3rd Light Horse Brigade

The 3rd Light Horse Brigade was a mounted infantry brigade of the First Australian Imperial Force which served in the Middle Eastern theatre of World War I. The brigade first saw action during the Dardanelles Campaign in the Battle of Gallipoli where they were noted for their charge during the Battle of the Nek. After being withdrawn to Egypt in February 1916 they were involved in the Sinai and Palestine Campaign until the end of the war. They were attached to a number of different formations being part of the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps in 1915, the Anzac Mounted Division in March 1916 and the Australian Mounted Division in June 1917 who they remained with until the end of the war.

3rd Light Horse Brigade
Active1914–1919
Country Australia
AllegianceAustralian Crown
BranchAustralian Army
TypeMounted infantry
RoleLight horse
Sizecavalry brigade
Part of(1) 3rd Australian Contingent, 1914–15;
(2) Australian and New Zealand Army Corps, 1915–16;
(3) Anzac Mounted Division, 1916–17;
(4) Imperial Mounted Division, 1917;
(5) Australian Mounted Division, 1917–19.
EngagementsWorld War I
Gallipoli Campaign
Sinai and Palestine Campaign
Insignia
Unit colour patch
3rd Light Horse Brigade colour patch

History

Formation

The 3rd Light Horse Brigade was raised in response to a promise made by the Australian Government to supply a division of 20,000 Australians comprising infantry, artillery and cavalry to be used at the discretion of Britain. The 3rd Light Horse Brigade was part of the 3rd Contingent that was hastily put together at the beginning of October 1914. The 3rd Light Horse Brigade was primarily raised from recruits serving in the various militia light horse formations created as a consequence of the Kitchener Report 1910 and the introduction of Universal Training.

Embarkation

The brigade embarked to Egypt during the months of February and March 1915. In Egypt additional training occurred at the Mena Camp. Subsequent embarkations of reinforcements occurred as and when sufficient recruits were gathered and prepared for movement to a war theatre.[1] During the Gallipoli campaign, the brigade was dismounted and sent as infantry reinforcements, assigned as corps troops directly under the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps.[2]

Campaigns

Disbandment

The brigade was disbanded at Kantara, July 1919 when the various regiments within the Brigade embarked for Australia. As each Regiment arrived at its specific home port, it was disbanded.

Composition

Middle Eastern data form middle eastern studies web
Middle Eastern Theatre during World War I

8th Light Horse Regiment

This Regiment was recruited exclusively from Victoria.[3]

9th Light Horse Regiment

This was a composite Regiment recruited from South Australia with two squadrons and Victoria which formed one squadron.[4]

10th Light Horse Regiment

Originally recruited in Western Australia as "C" Squadron 7th Light Horse Regiment but extended to become a Regiment (10th Light House Regiment) in its own right. It was recruited exclusively from Western Australia and the Militia 25th Australian Horse.[5]

The charge of the 3rd Light Horse Brigade at the Nek 7 August 1915
Charge of the 3rd Light Horse Brigade at the Battle of the Nek, Painting by George Lambert, 1924

3rd Light Horse Machine Gun Squadron

Initially, each Regiment within the Brigade raised their own Machine Gun Section which consisted of two troops and two Maxim machine guns. This situation remained from 1914 until in July 1916, when all Regimental Machine Gun Sections were excised and brigaded to form a Machine Gun Squadron. The 8th, 9th and 10th Machine Gun Sections were combined to form the 3rd Machine Gun Squadron under the command of the Brigade. The 3rd Light Horse Machine Gun Squadron was armed with 12 machine guns.[6]

3rd Light Horse Signal Troop

The 3rd Signal Troop was created on 1 April 1916 by drafting in four signallers from each of the 12 Regiments at the Suez Canal.[6]

3rd Light Horse Field Ambulance

Originally recruited at Melbourne in October 1914 to form part of the 2nd Light Horse Field Ambulance, when Military Order 575 of 1914 created the 3rd Light Horse Brigade and the unit became the 3rd Light Horse Field Ambulance.[6]

3rd Light Horse Brigade Train

The 3rd Light Horse Brigade Train was primarily recruited around Melbourne and trained at Broadmeadows. After Gallipoli, this unit underwent some name changes from 3rd Supply Section in February 1916 to 35th Australian Army Service Corps Company in February 1917.[6]

