2/12/1915 Mesopotamia: the British retreat to Kut

In Mesopotamia the British had been advancing up the Tigris river towards Baghdad. At the Battle of Ctesiphon however they suffered a bloody reverse when they tried to break through the Turkish lines. Now they have retreated back to the town of Kut-al-Amara. The Turks mounted an effective pursuit and the British were also harried by the opportunistic attacks of the Arabs living alongside the river.

General Townshend decides that his men will make a stand in Kut rather than retreat further down the river. This is risky as the Turks are likely to surround him there. At the moment there are no British forces in Mesopotamia that could come to his aid but Townshend is confident that more will be sent. His men have 60 days rations, which should be more than enough.

Townshend also decides against expelling the civilian population of Kut. Keeping them there provides more mouths to feed during a siege but sending them away would create a humanitarian crisis. Townshend reckons they will have no problems weathering a short siege.

image source (Wikipedia)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s