Reunited with their horses in Egypt after the shattering experience of Gallipoli (a story recounted in Terry Kinloch's earlier book, Echoes of Gallipoli), the Anzac mounted riflemen and light horsemen were initially charged with the defence of the Suez Canal, then with the clearance of the Sinai peninsula, and finally with the destruction of the Turkish armies in Palestine and Syria. At last they could pursue the style of warfare for which they had been trained: on horseback. The First World War battlefields in the Middle East have long been overshadowed by those of Gallipoli and the Western Front. Yet the story of the mounted riflemen in Sinai and Palestine is a truly fascinating one. Using the soldiers' original letters and diaries wherever possible, Kinloch vividly describes every battle and skirmish in the long campaign against the Turks: the crucial Battle of Romani, the defeats at Bir el Abd, Gaza and Amman, and the successes at Beersheba, Ayun Kara and elsewhere. He explains the reality of tactical operations in the harsh desert environment, the ever-present necessity of securing water for the precious horses and the remorseless tenacity of the enemy.
The horses play a major part in the story, but of the thousands of faithful animals involved, only one would ever return home after the war. Devils on Horses is a gripping read that offers new information about a theatre of war that has been overlooked for decades. Based on original research, it is sure to be the standard reference work on New Zealand's Middle East campaign for years to come.
Shortlisted for Montana New Zealand Book Awards: History Category 2008.
'Devils on Horses is a very important book for New Zealanders, and for those who read military history. We now have an account of the New Zealand Mounted Rifles Brigade in Sinai and Palestine that at last does justice to their story. This was perhaps the finest body of New Zealanders ever to serve overseas, and now we can see why' - From the Foreword by Dr Christopher Pugsley.
Terry Kinloch retired from the New Zealand Army in 2013 after thirty years of service. This is his second book about the New Zealand Mounted Rifles Brigade in the First World War, completing the story begun in Echoes of Gallipoli. In addition to authoring these two books, he has also contributed two Gallipoli chapters to Don MacKay's The Trooper's Tale: The History of the Otago Mounted Rifles. In 2006 he was appointed to be a member of the New Zealand Order of Merit. He is currently writing a biography of General Sir Alexander Godley. He lives in Wellington with his wife Carol.
Maps and figures Abbreviations and Key for all maps Glossary Author's Note Foreword Introduction Prologue 1. Return from Gallipoli 2. The cold-footed mounteds 3. The Battle of Romani 4. A terrible day 5. El Arish by Christmas 6. A damned scrap 7. Someone has blundered 8. When will the war be over? 9. Tel el Saba 10. In the land of milk and honey 11. Gallop for your life! 12. The road to Jericho 13. More than we can chew 14. Another disappointment 15. The valley of desolation 16. Settling old scores 17. The horses stay behind Conclusion Bibliography Notes Index