8th Mobile Veterinary Section

Prior to 1916, each Regiment maintained their own Veterinary Section, usually consisting of half a troop. After the formation of the Anzac Mounted Division in 1916, the three individual Regimental Veterinary sections were brigaded to form the 8th Mobile Veterinary Section.[6]

Artillery

Artillery support was provided for the 3rd Light Horse Brigade from British batteries. The first British battery attached to the Brigade was the 1/1st Inverness-shire Battery of the British IV Brigade, Royal Horse Artillery (T.F.). This battery remained until the re-organisation of February 1917 when the Inverness Battery was replaced by the 1/1 Nottingham Battery of XIX Brigade, Royal Horse Artillery (T.F.).[6]

3rd Light Horse Training Regiment

The 3rd Light Horse Training Regiment was formed in Egypt during March 1916, tasked with training incoming reinforcements while allowing the wounded and sick a place to recover before returning to active service. The Training Regiment contained three squadrons, each duplicating the Regiments within the Brigade to whom it supplied the reinforcements. The Training Regiment was disbanded in July 1918 to be replaced by the Anzac Light Horse Training Regiment when recruits were no longer tied to a Regiment but placed in a general pool of reinforcements called the General Service Reinforcements.[6]

3rd Light Horse Double Squadron

Formed Egypt 6 July 1916 from 3rd Light Horse Brigade reinforcements. It was officered and administered by the 3rd Light Horse Brigade. This Double Squadron was broken up in November 1916 with the men being transferred to the newly formed Imperial Camel Corps Battalions.

Commanders

Brigadier General Frederic Godfrey Hughes – , 17 October 1914 to 8 October 1915;
Brigadier General John MacQuarie Antill – 8 October 1915 to 8 August 1916;
Brigadier General John Robinson Royston – 8 August 1916 to 30 October 1917;
Brigadier General Lachlan Chisholm Wilson – 30 October 1917 to August 1919.[6]

See also

References

Notes

  1. ^ Troop transport ships for information and photographs about the various ships employed in transporting the troops to Egypt.
  2. ^ Travers 2002, p. 273
  3. ^ "8th Australian Light Horse Regiment". Australian Light Horse Studies Centre. Retrieved 2009-04-19.
  4. ^ "9th Australian Light Horse Regiment". Australian.Light.Horse.Studies.Centre. Retrieved 2009-04-19.
  5. ^ "10th Australian Light Horse Regiment". Australian Light Horse Studies Centre. Retrieved 2009-04-19.
  6. ^ a b c d e f g h "3rd Australian Light Horse Brigade". Australian Light Horse Studies Centre. Retrieved 2009-04-19.

Bibliography

  • Hamilton, John (2004) Goodbye Cobber, God Bless You, PanMcMillan Australia
  • Travers, Tim (2002). Gallipoli 1915. Charleston, South Carolina: Tempus. ISBN 0-7524-2551-X.

Further reading

  • Perry, Roland (2009). The Australian Light Horse. Hachette Australia. Sydney. ISBN 978 0 7336 2272 4.

External links

4th Light Horse Brigade

The 4th Light Horse Brigade was a mounted infantry brigade of the First Australian Imperial Force serving in the Middle Eastern theatre of World War I. The brigade was formed in March 1915 and shipped to Egypt without their horses and was broken up in Egypt in August 1915. Reformed in February 1917, the Brigade was attached to the Imperial Mounted Division of the Egyptian Expeditionary Force and in June 1917 transferred to the Australian Mounted Division, where it served in the Sinai and Palestine Campaign until the end of the war.

5th Light Horse Brigade

The 5th Light Horse Brigade was a mounted infantry brigade of the First Australian Imperial Force, formed in Palestine in July 1918 they served in the Middle Eastern theatre of World War I in the Sinai and Palestine Campaign, as part of the Australian Mounted Division.

