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The Battle for Palestine 1917 (Warfare in History) Hardcover – 21 Oct 2006

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 300 pages
  • Publisher: Boydell Press (21 Oct 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1843832631
  • ISBN-13: 978-1843832638
  • Product Dimensions: 15.6 x 1.8 x 23.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 561,433 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


Grainger's analysis is informed, critical, readable and supported by a wealth of unpublished and printed primary material. (...) Makes good use of soldiers' experiences bringing to life the human dimension to the fighting in southern Palestine. ENGLISH HISTORICAL REVIEWInformed, critical, readable and supported by a wealth of unpublished and printed primary material. JOURNAL OF MILITARY HISTORYExtremely good value as it is, like all books from this publisher, of high quality. (...) The one book on Palestine in the Great War that I would select. THE BULLETIN OF THE MILITARY HISTORICAL SOCIETYAt last a brilliant detailed work on Palestine which explains the whole campaign and uses the words of the British, Anzac and Turkish forces who were there. An excellent and very informative read. ARMCHAIR AUCTIONSGrainger's analysis of battle tactics, from both British and Turkish perspectives, will captivate military buffs. Recommended. CHOICE

From the Publisher

Prologue: To The Border
The Decision to Invade
Defeat at Gaza
Defeated Again
Third Gaza
The Turkish Lines Break
The Hills of Judea
Appendix: Composition of the Egyptian Expeditionary Force

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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By International Law on 31 May 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Mr. Grainger has obviously done thorough research when compiling this text and is very detailed when describing the actions and movements of the different British / ANZAC units, probably due to the direct availability of official records. The description of the Turkish / German side is less detailed, probably because of the difficulties of finding their official records and (at least when the Turkish texts are concerned) lingual difficulties. This means that when describing the advance of the E.E.F., the opinions expressed by Mr. Grainger are probably mainly his own, but when describing the retreat of the other side, he more tends to follow the views already expressed by the authors, whose texts he refers to. However, his compilation gives a quite honest and unbiased description of this campaign.

There are a few obvious flaws: The worst one is, by far, the extremely poor quality of the maps, which are both too small and too lacking in detail: Many places mentioned and described in great detail in the text are simply not there, making it very difficult, not to say impossible, to follow the exact events, even if you are already quite well read on the subject and even have direct personal experience from the actual area. I pity them who must try and find out what happened and where only from these maps.

Transcription of place names are also rather inconsistent, which is often a problem when reference is made to places named in a non-European language. So if you want to follow the events and understand where they took place, get a good and detailed map of the area somewhere else and keep it ready when reading this book. (There are excellent maps in e.g. the official record of this campaign: "A Brief Record of the Advance of the Egyptian Expeditionary Force", London 1919.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By R. A. Varley on 2 Dec 2009
Format: Hardcover
My interest in and subsequent purchase of John Grainger's book was motivated by my efforts to trace my Grandfather's steps towards and beyond Jerusalem as one of Allenby's young officers in 1917. Newly commissioned to the Cheshire Regiment, my Grandfather soon found himself attached to the 2nd/22nd Battalion of the 181st Brigade of the 60th (London) Division and part of Allenby's great adventure to free Palestine from the grip of the Ottoman Empire for the first time in 400 years.

Grainger's book provides an informative chronology of the events as they unfolded. Starting with the 3rd Battle of Gaza, together with the accompanying capture of Beersheba, and moving on through Tell-es-Sheria, punching holes in the Turkish lines, and ending with the capture of Jerusalem in December 1917. I am the proud owner of a set of photgraphs taken by a colleague of Grandfather's, one of which shows Allenby's formal procession towards the Jaffa Gate on December 11th. John Grainger's book has undoubtedly helped me to trace Grandfather's progress (and how I wish I had questioned him more closely before he passed away in 1972) and, although the book demonstrates admiration for Allenby's brilliance, it is also generous to the efforts of the enemy, paying tribute to the tenacity of the Turkish defenders as they retreated with care, managing to minimise their losses to a great extent.

Perhaps Grainger, in his analysis of the reasons for the victory, underplays the part played by those responsible for enabling the front line troops to fight. The logistics of providing food and water, ammunition, accommodation etc. was enormous and was a great victory in itself. Railways were built at an impressive rate and contributed in no small way to the success of the venture.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 3 reviews
Good book but only half the story 14 Feb 2012
By BernardZ - Published on
Format: Hardcover
I have read much on this battle and found much of what I knew was wrong. In WW1, while most of the conflict was tied up in a bloody conflict in the trenches, that went no-where. This campaign had movement and charm particularly with the legend of the light horsemen of the Australian cavalry which I was brought up with and ended up with an Allied great success.

In 1917, the British started a major campaign against Turkey under a brilliant general Allenby. To a large extent, it was a grab for area in a minor front. It was unnecessary as the writer points out, the British could have fought a more limited campaign in the Sinai much cheaper. As it was the British managed to score a brilliant victory. According to the writer if the conflict had continued the British might have lost much of their gains in 1918. Something I doubt.

What I was disappointed was that little on the Turks other then commenting occasionally how good they fought. It almost sounds like the writer is trying to praise the Turks to build up the achievements of the British forces. As such, I would say it is a good book but only half the story.
An excellent book about this campaign 17 July 2011
By Daniel Carey - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Grainger has written an excellent book about this campaign in Palestine during World War I, also know as the Third battle of Gaza. He takes the time to describe what happened during the first two battles, how Allenby turned things around, and then the battle itself, through to the capture of Jersualem. Grainger is an admirer of Allenby but that does not stop him from pointing out Allenby's mistakes and changes of plan during the battle. He spends a chapter at the end of the book summing up why the British won in 1917 and its affects on the theater and the war as a whole. Grainger's sources are mostly regimental and divisional histories of the British, Australian and New Zealand units involved in the campaign. Those histories include a good deal of primary source material. Grainger also researched primary sources at several British, Australian and New Zealand libraries and archives. He has also made use of a good deal of other secondary sources in English. Because the book is from the British point of view, there is not much from the Ottoman or German point of view. Overall this is an excellent book and is recommended for anyone interested in the military history of this campaign in World War I.
0 of 7 people found the following review helpful
battle for palestine 30 Sep 2010
By Army Guy - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Contents ok. However written notes on almost every page not mentioned in book discreption. This should have made price lower. Will really think before buying from this seller again.
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