When the 6th Indian Division retreated from Ctesiphon on 26 November, they were at first unaware that the Ottoman forces had halted their own withdrawal, and were now on their heels. On 28 November at the village of Aziziya, the Allies were joined by three companies of reinforcements but, in turning to assist one of their gunboats which had run aground, they encountered Ottoman forces. Slowed by the many wounded in tow, the British commander, General Townshend realized that they would not be able to reach the safety of Küt without first confronting their pursuers. He selected the village of Umm-at-Tubul for his stand and, after an exchange of fire, a combined British infantry and cavalry charge forced the enemy to withdraw. Having bought some respite, the British continued along the Tigris, reaching Küt on 3 December.
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