Tuesday, January 12, 2016
With the withdrawal from Gallipoli, the Mediterranean Expeditionary Force's sole remaining front was at Salonika in Greece. Overall command returned to Cairo, with General Sir Archibald Murray taking over command from Sir Charles Monro in early January. Murray would continue to be responsible for the logistics of the Salonika front, but a French general took over operational command. The residual British force that had remained in Egypt was left, for the moment, under the command of Sir John Maxwell, but it was responsible only for the Senussi campaign; in March the Force in Egypt would be merged with the Mediterranean Expeditionary Force to form the new Egyptian Expeditionary Force under Murray's command; in April Maxwell would be sent to Ireland to deal with the Easter Rising.
|Murray trading card|
Murray does not fare well in David Lean's 1962 epic Lawrence of Arabia, which portrays him (via actor Donald Wolfit) as irascible, skeptical of the prospects of the Arab Revolt, and contemptuous of Lawrence. In reality he backed the Revolt after being persuaded, and he and Lawrence got along. But the film has probably formed most people's view of the period. Murray was not greatly successful and after two failures to take Gaza he would be replaced by Edmund Allenby,