1 June 1916 – Crazy Horses

The 1st Australian Light Horse Brigade arrived in Romani on the Sinai Peninsula two days ago to reinforce the defences there against any advances by the Turks form the Est to attack the Suez Canal.

Today a single enemy aircraft conducted a daring raid on their camp with great success. At around 06.30, eight bombs fell from a height of about 8,000 feet. The bombs fell among the troops and their horse-lines. The Australian casualties were severe. One officer and seven men were killed, three officers and nineteen men wounded, and thirty-six horses killed and nine wounded.

None of the horses had previously been under fire, and they immediately stampeded, broke their ropes in large numbers, and scattered at the gallop into the sandhills, a few reached Port Said, nearly thirty miles away, and some were never recovered.

The British force has no anti-aircraft guns, and the RFC units in the area are not fast or numerous enough to be able to respond. For the most part both British and German aircraft are able to carry out operations at will. The number of aircraft and their poor performance in the desert means that air combat is rare and only likely to occur by chance. In any case, the Germans have technical superiority as they have at least sent some of their better aircraft to this front. The British air forces continue to be equipped with obsolete aircraft not required in France.

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