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07-10-2008, 21:00
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: 07.07.06
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1 . "" ''. glsh"

A General History of 32nd (Scottish) Signal Regiment (Volunteers)

Passage of the Auja

The River Auja just north of Jaffa provided a moat for the Turkish positions. If casualties were to be

kept down the river would have to be “bounded” by surprise attack. For the success of the operation

it was vital that a crossing be made at a number of points simultaneously. This was nearly ruined by

one attacking force having at the last moment to delay the assault for 30 minutes due to a delay with

their pontoon bridge. Signals rose to the occasion, all units “got the message” and nowhere was the

attack sprung prematurely. The result was that in a single night the Division appeared to the Turkish

High Command to be an impossible obstacle and forced the Turks to abandon their prepared

positions and withdraw on 20 December 1917.

It is interesting to note that Turkish prisoners were invariably surprised at the slight stature of their

captors. In the demonology of the Turkish Army the Lowlanders were of giant size.

After a well earned rest and reorganisation, and as a result of the success of the German offensive in

France the 52
nd were suddenly ordered to France in Spring 1918. They left the Middle East on 11

April and arrived at Marseilles on 17 April 1918.

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17th December 1917

Reference Maps: Palestine 1/63,360 and attached Hecto.
1. Information regarding the enemy's dispositions will be issued separately as and when received.
2. The 52nd Division will cross the 'Auja and establish itself on the right bank on the line Kh. Hadra-Sh. Muwannis-Tell er Ruqti in order to form a bridgehead from which further operations can be developed.

3. On night X - 1/X day, at a Zero hour to be notified later, the 52nd Division will cross the river as follows:-
[a] A Bn. 156th Inf. Bde. will cross the 'Auja in rafts and form a covering party to the N.E. for the construction of a light bridge capable of taking infantry in single file at Z.19c-Crossing C.1.
[b] A Bn. 157th Inf. Bde. will cross the 'Auja in rafts and form a covering party to the N.W. for the construction of a light bridge capable of taking infantry in single file at Z.19b-Crossing C.2
[c] B and C Bns. 156th Inf. Bde. will cross the river by the bridge and form up under cover of the covering parties, D Bn. remaining in reserve.
[d] B and C Bns. 157th Inf. Bde. will cross by ford in Y.18, according to time-table attached, D Bn. remaining in reserve.

[a] Whether the crossing is a surprise or not, all ground gained must be held, so that the programme shall be carried out without deviation.
[b] G.O.C. 155th Inf. Bde. should be prepared to demonstrate vigorously towards F.13 if our crossing is discovered, prior to Zero + 150, but he will not so demonstrate without a definite order from Div. H.Q.
[c] The guiding principle must be that not a single man more than is necessary is sent N. of the river until our objectives are attained.

5. Moves subsequent to those outlined in para. 3 will take place according to the attached time-table, which must be adhered to.

6. The final objectives will be:-
155th Inf. Bde. Kh. Hadra.
156th Inf. Bde. High ground north of Muwannis and Slag Heap Farm.
157th Inf. Bde. Tell er Ruqti.
As the ground is unreconnoitred, it is left to G.O's.C. Inf. Bdes. discretion whether they will advance or modify their line on arrival at their objective or subsequently at daylight, bearing in mind the provisions of para. 2. Similarly, it is impossible to lay down dividing lines for the zones of attack. G.O's.C. Inf. Bdes. will concert measures at daylight to define their respective points of junction.

7. After the passage of 157th Inf. Bde. over the ford Y.18, B.G.R.A. will be prepared to push forward two batteries by the ford in Y.18 for the closer support of the infantry, when ordered to do so by Div. H.Q.

8. C.R.E. will arrange to throw one barrel bridge to take infantry in fours, as soon as possible after Muwannis is taken, near confluence of Nahr el Baride with Nahr el 'Auja. One bridge to take infantry in fours will be thrown as early as possible in Y.24b

9. On Zero - 1 day an iron ration will be issued in lieu of the ordinary ration.

10. Not less than 200 rounds S.A.A. per man will be carried.

11. Watches will be synchronized at 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. on X - 1 day under arrangements to made by O.C. Divl. Signal Coy.

12. Reports to Div. H.Q. at H.18 every half-hour after Zero hour


Lieu.-Colonel, G.S., 52nd Division

Issued at 6 a.m., 18th.


: lowland + auja [glsh ... ]

" . 07-10-2008 21:30.
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