16/6/1916 Jeddah falls to the Arab Revolt

Sharif Hussein’s revolt against the Turks continues. For now he is trying to secure the Hejaz region, but the Turks are not giving up without a fight. The garrison in Medina is too strong for the rebels to attack directly, so they limit themselves to skirmishing, attempting also to cut Medina off from the outside world. Meanwhile Hussein’s son Abdullah has attacked the Turks at Ta’if, hoping to capture Ghalib Pasha, their governor of the Hejaz. Turkish artillery broke Abdullah’s attacks and he has called off further assaults, instead placing the town under siege. In Mecca meanwhile street fighting continues between the Turks and the rebels.

The rebels have however achieved one key success. Initial attempts to seize the port of Jeddah failed, with Turkish machine guns and artillery cutting down large numbers of the attackers. But then the British lent a hand. The Turks find themselves shelled by warships and strafed by British aeroplanes. Today they surrender Jeddah to the rebels.

Jeddah’s fall gives the rebels a secure line of communications to the outside. Through it the British can supply Hussein with arms and gold. The latter is of vital importance, as the loyalty of his Bedouin allies must continuously be paid for.

image source (Wikipedia)

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