Page 335 - A-History-of-The-Black-Watch-Royal-Highlanders-in-the-Great-War-1914-1918-Volume-III

Basic HTML Version

THE FOURTEENTH BATIALION THE BLACK WATCH
defended with wire. The main attack was to be pushed home
south of the Wadi Saba by the 60th and 74th Divisions, while
the enemy's extreme left, that is, the desert flank, was to be
turned by cavalry, who, making a wide detour through difficult
and waterless country, were to attack Beersheba from the east
with a view of cutting off the retreat of the Turkish garrison. The
arrangements for troop movements worked well, and before dawn
on the 30th both the 60th and 74th Divisions were in position.
The attack was a complete success, the enemy's advanced
positions being carried by 8,45 a.m., and the 74th Division
crossed the Wadi Saba and cleared the enemy trenches north–
wards as far as the barrier on the Fara-Beersheba road. Beer–
sheba. itself was occupied that night, few of the Turkish garrison
escapmg.
On October 30th the cavalry had passed through the front
line, and the 229th Brigade moved up to Dundee Wadi, the
231st then passing through and taking up a more forward posi–
tion. On November 2nd the 14th took over the outpost line
from the 2/ loth Middlesex Regiment (53rd Division), and on the
4th advanced its line some way with little opposition.
At 7 p.m. on the 5th, orders were received for an attack on the
Turkish position the following morning by the 229th Brigade.
The 14th was, therefore, relieved at 9 p.m. by a battalion from
the 230th Brigade, and at
I I
p.m. moved off to the point of
deployment.
The objective was the Sheria defences, part of the Kuwauka
system. The 229th was the spear-head of the attack, the 14th
Black Watch and the 12th Battalion Somerset
L.I.
being in the
front line, while echeloned on the right and left respectively
were the 230th Brigade, 74th Division and a brigade of the 60th
Division.
The attack was launched at 5 a.m. on the 6th, and by 2.30
p.m. all objectives had been captured and the position consoli–
dated.
The loth Division then took over the line from the 60th, on
the left, and attacked the wells and railway station at Tel El
Sheria. By this time it was getting dark and direction was lost .
The enemy resisted stubbornly, and it was not until the following
morning that both these objectives had been gained, although
it was apparent by the brilliant light from fires behind the
Turkish lines that they intended to retreat, and were burning all
surplus material.
The advance began at 5 a.m., and although badly enfiladed
from the right and held up for a short time, the Turkish
positions were carried by 6.15 a.m. The first objective was taken
at 5.55 a.m., together with four guns, limbered up and trying to
3 18