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Title: Edmund Allenby
Authors: Hughes, M
Farquharson, I
Keywords: Edmund Allenby
Issue Date: 25-Feb-2016
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Citation: Hughes, M. and Farquharson, I. (2016) 'Edmund Allenby', in Showalter, D. (ed.) Oxford Bibliographies in Military History. Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp. 1 - [13]. doi: 10.1093/obo/9780199791279-0160.
Series/Report no.: Oxford Bibliographies Online
Abstract: General Sir Edmund Allenby (later, Field Marshal and Viscount, 1861–1936) served in South Africa and Bechuanaland (Botswana), passed Staff College, fought in the Boer War (1899–1902), became Inspector General of Cavalry, and then assumed command of the Cavalry Division on the outbreak of the First World War. The war divided into two uneven halves for Allenby, the longer (and less successful) first part spent in France and the final (more successful) one in command in Palestine. Allenby led the difficult cavalry retreat from Mons in Belgium in 1914, went on to corps and army command on the Western Front, culminating with command of Third Army at the Battle of Arras in April–May 1917, the only major offensive of Allenby’s in France. The Arras attack bogged down after some initial success, casualties mounted, and subordinate commanders at the time and historians subsequently criticized Allenby for his failure to challenge orders from his overall commander in France, Sir Douglas Haig, to prolong the offensive. Needing a new commander for the Egyptian Expeditionary Force in Palestine, the British Prime Minister, David Lloyd George, dispatched Allenby to Egypt to take command in June 1917 against the Ottomans (Turkey). Allenby made his name in Palestine. He rebuilt the Egyptian Expeditionary Force, established up-to-date Western Front standards of operations, and restored the force’s confidence and morale. London also sent him substantial reinforcements. The Egyptian Expeditionary Force won the Third Battle of Gaza (November–December 1917), conquering southern Palestine and capturing Jerusalem in December 1917. In Palestine, Allenby worked with the Arab Hashemite army under the command of Prince Feisal fighting on his right flank across the River Jordan. T. E. Lawrence—“Lawrence of Arabia”—was Britain’s liaison officer with the Hashemite forces. Allenby’s forces at the final Battle of Megiddo (September–October 1918) crushed Turkish forces in Palestine and swept forward to occupy all of what would become Transjordan, Syria, and Lebanon. Allenby supported the Hashemites, allowing them to enter Damascus first and so helping to establish British political influence in the region. London then appointed Allenby high commissioner in Egypt, a post he held during the Egyptian independence revolution. While there are four biographies of Allenby and several essays directly assessing his command and character, much of our understanding of Allenby is embedded in the official and unofficial histories of Allenby’s military campaigns in Belgium and France (1914–1917) and in Palestine (1917–1918). Accounts and diaries of and by figures such as T. E. Lawrence, Ronald Storrs (military and then civil governor of Jerusalem) and Richard Meinertzhagen (British army intelligence officer) also touch on Allenby, as do studies of British strategy in the First World War and political histories of the postwar peace settlement that formed the modern Middle East.
Description: Part of Oxford Bibliographies in Military History available online at Oxford Bibliographies Online Datasets
ISBN: 978-0-19-979127-9 (ebk)
Appears in Collections:Dept of Arts and Humanities Research Papers
Dept of Social and Political Sciences Research Papers

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