|60th (2/2nd London) Division|
|Active||31 August 1914 – 31 May 1919|
|Engagements||World War I|
The 60th (2/2nd London) Division was an infantry division of the British Army raised during World War I. The division was the second of two second-line Territorial Force divisions formed from the surplus of London recruits in 1914. Originally the division merely supplied the first-line Territorial divisions with drafts to replace losses through casualties. It was not until late 1915 that the division began to be equipped for field operations and it was not sent overseas to France until mid-1916. As a "lesser" division it was sent to the minor fronts of Salonika and finally Palestine. In mid-1918, most British battalions were replaced with Indian battalions and sent to the Western Front, the division effectively became a British Indian Army division.
Infantry is the branch of an army that engages in military combat on foot, distinguished from cavalry, artillery, and tank forces. Also known as foot soldiers, infantry traditionally relies on moving by foot between combats as well, but may also use mounts, military vehicles, or other transport. Infantry make up a large portion of all armed forces in most nations, and typically bear the largest brunt in warfare, as measured by casualties, deprivation, or physical and psychological stress.
A division is a large military unit or formation, usually consisting of between 10,000 and 20,000 soldiers. Infantry divisions during the World Wars ranged between 8,000 and 30,000 in nominal strength.
The British Army is the principal land warfare force of the United Kingdom, a part of British Armed Forces. As of 2018, the British Army comprises just over 81,500 trained regular (full-time) personnel and just over 27,000 trained reserve (part-time) personnel.
Its engagements included the Third Battle of Gaza, the Battle of Beersheba (1917), the Battle of Jerusalem (1917), the Second Transjordan attack on Shunet Nimrin and Es Salt (1918), the Battle of Megiddo (1918), the Battle of Sharon (1918), and the Battle of Nahr el Faliq.[ citation needed ]
The Third Battle of Gaza was fought on the night of 1/2 November 1917 between British and Ottoman forces during the Sinai and Palestine Campaign of World War I, and came after the Egyptian Expeditionary Force (EEF) victory at the Battle of Beersheba had ended the Stalemate in Southern Palestine. The fighting occurred at the beginning of the Southern Palestine Offensive, and together with attacks on Hareira and Sheria on 6–7 November and the continuing Battle of Tel el Khuweilfe which had been launched by General Edmund Allenby on 1 November, it eventually broke the Gaza to Beersheba line defended by the Yildirim Army Group. Despite having held this line since March 1917, the Ottoman Army was forced to evacuate Gaza and Tel el Khuweilfe during the night of 6/7 November. Only Sheria held out for most of the 7 November before it too was captured.
The Battle of Beersheba was fought on 31 October 1917, when the British Empire's Egyptian Expeditionary Force (EEF) attacked and captured the Yildirim Army Group garrison at Beersheba, beginning the Southern Palestine Offensive of the Sinai and Palestine campaign of World War I. Infantry from the 60th (London) and the 74th (Yeomanry) Divisions of the XX Corps from the southwest conducted limited attacks in the morning, then the Anzac Mounted Division launched a series of attacks against the strong defences which dominated the eastern side of Beersheba, resulting in their capture during the late afternoon. Shortly afterwards, the Australian Mounted Division's 4th and 12th Light Horse Regiments conducted a mounted infantry charge with bayonets in their hands, their only weapon for mounted attack, as their rifles were slung across their backs. Part of the two regiments dismounted to attack entrenchments on Tel es Saba defending Beersheba while the remainder of the light horsemen continued their charge into the town, capturing the place and part of the garrison as it was withdrawing.
The Battle of Megiddo also known in Turkish as the Nablus Hezimeti, or the Nablus Yarması was fought between 19 and 25 September 1918, on the Plain of Sharon, in front of Tulkarm, Tabsor and Arara in the Judean Hills as well as on the Esdralon Plain at Nazareth, Afulah, Beisan, Jenin and Samakh. Its name, which has been described as "perhaps misleading" since very limited fighting took place near Tel Megiddo, was chosen by Allenby for its biblical and symbolic resonance.
The divisional insignia was a bee.
The London Scottish was a Volunteer infantry regiment of the British Army. Formerly a regiment, the unit is now 'A' Company of the London Regiment.
The Queen's Westminsters were an infantry regiment of the Territorial Army, part of the British Army. Originally formed from Rifle Volunteer Corps, which were established after a French invasion scare of 1859. The unit became part of the newly established London Regiment on the formation of the Territorial Force in 1908. It was subsequently amalgamated in 1921 with the Civil Service Rifles, and became a territorial Battalion of the King's Royal Rifle Corps in 1937. It ceased to exist as separate entity after it was amalgamated in 1961.
