Anglo-Iraq War/World War II & Farhud, Anti-Jewish Pogrom in Baghdad (1939-41)

This timeline covers the rise to power of Prime Minister Rashid Ali Gaylani’s government. Gaylani sought German and Italian assistance to counter England and support Arab nationalism and independence. That led England to invade Iraq in the Anglo-Iraq War. Afterward there was a massacre of Jews in Baghdad called the Farhud.

 

Musings On Iraq review Iraq Between the Two World Wars, The Militarist Origins of Tyranny

Musings On Iraq review Rashid Ali al-Gailani, The Nationalist Movement in Iraq 1939-1941

Musings On Iraq review Persian Gulf Command, A History of the Second World War In Iran and Iraq

Musings On Iraq review The Role of the Military In Politics, A case study of Iraq to 1941

Musings On Iraq review Iraq 1941, The Battles for Basra, Habbaniya, Fallujah and Baghdad

Musings On Iraq review Iraq And Syria 1941, The Politics and Strategy of the Second World War

Musings On Iraq review Blood, Oil and the Axis: The Allied Resistance Against A Fascist State In Iraq and the Levant, 1941

Musings On Iraq interview with Prof Boich World War II In Iraq and Syria

 

1939

Sep 5 PM Said broke relations with Germany as WWII started Didn’t consult with

            Golden Square officers that wanted concessions from British first

(Musings On Iraq review Iraq And Syria 1941, The Politics and Strategy of the Second World War)

(Musings On Iraq review Iraq Between the Two World Wars, The Militarist Origins of Tyranny)

 

1940

Jun 28 Italian Amb told Iraq it wanted an independent Syria Lebanon and Iraq as well

Ambassador didn’t check with foreign office beforehand

 

Jul 1 UK Cabinet decided to send division from India to Basra to pressure PM Gaylani who

refused to break relations with Italy and demanded changes to Anglo-Iraq Treaty UK Mideast Cmdr Gen Wavell opposed idea saying it would make situation worse Cabinet cancelled deployment

 

Jul 5 PM Gaylani made overture to Germany by sending Justice Minister Shawkat to meet

German Ambassador to Turkey von Papen Papen said that Middle East was Italy’s sphere of influence so Germany could only act as an intermediary Shawkat said Iraq wanted Germany to stop Italian imperialism from expanding in Middle East and support pan-Arabism instead Papen said Iraq should contribute to war vs England and Shawkat said that would happen Shawkat asked for Syrian govt to be restored and aid in Palestine

 

Jul 10 England decided to send Indian Div to Basra after PM Gaylani wanted to block

British troops moving through Iraq as part of Anglo-Iraq Treaty UK Middle East commander Gen Wavell afraid sending troops to Iraq would destabilize region so had unit sent to Egypt instead

 

Sep 1 PM Said said that all Iraqi railways rivers ports and airfields could be used by British

under Anglo-Iraq Treaty after German invasion of Poland

 

Sep 2 British asked Iraq to break ties with Germany Intern all Germans Provide aid if needed

 

Sep 3 PM Said advocated declaring war on German after British did Interior Min announced

it would censor all news due to outbreak of WWII

 

Sep 5 PM Said broke relations with Germany as WWII started Didn’t consult with Golden

Square officers that wanted concessions from British first Also arrested all Germans in Iraq and deported them to India

(Musings On Iraq review The Role of the Military In Politics, A case study of Iraq to 1941)

(Musings On Iraq review of Rashid Ali al-Gailani, The National Movement in Iraq 1939-1941)

(Musings On Iraq review Iraq And Syria 1941, The Politics and Strategy of the Second World War)

 

Sep 9 Mufti of Jerusalem who was living in Baghdad sent proposal to Italy Said in return

for Italian support for Arab nationalism and aid in Palestine Iraq would give it and Germany access to its oil block England from sending troops through Iraqi territory and secret treaty with Baghdad Proposal was first sent to Germans Italians had given to Mufti before with few results so had no confidence in him Germans were willing to give money and weapons to him if Italy agreed It did

 

Oct 18 German ambassador to Turkey told Iraq’s Finance Minister Shawkat Germany

supported Arabs but gave no specific promises or support

 

