22/11/1914 [Mesopotamia] Britain takes Basra

The Ottoman Empire has been in decline for centuries, but it is still vast, stretching from the Balkans to the Mesopotamia and south along the coast of Arabia. Mesopotamia borders Persia, and this bothers the British. Persia is not part of their empire but they have extensive interests in the country, especially in the increasingly important oil industry. Persia is also a bulwark against any land assault on British India.

The British fear that Turkey may launch an invasion of Persia. To forestall this, they strike first. An amphibious force, mainly recruited in India, attacks the Mesopotamian port city of Basra. After a few days of fighting the Turks withdraw. Today Basra falls. Britain’s interests in Persia are now secure.

The victory has been an easy one. Britain’s ambitions grow. Perhaps it might be possible for British forces to advance up the Tigris and Euphrates rivers to detach Mesopotamia from the Ottoman Empire.

Image Source: LookLex Encyclopaedia

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