Classic History Books


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

desirable, but is not practicable, as, in consequence of the
beginning of the rainy weather in the middle of November,

the British offensive may be expected at the latest during

the latter half of October; ours therefore should take place

during the first part of that month.

The transport question precludes the assembly of stronger
forces by that date.

Should the idea of an offensive be abandoned altogether
on that account?

On the assumption that General Allenby - after the two
unsuccessful British attacks - will attack only with a marked

superiority of men and munitions, a passive defence on a

thirty-five kilometre front with an exposed flank does not

appear to offer any great chance of success.

The conditions on the Western Front (defensive zone,
attack divisions) are only partially applicable here, since

the mobility of the artillery and the correct tactical handling

of the attack division are not assured. The intended passive

defensive will not be improved by the theatrical attack with

one division suggested by General von Kress.

On the contrary this attack would be without result, as
it would be carried out too obliquely to the front, and would

only mean a sacrifice of men and material.

The attack proposed by His Excellency for the envelopment
of the enemy's flank - if carried out during the first

half of October with four divisions plus the 'Asia Corps' - will

perhaps have no definite result, but will at all events

result in this: that the Gaza Front flanked by the sea

will tie down considerable forces and defer the continuation

of British operations in the wet season, during which, in

the opinion of General von Kress, they cannot be carried

on with any prospect of success.

The situation on the Sinai Front will then be clear. Naturally
it is possible that the position here may demand the

inclusion of further effectives and the Yilderim operation

consequently become impracticable. This, however, will

only prove that the determining factor of the decisive operation

for Turkey during the winter of 1917-1918 lies in Palestine

and not in Mesopotamia. An offensive on the Sinai

Front is therefore - even with reduced forces and a limited

objective - the correct solution.

 

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