Nov 1 Report to UK cabinet said PM Gaylani had to be dealt with because of

            contacts with Germany and refusal to sever ties with Italy

Nov 1 UK Chiefs of Staff recommended removing Gaylani via diplomatic moves

 

Nov 7 British cabinet decided to send emissary to Iraq to demand Regent remove PM

            Gaylani from power for his overtures to Axis

 

Dec 5 US Amb to Iraq sent not to PM Gaylani saying he was worried about direction of

            Iraq-English relations because of Gaylani’s overtures to the Axis

 

Dec 15 Foreign Minister Said wrote memo to PM Gaylani and Regent that Iraq had to

            back England and US during WW2

 

1941

Jan 28 Regent of Iraq appointed 2 new ministers to offset PM Gaylani leading to PM to

            plot against Regent

 

Jan 30 Regent of Iraq fled Baghdad for Diwaniya fearing retaliation by PM Gaylani

Jan 30 British were hoping to use Regent fleeing to spread unrest in Iraq to remove PM

            Gaylani from power

 

Jan 31 PM Gaylani stepped down fearing civil war due to his reaching out to Axis that

            had split govt and angered British

Jan 31 UK Foreign Office decided to give money to Regent to help him return to power

Feb 3 Gen Taha al-Hashemi became PM backed by Golden Square officers

(Musings On Iraq review Iraq Between the Two World Wars, The Militarist Origins of Tyranny)

 

Feb 7 Germany told Italy it was thinking of arming Iraq and was going to give money to

            Mufti of Jerusalem who was living in Baghdad

 

Mar 7 Head of Political Dept at German Foreign Ministry Ernest Woermann argued that

Berlin should find ways to send arms to Iraq but that Baghdad should not declare war on UK because couldn’t win

 

Mar 17 After consulting with UK Foreign Minister Suwaidi convinced PM Hashemi and

Regent to move against Golden Square officers Golden Square called on army to overthrow Hashemi

(Musings On Iraq review Iraq Between the Two World Wars, The Militarist Origins of Tyranny)

 

Apr 1 PM Hashemi deposed in Golden Square officers’ coup after Hashemi tried

            to remove them Regent Ilah fled Iraq to Jordan with help of British

(Musings On Iraq review Iraq Between the Two World Wars, The Militarist Origins of Tyranny)

Apr 1 US and England believed Iraq coup part of German plan in coordination with

            invasion of Balkans and Libya Wasn’t

Apr 1 Golden Square officers thought British were plotting against them

(Musings On Iraq Iraq’s First Battle Of Fallujah 1941)

 

Apr 2 Regent of Iraq arrived at British airbase at Habaniya Anbar after Golden Square

officers tried to arrest him after coup Regent tried and failed to organize resistance to coup in Basra Then fled to Jordan

(Musings On Iraq Iraq’s First Battle Of Fallujah 1941)

(Musings On Iraq review Iraq Between the Two World Wars, The Militarist Origins of Tyranny)

 

Apr 3 Golden Square officers picked Gaylani to become PM for 3rd time Started arresting

            pro-British politicians

(Musings On Iraq Iraq’s First Battle Of Fallujah 1941)

(Musings On Iraq review Iraq Between the Two World Wars, The Militarist Origins of Tyranny)

Apr 3 British War Office asked commander in Middle East what forces available

for Iraq after Golden Square military coup

Apr 3 Nazi Germany sent letter saying it supported the Golden Square coup and would

            lend military aid

 

Apr 4 British called new Gaylani govt illegal and distributed copies of message by Regent

            to resist

(Musings On Iraq Iraq’s First Battle Of Fallujah 1941)

Apr 4 Ultra intel in UK intercepted message from Italian amb in Tehran that Rome and

            Berlin were going to send arms to Iraq via Syria

Apr 4 UK Chiefs of Staff asked Middle East commander Gen Wavell how many troops he

            could spare for Iraq

 

Apr 6 British commander in Iraq asked for military reinforcements from Egypt but

turned down

Apr 6 Iraq banned British military from moving from Habaniya base Confiscated

            radios from British Military Mission

 

Apr 7 UK Middle East commander Gen Wavell told War Office military intervention in

Iraq not possible and diplomacy should be used instead Wavell thought Regent of Iraq could be restored to power by strong statement and show of force by Royal Air Force

