Publication Date

Spring 4-22-2013


College of Arts and Sciences



Primary Subject Area

History, United States


Britain, history, Beersheba, battle, military, cavalry, tactics, World War One, Palestine, World War Two


Islamic World and Near East History | Military History


The Battle of Beersheba, fought on October 31, 1917, was a vital turning point in the British campaign against the Ottoman Turks. The battle opened a gap in the Turkish line that eventually resulted in the British takeover of Palestine. The British command saw the cavalry charge of the 4th Light Horse Brigade as a new tactical opportunity, and this factored into the initiative for new light tank forces designed around the concepts of mobility and flanking movements. What these commanders failed to realize was that the Palestine Campaign was an anachronistic theater of war in comparison to the rest of the Great War. The charge of the 4th Light Horse, while courageous and vital to the success of the Battle of Beersheba, also owed its success to a confluence of advantageous circumstances, which the British command failed to take into account when designing their light tank forces prior to World War II.