8th Light Horse Regiment (Australia)

The 8th Light Horse Regiment was a mounted rifles regiment of the Australian Army during the First World War. The regiment was raised in September 1914, and assigned to the 3rd Light Horse Brigade. The regiment fought against the forces of the Ottoman Empire, in Egypt, at Gallipoli, on the Sinai Peninsula, and in Palestine and Jordan. After the armistice the regiment eventually returned to Australia in March 1919. For its role in the war the regiment was awarded fifteen battle honours. During the inter-war years, the 8th Light Horse was re-raised as a part-time unit based in the Indi region of northern Victoria. It was later converted to a divisional cavalry regiment during the Second World War but was disbanded in 1944 without having been deployed overseas.

9th Light Horse Regiment (Australia)

The 9th Light Horse Regiment was a mounted rifles regiment of the Australian Army during the First World War. The regiment was raised in October 1914, and assigned to the 3rd Light Horse Brigade. The regiment fought against the forces of the Ottoman Empire, in Egypt, at Gallipoli, on the Sinai Peninsula, and in Palestine and Jordan. After the armistice the regiment eventually returned to Australia in March 1919. For its role in the war the regiment was awarded fifteen battle honours.

During the inter-war years, the regiment was re-raised as a part-time unit based in South Australia, adopting the designation of the "Flinders Light Horse". It was later amalgamated with the 23rd Light Horse to form the 9th/23rd Light Horse, but in late 1941 was re-formed in its own right and converted to a motor regiment during the early years of the Second World War but it was disbanded in early 1943 without having been deployed overseas. In the post war period, the regiment was re-raised as an amalgamated unit along with the 3rd Light Horse designated the 3rd/9th Light Horse (South Australian Mounted Rifles).

Australian Mounted Division

The Australian Mounted Division originally formed as the Imperial Mounted Division in January 1917, was a mounted infantry, light horse and yeomanry division. The division was formed in Egypt, and along with the Anzac Mounted Division formed part of Desert Column, Egyptian Expeditionary Force in World War I. The division was originally made up of the Australian 3rd Light Horse Brigade, (formerly Anzac Mounted Division) the reconstituted 4th Light Horse Brigade, and two British yeomanry brigades; the 5th Mounted Brigade and 6th Mounted Brigade.

Battle of Buqqar Ridge

The Battle of el Buqqar Ridge took place on 27 October 1917, when one infantry regiment and cavalry troops of the Yildirim Army Group, attacked the 8th Mounted Brigade of the Egyptian Expeditionary Force (EEF) in the last days of the stalemate in Southern Palestine during the Sinai and Palestine campaign of World War I.

The commander of the Yildirim Army Group ordered the reconnaissance in force, which greatly outnumbered the Yeomanry in the mounted brigade, holding the outpost line. Despite a large number of casualties, one group made a slight withdrawal to subsequently hold their ground, until reinforcements arrived and the attackers withdrew. However another group of Yeomanry was overwhelmed and killed.

Four days later, two infantry and two mounted divisions launched the EEF's Southern Palestine Offensive, with the Battle of Beersheba on 31 October 1917.

Battle of Jisr Benat Yakub

The Battle of Jisr Benat Yakub was fought on 27 September 1918 at the beginning of the pursuit by the Desert Mounted Corps of the retreating remnants of the Yildirim Army Group towards Damascus during the Sinai and Palestine Campaign of World War I. After the Battle of Samakh and the Capture of Tiberias, which completed the Egyptian Expeditionary Force's decisive victory in the Battle of Sharon section of the Battle of Megiddo, the Australian Mounted Division attacked and captured a series of rearguard positions. The positions were held by German and Ottoman soldiers of the Tiberias Group at Daughters of Jacob Bridge, an important bridge across the Jordan River, and at fords at El Min and north towards Lake Huleh.

Remnants of the Ottoman Seventh and Eighth Armies were retreating in columns towards Damascus from the Judean Hills via Samakh, the bridge at Jisr Benat Yakub, Kuneitra, and Kaukab, pursued by the Australian Mounted and the 5th Cavalry Divisions. At the same time remnants of the Ottoman Fourth Army were retreating in columns towards Damascus along the Pilgrims' Road (the old hajj road following the even older route of the King's Highway) through Deraa, pursued by the 4th Cavalry Division.