 

Apr 8 UK Joint Planning Staff said all measures should be taken to overthrow PM Gaylani

Apr 8 Churchill ordered Secretary of State for India to put together a military force to

            send to Iraq

Apr 8 German Foreign Office said it supported Arab action against British for their

freedom

 

Apr 9 German Foreign Minister von Ribbentrop was told Gaylani govt was pro-Axis and

Germany working on getting it arms from region Ribbentrop okayed arms shipments to Gaylani govt and sabotage in Iraq and region against English

Apr 9 Germany and Italy made joint statement of support for PM Gaylani promising

            military and financial aid Encouraged Gaylani to confront England

 

Apr 10 London ordered India to send forces to Shaiba air base in Basra province and Basra

city

Apr 10 British expeditionary force put together in India to be sent to Iraq to deal with PM

Gaylani

Apr 10 PM Gayalni convened parliament and asked it to pick new Regent Selected

            Sharif Sharaf veteran of Arab revolt and relative of Hashemite family

Apr 10 PM Gaylani gave speech at parliament that his govt would honor Anglo-Iraq Treaty

            of 1930 to stall British action against him

Apr 10 Hitler decided to give military aid to Iraq

Apr 10 Italian ambassador to Iraq said Golden Square coup sign Iraq believed Axis was

            winning WW2 and would soon be in Middle East

(Musings On Iraq review Iraq Between the Two World Wars, The Militarist Origins of Tyranny)

 

Apr 11 UK Ambassador to Iraq wrote that PM Gaylani’s speech that he would honor Anglo-

Iraq Treaty deprived England of its best excuse against his govt and that his will should be tested by telling him British troops would be landing soon in Basra and travelling through Iraq which was right under treaty

 

Apr 12 British convoy left India for Basra with infantry brigade Then told its arrival would

            be delayed until PM Gaylani told troops arriving to test his will

 

Apr 13 UK decided to go ahead with troop deployments to Iraq

 

Apr 16 Britain told Iraq that troops would be landing in Basra soon under Anglo-Iraq

            Treaty

Apr 16 PM Gaylani agreed to allow British troops landing in Basra but demanded that

they immediately set out for Palestine or Egypt

Apr 16 German letter arrived saying it would support Iraq revolt against British

 

Apr 17 PM Gaylani asked Germany for military aid in case of war with British

Apr 17 British naval convoy moved towards Shatt al-Arab waterway in Basra

Apr 17 British battalion from India started arriving at Shaiba air base in Basra

 

Apr 18 Britain landed 20th Infantry Brigade in Basra Dock workers went on strike

Apr 18 British battalion from India completed deployment to Shaiba air base in Basra

Apr 18 PM Gaylani asked Italian Amb if Axis would give Iraq military aid against

            British and Axis air power 1st time Iraq asked for military intervention from Axis

Apr 18 PM Gaylani asked UK Amb that no more British troops land in Iraq and they all

            had to leave Iraq

 

Apr 19 British 20th Infantry Brigade finished its landing in Basra and 7 planes flown into

            Habaniya airbase

 

Apr 20 Churchill told Foreign Secretary Eden that British troops landed in Iraq to

            establish a base in Basra and control province

Apr 20 PM Gaylani told UK Amb that Iraqi forces in Basra would be reinforced to a full

            division Said UK had no right to land troops and keep them in Basra

 

Apr 21 PM Gaylani asked UK Amb that no more British troops land in Iraq and they all

            had to leave Iraq

Apr 21 Hitler told military aid to Iraq could only be delivered by air and that would require

stop in Syria which would need approval of Vichy France Hitler got intelligence of large British forces in Iraq and more arriving so was skeptical of providing aid to Gaylani govt

 

Apr 23 PM Gaylani asked for German military intervention in case of war with England

Apr 23 London decided to land an entire division from India in Basra

 

Apr 24 PM Gaylani and Mufti of Jerusalem met with Italian ambassador Told him they

            were angry Axis had done nothing to help Iraq vs British

 

Apr 25 Iraq-Italian treaty signed to provide financial and military aid to Iraq for war against

            UK Axis would get oil concessions and use ports and military bases

 

Apr 26 PM Gaylani asked Axis for military and financial aid against British

 

