and conquered it after a fierce fight. From there, Allenby's forces moved north from Gaza to outflank the Turks. The Turks retreated toward the Yarkon River and Jerusalem. The British moved toward Jerusalem in the end of November 1917 in three main routes &ndash north of Jerusalem (today's Route 443 &ndash the ancient road to Jerusalem), the main highway to Jerusalem (today's Route number 1) and from the south &ndash via Hebron and Bethlehem.

At the beginning of December 1917, the Turks began to retreat from Jerusalem (the Germans managed to dissuade the Turks from their plan ofexpelling the Jews of Jerusalem, as they did to the Jews of Tel Aviv and the neighboring towns) and on December 9 th the mayor of Jerusalem, Hussein el Husseini, went out with a group of dignitaries to present to the British the surrender of Jerusalem. With them came an American photographer, a member of the American colony in Jerusalem, named Lewis Larson. According to SimonSebag-Montefiore in his book, Jerusalem &ndash the biography, the delegation met two British soldiers, cooks of a commander in the 60 th Division (a Cockney unit from east London) who were in a mission to find eggs for their commander's breakfast&hellipThe cooks refused to accept the city's surrender &ndash We don&rsquot want the surrender of the &lsquooly city,&rsquo we want heggs for ur hofficer (I hope I got the cockney accent right&hellip). The delegation moved on, and soon encountered two more British soldiers (from the same division), sergeants Sedgwick and Hurcomb, who were scouts for their unit. They too refused to accept the surrender of the Jerusalem but were willing to be photographed with the delegation and accepted cigarettes from them&hellip (At the place where this meeting happened, a monument was erected in memorial to the surrender of Jerusalem to the British army and the soldiers of the 60 th division that fell in the First World War. The monument can be found today behind Jerusalem's central bus station, in the Romema neighborhood).

After being rejected by a British artillery officer, the delegation met Brigadier Watson, commander of the 180 th brigade, who accepted the surrender of Jerusalem. After the short ceremony, Watson informed his commander, General Shea (commander of the 60 th division) the he had accepted the surrender of Jerusalem. Shea canceled the surrender to Watson and demanded that el Husseini surrender to him. Husseini again came out of Jerusalem and surrendered to Shea. Shea entered Jerusalem and declared martial law. He then informed Allenby that he accepted the surrender of Jerusalem. Allenby cancelled the two former surrenders and demanded that the city surrender to him and to him only. At this point el Husseini became ill and the third surrender took place without him. (He later succumbed to pneumonia &ndash no doubt from too frequent exposure to the cold Jerusalem December mornings).

Allenby rode his horse to the Jaffa gate but entered the city on foot &ndash as a sign of respect to the holiness of the city (and in striking contrast to Kaiser Wilhelm II pompous entry to Jerusalem 20 years earlier) with his staff marching after him. He walked to the entrance of Jerusalem citadel (known as Tower of David), met the heads of the different communities in the city and declared martial law in the city.

The war in Palestine continued until September 1918. After a winter and a spring of static warfare, Allenby attacked the Turkish lines with his typical deception, feinting an attack on Trans Jordan while sending a large cavalry force covered by large numbers of airplanes toward Nazareth and Haifa. It was a textbook operation, still regarded to this day. The British arrived in Damascus on October 1 st and on October 31 st Turkey surrendered.


Contents

British General Edmund Allenby, Commander-in-Chief of the Egyptian Expeditionary Force (EEF), had won a decisive victory against the German General Erich von Falkenhayn, commander of Ottoman forces in Palestine, at the Battle of Mughar Ridge on 13 November. [5] [6] [7] The British Empire victory forced von Falkenhayn to withdraw his Seventh and Eighth Armies (commanded by Fevzi Pasha and Kress von Kressenstein respectively) and move his headquarters from Jerusalem to Nablus on 14 November. As the Ottoman III Corps (Seventh Army) reached Jerusalem via the Hebron road after its defeat at Beersheba, it was ordered to develop defences around Jerusalem. This corps held the city while the XX Corps retreated from Junction Station into the Judean Hills towards Jerusalem. As they retired the XX Corps left strong rearguards to stop or slow the British advance. Time was needed to construct defences and for reorganisation of the depleted and disorganised Seventh Army. When they arrived in the city XX Corps took over responsibility for Jerusalem's defences, while III Corps continued to move northwards from Jerusalem along the Nablus road. [8]

The British War Cabinet had cautioned Allenby not to commit to any operations that might not be sustainable in the long term if the strength of British forces in the area could not be maintained. [9] Their concerns were possibly linked to a peace proposal published on 8 November by the new Russian Bolshevik government between Russia and Germany. The document, scheduled to be signed on 3 March 1918, would constitute a separate peace treaty and result in the withdrawal of all Russian troops from the war. All German forces on the eastern front could then turn their attention to fighting British and French forces elsewhere. [10]

Allenby was aware of the lack of accurate maps of the Judean Hills and that the history of previous campaigns in the region gave clear warnings against hasty or lightly supported assaults on the strong western ramparts. His front-line forces had been fighting and advancing for an extended period fighting many miles from their bases and were tired and depleted. [11] [12] Now 35 miles (56 km) from the railhead at Deir el Belah, Allenby's troops did not have a line of defensive entrenchments behind which they could stop a concerted push by these two Ottoman armies. Such a counterattack could well see them driven back to Gaza and Beersheba. [13] [Note 1]

Allenby reviewed the threat of counterattack and his supply situation and decided that a force large enough to attack into the Judean Hills and a separate force to operate on the maritime plain could be maintained far from base. He decided to quickly attack Fevzi Pasha's Ottoman 7th Army in the Judean Hills with the hope of capturing Jerusalem. [9] [14] This would keep pressure on this army in the hope of denying them time to complete their reorganisation, dig deep trenches or worst of all, counterattack. [11] [12]

British Empire supply lines Edit

The planned advance into the Judean Hills would rely heavily on the ability of the lines of communications to keep the front line troops supplied with food, water and ammunition. These were already operating at considerable distances from the railhead and base areas, and as a result the advance was forced to pause on 17 November to enable supplies to be brought forward by columns under corps control, which had been sent back to railhead for rations and supplies. [15] [16]

Transporting supplies forward from railhead was a slow but continuous 24-hour-a-day business, because the Ottoman Army had destroyed as much of their infrastructure as they could during their retreat. Only lorries of the British Army Service Corps (ASC) Motor Transport companies and camels of the Egyptian Camel Transport Corps could use the single, narrow, poorly metalled road from Gaza to Junction Station. Between Gaza and Beit Hanun the road was unsealed and deep in sand making it difficult for lorries to proceed, even with a light load of one ton. Supplies were also shipped by sea and landed at Wadi Sukereir, and later at Jaffa. Lack of infrastructure at Jaffa meant all supplies brought via ship had to be cross-loaded onto surf boats, which then had to be unloaded on the beaches. Such operations were heavily dependent on the weather, so the amount of supplies transported by sea was limited. But feeding an army dependent on horses was a huge task the marching ration of a horse was 9.5 pounds (4.3 kg) of grain a day. Even this small amount, which lacked any bulk food, when multiplied by the 25,000 horses in the Desert Mounted Corps, worked out at over 100 tons of grain a day. One hundred lorries would be needed for the horses as well as transportation for rations required by the troops in the front line. [18] [19]

All available lorries and camels were organised in convoys moving north from the railhead along the Gaza to Junction Station road from Deir el Belah to El Mejdel and then on to Julis, where the 26 and 27 Depot Unit of Supply (DUS) set up advanced supply dumps to serve the Australian Mounted Division and the Anzac Mounted Division. [20] From these dumps the Transport Sections of 5 Company (New Zealand Army Service Corps) and the 32nd, 33rd, and 34th Companies (Australian Army Service Corps) served the Anzac Mounted Division, and the 35th, 36th, and 37th Companies served the Australian Mounted Division. These companies of horse- and mule-drawn wagons could operate to serve their brigades during brigade operations and when required could form into divisional trains during divisional operations. A forward lorry-head was established at Ramleh, where the loads were dumped and the Transport Companies distributed the supplies to the forward units. Members of the Egyptian Labour Corps (as second drivers) worked alongside the Australian Army Service Corps transporting, loading, and unloading the General Service and Limber wagons of supplies ordered by the brigades. The huge endeavour was administered by the supply sections in a similar fashion to the divisional ammunition columns which also worked to supply ammunition to the fighting units in a similarly continuous operation. [21] [22]

