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Allenby’s Gunners

Artillery in the Sinai & Palestine Campaigns 1916–1918

(2 customer reviews)
Authors: Alan Smith
Military History
153mm x 230mm

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Alan Smith’s ‘Allenby’s Gunners’ tells the story of artillery in the highly successful World War I Sinai and Palestine campaigns. Following Gallipoli and the reconstitution of the AIF, a shortage of Australian gunners saw British Territorial artillery allotted to the Australian Light Horse and New Zealand Mounted Rifle brigades. It was a relationship that would prove highly successful and ‘Allenby’s Gunners’ provides a detailed and colourful description of the artillery war, cavalry and infantry operations from the first battles of Romani and Rafa, through the tough actions at Gaza, the Palestine desert, Jordan Valley and Amman to the capture of Jerusalem. The story concludes with the superb victory at Megiddo and the taking of Damascus until the theatre armistice of October 1918.

Smith covers the trials and triumphs of the gunners as they honed their art in one of the most difficult battlefield environments of the war. The desert proved hostile and unrelenting, testing the gunners, their weapons and their animals in the harsh conditions. The gunners’ adversary, the wily and skilful Ottoman artillerymen, endured the same horrendous conditions and proved a tough and courageous foe.

The light horsemen and gunners also owed much to the intrepid airmen of the AFC and RFC whose tactical and offensive bombing and counter-battery work from mid-1917 would prove instrumental in securing victory. This is an aspect of the campaign that is seamlessly woven throughout as the action unfolds.

The Sinai and Palestine campaigns generally followed a pattern of heavy losses and setbacks for an initial period before Allied forces eventually prevailed. This is a highly descriptive volume that tells an oft-neglected story and fills a gap in the record of a campaign in which Australians played a significant role. It is a welcome addition to the story of the Australians in the Middle Eastern campaigns of World War I.

Alan Smith

Alan Smith

Alan Smith was born in Newcastle and educated at The Armidale School and Newcastle Boy’s High School. He gained an Associate Diploma in Industrial Chemistry in 1952 and in 1982 he completed a Masters Degree from the University of Newcastle in commerce and economics. He joined the C M F in 1951 as a Recruit […]

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2 reviews for Allenby’s Gunners

  1. 1333 is an incredible work. Subtitled, Artillery in the Sinai & Palestine Campaigns 1916-1918 has seen its author Alan. H. Smith do himself proud. It is a very detailed book, one can say academic, but having said that it is also entertaining to read; certainly informative. Smith’s work is detailed, marvellously researched and documented.

  2. A subject rarely covered because of the obvious emphasis on the Western Front, Alan Smith’s 1333 examines how support was provided by the British Territorial Artillery Units during the Middle East campaigns of 1916-1918 to the British, Australian and New Zealand forces. … ‘1333″ is a welcome addition to the story of the Australians in the Middle East campaigns of World War I.

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