Palestine: The Ottoman Campaigns of 1914-1918

Pen and Sword
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The campaigns fought by the Ottomans against the British in Palestine are often neglected in accounts of the Great War, yet they are fascinating from the point of view of military history and critically important because of their impact upon the modern Middle East. Edward Erickson's authoritative and absorbing account of the four-year struggle for control of Palestine between 1914 and 1918 – of the battles fought for Suez, Sinai, Gaza, Jordan and Syria – opens up this little-understood aspect of the global conflict and it does so in a strikingly original way, by covering the fighting from the Ottoman perspective. Using Turkish official histories and military archives, he recounts the entire course of the campaigns, from the initial attack by German-led Ottoman forces on Sinai and the Suez Canal, the struggle for Gaza and the outbreak of the Arab Revolt to the British offensives, the battle for Jerusalem, the Ottoman defeat at Megiddo and the rapid British advance which led to the capture of Damascus and Aleppo in 1918.
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About the author

Edward J. Erickson was born in Norwich, New York, USA. He recently retired from a long distinguished US Army career which included service in senior positions in Europe and the Middle East, in particular in Turkey and Iraq. He is one of the foremost authorities on the Ottoman Army during the Great War.
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Additional Information

Publisher
Pen and Sword
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Published on
Oct 14, 2016
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Pages
240
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ISBN
9781473880078
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Language
English
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Genres
History / Middle East / Turkey & Ottoman Empire
History / Military / World War I
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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Sir John French had been appointed Chief of the Imperial General Staff (CIGS) in March 1912 and was promoted Field Marshal in June 1913. Following the Curragh incident in March 1914 he was forced to resign, nevertheless when war broke out he was given command of the BEF; he was nearly sixty-two years of age. Critics have argued that French's military experience, ability, acumen and temperament showed he was unfitted for such a command. Certainly his moods swung like a pendulum from over-optimism to deepest gloom. He was convinced during the retreat from Mons that disaster was inevitable, to the point that Kitchener had to come out and stiffen his resolve. In May 1915 he sacked Smith-Dorrien, commanding Second Army, among other things for making a stand at Le Cateau, (26/27 August 1914) having previously commended him for his action (see Despatch dated 7 Sep 1914). Following the unsuccessful attack on Aubers Ridge in May 1915, as a means of bringing pressure to bear on the government he revealed details of what he held to be the scandal of ammunition shortages to the military correspondent of The Times, and the ensuing article played a significant part in the decision to form a coalition government. The failure of the Loos offensive, the culmination of a year of failures, was the final nail in the coffin, especially as there was a sharp disagreement between French and Haig (commanding First Army which fought the battle) about the former's handling of the reserve. French claimed in his despatch dated 15 Oct 1915 that he had put the 21st and 24th Divisions from GHQ reserve at Haig's disposal at 0930 25th September and the Guards Division on the morning of the 26th. Haig formally protested that these statements were incorrect, that these divisions did not come under his command till later than stated and he wished that fact to be placed on record. In December 1915 This book contains eight despatches. The first, dated 7th Sep covers the arrival of the BEF in France, the Battle of Mons and the retreat to 28th Aug. The second takes the story on to 10th Sep describing the Battle of the Marne and the advance to the Aisne. The next despatch deals with the Battle of the Aisne and, of especial interest to medallists, is accompanied by the complete list, by regiments, of all Mentioned in Despatches since the beginning of the war. Subsequent despatches cover 1st Ypres, the Winter Campaign, Neuve Chapelle, 2nd Ypres (German gas attack) and Loos with three more lists of MiD awards totalling some 360 pages.
The indispensable account of the Ottoman Empire’s Siege of Malta from the author of Hannibal and Gibraltar.

In the first half of the sixteenth century, the Ottoman Empire was thought to be invincible. Suleiman the Magnificent, the Ottoman sultan, had expanded his empire from western Asia to southeastern Europe and North Africa. To secure control of the Mediterranean between these territories and launch an offensive into western Europe, Suleiman needed the small but strategically crucial island of Malta. But Suleiman’s attempt to take the island from the Holy Roman Empire’s Knights of St. John would emerge as one of the most famous and brutal military defeats in history.

Forty-two years earlier, Suleiman had been victorious against the Knights of St. John when he drove them out of their island fortress at Rhodes. Believing he would repeat this victory, the sultan sent an armada to Malta. When they captured Fort St. Elmo, the Ottoman forces ruthlessly took no prisoners. The Roman grand master La Vallette responded by having his Ottoman captives beheaded. Then the battle for Malta began in earnest: no quarter asked, none given.

Ernle Bradford’s compelling and thoroughly researched account of the Great Siege of Malta recalls not just an epic battle, but a clash of civilizations unlike anything since the time of Alexander the Great. It is “a superior, readable treatment of an important but little-discussed epic from the Renaissance past . . . An astonishing tale” (Kirkus Reviews).
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