Advance by the Desert Mounted Corps continues Edit

On 15 November the commander of Desert Mounted Corps, Lieutenant General Sir Harry Chauvel, issued orders for the Yeomanry Mounted Division (Major General G. de S. Barrow) and the Anzac Mounted Division (Major General E. W. C. Chaytor) to continue the advance on Ramleh and Lud about 5 miles (8.0 km) from Junction Station. [23] On the same day the Yeomanry Mounted Division reached the Jerusalem road after a cavalry charge by the 6th Mounted Brigade (Brigadier General C. A. C. Godwin) at Abu Shusheh. This charge has been described as even more daring than that at Mughar Ridge, owing to the rocky nature of the ground over which the horsemen attacked. [24] The New Zealand Mounted Rifles Brigade (Brigadier General W. Meldrum) secured the left flank of the EEF by occupying Jaffa on 16 November. This city was captured as a result of the victory at Ayun Kara two days earlier, which forced the Ottoman Eighth Army to withdraw over the Nahr el Auja, which enters the sea 4 miles (6.4 km) north-north-east of Jaffa. [25] [26] The Eighth Army's withdrawal placed them to the north of the Ottoman Seventh Army and opened up that army's right flank to attack. As a result, the Seventh Army was forced to move further away from the coastal sector into the Judean Hills. Here, in front of Jerusalem, Ottoman infantry units created a defensive screen. [27]

Advance into the Judean Hills begins Edit

Despite continued pressure by the EEF, the two opposing forces were now operating in terrain which favoured defence. In addition to rearguards left by the Ottoman Seventh Army's XX Corps as it retired into the hills, the Seventh Army had managed to establish a line of mainly single trenches running south and south-west on a series of heights up to 4 miles (6.4 km) from Jerusalem, supported by well-sited redoubts. [15] Aerial reconnaissance on 17 November found the road north from Jerusalem to Nablus crowded with refugees. [28]

On 18 November, while Allenby was at the British XXI Corps headquarters at El Kastine, the decision was made to closely follow the Ottoman Seventh Army into the Judean Hills. [29] This was in the hope of ensuring that the Ottoman army had little time to regroup or construct defences which, given more time, might prove impregnable. [30]

Allenby's plan was to avoid fighting in or near Jerusalem but to cut all road access to the city and force the Ottoman Army to evacuate it. [31] He ordered two infantry divisions the 52nd (Lowland) (Major General J. Hill) and the 75th Division (Major General P. C. Palin), and two mounted divisions the Yeomanry and the Australian Mounted Divisions to begin the advance. [Note 2] They were to move eastwards from Latron, which had been captured on 16 November, in the same direction as the Jaffa to Jerusalem road. [29] [32]

Infantry from the 75th Division was to move up the main road despite several demolitions being carried out by the retiring Ottomans on this good metalled road running east to west through Amwas. [32] [33] On the left and to the north of the 75th Division, infantry from the 52nd (Lowland) Division was to make its way up minor roads or tracks from Ludd towards Jerusalem. And further north on the left of the 52nd (Lowland) Division, the Yeomanry Mounted Division was to move north and north east. Their aim was to cut the Ottoman Seventh Army's lines of communication at Bireh, 8 miles (13 km) north of Jerusalem on the Jerusalem to Nablus road. [32] [33]

The Yeomanry Mounted Division's 6th, 8th and 22nd brigades, with 20th Brigade, Royal Horse Artillery (13 pounders) were to move northwards via the old Roman road from Ludd to Ramallah through Berfilya and Beit Ur el Tahta towards Bireh. [33] At the same time the 53rd (Welsh) Division (Major General S. F. Mott) was to advance northwards along the Beersheba to Jerusalem road to take Hebron and Bethlehem before moving eastwards to secure the road from Jerusalem to Jericho. [31]

The 75th Division with the Australian and Yeomanry Mounted Divisions began their entry into the Judean Hills on 18 November. [29] [Note 3]

[A]ll the armies that have sought to take Jerusalem have passed this way, save only that of Joshua. Philistine and Hittite, Babylonian and Assyrian, Egyptian and Roman and Greek, Frankish Knights of the Cross, all have passed this way, and all have watered the hill of Amwas with their blood.

The first objective was to capture and secure the heights on either side of the main Jaffa to Jerusalem road at Amwas, so the 75th Division could advance up the road and into the Judean Hills. Moving up the railway line in the Wadi Surar on the right of infantry in the 75th Division was the Anzac Mounted Division's 2nd Light Horse Brigade, which was temporarily attached to the Australian Mounted Division. The brigade's 9th Light Horse Regiment carried out a turning movement up the Wadi es Selman north of Amwas to reach the village of Yalo 2 miles (3.2 km) to the east. After this successful operation the Australian Mounted Division withdrew to rest camp at the mouth of the Nahr Sukereir. Taking over the advance on the morning of 19 November infantry from the 75th Division found Amwas evacuated, but the advance guard of the Yeomanry Mounted Division's 8th Mounted Brigade, the 3rd County of London Yeomanry struggled to within 2 miles (3.2 km) of Beit Ur el Tahta that night, while the 22nd Mounted Brigade reached Shilta. [29] [34]

75th Division Edit

Just 2 miles (3.2 km) after the main road to Jerusalem entered the hills, it ran through the easily defended pass of Bab el-Wad. [9] On 19 November the 75th Division infantry moved up this road their 232nd Brigade had left Abu Shushe at 07:30 to occupy the deserted town of Amwas and by 11:00 the Indian 58th Vaughan's Rifles (Frontier Force) of 234th Brigade had fought their way up to reach the heights of Bab el Wad. [35]

After Bab el Wad, the road wound to Jerusalem through deep, narrow valleys, over steep spurs, and around the shoulders of rocky hills. There were other ways through the hills, but they were a tangle of unmapped, rough and rocky hill tracks and pathways—often little more than donkey tracks—which made movement by infantry, dismounted cavalry, and artillery very difficult. [9] The rough tracks meandered through narrow valleys and over distorted piles of razor-backed ridges, which were broken by groups of cone-shaped hills and successive shelves of rock jutting out from every hillside at intervals of a few yards. [36] It was virtually impossible for advances to the north or south of the main road to be supported by artillery. [36] In heavy rain and cold, wet and muddy conditions, it was found to be impossible to deploy the 75th Division's guns off the road. These guns had been brought forward by teams of up to eight horses to a gun the day before. [37]

All military activities were made even more difficult by the winter conditions the ground was slippery and dense black clouds brought early darkness which cut visibility. No advance was possible after 17:00, by which time the foremost piquet was within half a mile of the village of Saris. The forward infantry units of the 75th Division had advanced 10 miles (16 km) since morning. They bivouacked astride the road, under fire from Ottoman snipers. [35] [38]

During the evening of 19 November, a thunderstorm followed by a drenching downpour broke over the opposing armies. In a few hours every wadi in the foothills and on the plain was in flood. The black soil plain, hard and firm during summer, became in these winter conditions sticky and heavy for marching and almost impassable for wheeled vehicles. The temperature, which had been hot during the day and pleasant at night, dropped rapidly to become piercingly cold. The infantrymen had been marching light in their summer uniform of twill shorts and tunics. With only one blanket (and/or a greatcoat), this gear gave little protection from the driving rain and bitter chill. [39]

In these conditions the Ottoman forces encountered on the road were the rearguards von Falkenhayn had ordered XX Corps to establish as it retired back to defend Jerusalem. Established on commanding ridges, these rearguards were made up of small groups dug in on the hills. Each of these successive positions were attacked by Indian and Gurkha troops who outmanoeuvred the defenders. [35]

Positions of Ottoman armies Edit

In addition to the Nahr Sukrerir line stretching to Beit Jibrin together with Summeil and El Tineh (where the Battle of Mughar Ridge was fought), the positions of the EEF and the Ottoman armies on the evening of 19 November 1917 are shown on this sketch map.

