- When God Made Hell: The British Invasion of Mesopotamia and the Creation of Iraq, 1914-1921
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This is an account of the actions fought by the Sepoys of those battalions, and of some of the gallantry that occurred on that day.
When God Made Hell: The British Invasion of Mesopotamia and the Creation of Iraq, 1914-1921
The Turks were not a beaten force but they were pre-occupied by bad news from Palestine, where the British under General Edmund Allenby were making significant gains. Cobbe, acting on previous orders, then prepared to withdraw his Corps to Samarrah, but General Maude was concerned about the enemy supply dumps at Tekrit, and ordered their destruction if it appeared that the Turks were withdrawing past Tekrit.
However Maude did advise Cobbe to slow down and make a good plan rather than rush into the attack. During the 4th November British air reconnaissance and intelligence verified Turkish plans to evacuate Tekrit, and so Cobbe, whose judgement Maude trusted, seized the opportunity to act decisively and quickly on his own initiative. Tekrit was a walled city standing on a bluff on the right west bank of the Tigris River; the highest houses stood 45 metres above river level, and observation from them was excellent. Twelve kilometres of Turkish trenches surrounded the city and most forward trenches were elaborately supported by strongpoints and two more lines of trenches to the rear.
Three Turkish Divisions, the 14th, 51st and 52nd, defended Tekrit and their field guns and machine guns were well-sited to cover the flat approaches to the city. The plan of attack Cobbe deployed his Cavalry Division for flank protection, and to contain the enemy in their northern trenches whilst the 8th Infantry Brigade from the 3rd Lahore Division made an assault on the southwest corner of the defences.
The 19th Infantry Brigade from the 7th Division was ordered to support the attack of the 8th Brigade and the 4th Field Artillery Brigade supplied direct fire support to 8th Brigade. Major General Sir V. Fane KCIE CB, commanding the 7th Division, ordered that 8th Brigade should attack on a metre frontage under an artillery barrage that was to overlap the frontage by metres on each flank. Observing this impending attack the Turkish artillery fired accurately and effectively in defence, constantly cutting the telephone lines of the British artillery.
The wadi was reached successfully, and being about 2. In the wadi the infantry deployed further forward, using nullahs dry water courses to conceal their preparations. During this period Havildar Mastan Singh, 47th Sikhs, led a good reconnaissance patrol and was awarded an Indian Order of Merit, 2nd Class : For conspicuous gallantry in the action on the 5th November Previous to the attack in the morning this non-commissioned officer went on patrol and brought in most valuable information.
He then drove out an enemy entrenched picquet. During the subsequent attack he took command of a platoon and showed great bravery, skill and determination. The attack should have commenced at hours but the cutting of the telephone lines had slowed down the preparation of the British artillery fireplan, and 8th Brigade did not commence its attack until hours.
The knock-on effect of this delay was that the hours of daylight ran out before all the designated British units could be effectively deployed in the operation. At hours the Sikhs, Scinde Rifles and Baluchis all advanced under a supporting artillery bombardment; the enemy trenches could not be seen so the advance was made using a compass bearing of 20 degrees.
The casualties were left where they dropped whilst the momentum of the advance was maintained. After metres of very unpleasant exposure to incoming fire the enemy trenches were encountered and swiftly rushed, the Turks there being killed if they did not surrender immediately. Pushing on, the second line of trenches was quickly taken, and then the third, which was shallow and only partially constructed. Units were now mixed up and a hurried re-organisation took place whilst under effective enemy fire. The advance to the trenches had been costly. Lucas, th Baluch Light Infantry attached to 2nd th Baluchis, was mortally wounded.
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Before he died 20 days later Arthur Geoffrey Lucas was awarded a Military Cross : For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty. His courage and energy under heavy fire during an action furnished a splendid example to his men, and contributed largely to the success of the attack. Right: Sepoys in trenches, Mesopotamia Other officers in that battalion excelled themselves when the situation demanded acts of bravery.
Subadar Darweza Khan was awarded an Indian Order of Merit, 2nd Class : For conspicuous bravery and devotion to duty on the 5th November when he led and handled his platoon under heavy fire with marked coolness and skill, inspiring the young and inexperienced soldiers composing the company to which he had been specially attached. Always a reliable officer, he rendered most valuable assistance throughout the operations. He also distinguished himself on a previous occasion when although wounded he continued to command his platoon throughout the action.
Subadar Bhagwan Singh had taken over command of his rifle company when Lieutenant William John Grimstead Marsh, th Baluch Light Infantry attached to 2nd th Baluchis, was mortally wounded during the reorganisation. Bhagwan Singh was later awarded a Military Cross : For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty. When his company commander was wounded early in an engagement he took command, and led the company with great courage and skill, setting a most inspiring example to the men.
Later, when the adjutant and the Subadar-Major became casualties, he carried out their duties in addition to commanding his company, and rendered invaluable assistance during the ensuing night.
Terrorism: A Very Short Introduction - Charles Townshend - Google книги
After the battle Baghwan Singh was officially appointed regimental Subadar Major. Orders were given to put out aeroplane signals at a time when heavy fire was sweeping over the captured trench.
Without hesitation or direct order, Sepoy Mukhmad Shah stepped out of the trench with the signals and within fifteen seconds was hit by three bullets and staggered back into the trench. Shipped from UK. Established seller since Seller Inventory F New copy - Usually dispatched within 2 working days.
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Seller Inventory B Book Description Paperback. Not Signed; Since , Iraq has rarely left the headlines. A cautious strategic invasion by British forces led - within seven years - to imperial expansion on a dizzyi. Seller Inventory Condition: Brand New. In Stock. Charles Townshend. This specific ISBN edition is currently not available. View all copies of this ISBN edition:. Synopsis About this title NA "synopsis" may belong to another edition of this title. About the Author : Charles Townshend is Professor of International History at Keele University, specialising in the study of modern political violence and insurgency.
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Andrew N. Nick West. Otto Harkaman. The Bastard War is about a relatively unturned page of World War I: the campaign in Mesopotamia between and It is a tribute to Barker's scholarly industry that this exhaustive study precludes further investigation in this area in the immediate future. The story of the Mesopotamian campaign is one of political ineptitude and mismanagement, of muddled planning and military blunders.
What makes Col. Barker's account of more than mere historical interest is his belief that the lessons to be learned from the campaign are as applicable today as they were fifty years ago. He reminds us that most of the problems of the modern world stem from the great upheavals of World War I. Since some of the more persistent trouble ""emanates from the region of the Persian Gulf—an area vital to Britain's economy, but where British influence has been steadily declining in recent years,"" the author rightly regards the Mesopotamian campaign as being of special significance.
His thesis is consistently meaningful; his treatment of history objective; his presentation of background material judicious. Since , Iraq has rarely left the headlines. But less discussed is the fact that Iraq as we know it was created by the British, in one of the most dramatic interventions in recent history.