Wednesday, July 6, 2011

A Picture a Day -- Prelude to the 1917 War in Palestine
The Turkish-German Forces

Ottoman troops prepare to attack the British-held
 Suez Canal 1914

World War I did not only take place in the trenches of Europe. A massive war also took place in the Middle East between 1914 and 1918 with the British Empire engaging the armies of the German and Ottoman Empires. 
Austrians in Jerusalem 1916

German officers on the Temple Mount
in 1916. The scene was almost
repeated in World War II 
Today, the movie "Lawrence of Arabia" is perhaps the only source for the public's knowledge of the tumultuous conflict in the Middle East.  The war was waged from the shores of the Suez Canal to Damascus.  Armies of hundreds of thousands of men fought over control of the Canal, the water wells in the Sinai, Gaza, the Arabian peninsula, Beersheba, Jerusalem, Jericho and Damascus.  Great cavalry charges, military railroad construction, air bombing raids, camel transport were hallmarks of the war.  German officers commanded Turkish, Austrian and German troops.  British officers commanded British, Australians and Indians. 

The Library of Congress collection of photographs contains hundreds of pictures of the war from both sides of the front.  This page contains just a few showing the Ottoman/German forces.

The war years were marked by severe persecution and hardship for the Jewish communities of Palestine.  See Palestine during the war : being a record of the preservation of the Jewish settlements in Palestine (1921), a report to the 12th Zionist Congress.
German commander 1916

German military transport in Jerusalem

Australian POWs held by Turks 1917

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