Battle of Jerusalem (1917) - Aftermath - Summation of Campaign

Summation of Campaign

The newly established, strategically strong defensive British line remained in place until mid September 1918 when the advance to Damascus and Aleppo, which ended the war in this theatre, took place. It stretched across from the Mediterranean coast in the west to north and east of Jerusalem. The line was extended during the middle of February 1918 when Jericho in the Jordan Valley was captured and the eastern end of the line was secured on the Dead Sea.

The enormous territorial gains of the Palestine offensive contrasted with the British Expeditionary Force's offensive on the Western Front at Cambrai. Fought in Flanders from 20 to 30 November, it ended with heavy losses and no gains. The French army was still recovering from a serious mutiny, the Italians were defeated at the Battle of Caporetto, and Russia was out of the war following the Bolshevik Revolution. Allenby's advance by comparison made considerable territorial gains, helped secure Baghdad and the oilfields at Basra in Mesopotamia, encouraged the Arab Revolt, and inflicted irreplaceable losses on the Ottoman Army.

The Egyptian Expeditionary Force's campaign from October to December 1917 resulted in the first military defeat of a Central Power, which led to a substantial loss of enemy territory. In particular the fighting from 31 October to 7 November against the Ottoman Gaza–Sheria–Beersheba line resulted in the first defeat of entrenched, experienced and, up until then, successful Ottoman armies which were supported by artillery, machine guns and aircraft. During these attacks the Ottoman defenders were well established in trenches, redoubts and other fortifications, requiring a "Western Front"-style of battle, as the attackers were forced to approach over open ground.

Sporadic fighting continued in the hills surrounding Jerusalem. On Christmas Day, Falkenhayn launched another counter assault, which was repulsed with heavy losses. Some British newspapers and magazines, including The Irish News, claimed it as the end of the crusades.

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