Major General Charles Townshend in his quarters at Kut. The British commander surrendered to the Ottomans in April 1916 after a prolonged siege (Photo © IWM Q 70247)

Centenary Anniversary: Kut falls to British/Indian force in Mesopotamian campaign

Date of Anniversary: 28 September 2015
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British and Indian forces captured the town of Kut al-Amara on September 28th 1915 during their advance up the Tigris Valley towards Baghdad.

Troops of the colonial Indian Army had landed in the Gulf in November 1914 to safeguard oil supplies after the Ottoman Empire's entry into the First World War on the side of Germany and Austria-Hungary.

Advances deeper into Turkish-ruled Mesopotamia (present-day Iraq) followed.

After the fall of Kut, the British commander, General Charles Townshend, was ordered to push on north, despite his misgivings about extended supply lines.

The Ottoman Army checked the advance at the Battle of Ctesiphon, only 16 miles (26kms) from Baghdad, in November 1915.

The British-led Indian force fell back to Kut, pursued by the Ottomans.

A prolonged siege started in December 1915, ending almost five months later with the surrender of the British/Indian garrison.

Source: Wikiepdia/various

Images courtesy of Imperial War Museums © IWM (Q 70247)

Posted by: Peter Alhadeff, Centenary News

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