First Battle of Küt September 1915


Map Code: Ax00382

In the early summer, Major-General Townshend’s 6th Division sailed up the Tigris in an assorted flotilla of boats, capturing both Amara and Nasiriyah. By this stage, the initial objective of the Mesopotamian campaign, to safeguard the oil-rich south of the region, had been more than achieved. However, the British High Command was determined to fully capitalize on what they saw as Ottoman weakness and disarray, and ordered Townshend to continue to Baghdad. On 26 September, between Sonnaiyat and Küt, the flotilla came upon the strongly fortified positions of Nur-ud-Din Pasha’s Ottoman troops, arrayed either side of the Tigris, while a dhow held in place by hawsers blocked passage up the river. On 28 September, a two-pronged attack on the Ottoman left flank routed the defenders, allowing the clearance of the waterway and the British now proceeded towards Küt. However, navigability was becoming a serious problem, as the river progressively shallowed upstream

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