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Parihaka
30 Oct 07,, 22:43
"Then Abraham reproved Abimelech because of a well of water which Abimelech's servants had seized... And he said, You will take these seven ewe lambs from my hand, that they may be my witness that I have dug this well. Therefore he called that place Beersheba, because the two of them swore an oath there."
Genesis chapter 21 verses 25 -31


The village of BIR SABA lay on the northern edge of the Sinai Desert in a shallow saucer at the foot of the judean Hills, Beerhseba was protected by Tel El Saba, a 300 metre feature on the northern bank of the Wadi Saba 3 kilometres to the east. It was a great mound which had a commanding view of the surrounding plain. The Wadi ran across the south of the town from east to west.
The enemy was Turkey, Imperial Germany's eastern ally. They held the line, Gaza-Beersheba. At Beersheba were the 27th Division and Battalions from the 16th and 24th Divisions, supported by artillery. The enemy's defence extended from Tel El Saba on the eastern flank. Two lines of trenches were dug into the cliff face of the Tel. A series of inferior trenches extended along the Wadi; they were not protected by wire. These extended to a group of detached trenches on the south-west flank. The enemy had good zones of fire.
General Sir Edmund Allenby commanded the British Eastern Expeditionary Force of two corps.
Lt-Gen Sir Harry Chauvel commanded the Desert Mounted Corps. He had no misgivings about his troops; they had sheer quality, leadership and experience; many had been at Gallipoli. These men of the Light Horse were without peer.
Lt Gen. Sir Philip Chetwode commanded the British XX Corps. He had defined the Gaza - Beersheba line.
Chauvel's Desert Mounted Corps were to capture Beersheba.
Chauvel's orders were to straddle the Beersheba-Hebron Road at Sakati 8 kilometres north-east of Beersheba, capture Tel El Saba, then storm the town. The mission was to be executed on the first day of the battle.
He had two divisions, each of three brigades. The ANZAC Mounted Division (ANZACs) included the 1st and 2nd Australian Light Horse Brigades and the New Zealand Mounted Rifle Brigade.
The Australian Mounted Division included the 3rd and 4th Austrlian Light Horse Brigades and the 5th (British) Yeomanry Brigade. In support were the Light Batteries of the Royal Horse Artillery.
The Battle of Beersheba was to be a three-phase operation supported by the British. The first phase was to be a night ride from wells at Asluj and Khalasa 20 kilometres to the south in the Sinai, to positions south and south-east of the town. In the second phase, the 2nd Australian Light Horse Brigade was to advance to Sakati and act as a cut-off force. The 1st Australian Light Horse and New Zealand Mounted Rifle Brigades were to capture Tel El Saba. Finally, with the road and Tel secure, the ANZAC's were to storm the town. This did not eventuate. This was the most significant factor in the Battle of Beersheba, forcing Chauvel to commit his reserve - the Australian Mounted Division. In a preliminary operation, the British Infantry of XX Corps were to secure positions to the south-west astride the Khalasa-Beersheba Road.
At Asluj and Khalasa the men of the Desert Mounted Corps watered; they carried three days rations. Despite great loads, the horses were touched with excitement. Smoking was forbidden and talking subdued. The bare hills of Sinai sounded with the beat of thousands of shod horses. They rode 30 kilometres through the night.
http://www.lighthorse.org.au/fullsize/bsheba.jpg
30th October 1917
1800: Asluj and Khalasa were cleared.
31st October 1917
0555: 100 British guns opened in support of the preliminary operation.
0700: The Desert Mounted Corps halted, and patrols were pushed forward. Beersheba with its mosque was clearly in view; it offered no prize in rations or quarters, but something more coveted were the ancient wells to water those parched men and their Waler mounts. A large pool could be seen shimmering in the Wadi; there had been a storm on the 27th.
0830: The British rushed forward and captured their objectives to the south-west and brought forward their guns.
0900: The ANZAC's were ready to seize the road and the Tel. The enemy was observed reinforcing the Tel.
0930: The 2nd Brigade moved into artillery formation, advanced through a Bedouin camp, and thundered to the Hebron Road Sakati without slackening. Turkish batteries fired, but formation and ground gave them protection. With this task accomplished, they remained in a Wadi for the day.