With its headquarters at Nablus, the Seventh Ottoman Army was deployed to defend Jerusalem its left flank covered by the III Corps' 3rd Cavalry Division. Infantry from the 27th Division was astride the Hebron to Jerusalem road. Infantry from the XX Corps' 53rd Division held a line in front of Nebi Samweil, with infantry from the 26th Division in reserve. Infantry defending Bireh on the Jerusalem to Nablus road were from the 24th Division, with infantry from the 19th Division on the road halfway between Bireh and Nablus. The Ottoman Eighth Army, with its headquarters at Tul Karm, deployed its XXII Corps on the Nahr el Auja. Stretching from the coast the 3rd, 7th, and 16th Divisions were virtually in line with British infantry from the 54th (East Anglian) Division further inland. [40]

Attempts to cut the Nablus road Edit

The leading infantry brigade of 52nd (Lowland) Division, which had reached Beit Likia on 19 November by moving along a track north of the main road, was held up towards Kuryet el Enab by a very determined and formidable Ottoman rearguard armed with machine guns at Kustal and Beit Dukka. [41] The Ottoman positions were strongly defended and the 52nd (Lowland) Division could not advance until a mist, rolled down just before dark on 21 November, giving the 75th Division the opportunity to rapidly deploy, climb the ridge, and defeat the Ottoman force with bayonets. [42] That night, the troops ate their iron rations (carried by the men as emergency rations), and some found shelter from the miserable conditions in a large monastery and sanatorium. The night was cold with heavy rain, and those without shelter suffered severely. No supplies arrived till noon the following day owing to congestion on the narrow tracks. [43] [44]

Infantry from the 52nd (Lowland) Division moved into position coming up in between the 75th Division on its right and the Yeomanry Mounted Division on its left. The Yeomanry Mounted Division, advancing towards Beit Ur el Foka and Bireh on the Nablus road 10 miles (16 km) north of Jerusalem was to converge with infantry in the 75th Division at Bireh and cut the Nablus to Jerusalem road. Resistance at Saris appeared to be weakening, by 11:00 progress continued to be slow. [43] [45] Saris was eventually won during the afternoon of 21 November. [42]

Operating in the hills to the north of the infantry divisions, the Yeomanry Mounted Division continued to struggle to advance. They moved across the roughest and bleakest areas of the Judean Hills toward Beit Ur el Tahta in a single-file column nearly 6 miles (9.7 km) long. [46] At 11:30 on 21 November the leading regiment, the Dorset Yeomanry descended from the hills on which Beit Ur el Foqa stands and found Ottoman units holding the western rim of the Zeitun Ridge above them. [43] This ridge, to the west of Bireh, was held by 3,000 Ottoman troops (the whole of the 3rd Ottoman Cavalry Division and half of the 24th Division) with several artillery batteries. Although the dismounted Yeomanry were able to briefly take the ridge, they were soon forced off. [47] Heavy rainfall and cold weather severely tested both men and animals while they made several unsuccessful attempts to force their way up the steep, rocky sides of the ridge. But early in the afternoon more Ottoman reinforcements arrived from the north and counterattacked strongly. They forced the Yeomanry Mounted Division back into the deep ravine on the west side of the ridge. [48] That night the Berkshire Yeomanry lay out on the ridge facing Ottoman units at close quarters in torrential rain, their horses in the deep valley below. [43] The situation soon became serious and orders were given for all three brigades to break off and retire to Beit Ur el Foqa and a successful withdrawal was carried out after dark. [49] No aerial support was possible, probably due to the weather, until No. 1 Squadron Australian Flying Corps carried out aerial bombing on Bireh village on 22 and 24 November. [28]

21–24 November: Battle of Nebi Samwil Edit

The Battle of Nebi Samuel has officially been identified by the British as beginning on 17 November and finishing on 24 November 1917. [2] But until 21 November infantry from the 75th Division was still continuing its advance towards Bireh. On that day, as the infantry division turned north east cutting across the front of the 52nd (Lowland) Division, their progress was blocked at Biddu by Ottoman forces entrenched on the height of Nebi Samuel, dominating Jerusalem and its defences. [50] [51] This hill, the traditional site of the tomb of the Prophet Samuel, was taken late in the evening by the 234th Brigade, 75th Division, after fierce fighting. [42] [50] The 52nd (Lowland) Division had taken the more difficult line, while the 75th Division was directed to the south western approaches. [42] Several counterattacks by Ottoman forces during the following days failed. [52] In close fighting, Ottoman soldiers strongly counterattacked, reaching the gates of the mosque before Gurkha infantry fought them off. [53] Fevzi's Seventh Army had fought Allenby's two infantry divisions to a standstill. [54]

The attacks by three British divisions had been held by three Ottoman divisions the British suffering well over 2,000 casualties. There are no estimates of Ottoman casualties. [55] A sketch map showing the positions of the armies on 28 November (see 'Ottoman counterattacks 1800 28 November 1917' map below) indicates the area about Nebi Samwil was still closely contested ground by the British 60th (London) Division and the Ottoman 53rd Division and the vital road link from Jerusalem to Nablus was still in Ottoman hands. [56] [Note 4]

On 24 November Allenby ordered the relief of the three divisions of the EEF's XXI Corps and Desert Mounted Corps. [57] In order to move such large formations a pause was unavoidable and so the attack was discontinued, but von Falkenhayn and his Ottoman Army took notice of the temporary cessation of hostilities. [58] [59]

24 November: First attack across the Nahr el Auja Edit

The advance by two infantry and one mounted division into the Judean Hills towards Jerusalem was suspended in the area of Nebi Samwil on 24 November. On the same day infantry from the 54th (East Anglian) Division and the Anzac Mounted Division began their attack across the Nahr el Auja on the Mediterranean coast to the north of Jaffa. [55] [57] The only mounted brigade available was the New Zealand Mounted Rifles Brigade, which had been on garrison duty in the occupied city of Jaffa since 16 November. [60] On the northern bank the river was defended by the 3rd and 7th Divisions of the Ottoman Eighth Army. [27]

The New Zealand Mounted Rifles Brigade advanced across the river and established two bridgeheads. The first was across the bridge on the main road near Khirbet Hadrah (also referred to as Khurbet Hadra) and the second was at Sheik Muanis, near the mouth of the river. These operations had two aims – to gain territory and discourage the Ottoman Eighth Army from transferring troops into the Judean Hills to reinforce the Seventh Army. After successful actions by the New Zealand Mounted Brigade, two infantry battalions of the 54th (East Anglian) Division held these two bridgeheads on the northern bank until they were attacked by overwhelming forces on 25 November. [11] [61] The 3rd and 7th Divisions of the Ottoman Eighth Army had driven in the bridgeheads and restored the tactical situation. [27]

Deep and fast-flowing, the el Auja river could not be crossed except at known and well-established places, so at 01:00 on 24 November the Canterbury Mounted Rifles Regiment crossed at the ford on the beach. They moved at a gallop and quickly seized the hills which overlooked the ford, capturing the village of Sheikh Muannis (which gave its name to the ford), but the Ottoman cavalry garrison escaped. [62] [63] The Wellington Mounted Rifles Regiment came up to the Canterbury Regiment and then advanced eastwards to Khurbet Hadrah, which commanded the bridge on the main road. They captured 29 prisoners, one machine gun, and one British Lewis gun. [64] Two infantry companies of the Essex Regiment, 161st (Essex) Brigade, 54th (East Anglian) Division crossed the Hadrah bridge and occupied the village. [63] The 4th and 11th Squadrons of the Auckland Mounted Rifle Regiment with the 2nd Squadron of the Wellington Mounted Rifle Regiment, were placed at the bridge and in the village of Sheikh Muannis in front of the infantry posts. The Canterbury Mounted Rifles Regiment's 1st Squadron took up a post on the sea beach each of these squadrons had two machine guns to strengthen them. [64]

