Hell in the Holy Land: World War 1 in the Middle East by David R. Woodward

By David R. Woodward

Within the smooth renowned mind's eye, the British Army's crusade within the heart East in the course of international struggle I is taken into account in some way much less brutal than the struggling with on eu battlefields. A romantic view of this clash has been extra inspired by means of such movies as Lawrence of Arabia and the sunshine Horsemen. In Hell within the Holy Land, David R. Woodward makes use of photograph eyewitness bills from the diaries, letters, and memoirs of British squaddies who fought in that struggle to explain in rigorous aspect the real event of the combating and demise in Egypt and Palestine. the large move of troops and kit to Egypt finally made that nation host to the most important British army base open air of england and France. although many infantrymen came upon the ambience in Cairo unique, the wasteland nation-state made the basics of struggling with and troop upkeep super tricky. the serious warmth often sickened squaddies, and unruly camels have been the one functional technique of delivery around the tender sands of the Sinai. The consistent scarcity of potable water used to be a chronic challenge for the troops; one soldier recalled, "It is most unlikely to gain the intensity a guy will sink to pastime to soothe the poor horror of thirst." The voices of those British infantrymen provide a forgotten viewpoint of the nice struggle, describing not just the actual and mental toll of strive against however the day-by-day struggles of infantrymen who have been stationed in an unusual surroundings that regularly proved simply as adversarial because the enemy. A soldier of the Dorset Yeomanry, stationed in Egypt, wrote: "There are 3 sounds in Egypt which by no means stop -- the creaking of the waterwheels, the music of the frogs, and the thrill of flies.... Letter writing is an impossibility within the night, for once the solar is going down, if a lamp is lighted, the air all around is thick with little gray sand-flies which chew disgustingly." utilizing archival documents, many from the Imperial struggle Museum in London, England, Woodward paints a bright photo of the mayhem, terror, boredom, dust, and sacrifice that marked the way of life of British infantrymen within the heart East. In telling the tale of those infantrymen, Woodward presents a private background of a crusade that laid the basis for the continued turmoil within the center East.

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14 At best, Robertson believed that the Turks might concentrate 100,000 men against the British in the Egyptian theater. 16 After Maxwell was brought home and Murray had been given total control of operations in Egypt, Robertson made it clear to him that the Egyptian theater was totally subordinate to the expanding British effort against the main body of the German army. “We want men badly,” he bluntly asserted. “Can’t get the recruits we need. ” In plain terms, Robertson’s policy was “to keep Egypt reasonably secure.

The fighting conformed to an earlier romanticized view of warfare, with warfare up close and personal as soldiers looked each other in the eye. ” Souter’s aide-de-camp exclaimed as the Dorsets closed on the Senussites. ”7 This brave charge, which caused a ripple of excitement throughout the Yeomanry, was not without its cost. The Dorsets suffered heavy losses, with dead and wounded amounting to one-third of the attacking force. 8 Blaksley was the only uninjured officer in his squadron. But it had been a near thing.

Buxton, wrote one of his sisters: “I now look upon Arabs no longer as picturesque, but as loathsome scum. ”27 The command appreciated that military inactivity and the extremely arduous and demanding fatigue duties sapped troop morale. Passes were generously granted, and Cairo, Alexandria, Ismailia, and Port Said became crowded with troops of all ranks. Port Said was the most accessible city to servicemen in the canal zone, but the cosmopolitan city of Cairo was the first choice of many soldiers.

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