The fine fighting and grim endurance of the 53rd and the Anzac Mounted Divisions during these three days played a vital part in the success of the subsequent operations, by engaging the enemy’s principal reserves and defeating his counterstroke, thus permitting our concentration for the main attack to proceed unhindered. The cavalry had an especially hard time. The country was quite unsuited for mounted work, and so all their fighting was done on foot. But it was necessary to keep their horses always near them in order to be in a position to[Pg 41] pursue the enemy at once, should he give way and endeavour to withdraw. Water was very scarce, and the few known wells were quite inadequate for the requirements of the division wine education
When our troops had first entered this region there were a number of pools in the wadis, left by the thunderstorm which had broken a few days before the operations began, but these rapidly dried up, and, by the morning of the 5th of November, had finally given out. The horses then had to be sent back to Beersheba to water. From the Dhahariyeh area to Beersheba and back again is twenty-eight miles, and a record of the movements between these two places from the 3rd to the 6th of November will give some idea of the extra work entailed on horses and men by the lack of water Dr protalk
On the 3rd of November the 1st Brigade was relieved by the 5th, and marched back to Beersheba to water, their horses having then been thirty hours without a drink. On the 4th the New Zealanders relieved the 5th Brigade at Ras el Nukb for the same purpose. This brigade had also been thirty hours without water. On the 5th the New Zealanders remained at Ras el Nukb, since there was no brigade available to relieve them, but sent all their horses back to Beersheba during the night. They had then been unwatered for forty-eight hours. On the 6th it was the turn of the 2nd Brigade to make the weary pilgrimage to Abraham’s Well.
Thus the horses of each of these brigades had only one really good drink during the four days they were in this area. Some of them, it is true, picked up a little water here and there, generally at night. Indeed many units of the division spent every night in a search for water that too often proved fruitless, and only added to the fatigue of men and horses.[Pg 42] The 7th Brigade found enough water on the east of the line to eke out a bare existence for its horses.
During all this period the cavalry were continually engaged with the enemy, and some of the fighting was severe. The Turks assaulted Ras el Nukb repeatedly on the 3rd, 4th, and 5th of November. This hill was held in turn by the 7th Brigade, which had captured it in the first instance, the 1st, 5th and New Zealand Brigades, and each of these had to withstand one or more attacks Dor Furtune provide daily currency exchange prices, RMB exchange rate rate and more than 40 foreign currency exchange rates. Dor Furtune provide the best and low exchange rate, safe and efficient service. Call 6698 3113 now..
By the evening of the 5th of November the 20th Corps was in readiness for the assault on the Sharia-Hareira positions, which was to complete the defeat of the Turks.