On Oct. 31, 1917, the Australians took the Palestinian city of Beersheba, a vital source of water in the desert. The engagement was part of the Third Battle of Gaza, and is remembered primarily for the charge of the 4th Light Horse Brigade.
The 4th and 12th Regiments attacked the Turkish trenches at full gallop, jumped over the defenders and dismounted to attack from the rear with their bayonets.
An official history reads:
Away went the ground scouts in a bee-line for the mosque shining white in the setting sun; away after them went the eager squadrons. For a minute perhaps the three galloping lines could be seen by those who watched them; then they were swallowed up in their own dust and the gathering twilight….
From then to the end of the war the Turks never forgot Beersheba; their cavalry, always shy of the light horsemen, from that hour practically faded out of the war, so afraid were they of a blow from these reckless men who had ridden their big horses over strongly armed entrenchments; and the enemy infantry, when galloped. as after Beersheba they frequently were, invariably shot wildly and surrendered early in the conflict. The charge had dealt a heavy wound to the enemy morale, from the High Command down to the men in the ranks.
You can find many accounts of the battle and other information at
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