Sunday, December 11, 2011

That German General not only saved the Jews of Eretz Yisrael, but also saved the city of Jerusalem

Gaza City in ruins, April 1917, after two battles between the
British and the Turks. The spike in the background are the remains
of the Gaza mosque. The picture was taken eight months
before British forces approached the city of Jerusalem
German General Erich von Falkenhayn, featured in our previous posting, was cited by German, Vatican, Jewish and Turkish sources as preventing the expulsion of the Jews of Palestine in 1917.

But pay attention to the Turkish sources who complained about Falkenhayn failure to rush reinforcements to Jerusalem as the British forces approached in November and December 1917.  Falkenhayn's actions -- or inaction in this case -- may have saved the city of Jerusalem from destruction.  
The Great Mosque of Gaza (c 1880)

Nebi Samuel, a high point
outside of Jerusalem, before
the war
Click on the photos to enlarge.

Click on the captions to see the originals.
Nebi Samuel, after
the war
"The British attack on Jerusalem began on 8 December." according to documents in Turkey in the First World War.  "The city was defended by the XX Corps, commanded by Ali Fuad Pasha. Falkenhayn did not send reinforcements to Jerusalem because he did not want the relics and the holy places damaged because of severe fighting. [emphasis added.]"

"After withdrawing from Jerusalem, Ali Fuad Pasha sent a cable to Jamal Pasha: "Since my first day as the commander of the defense of Jerusalem, I did not receive any support except one single cavalry regiment.... The British, who benefited from the fatigue of my poor soldiers..., invaded the beautiful town of Jerusalem.  I believe that the responsibility of this disaster belongs completely to Falkenhayn!"  
Heavy British artillery being
towed on Jerusalem's Nablus
Road, 1917

Turkish gun hidden in Gaza grove,
The destructive power of the British and Turkish armies can clearly be seen in the pictures of the aftermath of battles in Gaza (March and April 1917) and Nebi Samuel on the outskirts of Jerusalem (November 17-24, 1917).  Both armies consisted of tens of thousands of troops and hundreds of heavy artillery pieces.
Perhaps not since Sennacharib, the Assyrian King (8th century BCE) who laid siege to Jerusalem and whose troops mysteriously died (II Kings 19), has the city of Jerusalem avoided devastation of Biblical proportions.
The city of Jerusalem would be spared. Aerial picture taken by a German pilot, circa 1917


  1. Looks like you are the founder and chair of the Israel chapter of the General Erich von Falkenhayn Fan Club:-) When is the street naming ceremony?

  2. I found a picture of him on the Temple Mount which I posted here: