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Palestine campaign 1917-18 map


You can also download a hi-res copy as a pdf (2 mbs).

The British government, encouraged by the success of the Sinai Campaign, urged its Egyptian Expeditionary Force (EEF) to continue the fight against the Ottoman Empire by invading Palestine. The 1800 men of the New Zealand Mounted Rifles Brigade (NZMR) served in the EEF during what became known as the Palestine Campaign.

Victory in the Third Battle of Gaza in October-November 1917 initiated the advance northwards and opened the way for the capture of southern Palestine. The red arrow labelled 1 on the map above shows the advance of the NZMR Brigade at this time, while the arrow labelled 2 shows its advance between December 1917 and February 1918. The purple lines show the front line on 30 October 1917 and 21 March 1918.

The transfer of many experienced units to the Western Front to counter a massive German offensive in late March meant that the EEF was unable to undertake any significant action in Palestine for the next six months. During this time the NZMR Brigade was stationed in the Jordan Valley, helping to protect the EEF’s right flank. In late March the Brigade took part in an unsuccessful raid on El Salt and Amman. This, and a second failed raid on Es Salt in April, are indicated by the broken red arrows.

With reinforcements from the Indian Army, the EEF was able to launch a major assault against the Ottomans in the Battle of Megiddo in September-October 1918 (indicated by the red arrow labelled 4). With the Ottoman armies defeated and in retreat, the Anzac Mounted Division crossed the River Jordan and captured Amman (indicated by the red arrow labelled 5). This offensive was aided by an Arab rebel army, which sabotaged the Hejaz Railway and advanced into Syria in September-October 1918. Following the Battle of Megiddo, Palestine, Jordan and southern Syria were rapidly conquered by the EEF and its allies, effectively bringing to an end the war in the Middle East.


Map produced by Geographx with research assistance from Damien Fenton and Caroline Lord.

It originally appeared in Damien Fenton, New Zealand and the First World War (Penguin, Auckland, 2013)

How to cite this page

Palestine campaign 1917-18 map, URL:, (Manatū Taonga — Ministry for Culture and Heritage), updated