11/3/1917 Baghdad falls to the British

In Mesopotamia the British have been advancing from Kut-al-Amara towards Baghdad. They have already passed Salman Pak and Ctesiphon and appear to be unstoppable. Realising that their position is untenable, the outnumbered and outgunned Turks decide to retreat. Shortly after midnight they and their German allies begin to withdraw from the city, destroying military equipment before they go. They also dynamite railway infrastructure and set fire to the pontoon bridge across the Tigris. As the Turks withdraw the city descends into anarchy, with looters descending on the commercial district.

As the day wears on, British troops arrive and secure the city. Indian cavalrymen are the first to enter Baghdad, with Maude making his own entrance in the afternoon once the situation is fully under control.

Last year the Turks won their great victory at Kut. Now this is just a distant memory, with the British clearly in the ascendant in Mesopotamia. 300 years of Ottoman rule in the region are coming to an end.

image sources:

Maude enters Baghdad (Wikipedia)

Mesopotamia (World War I Centenary: Continuations and Beginnings)

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 )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ 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 )


Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.