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16 April - General Henry Chauvel and Australian Light Horse

Unread postPosted: Tue Apr 16, 2013 4:48 pm
by Max ADU
Australian Birthday Today
16 April 1865

see video on bottom

General Sir Henry George Chauvel, GCMG KCB , born 16 April 1865, Tabulam, New South Wales – died 4 March 1945 Melbourne, Victoria, known also as Sir Harry Chauvel, was a senior officer of the Australian Imperial Force who fought at Gallipoli and in the Middle Eastern theatre during the First World War.

He was the first Australian to attain the rank of lieutenant general and later general, and the first to lead a corps. As commander of the Desert Mounted Corps, he was responsible for one of the most decisive victories and fastest pursuits in military history.

Early in Life
Henry George Chauvel was the second child of a grazier, Charles Henry Edward Chauvel, and his wife Fanny Ada Mary, née James.

From an early age Henry George Chauvel was known as "Harry".

In 1886, Charles Henry was given permission to raise two troops of cavalry.

On 14 March 1886, he was commissioned as a captain in the Upper Clarence Light Horse.

The unit escorted Lord Carrington, Governor of New South Wales, when he formally opened the railway at Tenterfield, New South Wales in 1886.

As a 2nd Lt. in the Queensland Mounted Infantry in 1890, and saw service during the 1891 Australian shearers' strike.

In 1899 he commanding one of two companies of Queensland Mounted Infantry in the Boer War and after the war, he was closely involved with the training of the Australian Light Horse.

Famous Battle of Romani campaign
Chauvel chose his ground carefully, reconnoitring it from the ground and the air, and selecting both forward and fall back positions.

His luck held; the German commander — Friedrich Kreß von Kressenstein — selected the same position as the forming up area for his attack in August 1916.

Under great pressure, Chauvel maintained his position until Brigadier General Edward Chaytor's New Zealand Mounted Rifles Brigade arrived after being released by Lawrence.

The counter attack that Chauvel had been calling for all day did not materialise until dusk.

At Katia and again at Bir el Abd, Chauvel attempted to sweep around the Turkish flank but wound up making frontal attacks on the Turkish rearguard and was beaten off by determined counter attacks and artillery fire against the 3rd Light Horse Brigade.

Despite killing 1,250 Turks and taking over 4,000 prisoners, Chauvel was criticised for his failure to rout and destroy the Turks.

However, for the Anzac horsemen, who suffered over 900 of the 1,130 British casualties, it was a clear-cut victory, their first decisive win and the turning point of the campaign.

Later, Chauvel realised that Romani was the first decisive British victory of the war outside West Africa Campaign.

Call to Arms
Forty Thousand Horsemen (aka 40,000 Horsemen) is a 1940 Australian war film directed by Charles Chauvel (nephew of General Sir Harry Chauvel.) The film tells the story of the Australian Light Horse cavalry which operated in the desert at the Sinai and Palestine Campaign during World War I.

It follows the adventures of three rowdy heroes in fighting and romance. The film culminates at the Battle of Beersheba which is reputedly "the last successful cavalry charge in history".

The film was clearly a propaganda weapon, to aid in recruitment and lift the pride of Australians at home during World War II. It was one of the most successful Australian movies of its day.

Watch on

Re: 16 April - General Henry Chauvel and Australian Light Ho

Unread postPosted: Sat Apr 16, 2016 7:42 pm
by Max ADU