By David Murphy

The Arab rebel of 1916-18 used to be the most dramatic occasions of worldwide conflict I (1914-1918). It ended in the start of the fashionable center East and in addition created essentially the most enduring myths of the warfare, the tale of "Lawrence of Arabia". in truth, it may be argued that the broader significance of the Arab rebellion has been forgotten within the rush to target Lawrence fantasy and that later generations have overlooked the monstrous alterations that this uprising represented in Arab affairs.

This publication examines the insurrection with no this prejudice, describing and reading the heritage and occasions of the rebel. Breaking the method into a number of huge levels, the writer examines the preliminary catch of coastal cities like Jeddah, which secured and this allowed for the re-supply and aid of the Arab military through the Royal military. Then, the main target of the insurrection grew to become the Hijaz Railway. The raids in this very important course are defined intimately, as is the seizure of Aqaba in 1917 and the northward push of the Arab military at Gaza, Jerusalem, Megiddo and Damascas. ultimately, this ebook describes how a neighborhood Arab uprising grew to shape a big a part of Allied operations within the center East, as Arab tribesman built from being problematical raiders right into a strength which may oppose brigade-sized Turkish columns by means of 1918.

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The initial Turkish reaction was optimistic and it was felt that this could be achieved easily, demonstrated by the fact that a new emir of Mecca was appointed (Sharif Ali Haidar) and sent south to Medina. Realizing these plans would prove difficult. The initial Ottoman countermoves failed to come to grips with the Arab enemy in order to destroy it. qxd:Layout 1 25/7/08 16:15 Page 31 enemy seemed to melt away. They did not offer battle in the classic sense and the Ottoman Army needed a large logistical system to maintain itself in the field.

Indeed the importance of the railway to Turkish operations had long been recognized, one Turkish source claiming that attacks by Arab nationalists were not uncommon before 1914. As part of the plan for the revolt, the railway would have to be attacked and cut to prevent, or at least delay, Ottoman reinforcements being sent south into Arabia. The line north of Medina would be the target for such attacks. The Hashemite plan was therefore both simple and elaborate. It required the simultaneous attack on a number of strategic locations.

Furthermore, he was informed that a large Arab force was marching on Wejh, one of the last Ottoman-held ports on the Red Sea, while RFC planes were flying raids on Medina. On 18 January 1917, the Turkish offensive was called off and Fakhri Pasha marched his army back to Medina. This was not, however, the end of Turkish countermoves south of Medina. In March 1917, Ottoman forces were joined by Ibn Rashid and his tribesmen and carried out a sweep to the west. There would also be further operations against the Arab armies later in the autumn of 1917.

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