First Battle of Gaza - Prelude - Attacking Force

Attacking Force

For the engagement Dobell organised Eastern Force as follows:

Imperial Camel Corps Brigade (Brigadier General S. Smith)
1st (Australian) Battalion
2nd (British) Battalion
3rd (Australian) Battalion
4th (Australian and New Zealand) Battalion
52nd (Lowland) Division (Major General W.E.B. Smith)
155th (South Scottish) Brigade
156th (Scottish Rifles) Brigade
157th (Highland Light Infantry) Brigade
54th (East Anglian) Division (Major General S.W. Hare)
161st (Essex) Brigade
162nd (East Midland) Brigade
163rd (Norfolk & Suffolk) Brigade
74th (Yeomanry) Division
229th Brigade
No. 7 Light Car Patrol
Nos. 11 and 12 Armoured Motor Batteries

Desert Column (Lieutenant General Chetwode)

53rd (Welsh) Division (Major General Dallas)
158th (North Wales) Brigade
159th (Cheshire) Brigade
160th (Welsh Border) Brigade
Anzac Mounted Division (Major General Henry Chauvel)
2nd Light Horse Brigade
New Zealand Mounted Rifles Brigade
22nd Mounted Yeomanry Brigade
Imperial Mounted Division less the 4th Light Horse Brigade (Major General H. W. Hodgson)
3rd Light Horse Brigade
5th Mounted Yeomanry Brigade
6th Mounted Yeomanry Brigade
5th Wing Royal Flying Corps
No. 14 Squadron Royal Flying Corps
No. 1 Squadron Australian Flying Corps

Artillery

  • Anzac Mounted Division 4 Batteries Royal Horse Artillery (RHA) of 4 X 18–pdrs = 16 guns
  • Imperial Mounted Division 4 Batteries RHA of 4 X 18–pdrs = 16 guns
  • Imperial Camel Brigade 1 Camel Pack Battery of 6 X 2.75-inch = 6 guns
  • 53rd Division (3 Brigades RFA 12 18–pdrs=24 guns) 4 of each battery only = 16 guns; 4 X 4.5-inch howitzers = 8 howitzer
  • 54th Division (3 Brigades RFA 12 18–pdrs=24 guns) 4 of each battery only = 16 guns; 4 X 4.5-inch howitzers = 8 howitzer
  • Army Troops (3 Batteries of 4 X 60–pdrs=12 guns) one section only = 6 guns.

Desert Column was supported by Eastern Force's Imperial Camel Corps Brigade, the 54th (East Anglian) Division, less one brigade back on the Suez Canal Defences, No. 7 Light Car Patrol and 5th Wing Royal Flying Corps. One infantry brigade of 74th (Yeomanry) Division and Nos 11 and 12 Armoured Motor Batteries remained directly under the command of Dobell.

This large force of 22,000 consisted of the attack force of 12,000 infantry with between 36 and 96 field guns and 16 howitzers, supported by 11,000 mounted troops who were required to cut off Gaza from Ottoman Army reinforcements located nearby at Tel el Sheria, Jemmameh, Hareira, Negile, Huj, and Beersheba.

The 52nd (Lowland) Division remained at Rafa providing 8,000 men to protect the lines of communication, the Wadi el Arish crossing and covering Khan Yunis from an attack on the flank. This infantry division had seen action at the Battle of Romani but was too far away from Gaza to take any part in the attack.

Read more about this topic:  First Battle Of Gaza, Prelude

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