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When was the Palestine September 1918 offensive given the name 'The battles of Megiddo'?


Eran Tearosh

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When did 'The Battle Nomenclature Committee' give the name 'The battles of Megiddo' to the September 1918 Northern Palestine offensive? 

As Megiddo itself was not a battlefield, does anyone know the origins of this naming? Someone told me he read that Allenby and Delmany 

were throwing titles in the air on the eve of the offensive, and Allenby already chose his future title prior to the battles - hence the name given later.  

Anyone heard or read about this?

 

Eran

Edited by Eran Tearosh
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9 hours ago, Eran Tearosh said:

throwing titles in the air on the eve of the offensive

 

Eran,
 

I doubt this.

A quick look through the orders issued issued before the battles (see the Appendices in Vol.II of the OH)

on the 9th by Bolls, and to the DMC on the 12th by Godwin

and one sees that the name El Lajun is mentioned,

but not, as far as I can make out, the name Megiddo.

 

Allenby's title dates from October 1919, while the report of the Battles Nomenclature Committee was published in 1921


regards

Michael

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Further to the above

There is even evidence to suggest that the completeness of the victory came as something of a surprise to Allenby

See Matthew Hughes' doctoral thesis GENERAL ALLENBY AND THE CAMPAIGN OF THE EGYPTIAN EXPEDITIONARY FORCE, JUNE 1917-NOVEMBER 1919

 

Writing to his wife, Allenby said that he was, 'almost aghast at the extent of the

victory'.

General Allenby did not initially think that an advance deep into Syria was possible. On 23 September the War Office enquired of Allenby whether, 'in view of the completeness of your success the possibility of a cavalry raid on Aleppo'. Two days later Allenby replied to the missive saying that the raid was not possible, and that he was, 'convinced that unless War Cabinet is prepared to undertake on a large scale a combined naval and military operation at Alexandretta.. .the only sound policy is to advance in stages as in the past'. This rather diminishes the idea of Megiddo as a brilliantly conceived cavalry finale to Allenby's campaign as the success of the final battle was an unexpected surprise,...

 

 

Edited by michaeldr
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I can't directly answer your question Eran but "A Brief Record of the Advance of the Egyptian Expeditionary Force" dated 1919 doesn't mention Megiddo.

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Not the answer of when given the name but this article from September 1918 mentions not so much the place as the "Plain of Megiddo" perhaps not far from "Battle of Megiddo"

 

Click

 

Mike

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1 hour ago, Skipman said:

the "Plain of Megiddo" perhaps not far from "Battle of Megiddo"

 

 

Mike,

 

That Australian newspaper cutting is interesting in so far as it claims

“The term (Plain of Megiddo) has come into common use during the last three or four years as describing the vast struggle that some believe, and many hope, will be the last great war.”

showing the currency of that name, at least down-under

However, judging by the OH, this term was not in common use by the EEF at that time;

the name used in the OH is Plain of Esdraelon (today's Jezreel Valley)

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24 minutes ago, Skipman said:

Another few mentions of Megiddo in this book ... Allenby a Study of Greatness

 

The interesting ref here is on page 162 where Wavell quotes Sir Hubert Eason

However, with all due respect to those two gentlemen, the quote is obviously from a statement made well after the 'event', and there is no indication whatsoever of when Allenby might possibly have said that 'the decisive battle of the campaign would be fought at the Pass of Megiddo.'

It has a certain ring to it suggesting (to me at least) that Eason was speaking with hindsight

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Michael, Gareth and Mike - thanks!

 

Seems I'll have to dive deeper into this. Part of preparations for September-October 2018....

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Earn,

The AWM description of the Battle of Megiddo, Battle Honours, states:- “The ancient fortress of Megiddo appears in the New Testament as Armageddon, the location of the millennial battle between good and evil. the Battle of Megiddo was the name given to the action that launched the final offensive against the Turks in Palestine and Syria...”

All Australian Light Horse Regiments of the AIF were bestowed with this Battle Honour. 

I cannot find the date the Battle Honour was awarded, nor the official reason for its name, but I would suspect the New Testament description may be a clue to that.

 

Jeff

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A little off the topic here but one of my guys was killed at the Battle of Megiddo. He served with the Seaforth Highlanders. Any ideas as to what there or his role would have been during the battle?

 

stuart 

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7 minutes ago, Sjack91 said:

A little off the topic here but one of my guys was killed at the Battle of Megiddo. He served with the Seaforth Highlanders. Any ideas as to what there or his role would have been during the battle?

 

stuart 

 

Stuart - If you start a new thread and ask this question I am sure you will get the answer you seek.

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Stuart,

 

I suggest that you follow Gareth's advice, and also provide details of the man's name/number/etc etc

In the meantime you will be able to get a general idea from 'A brief Record of the Advance of the Egyptian Expeditionary Force etc etc' - see page 57>

https://ia802706.us.archive.org/26/items/briefrecordofadv00grearich/briefrecordofadv00grearich.pdf

 

good luck

Michael

 

EDIT to add: Stuart's thread on this man can be found here 

 

Edited by michaeldr
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Gareth/Michael thank you for the advice. I was trying to figure out how to repost the original message but you have not only managed that you have also came up with a couple of great maps.

 

thank you for the help

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21 hours ago, Skipman said:

I suppose the answer will be in the Report of the Battle Nomenclature Committee

 

Mike

For those who have access, and probably many libraries provide access, (some even on your home computer), this report is available is available on the subscription website UK Parliamentary Papers/House of Commons Parliamentary Papers, which is part of Proquest. According to  the following link, the catalogue reference  is Cmd 1138 1921 Accounts and Papers https://copac.jisc.ac.uk/id/493756?style=html

Cheers

Maureen

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michaeldr What would be your best guess as to when the"Battle of Megiddo" became the actual title of the battle?

 

I was just thinking, could we not ask this question of just about every battle?

 

Mike

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46 minutes ago, Skipman said:

 What would be your best guess as to when the"Battle of Megiddo" became the actual title of the battle?

 

Mike,

 

The word Megiddo gets only two mentions in Pirie-Gordon's 'The Advance of the EEF etc etc'.

On p.87 in the chapter on the Royal Engineers and in the narrative for September 20, 1918. The latter entry is followed by Lejjnn (sic – should be Lejjun) in brackets, and this I take to imply that the name Megiddo was not at all familiar at that time. The book was published in February 1919 and PG is at pains to explain that it was 'compiled from Official Sources.'

All this suggests to me that the name Megiddo was not in common currency, at least before Feb 1919.

 

Later that year (in October 1919) Allenby received his peerage and chose his title which includes Megiddo. The Battles Nomenclature Committee first sat in August 1919 and published their report in 1921, however, it appears to have been written in July 1920 (see page 9)

 

I would suggests that the BNC were influenced by Allenby's choice of title and that the name was probably fixed by them sometime between October 1919 and July 1920

 

BUT, NB: this is only a guess on my part

 

best regards

Michael

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