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100 Years On – Megiddo

From 19 to 25 September, 1918, British, Indian, and allied Arab forces routed Ottoman forces in what was the last major campaign in the Middle East.  While this was an offensive that ranged across vast sections of modern-day Israel, Syria, and Jordan, it has been christened The Battle of Megiddo. Ottoman forces were routed at Nablus, Amman, and Sharon.

The lessons of four hard years of fighting are evident in how British General Allenby fought this campaign.  The coordinated use of artillery and infantry, along with armored cars, aircraft, and cavalry, penned in and overwhelmed the Turks.  Out of almost 35,000 Ottoman troops assembled at the beginning of the campaign, only 6,000 escaped death or capture.  In contrast, British and allied forces lost about 1,100 dead and missing, and less than 5,000 wounded, out of a force of over 70,000 soldiers and irregular troops.

The impact of this campaign, and the Middle Eastern front it was a part of, on the modern world cannot be overstated.  Immediately after Megiddo, Damascus and the other Ottoman strong points in the area collapsed.  The loss of so much territory and its resources hastened the eventual collapse of Ottoman Turkey itself.  The lines drawn and the countries formed in the war’s aftermath led to almost a century of conflict.

2 Comments

  1. OldNFO

     /  September 23, 2018

    And counting… sigh… The decision to not form ‘countries’ based on versions of islam created much of what we are facing today.

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