28/9/1915 Mesopotamia: British forces clear the way to Kut-al-Amara

Allied efforts may be bogged down in Gallipoli but in Mesopotamia they are still giving the Turks what for. A British force (mostly comprised of Indian troops) is advancing up the Tigris river. Under the command of General Charles Townshend they now attack a Turkish force defending the town of Kut. The fighting is difficult and the Turks put up tough resistance. Eventually, though, British successes put the Turks in position whereby continued resistance would mean the destruction of their force. Colonel Nurredin, the Turkish commander pulls back his army, battered but not routed by the enemy.

Although the fighting at Kut has been successful, the British are still experiencing some problems. Their medical organisation seems to be a bit under-equipped for the demands of tough fighting in an arid environment. The British are also having trouble supplying their force adequately. The Tigris river is a shallow river and the waters are returning to their usual level after being unusually high for the last couple of months. This is a problem because many of the British supply boats have draughts too deep for the shallow waters.

But for now these problems seem relatively trivial. With the Turks defeated in the field the British are determined to press on. The way to Kut is now open. Townsend’s men will be able to take it tomorrow. And then the British will be able to resume their advance on Baghdad.

image sources:

British forces attack (Wikipedia)

map (Wikipedia)

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