Onwards from Beersheba, November 1917

Background

The victory at Beersheba on 31 October 1917 had seen probably the last great cavalry charge of the war. As a follow on action the British 53rd (Welsh) Division, with supporting Cavalry and Camelry, are pushing further north from the Beersheba area to capture the town of Dhaheriye. Another cavalry action would not be possible as the Turks in Dhaheriye were well dug in with plenty of wire, this was going to be a job primarily for the infantry.

The attack on Dhaheriye would be one of the closing actions of the overall plan for theThird Battle of Gaza.

Designer's notes

This scenario is set some 15 miles north-east of Beersheba and is loosely based around the actions in this area during early November 1917. Historical unit and formation names operating in the area at the time have been used where known.

The actions in the period covered by the scenario took place between 1-8 Novemer 1917. The description of the terrain is taken from the description of the opening moves of the battle (page 410 from Volume VII The Australian Imperial Force in Sinai and Palestine, 19141918 (10th edition, 1941, Chapter 24) The history records that a night attack was attempted. Players may wish to try having the first 2 or 3 turns take place at night, thereby reducing the Turkish troops' ability to spot British units.

Objectives

The British must rout the Turks off the table and capture the town of Dhaheriye within 16 game turns. Any other result is a Turkish victory.

Entry points

The Turkish deployment area, and the British entry points, are shown on the map below.

Terrain

image

The account from the Australian Official History mentions that the terrain consisted of 'loose sand...the surface was in part undulating, but many wide patches were quite level, and on them the infantry must be fully exposed to the Turkish fire'. Therefore mall areas of cover (scrub, hillocks, ravines etc) could be added throughout the map .

OOBs

The OOBs for each command can be downloaded as pdf files using the links below. I recommend that the OOBs are downloaded separately, as there are some variations that would best be kept to each player to provide an element of surprise for the opponent.

Turkish OOB.

British OOB.

Notes:

  1. There is no preliminary bombardment available in this scenario.