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The Kia ora coo-ee : the magazine for the ANZACS in the Middle East, 1918



The British Army of course took over at once all enemy arms and munitions. There was no destruction and practically no loss of guns or machine guns or rifles. There was, too, an instant appropriation for active use of every serviceable motor lorry and car. The trouble was not to find the car but to lay hands on a driver. It was forbidden, except under very special circumstances, to employ the captured German chaffeurs, and I saw more than one Hun camouflaged under a big Australian hat as he cheerfully did odd jobs, chiefly in the way of extra supplies, for a Light Horse Regiment or Brigade. But the majority of enemy motor lorries and ears continued to stand idle because of the mysterious removal of the magneto, and each British driver as he passed helped himself to titbits according to his needs or his fancy. Very early the captive would have its petrol tank emptied, then its tool box would be picked over, and it would be lucky if the tea makers did not get away with its woodwork. In passing, one might mention that nearly all of the enemy lorries ran on iron tyres and the motor cars on hard rubber. The lightning speed of the advance was shown by the almost negible amount of demolition wrought by the enemy himself. From Jaffa to Damascus the advanced troops along the direct main route were only once delayed by a broken bridge. Occasionally dumps and vehicles were fired, but the mental chaos of the Turkish side was shown by the failure to destjoy even his petrol dumps. The joy with which British drivers discovered that pink German petrol!