On this day: the Battle of Magdhaba

Australian_Lewis_gunner_MagdhabaAustralian War Memorial image P00812.011. An Australian soldier firing a Lewis Gun during the Battle of Magdhaba 23rd December 1916 First World War One

An Australian soldier firing a Lewis Gun during the battle.

The Australian War Memorial, Canberra.

The Battle of Magdhaba, officially known in Britain as the Affair of Magdhaba, was a First World War battle fought between the British and Ottoman Empires on the 23rd of December, 1916.

9th_Light_Horse_Regiment_MagdhabaThe advance of the Australian 9th Light Horse Regiment (3rd Light Horse Brigade) at Battle of Magdhaba, 23 December 1916. First World War One

The advance of the Australian 9th Light Horse Regiment.

British Empire forces, consisting of British, Australian, Indian and New Zealand soldiers, defeated the Turks on Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula in a day of fierce fighting.


On this day: the Turks depart Crete

Turkish_departure_Chania_1898 Departure of the Turks from Chania, Crete (3rd November 1898)


Ottoman Turks are seen departing Chania (Hania) on the Greek island of Crete on the 3rd of November, 1898.

During Ottoman occupation, Chania’s churches were turned into mosques. However, a population exchange between Greece and Turkey in the 1920s at the Ottoman Empire’s dissolution ended Islamic influence in the region.

On this day: a truce is called

This image, taken on the 24th of May, 1915, shows Australian and Turkish troops collecting the dead after a nine-hour truce was called at the Gallipoli Peninsula in Turkey.

After an attack from the Turks five days earlier that left more than 3000 dead, the stench became so strong both sides agreed to remove the bodies.

The fighting in Turkey came to be commemorated in Australia and New Zealand as Anzac Day on the 25th of April each year.

Anzac_truce_24_May_1915 Scene in no man's land at Anzac during the truce of 24 May 1915, organised to bury the Turkish dead from the attack of 19 May, in which an estimated 3,000 men wer

100 Years Ago

Allenby_enters_Jerusalem_1917General Sir Edmund Allenby entering the Holy City of Jerusalem on foot 1917 to show respect for the holy place. First World War One

Following the surrender of the Ottoman Empire two days earlier, Britain’s General Sir Edmund Allenby entered Jerusalem on the 11th of December, 1917.

Described as a Christmas present to the British people, this event saw the city come under Christian rule for the first time in centuries.

Allenby entered the city on foot as a sign of respect to the holy place.

The Turkish surrender came during the Battle of Jerusalem that began in mid-November.

100 Years Ago

The Ottoman Empire surrendered Jerusalem to British rule on the 9th of December, 1917.

The surrender came during the Battle of Jerusalem, which was fought from the 17th of November. The battle saw the combined forces of Britain, Australia, India and New Zealand defeat the Ottoman (Turkish) and German Empires.

The image shows the Ottoman mayor of Jerusalem and Ottoman prisoners of war meeting British representatives under the white flag of surrender.

100 Years Ago

IWM_Q12574 Third Battle of Gaza. Turkish trenches in El Arish Redoubt, Captured by the 4th Royal Scots, supported by two Companies of the 8th Cameronians, 52nd Division, 2nd November 191

2nd November 1917Third Battle of Gaza. Turkish trenches in El Arish Redoubt, captured by British forces. First World War.

The battle as fought over the night of the 1st – 2nd November, and resulted in an Allied victory over the combined forces of the German and Ottoman Empires.

100 Years Ago

#OTD in 1917 Light Horsemen charge Turkish positions at Beersheba & seize critical wells enabling the British to break the Ottoman line #ww1 Australian War Memorial Canberra First World

31st October 1917Australia’s Light Horsemen charge Turkish positions at Beersheba, enabling the British to break the Ottoman line.

This iconic moment in Australian military history is considered one of the nation’s most significant in the First World War.

From the collection of the Australian War Memorial, Canberra.

On this day: a king for Albania

Duits circusartiest Otto Witte (1872-1958), ex-officier van het Turkse.

Otto Witte – a German circus performer – claimed he was crowned King of Albania on the 13th of August, 1913.

When Albania broke free of the Ottoman Empire and Serbian occupation, a Muslim prince named Halim Eddine was invited to be crowned king. Witte apparently bore a strong resemblance to the prince, and claimed to have gone in his place.

Halim Eddine did not exist.

There are not facts to back Witte’s claims, but it did not stop him becoming famous in Germany, where he also claimed to be the founder of a political party – that also did not exist.

On this day: the Battle of Lepanto

The Battle of Lepanto 7 October 1571 when a fleet of the Holy League, a coalition of European Catholic maritime states, decisively defeated the fleet of the Ottoman Empire on the northern edge of the Gulf of Corinth.

On the 7th of October, 1571, the Holy League destroyed Ottoman Empire forces in the Battle of Lepanto.
The coalition, made up of European Catholic maritime forces and organised by Pope Pius V, met the Turkish forces sailing west at the Gulf of Corinth, Greece.

The battle concluded at about 4pm.

The Holy League lost around 7500 soldiers, sailors and rowers, but they freed about as many Christian prisoners. The Ottomans lost around 15000, and at least 3500 were taken prisoner.