The surviving garrisons from Samakh and Tiberias formed from remnants of the Seventh and Eighth Armies entrenched themselves on the eastern side of the Jordan River to cover the retreat of the main remnants of the Yildirim Army Group. These rearguards were successfully attacked by the Australian Mounted Division during the day, capturing a number of survivors who had not succeeded in withdrawing, to occupy the eastern bank of the Jordan River. The Australian Mounted Division, followed by the 5th Cavalry Division continued their advance towards Damascus later in the day.

Battle of Mughar Ridge

The Battle of Mughar Ridge, officially known by the British as the Action of El Mughar, took place on 13 November 1917 during the Pursuit phase of the Southern Palestine Offensive of the Sinai and Palestine Campaign in the First World War. Fighting between the advancing Egyptian Expeditionary Force (EEF) and the retreating Yildirim Army Group, occurred after the Battle of Beersheba and the Third Battle of Gaza. Operations occurred over an extensive area north of the Gaza to Beersheba line and west of the road from Beersheba to Jerusalem via Hebron.Strong Ottoman Army positions from Gaza to the foothills of the Judean Hills had successfully held out against British Empire forces for a week after the Ottoman army was defeated at Beersheba. But the next day, 8 November, the main Ottoman base at Sheria was captured after two days' fighting and a British Yeomanry cavalry charge at Huj captured guns; Ottoman units along the whole line were in retreat.

The XXI Corps and Desert Mounted Corps attacked the Ottoman Eighth Army on an extended front from the Judean foothills across the Mediterranean coastal plain from 10 to 14 November. Beginning on 10 November at Summil, an Ottoman counterattack by the Seventh Army was eventually blocked by mounted units while on 13 November in the centre a cavalry charge assisted by infantry captured two fortified villages and on 14 November, to the north at Ayun Kara an Ottoman rearguard position was successfully attacked by mounted units. Junction Station (also known as Wadi es Sara) was captured and the Ottoman railway link with Jerusalem was cut. As a result of this victory the Ottoman Eighth Army withdrew behind the Nahr el Auja and their Seventh Army withdrew toward Jerusalem.

Battle of Romani

The Battle of Romani was the last ground attack of the Central Powers on the Suez Canal at the beginning of the Sinai and Palestine Campaign during the First World War. The battle was fought between 3 and 5 August 1916 near the Egyptian town of Romani and the site of ancient Pelusium on the Sinai Peninsula, 23 miles (37 km) east of the Suez Canal. This victory by the 52nd (Lowland) Division and the Anzac Mounted Division of the Egyptian Expeditionary Force (EEF) over a joint Ottoman and German force, which had marched across the Sinai, marked the end of the Defence of the Suez Canal campaign, also known as the Offensive zur Eroberung des Suezkanals and the İkinci Kanal Harekâtı, which had begun on 26 January 1915.

This British Empire victory, the first against the Ottoman Empire in the war, ensured the safety of the Suez Canal from ground attacks and ended the Central Powers' plans to disrupt traffic through the canal by gaining control of the strategically important northern approaches to it. The pursuit by the Anzac Mounted Division, which ended at Bir el Abd on 12 August, began the Sinai and Palestine Campaign. Thereafter the Anzac Mounted Division supported by the Imperial Camel Brigade were on the offensive, pursuing the German and Ottoman army many miles across the Sinai Peninsula, reversing in a most emphatic manner the defeat suffered at Katia three months earlier.From late April 1916, after a German-led Ottoman force attacked British yeomanry at Katia, British Empire forces in the region at first doubled from one brigade to two and then grew as rapidly as the developing infrastructure could support them. The construction of the railway and a water pipeline soon enabled an infantry division to join the light horse and mounted rifle brigades at Romani. During the heat of summer, regular mounted patrols and reconnaissance were carried out from their base at Romani, while the infantry constructed an extensive series of defensive redoubts. On 19 July the advance of a large German, Austrian and Ottoman force across the northern Sinai was reported. From 20 July until the battle began, the Australian 1st and 2nd Light Horse Brigades took turns pushing out to battle the advancing hostile column.

