Battle of Rafah 9 January 1917


Map Code: Ax00390

The Rafah garrison (the Reduit) was the last Ottoman presence in Sinai. Senior members of the Egyptian Expeditionary Force (EEF), which included the Warwick, Gloucester and Worcester Yeomanry, the Anzac Mounted Division and the Imperial Camel Corps Brigade, launched the Battle of Rafah on 9 January 1917. In the early hours, the EEF attacked the Ottoman trenches with artillery bombardment, while horsemen and cameleers simultaneously encircled the Reduit. From the rear, the New Zealand Mounted Rifles crossed the Ottoman-Palestine frontier, where they were followed by the remaining brigades. The Turkish Ottomans put up fierce resistance and Field Marshal Chetwode, the desert commander of the EEF, was on the verge of retreat. However, the New Zealanders swept over Point 265, a small hill, and launched a successful bayonet charge, opening the way for the EEF to renew their assaults. The battle ended in an Allied victory.

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