Apr 28 PM Gaylani and Golden Square officers decided to go to war with British Asked

            Axis for military and financial aid for second time to be used against British

(Musings On Iraq review Iraq Between the Two World Wars, The Militarist Origins of Tyranny)

Apr 28 UK Amb to Iraq told PM Gaylani second contingent of British troops landing

at Basra Gaylani refused them entry Amb ordered start of evacuation of British civilians from Iraq

Apr 28 364 British troops airlifted to Habaniya air base

 

Apr 29 More British troops from 20th Infantry Brigade arrived in Basra Iraq protested

Apr 29 British Ambassador told British women and children to leave Baghdad because

            of expected war with Iraq

Apr 29 PM Gaylani sent Iraqi forces to British air base at Habaniya Anbar 11th Inf Brigade

ordered to Baghdad to later be deployed to Anbar UK Emb in Baghdad informed UK forces in Habaniya Iraqi army heading their way

Apr 29 Iraqis flooded Habaniya area limiting movement of British troops there Occupied

Kirkuk oil fields Cut oil to Haifa and restarted flow to Lebanon for Vichy France that could be used by Axis

 

Apr 30 PM Gaylani refused permission for British troops to land in Basra

Apr 30 2 brigades of Iraqi soldiers surrounded British Habaniya base ordered British

            to cease operations there Iraq had 9000 troops British 2250

Apr 30 Iraqi forces surrounded British embassy in Baghdad

Apr 30 PM Gaylani hoped to pressure British to leave Iraq without a fight

Apr 30 UK memo to Chiefs of Staff discussed destroying Iraq’s oil wells to deny them to

            Germany

 

May 1 British decided on pre-emptive attack to move Iraqi army away from Habaniya

            base in Anbar

May 1 PM Gaylani went to Turkish Amb to Iraq saying British violating 1930 treaty and

expected English air strikes any time Gaylani asked Turkish ambassador to contract British and try to stop conflict Message was passed to British ambassador to Iraq

May 1 Iraqi police opened fire on British workers in Rutba, Anbar England responded by

            sending forces from Transjordan to town

May 1 British bombers sent from Egypt to Shaiba air base in Basra

May 1 1st Battalion of Iraq’s 11th Inf Brigade sent from Baghdad to Fallujah to confront

            British

 

May 2 English commander at Habaniya base Anbar consulted with London and got

permission to attack Iraqis surrounding camp British planes bombed Iraqis starting Anglo-Iraq War British lost 22 planes and 10 pilots

May 2 Iraq launched air strike upon Habaniya base in retaliation Shelled air field damaging

            40 planes British lost 13 dead and 20 wounded

May 2 Grand Mufti in Baghdad declared jihad against British after attack on Iraqi forces

            in Habaniya

May 2 Iraqi forces took British fort at Rutba, Anbar

May 2 British troops broke up angry mob of Iraqis at Zubeila, Basra

May 2 Iraqi govt asked Germany for diplomatic relations to be restored and military aid

            including planes

May 2 UK Chiefs of Staff ordered Mid-East Commander Gen Wavell to make plans to

            destroy Iraq’s pipelines

May 2 Iraq’s 1st Inf Brigade ordered from Baghdad to Ramadi to block British troops from

            Transjordan being sent to Habaniya Air Base 11th Inf Brigade sent to Habaniya

May 2 British took Iraq out of Sterling zone and had foreign banks close to impose

            economic sanctions on Gaylani govt

 

May 3 2nd day UK bombing Expanded to Iraqi air bases and supply lines in Baghdad and

Diyala

May 3 Iraqi air force bombed Iraqi army in Ramadi by accident in night raid

May 3 Churchill ordered British troops to march from Palestine to Iraq

May 3 UK commander for Mid-East Gen Wavell given command of Iraq Complained no

forces to spare and negotiations should be used instead Wavell later claimed he could send a small force from Palestine to Iraq but it would threaten security in the region and again called for talks with Baghdad

May 3 PM Gaylani told Italian ambassador Iraq needed German and Italian air support to

deal with British, financial aid and a German military mission to work with Iraq General Staff

May 3 German Foreign Min Ribbentrop supported sending special representative to

Baghdad along with military liaison officers to set up arrival of German aid Also suggested sending fighter and bomber squadrons to Iraq Hitler agreed

