Tel Be’er Sheva, the 9th station on the ANZAC Trail, is a national park with remains dating from biblical Beersheba. UNESCO has declared this hill a World Heritage Site. The tel, which lies 5 kilometers east of Turkish Beersheba, rises 20 metres above its surroundings.
The strong position the Turks established here was a key obstacle to the conquest of the city and the ANZAC troops had to conquer it before storming the city itself. The Turkish soldiers fought valiantly, and it was only at around 3 p.m. that the fighters of the New Zealand Brigade, primarily the Auckland regiment, succeeded in capturing the hill in a face-to-face battle.
Major-General Harry Chauvel, the ANZAC commander, found himself facing a dilemma. Daylight was fading and there wasn’t enough time to properly regroup for a charge on Beersheba. An unsuccessful attack would mean retreating all the way to Bir Asluj.
Putting off the attack until morning would mean eliminating the element of surprise, and also give the Turks time to destroy the city’s wells. Chauvel decided to attack, and assigned the mission to the Australian 4th Light Horse Brigade.