At 02:45 on 25 November an Ottoman cavalry patrol near Khurbet Hadrah was chased off by a troop of 3rd Squadron Auckland Mounted Rifles Regiment. Within an hour, the Ottoman 3rd and 7th Divisions launched a heavy attack on the squadron, which withdrew to a prearranged line. Just 30 minutes later another withdrawal was forced. [63] [65] At about 08:00 infantry units of the 54th (East Anglian) Division at Khurbet Hadrah were ordered back across the river. It was an extremely difficult operation as the bridge was now being swept by enemy fire and continuously shelled by artillery. Some individuals succeeded in crossing the bridge some swam the river and some drowned. Once the infantry were clear, the 3rd Squadron, Auckland Mounted Rifle Regiment followed them across the bridge. The 11th (North Auckland) Squadron (Auckland Mounted Rifle Regiment) covered them with two Vickers guns at great cost, continuing to hold the bridge until 11:00, when they withdrew. [66]

While the fighting for the Hadrah bridge was occurring, the 2nd Squadron, Wellington Mounted Rifle Regiment at Sheikh Muannis held off without any artillery support a determined attack by about 2,000 Ottoman soldiers who were covered by accurate artillery fire. As their horses had been sent back down the river to the ford on the beach, the squadrons of the New Zealand Mounted Rifles Brigade moved to reinforce the Khurbet Hadrah position, but arrived just as the withdrawal was taking place. They took up a position on the southern bank near the bridge. It was only after the Khurbet Hadrah village and bridge posts had been evacuated that the Somerset battery was able to come into action, assisted by guns of the 161st (Essex) Brigade. This support came too late, and the infantry at Sheikh Muannis near the ford were also ordered to retire. They were supported by the Somerset battery, which continued firing from a position 1,400 yards (1.3 km) south, on the southern side of the river, until after the Ottoman Army had reoccupied the village. Two troops of 10th Squadron retired slowly towards the ford on the beach near Sheikh Muannis, with the 2nd Squadron and the infantry crossing the river by means of a boat and over the weir head at the mill. The Ottoman attack was now concentrated on the Canterbury Mounted Rifles Regiment. The 1st Squadron held off the enemy until the regiment and the troops from Sheikh Muannis had crossed the ford then the squadron fell back, under covering fire from machine guns. Casualties from the New Zealand Mounted Rifles Brigade during this operation were 11 killed, 45 wounded, and three missing. [67] [68]

From 25 November until 1 December the New Zealand Mounted Rifles Brigade remained in support of the 54th (East Anglian) Division, which continued to hold the outpost line. At the beginning of December, the brigade was withdrawn to a rest camp near Sarona a few miles north of Jaffa until 5 January, when it relieved the Imperial Camel Corps Brigade in the foothills of the Judean Hills. [69] [70]

About this time the Ottoman Eighth Army's fighting commander Friedrich Freiherr Kress von Kressenstein, was relieved of his duties. He had been in the Sinai and Palestine since 27 September 1914, leading two armies and a raiding party across the Sinai Peninsula to unsuccessfully attack the British Empire on the Suez Canal in January 1915, at Romani in August 1916, and the very successful raid on Katia in April 1916. Subsequently, he commanded the defences at Magdhaba in December 1916, at Rafa in January 1917, at Gaza and Beersheba in March, April and October 1917 and during rearguard battles up the maritime plain to Jaffa in November 1917. He was replaced by Brigadier General Djevad Pasha. [71] On hearing the news, Allenby wrote to his wife on 28 November 1917: "I fancy that there is little love lost now between Turk and Boche." [72]

Ottoman counterattacks Edit

Von Falkenhayn and the Ottoman Army sought to benefit from the weakened and depleted state of the worn out British Empire divisions which had been fighting and advancing since the beginning of the month. [73]

Owing to supply problems during the advance from Beersheba, Allenby maintained Philip W. Chetwode's XX Corps in the rear close to lines of communication. [Note 5] These troops enjoyed 10 days resting in the rear, where they were easily supplied and refitted. It was these fresh troops of XX Corps which were ordered to take over responsibility for front line operations in the Judean Hills against the defending Ottoman Seventh Army. The 60th (London) Division, commanded by Major General John Shea, arrived at Latron on 23 November from Huj and on 28 November relieved the seriously weakened infantry in the 52nd (Lowland) and 75th Divisions without much of a reduction in fighting ability. On the same day, the 74th (Yeomanry) Division, commanded by Major General E. S. Girdwood, arrived at Latron from Karm. Two days later the 10th (Irish) Division, commanded by Major General J. R. Longley, also arrived at Latron from Karm. The 53rd (Welsh) Division, with the Corps Cavalry Regiment and a heavy battery attached, remained on the Hebron road north of Beersheba, coming under direct orders from General Headquarters (GHQ) they became known as Mott's Detachment. [52]

During the week beginning 27 November the Ottoman Army launched a series of infantry attacks employing shock tactics in the hope of breaking the British lines during the period of destabilisation created by troop reinforcements and withdrawals. [73] Counterattacks were launched by the Ottoman 16th and 19th Divisions in the Judean Hills on Nebi Samweil and on the Zeitun plateau. Attacks were also launched against British lines of communication via a gap between the British forces on the maritime plain and those in the Judean Hills and also against several British units spread out on the maritime plain. [74]

Counterattacks on the maritime plain Edit

At 17:00 on 27 November the Ottoman Eighth Army's 16th Division launched a counterattack at Wilhelma on the maritime plain. They reached to within 400 yards (370 m) of infantry in the 4th Battalion, Northamptonshire Regiment, which was deployed in and around Wilhelma. They also advanced against the 10th Battalion, London Regiment, south-east at Deir Tuweif, against the 5th Battalion, Bedfordshire Regiment, at Beit Nebala, and against the Imperial Camel Corps Brigade at Bald Hill. [75] [76] At Wilhelma, the Ottoman force prepared to make a bayonet attack, but machine gun and Lewis gun fire with 272nd Brigade Royal Field Artillery held them off. [Note 6] The British successfully counterattacked on both flanks, forcing the Ottoman troops to withdraw to Rantye. [75] On the left of the Imperial Camel Corps Brigade south west of Bald Hill, units of the Ottoman 16th Division renewed the attack during the night of 28 November. They drove in the right outposts of the 2nd Light Horse Brigade's front line and entrenched themselves in this forward position. But at dawn on 29 November the Ottoman soldiers found themselves in an untenable position—overlooked by one Australian post and enfiladed by others on either flank. Unable to advance or retreat, three officers and 147 troops with four machine guns surrendered to the 7th Light Horse Regiment. [77]

Counterattacks on British Empire lines of communication Edit

Further inland, another serious attack was made on the British lines of communication from Ramleh by units of both the Ottoman 16th Division on the plain and the 19th Division in the hills. The aim of this counterattack was the destruction of two British Empire divisions in the hills by cutting their lines of communication. [78]

This attack was made by exploiting a 5-mile (8.0 km) gap in the British front line between the thinly spread Yeomanry Mounted Division's left at Beit Ur el Tahta and the right of the equally thinly spread infantry in the 54th (East Anglian) Division at Shilta. The Ottoman 19th Division found the gap on 27 November and attacked the exposed supply line, defeating a section of the Yeomanry Mounted Division's Ammunition Column and overwhelming a post on the right of the 54th (East Anglian) Division. The 7th Mounted Brigade was ordered forward into the gap in the line. They were attacked by the fresh Ottoman 19th Division at dawn on 28 November, but blocked a further attack by other Ottoman units. [79] [80]

After some desperate fighting in close action, pressure eased somewhat and some lost ground was recovered, but the Ottoman force began to outflank the mounted brigade to the west. [81] [82] The 5th Battalion, Norfolk Regiment were driven out of Shilta, but infantry from the 155th (South Scottish) Brigade of the 52nd (Lowland) Division, in the process of being relieved, returned to the front, closed the gap, and pushed the Ottoman soldiers back out of the lines of communication. [80]

Counterattacks on the Yeomanry Mounted Division Edit

Ottoman counterattacks began on 27 November, when the Yeomanry Mounted Division's most advanced post at Zeitun on the western end of the Beitunia Ridge was attacked by a much larger force. They held off the Ottoman attackers until 28 November, when the division was forced to withdraw from their advanced posts, including Sheik Abu ex Zeitun and Beit Ur el Foqa. [82]

