03 July 2023
Number 68 in the Combat series from Osprey tackles the actions between ANZAC forces and those of the Ottoman Empire, in three particular battles. These were Lone Pine and Chunuk Bair in 1915, before the Gallipoli withdrawal, and Beersheba in 1917, after Gallipoli withdrawal. First up is an analysis of the two sides, with everything from recruiting and mobilisation to organisation, logistics, weapons, training and tactics. Then there are the three battles and an overall analysis.
The Lone Pine battle was brutal, involved ANZAC and Ottoman force surging back and forth between trenches, throwing hand grenades and bombs at each other, sniping, before descending into close combat and bayoneting. The losses on both sides were significant with rank being no guarantee of survival - 2nd Battalion lost 70% of its officers in the first 24 hours. Eventually it descended into a stalemate.
With each battle you get a time-based tactical map showing how the action progressed and the text really brings it all to life with excellent detail. By the time you get to Beersheba, the Ottoman’s are disintegrating, and here was where the ANZAC cavalry was able to wreak havoc once it had broken through. The sight of horses charging a prepared defensive position was the last of WWI and a huge risk that paid off. With illustrations and plenty of photos, this is a superb guide to some of the key events in Gallipoli and Palestine that are usually overlooked thanks to the disastrous Gallipoli landings themselves.
- Osprey Publishing
- ISBN: 978-1-4728-4918-2
- 82 pages. Softcover. £15.99
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