May 3 Communists called on public to support Gaylani govt when war started Saw him as

anti-imperialist

 

May 4 British bombed Iraqi air bases in Baghdad and Baquba Destroyed or damaged

            29 planes in Baghdad 14 in Baquba

May 4 British bombers arrived at Habaniya airbase from Egypt while Iraqis continued

            to shell base 150 UK troops also flown into base

May 4 British troops in Habaniya base launched attacked and failed to take Sin al-Dhibban

used to cross Euphrates and supply Iraqi troops outside base

May 4 British dropped leaflets on Baghdad saying war was with Gaylani govt not

            Iraqi people

May 4 Regent broadcast radio message asking people not to follow Gaylani govt Baghdad

            radio called on govt to arm the people

May 4 PM Gaylani sent diplomat to Tehran and told embassy in Turkey to pressure

            Germans to send aid

May 4 UK Chiefs of Staff told Mid-East commander Gen Wavell he had to take action

            against the Gaylani govt

May 4 UK War Sec Eden told Iraqi charge d’affaires if war continued and Germany joined all

            of Iraq would become a battlefield

 

May 5 UK Mid-East commander Gen Wavell told to think up air strike plan against Kirkuk

oil fields Idea was later dropped

May 5 Gen Wavell told Chiefs of Staff didn’t think a force from Palestine could relieve

Habaniya Base in Anbar that their departure would threaten security in Palestine and Egypt therefore talks should be taken up with Baghdad

May 5 Iraqi troops at Habaniya ran out of ammunition and not re-supplied Began

withdrawing 300 captured by British

 

May 6 UK Foreign Min Eden told parliament if Iraq withdrew forces from Habaniya and

            fighting stopped London willing to talk Policy was to remove PM Gaylani

May 6 Iraq launched largest air attack on Habaniya air base Iraqis then began to withdraw

from outside base due to lack of water and rations 409 Iraqi soldiers captured Iraqis suffered 1,000 casualties Iraq launched 2nd air raid on Habaniya later that day Iraqis lost initiative in Anglo-Iraq War when gave up in Habaniya Had no plan or leadership to do more than lay siege to base

May 6 British and Assyrian forces took Sin al-Dhiban, Anbar captured 300 Iraqi soldiers

May 6 British planes destroyed Iraqi column heading for Habaniya inflicting over 1,000

            casualties and prisoners taken

May 6 PM Gaylani told Mufti of Jerusalem to contact Germans and ask them for

            immediate aid

May 6 German deal with Vichy France allowed military equipment to be moved from

            Syria to Iraq to fight British

May 6 German air unit sent to Syria bound for Mosul to confront British

May 6 More British troops landed in Basra

 

May 7 British troops took Ashar, Basra Iraqis bombed British Habaniya air base Iraqi forces

retreating from Habaniya ran into Iraqi units coming from Fallujah Columns stopped to consult Attacked and destroyed by British planes from Habaniya base 1,000 Iraqis killed

 

May 8 British Arab Legion left Palestine to take back Fort Rutba, Anbar from Iraqi police

Legion was attacked by German aircraft and one regiment refused to cross Transjordan border into Iraq

May 8 British Royal Air Force reported Iraqi air force combat ineffective Lost 25 planes

            Another 20-30 heavily damaged

May 8 6 more English planes landed at Habaniya air base from Egypt

May 8 Vichy France agreed to transfer weapons from Syria to Iraq to use its air fields and            okayed landing of German planes

May 8 Iraq Defense Minister Shawkat went to Turkey for talks Ankara offered end of

fighting permission for UK to use bases in Iraq In return UK would recognize Gayalani’s govt

May 8 Iraq Finance Minister Suwaidi went to Saudi Arabia to explain conflict with England

and ask for mediation Ibn Saud said Iraq should talk with London and end war

May 8 UK Mideast Cmdr Gen Wavell said not enough troops to take Baghdad and fight

            Iraqi and Axis forces

 

May 9 Germany announced aid package for Iraq

May 9 German diplomat arrived in Syria to organize arms shipments to Iraq

May 9 Start of 100 German and 20 Italian airplanes landing in Syrian bases to fight British in

Iraq British intel found out about planes being flown from Greece to Syria and that Vichy France sending trains full of military aid to Iraq