1000: The Somerset Battery opened up on Tel El Saba from 3000 metres to cover the ANZAC assault. The 3rd Australian Light Horse Regiment was ordered to attack from the south-east. A spirited gallop under heavy fire brought the 3rd to within 1500 metres of the enemy. They dismounted. The Auckland Regiment conformed to the north. The Inverness Battery gave covering fire to the Somersets as they galloped to within 1000 metres of the Tel. The ANZAC's were severely punished but they continued their advance, eventually bringing effective Hotchkiss fire onto the cliff. The prospect of the 3rd scaling the 200 metre cliff was not good, so they gave full opportunity to the Aucklanders.
1300: The 2nd Australian Light Horse Regiment was ordered to support the 3rd. They advanced at the gallop, dismounted and rushed their horses back so quickly that the enemy though they had retreated. They fired on the horses; this enabled the 2nd to advance unharmed. Meanwhile, the 3rd had gained the bank. The Wellington's were thrown in to support the Aucklanders. The enemy was now under heavy fire.
1500: The New Zealanders rose and dashed up the slopes with the bayonet. The 3rd continued, but the Aucklanders were first in. Some Turks surrendered; others fled into the town. The 2nd and 3rd gave chase then fought off a counter-attack. At last the ANZAC's had secured the Hebron Road and Tel El Saba. Chauvel had not expected to lose as much time. He had already detached the 9th and 10th Regiments from the Australian Mounted Division in support of the ANZAC's.
1430: With the day on the wane, it was now neck or nothing; the time had come to commit the reserve. Chauvel issued decisive orders for the occupation of Beersheba. Brig. Grant of the 4th Australian Light Horse Brigade and Fitzgerald of the Yeomanry were at Headquarters; they pleaded for the honour of the charge. Put Grant straight at it was Chauvels terse order.
1630: The 4th and 12th Australian Light Horse Regiments drew up behind a ridge. From the crest, Beerhseba was in full view. The course lay down a long, slight slope which was bare of cover. Between them and the town lay the enemy defences. The 4th was on the right; the 12th was on the left. They rode with bayonets in hand. Each drew up on a squadron frontage. Every man knew that only a wild, desperate charge could seize Beerhseba before dark. They moved off at the trot, deploying at once into artillery formation, with 5 metres between horsemen. Almost at once the pace quickened to a gallop. Once direction was given, the lead squadrons pressed forward. The 11th Australian Light Horse Regiment and the Yeomanry followed at the trot in reserve. The Turks opened fire with shrapnel. Machine guns fired against the lead squadrons. The Royal Horse Artillery got their range and soon had them out of action. The Turkish riflemen fired, horses were hit, but the charge was not checked. The Lighthorsemen drove in their spurs; they rode for victory and they rode for Australia. The bewildered enemy failed to adjust their sights and soon their fire was passing harmlessly overhead. The 4th took the trenches; the enemy soon surrendered. The 12th rode through a gap and on into the town. Their was a bitter fight. Some enemy surrendered; others fled and were pursued into the Judean Hills. In less than an hour it was over; the enemy was finally beaten.
From his headquarters, Chauvel had watched the battle develop. He saw the New Zealanders swarming the Tel; on their right the 9th and 10th LH Regiment were trotting in pursuit under shrapnel. On the Wadi the 2nd and 3rd LH Regiments were pressing forward in their attempt to take the town from the east. The Royal Horse Artillery were firing in support. Then over the ridge rode the 4th and 12th . . . shrapnel . . . the signal to charge! Not for almost an hour did Chauvel learn that Beersheba had been won.
Then disaster. The 9th and 10th in pursuit were bombed by a lone German aircraft; they suffered heavy casualties. The Desert Mounted Corps watered at the wells of the patriarchs and in the pool. For days, the charge was the talk of the camps and messes.
The Australian Light Horse had galloped into history.
South Australians can be proud of the contribution of the 3rd and the 9th in the Battle of Beersheba.
A Squadron 3rd/9th South Australian Mounted Rifles began as the Reedbeds Cavalry in 1841 and is privileged to have inherited the honors, the history and the tradition of the Australian Light Horse.

