Battles on the Tigris (ePub)
The Mesopotamian Campaign of the First World War
In 1914 the British expedition to Mesopotamia set out with the modest ambition of protecting the oil concession in Southern Persia but, after numerous misfortunes, ended up capturing Baghdad and Northern Towns in Iraq.
Initially the mission was successful in seizing Basra but the British under Generals Nixon and Townshend, found themselves drawn North, becoming besieged by the Turks at Kut. After various failed relief attempts the British surrendered and the prisoners suffered appalling indignities and hardship, culminating in a death march to Turkey.
In 1917 General Maude was appointed C in C but, as usual in Iraq, policy kept changing. Hopes that the Russians would come into the war were dashed by the Revolution. Operations were further frustrated by the hottest of summers. Fighting against the Turks continued right up to the Armistice. The conduct of the Campaign was subject to a Commission of Inquiry which was highly critical of numerous individuals and the administrative arrangements.
Mesopotamian campaign ends
14th November 1918
The war in Mesopotamia was over on 14 November 1918, 13 days after the Armistice of Mudros was signed, and the same day as the occupation of Istanbul.