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

fighting value, a condition of things which is perhaps not
very desirable.

For the moment my decision is: Defence of Syria by
strengthening that front by one infantry division, and

prosecution of the Yilderim scheme.

Should good prospects offer of beating the British decisively
in Syria before they have been reinforced I will take

up General von Falkenhayn's proposal again, as far as it

appears possible to carry it out, having in view the question

of transport and rationing, which still has to be settled in

some respects. - Turkish Main Headquarters, ENVER.

II

Von Falkenhayn despatched the following telegram from Constantinople on August 25, 1917, to German
General Headquarters:

The possibility of a British attack in Syria has had to
be taken into consideration from the beginning. Its repercussion

on the Irak undertaking was obvious. On that

account I had already settled in my conversations in Constantinople

during May that, if the centre of gravity of

operations were transferred to the Sinai Front, command

should be given me there too. The news now to hand - reinforcement

of the British troops in Egypt, taking over

of command by Allenby, the demands of the British Press

daily becoming louder - makes the preparation of a British

attack in Syria probable.

Jemal Pasha wishes to meet it with a defensive. To
that end he demands the divisions and war material which

were being collected about Aleppo for Yilderim. The

natural result of granting this request will be that true

safety will never be attained on the Sinai Front by a pure

defensive, and that the Irak undertaking will certainly

fritter away owing to want of driving power or to delays.

I had consequently proposed to the Turkish Higher
Command to send two divisions and the 'Asia' Corps as

quickly as possible to Southern Syria, so as to carry out

a surprise attack on the British by means of an encircling

movement before the arrival of their reinforcements. Railways

allow of the assembly of these forces (inclusive of heavy

artillery, material and technical stores) in the neighbourhood

of Beersheba by the end of October. The disposable parts

of the IVth Army (two to three divisions) would be added

 

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