anzac school art competition2

anzac call book

Significance of the Charge

The successful charge at Beersheba was beyond the best expectations of even General Chauvel. To only lose 31 men in such an audacious and daring gamble was unbelievable. The feat has gone down in military history as ‘the last great cavalry charge in history’ – even if they were not really cavalry, and a couple more charges were yet to take place. Its success sent fear into the Turks and Germans from then on. They never believed that so foolish an exercise would be attempted and one captured German staff officer concluded, “They are not soldiers at all; they are madmen”.1 From then on they often surrendered quickly and shot wildly when they saw the Light Horse coming rather than putting up a substantial fight. The ANZACs’ sheer recklessness, rather than their very limited fighting powers had defeated the enemy.2 It was not only one of the most strategic and decisive allied victories of the First World War, but it became the pivotal point that changed the entire history of the Middle East.

historicallyThe battle was as significant a victory as Gallipoli was a failure. This historic day turned the tide and ultimately led to the collapse of the Ottoman Empire. The capture of Beersheba paved the way for the taking of the whole of the ancient land of the Bible and the creation of the present-day nations of Israel, Jordan, Lebanon and Syria. A handful of country boys, mainly from the farms of the youngest nation on earth had galloped into the annals of history and set in motion a prophetic time clock that would affect the future of one of the oldest peoples on earth – the Jews.

The victory at Beersheba turned the tide of the campaign and ultimately led to the collapse of the Ottoman Empire.

Not only was the decisive battle of Beersheba significant but the ANZAC efforts in the Sinai, east of the Jordan River and through Galilee and Syria were also a vital contribution, without which the campaign would not have succeeded.

Achievements

The ANZAC Horsemen in the Middle East:

  • Achieved what Gallipoli failed to do. They defeated the same Turks who had defeated them at Gallipoli.
  • The success of the Allied troops in the Middle East caused the collapse of the Ottoman Empire. The ANZAC horsemen and their horses were the winning combination that brought the breakthrough and spearheaded much of the campaign, especially through the Sinai and in the latter days of the campaign.
  • Put Australia and New Zealand on the world map.
  • Earned the respect even of their enemies, the Turks and Germans. They were well-liked by the French, the Jews in Israel and even the oppressed Arabs throughout the Middle East.

This is the other side of Gallipoli that we rarely hear about and is not taught in our schools. Together we can change this.

The nation needs to come out from ‘down under’, and embrace the future of her glorious destiny.

A generation of young, simple, tough country boys changed history. We have much to be proud of and the nation needs to know about this and begin to celebrate it. Why do we as a nation hang our heads for the fallen, but not raise them in gratitude and pride at what was accomplished at Beersheba? This needs to be changed and we need you to get on board and help us change it.

We have an opportunity in the next two years to bring that to fruition. Is there another generation of young, committed men and women who will sacrifice all to serve King and country to again change history and bring Australia and New Zealand into their destiny?

Go to Events – Action plan for suggestions as to how to participate

Endnotes:

  1. Gullett, Official History of Australia in the War of 1914-1918. Vol V11, Sinai and Palestine. Angus and Robertson, 1923, 404
  2. Ibid, 397-398

Pictures:

  1. Australian War Memorial – Beersheba, Palestine. Australian soldiers with captured Turkish artillery. https://www.awm.gov.au/collection/H01373