On Tuesday, exactly one hundred years after the Australian 4th Cavalry Light Horse Brigade conducted its lightning attack to take the southern city of Beersheba from the Ottomans, one hundred Aussies mounted up and recreated the historic charge, reaffirming the deep connection between Israel and one of its earliest allies.
The Battle for Beersheba
In addition to its Biblical importance, the city of Beersheba was a strategic key in the World War I battle for the Middle East. The battle for the city was a key part of the British-led campaign to knock the Ottoman Empire, Germany’s ally, out of the war.
Sitting aside one of the main routes from Egypt to Palestine, Beersheba contained water wells that were described in the Bible. These wells were a matter of life or death for the British army’s Egyptian Expeditionary Force (EEF), far from home and running on overextended supply lines. Its initiative had been faltering and the leadership had been passed on to a new commander: British General Edmund Allenby.
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