While most allied troops were transferred to the Western Front in 1916, some, including most of the light horse regiments and the newly formed Imperial Camel Corps, remained in Egypt. Their first task was to protect the Suez Canal against attacks by Ottoman Turkish forces and pro-Turkish tribesmen. It was hot, thirsty, dirty work that placed an incredible strain on both men and horses.
🔍 Explore: Sinai Peninsula
Can you find the Suez Canal? Which two seas does it connect?
See 9 Fascinating Facts about the Suez Canal. When was it made, and why?
Why would Turkish and British forces have wanted control of the Suez Canal during the First World War? For more information see this resource on the Sinai Campaign.
The Anzac Mounted Division undertook various reconnaissance patrols across the Sinai Desert to identify Turkish positions and prevent Turkish troops from interfering with the British push eastwards. The environment was harsh and conditions challenging. Troops travelled long distances in both extreme cold and extreme heat, they slept in the open or in tents with little protection, and operations had to be planned to ensure that the men and their animals had access to water.