Parihaka
30 Oct 07,, 22:46
.http://www.lighthorse.org.au/images/war1a.gif
http://www.lighthorse.org.au/images/war2a.gif
http://www.lighthorse.org.au/images/war3a.gif

Shamus
30 Oct 07,, 23:06
Good story Pari,I had never heard of this battle before,thanks:) .

Officer of Engineers
30 Oct 07,, 23:12
Wasn't there a movie made on this?

captain
31 Oct 07,, 17:07
Yes guys there was a movie made about this.

It was the last of three war themed movies made by the South Australian Film Corporation.

The First movie was called, Breaker Morant and was based on a true story that happened during the Boer war.
The events that happenned soured relations between Britain and Australia for a very long time and when the movie came out it opened up some very nasty wounds again.
The movie was filmed in 1980 and starred Englishman, Edward Woodward as Harry (Breaker) Morant.
The filming took place about 50 miles from where I live, in a small town called Burra. They used an historic Jail called the Redruth Jail which is now a tourist museum for much of the filming.

The second movie was called, Gallipoli and is based on the story of the Anzacs and the ill fated and bloody landing at Gallipoli in Turkey during WW 1.
This film was made in 1981.

The last Movie made was, The Light Horsemen.
The charge and much of the desert scenes were filmed at Hawker, about 60 miles north of me.
The film extras who did the riding were locals from farms and stations plus high country hosemen brought in from the Victorian Alps.
This film was made in 1987.

As Pari's article indicates, the Light Horse was never meant to do a cavalry charge but instead, advance, dismount and fire.
The Australian officers took it upon themselves to do what they did because the horses were not going to survive another day without water and they needed to capture the water well intact.
As the Light Horse did not carry Sabres, the charge was done with Bayonets which were quite long in those days.

Apparently that was the last mass Cavalry charge the world would ever see.

At the time these movies were made they achieved almost cult status in Australia but I don't beleive they had much exposure elsewhere.

I have an interest in them because my maternal Grandfather was at Gallipoli and lived to tell the tale.
My paternal Grandfather was a Lighthorseman but was sent to France where cavalry was not required so they were redesignated as "drivers" ie, the guys who drove the horse teams that dragged the field guns through the mud and slush.

A couple of things have happened in the last 15 years or so that make me angry and sad.

The "walers" that are mentioned in Pari's article are a type of horse that the Light Horse rode.
In Australia our wild horses are called Brumbys and the Walers are a distinct sub section of that group.
Very few of them came home from the Middle East because the government would not allow it.
The few that still remain have in recent years been targeted by the zealots who will not tolerate introduced species wandering around in the wild.
As a consequence of this, they have been hunted and "back shot" from helicopters.
The people that do this don't care about any heritage value of these superb horses.

The other thing that is sad and annoying is the fact that our kids are not taught about these events anymore because it is cosidered to be glorifying war and the current crop of teachers are equally ignorant of our heritage.

I impress upon you to get hold of copies of the three movies and watch them in the order that they were made.
They will give you a very good understanding of the Anzac soldiers personalities and the esteem in which they were once and should forever be held.

The Light Horsemen is best watched in wide screen format.
If you watch the charge and the hairs on the back of your necks don't stand up, you will need to check your pulses. :biggrin:

Cheers.

ChrisF202
04 Nov 07,, 20:42
Right on Captain, all 3 were good movies except for the lack of action in the first 2 (definitely in Gallipoli but its been awhile since I last saw Breaker Morant so I could be wrong)

YouTube - The Lighthorsemen - Attack on Beersheba (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vvjE3h0Ahz8)
A clip of the famous charge from The Lighthorsemen.

captain
16 Nov 07,, 13:20
A very rare peice of historic artillery has been saved.

I and my freinds used to occaisionally play on this when we were kids.

The drill hall where my Grandfather and his 9th Lighthorse mates practised their drills is about 100 yards away and is now used as a Scout hall.

I am not sure if this was captured at Beersheba but in any case I am pleased the community has seen fit to make sure this peice of history is not lost.

The following link is a nice story about the gun and the people who have restored it.

http://catford.com.au/images/prod_images/CANNON.pdf

Cheers.

glyn
16 Nov 07,, 14:32
[QUOTE=captain;427410]A very rare peice of historic artillery has been saved.