May 9 British planes bombed Iraqi police holding Fort Rutba, Anbar while Iraqi

            reinforcements arrived Bombed air bases in Mosul and Rashid

May 9 British commander in India Gen Auchinleck told Chiefs of Staff British had to deal

            with Iraq

May 9 PM Churchill told Mid-East commander Gen Wavell he had to take bold military

            action against Iraq and wouldn’t negotiation with PM Gaylani

May 9 Jordanian soldiers mutinied and refused to cross over into Iraq 240 men left unit

 

May 10 New German ambassador to Iraq arrived in Mosul with 2 He 111 bombers

May 10 Iraqis abandoned Fort Rutba allowing British to capture it

May 10 UK India commander Gen Auchinlek advocated occupying Baghdad Mosul

Kirkuk to preclude German intervention Mid-East commander Gen Wavell replied that Iraq not as important as other fronts and he had limited resources

May 10 UK Mideast cmdr Gen Wavell told Churchill attack on Baghdad could start

Arab revolt Wavell told Churchill some Jordanian forces already refused to go to Iraq Wavell finally gave order for forces in Jordan to head for Habaniya Anbar Wavell ordered that Baghdad was not to be occupied

 

May 11 British forces left Haifa, Palestine heading for Habaniya, Anbar

May 11 More British planes landed as reinforcements at Habaniya air base

May 11 German military aid began arriving from Syria by train Stored in Mosul but

            never used

May 11 German diplomat Dr. Grobba arrived in Baghdad along with 3 German planes and

            20,000 Pounds for PM Gaylani

 

May 12 Soviet Union recognized PM Gaylani’s govt

May 12 British reinforcements from Palestine and Transjordan attacked by a German

            Bomber as they entered Iraq

May 12 German air force liaison officer killed while trying to land in Baghdad during dog

            fight between Iraqi and British fighter planes

May 12 PM Gaylani told German ambassador to Turkey that Ankara made offer to be

middleman with England Gaylani feared Ankara would intervene in Iraq German ambassador dismissed that idea

 

May 13 Iraq told German ambassador to Turkey that it agreed to Turkish offer to

            mediate with England

May 13 Golden Square officers rejected Turkey’s offer to mediate with England and

threatened to shoot PM Gaylani if he accepted He offered to resign Mufti of Jerusalem had to intervene

(Musings On Iraq review Iraq Between the Two World Wars, The Militarist Origins of Tyranny)

May 13 1st trainload of Nazi German war supplies from Vichy France controlled Syria arrived

in Mosul to support PM Gaylani’s govt Never used

May 13 British forces bombed Syrian-Mosul railway to try to block Axis aid to Iraq

May 13 Jordanians from Palestine arrived at Fort Rutba in Anbar 

May 13 German planes attacked British forces at Habaniya air base 1 British plane shot

            down by German plane over Mosul

May 13 Egyptian Chief of Staff Gen Masri arrested while attempting to fly to Iraq to join

            fight vs British

 

May 14 British force from Palestine took Rutba Strafed by Iraqi plane

May 14 Churchill authorized British air force in Iraq to attack German planes in Syria

May 14 2 British fighters flew out of Iraq and attacked 2 German bombers in Syria

            damaging them

May 14 German war planes began landing in Mosul Were attacked by British planes

May 14 Iraq Finance Minister Suwaidi met German ambassador Told to take up Turkish

mediation offer to stall for time until Axis aid could be organized German ambassador promised German planes were arriving and military aid coming from Syria

 

May 15 German major arrived in Baghdad to lead Brandenburgers Commandorecon unit

in Iraq along with squadron of bombers and squadron of fighters Met with PM Gaylani Decided priority blocking Transjordan force from reaching Habaniya base Was too late to do that

May 15 Germany had total of 24 fighters and bombers in Iraq to help Gaylani govt fight

            German planes were painted in Iraqi colors to hide their origin

May 15 British bomber attacked Iraqi column outside Rutba, Anbar

May 15 German plane bombed British force from Palestine heading towards Habaniya

May 15 British received intel that German planes flying to Iraq from Syria

May 15 Kurds began discussing revolt against PM Gaylani to take advantage of crisis with

            British

 

