The Sinai and Palestine Campaigns took place in the Middle Eastern Theatre of World War I. A series of battles were fought between British Empire, German Empire and Ottoman Empire forces from 26 January 1915 to 31 October 1918, when the Armistice of Mudros was signed between the Ottoman Empire and the Entente Powers.
On 26 January 1915, an Ottoman force invaded the Sultanate of Egypt, a British protectorate, and unsuccessfully attempted to interrupt the vital supply line running through the Suez Canal, due to the defender's strength. While remaining on the defensive, early in 1916 British Empire units began to push their front line eastwards from the Suez Canal into the Sinai Peninsula. This eastward movement of the British front line, was contested when several engagements were fought about Katia and other oases around the middle of the year. By August 1916, two British Empire divisions had been established in a strongly entrenched defensive position at Romani, where they were attacked by a substantial German commanded Ottoman army, which was defeated. The two defending divisions; the Australian and New Zealand Mounted Division (Anzac Mounted Division) and the 52nd (Lowland) Division, subsequently pursued the retreating German and Ottoman force back across the northern Sinai, to Bir el Abd where the mounted division attacked a substantial Ottoman rearguard, which retired. The defensive strategy of the British Empire forces having changed to the offensive, employed strategic manoeuver when the remaining Ottoman garrisons in the Sinai, at Magdhaba in December 1916 and at Rafa (on the border of Egypt and the Ottoman Empire) in January 1917, were successfully encircled by the Anzac Mounted Division and captured, to reclaim the Sinai Peninsula.
In 1917 British Empire forces extended their area of operation to invade Ottoman Palestine, fighting two unsuccessful battles against strong Ottoman defences at Gaza in March when mounted brigades again employed manoeuver to successfully encircled the town, and in April. At the end of October, after six months of preparations, reconnaissances and minor operations the Egyptian Expeditionary Force succeeded in employing strategic manoeuver to encircle Beersheba with infantry and mounted divisions, resulting in the capture of the town. After a week's determined fighting the whole Gaza to Beersheba line was captured and during the successful pursuit the Egyptian Expeditionary Force conducted a fighting advance northwards, to capture Jaffa by mid November, then into the Judean Hills to capture Jerusalem in December 1917. The front line which now ran from just north of Jaffa to just north of Jerusalem was extended in February 1918 into the Jordan Valley when Jericho was captured, beginning the seven month's long occupation of the valley. During this time a British Empire infantry and mounted force advanced eastwards into the hills of Moab to capture Es Salt and attach Ottoman lines of communication at Amman at the end of March and at the end of April a slightly larger infantry and mounted force attacked Shunet Nimrin and recaptured Es Salt. The territory captured during both these operations could not be held and both ended in the withdrawal of three divisions of the Egyptian Expeditionary Force back to the Jordan Valley. In mid September 1918 during the successful encirclement of two German and Ottoman armies in the Judean Hills, Amman was again attacked when the town and substantial Ottoman prisoners from a third Ottoman army, in the area were captured. At the same time the main attack on the Mediterranean coast advanced to cut off and capture substantial Ottoman army units in the Judean Hills. During the subsequent pursuit, several substantial rearguard positions were attacked and defeated before Damascus was captured. British Empire units pushed northwards to reach Aleppo by the time the Armistice with the Ottoman Empire was signed.
Read more about Sinai And Palestine Campaign: Arab Revolt, Sinai Campaign (1916–1917), Southern Palestine Campaign Begins, Summer 1918 Front Line Operations, Preparations For Northern Palestine Campaign, Summary
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