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Remembered Today:

Tours of the Battlefields of Gaza


Pvte Lynch
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Hi,

Could anybody recommend a tour that outlines the tactics of the three Battles of Gaza, and / or the conditions the soldiers faced.

Thank you

Stephen

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Bearing in mind the current security situation in Gaza, especially the Israeli blockade, its continued de facto control of the area and regular incursions to bomb and kill so-called Palestinian "terrorists", I think unlikely you will find any tour operating there, at present.

In due course, there will be peace in Palestine, insh'allah.

John

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John I think there will never be peace or anything close in Gaza. One of our US Branch WFA members who's a US born israeli asked me to make that the site of our next trip. I said there was not nearly enough Great War related things in Israel + one would need to visit Gaza to understand it and that's impossible.

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To a degree you can use Google earth to view the battlefields and try and relate the images to the old campaign maps, but there has been much development. One principle site of 2nd Gaza is now the much disputed entrance through the Israeli security wall.

Gareth

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Thanks for all your posts. Could I ask if anyone knows of a WWI battlefield that would have similar conditions for the soldiers (ie:- desert, trenches in the sand, etc). I'm thinking the closest may be Gallipoli, but am open to any suggestions.

Stephen

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Could I ask if anyone knows of a WWI battlefield that would have similar conditions for the soldiers (ie:- desert, trenches in the sand, etc).

Mesopotamia would comes the closest, but that is now Iraq, so I would not go there either. Beersheba, and the Sinai should be comparatively safe, at the other end of the Palestine campaign lines.

Gareth

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  • 4 years later...

Visiting Gaza is not impossible but it is certainly not easy.

1st Gaza: The actions of Col Money and his patrol in the 1st Battle should be able to be followed fairly easily. 53 Div's left hand movements covered ground that is still open but the right hand of 53 and the left of 54 will be in the middle of buildings.

2nd Gaza: All the actions of 53rd Div and the majority of 52nd Div's actions took place in what are now suburbs of Gaza City. There is some open ground just north of Wadi el Ghazze as far north as the outpost line of the night of 17 Apr which should be pretty easy to walk over but beyond that it is built up and so it would be impossible to get any feel for the 1917 battle. Moving east it should be possible to follow much of 54 Div's (less possibly 162 Bde , the Imperial Camel Corps' and the Desert Column's actions; these all took place outside of what is now the Gaza Strip.

3rd Gaza: The situation is pretty similar to the 2nd Battle but it was 52 and 54 Divs on the left this time. Anything that took place east of 75 Div should be accessible in what is now Israel.

I hope to go and do a recce sometime later this year, which will include Gaza, and will let you know how I get on.

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Tourists are recommended not to visit the Sinai at present as gangs of terrorists/criminals (they seem to be interchangeable) have been targeting the kidnap of same for ransom.

Some of the Western desert oasis that saw the culmination of operations against the Senussi in 1917 are geared up for tourism and you can also use them to visit battlefields of WW2, but even here the threat of political unrest in Egypt means that some Western authorities do recommend caution

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If you really want to go, then there is no reason why you could not visit the battlefields in Israel only. There is plenty to see. Beersheba, Jerusalem etc.

There is a member, Michaeldr, who has constructed some beautiful threads on the cemeteries in the region. Send him a PM and see if he has some tips.

Cheers Andy.

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