May 16 While British planes bombed Iraqi column outside Rutba, Anbar English ground

            forces were attacked by German planes

May 16 German planes attacked Habaniya base British destroyed 10 German planes in Irbil

            and Mosul

May 16 German commander in Iraq agreed with Baghdad’s plan to retake Habaniya but

            didn’t have forces to do it

May 16 Mullah Mustafa Barzani escaped Baghdad and headed for Sulaymaniya

 

May 17 British forces set out from Habaniya base to try to take Fallujah

May 17 10 British planes landed at Habaniya air base from Egypt and launched

attack on German planes in Mosul British bombed Baghdad air base Shot down 2 German fighters

May 17 German liaison officer with Iraqi govt killed by an Iraqi soldier flying into

            Baghdad

 

May 18 British bombed Fallujah while troops begin surrounding town

May 18 Transjordan force arrived at Habaniya base in Anbar Were attacked by German planes

 

May 19 British took Fallujah from Iraqi forces after heavy bombing Was necessary to

            cross Euphrates onto Baghdad 300 Iraqis captured

(Musings On Iraq Iraq’s First Battle Of Fallujah 1941)

May 19 Iraqi command found out about loss of Fallujah and decided to launch

            counterattack

May 19 Iraq Defense Minister Shawkat returned from Turkey Was accused of being a

traitor by Golden Square officers for talking about mediation with England Fled to Turkey

(Musings On Iraq review Iraq Between the Two World Wars, The Militarist Origins of Tyranny)

 

May 20 German planes attacked British Habaniya air base in Anbar

 

May 21 Iraqis launched counterattack attempting to retake Fallujah from British Entered

            town

(Musings On Iraq Iraq’s First Battle Of Fallujah 1941)

May 21 German planes bombed air base at Habaniya for a second day

May 21 Iraq launched raids into Basra city suburbs but failed

 

May 22 Iraq attempt to recapture Fallujah failed

(Musings On Iraq Iraq’s First Battle Of Fallujah 1941)

May 22 Regent of Iraq along with Nuri al-Said arrived at British base at Habaniya, Anbar

            Said sent letter to Iraqi commander in Ramadi who agreed to switch sides

 

May 23 German planes attacked British forces in Fallujah Iraqi artillery shelled town

May 23 Hitler Order 30 Germany would support Arabs against British especially in Iraq

May 23 UK Mid-East commander Gen Wavell and Indian commander Gen Auchinlek met

in Basra Decided to send forces to Baghdad and more to be sent from India to Iraq

 

May 24 Mufti of Jerusalem told Italians Arab revolt hinged on Iraq and it needed more

            support

 

May 25 British attacked Iraqis 6 miles up from Basra city 10th Indian Div ordered to head

            north

 

May 26 2nd trainload of German military aid arrived from Syria Stored in Mosul but never

used

May 26 12 Italian planes landed in Kirkuk from Syria to operate under Germans Immediately

attacked British forces in Anbar

May 26 Mussolini met with German military attache’ and expressed concern about Iraq

Asked whether Berlin would give substantive or symbolic support to Iraq Mussolini told German military attache’ Iraq could turn tide in Mediterranean Attache’ said Berlin serious about Iraq

 

May 27 Operation Regulta began British forces marched north from Basra to Kut and

            onto Baghdad Captured Ur

May 27 British forces moved from Fallujah to cut Baghdad-Mosul road and railway Forced

Iraqis out of Taji north of Baghdad

May 27 PM Gaylani told Italians he was disappointed with Axis assistance

May 27 UK Foreign Min Eden said that Regent Ilah lacked a strong character but he was

            loyal to England

May 27 Germans began withdrawing from Iraq

May 27 12 Italian fighters landed in Iraq

 

May 28 British forces captured Khan Nuqta fort on march from Fallujah to Baghdad

May 28 British troops moved from Basra to Baghdad take Ur

May 28 British forces attacked Abu Ghraib canal but turned back by Iraqis

May 28 British intel spread rumor to Iraqi military that 100 tanks heading to Baghdad Led PM

            Gaylani to flee

May 28 3rd shipment of German military supplies arrived in Mosul Never used

May 28 Iraq Chiefs of Staff decided to withdraw to Kirkuk to avoid British attack on Baghdad

