Artillery in the Sinai & Palestine Campaigns 1916-1918
By Alan H Smith
Published by Big Sky Publishing www.bigskypublishing.com.au
RRP $34.99 in hardcover • ISBN 9781925275759
A subject rarely covered because of the obvious emphasis on the Western Front, Alan Smith’s Allenby’s Gunners 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.
During the first 12 months of the campaigns, the Allied forces were outgunned by the increased Turkish artillery and suffered heavy losses. The reconstitution of the Australian and New Zealand forces following Gallipoli had resulted in insufficient artillery being available for the desert campaigns.
But with the appointment of the British General, Edmund Allenby, in June 1917, more resources were allocated via the British artillery and the tide began to turn in favour of the Allies.
Smith records some detail of the various battles which ensued in the campaigns. From Romani and the coast plain, the Palestine desert, Jordan Valley and the Eastern Escarpment to Amman, until the theatre armistice in October 1918.
But it is Allenby’s victor at Megiddo which Smith believes was the outstanding feat of the campaigns. Allenby’s Gunners is a welcome addition to the story of the Australians in the Middle East campaigns of World War I.