Desert warfare

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

Desert warfare is combat in deserts.

Desert warfare[edit]

One of the main requirements in desert warfare is an adequate supply of water. Some of the most robust armies have perished as a result of dehydration, as witnessed by Alexander in Gedrosia.[1] En route to Parthia, Crassus took great care in analyzing travel routes to ensure a sufficient supply of water for his men.[2] Water is also a concern in modern desert armies, and for that reason, its use is often prioritised on the essentials.[a][3] Since pioneered in the early classical era,[b] many pre-modern armies also employed camels, as opposed to horses, due to their better ability to cope with the arid desert environment.[4] Some European armies, such as that of the British, even adopted clothing used by their colonies, such as the shemagh as protection from the sun.[5]

A camel mounted British officer wearing a shemagh during World War I.[c]

Desert wars[edit]


  1. ^ The United States Army's priorities starting from the greatest are as follows:[3] drinking, medical treatment, equipment, personnel use (other than drinking), decontamination, food preparation, laundry, construction
  2. ^ by the Arabians in the Battle of Karkar
  3. ^ T.E Lawrence in Aqaba


  1. ^ Selincourt, Aubrey. "Alexander in the Gedrosian desert". Retrieved 31 May 2014. 
  2. ^ Debevoise, Neilson Carel (1938). A Political History of Parthia. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. p. 85. ISBN 1258469618. 
  3. ^ a b "FM 90-3 Appendix G Desert Operations". United States Army. Retrieved 31 May 2014. 
  4. ^ Markowitz, Mike (1 March 2013). "Camels at War". Defense Media Network. Retrieved 31 May 2014. 
  5. ^ Aqel, Ryah. "A History of the Keffiyeh". LEAD Magazine. The University of Michigan. Retrieved 31 May 2014.