The Australian Mounted Division (less the 5th Mounted Yeomanry Brigade) had been resting at Mejdel from 19 to 27 November when they were ordered to return to the Judean Hills. The 4th Light Horse Brigade's march to Berfilya was diverted straight on to Beit Ur el Tahta. [83] South of Beit Ur el Tahta, the 4th Light Horse Brigade covered a dangerous position, as there was no contact between the 8th and 6th Mounted Brigades. [84] The 5th Mounted Yeomanry Brigade was ordered to rejoin its division, leaving the 10th Light Horse Regiment under orders of the 60th (2/2nd London) Division. The 3rd Light Horse Brigade marched on to Berfilya 2 miles (3.2 km) west of el Burj. [85] [Note 7]

The pressure had been too great for the advance posts of the much-reduced Yeomanry Mounted Division, which fell back down the Wadi Zeit but the pursuing Ottoman force was suddenly blocked by the 11th Light Horse Regiment of 4th Light Horse Brigade. [86] The 4th Light Horse Brigade had moved by the same route as the 7th Mounted Brigade, but near El Burj they found the road blocked by fire. Brigadier General Grant, reporting to Barrow, ordered the brigade south of Beit Ur el Tahta to support the 6th Mounted Brigade. The 11th Light Horse Regiment was pushed forward with two machine guns to hold Wadi Zeit south west of Beit Ur el Foqa. [86]

On 30 November Major J.G. Rees of the 25th Battalion, Royal Welch Fusiliers had only 60 men to hold Beit Ur el Foqa when the post was almost surrounded. They managed to break out of the position and joined the support company of the 10th Battalion, King's Shropshire Light Infantry covering Et Tire and facing Signal Hill, which became the focus of the next Ottoman attack. This came at 14:30 when they attacked with 400 soldiers, driving the detachment from Signal Hill. This move made Et Tire untenable and forced the 10th King's Shropshire Light Infantry to fall back to its original line. [87] [Note 8]

These operations were supported on 28 November by a combined force of the British and Australian Nos. 1 and 111 Squadrons, which attacked the Tul Keram aerodrome with aerial bombing. This attack was repeated the following morning and evening after German planes bombed the Julis aerodrome and hit No. 113 Squadron's orderly room. [88]

The Yeomanry Mounted Division was relieved by the 74th (Yeomanry) Division two brigades of infantry were substituted for four brigades of cavalry resulting in a sixfold increase in the number of rifles. With additional reinforcements from the dismounted Australian Mounted Division, there were sufficient troops to hold all Ottoman counterattacks. [89]

Counterattack on 1 December at Beit Ur el Tahta Edit

At about 01:00 on 1 December a battalion of the Ottoman 19th Division, armed with hand grenades, launched attacks at Beit Ur el Tahta against the 157th Brigade, and north east of El Burj against the 3rd Light Horse Brigade. [90] After two attempts at Beit Ur el Tahta, they succeeded in driving a severely weakened infantry company of the 5th Battalion, Highland Light Infantry, 52nd (Lowland) Division, off 200 yards (180 m) of the ridge in front of the village, but by 04:30 they had reoccupied the position. The 8th Light Horse Regiment north east of El Burj withstood four onslaughts by enemy forces armed with stick grenades. A squadron of the Royal Gloucestershire Hussars of the 5th Mounted Yeomanry Brigade, attached to the 3rd Light Horse Brigade was rushed up to fill gaps in the line, and the Hong Kong Battery came into action. They were reinforced by the 4th Battalion, Royal Scots Fusiliers with a small group of bombers from Beit Sira, which arrived just as Ottoman soldiers launched a new assault. The British bombing party attacked Ottoman bombers and after a fierce engagement forced them back. The Ottomans continued desperately to attack and another company of the 4th Scots Fusiliers came up. Combined with the steady fire of the dismounted 3rd Light Horse Brigade, the shower of bombs from the Fusiliers forced the Ottoman soldiers to fall back and dig in. At dawn they surrendered. [91] [Note 9]

In these engagements it is claimed that a whole Ottoman battalion was captured or killed. [90] Over 100 Ottoman soldiers were killed. Among the 172 prisoners were many wounded, while the British losses were under 60. [92] It had been a crucial battle if El Burj had been captured the British would have lost the use of the road leading up from Berfilya, and the Beit Nuba–Beit Sira valley would have become untenable. The left flank of the infantry's main advance on Jerusalem would have been exposed, which would have also weakened the pressure being exerted towards the Nablus road. [93]

Counterattack on 1 December at Nebi Samwil Edit

Further attacks on Nebi Samwill on 1 December were repulsed, with the Ottoman Seventh Army suffering heavy losses. [94]

Capture of Jerusalem Edit

By 1 December the fighting for Jerusalem was almost over. The Ottoman Army had failed to win any ground as a result of their counterattacks, and the advancing British troops were successfully replacing their tired comrades who were well entrenched close to Jerusalem. [96] On 2 December the relief of the XXI Corps by the XX Corps was completed when the 10th (Irish) Division relieved the 52nd (Lowland) Division. [92] [94] And each side began to adjust and improve their lines, leaving insecure or hard to defend places. The British increased the number of soldiers in their line to create a powerful concentration. Over four days the 10th (Irish) and 74th (Yeomanry) Divisions extended their positions, while the extended position held by the 60th (2/2nd London) Division was shortened. [96] [97]

On 3 December, the 16th Battalion Devonshire Regiment, 229th Brigade, 74th (Yeomanry) Division recaptured Beit Ur el Foqa. This infantry attack was launched from the head of the Wadi Zeit at 01:00, and by 03:30 the village had been captured, along with 17 prisoners and three machine guns. [98] The position was impossible to hold, as it was overlooked by Ottoman positions on higher ground. Bombing and hand-to-hand fighting continued all morning, and the battalion withdrew, suffering 300 casualties. [92] It has been claimed that on 3 December the Ottoman Army had abandoned their counterattacks and that fighting in the Judean Hills ceased. [73] [92]

Mott's Detachment Edit

Meanwhile, on the Hebron to Bethlehem road south of Jerusalem, the 53rd (Welsh) Division (known as Mott's Detachment) had continued their tentative advance to arrive 4.5 miles (7.2 km) south of Hebron on 4 December. After two Australian light armoured cars of the Light Armoured Motor Battery (LAMB) drove in from the north reporting no Ottoman units in Hebron, they continued on to the Dilbe valley that night. [99] [100] [Note 10]

Chetwode then ordered Mott to advance as quickly as possible to get into a position 3 miles (4.8 km) south of Jerusalem by the morning of 8 December. Mott's advanced guard again moved tentatively during the night of 5 December to 3 miles (4.8 km) north of Hebron. [101] By 7 December Mott's Detachment had found touch with the Ottoman position defending Bethlehem 4 miles (6.4 km) from his objective, but bad weather prevented an advance. [102] Mott's Detachment was to have advanced northwards in time to cover the right flank of the 60th (2/2nd London) Division and to cut the road from Jerusalem to Jericho. [103] Despite being under direct orders of GHQ, Mott's Detachment was still on the Hebron road south of Bethlehem on 7 December. Mott managed to capture Solomon's Pools to the south of Bethlehem by the evening of 7 December. [104]

On the morning of 8 December, Ottoman artillery began firing on a road junction, which Mott's Detachment had to negotiate. Unable to advance or retaliate against the accurate shell fire from an Ottoman battery near Bethlehem, the detachment waited. At around noon, Chetwode, the corps' commander, ordered the detachment to get moving. Mott finally attacked his main objective at Beit Jala at 16:00, but the Ottoman Army had already retired. [52] [105] It was not until the evening that they continued their advanced to find the way completely clear of Ottoman defenders. At the crucial moment, Mott's Detachment was unable to cover the southern flank of the 60th (London) Division, forcing the Londoners to pause during daylight, as enfilading fire would have made any advance extremely costly. [106]

Surrender of Jerusalem Edit

During almost continuous rain on 8 December, Jerusalem ceased to be protected by the Ottoman Empire. [107] [108] Chetwode (commander of XX Corps), who had relieved Bulfin (commander of XXI Corps), launched the final advance taking the heights to the west of Jerusalem on 8 December. [107] The Ottoman Seventh Army retreated during the evening and the city surrendered the following day. [109]

The mayor of Jerusalem, Hussein Salim al-Husseini, attempted to deliver the Ottoman Governor's letter surrendering the city to Sergeants James Sedgewick and Frederick Hurcomb of 2/19th Battalion, London Regiment, just outside Jerusalem's western limits on the morning of 9 December 1917. The two sergeants, who were scouting ahead of Allenby's main force, refused to take the letter. It was eventually accepted by Brigadier General C.F. Watson, commanding the 180th (2/5th London) Brigade. [110]

Jerusalem was almost encircled by the EEF, although Ottoman Army units briefly held the Mount of Olives on 9 December. They were overwhelmed by the 60th (2/2nd London) Division the following afternoon. [111]


The Greatest Protestant Crusader In History And How He Resembles Christ In The WAR OF ARMAGEDDON (Eye Opening Read To All Who Love Prophecy)

By Walid Shoebat (Shoebat Exclusive)

As I sit here on my Sabbath rest and contemplate why is it that I know of no one who compared the remarkable resemblance between the biblical narratives that mention Christ’s second coming and His war expeditions to defeat the Antichrist and liberate Jerusalem, how rarely if ever they were compared to how this parallels history’s greatest Protestant crusader, the British General Edmund Allenby. The study will help us unlock much as to Christ’s expedition during His second coming to defeat the Antichrist!

