British Advance along Aleppo Road 26 March 1918


Map Code: Ax00411

General Marshall, the British commander in chief in Mesopotamia, returned to the offensive in spring 1918. He determined upon a change in tactics; lines of advance were along the Rivers Euphrates and, several miles to its north, the Tigris. He calculated that, as he advanced, the enemy would simply retreat, intact, to the next defensible point along either river. He then switched to encircling manoeuvres, aimed at capturing the enemy forces and their weaponry, a course of action facilitated by his recent acquisition of 300 lorries, armoured cars and the arrival of the 11th cavalry brigade. These highly mobile units swept behind the Ottomans at Khan Baghdadi in a wide arc, forming a blockade behind Wadi Hauran. The infantry then launched a frontal assault, driving the enemy towards the blockade. The entire Ottoman force of around 5,000 was taken prisoner.

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