http://1914-1918.invisionzone.com/forum ... opic=66037
With our Army in Palestine" by Anthony Bluett, Late of 'A' Battery, HAC & Egyptian Camel Transport Corps
"I wonder how many people are aware of the extent to which the Germans carried their policy of "peaceful penetration" in Palestine and Syria? Whenever in our wanderings we came across a neat, modern town or village, be sure that the inhabitants were mainly German.....The language of all was German, and their extraordinary thoroughness in devising means to overcome the climatic and other difficulties of the country was also German, with the result that they waxed fat and prosperous, while the people indigenous to the soil scraped a precarious living by tending the flocks and tilling the land of the interlopers. All through the country from Gaza, where there was actually a German school, to Haifa, of which the largest and wealthiest portion of the population was German, you will find these colonies occupying almost invariably the most commanding sites and situated in the midst of the most fertile tracts of land.
It was, I think, by contrast with these prosperous places that the ruins of Palestine and Syria took on an added desolation and loneliness: you could with difficulty visualise the past splendours of a crumbling mass of mighty pillars when on the hill opposite stood a town of bijou villas with modern appurtenances.
A mournful example of this was at Athlit, the remains of whose greatness lay half-buried almost at the foot of Mt. Carmel. For a brief moment you could capture the spirit of a bygone age; the massive walls seemed to ring again with the clash of arms and the shouts of that little band of Crusaders who were fighting their last fight in their last stronghold on holy soil. Then your eyes lit on the great barrack of a German hotel on the top of Carmel, and the great fortress dissolved into a crumbling, shapeless pile at your feet."
The German Templar Colony:
At its height, the Templer community in Palestine was 2,200 people strong