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Remembered Today:

Camel Troops


PhilB
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Much more akin to mounted infantry than cavalry, fighting from a camel not easy.

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A couple of mates :lol: I thought may be of interest. Bye the way , If a horse wears horse shoes , what does a camel wear .............................? Desert boots :( sorry couldn't resist "MO"Andysgottheump.jpgDickieKoncamel.jpg

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Nice pics - but isn't a "Tankie" on a camel if front of a late Regency/early Victorian building slightly out of place?

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Why has the officer on the camel got a tank crew anti bullet spash mail mask around his neck? Goggles were often worn by camel corps but bullet spash masks!

Camels usually went barefoot

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Of course they had splash masks.

Have you ever seen a camel spit!

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A couple of questions about post #1:-

1/ What is the long stick-like thing along the side of the camel? Is it the camel equivalent of a riding crop?

2/ Is that a pillion seat at the back?

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QUOTE (Phil_B @ Mar 10 2008, 12:28 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
A couple of questions about post #1:-

1/ What is the long stick-like thing along the side of the camel? Is it the camel equivalent of a riding crop? Yes

2/ Is that a pillion seat at the back?

The normal position on a camel is either on the forward slope of the hump or to the rear. The 'pillion' is in effect an alternative sitting position (but could be used if you want to go two up)

I enclose another way of riding on a camel - the most uncomfortable ambulance system ever?

post-9885-1205152768.jpg

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Phil

As centurion said camel troops were mounted infantry, the camel got them to where they had to go and then they usually fought dismounted.

Pictures of turkish camel troops show the same practical response to kit as the allies with the addition of what appear to be canvas boots, loose jodpurs for officers and shemagh and aegyl head gear and cut away jackets for all ranks. Although some of the turkish Arab camel troops defected to the arab revolt, some remained and were very effective troops (i.e. in raids across Sinai and on the Suez Canal).

Cheers

dominic

post-3023-1205159692.jpg

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Phil,

I Take it you are refering to Allied camel troops or Turkish/German?

The Imperial Camel Corps dressed like any other British mounted soldier but for one detail. They couldn't wear leggings due to them rubbing on the camels neck when riding and so wore puttees. This dispite the placment of a large leather apron which covered the exposed neck.

Camel Soldiers, at lest the aussies tended to wear shorts when on patrols but this was later dropped because of septic wounds to legs and trousers had to be worn all the time.

The aussie /NZ camel soldiers liked to wear there hats felt karki rather then the Sun hat corked / Pith Helmet that the British wore.

Most Camel soldiers picked up a stick to get their animals going, while the saddle could only fit one soldier and little room for any others unless in a pinch.

Camel soldiers were trained as Mounted Infantry and as such thats how they fought there battles, the weapons were different then the normal Mounted units in that the sect MG was a Lewis gun, three to a company, but the Bde MG Sqn/Co was still the standard Vickers.

I hope that answers some of your questions

S.B

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Nice pics - but isn't a "Tankie" on a camel if front of a late Regency/early Victorian building slightly out of place?

Yes your right , :lol: The pic was taken at the national army musuem at Chelsea , London. They have some excellent displays/lectures there from time to time. I reckon Dick K (MGC officer) was was giving his lecture/display and thought "I just gotta have a sit on that camel (in central London :o ) "MO"

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The Imperial Camel Corps dressed like any other British mounted soldier but for one detail. They couldn't wear leggings due to them rubbing on the camels neck when riding and so wore puttees. S.B

Didn`t British cavalry wear puttees? (Wound "the other way")

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Domsim is spot on, they got you where you wanted to go and you then fought on foot. The well quoted example of TEL charging to Aqaba in 1917 and attempting to "fight" mounted had - as we all know - disastrous consequences.

Interestingly there has been quite a debate amongst ancient historians on the same theme - did camel mounted archers fight from on top or did they dismount to fire - the consensus is that they dismounted. Nevertheless, "camel troops" had their uses; Josephus reports that the Nabataean victory over the Hasmonaeans in 93 BC was largely due to the sheer bulk of their 'multitude of camels'. From my limited experience of riding them, they are d*****d uncomfortable (don't you agree Dom !).

Julian

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Domsim is spot on, they got you where you wanted to go and you then fought on foot. The well quoted example of TEL charging to Aqaba in 1917 and attempting to "fight" mounted had - as we all know - disastrous consequences.

Especially since he was on a horse (which he managed to shoot accidentally) and not a camel.

Considering shooting from a camel - Gatling developed a lightweight machine gun for firing from a camel, however I suspect that the camel was supposed to be trained to kneel down first (whether it remained so once the gun opened up is a moot point!)

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Controlling a camel and an MG at the same time - be interesting to watch that - through bins at a considerable distance!

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montbrehain,

thanks for the info on the photo of the MGC Officer on the camel in Central London.

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And another camel ambulance in Palestine. Given the arm bands what nationality are the attendants? presumably not Turkish, German ? sugestions please.

post-9885-1205235407.jpg

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Centurion, I think we are evens, I was wrong it was not Aqaba but Aba el Lissan, but it certainly was a camel (a she camel called Naama) - Seven Pillars, 1st edition (1935), p 303. When TEL picked himself up he found that "in the back of its skull was the heavy bullet of the fifth shot I fired."

That was the whole point - it WAS a camel ! However, I notice (now that I have the book in front of me) that he used a pistol because "only an expert could use a rifle from such plunging beasts;".

Julian (I spent much of the late 70s and 80s in that area)

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Centurion, I think we are evens, I was wrong it was not Aqaba but Aba el Lissan, but it certainly was a camel (a she camel called Naama) - Seven Pillars, 1st edition (1935), p 303. When TEL picked himself up he found that "in the back of its skull was the heavy bullet of the fifth shot I fired."

That was the whole point - it WAS a camel ! However, I notice (now that I have the book in front of me) that he used a pistol because "only an expert could use a rifle from such plunging beasts;".

Julian (I spent much of the late 70s and 80s in that area)

I was down the coast from you then at Rabbigh. I've seen somewhere that the horse became a camel when TEL wrote the book (so much more romantic) which is what I was alluding to. I'll try to find where I picked this up.

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You mean after he lost the first draft in a railway carriage!?

I spent some time in the Hejaz and took days off to look at railway trains

but no ...

( to keep on topic )

... very few camels there either !

except ancient rock engravings of them (mostly Safaitic)

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And another camel ambulance in Palestine. Given the arm bands what nationality are the attendants? presumably not Turkish, German ? sugestions please.

They are German, although there were Austrian field ambulance units in Palestine.

Hi Julian long time no hear! Yes i had a go on camels when I worked out there- all I could think about was it was a long way to fall off once you were up there!

Cheers

Dominic

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You mean after he lost the first draft in a railway carriage!?

I spent some time in the Hejaz and took days off to look at railway trains

but no ...

( to keep on topic )

... very few camels there either !

except ancient rock engravings of them (mostly Safaitic)

Did you chance to come across a colleague of mine called Errol Babbington (working on the National Guard Hospital in Jeddah)? He (and a few others) managed to find one of the trains still sitting in the desert.

Camels became very scarce in the whole of the Arabian penninsular in the 1970/80s. So much so that they started importing them from Australia (where they had a surplus). Even so I went to see the Camel Market in Huf Huf (Eastern province) and there were still a lot of camels

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