It was Allenby, a Protestant, not a Catholic who conquered Jerusalem taking it from the Muslim Ottoman Turks.

It is quite remarkable how God chose a militant Protestant to carry out the mission to liberate Jerusalem and I know of no one in the Prophecy arena who even examines Scripture to see, that Christ’s military campaigns when He returns are very Crusader-like paralleling Allenby’s military expeditions:

1) both wars, Christ and Allenby is to repulse the Ottoman Turkish invasion of Jerusalem and Egypt.
2) both conquer Egypt (see Isaiah 19).
3) both conquer Bozra.
4) both defeat an Antichrist at Armageddon.

Allenby was a Christian militant and his victory against the Muslims later paved the way for the creation of a Jewish state despite British errors that was made against the Jews with the White Paper which was a policy paper issued by the British government under Neville Chamberlain in which, among several key provisions, the idea of partitioning Palestine was abandoned. Just as with Catholics, not all Protestants are equal. We all know who Neville Chamberlain was, he was anti-war with Hitler and is why we say, that if one is always anti-war, that person is also anti-ridding the world from evil tyrannies which is evil in itself.

Neville Chamberlain standing with Adolph Hitler

The story begins when the Ottoman Empire called for a military jihad against France, Russia and Great Britain in November 1914. While we know that Muslims say “first Constantinople then Rome” and while we expect the Antichrist to even attempt an invasion against Europe (which sadly the naïve paint Europe as Antichrist) and all of christendom. Daniel also tells us that Antichrist gets bad news from the north, which declares war against him in which he will ultimately be defeated. North of the Ottoman Empire’s headquarters, Turkey, is Russia (which is sadly painted by the naïve as Gog). There is no question as to why God ordained Russia to be converted to Christianity and despite what all dislike about Putin, Russia will be an intricate role in defeating Antichrist. Many believe that Christ defeats Antichrist on His own, but this interpretation excludes what Ezekiel declared (see Ezekiel 28:7-8, Ezekiel 30-32). God has always partnered with man in all the acts of redemption in which God does what God does and man through his obedience to God acts as God’s earthly vessel in whom He desires to mold and eventually perfect.

Many today while they see the threat of Islam and since they are unwilling to let Russia go from there decades old theme of being Gog, they combine a Russian-Turkic-Iranian coalition in reference to Ezekiel 38 unaware they are a-historic: the enmity between Russia and the Ottoman Turks never ended from time immemorial.

Map depicting the Russo-Turkish Wars.

Today Putin is pro-Bashar who is anti-Turkey and Russia taking over Crimea which sits north of Turkey removing the protective buffer zone for Turkey sets the Ukraine as the stage for a future invasion by Russia against Turkey to regain Hagia-Sophia, Christianity’s most remarkable temple and monument which a Turkish Antichrist will surely sit in as it is being reconverted to a mosque by Erdogan. It is perhaps why the Russian Cross is always mounted on Russian churches with the Cross stepping over the Crescent which is reminiscent to Russia will be the main nation that fulfills the end of Antichrist as Russia has finally become a sheep nation when Christ divides the nations sheep from goats.

It is perhaps why when the Christian League, an ad-hoc coalition of Catholic monarchies ships deployed in the shape of the cross which crushed the Ottomans at Lepanto in which their ships where in the shape of the crescent.

Finally the beginning end of this Islamic beast, the major threat to christendom, came in November 1914, the Ottoman Empire, the world’s greatest independent Islamic power, which is currently reviving again, abandoned its ambivalent neutrality towards the warring parties (as we see today Turkey’s face is neutral towards the west but this is changing) and became belligerent in the conflict, with the sultan declaring a military jihad (holy war) against France, Russia and Great Britain. Antichrist whom we explained for decades to come from the Ottoman Turkey also “declares war against the strongest fortresses” in Daniel 11 and similar to 1914, the strongest military-might today would be the U.S., Europe and Russia.

The Ottoman Empire had recently been humiliated by setbacks in Libya (which Daniel 11 tells us Antichrist also enters) and the Balkans. Participation in what had begun as a European war by the Ottomans to have been suicidal, but key elements in the Turkish government, impressed by German industrial and military power and motivated by dreams of imperial Ottoman glory, just as we see the Turks today, was then greeted by the expanding war as an opportunity to regain Ottoman lost territories and incorporate new lands and nationalities into the Ottoman empire. We already see Turkey interested in Syria and aiding the Muslim Brotherhood to re-invade Egypt.

With Germany as an ally, the Ottoman Empire represented a serious threat to the British Empire, so in a pre-emptive strike, London immediately landed an Anglo-Indian force at Basra (biblical Bosra), near the estuary of the Euphrates and Tigris rivers. This was done to protect the Anglo-Persian oil pipeline, which was vital to the British navy, and to show the Union Jack in this strategically important area in the Persian Gulf. Christ also comes out victorious from Bosra: “Who is this coming from Edom, from Bozrah, with his garments stained crimson? Who is this, robed in splendor, striding forward in the greatness of his strength? “It is I, proclaiming victory, mighty to save.”” (Isaiah 63:1)

Within weeks the Central Powers struck back with a surprise attack against Britain’s ‘jugular vein’, the Suez Canal. This attempt, in early February 1915, to breach British defenses on the Suez Canal and raise an Islamic revolt in Egypt, failed however, and resulted in heavy losses for the Muslim attackers. Convinced that neither side had the means to achieve victory in France in 1918, Prime Minister David Lloyd George sought to make Allenby’s theatre the focus of his country’s military effort. Germany’s massive offensives closer to home during the first half of 1918, however, forced the government to recall most of Allenby’s British soldiers to France. Allenby, who retained his cavalry, received replacements for his infantry in Egypt from many sources, predominately from India but also from many other diverse nations ranging from Burma to the West Indies. In Egypt, too, British forces gained a new commander, General Sir Archibald Murray, and additional resources.

Similarly, Christ in Isaiah 19, goes to war in Egypt: “See, Jehovah rides on a swift cloud and is coming to Egypt. The idols of Egypt tremble before him, and the hearts of the Egyptians melt within them” (Isaiah 19:1).

We all know that Zechariah 14 is about rescuing the Jews and converting them to Him, but Isaiah 19 should shock some folks and get us to ask, who and why is Christ coming for in Egypt: “And it will be for a sign and for a witness to the LORD of Hosts in the land of Egypt for they will cry to the LORD because of the oppressors, and He will send them a Savior and a Mighty One, and He will deliver them.” (Isaiah 19:20)

Here we have the “Mighty One” is the Messiah who fights on the day of the Lord to fight “the oppressors”. Here, Christ comes to rescue the Copts of Egypt from Muslim persecution, our brothers and sisters in Egypt who are currently suffering from the oppressors and calling for Jesus to come down and save them. This will intensify when Turkey invades Egypt under Antichrist (see Daniel 11).

Continuing with the Protestant crusaders, the British, unwilling to commit all of its emerging military resources in 1915 to the Western Front, where trench warfare prevailed, the British leadership embraced a naval offensive against Istanbul to force the Ottoman Empire out of the war. When the Royal Navy in February and March was unable to fight its way through the Dardanelles to place the Ottoman capital under its big guns, the military authorities hastily assembled an expeditionary force to land on the Gallipoli peninsula.

