mfy 4753 吃了这种水果， 胸不变大你找我
Thus, both for the purpose of re-establishing our waning prestige in the East, and of silencing the mischievous agitation at home, it was imperative that a signal defeat should be inflicted on the Turks as soon as possible. The capture of Jerusalem, which city ranks only after Mecca and Stamboul among the holy places of Islam, would set a fitting seal upon such a defeat, and would be certain to create a profound impression upon Moslems the world over.
Jerusalem, therefore, became the political objective of the new British Commander-in-Chief. The strategical objective will be discussed later.
The situation in Palestine in the summer of 1917 was not, however, at first sight, very encouraging. Our two abortive attempts on Gaza had shown the German commanders the weak points in the Turkish defences, and they had set to work, with characteristic energy and thoroughness, to strengthen them. 'Gaza itself had been made into a strong, modern fortress, heavily entrenched and wired, and offering every facility for protracted defence. The remainder of the enemy's line consisted of a series of strong localities, viz.: the Sihan group of works, the Atawineh group, the Abu el Hareira-Abu el Teaha trench system (near Sharia), and, finally, the works covering Beersheba. These groups of works were generally from 1500 to 2000 yards apart, except that the distance from the Hareira group to Beersheba was about four and a half miles.... By the end of October these strong localities had been joined up so as to form a practically continuous line from the sea to a point south of Sharia. The defensive works round Beersheba remained a detached system, but had been improved and extended.'[Pg 4]
The Turkish forces were thus on a wide front, the distance from Gaza to Beersheba being about thirty miles, but a well-graded, metalled road, which they had made just behind their line, connecting these two places, afforded good lateral communication, and any threatened point of their front could be very quickly reinforced.
From July onwards continual reinforcements of men, guns, and stores had arrived on the enemy's front, and he had formed several large supply and ammunition depots at different places behind his lines. He had also laid two lines of railway from the so-called Junction Station on the Jerusalem-Jaffa line, one to Deir Sineid, just north of Gaza, and the other to Beersheba, and beyond it to the village of El Auja, on the Turko-Egyptian frontier, some twenty-five miles south-west of Beersheba. It was evident that the Turks intended to hold on to the Gaza-Beersheba line at all costs, in order to cover the concentration and despatch of the Yilderim Force to Mesopotamia.
This Junction Station was to be the strategical objective of our operations. From the junction a railway ran northwards, through Tul Keram, Messudieh, Jenin and Afule, to Deraa on the Hedjaz Railway, whence the latter line continued to Damascus, Aleppo, and the Baghdad Railway. With the junction in our hands, any enemy force in the Jud?an hills, protecting Jerusalem, would be cut off from all railway communication to the north, and would be compelled to rely for its supplies on the difficult mountain road between Messudieh and Jerusalem, or on the longer and still more difficult road from[Pg 5] Amman station on the Hedjaz Railway, thirty miles east of the Jordan, via Jericho to Jerusalem.
Our own position extended from the sea at Gaza to a point on the Wadi Ghuzze near El Gamli, some fourteen miles south-west of Sharia and eighteen miles west of Beersheba. The opposing lines thus formed a rough 'V,' with its apex at Gaza, where the lines were, in some places, only a couple of hundred yards apart. From here they diverged to El Gamli, which was about nine miles from the nearest part of the Turkish positions. The intervening space was watched by our cavalry.
The right flank of our line being thus 'in the air' out in the desert, it was a comparatively easy matter for enemy spies, disguised as peaceful natives, to pass round it under cover of darkness, and approach our positions from the rear in daylight. Native hawkers, other than those with passes from the Intelligence Staff, were forbidden to approach our lines, but it was impossible to control all the natives in such a scattered area, and much can be seen, with the aid of a pair of field-glasses, from the top of a hill a mile away. There were also at least two very daring Germans, who several times penetrated our lines disguised as British officers. They were both exceedingly bold and resourceful men, and it is probable that they obtained a good deal of useful information, before they met the almost inevitable fate of spies.
mfy4753 mfy4753 mfy4753 mfy4753 mfy4753