Seven Pillars of Wisdom, by T. E. Lawrence

Book Eight. The Ruin of High Hope

Chapters xcii to xcvii

In conjunction with Allenby we laid a triple plan to join hands across Jordan, to capture Moan, and to cut off Medina, in one operation. This was too proud and neither of us fulfilled his part. So the Arabs exchanged the care of the placid Medina Railway for the greater burden of investing, in Moan, a Turk force as big as their available Regular Army.

To help in this duty Allenby increased our transport, that we might have longer range and more mobility. Moan was impregnable for us, so we concentrated on cutting its northern railway and diverting the Turkish effort to relieve its garrison from the Amman side.

Clearly no decision lay in such tactics: but the German advance in Flanders at this moment took from Allenby his British units; and consequently his advantage over the Turks. He notified us that he was unable to attack.

A stalemate, as we were, throughout 1918 was an intolerable prospect. We schemed to strengthen the Arab Army for autumn operations near Deraa and in the Beni Sakhr country. If this drew off one division from the enemy in Palestine it would make possible a British ancillary attack, one of whose ends would be our junction in the lower Jordan valley, by Jericho. After a month's preparation this plan was dropped, because of its risk, and because a better offered.

http://ebooks.adelaide.edu.au/l/lawrence/te/seven/book8.html

Last updated Friday, March 7, 2014 at 22:36