Imperial Camel Corps


a camel-mounted division which served in the Middle East campaigns of World War I; formed in 1916; included several Australian battalions. Abbrev.: ICC
The Imperial Camel Corps was formed to deal with an uprising of pro-Turkish Senussi tribes in the Western Desert of North Africa, and recruited largely from Australian infantry battalions recuperating in Egypt after the Gallipoli campaign. Following its success in Senussi campaign, in late 1916 the ICC was transferred to the Sinai desert. There the camel corps fought alongside Australian light horse units in operations against the Turkish army and, like the light horsemen, the cameleers rode to the scene of battle, and then dismounted to fight on foot. On 19 April 1917 the ICC suffered heavy losses during the Second Battle of Gaza and in the operations conducted in November to destroy the Turkish defensive line between Gaza and Beersheba. The ability of camels to carry heavy loads and go for days without water made them an obvious choice for patrol and transport work during the desert campaigns, but as operations moved into the more fertile country of northern Palestine – terrain better suited to horses – the practicality of the ICC declined, and in June 1918 the bulk of the corps was disbanded.

Australian English dictionary. 2014.

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