I and my freinds used to occaisionally play on this when we were kids.

The drill hall where my Grandfather and his 9th Lighthorse mates practised their drills is about 100 yards away and is now used as a Scout hall.

I am not sure if this was captured at Beersheba but in any case I am pleased the community has seen fit to make sure this peice of history is not lost.

The following link is a nice story about the gun and the people who have restored it.

http://catford.com.au/images/prod_images/CANNON.pdf

Cheers.

Most interesting:) I'm astonished that only 4 of these were made (and that 2 survive in Australia.) Couldn't have been a money-spinner for Krupps!

Big K
16 Nov 07,, 15:56
ANZACS were always one of bravest enemy in WW1 as we learned but we can not forget some other factors like;

Mr. Alexander Aaronsohn,

Sherif Huseyins revolt(Muslim vs Muslim),

"Netzach Israel Loshakere" in short "NILI",

Simi Simon and others...

captain
18 Nov 07,, 08:38
Couldn't have been a money-spinner for Krupps!

Possibly not.
For a 5.9 inch (150mm) howitzer it is quite small and I would doubt it would weigh any more than 1.5 ton.
It would probably dance around a fair bit when fired and with such a short barrel, it's bark would be as bad as it's bite which would not have impressed the users much.

I wonder what happened to the breech block. :frown:

Cheers

Albany Rifles
20 Nov 07,, 16:49
The Light Horsemen

One of my top 3 favorite movies of all time. I wish I could find it here in teh US on DVD!!

What a tremendous story. I first heard of this campaign when in the Infantry Officers Advanced Course in 1985. Had been oblivious to it prior to that.

captain
26 Nov 07,, 10:40
The Light Horsemen

One of my top 3 favorite movies of all time. I wish I could find it here in teh US on DVD!!

What a tremendous story. I first heard of this campaign when in the Infantry Officers Advanced Course in 1985. Had been oblivious to it prior to that.

Hi,

It is available in the U.S from Amazon but the dvd is apparently a Chinese copy and of very poor quality.
Amazon also have the movie on VHS tape which would most likey be the original and therefore good quality.
The asking price for the tape is very little and tapes can be burnt to disc very easily.
If you cant do that I am sure one of your friends would be enough of a tech wizz to help you out.

Breaker Morant is also available from Amazon and on dvd.
This movie, if you haven't seen it, deals with military law and un-uniformed guerilla combatants.
Quite topical for today and an exelent movie, IMO.

A read of the comments on Amazon for both movies is worthwhile.

Hints,,I would be reluctant to buy off Ebay,, too many fakes and make sure the movies are in suitable format for your player.

Best of luck.

Cheers.

RustyBattleship
26 Nov 07,, 17:32
"The Light Horsemen" was perhaps the best and most accurate of the 3 movies made dedicated to the charge on Beersheba.

The first movie was "One Thousand Horses" (I think but can't find it in Google). It was well done but being in black and white no longer appreciated by the younger color-coded generation. I first saw it on an Emerson tube TV many years ago so my memory of the title may be off. But I still recall the scenes of that very impressive cavalry charge.

A cavalry charge like no other cavalry charge before or since.

Then there was "The Light Horsemen" starring Anthony Andrews as the British Intelligence officer following up his astounding TV series "Danger UXB".

The third film rendition was a 2 hourTV episode of "Young Indiana Jones". I watched it the other night on satellite TV. The TV version fairly well followed the earlier movie and I'm pretty sure some of the distance shots were taken from the movie. Otherwise they used a whole new cast. Sets were either new but I suspect many of the scenes were out-takes from the movie. Still an exciting rendition commemorating perhaps the greatest Cavalry charge of all time.

Ryan Bailey
25 Apr 08,, 19:07
An excellent example of the remaining essence of Cavalry operations in modern warfare. The Cavalry Charge remains intact in the strategic mounted maneuver elements of what has developed, in western parlance, to include "assault", as well as "blitzkrieg", "shock" & "awe".

God forbid that the last Cavalry Charge be carried out by infantrymen....

It has been my opinion that the "charge" is still being sounded the world over today including winged, tracked & wheeled vehicles as much as the family of EFVs (equestrian fighting vehicle).

