25 April 1916 – Salmond’s Warning comes true

RFC Commander Lieutenant-Colonel Salmond’s warning of an imminent attack on 22 April turned out to be correct as Turkish foces assaulted British position in Sinai the very next morning.

The detachment at Oghratina was taken by surprise and captured at 0745 with heavy casualties for the British. The force then pushed on towards Qatiya attacking it around 9.45 a.m. German air observers assisted Turkish guns in ranging on the camp. At about 3 p.m. the post was finally overwhelmed.

Better news was had at Dueidar where the 5th Royal Scots Fusiliers repulsed the Turks. An air observer over the Dueidar area dropped a message at 8.26 a.m. to say that the main body of attackers was in retreat. The retreating column was then attacked from the air with bomb and machine-gun fire. The aeroplanes had been specially fitted with machine-guns which could fire downwards from the side of the fuselage.

Air reconnaissance on 24 April reported that the Turks had withdrawn from Qatiya. Today, bombing attacks were made on the retreating forces at at Bir el Abd (seventy 20-lb. bombs) and at Bir Bayud (twenty-six 20-lb. bombs).

During the three days of action, the two Flights from Qantara and Ismailia, totalling eight aeroplanes, flew sixty-eight hours and 4,000 miles in total.


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