[14th September 1916] doubt but that we hammered the Arabs badly; we effected our object by burning their villages and destroying all their possessions. It is said that because we retired, we were beaten. That is utter nonsense. We could have remained in our position for the rest of our lives as far as that enemy was concerned; at any moment we could have advanced. We did not retire because the Arabs compelled us to retire; we retired because the villages were in flames, the work finished. That the Arabs could not save their homes and were able to make only a costly and broken effort to conduct that manouvre, in which, of all men, the Arab excels, viz. the harassing of a retirement, is I think, the best proof of the hammering they received. Moreover they were plentifully supplied with ammunition and outnumbered us four to one.