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Four despatches by the C in C of the Egyptian Expeditionary Force during his period in command from January 1916-June 1917, not published in their full original text prior to this publication. Fourth despatch contains letter from War Office, included as a condition for authority to publish the despatch.
Sir Archibald Murray went to France in August 1914 as Chief of Staff to Field Marshal Sir John French, C in C BEF. Born in 1860, commissioned in 1879 into the R Inniskilling Fusiliers, he was commanding the 2nd Infantry Division in Aldershot when war broke out, a post he relinquished to Major-General Monro on 5 August, the day of mobilization, to join HQ BEF as CGS. At the front he suffered a stress-related breakdown, was replaced in January 1915 and went home where he was first appointed DCIGS and later, in September 1915, CIGS. In a general shuffle at the end of 1915 he was again replaced by the man who had succeeded him as CGS, Sir William Robertson, and in January 1916 he became C in C of the Egyptian Expeditionary Force (EEF) replacing, by another coincidence, the man who had succeeded him as GOC 2nd Division - Monro. There are four despatches covering his period in command (Jan1916-June 1917) and until publication of this book they had never been published in their full original text. This was especially true of the fourth despatch, dated 28th June 1917 which Murray was permitted by the War Office to publish on the condition that a letter from them was published at the same time. The first part of this despatch refers to the frequently changing directives laid down by the War Cabinet regarding tasks for the EEF - defensive one day, offensive the next coupled with a failure to meet the the request for the number of divisions needed to carry out the objectives laid down. The letter, signed by the secretary to the Army Council, was a model of damage limitation stating that the changes in policy were were based on the wider considerations than just those of the Egyptian campaign, which would not be apparent to the reader of the despatch. The first despatch deals with operations from 10th January to 31st May 1916. It was a period of a great deal of troop movement - divisions withdrawing from Gallipoli via Egypt and from France to Salonika with all the administrative backup needed for the Salonika force. The second despatch covers the period 1st June to 30th September 1916 during which the Battle of Romani was fought (4/5 August). The third despatch takes the story up to 28th February 1917 and the fourth and final one brings us to Murray's handover of command to Allenby on 28th June 1917. The principle actions described in this despatch are the First and Second Battles of Gaza, both of which were Turkish victories inflicting in all some 10,000 casualties. It was these failures that led to Murray's replacement by Allenby.

Product Code: 5282
Format: 2001 N&M reprint (first pub1920). SB. xii + 229pp with six illus and three sketch maps Published Price £24.95
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