In the war of the Ottoman Empire and Great Britain, the attack of British on Kut-al-Amara on 3 December 1915 and 29 April 1916 was important. It was proved a great victory for the Ottoman Empire because of a large number of soldiers of Great Britain after 147 days of war handover themselves to the Ottoman Empire. In order to protect the Islet of Abadan in Shatt-al-Arab and oil company of Anglo -Persian British army sent Indian Expeditionary Force(IEF). The main purpose is to capture the Basra if possible.
IEF occupied first Fao and then Abadon on 6 November 1914 before the war. The army of Ottoman faced many difficulties because in those days they had many disputes running with the forces of its tribes. They had less interaction with the forces of its tribes. That was the main reason that IEF attacked the city of Basra and Qurna on 23 November and 9 December 1914, respectively.
War Commanders and their Strategies
In Iraq, Enver Pasha Deputy commander -in- Chief made Suleyman Asker the commander of the forces. Suleman Askeri thought that if they integrate the local tribes they will be easily strengthened the Ottoman force. Therefore, on 12th April 1915, He attacked on British positions, but that had to face defeat. The deputy Commander Askeri could not bear defeat, so he made suicide but Ottoman withdrew their army to Nasiriyah.
In Iraq, colonel Nurettin (Nureddin Pasha) was appointed as the new commander of Ottoman forces after the death of lieutenant Askeri. On May 9th, 1915, the bearded Nurettin, reached Baghdad. John Nixon was the commander of British forces. He increased the number of his army. He commanded the General Charles Vere Ferrers Townshend who was the commander of 6th Indian Division of British forces. Nixon command Townshend to rush to the Ottomans and to occupy Baghdad Although, Nurettin increased his army but he knew that his army is insufficient yet. But he ordered his army to move forward to Baghdad in a prudent way. So, in June Amara was captured by the British army. While Nasiryah also captured in July. So, Ottoman forces build a new defense line towards North of Kut Al Amara.
The attack of British forces on the Ottoman Empire was a great issue for Ottomans and his neighbor Germany. Therefore, Envar Pasha associated his army in Iraq and Iran under the command of Ven Der Goltz.
In 27th of April, 1915, British forces once again attacked on the new defense line to North of Kut Al Amara. So, Townshend commanded his troops to make high and deep trenches in the city for the Baghdad campaign operation.
Miscalculations by British Commanders
When British troops reached the last defense line of ottoman army colonel Nurettien ordered his army to pull back In Anatolia, The commander Khalil Bey was the commander of 3rd Army’s win under the command of Nurettien Bey dated 15th November.
On 22 November 1915, British forces attacked the Ottoman forces but the could not move forward. Therefore, Nurettin withdrew his army. But this time, Ottoman forces keep on chasing the fleeing British army while the horsemen of Nurettin Pasha continued to attack the retreating units of the enemy. As a result, the troops of Townshend had to take bolt-hole and asylum from Kut-Al-Amara. The biggest blunder by the lieutenant of the British force was that he considered that the have enough armor and food that they could easily attack for two months but he proved wrong and could not withstand.
British Forces reached at Kut-al-Amara on 3rd November, the next story will be explained in the coming article that how the siege of Kut al Amara took place and then retreated and defeated the British Empire. Click here to read more