During the night of 3–4 August 1916 the advancing force, including the German Pasha I formation and the Ottoman 3rd Infantry Division, launched an attack from Katia on Romani. Forward troops quickly became engaged with the screen established by the 1st Light Horse Brigade (Anzac Mounted Division). During fierce fighting before dawn on 4 August, the Australian light horsemen were forced to slowly retire. At daylight their line was reinforced by the 2nd Light Horse Brigade, and about mid morning the 5th Mounted Brigade and the New Zealand Mounted Rifles Brigade joined the battle. Together these four brigades of the Anzac Mounted Division managed to contain and direct the determined German and Ottoman forces into deep sand. Here they came within range of the strongly entrenched 52nd (Lowland) Division defending Romani and the railway. Coordinated resistance by all these EEF formations, the deep sand, the heat and thirst prevailed, and the German, Austrian and Ottoman advance was checked. Although the attacking force fought strongly to maintain its positions the next morning, by nightfall they had been pushed back to their starting point at Katia. The retiring force was pursued by the Anzac Mounted Division between 6 and 9 August, during which the Ottomans and Germans forces fought a number of strong rearguard actions against the advancing Australian light horse, British yeomanry and New Zealand mounted rifle brigades. The pursuit ended on 12 August, when the German and Ottoman force abandoned their base at Bir el Abd and retreated to El Arish.

Battle of the Nek

The Battle of the Nek (Turkish: Kılıçbayır Muharebesi) was a small World War I battle fought as part of the Gallipoli campaign. "The Nek" was a narrow stretch of ridge on the Gallipoli Peninsula. The name derives from the Afrikaans word for a "mountain pass" but the terrain itself was a perfect bottleneck and easy to defend, as had been proven during an Ottoman attack in May. It connected the Anzac trenches on the ridge known as "Russell's Top" to the knoll called "Baby 700" on which the Ottoman defenders were entrenched. The immediate area became known as Anzac, with the allied landing site becoming Anzac Cove, after the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps.

On 7 August 1915, two regiments of the Australian 3rd Light Horse Brigade, one of the units under the command of Major General (temporarily promoted) Alexander Godley, mounted a futile bayonet attack on the Ottoman trenches on Baby 700, suffering 40% killed for no gain and negligible enemy casualties. The battle became known as "Godley's abattoir".

Capture of Damascus

The Capture of Damascus occurred on 1 October 1918 after the capture of Haifa and the victory at the Battle of Samakh which opened the way for the pursuit north from the Sea of Galilee and the Third Transjordan attack which opened the way to Deraa and the inland pursuit, after the decisive Egyptian Expeditionary Force victory at the Battle of Megiddo during the Sinai and Palestine Campaign of World War I. Damascus was captured when Desert Mounted Corps and Prince Feisal's Sherifial Hejaz Army encircled the city, after a cavalry pursuit northwards along the two main roads to Damascus. During the pursuit to Damascus, many rearguards established by remnants of the Ottoman Fourth, Seventh and Eighth Armies were attacked and captured by Prince Feisal's Sherifial Army, Desert Mounted Corps' Australian Mounted Division the 4th and the 5th Cavalry Divisions. The important tactical success of capturing Damascus resulted in political manoeuvring by representatives from France, Britain and Prince Feisal's force.

Following the victories at the Battle of Sharon and Battle of Nablus during the Battle of Megiddo, on 25 September, the combined attacks by the XXI Corps, Desert Mounted Corps, the XX Corps supported by extensive aerial bombing attacks, gained all objectives. The Ottoman Seventh and Eighth Armies in the Judean Hills were forced by the attacks at Tulkarm, and Tabsor to disengage and retreat, in turn forcing the Fourth Army, east of the Jordan River to avoid outflanking by retreating from Amman when they were attacked by Chaytor's Force. As a consequence of these withdrawals large numbers of prisoners were captured at Jenin while the surviving columns retreated behind a strong rearguard at Samakh.

The commander of the Egyptian Expeditionary Force, General Edmund Allenby ordered Lieutenant General Harry Chauvel's Desert Mounted Corps to pursue the remnants of the three Ottoman armies and capture Damascus. The 4th Cavalry Division began the pursuit, attacking rearguards along the inland road at Irbid on 26 September, at Er Remta and Prince Feisal's Sherifial Army captured Deraa on 27 September. The Australian Mounted Division attacked rearguards along the main road, at Jisr Benat Yakub on 27 September, occupying Quneitra the next day, at Sa'sa' on 29/30 September, and at Kaukab and the Barada Gorge on 30 September, while the 5th Cavalry Division also attacked a rearguard at Kiswe the same day. Following these successful attacks and advances the 3rd Light Horse Brigade was ordered to move north of Damascus, marching through the city on the morning of 1 October to continue their attack on the retreating columns, cutting the road to Homs.

