By Edward C. Woodfin (auth.)

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Extra resources for Camp and Combat on the Sinai and Palestine Front: The Experience of the British Empire Soldier, 1916–18

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The image of the canal becoming a battle zone, with the vital waterway turned into a moonscape like the trenches on the Western Front was as frightening as the idea of losing it to the enemy. ”9 Politicians and generals in London found it difficult to argue with this idea, even those who hated the concept of operations in the East. ”11 This, then, became the key decision from London to start the invasion of Sinai—an invasion dominated by a defensive rather than an offensive strategy. In early 1916, the politicians and generals who directed the grand strategy of the war ordered the defensive line of the Suez Canal pushed out into the Sinai Desert.

7 The seed of fear, though, had been planted. Later that year, as the disaster in Gallipoli wound down, the outlook for the canal looked much bleaker. After the British evacuation, 125,000 victorious Turks were released from the Dardanelles. Lord Kitchener, on his inspection tour of the region in November, found that rather than the British army defending the canal, the soldiers were treating the canal as a defensive trench, a fact that he found deplorable. The image of the canal becoming a battle zone, with the vital waterway turned into a moonscape like the trenches on the Western Front was as frightening as the idea of losing it to the enemy.

After the British evacuation, 125,000 victorious Turks were released from the Dardanelles. Lord Kitchener, on his inspection tour of the region in November, found that rather than the British army defending the canal, the soldiers were treating the canal as a defensive trench, a fact that he found deplorable. The image of the canal becoming a battle zone, with the vital waterway turned into a moonscape like the trenches on the Western Front was as frightening as the idea of losing it to the enemy.

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