Allenby, Edmund Henry Hynman, Viscount°

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ALLENBY, EDMUND HENRY HYNMAN, VISCOUNT ° (1861–1936), British soldier. Allenby commanded the Egyptian Expeditionary Forces which, in 1917–18, defeated the Turks in Palestine. In June 1917 he was sent to Cairo to succeed Sir Archibald Murray as commander of the British forces in Egypt and Palestine. British troops were then held up at Gaza after two unsuccessful battles. Deceiving the enemy into thinking he would launch a third frontal attack, he took Beersheba instead (October 31), thus forcing the Turks to withdraw from Gaza, and leading to the capture of Jaffa and of Jerusalem (December 9, 1917). By the autumn of 1918, troops transferred from Mesopotamia and India to Palestine were ready for forays across the Jordan, in which the *Jewish Legion (38th and 39th Battalions of the Royal Fusiliers) took part. Allenby again deceived the Turks into thinking that he would attack once more with his right wing, but, having secretly transferred the bulk of his forces (some 35,000 men) to the orange groves north of Jaffa, he broke through on the night of September 18–19 and reached Nazareth via the Megiddo Pass before the Turks realized what was happening. Their escape routes blocked, tens of thousands of Turkish troops were taken prisoner in a decisive victory. Pressing on to Damascus and Aleppo, Allenby forced Turkey out of the war on October 31. For his achievements he was named Viscount Allenby of Megiddo and Felixstowe, and received a parliamentary grant of £50,000. Of massive build and forceful personality (known to his troops as "The Bull"), Allenby later became British high commissioner in Egypt (1919–1925). In 1918 he was present at the laying of the foundation stone of the Hebrew University on Mount Scopus. Though as a commander of the British Expeditionary Forces he was noncommittal toward Zionist aspirations, doubting the wisdom of British policy concerning a Jewish National Home, he later expressed an understanding of Zionism in a speech delivered at the inaugural banquet of the Hebrew University in 1925. One of the main streets in Tel Aviv is named in his honor.


B. Gardner, Allenby (Eng., 1965); Great Britain, Army, Brief Record of the Advance of the Egyptian Expeditionary Force, 1917–1918 (1919); T.L. Jackson, With Allenby in the Holy Land (1938); A. Wavell, Allenby, a Study in Greatness, 2 vols. (1940–43); Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Banquet Speeches (1925), 50–51. add. bibliography: M. Hughes and F. Cass, Allenby and British Strategy in the Middle East, 1917–1919 (1999); D.L. Bullock, Allenby's War: The Palestine-Arabian Campaign 1916–1918 (1988); L. James, Imperial Warrior: The Life and Times of Field-Marshall Viscount Allenby, 1861–1936 (1994).

[Edwin Samuel, Second

Viscount Samuel]

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Allenby, Edmund Henry Hynman, Viscount°

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