A. L. Holt

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Major A. L. Holt MBE MC (1896 - 1971) was a British military officer and explorer.[1]

In the 1920s when a member of the Royal Engineers, Holt led a number of motorized expeditions through the deserts of Arabia, the first time such long journeys had been undertaken with such a large number of vehicles. Holt was particularly fond of Ford cars, which he found eminently suited to such purposes.

In 1921 Holt was involved with creating the track across the Syrian desert from Baghdad to the eastern edge of the basalt desert in Jordan, which was to act as a guide track for the pilots of the Cairo – Baghdad air route.[2] In 1923 Holt took Rose Wilder Lane, journalist B.D. MacDonald and Holt's wife by car across the same desert.[3]

Holt traveled on occasion with St. John Philby and Gerard Leachman.

In 1923 he proposed a suitable route for a transarabian railway which he had personally surveyed in 1922 using Ford cars.[4]

"I have taken a convoy of Fords 350 miles in the desert without touching water. The extraordinary advantage of this in reconnaissance needs no emphasis."

The railway was never built.


  1. ^ Eid Al Yahya, Travellers in Arabia, (Stacey International, 2006). ISBN 978-0-9552193-1-3
  2. ^ The Baghdad Air Mail Wing Commander Roderick Hill, 1929 reprinted in 2005 by Nonsuch Books, 23-4
  3. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 3 March 2012. Retrieved 4 March 2012.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  4. ^ The Geographical Journal, Vol. 62, No. 4 (Oct., 1923), pp. 259-268

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