With nearly two mounted divisions engaged against the Ottoman Empire in the Middle East for almost three years the Palestine Campaign was Australia's longest running militarily significant endeavour of the First World War after the Western Front. And yet apart from the battle of Beersheba, the Palestine Campaign receives little attention in Australia compared to Gallipoli and the Western Front. In contrast to the years of grinding trench warfare in France and Belgium, the Palestine Campaign was a war of relative movement and manoeuvre. Cavalry, including Australia's light horse, played a prominent role, but it was a hard fought fully modern war, in which the latest military technologies and techniques were all used.
Jean Bou is a historian at the Australian War Memorial and a Visiting Fellow at the Australian National University, where he is working on the multi-volume Official History of Australian Peacekeeping, Humanitarian and Post-Cold War Operations. He is the author or co-editor of several books on Australian military history including Light Horse: a History of Australia’s Mounted Arm, A Century of Service, Duty First (2nd edition) and The Oxford Companion to Australian Military History (2nd edition).