British Mesopotamia Campaign Of World War I (1914-18)

This timeline covers the British invasion of Mesopotamia during World War I that would conquer the Ottoman provinces of Basra and Baghdad, and then Mosul after the war was actually over

 

Musings On Iraq review Iraq and Gertrude Bell’s The Arab of Mesopotamia

Musings On Iraq review of Gertrude Bell And Iraq

Musings On Iraq review Gertrude Bell, Explorer of the Middle East

Musings On Iraq review The Creation of Iraq 1914-1921

Musings On Iraq review An Analysis of Hanna Batatu’s The Old Social Classes and the Revolutionary Movements of Iraq

Musings On Iraq review The Chatham House Version and other Middle-Eastern Studies

Musings On Iraq review Arab War Lords and Iraqi Star Gazers, Second Edition, Gertrude Bell’s Arab of Mesopotamia

 

1914

 

Nov 5 England and France declared war on Ottoman Empire Would lead Mesopotamia

            into WWI

(Musings On Iraq review The Chatham House Version and other Middle-Eastern Studies)

Nov 5 British Gen Delmain head of Indian Expeditionary Force told to protect oil

            infrastructure and only take Basra if the Ottomans joined WWI

 

Nov 6 British troops landed at Faw, Basra starting war against Ottomans in Mesopotamia

 

Nov 7 British forces started march from Faw to city of Basra

 

Nov 8 British troops seized Ottoman fort at Faw

 

Nov 9 With English attack on Basra coming locals went to Shiite clergy asking for

            help to defend city

 

Nov 11 Battle of Basra began when Ottomans attacked and were turned back by British

 

Nov 12 British forces in Faw launched reconnaissance in force near Salhan, Basra

 

Nov 15 British troops began attack on Basra City

 

Nov 16 British forces attacked Zain, Basra

Nov 16 Leading Iraqi cleric Sayid Kadhim al-Yazidi gave speech in Najaf telling people to

            defend Islam against British and provide money

 

Nov 18 British launched second attack on Zain, Basra

 

Nov 19 British troops took fort at Sahil in the city of Basra

 

Nov 20 Arab tribes told British forces Ottomans had abandoned Basra British forces set

            out to take city

 

Nov 21 British troops entered Basra after Ottomans abandoned city

 

Nov 23 British forces officially took Basra Sir Percy Cox issued statement in Arabic that

British had occupied Basra and UK was at war with Ottomans and had no ill will towards locals

 

Dec 3 Start of Battle of Qurna British attacked but beaten back

 

Dec 6 British forces attacked Qurna 2nd time and forced Turks to surrender Took 1,000

            prisoners

 

Dec 9 Ottomans defeated by British at Battle of Qurna and surrendered Basra province

 

1915

Jan 2 Suleiman Bey took over Iraq command for Ottomans Called on Arab Sheikhs to

            join war against British and planned on retaking Basra

 

Jan 18 Ottomans and local tribes fought British in Rota Basra province and stopped

            their advance

 

Apr 11 Ottomans launched operation to try to retake Basra from British forces

 

Apr 12 Battle of Shaiba began in Basra province Ottomans launched frontal assault upon

fortress despite German advisers warning against it British artillery decimated Ottoman forces

 

Apr 13 British won Battle of Shaiba Ottomans had 4200 casualties 700 captured Ottoman

            commander killed himself in disgrace British 1200 casualties

 

Apr 14 Ottoman campaign to try to retake Basra from British failed

 

Apr 22 Lord Curzon asked why British should promise Basra and Baghdad vilyats to

            Arabs if they were fighting on Ottoman side

 

May 13 British forces moved north to try to encircle Ottoman forces in Qurna

 

May 22 City of Najaf rose up for 3 days against Ottomans in middle of British

            invasion of Iraq

 

May 31 British forces set out to capture Amarah from Ottomans

 

Jun 3 British forces captured Amarah after convincing Ottoman garrison to surrender

 

Jun 27 British forces began campaign to capture Nasiriya from Ottomans

 

Jun 30 UK committee wrote paper advocating for break up of Ottoman Empire and

            creation of Iraq to control its oil and agriculture Cabinet didn’t agree with ideas

(Musings On Iraq review The Chatham House Version and other Middle-Eastern Studies)

 

Jul 24 British forces captured Nasiriya Ottomans had 2000 casualties British 500 casualties

 

Sep 12 British forces launched campaign to capture Baghdad starting in Wasit

 

Sep 27 Battle of Es Sinn began

 

Sep 28 British defeated Ottomans at Battle of Es Sinn driving them back to Kut, Wasit

 

Sep 29 British forces took Kut Suffered 1200 casualties

 

Oct 5 6th Army created by Ottomans under command of German Gen von der Goltz to

            defend Mesopotamia from British

 

Nov 22 Start of Battle of Salman Pak Ottomans called on Indian troops to rise up against

British commanders 20th Punjabi Batt removed after an Indian killed a British soldier

