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"Australian Camel Corps" Topic

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World War One

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611 hits since 26 Sep 2018
©1994-2020 Bill Armintrout
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Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP26 Sep 2018 12:31 p.m. PST

"The Allied failure in the disastrous Gallipoli campaign brought large numbers of imperial troops, including many Australians, back to Egypt, where they would in time be used for operations against the more remote parts of the Ottoman Empire. In January 1916, as the troops were landing back in Egypt, some were used to create four company-sized formations of infantry mounted on camels, the first Australian camel corps. Some British companies were added a couple of months later, and four more Australian companies were added in June of that year. At the end of the year these Australian companies and the others were combined to form the Imperial Camel Corps, which was now organised into three 770 man battalions, two of which were Australian. These units now also included sections of machine guns and mountain artillery amongst others, and served mostly in the Sinai and Palestine. They participated in many actions big and small, but as the imperial forces pushed into Palestine the advantages of the camel became largely redundant, and the Australian units were removed from their camels in June 1918 and used to form the 14th and 15th Light Horse regiments.

As with the other Great War camel sets so far made by Strelets, this one consists of nine mounted poses plus a few dismounted men. Taking the mounted poses first, all of them are pretty good, with men holding a rifle and in apparently relaxed mood. As mounted infantry these men would always dismount to fight, so these relaxed poses make good sense and we thought all were appropriate, with the one query being why are they all holding their rifle when these would often have been stowed on the animal while in transit? Two of the poses make a nice little pairing which with hindsight we should have pictured together; the last man in the second row is passing a water bottle to the fourth man in the top row…."







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