Capture of Jenin

The Capture of Jenin occurred on 20 September 1918, during the Battle of Sharon which together with the Battle of Nablus formed the set piece Battle of Megiddo fought between 19 and 25 September during the last months of the Sinai and Palestine Campaign of the First World War. During the cavalry phase of the Battle of Sharon carried out by the Desert Mounted Corps, the 3rd Light Horse Brigade, Australian Mounted Division attacked and captured the town of Jenin located on the southern edge of the Esdraelon Plain (also known as the Jezreel Valley and the plain of Armageddon) 40–50 miles (64–80 km) behind the front line in the Judean Hills. The Australian light horse captured about 2,000 prisoners, the main supply base and the ordnance depot of the Seventh and the Eighth Armies in and near the town. They also cut the main road from Nablus and a further 6,000 Ottoman Empire and German Empire prisoners, were subsequently captured as they attempted to retreat away from the Judean Hills.

The Egyptian Expeditionary Force (EEF) cavalry had ridden through a gap on the Mediterranean Sea coast, created by the infantry during the Battle of Tulkarm, to capture the two Ottoman armies' main lines of communication and supply north of the Judean Hills, while the infantry battles continued. On 20 September, the Desert Mounted Corps captured Afulah, Beisan and Jenin on the Esdrealon Plain. The next day the headquarters of the Seventh Army at Nablus, and the General Headquarters (GHQ) of the Yilderim Army Group at Nazareth, were both captured, while Haifa was captured two days later. During a subsequent early morning attack on 25 September, a German rearguard was captured during the Battle of Samakh, which ended the Battle of Sharon. During these operations the greater part of one Ottoman army was captured in the Judean Hills and at Jenin. These and other battles fought during the Battle of Megiddo including the Battle of Nablus and Third Transjordan attack, forced the retreating Ottoman Fourth, and remnants of the Seventh and the Eighth Armies, to the eastern side of the Jordan River. As they withdrew northwards towards Damascus they were pursued by the Desert Mounted Corps.

After the infantry established a gap in the Ottoman front line on the coast early on the morning of 19 September, the Australian Mounted Division's 3rd and 4th Light Horse Brigades (less the 5th Light Horse Brigade temporarily detached to the 60th Division) in reserve, followed the 4th Cavalry Division north on the Plain of Sharon and across the Mount Carmel Range, by the Musmus Pass, to Lejjun on the Esdrealon Plain. While the 4th Light Horse Brigade remained to garrison Lejjun and provide various guards for artillery, supplies, and corps headquarters before being ordered to capture Samakh, the 3rd Light Horse Brigade advanced to Jenin, where the 9th and 10th Light Horse captured the town after a brief fire fight. Subsequently, these two regiments captured some 8,000 Ottoman soldiers, who had been attempting to retreat northwards out of the Judean Hills, during the night of 20/21 September. The outnumbered Australian Light Horsemen were reinforced as quickly as possible, and the majority of the prisoners were marched back into holding camps, near Lejjun in the morning. The 3rd Light Horse Brigade remained in the area to garrison Jenin until they advanced to capture Tiberias on 25 September 1918, before participating in the pursuit to Damascus.

Capture of Tiberias (1918)

The Capture of Tiberias took place on 25 September 1918 during the Battle of Sharon which together with the Battle of Nablus formed the set piece Battle of Megiddo fought between 19 and 25 September in the last months of the Sinai and Palestine Campaign of the First World War. During the cavalry phase of the Battle of Sharon the Desert Mounted Corps occupied the Esdraelon Plain (also known as the Jezreel Valley and the plain of Armageddon) 40–50 miles (64–80 km) behind the front line in the Judean Hills. One squadron from each of the 3rd and 4th Light Horse Brigades Australian Mounted Division attacked and captured Tiberias (on the western shore of the Sea of Galilee also known as Lake Tiberias), along with the Yildirim Army Group's Ottoman and German garrison.

