Beersheba

A recreation of the charge of the Light Horse for the 90th anniversary of Beersheba

A re-enactment of the Australian Light Horse charge on the 90th anniversary of the Battle of Beersheba.

Context

October 1917: Fortunes on the Western Front are at a low point. Meanwhile, in the east, General Allenby has set his sights on taking Jerusalem by Christmas, but knows that the strong Ottoman defences at Gaza will have to be captured first. Two previous allied attacks on Gaza were costly failures. Allenby is determined to be smarter with the third, so tricks the Ottomans into thinking that another large attack is imminent when in fact the real target this time is Beersheba, a heavily fortified town at the eastern end of the Turkish defensive line. The attack begins on 31 October 1917.

Your mission

As historians, you will use the evidence to find out what happened that day, and answer the question:

How significant was the battle of Beersheba, and why?

Think and discuss

  1. What makes a battle significant?
  2. What significant battles or events during the First World War can you think of?
  3. Would someone who was there have realised the significance of the event?

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