Originally posted 2017-05-10 15:22:46. Republished by Blog Post Promoter
The Battle of Megiddo (19-25 September 1918) marked the beginning of the final British-led offensive in the Sinai and Palestine Campaign. It successfully combined cavalry, infantry, artillery, armoured vehicles and aircraft to achieve decisive victory over the Ottoman Turks and their German allies. It was the start of a series of important Allied victories that ultimately led to the collapse of Ottoman Turkish forces and their eventual withdrawal from the war.
On 19 September the Egyptian Expeditionary Force (EEF), under the leadership of British Lieutenant-General Sir Edmund Allenby, launched an offensive against Ottoman forces in northern Palestine and the Jordan Valley. Allenby’s plan was to encircle Ottoman forces regrouping in the area around Megiddo and cut off their escape routes. A successful Allied deception campaign had convinced Ottoman forces that an Allied attack would come further east, leaving Ottoman defences in coastal Palestine vulnerable and ultimately outnumbered.
The offensive opened with an intense but brief artillery bombardment. British and Commonwealth forces quickly broke through the battered Ottoman lines with an advance of over 30km on the first day. The Desert Mounted Corps then quickly pushed through gaps in the defences to encircle the Ottoman troops. The Ottoman Eighth and Seventh Armies collapsed under the pressure of the Allied attack, surrendering in the tens of thousands.
Victory at Megiddo opened the way to Damascus, which Australian troops entered on 1 October. In the weeks that followed, the Allies captured other strategically important cities. On 30 October, the Ottoman Empire sought a peace settlement with the Allies and an armistice was signed at Mudros, with hostilities ceasing at 12 noon the following day. This was also after Turkish forces were defeated by Britain and its allies in Mesopotamia.