The Tiberias garrison formed part of a rearguard stretching to Samakh and on to Deraa which was intended to cover the retreat of three Ottoman armies. They were set up to delay the advance of the Desert Mounted Corps of the Egyptian Expeditionary Force (EEF) after the British Empire infantry victories at the Battle of Tulkarm, Battle of Tabsor during the Battle of Sharon. These and other battles fought during the Battle of Nablus including the Third Transjordan attack, also part of the Battle of Megiddo, forced the retreat of the Ottoman Fourth, Seventh and Eighth Armies north towards Damascus.

Tiberias was captured by two squadrons of light horse, one from the 3rd Light Horse Brigade supported by armoured cars, and one from the 4th Light Horse Brigade after fighting the Battle of Samakh. The two squadrons converged on the town from the north–west and south respectively and took 100 prisoners. The remainder of the garrison retreated northwards to form a rearguard at Lake Hule with the survivors from the Samakh garrison. The next day the Australian Mounted Division and the 5th Cavalry Division pursued the Ottoman forces towards Damascus, paralleling the pursuit on the inland route begun by the 4th Cavalry Division a day earlier.

Charge at Kaukab

The Charge at Kaukab took place on 30 September 1918 about 10 miles (16 km) south of Damascus during the pursuit by Desert Mounted Corps following the decisive Egyptian Expeditionary Force victory at the Battle of Megiddo and the Battle of Jisr Benat Yakub during the Sinai and Palestine Campaign of World War I. As the Australian Mounted Division rode along the main road north, which connects the Galilee with Damascus via Quneitra, units of the division charged a Turkish rearguard position located across the main road on the ridge at Kaukab.

Following the victories at the Battle of Sharon and Battle of Nablus during the Battle of Megiddo, remnants of the Ottoman Seventh and Eighth Armies retreated in columns towards Damascus from the Judean Hills. They left rearguards at Samakh, at Tiberias and at Jisr Benat Yakub, all of which were captured by the Australian Mounted Division. Remnants of the Fourth Army retreating in columns towards Damascus along the Pilgrims' Road through Deraa, were pursued by the 4th Cavalry Division, which attacked a rearguard at Irbid.

German and Ottoman remnants of the Seventh and Eighth Armies which had formed the defeated garrisons of Samakh and Tiberias, after being pushed back again from their next defensive positions at Jisr Benat Yakub, joined part of the defenders of Damascus and entrenched themselves at Kaukab on the high ground on both sides of the main road coming from Jerusalem to Damascus via Nablus and Quneitra. Here the 4th and 12th Light Horse Regiments charged up and onto the ridge capturing part of the rearguard, while the remainder withdrew in disorder as the 5th Light Horse Brigade on the western side outflanked their positions.

Charge at Khan Ayash

The Charge at Khan Ayash occurred on 2 October 1918 about 17 miles (27 km) north of Damascus after the pursuit to, and capture of Damascus, which followed the decisive Egyptian Expeditionary Force victory at the Battle of Megiddo on 25 September during the Sinai and Palestine Campaign of World War I. After Damascus had been encircled by Desert Mounted Corps on 30 September, the 3rd Light Horse Brigade advanced through the city on 1 October to charge and capture remnants of the Ottoman Yildirim Army Group withdrawing along the road north to Rayak and Homs.

Following the victories at the Battle of Sharon and Battle of Nablus during the Battle of Megiddo, and the Capture of Damascus, remnants of the Seventh and Eighth Armies retreated in columns towards Damascus from the Judean Hills. Rearguards at Samakh, at Tiberias and at Jisr Benat Yakub were captured by the Australian Mounted Division. Remnants of the Fourth Army also retreated in columns towards Damascus along the Pilgrims' Road from Amman. The rearguard at Irbid was attacked by the 4th Cavalry Division and Deraa was captured by the Sherifial Army.

The last formation to leave Damascus, the 146th Regiment (Fourth Army) left during the night of 30 September, was followed early the next morning; 1 October by the 10th Light Horse Regiment (3rd Light Horse Brigade), in the process accepting the surrender of the city. The Australian light horsemen followed the retreating columns north along the road to Homs during the day, encountering numerous rearguards which were attacked and captured, until they we were stopped by strong defences protecting a 2,000-strong column near Khan Ayash. Early the next morning a large column of retreating German and Ottoman combatants was seen moving towards a pass just north of Khan Ayash. Two squadrons of the 9th Light Horse Regiment (3rd Light Horse Brigade) rode north to cut the road in front of the column while the third squadron charged into the column splitting it and forcing it to surrender.

