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W.T. Massey - How Jerusalem Was Won. Allenby's Campaign in Palestine

strengthen this front by one of the infantry divisions intended
for Yilderim, and to despatch this division immediately

from Aleppo.

With this reinforcement the defence of the Sinai Front
by the IVth Army is assured.

General von Falkenhayn takes up the position that he
does not consider the defence assured, and that the further

reduction of Yilderim forces is to be deprecated under any

circumstances.

He consequently recommends that we on our side should
attack the British, and as far as possible surprise them,

before they are strengthened. He wishes to carry out this

attack with four infantry divisions, and the 'Asia' Corps.

Two of the four infantry divisions have still to be despatched

to the front.

I cannot yet decide to support the proposal, nor need
I do so, as the transport of an infantry division from Aleppo

to Bayak requires twenty days. During this period the

situation as regards the enemy will become clear, and one

will become better able to estimate the chance of success

of an attack.

I must, however, in any case be able to dispose of more
forces than at present, either for the completion of Yilderim,

or for the replacement of the very heavy losses which will

certainly occur in the Syrian attack.

I must consequently reiterate, to my deep regret, my
request for the return of the VIth Army Corps (which was

operating at that time in the Dobrudja) and for the despatch

of this Corps, together with the 20th Infantry Division,

commencing with the 15th Infantry Division.

In my opinion the Army Corps could be replaced by
Bulgarians, whose task is unquestionably being lightened

through the despatch of troops (British) to Egypt.

Should this not be the case, I would be ready to exchange
two divisions from the Vth Army for the two infantry divisions

of the VIth Army Corps, as the former are only suited

for a war of position, and would have to be made mobile

by the allotment of transport and equipment.

If these two infantry divisions were given up, the Vth
Army would have only five infantry divisions of no great

 

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