from the Israel Daily Picture website

The opening shot of World War I in the Middle East was fired along the Suez Canal when the German-led Ottoman army attacked British positions along the Suez Canal in January 1915. The Canal was essential for keeping the ties open between Britain and its colonies, such as India. In fact, Indian troops were stationed along the Canal when the attack began.

Over the next three years, the war would rage across the Sinai Peninsula, north to Gaza and Be'er Sheva, through Jerusalem and the Dead Sea area, and to Amman and Damascus.

The Ottoman Imperial Archives provides German illustrations and photograph of the Ottoman attack. The photographs also show Turkish mobilization in Jerusalem, Be'er Sheva and the Sinai.

bedouin fighters
German painting of Bedouin fighters against English troops at the Suez Canal (Ottoman Imperial Archives)

turks at jaffa gate
LEFT: Turkish troops leaving Jerusalem, passing through the Jaffa Gate (Ottoman Imperial Archives, 1914)

turks firing  guns
RIGHT: Illustration of Turkish guns firing at British planes over the Suez Canal (Ottoman Imperial Archives)

turkish camel corp
Turkish Camel Corps in Be'er Sheva (Ottoman Imperial Archives, 1915)

Gen Kress von Kressenstein
LEFT: German commander of the Suez attack Gen. Kress von Kressenstein (Library of Congress)

druze prince
RIGHT: Druze prince from Lebanon mobilized for the battle at the Suez Canal (Ottoman Imperial Archives)

turkish encampment
German captions: From the battle of our Turkish allies on the Suez Canal, Turkish encampment in the Egyptian desert. (Ottoman Imperial Archives)

turkish artillery
Turkish artillery on the march to the Suez Canal (Ottoman Imperial Archives)

brits and indian troops
British and Indian troops in Suez Canal trenches (Q15566, Imperial War Museum - UK)

This article comes from the March 23, 2015 issue of the Israel Daily Picture website
( The photographs are from the Ottoman Imperial Archives. Thanks are due Moncharsh for sending the article to Think-Israel.

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