Christ also directly goes and fights Turkey in Zechariah 9: “I will rouse your sons, O Zion, against your sons, O Yavan.” In this passage, Israel is seen fighting against Ionia or Yavan led by Christ Himself after their conversion. This in itself debunks the claim that Antichrist is the European Union. In several Bibles, this word is correctly translated as “Greece” but this is ancient Greece (Asia Minor) and “Ionia” or “Yavan” in Hebrew was a province that was located on the western coast of modern Turkey. This is crucial because the clear context of this battle is the return of Christ: “Then Jehovah will appear over them (Israel)” and fight on their behalf “going with the whirlwinds of the South”. He is heading to Ionia (Turkey) and Pergamum which is the seat of Satan (see Revelation 2:13).

So in the End-Times, at the time when Jesus returns, the Jews (Zion) which at the time becomes Christian will unite with other Christian nations to engage in the defining battle in all history, the Battle of Armageddon which also includes Christ’s expedition against Turkey itself (Yavan) after their armies are destroyed at Armageddon in Israel.

By stages the mission of the British forces evolved from a defense of Egypt to an invasion of Jerusalem.

After the British expeditions in Egypt, first, they had to cross the Sinai Desert, with its sand storms and searing temperatures, had to be crossed, a test of endurance heading towards Israel to liberate Jerusalem.

Allenby heeded good biblical advice when he faced the Turks at the biblical village of Michmash mentioned in 1 Samuel 13 ‘And Saul, and Jonathan his son, and the people that were present with them, abode in Gibeah of Benjamin, but the Philistines encamped in Michmash.’

Major Vivian Gilbert of the British army relates the story of an unnamed brigade major who was reading his Bible while contemplating the situation against the Ottoman forces. The brigade major remembered a town by the name of Michmash mentioned somewhere in the Bible. He found the verses, and discovered that there was a secret path around the town. He woke the brigadier general, and they found that the path still existed and was very lightly guarded. The British forces used this path to outmanoeuver the Ottomans, and so took the town.

Christ as we all know, similar to Allenby, crusades against the Turks and takes Jerusalem from the Antichrist and marching into Jerusalem captured from the Turks in 1917, the British general, Sir Edmund Allenby, proudly declared “today the wars of the Crusaders are completed,” and the British press celebrated his victory with cartoons of Richard the Lion-Hearted looking down at Jerusalem above the caption “At last my dream come true.”

The golden rule is that God is no respecter of persons, be it someone who grew up Catholic or grew up Protestant, it is the theology that counts and the Catholic crusading spirit was godly and righteous. We will always find an Abel and we will always find a Cain, regardless that even both were “believers” one of the two “Cain” will end up in hell. Its the same in christendom, it is not who say “its all about Jesus,” but “its all what Jesus is all about” and who obey Him with action wins in the end. Always reverse the mottos of the fool and you will find the nugget of the wise.

In the days of Great Britain, they did not all hate the crusaders as we see today which this will be healed in the coming future and is why we support militancy. When Protestants supported the Muslim Ottomans at the Battle of Lepanto in 1571 that amongst the Ottoman forces were to be found Lutheran and Calvinist allies from Holland and England who were defeated by the Catholic Alliance, to later the Protestants rejoiced only when they realized that the Ottomans threatened them as well. It took wars to heal and learn that not everything militant was wrong.

The colonial powers glorified the Crusaders as their ideological forebears when during December, 1917 Allenby had moved upwards from Egypt and captured Jerusalem. As the first Christian conqueror of the Holy City since the Crusades, Allenby ordered his troops to dismount as a mark of respect when they entered the city. The difference between Allenby and Christ is that Allenby refused to ride an entourage with a Rolls-Royce or even a horse since Christ is known to have rode an ass and will be the One coming victorious riding on a white horse. So Allenby chose to walk on foot as Christ’s humble servant.

General Edmund Allenby victory march against the Muslim Ottoman Empire in Jerusalem

The following year Allenby defeated the remaining Turkish Army in Israel. A final and conclusive strike at the Battle of Megiddo where Armageddon will take place when Christ returns. Allenby also returned to the offensive at the Battle of Megiddo, on 19 September 1918. With a decided advantage in manpower, artillery, air power and morale, he quickly destroyed the Ottoman/Turkish armies facing him. The victory at Megiddo happened in September 1918 which left the road to the invasion of Damascus open for the crusading British empire. Once the enemy front was broken, the British cavalry dominated the campaign. Damascus fell on 1 October, Aleppo, the last city to fall in the campaign, on 26 October. Five days later an armistice with the Ottoman Empire came into effect. Since 19 September Allenby’s forces had advanced hundreds of miles and netted over 75,000 prisoners.

And likewise, Christ destroys Damascus as has been written Damascus will become a “heap of ruins. The cities of Aroer will be deserted and left to flocks” (Isaiah 17:1–2). Christ also is spoken of in the Psalms: “Gird Your sword upon Your thigh, O Mighty One,” (Psalm 45:3) and that “Lebanon will fall before the Mighty One” in Isaiah 10:34 will be Christ’s expedition to remove all of Islam from Syria and Lebanon and destroy this revived beast empire of the Ottomans.

So what should we learn? It is crucial to understand always, that Prophecy has multiple layers and the story of Allenby is a hint of what is to come, a war with the Ottomans. We must never seclude Prophecy for only the end-times: does Christ not care about the past flock to warn them as well?

For example, the prophecy of Isaiah 17 may date from 735 BC when Damascus and Israel were allied against Judah. Tiglath-Pileser took Damascus in 732. Indeed, while this prophecy had a type of fulfillment, this campaign never reduced the city of Damascus to rubble and there is an ultimate future fulfillment, but God wrote these prophecies so the scoffers can scoff that the Bible is only a historic manuscript. The depiction of Damascus as a “heap of ruins” has not been fulfilled. This is why one needs to beware of scoffers who make the Bible only a historic reference. We need to also beware of all the hype that always make prophecy about the study of end-times only.Alone” and “only” are words which are usually used as a method to isolate and deceive. The rule of thumb is that The Bible is a study for all times.

Likewise, when Daniel spoke of the King of the North invading Egypt, we can find in history a layer, when the Ottoman Sultan Selim I invaded Syria then marched into Egypt depicting a similar invasion by Antichrist which today we see ISIS are attempting to do at Dabiq. History and Prophecy intertwine in the most amazing ways and the sooner we learn from history the better we are prepared to face the future.

ANSWERING THE JEWISH PERSECUTIONS BY THE CRUSADERS

Crusaders who all departed from different countries were supposed to meet in Constantinople and then head to the Holy Land together as one massive army. However, contrary to what the pope commanded, two small bloodthirsty brigands, spearheaded by Walter the Penniless and Peter the Hermit, left early of their own initiative. They led their rebellious armies down the Rhineland to kill the Jews there.

But the charge that the Crusades produced widespread anti-Judaism or were by their nature anti-Jewish has little basis in historical fact. Furthermore, the claim that the Crusades were a rehearsal for the anti-Semitic genocide of the Holocaust is completely without foundation. Those who promote such a view do so to further their agendas, ideologies, and book sales.

To assess the claims of these popular works, a closer examination of the Jewish pogroms during the First Crusade is in order. At the Council of Clermont in 1095, Urban II called for an armed expedition to the East to aid fellow Christians and liberate Jerusalem. The pogroms of 1096 were perversions of crusading zeal they were definitely not the normal response. Emicho’s contingent and the other anti-Jewish crusading bands did not comprise the major armies, which advanced east in the summer of that year. The anti-Jewish crusaders either dissolved after perpetrating these heinous acts or were destroyed during their march through Hungary. Robert Chazan, one of the foremost scholars on the medieval Jewish experience –particularly the massacres of 1096–believes that “the combination of radical thinking and weak discipline accounts for both the eventual failures of these bands and their anti-Jewish excesses.” (1)

The noted Crusades historian Jonathan Riley-Smith has recently said, “We know it to be a myth that the crusaders targeted the Jewish community in Jerusalem.” The Hebrew populations of Acre, Hebron, and Haifa met with a fate similar to the community in Jerusalem. Again, the brutality was the result of the resistance by these cities to the crusader forces–not because there were Jews in these places. Such tactics were brutal, but typical of both Muslim and Christian armies in the region. The Jewish communities in Tyre and Ascalon, on the other hand, were not harmed when these cities were taken since the leaders chose surrender instead of resistance. (2)

Ironically, the success of the First Crusade actually facilitated wide scale Jewish migration from Europe to the East. Most importantly, there were no anti-Jewish pogroms in the Levant during almost two hundred years of crusader rule. While life in the Latin kingdom of Jerusalem was certainly no utopia for the Jews, these examples contradict the notion that the Crusades were inherently anti-Semitic. The evidence indicates that the Latin rulers in the Levant were more lenient than their European counterparts, and in some instances, than the previous Muslim rulers (who were well known for their tolerance).

