Enemy opens heavy bombardment and attacks @ 0330.
Three picked German Divisions from Western front engaged. They showed more dash than the Turk but came the usual cropper nevertheless. Prisoners totalled 1200. They had about 5000 casualties. We got about 50 prisoners and 5 machine guns.
The attacking troops were Prussian Storm Troops and were told that Indians were holding the line, whereas we took over from the Indians the night before.
One German had Iron Cross, Prussian Order of the Eagle Order Pour le Merit and Bavarian decoration.
Spiller was killed.
Bright cloudless hot day, temp 126 deg in the shade.
Bombardment commenced at 0230 and continued till 0300. The first line composed of picked Prussian storm troops who had been successful on all fronts, collapsed under the heavy fire, Artillery by a barrage prevented reinforcements giving great assistance. Flight lasted all day. German casualties about 1200 prisoners, (...) to 2000 wounded and killed.
One man badly wounded in hip caught fire and was extinguished by one of our boys. We tried to rescue him but enemy fired on the party. Poor devil lay out all night and all next day.
Then Germans came out under flag of truce, one advanced but stretcher bearers would not. One of our boys stood up and shouted to take the man in. The answer was “alright” when they got him back to trenches. The German gave a Turk bearer a kick in the face then before getting into the trench, they shouted “thank you Australia” and waved their hats.
On guard over a big batch of prisoners my mate Klause who speaks German fluently had a long talk to a German Lieutenant. He seemed sincere and said things in Germany were terrible, starvation and seething with discontent etc. He thought Germany must soon give in or there would be a revolution. He further said, had English or Indians been holding the line, they would have fought to a finish but as soon as they found we were Australians they gradually went to pieces. They had a rough handling by the Aussies on the Western front before they came to Palestine. This German gave the Aussie great praise. He said they were easily the best troops in France. Another German, quite a youngster, was wounded badly and I gave him a lift on my horse. He was very grateful and said “You are good to your enemies - Gottin himmel why should we war against each other”. He shook hands and began to cry. He was only about 18 yrs old. He told me to kill myself rather than be taken prisoner by the Turks. They are very cruel, and torture their victims.
Jack Graham, ANZAC soldier, kept a diary from 1914-1918. Here it is, blogged 100 years later to the day....