Occupation of the Jordan Valley

The Egyptian Expeditionary Force's occupation of the Jordan Valley began in February 1918 during the Sinai and Palestine Campaign of World War I. After the Capture of Jericho in February the Auckland Mounted Rifle Regiment began patrolling an area of the Jordan Valley near Jericho at the base of the road from Jerusalem. Towards the end of March the First Transjordan attack on Amman and the First Battle of Amman]] were launched from the Jordan Valley followed a few weeks later by the equally unsuccessful Second Transjordan attack on Shunet Nimrin and Es Salt at the end of April. During this time the occupation of the Jordan was fully established and continued through the summer of 1918. The occupation ended in September with the Battle of Megiddo which consisted of the Battle of Sharon and the Battle of Nablus. The Third Transjordan attack and Second Battle of Amman were fought as part of the Battle of Nablus. Despite the difficult climate and the unhealthy environment of the Jordan Valley, General Edmund Allenby decided that, in order to ensure the strength of the Egyptian Expeditionary Force's front line it was necessary to extend the line which stretched from the Mediterranean Sea, across the Judean Hills to the Dead Sea in order to protect his right flank. This line was held until September, providing a strong position from which to launch the attacks on Amman to the east and northwards to Damascus. During the period from March to September the Ottoman Army held the hills of Moab on the eastern side of the valley and the northern section of valley. Their well placed artillery periodically shelled the occupying force and, particularly in May, German aircraft bombed and strafed bivouacs and horse lines. As a consequence of the major victory at Megiddo the occupied area was consolidated with other former Ottoman Empire territories won during the battle.

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