Today in Middle Eastern history: the Battle of Aqaba (1917)

Though not a particularly large battle (the Arab rebels had about 5000 men with them against less than a thousand Ottoman defenders), the Battle of Aqaba was important because it came shortly after the Arabs had suffered their first serious defeat of their World War I revolt, and because it allowed the Arabs to link with British forces in Egypt and begin receiving British weapons, supplies, and money to support their rebellion. It’s also noteworthy for its role in turning the real-life British Captain T. E. Lawrence into the half-legendary Lawrence of Arabia.

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