Finally, the late Israeli scholar Joshua Prawer did the most thorough examination in his The History of the Jews that when Jews were on the receiving end of crusader brutality–as at Jerusalem in 1099 or Acre in 1104–it was within the context of total warfare directed at the resisting population as a whole, of which the Jews were a minor element. (3)

The negative arguments against the Crusades is as if one speaks of how the United States came to be. While there was the Trails of Tears, regarding the mass expulsion of native Indians, there will also be someone who will denounce the United States from its right to exist harping about the Trails of Tears!

Hilaire belloc said regarding such criticism of the Crsaders that he will not waste his time refuting these. One can find all sorts of bad on anything good to denounce it. So here is the question to all Christians who hate the Crusaders: do we condemn King David for what he did to Uriah and say that everything King David did was evil? To answer “yes” would make one a heretic and to answer “no”, in itself refutes the argument including exposing the foolishness of the one who makes it.

Obviously, killing Jews was not part of the Crusades intent and was never authorized, a thing which all the critics will always fail to obtain from original sources. Even when it comes to Peter the Hermit and others, the Catholic Bishops of those provinces in fact tried to protect the Jews by hiding them, even at the risk of their own lives. This line alone has tremendous history which will take pages to fill. Those acts by certain brigands were rightly condemned by the pope. Yet the critics usually fail to mention this because the issue is always an agenda.

But the critics abound in their slander against the Crusaders. In each post we make, in our comment section, we find the lazy, the uneducated, the unwise and the outright slanderer. When Theodore Shoebat wrote an article praising the Crusaders, I had one object on the comment line saying “…Jesus said Jerusalem would be trampled underfoot until the times of the Gentiles were complete. That trampling definitely includes your beloved crusaders …”

To this Protestant, the Crusaders, and just because it was carried out by Catholic was “bad” makes Allenby the Protestant bad as well.

The fools are the ones who can and always post short comments that are void of research and it takes libraries to refute them. It is as we say in the Middle East: “it takes one fool to throw a rock in the well but it takes ten wise men to pull it out”.

Fools always say that “God will always answer prayers” and that “it is not all about knowledge”, yet God clearly says of such simpletons, these fail to read the first instructions in Proverbs chapter 1: “Then they will call to me but I will not answer they will look for me but will not find me, since they hated knowledge and did not choose to fear the Lord.” God was clear and here it is in full context:

“Out in the open Wisdom calls aloud, she raises her voice in the public square on top of the wall she cries out, at the city gate she makes her speech: “How long will you who are simple love your simple ways? How long will mockers delight in mockery and fools hate knowledge?”

God sent Wisdom and here is what He says to these folks that are simpletons and do not acquire knowledge:

“I in turn will laugh when disaster strikes you I will mock when calamity overtakes you—when calamity overtakes you like a storm, when disaster sweeps over you like a whirlwind, when distress and trouble overwhelm you. “Then they will call to me but I will not answer they will look for me but will not find me, since they hated knowledge and did not choose to fear the Lord.” (See Proverbs chapter 1).

“They will look to Me” seems to be speaking about “believers” who seek God and believe but are foolish and God will not respond to fools. Today we live in a culture that when someone speaks of militarism, they say “its all Old Testament”. It is as if the Old Testament is now obsolete altogether. If so, is the proverb then reversed and God all of the sudden loves also the fools? Even all this talk of the “power of prayer,” will be rendered obsolete to the fool, yet many today argue by even using Scripture to say that all gentiles going to Jerusalem as liberators as “bad”, since the Crusaders were Catholic, so they try to fit any biblical verses to point fingers forgetting that not all Protestants were as naïve as some of the comments I usually get on my blog from anti-Catholic diehards which historians will usually dismiss these arguments outright–and often rightfully so, for these histories are regularly riddled with errors. An even bigger problem, however, is the widespread effect that these deceptive popular narratives have on the historical consciousness of the reading public. That besides working on trying to Rescue Christians from physical danger, we need to also Rescue Christians from all these mental disorders in which Theodore asked “Dad, at times I feel that we are running a mental asylum” in which I responded with “Indeed, but I am by brother’s keeper”. While he knows history, I as a father have to teach him ancient holy-land wisdom.

SOURCES
Were the Crusades Anti-Semitic by Vince Ryan
(1) Robert Chazan, In the Year 1096: the First Crusade and the Jews (Philadelphia: Jerusalem Publication Society, 1996), p. 55.v

(2) Jonathan Riley-Smith, “Rethinking the Crusades,” First Things (March 2000), pp. 20-23.

(3) Details concerning the Jewish experience under crusader rule can be found in many of the works by the late Israeli scholar Joshua Prawer. For the most thorough examination see his The History of the Jews in the Latin Kingdom of Jerusalem (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1988).


The Capture of Michmash

In this post I would like share with you yet another story of God’s providence in the taking of the Holy Land.

General Sir Edmund Allenby

As I mentioned before, the British and Anzac troops, under the command of General Edmund Allenby, captured the city of Jerusalem on December 9 1917. The Turks retreated hardly firing a shot. With this victory, the Holy Land was taken, with one exception: the Turkish stronghold of Michmash Megiddo, just north of Jerusalem.

Michmash is a small town located on high, jagged cliffs overlooking the plain of Megiddo. It was heavily fortified by the Turks, and without its capture, the land of Israel could not be completely retaken by the allies. Its capture would prove to be difficult, because the Turk’s high position gave them a great advantage over the British and Anzac troops.

General Allenby, who was himself a committed Christian and Bible scholar, contemplated on the best way to capture this Turkish stronghold. Recognizing the cost that an attack on the place would be, he committed the situation to the Lord in prayer.

One night, he was awakened by one of his officers, Major Vivian Gilbert. Major Gilbert had heard something about Michmash in the Bible and had looked it up. He found that the town was once the site of a great battle between the Philistines, and the army of King Saul. Found in the 14th chapter of I Samuel, the Bible tells of how Jonathan (King Saul’s son) and his armour bearer, crept up the rocky crag by a secret passage between two rocks – Bozez and Senah – by night, and suddenly attacked the Philistines. The Philistines believing that the entire Israelite army was upon them, fell into utter confusion and in the darkness began killing one another. This proved to be a significant victory for the Israelites.

Major Gilbert awakened General Allenby and showed him the biblical account, and together they studied the 13 and 14 chapters of I Samuel. They decided to imitate the attack described in the Bible. On the night of February 18 1918, General Allenby sent one company of soldiers up by the secret pass under cover of night. As in the biblical account, the enemy was thrown into confusion and were completely routed by the allies. The fortress of Michmash was captured, and later the entire land of Israel. Because of this victory, General Allenby was dubbed, “Viscount of Megiddo.”

Its amazing how the Word of God is just as applicable and relevant to us today as it ever was. General Allenby achieved the same victory using the same methods as Jonathan did thousands of years before.


Further Reading

The standard biography is Gen. Sir Archibald Wavell, Allenby: A Study in Greatness (2 vols., 1940-1943), a balanced account by a World War II commander. Brian Gardner, Allenby of Arabia: Lawrence's General (1966 British ed. entitled Allenby, 1965), is valuable because the author was the first to make use of the Allenby family correspondence. Other sources are Raymond Savage, Allenby of Armageddon: A Record of the Career and Campaigns of Field-Marshal Viscount Allenby (1925), and the pertinent chapter in B. H. Liddell Hart, Reputations, Ten Years After (1928 repr. in Barrett Parker, ed., Famous British Generals, 1951).


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