Alan H Smith
ARRSE Rating
4.5 Mushroom Heads
The Sinai and Palestine campaigns of 1916-1918 are well off the general knowledge radar screen , the coming Armistice celebration and recent media coverage has been western front orientated. The Lawrence of Arabia film is well in the past and the Middle East resounds to more recent fighting.

Alan Smith has meticulously dissected the gunner campaign drawing on a rich variety of sources. The start state was a pitifully small slice of gunner assets , mainly scraps from other campaigns. Meanwhile the Turkish Army had German assistance and their artillery units seem to have been better equipped than some of their infantry.

The author tackles the campaign in chronological order and also gives some historical background. The lessons learnt from the Franco-Prussian war helping to explain both doctrine and equipment. Orbats are covered in meticulous detail and there is a sad expanse of long gone gunner units , but be of good cheer ,the Honourable Artillery Company gets good mention and is still with us .(Sadly, the Somerset gunners are extinct and do not even feature in the provenance of the recently raised 155 Battery).

The book is a must read for any serious student of the campaign and would be a good buy for regimental libraries , some of the tactical lessons are still relevant today. It may be a bit heavy going for the generalist reader but this should not detract from the work. For any interested in chemical warfare there are some interesting gems gleaned from the US Journal of Military History ( Y Sheffy) including ammunition natures and tonnages.
The book runs to 294 pages as well as copious footnotes, appendices, bibliography and excellent index. Pen and Sword have produced to their usual high standard , with good photographs.

Amazon productCover price is £30.00 , Kindle £21.60 and a few new hardback copies from £17.37 on Amazon
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