IV Brigade, Royal Horse Artillery (T.F.)

IV Brigade, Royal Horse Artillery (Territorial Force), along with its sister III Brigade, Royal Horse Artillery (T.F.), was a Royal Horse Artillery brigade of the Territorial Force that was formed in Egypt in April 1916 for the ANZAC Mounted Division.

Both brigades served with the ANZAC Mounted Division during the Sinai and Palestine Campaign of World War I. In July 1917, the division's artillery was reorganized and the brigade headquarters were dissolved.

John Royston

Brigadier General John Robinson Royston, (29 April 1860 – 25 April 1942) was a South African-born military officer who commanded a brigade of Australian Light Horse during the First World War.

A farmer and citizen soldier, during the late 1870s and early 1880s, Royston served in the Natal Mounted Rifles as an enlisted soldier and fought during the Zulu War. During the Second Boer War he was commissioned in the Imperial Light Horse, and fought at the Siege of Ladysmith, before later commanding a contingent of the Western Australian Mounted Infantry. He was appointed a Companion of the Distinguished Service Order (DSO) for his service during the war, and received the decoration from the Prince of Wales during a large coronation parade of colonial troops in London on 1 July 1902. Later he served during the Zulu Rebellion before organising the Natal Light Horse—made up primarily of Australians who had remained in Africa after the Boer War—upon the outbreak of the First World War. After seeing action against the Germans in South-West Africa, Royston was transferred to Egypt and placed in command of the 12th Light Horse Regiment, commanding them through the Battle of Romani in 1916. He was later promoted to command the 2nd Light Horse Brigade temporarily, before taking command of the 3rd Light Horse Brigade, and leading them in the Sinai and Palestine campaign against the Ottoman Empire until October 1917 when he returned to South Africa having been relieved of his command due to medical reasons.

Lighthorse

Lighthorse or Light Horse may refer to:

Light cavalry

Calcutta Light Horse, Indian Army reserve unit during the British Raj

Light Horse Regiment, South African Army unit

2nd/14th Light Horse Regiment, Australian Army Regiment

Australian Light Horse, mounted infantry who fought in World War I

1st Light Horse Brigade

2nd Light Horse Brigade

3rd Light Horse Brigade

4th Light Horse Brigade

5th Light Horse Brigade

The Lighthorsemen (film), a 1987 feature film about an Australian Light Horse unit

Lighthorse (American Indian police)

3rd Squadron, 17th Cavalry Regiment (United States)

South Alberta Light Horse

Henry Lee III, nicknamed "Light Horse Harry"

Horse&Rider, magazine formerly called Light Horse

Raid on Jifjafa

The Raid on Jifjafa (11–14 April 1916) was a long range pre-emptive operation by a composite formation of the British Empire against Ottoman forces at the Jifjafa well in the Sinai Desert.It was part of the Sinai and Palestine Campaign of World War I.

The Jifkafa well (Bir el Jifjafa) is located in the Sinai Desert fifty-two miles (84 km) to the east of Ismalia on the Suez Canal. The raid was carried out by men from the 3rd Light Horse Brigade, supported by small detachments of other corps and a larger group from the Egyptian Camel Transport Corps. Although some of the Australians had seen action in the Gallipoli Campaign, this was the first offensive operation, conducted by any Australian force, during the Sinai and Palestine Campaign.

The raid was a complete success for the British. For the cost of one man killed, the first light horse casualty of the campaign, they killed six men, captured another thirty-six, and destroyed the well's infrastructure. The raiders returned safely to their own lines. In recognition of their achievement, Major William Henry Scott the commander of the raid was invested as a Companion of the Distinguished Service Order.

Expeditionary Forces
Corps
Divisions
Brigades
1st Light Horse Brigade
2nd Light Horse Brigade
3rd Light Horse Brigade
4th Light Horse Brigade
5th Light Horse Brigade
Australian Corps troops
Divisions

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