4/8/1916 Turkey invades Egypt

The British have suffered reverses at the hands of the Turks in Mesopotamia and Gallipoli. Now the Turks attempt to exploit their advantage by launching another invasion of Egypt. Victory here would be a great blow to the British, as the Suez Canal is one of the main arteries of their empire. The Turks hope also that a victory in Egypt will undermine the Arab Revolt.

The Turkish invasion force is commanded by Germany’s Colonel Kressenstein. His army is relatively small but he has assembled an impressive body of firepower (including some Austro-Hungarian heavy artillery). He also hopes that by attacking in the heat of the summer he will catch the British off-guard.

Kressenstein moves quickly, advancing across the desert and then moving to attack a British and Australian position at Romani. The Turks attack at night and enjoy some successes against the surprised enemy. But as the day wears on, the British rush more troops to the battle and the tide turns against the Turks. Fighting continues throughout the day, under the unforgiving heat of the sun, but it becomes increasingly apparent to Kressenstein that his invasion of Egypt will go no further.

image sources:

Friedrich von Kressenstein (Wikipedia)

map (Wikipedia)

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