100 years ago today General Allenby gave Britain one hell of an early X-mas present

SirOrmondeWinter

Ad Honorem
Dec 2011
3,556
Jerusalem, the faithful city, achieving what so many before him had failed to do for centuries (of course unlike his predecessors he had tanks which obviously helped).

Unlike the Kaiser who'd had the ancient walls altered so he could ride through the city Allenby dismounted and walked through the city in a show of humility, not the conqueror but the penitent man, declaring that the crusades had finally ended. What this must have meant to the people of the British Empire and all the Allies after 3 years of slaughter and suffering? It's possible that this was the turning point of the entire war.

(Not to break the 1990 rule but do you think anyone in the US administration considered the significance of this date before making the embassy announcement this week?)
 

Pendennis

Ad Honorem
Mar 2013
3,386
Kirkcaldy, Scotland
It meant crass betrayal yby the British Empire and France of Lawrence of Arabia and the Arabs who fought the Turks on Britain' and France's behalf and I don't think it would have been a big hill of beans to the widows and kids of the dead British soldiers who had died in the war.
What a naive, jingoistic mindset to think that the majority of British people toiling to grab a crust in 1917 would be wowed by such high falutin talk about the 'Crusaders''
 

Edric Streona

Ad Honorem
Feb 2016
4,545
Japan
It was a victory so it probably caused some celebration though I think Pendennis is right that the majority of the population probably had no inclination to care about the crusades or other guff.

How it was a betrayal of Arabs I don’t know.
 

SirOrmondeWinter

Ad Honorem
Dec 2011
3,556
It meant crass betrayal yby the British Empire and France of Lawrence of Arabia and the Arabs who fought the Turks on Britain' and France's behalf and I don't think it would have been a big hill of beans to the widows and kids of the dead British soldiers who had died in the war.
What a naive, jingoistic mindset to think that the majority of British people toiling to grab a crust in 1917 would be wowed by such high falutin talk about the 'Crusaders''
How was it a betrayal exactly? They were fighting to get rid of the Turks too? Allenby showed great sensitivity for a Victorian general, having Indian Muslim soldiers guard the Muslim holy sites. His declaration upon victory is a model of religious tolerance and civility;

"To the Inhabitants of Jerusalem the Blessed and the People Dwelling in Its Vicinity:
The defeat inflicted upon the Turks by the troops under my command has resulted in the occupation of your city by my forces. I, therefore, here now proclaim it to be under martial law, under which form of administration it will remain so long as military considerations make necessary.
However, lest any of you be alarmed by reason of your experience at the hands of the enemy who has retired, I hereby inform you that it is my desire that every person pursue his lawful business without fear of interruption.
Furthermore, since your city is regarded with affection by the adherents of three of the great religions of mankind and its soil has been consecrated by the prayers and pilgrimages of multitudes of devout people of these three religions for many centuries, therefore, do I make it known to you that every sacred building, monument, holy spot, shrine, traditional site, endowment, pious bequest, or customary place of prayer of whatsoever form of the three religions will be maintained and protected according to the existing customs and beliefs of those to whose faith they are sacred.
Guardians have been established at Bethlehem and on Rachel's Tomb. The tomb at Hebron has been placed under exclusive Moslem control.
The hereditary custodians at the gates of the Holy Sepulchre have been requested to take up their accustomed duties in remembrance of the magnanimous act of the Caliph Omar, who protected that church."

The British people in 1917 after 3 years of bloody sacrifice and suffering celebrated the liberation of a small unheard off town called Cambrai on the Western front by ringing the church bells, how much greater was the triumph of Jerusalem, the prize Richard the Lionheart couldn't take, a name every child in our overwhelmingly Christian and church-going society back then knew?
And it wasn't the British people toiling for a crust in 1917, it was the Germans who were starving.
 

SirOrmondeWinter

Ad Honorem
Dec 2011
3,556
It was a victory so it probably caused some celebration though I think Pendennis is right that the majority of the population probably had no inclination to care about the crusades or other guff.

How it was a betrayal of Arabs I don’t know.
I think after 3 years of stalemate in Europe, Russia leaving the war and failure at Gallipoli this was probably the best news people had heard since the US entered the war.