British intelligence officer T.E. Lawrence has crossed the Sinai desert to bring news of the fall of Aqaba to the British in Cairo. Today he meets General Allenby, the new British commander in the Levant. Lawrence cuts quite a dash as he is still dressed in the Arab robes he wore while on campaign.
Allenby is intrigued by Lawrence’s report. With Aqaba in the hands of the Arab rebels they now have the potential to project their power northwards into the lands east of the Jordan and into the heart of Syria. Lawrence believes that the Arabs of this region will ultimately join the rebels in an uprising against the Turks that will fatally undermine their position in the Middle East.
Allenby is preparing for an attack on Gaza in the autumn as a prelude to an advance into Palestine. Lawrence’s report offers the prospect of the Arab rebels opening up a new front against the enemy, disrupting their communications and drawing away their troops. He arranges for an increased subsidy for the Arab rebels but he also despatches Lawrence to Emir Faisal in the Hejaz to propose bringing the Arabs under British command. And in view of the increased opportunities now offered to him, Allenby seeks reinforcements for himself from London.
T.E. Lawrence (HistoryLearning: Lawrence of Arabia)
Edmund Allenby (Wikipedia)