egyptian expeditionary force


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 2 – Overview

    The Sinai campaign arose from a change in British thinking about the defence of the Suez Canal.

  • Page 3 – Action at Katia

    In March 1916 the commander of the Egyptian Expeditionary Force (EEF), General Sir Archibald Murray, ordered his forces to occupy the area around the Katia oasis, 40 km east of

  • Page 5 – Battle of Magdhaba

    By 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 Arish.

  • Page 6 – Battle of Rafah

    If the British failed to capture Rafah quickly they risked being overwhelmed by large Ottoman forces sent from Gaza.

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

  • Page 4 – Second Battle of Gaza

    The Second Battle of Gaza three weeks after the First Battle, was an even bigger disaster – a frontal attack by British infantry divisions resulted in their suffering some 6000

  • Page 6 – The Trans-Jordan raids

    Two raids east of the Jordan River cost 3000 casualties. They are the first real defeats suffered by the EEF since the Second Battle of Gaza.

  • Page 7 – Battle of Megiddo

    The final battle of the Palestine campaign in September 1918 resulted in arguably the most decisive British victory of the war.

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

British Empire

  • British Empire

    Key information and statistics about countries who fought as part of the British Empire during the First World War

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  • Page 5 - British IndiaFacts and statistics about India during the First World

Wellington Mounted Rifles Regiment timeline

The Ottoman Empire

  • The Ottoman Empire

    Few Kiwis today know much about one of our main First World War enemies, the Ottoman Empire - a sophisticated but often forgotten empire whose soldiers fought against New Zealand troops for four years in the Gallipoli, Sinai and Palestine campaigns.

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  • Page 8 - The Arab Revolt, 1916-18The rise of its Arab subjects against the Ottoman Empire in the later years of the First World War saw them fight alongside the British forces, though ultimately they were
  • Map showing troop movements and battle sites during Sinai campaign of 1916-17