In June 1918 three battalions were replaced by the 2nd Battalion, 19th Punjabis, 2nd Battalion, 127th Baluchis and 3rd Battalion, 151st Punjabi Rifles.
The 19th Punjabis was an infantry regiment of the British Indian Army. It was raised in 1857, as the 7th Regiment of Punjab Infantry. It was designated as the 19th Punjabis in 1903 and became 1st Battalion 14th Punjab Regiment i.e. 1/14 Punjab Regiment in 1922. In 1947, it was allocated to the Pakistan Army, where it continues to exist as 5th Battalion The Punjab Regiment.
The London Irish Rifles (LIR) was a volunteer rifle regiment of the British Army with a distinguished history, and now forms 'D' Company of the London Regiment and is part of the Army Reserve.
The 20th Battalion, The London Regiment , was a unit of Britain's Territorial Force formed in 1908 from Volunteer corps dating back to 1859. It saw considerable service on the Western Front, at Salonika and in Palestine during World War I. It served as a searchlight regiment and later as an infantry regiment during World War II.
In July 1918 three battalions were replaced by the 2nd Battalion, 30th Punjabis, 1st Battalion, 50th Kumaon Rifles and 2nd Battalion, Guides Infantry.
The 30th Punjabis were an infantry regiment of the British Indian Army. It was raised in 1857, as the 22nd Regiment of Punjab Infantry. It was designated as the 30th Punjabis in 1903 and became 1st Battalion 16th Punjab Regiment in 1922. In 1947, it was allocated to the Pakistan Army, where it continues to exist as 13th Battalion The Punjab Regiment.
The Kumaon Regiment is one of the most decorated infantry regiments of the Indian Army. The regiment traces its origins to the 18th century and has fought in every major campaign of the British Indian Army and the Indian Army, including the two world wars. The regiments recruits from the Kumaonis of the Kumaon division and the Ahirs from the plains.
The Guides Infantry, or 2nd Battalion (Guides) The Frontier Force Regiment, is an infantry battalion of the Pakistan Army. It was raised in 1846 as part of the famous Corps of Guides.
In June 1918 three battalions were replaced by the 2nd Battalion, 97th Deccan Infantry, 130th Baluchis and 2nd Battalion, 152nd Punjabis.
Macedonian Campaign 1917
Sinai and Palestine Campaign 1917
The 53rd (Welsh) Infantry Division was an infantry division of the British Army that fought in both World War I and World War II. Originally raised in 1908 as the Welsh Division, part of the Territorial Force (TF), the division saw service in World War I, being designated 53rd (Welsh) Division in mid-1915, and fought in the Gallipoli Campaign and in the Middle East. Remaining active in the Territorial Army (TA) during the interwar period as a peacetime formation, the division again saw action in World War II, fighting in North-western Europe from June 1944 until May 1945.
The Australian and New Zealand Mounted Division was a mounted infantry division of the British Empire during the First World War. The division was raised in March 1916 and was assigned to the I ANZAC Corps. On establishment, it consisted of four brigades comprising three Australian light horse and one New Zealand mounted rifles, supported by British horse artillery. In 1917, one of the Australian brigades was replaced by a British yeomanry brigade. After April 1917, the standard order of battle was reduced to two Australian brigades and one New Zealand brigade, although the Imperial Camel Corps Brigade and other British mounted brigades were temporarily attached several times during operations.
The Desert Mounted Corps was an army corps of the British Army during the First World War, of three mounted divisions renamed in August 1917 by General Edmund Allenby, from Desert Column. These divisions which served in the Sinai and Palestine Campaign had been formed by Australian light horse, British yeomanry, and New Zealand mounted rifles brigades, supported by horse artillery, infantry and support troops. They were later joined by Indian cavalry and a small French cavalry detachment.
The 7th (Meerut) Division was an infantry division of the British Indian Army that saw active service during World War I.
The Welsh Horse Yeomanry was a yeomanry regiment of the British Army that served in the First World War. The regiment was raised shortly after the outbreak of the war. Initially it served in East Anglia on anti-invasion duties, before being dismounted in 1915 and sent to take part in the Gallipoli Campaign. After withdrawal to Egypt, it was amalgamated with the 1/1st Montgomeryshire Yeomanry as the 25th Battalion, Royal Welsh Fusiliers and served as such throughout the rest of the war. It took part in the Sinai and Palestine Campaign in 1917 and 1918, before being transferred to the Western Front where it remained until the end of the war. The regiment formed 2nd and 3rd Lines in 1914, but these never left the United Kingdom before being disbanded in 1916 and early 1917, respectively. The 1st Line was disbanded in 1919.