 

Nov 23 French diplomat Picot visited London told officials Mosul Baghdad Basra

provinces should be given to Arabs after WWI to placate them

 

Nov 24 Battle of Salman Pak ended British lost and withdrew to Kut Ottomans had 9500

casualties British 4500

 

Dec 7 Ottomans attacked British forces in Kut

 

1916

Jan 6 Start of Battle of Sheikh Saad as British forces moved up the Tigris River and

            ran into Ottoman defenses

 

Jan 7 British made second assault on Ottomans during Battle of Sheikh Saad taking

            part of Ottoman defenses

 

Jan 9 Battle of Sheikh Saad ended with British defeating the Ottomans

 

Jan 13 Ottomans retreated 10 miles up Tigris River after defeat at Battle of Sheikh Saad

            and were beaten again by British at Battle of Wadi

 

Jan 21 Ottomans retreated up Tigris after defeat at Battle of Wadi only to lose again to

            British at Battle of Hanna

 

Mar 7 British forces attacked Ottomans at the Dujaila Redoubt

 

Mar 8 British tried and failed to take the Dujaila Redoubt from Ottomans losing 4,000 men

 

Apr 5 British forces attacked Ottomans at Fallahiya to try to relieve surrounded British

troops in Kut

 

Apr 7 Start of Battle of Bait Alsa and Sannaiyat

 

Apr 8 British forces defeated Ottomans at Fallahiya

 

Apr 17 British took Beit Asia from Ottomans and pushed Turks out of Edheim River in

Diyala

 

Apr 19 German commander of the Ottoman forces in Mesopotamia Gen Goltz died of

typhoid

 

Apr 22 British attacked Sannaiyat but Ottomans turned them back British suffered 1,200

            casualties

 

Apr 24 British attempt to re-supply besieged garrison at Kut failed

 

Apr 26 British arranged a ceasefire with Ottomans in Kut after 146 day siege

 

Apr 29 Ottomans defeated the British at Battle of Kut after 4 months captured 14,000

prisoners 7,000 of which died in captivity British lost 33,000 casualties One of largest defeats for UK in WWI

 

May 16 Sykes-Picot Agreement broke up Ottoman Empire into British and French spheres

Basra and Baghdad to England Mosul to French France was to be buffer with Russia

(Musings On Iraq interview with Princeton’s Sara Pursley on Sykes-Picot and creation of Iraq)

(Musings On Iraq review The Creation of Iraq 1914-1921)

 

Jun 10 Hussein Ibn Ali sheriff of Mecca declared Arab revolt against Ottomans

backed by British Many Iraqi Ottoman officers joined

 

Sep 18 British leaders told troops to continue advance in Mesopotamia vs Ottomans

            after huge loss at Kut One of biggest British defeats in WWI

 

Dec 13 New British offensive launched up Tigris River to retake Kut from Ottomans

 

Dec 22 British forces began digging lines towards Ottomans defenses at Khadairi Bend

 

1917

Jan 7 British made divisionary attack along Tigris River to draw Ottoman forces away from

            Khadairi Bend fort

 

Jan 9 Battle of Mohammed Abdul Hassan

Jan 9 British began assault upon Khadairi Bend fort

 

Jan 11 Battle of Hai salient started

 

Jan 25 British attack Ottoman positions along Hai River

 

Jan 29 British captured Ottoman fort at Khadairi Bend in campaign to recapture Kut

 

Feb 4 British defeated Ottoman forces at Hai River

 

Feb 16 British defeated Ottoman forces at Dahra Bend

 

Feb 17 British crossed Shumran bend outflanking Ottoman forces in campaign to

recapture Kut

 

Feb 24 British retook Kut from Ottomans in 2nd Battle of Kut

 

Feb 26 3 British gunboats fired upon by 4 Ottoman ships at Nahr-al-Kalek, Wasit 3

Turkish ships sunk and 4th captured

 

Mar 5 British forces started march on Baghdad from Kut

 

Mar 9 1st British assault on Baghdad turned back by Ottomans

 

Mar 10 British forces defeated Ottoman defenses outside Baghdad in Diyala River Led

Ottomans to abandon Baghdad

 

Mar 11 British army captured Baghdad

 

Mar 13 British started Samarra offensive against Ottomans after taking Baghdad

 

Mar 16 British War Cabinet created Mesopotamia administration committee to decide

            on form of govt in captured areas

 

Mar 17 British forces captured Baquba from Ottomans

 

Mar 19 British forces captured Fallujah from Ottomans

Mar 19 British commander Gen Maude sent message to Iraqis saying British had not come

as conquerors but liberators and promised eventually Arab state free of foreign rule Said British would not impose their institutions and called on Arabs to help rule

(Musings On Iraq review Supremacy And Oil, Iraq, Turkey, and the Anglo-American World Order, 1918-1930)

(Musings On Iraq review The Chatham House Version and other Middle-Eastern Studies)

