Last week in Middle Eastern history: the First Battle of Gaza (1917)

Two Sundays ago, March 26, marked the 100th anniversary of the First Battle of Gaza, a small and, to be honest, fairly inconsequential affair (the Second Battle of Gaza was fought less than a month later, so clearly neither side expended itself this time around) that is nonetheless interesting in that what could have been a decisive British victory became instead an indecisive Ottoman one because British forces, having actually taken Gaza, decided to retreat rather than prepare for an Ottoman counterattack. That’s why there was a second engagement in April, which was also an Ottoman victory, and then a third one in November when the Brits finally were victorious.

Why am I only writing about this now, and not last week when it might have been appropriate? Well, the simple answer is that, as regular readers know, when World War I stuff comes around I generally like to send you all to read Michael Collins Dunn instead of writing about these things myself. And, well, it took him a few days to get his account written so it’s taken me a few days to point you at it. But if you’re interested in WWI history, do go check these out: part I (introducing the key people) and part II (recapping the engagement itself).

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Author: DWD

writer, blogger, lover, fighter

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