camel corps


The Imperial Camel Corps

  • The Imperial Camel Corps

    The Imperial Camel Corps, which included two New Zealand companies, played a vital role in the Sinai and Palestine campaigns during the First World War. Between 400 and 450 New Zealanders fought in the Corps, and 41 died before the two New Zealand companies were disbanded in mid-1918.

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  • Page 2 – Formation and expansion

    Camels have often fulfilled the role of cavalry on the battlefields of the Middle East and adjacent regions, including during the Sinai and Palestine campaigns of the First

  • Page 3 – New Zealand Camel Companies

    In August 1916 No 15 (New Zealand) Company, Imperial Camel Corps, was formed from men originally intended as reinforcements for the New Zealand Mounted Rifles Brigade.

  • Page 4 – End of the Imperial Camel Corps

    The New Zealand camel companies served with the Imperial Camel Corps Brigade in Palestine until it was disbanded in June 1918. At that point the Kiwi cameliers were reorganised

  • Page 5 – Cameliers and camels at war

    The cameliers of the Imperial Camel Corps would ride their mounts to the scene of the action but once there they were expected to dismount and fight on foot – as infantrymen.

  • Page 6 – Imperial Camel Corps organisation

    Reflecting their ad hoc origins, the camel companies used a unique mixture of infantry and mounted rifles organisation and nomenclature.

  • Page 7 – Further information

    Find out more about the Imperial Camel Corps.

Palestine campaign

  • Palestine campaign

    The British invasion of Ottoman-held Palestine in 1917-18 was the third - and last - campaign launched by the Allies against the Ottoman Turks in the Middle East during the First World War.

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  • Page 2 – Overview

    Victory in Sinai led to pressure from the British government, led by new Prime Minister Lloyd George, to invade Ottoman-controlled Palestine in 1917.

  • Page 3 – First Battle of Gaza

    The commander of Eastern Force mistakenly thought that the Egyptian Expeditionary Force could capture Gaza in March 1917 by using essentially the same tactics as those employed

Sinai campaign

  • Sinai campaign

    The Sinai campaign is less well known than other First World War campaigns like Gallipoli and those on the Western Front. But it was here, in the harsh, arid desert, that the Allies took the first major step towards their ultimate victory over the Ottoman Turks in the Middle East.

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  • Page 5 - Battle of MagdhabaBy mid-December 1916 the Egyptian Expeditionary Force had advanced across the Sinai to within sight of the original objective of the campaign, the town of El

Specialist Units of the NZEF