Centenary of the battle of Haifa celebrated
Why in News?
- The Embassy of India held a ceremony in Haifa to mark the Centenary of the Battle of Haifa when on 23 Sep 1918; Indian soldiers from the Jodhpur, Mysore and Hyderabad Lancers liberated the city of Haifa.
Battle of Haifa:
- Owing to its rail and harbour, Israeli port city of Haifa was a strategic supply base.
- In addition to Haifa, the Allied Forces also engineered a plan to annexe Nazareth and Damascus in present-day Israel and Syria.
- On September 23, 1918, the 15th (Imperial Service) Cavalry Brigade comprising lancers from the regiments of princely states of Jodhpur and Mysore inflicted heavy assault on positions held by Ottoman Turks in and around the city of Haifa.
- Eventually, the Indian cavalry brigades fighting under the leadership of British General Edmund Allenby helped liberate Haifa from the clutches of the Turkish-German forces.
- A total of 1,350 German and Ottoman prisoners were captured by the two Indian regiments.
Significance of Haifa war:
- The victory was more special as the Indian soldiers were armed only with lances (a kind of spear) and swords while the Turks had in their possession advance artillery and machine guns.
- The Indian troops displayed exemplary cavalry skills and valour during what was considered to be the last major cavalry campaign in military history.
- No more remarkable cavalry action of its scale was fought in the whole course of the campaign.
Haifa War in news:
- As a symbolic gesture of friendship with Israel, India renamed the iconic Teen Murti Chowk, a war memorial, during the visit of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as Haifa Chowk.
- Every year on September 23, the Indian Army celebrates ‘Haifa Day’ to commemorate the war dead during the Battle.
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