            PM Gaylani joined them

 

May 29 Italian planes got into dogfight with British planes over Baghdad 1 Italian and 2

            British planes shot down

May 29 British defeated Iraqi forces at Abu Ghraib Turned back at Abu Ghraib canal in

            push on Baghdad for second time

May 29 British forces defeated by Iraqi army at Kadhimiya, Baghdad

May 29 PM Gaylani told military leadership had fled to Persia leading to his own

            escape there along with Mufti of Jerusalem

May 29 German ambassador to Iraq fled Baghdad for Kirkuk fearing British advance

May 29 Governor of Baghdad captured by British on trip to Samarra

 

May 30 Last brigade of British 10th Infantry Division from India landed in Basra

May 30 British troops reached Baghdad Iraqi army barracks in province bombed leading it

            to ask for peace

May 30 Baghdad mayor and army officers approached British embassy asking for armistice

May 30 German Ambassador to Iraq Grobba fled to Mosul Told German Foreign Minister

Ribbentrop Iraqis still in the fight Ribbentrop said that more planes would arrive by June 1 Grobba said because of lack of fuel German planes would have to operate from Syria

 

May 31 Mayor of Baghdad worked out peace treaty with British surrendering city

May 31 Yunis Sabawi pro-Nazi leader appointed himself governor of southern Iraq

            and told Jews to stay in homes

May 31 German ambassador to Iraq told Berlin UK-Iraq armistice signed False rumor British

            seized Mosul airport forced him to flee to Syria

May 31 German High Command told German planes heading to and based in Iraq to

            gather in Aleppo until further notice

 

Jun 1 Regent of Iraq returned to power after PM Gaylani overthrown by British

Jun 1 497 Iraqi soldiers killed and 695 wounded British lost 150 troops during Anglo-

            Iraq War

Jun 1 Regent welcomed at airport by group of Jews from Baghdad who were attacked

            on way home that violence continued into capital

Jun 1 Farhud anti-Jewish pogrom in Baghdad started Around 120 people killed and

            850 wounded

Jun 1 Yunis Sabawi pro-Nazi leader who appointed himself governor of southern Iraq

            planned pogrom against Jews but deported by British

Jun 1 British troops barred from entering Baghdad during Farhud UK Foreign Office

            thought it would look bad for Regent to return to power backed by English troops

Jun 1 German Gen Felmy head of military mission to Iraq arrived in Syria after Anglo-

            Iraq War was over

 

Jun 2 Jamil al-Midfai named PM in new govt after PM Gaylani overthrown by British

Jun 2 Anti-Jewish pogrom the Farhud in Baghdad continued until curfew imposed 187

            killed in 2 days

Jun 2 Regent of Iraq Ilah ordered end to Farhud

Jun 2 British intelligence officer asked why British troops weren’t sent to Baghdad to stop

            the Farhud Thought London didn’t want to upset the Regent

Jun 2 UK 20th Indian Brigade ordered from Basra to Baghdad to help secure area

 

Jun 3 3rd train load of German military aid arrived from Syria Stored in Mosul after war ended

Jun 3 British troops occupied Mosul after overthrowing Gaylani govt

 

Jun 5 British forces occupied Kirkuk

 

Jun 6 British forces sent to Haditha and pushed insurgents led by Qawujki into Syria

 

Jun 7 British forces crossed from Iraq into Syria attempting to capture German diplomat

            Dr. Grobba

 

Jun 8 British campaign started against Vichy French in Syria using troops in Iraq

            Germany used Syria to supply pro-Nazi Gaylani govt in Iraq

 

Jun 9 Another British brigade landed in Basra to help secure country after PM Gailani govt

overthrown in Anglo-Iraq War

Jun 9 Iraq broke relations with Italy for being member of Axis at request of British

 

Jun 10 British air force destroyed train shipment of German military aid heading for

            Iraq from Syria Anglo-Iraq War already over

 

Jun 16 Another British brigade landed in Basra to help secure Iraq after Anglo-Iraq War

 

Oct 10 Nuri al-Said became PM 3rd time

 

 

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This Day In Iraqi History - Jan 17

  1974 Bakr govt held talks with Mustafa Barzani and KDP ( Musings On Iraq review The Kurds, A Modern History ) ( Mus...