100 years ago, on 3-5 August 1916, the Battle of Romani was taking place 23 miles east of the Suez Canal. In what was to be the last attack of the war on Egypt and the Suez Canal, it was a convincing victory and marked the beginning of the British advance into the Sinai desert.
As early as January 1916, while he was still reorganising his forces in Egypt following the debacle at Gallipoli, General Archibald Murray told Robertson, the Chief of Imperial General Staff, that the best way to defend Egypt was to advance through the Sinai Peninsula to El Arish, almost on the border with Ottoman Palestine (WO 95/4360). The objective was to secure both the easiest line of approach to the canal and control over the main water supply of the peninsula (CAB 42/16/1). Continue reading »