The 12th Indian Division was formed in March 1915 from units of the British Indian Army. It formed part of the Tigris Corps, for service during the Mesopotamia Campaign of World War I. The Division arrived in Mesopotamia in April 1915 and remained there until it was broken up in March 1916. The Division's brigades remained in Mesopotamia as independent formations until forming part of the 15th Indian Division in May 1916. During its short existence it fought in a number of actions including the Battle of Shaiba between April 12–14, 1915, the Battle of Khafajiya between May 14–16, 1915, the Battle of Nasiriya between July 5, 13-14, 24 1915, where 400 British and Indian soldiers were killed in the battle and up to 2,000 Turkish Soldiers. The Occupation of Nasiriya and the affair at Butanuja, January 14, 1916.
The 14th Indian Division was formed during World War I, for service in the Mesopotamian Campaign. It was composed of battalions of the Regular British Army, the British Territorial Force and the British Indian Army.
The 4th Light Horse Brigade was a mounted infantry brigade of the First Australian Imperial Force serving in the Middle Eastern theatre of World War I. The brigade was formed in March 1915 and shipped to Egypt without their horses and was broken up in Egypt in August 1915. Reformed in February 1917, the Brigade was attached to the Imperial Mounted Division of the Egyptian Expeditionary Force and in June 1917 transferred to the Australian Mounted Division, where it served in the Sinai and Palestine Campaign until the end of the war.
The First Transjordan attack on Amman and to their enemy as the First Battle of the Jordan took place between 21 March and 2 April 1918, as a consequence of the successful Battle of Tell 'Asur which occurred after the Capture of Jericho in February and the Occupation of the Jordan Valley began, during the Sinai and Palestine Campaign of World War I. During the First Transjordan attack large incursions into Ottoman territory occurred. Firstly the Passage of the Jordan River, was successfully captured between 21 and 23 March, followed by the first occupation of Es Salt in the hills of Moab between 24 and 25 March. The First Battle of Amman took place between 27 and 31 March when the Anzac Mounted Division and the Imperial Camel Corps Brigade were reinforced by two battalions of 181st Brigade followed by a second two battalions from the 180th Brigade and artillery. The Fourth Army headquarters located in Amman was strongly garrisoned and during the battle received reinforcements on the Hejaz railway, the strength of which eventually forced the attacking force to retire back to the Jordan Valley between 31 March and 2 April. The Jordan Valley would continue to be occupied by the Egyptian Expeditionary Force (EEF) through the summer until the middle of September 1918 when the Battle of Megiddo began.
The Second Transjordan attack on Shunet Nimrin and Es Salt, officially known by the British as the Second action of Es Salt and by others as the Second Battle of the Jordan, was fought east of the Jordan River between 30 April and 4 May 1918, during the Sinai and Palestine Campaign of the First World War. The battle followed the failure of the First Transjordan attack on Amman fought at the beginning April. During this second attack across the Jordan River, fighting occurred in three main areas. The first area in the Jordan Valley between Jisr ed Damieh and Umm esh Shert the Egyptian Expeditionary Force (EEF) defended their advanced position against an attack by units of the Seventh Army based in the Nablus region of the Judean Hills. The second area on the eastern edge of the Jordan Valley where the Ottoman Army garrisons at Shunet Nimrin and El Haud, on the main road from Ghoraniyeh to Amman were attacked by the 60th (London) Division many of whom had participated in the First Transjordan attack. The third area of fighting occurred after Es Salt was captured by the light horse brigades to the east of the valley in the hills of Moab, when they were strongly counterattacked by Ottoman forces converging on the town from both Amman and Nablus. The strength of these Ottoman counterattacks forced the EEF mounted and infantry forces to withdraw back to the Jordan Valley where they continued the Occupation of the Jordan Valley during the summer until mid September when the Battle of Megiddo began.
