On this day in 1917, T.E. Lawrence (aka Lawrence of Arabia) helped lead a 500-man army of Arabs into Akaba, a coastal city in Turkey.
The army had been drawn from desert tribes and was led by Auda abu Tayi of the Howeitat tribe, by the Sherif Nasir of Syria and by Lawrence, who was wearing Arab robes, during an 8-week trek across the desert. The 22,000 British gold sovereigns which Lawrence carried helped recruit soldiers.
With World War I raging in Europe, the victory allowed the British army to send supplies to the Arab forces. It also put more pressure on their joint adversary: the Turkish Ottoman Empire.
The Arabs wanted independence from Turkey. The Brits were trying to defeat the Turks because they were allies of the Germans and Austrians.
Article source: http://athens.patch.com/articles/this-day-in-history-july-6