11/12/1916 The Turks rebuffed at Yanbu

Arabs supporting Sharif Hussein of Mecca are in revolt against their Turkish masters. Fahreddin Pasha however is seeking to crush the revolt. He has led a strong force against the rebel-held port of Yanbu. If Yanbu falls it will be harder for the British to supply the rebels with arms and gold.

The rebel forces opposing Fahreddin are commanded by Faisal, Sharif Hussein’s son. They are able to delay the Turks but are too weak to halt them. They retreat to Yanbu to make a last stand. Fahreddin advances, hoping that storming the port will be the first step towards victory over the rebels.

But a nasty surprise awaits Fahreddin when he reaches Yanbu. Five British warships are achored off Yanbu. Their guns outclass anything Fahreddin has at his disposal, forcing him to abandon his plans to assault the town. He accepts defeat and withdraws back towards Medina.

The British warships’ presence at Yanbu is no coincidence. Captain T. E. Lawrence, a British intelligence officer, had been with Faisal when he first confronted Fahreddin. Realising the rebels’ danger, Lawrence raced back to Yanbu and summoned the British ships, saving the Arab Revolt. Now the rebels make plans to go on the offensive.

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