(Musings On Iraq review A Short History of Iraq)

 

Mar 25 British forces defeated by Ottomans at Battle of Mount Hamrin, Diyala

 

Apr 11 British defeated Ottomans at Battle of Shiala

 

Apr 21 Battle of Istabulat in Diyala started with Ottomans being defeated

 

Apr 23 British Samarra Offensive ended in victory over Ottomans British suffered

18,000 casualties British began shifting units to Palestine and largely halted campaign in Mesopotamia

 

Apr 30 Battle of the Boot at Band-i-Adhaim

 

May 19 Gen Sir Stanley Maude commander of British forces in Iraq said they

            had come as liberators not conquerors

(Musings On Iraq review The Chatham House Version and other Middle-Eastern Studies)

 

May 27 UK Col Clayton in Egypt worried Sykes-Picot would create opposition by Sharif of

Mecca against UK taking Baghdad

(Musings On Iraq review The Creation of Iraq 1914-1921)

(Musings On Iraq interview with Princeton’s Sara Pursley on Sykes-Picot and creation of Iraq)

 

Jul 4 Al-Arab paper established Said it was for Arabs but was actually run by British

eventually under Gertrude Bell

(Musings On Iraq review of Gertrude Bell And Iraq)

(Musings On Iraq review Gertrude Bell, Explorer of the Middle East)

(Musings On Iraq movie review Letters from Baghdad)

 

Jul 11 1st Battle of Ramadi started Ottomans forced British to retreat

 

Sep 28 2nd Battle of Ramadi started

 

Sep 29 2nd Battle of Ramadi ended with Ottomans losing city

 

Nov 5 Battle of Tikrit started

 

1918

Jan 5 Lloyd George said Ottoman provinces including Mesopotamia should have

            “separate national conditions”

 

Mar 9 British took Hit, Anbar without a fight from Ottomans

 

Mar 18 British officer in charge of Najaf Captain Marshall assassinated leading to

            eventual uprising in city

 

Mar 26 Battle of Khan al-Baghdadi began

 

Mar 27 British defeated Ottomans in Battle of Khan al-Baghdadi

 

May 21 UK PM George abrogated Long-Berenger UK-French oil deal due to

disagreement with France over Iraq-Syrian border George wanted Iraq to extend to Mediterranean

 

Aug 11 British Foreign Secretary Balfour said British war in Mesopotamia should be

justified by securing water that would also give it control of oil Balfour’s statement prompted Premier Lloyd George to call for British to seize Ottoman’s Mosul province

(Musings On Iraq How The Ottoman Province Of Mosul Became Part Of Iraq)

(Musings On Iraq review The Chatham House Version and other Middle-Eastern Studies)

 

Apr 18 France and England signed Long-Berenger oil deal France got 20% of Iraqi oil via

Turkish Petroleum Company France agreed to help build oil pipeline from Iraq to Mediterranean

(Musings On Iraq review The Creation of Iraq 1914-1921)

 

Apr 27 British shelled Najaf with artillery to put down revolt

 

May 4 Najaf revolt ended Leaders executed by British

 

Oct 2 British War Office told commander in Mesopotamia to seize as many oil

            producing areas as possible

(Musings On Iraq review The Chatham House Version and other Middle-Eastern Studies)

 

Oct 23 Battle of Shirqat started as British forces moved north from Baghdad to seize Mosul

province and its oil before war ended

(Musings On Iraq How The Ottoman Province Of Mosul Became Part Of Iraq)

(Musings On Iraq review The Chatham House Version and other Middle-Eastern Studies)

 

Oct 30 British forces took Shirqat from Ottomans

Oct 30 Armistice of Mudros signed between British and Ottomans 6th Army in Mesopotamia

surrendered to British Ended WWI in Iraq UK wasn’t able to seize Mosul province and its oil before end of war

(Musings On Iraq interview with Princeton’s Sara Pursley on Sykes-Picot and creation of Iraq)

(Musings On Iraq review The Creation of Iraq 1914-1921)

Oct 30 British officials in Baghdad told London to create central council of chiefs of

            southern Kurdistan

(Musings On Iraq review Kurds of Iraq, Tragedy and Hope)

 

Nov 2 British invaded Ottoman’s Mosul vilayet after WWI armistice

(Musings On Iraq How The Ottoman Province Of Mosul Became Part Of Iraq)

(Musings On Iraq interview with Princeton’s Sara Pursley on Sykes-Picot and creation of Iraq)

(Musings On Iraq review The Creation of Iraq 1914-1921)

 

Nov 3 British troops took Mosul city from Ottomans after WW1 armistice

(Musings On Iraq How The Ottoman Province Of Mosul Became Part Of Iraq)

(Musings On Iraq interview with Princeton’s Sara Pursley on Sykes-Picot and creation of Iraq)

(Musings On Iraq review The Creation of Iraq 1914-1921)

 

 

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