15/4/1916 Mesopotamia: British attempts to supply Kut by air

The besieged British in Kut-al-Amara are so short of food that they are now eating horsemeat. Even on reduced rations they will be completely out of food by the end of the month. Efforts to raise the siege are however still continuing. General Gorringe commands the relief force. After being blocked on the north bank of the Tigris he has crossed to the southern side. Heavy rainfall is slowing his march towards the strongly defended Turkish position of Bait Isa. If Gorringe can break through there then he will be able to rescue Kut from starvation.

Gorringe’s men are not ready to attack Bait Isa yet. In the meantime the British try to resupply Kut by air. British aeroplanes fly over Kut dropping sacks of flour down to the defenders. But their efforts are not doing much to keep the besieged troops alive. The aeroplanes are not built to cary large cargoes. Worse, the aim of their crews is not great, with many of their sacks landing in the Turkish lines. What lands within Kut is far too paltry to the town fed.

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