233rd Brigade was an infantry formation of the British Army in World War I and World War II
The Battle of Tulkarm took place on 19 September 1918, beginning of the Battle of Sharon, which along with the Battle of Nablus formed the set piece Battle of Megiddo fought between 19 and 25 September in the last months of the Sinai and Palestine Campaign of the First World War. During the infantry phase of the Battle of Sharon the British Empire 60th Division, XXI Corps attacked and captured the section of the front line nearest the Mediterranean coast under cover of an intense artillery barrage including a creeping barrage and naval gunfire. This Egyptian Expeditionary Force (EEF) victory over the entrenched Ottoman Eighth Army, composed of German and Ottoman soldiers, began the Final Offensive, ultimately resulting in the destruction of the equivalent of one Ottoman army, the retreat of what remained of two others, and the capture of many thousands of prisoners and many miles of territory from the Judean Hills to the border of modern-day Turkey. After the end of the battle of Megiddo, the Desert Mounted Corps pursued the retreating soldiers to Damascus, six days later. By the time an Armistice of Mudros was signed between the Allies and the Ottoman Empire five weeks later, Aleppo had been captured.
The Third Transjordan attack by Chaytor's Force, part of the British Empire's Egyptian Expeditionary Force (EEF), took place between 21 and 25 September 1918, against the Ottoman Empire's Fourth Army and other Yildirim Army Group units. These operations took place during the Battle of Nablus, part of the Battle of Megiddo which began on 19 September in the final months of the Sinai and Palestine Campaign of World War I. Fought on the right flank and subsidiary to the Battle of Nablus, the Third Transjordan attack began northwards, with the assault on Kh Fasail. The following day a section of Chaytor's Force, attacked and captured the Ottoman Empire's 53rd Division on the main eastwards line of retreat out of the Judean Hills across the Jordan River. Retreating columns of the Yildirim Army Group were attacked during the battle for the Jisr ed Damieh bridge, and several fords to the south were also captured, closing this line of retreat. Leaving detachments to hold the captured bridge and fords, Chaytor's Force began their eastwards advance by attacking and capturing the Fourth Army garrison at Shunet Nimrin on their way to capture Es Salt for a third time. With the Fourth Army's VIII Corps in retreat, Chaytor's Force continued their advance to attack and capture Amman on 25 September during the Second Battle of Amman. Several days later, to the south of Amman, the Fourth Army's II Corps which had garrisoned the southern Hejaz Railway, surrendered to Chaytor's Force at Ziza, effectively ending military operations in the area.
The Second Battle of Amman was fought on 25 September 1918 during the Third Transjordan attack as part of the Battle of Nablus which together with the main Battle of Sharon form the major set piece offensive known as the Battle of Megiddo of the Sinai and Palestine Campaign in World War I. After cutting the road from Nablus to Es Salt on 22 September Chaytor's Force captured the bridge over the Jordan River at Jisr ed Damieh while units of the Seventh Army and remnants of the Eighth Army were still in retreating towards the bridge from the Judean Hills. Having cut this line of retreat, Chaytor's Force proceeded eastwards to attack and capture Es Salt, before riding on to attack and capture the Ottoman rearguard of the Fourth Army defending Amman. These British Empire victories of the Third Transjordan attack over Yildirim Army Group forces, followed two unsuccessful EEF attacks across the Jordan River in March and April 1918.
The Southern Palestine Offensive, employing manoeuvre warfare, began on 31 October 1917, with the Battle of Beersheba, during the Sinai and Palestine Campaign, of World War I. After the capture of Beersheba, by the Egyptian Expeditionary Force (EEF), the Gaza to Beersheba line became increasingly weakened and, seven days later, the EEF successfully forced the Ottoman Turkish Empire's Seventh and Eighth Armies to withdraw. During the following seven days of pursuit, the Turkish forces were pushed back to Jaffa. There followed three weeks of hard fighting in the Judean Hills before Jerusalem was captured on 9 December 1917. During five and a half weeks of almost continuous offensive operations, the EEF captured 47.5 miles (76.4 km) of territory.
The 152nd Punjabis was an infantry regiment of the British Indian Army. It was formed in Mesopotamia and Palestine in May 1918, saw service in the Sinai and Palestine Campaign in the First World War, and was disbanded in September 1921.
The 153rd Punjabis – also designated 153rd Rifles, see nomenclature (below) – was an infantry regiment of the British Indian Army. It was formed in Mesopotamia and Palestine in May 1918, saw service in the Sinai and Palestine Campaign in the First World War, and was disbanded in June 1922.
The 151st Sikh Infantry – also designated 151st Punjabi Rifles, see nomenclature (below) – was an infantry regiment of the British Indian Army. It was formed in Mesopotamia and Palestine in May 1918, saw active service in the First World War and the Third Anglo-Afghan War, and was disbanded in May 1921.
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