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The Second Battle of Gaza – 17th April 1917

Last Thursday afternoon Myself and a few lads from the club played a great WWI BoltAction game. We based the game loosely around the Second Battle of Gaza….only so we were able to use a British tank as this battle was the first time they we used outside the Western front and only in Palestine. Basically the the game had two minor objectives and one major objective, which as the town of Gaza. The Turkish forces had a massed four platoons of Infantry (40 men each), a battery of three guns, four MMG’s and one cavalry squadron in order to defend the ground in depth. On the ANZAC side the assaulting allied forces had three Australian Infantry platoons (34 men each) and one British platoon (30 men), seven MMG teams, five artillery guns, a squadron of mounted infantry and a tank. 

The Turkish command and his German advisor have a birds eye view of the battlefield 

The ANZAC command discusses their next move

A battery of supporting artillery trade shots with their Turkish adversaries 

The Turkish battery manned by veteran troops provided expert fire support for their troops

Turkish troops prepare for their defence of the first objective.

The battle start well for the Turkish players as their artillery in the first few rounds of fire cause 50% casualties on one of the Aussie platoons and one of the MMG teams pinned down the advancing mounted infantry. 

But with mounting causalities the British commanders decided to send in their reserves (the British platoon and the tank)

A line of vickers MMG’s support the ANZAC advance

Turkish cavalry scout the Turkish left flank

The Turkish commander rallies his troops and prepares for a counter attack

The advancing tank enabled the British troops to punch a hole through the first line of defence and capture the first village on the Turkish left flank. 

The British reserve platoon advances to support the frontline. 

Turkish troops reinforce the first objective.

ANZAC troops clear the first objective 

The town of Gaza, heavily fortified and garrisoned with Turkish troops.

With the first objective captured the Aussies advanced onto the second objective another village on the Turkish right flank.

After bloody hand to hand fighting the Aussies managed to push through and capture the second objective.

But with mounting causalities and still the final objective to be captured the ANZACs called it a day. 

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