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Infantry Forces in Palestine Put at 7,000

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The extent of the british military forces in pales tine is discussed by the military correspondent of the London daily mail, who declares that “the number of troops in Palestine is a constantly fluctuating one nowadays as reinforcements are drafted here from Egypt and back again, and as other reinforcements are sent out from home.”

He estimates that the infantry in Palestine now number 7,000 in addition to the special service groups and the Royal Air force detachments.

“In normal times,” he declares, “the Palestine garrison would be two battalions, say 1,500 men. But in 1936, when the Royal Commission was appointed, the garrison was increased to 16,000 men, and in the autumn to 24,000. Since then the number has both diminished and varied, but is now more than 7,000. With these infantry brigades there are an armored car company, cavalry units, units of the r.a.s.c., Royal Corps of signals, Royal ordnance Corps, and Royal Pay Corps.

“Two squadrons of the Royal Air Force are co-operating with the army there, and in May last one fighter and two bomber squadrons were sent to the Middle East, where they are within easy reach of the disturbed area.

“The total R.A.F. strength within flying distance of Palestine is II squadrons, and the operation of this force is assisted by greatly strengthened field wireless signal services. Increased numbers of machine guns are being supplied to the infantry, whose work in preventing fighting between the Arab and Jewish factions is becoming more and more difficult.

“Three more battalions, the 2nd King’s Own Royal Regiment, the 2nd Leicestershire Regiment, and the 1st Worcestershire Regiment, totalling about 2,000 men, will sail from Southampton next month for Palestine, and they will be followed later in the autumn by the 2nd Queen’s Royal Regiment. This will bring the British military forces in Palestine up to a total of just under 10,000. In reserve, in Egypt, ready for any emergency, are four battalions of infantry and two regiments of cavalry which are now being converted into light tank units.”

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