Primary Documents - Sir Edmund Allenby on the Battle of Megiddo, 20 September 1918
Following the British success in capturing Jerusalem in December 1917 further progress north was effectively stalled in the face of strengthened German forces until September 1918. In part this was because troops had been hastily transferred to the Western Front in March 1918 to assist in the Allies' defence against the German Spring offensive.
Thus on 18 September Sir Edmund Allenby - British regional Commander-in-Chief launched the Battle of Megiddo at Rafat. This set in trail an unbroken series of victories including those at Damascus and Beirut (the latter seized by a French fleet). It was in light of these overwhelming victories that Turkey sued for an armistice of surrender, which was duly agreed on 30 October 1918 in Mudros. British forces subsequently took possession of Constantinople on 10 November 1918.
Reproduced below is the text of Allenby's official report on fighting at Megiddo, dated 20 September 1918.
Click here to read an account of Turkey's fall by Germany's official observer, Gaston Bodart. Click here to read a summary of Allenby's progress by W. T. Massey. Click here to read a British eyewitness account of the surrender of the Gallipoli peninsular on 9 November; click here to read an account of the surrender of Constantinople on the following day by the official British observer G. Ward Price. Click here to read the proclamation of the newly appointed Sultan Mehmed VI in which he regretted Turkish crimes against the Armenians and promised a full investigation.
General Allenby's Report on Fighting at Megiddo, 20 September 1918
Our left wing, having swung around to the east, had reached the line of Bidieh, Baka, and Messudiyeh Junction, and was astride the rail and roads converging at Nabulus.
Our right wing, advancing through difficult country against considerable resistance, had reached the line of Khan-Jibeit, one and one-fourth miles northeast of El-Mugheir and Es-Sawieh, and was facing north astride the Jerusalem-Nabulus road.
On the north our cavalry, traversing the Field of Armageddon, had occupied Nazareth, Afule, and Beisan, and were collecting the disorganized masses of enemy troops and transport as they arrived from the south. All avenues of escape open to the enemy, except the fords across the Jordan between Beisan and Jisr-ed-Dameer were thus closed.
East of the Jordan Arab forces of the King of the Hejaz had effected numerous demolitions on the railways radiating from Deraa, several important bridges, including one in the Yurmak Valley, having been destroyed. Very severe losses have been inflicted on the masses of Turkish troops retreating over the difficult roads by our air services.
A German airplane, later ascertained to have been carrying mails, landed in the midst of our troops at Afule. The pilot, who believed the place still to be in Turkish hands, destroyed the machine and its contents before he could be secured.
Source: Source Records of the Great War, Vol. VI, ed. Charles F. Horne, National Alumni 1923
Flak was a term used to describe anti-aircraft fire.
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