17/4/1916 Kut: yet another British relief attempt fails

British attempts to raise the siege of Kut-al-Amara are becoming increasingly desperate. Having been repulsed on the north bank of the Tigris, Britain’s Gorringe is now attempting to break through Turkish lines on the southern side of the river. His advance was delayed by wet weather, which turned the ground into a quagmire, but eventually his men were ready to attack the Turkish positions at Bait Isa. Initial attacks have gone well, with Gorringe’s men overrunning the enemy’s frontlines and taking Bait Isa itself. But now the Turks counterattack.

In a bloody battle the British manage to hold their gains, throwing the Turks back with heavy losses. However the British too have suffered such heavy losses in the fighting that Gorringe realises that he will not be able to make further progress here. He decides to transfer his efforts back to the north bank of the Tigris, to make one last desperate attempt to break through the Turkish lines there before starvation forces the surrender of Kut.

image source:

General George Gorringe (Western Front Association)

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