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The Last Crusade - The Palestinian Campaign in the First World War

This is the first full account of World War I in Palestine since the official history published in the 1920s. It was a tough and fast-moving campaign, fought against a formidable enemy in harsh terrain and sometimes stupefying heat. Its highpoints - T.E. Lawrence's capture of Aqaba with a charge of Arab horsemen, and Allenby's victory march through the walled city of Jerusalem with fighters overhead and volleys of machine-gun fire in the streets - are classic moments in the history of warfare, but there is more that is equally gripping; the battles of Gaza were among the most hard-fought, and the battle of Megiddo among the most brilliant and decisive victories of the entire war.

Hostilities began with the defence of the Suez Canal, Britain's jugular, against the Ottoman Turks and their German allies. The Allies' thrust into Palestine when Allenby took over from the less aggressive Murray, and Lawrence harnessing the irregular forces of Arab nationalism, were much needed victories. In contrast to the failures at Gallipoli and in Mesopotamia, or the inconclusive battles on the Western Front, Palestine's view of movement and dramatic success made an essential contribution to the Allied will to win.

Anthony Bruce has produced a comprehensive military history of the campaign, drawing on the full range of sources including the experiences of those who took part.


"Bruce is not only a fine miltary historian but an engaging writer who makes the narrative seems as exciting as T E Lawrence's "Seven Pillars of Wisdom."

Norman Stinchcombe. (Birmingham Evening Mail )

"Comprehensive and fascinating."

(The Middle East )

"Bruce has a good eye for the telling detail, and ... his account is untainted by the grinding of axes."

Gary Sheffield. (Times Literary Supplement )

Buy Anthony Bruce