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Lawrence of Arabia's First Raid on the Hejaz Railway

Updated: Jun 11, 2023

View from the top of the hill T. E. Lawrence climbed to survey Abu Na'am Station (just visible at the end of the clip) for his first raid on the Hejaz Railway in March 1917. Looking northwards from his vantage point, he would have been able to see the single track railway twisting away into the barren mountains of the Hejaz towards Damascus. At this point of the war, the young British captain had yet to fire a shot in anger at the enemy and could have had no inkling of the extraordinary fame that his exploits on the line would bring him.

In the raid the station buildings were hit by an artillery bombardment and some military tents and the wagons of a train were set on fire. The locomotive quickly uncoupled and headed southwards, but was stopped by a mine. However, the engine driver managed to carry out some hasty repairs and within half an hour was able to clank off slowly towards the safety of Istabl Antar Station.

Read more about T.E. Lawrence and his raid on Abu Na'am here.

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