RustyBattleship
01 May 08,, 04:39
An excellent example of the remaining essence of Cavalry operations in modern warfare. The Cavalry Charge remains intact in the strategic mounted maneuver elements of what has developed, in western parlance, to include "assault", as well as "blitzkrieg", "shock" & "awe".

God forbid that the last Cavalry Charge be carried out by infantrymen....

It has been my opinion that the "charge" is still being sounded the world over today including winged, tracked & wheeled vehicles as much as the family of EFVs (equestrian fighting vehicle).

Actually, horse cavalry charges were done by Afghan siding with us in our war on the Taliban and El Quiada. They actually would charge against a line of T-54 tanks (sort of left behind by the Russians a few years previously). Their philosophy was that each tank could only get off one shot and they would be crawling all over them before they could reload.

Not like an old (very old) western movie I saw where the hero was manning a Maxim Machinegun from the back of a wagon. He laid a stream of bullets just in front of the big gang of outlaws chasing him. When asked later why he didn't shoot the outlaws themselves he said, "I didn't want to hit the horses".

But that's Hollyweird for you.

Speedy
01 May 08,, 20:22
The first movie was "One Thousand Horses" (I think but can't find it in Google). It was well done but being in black and white no longer appreciated by the younger color-coded generation. I first saw it on an Emerson tube TV many years ago so my memory of the title may be off. But I still recall the scenes of that very impressive cavalry charge.

A cavalry charge like no other cavalry charge before or since.

.


The movie you are thinking of here I believe is 40,000 Horsemen.

40,000 Horsemen (1940) (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0033307/)

ChrisF202
02 May 08,, 21:27
Actually, horse cavalry charges were done by Afghan siding with us in our war on the Taliban and El Quiada. They actually would charge against a line of T-54 tanks (sort of left behind by the Russians a few years previously). Their philosophy was that each tank could only get off one shot and they would be crawling all over them before they could reload.

Not like an old (very old) western movie I saw where the hero was manning a Maxim Machinegun from the back of a wagon. He laid a stream of bullets just in front of the big gang of outlaws chasing him. When asked later why he didn't shoot the outlaws themselves he said, "I didn't want to hit the horses".

But that's Hollyweird for you.
Yes, horse cavalry and mounted infantry on horses are alot more common in the modern world then people think.

Some examples:

- Rhodesian Army's Grey's Scouts during the Rhodesian Bush War. Technically mounted infantry but actually fought from horseback more then they did on foot.

- Portuguese Army dragoons and lancers employed horse mounted units during the wars of independence in Angola and Mozambique in the 1960s and 70s.

- Mexico and many Latin American nations retained horse cavalry for combat purposes until well into the 1990s and I would venture to guess that at least a few still do.

Pros:
They dont require fuel
They can go where tanks and APCs cant
They are relatively noiseless compared to vehicles or aircraft
They are cheaper then vehicles or aircraft
Easier to train to ride a horse then aircraft
Easier to maintain then a vehicle or aircraft
Very effective against poorly trained rebels/terrorists/guerrillas/insurgents

Cons:
Horses have trouble digesting certain types of hay and grass
I would imagine a tank of fuel lasts longer nonstop then a horse

RustyBattleship
07 May 08,, 19:59
[ Horses have trouble digesting certain types of hay and grass
I would imagine a tank of fuel lasts longer nonstop then a horse

Yes, but after digestion of the proper feed, what they leave behind will fertilize the lawn of the Generalisimo's Headquarters.

Sir Victor
12 Aug 08,, 15:09
Hello mates we are discussing about this matter in the following forum. If you like you can visit. I am posting under the name Tosun Saral
Axis History Forum • View forum - The end of the Ottoman Empire 1908-1923 (http://forum.axishistory.com/viewforum.php?f=80&sid=6b5522253a8a161e90a47bddd38e2299)
cheers

Rifleman
13 Aug 08,, 01:33
The Light Horsemen

One of my top 3 favorite movies of all time. I wish I could find it here in teh US on DVD!!

It was a good'un!

Trooper - "You mean we're out here to see storks flying south?"

Officer - "Hopefully!"