Siege of Kut

The Siege of Kut Al Amara (7 December 1915 – 29 April 1916), also known as the First Battle of Kut, was the besieging of an 8,000 strong British-Indian garrison in the town of Kut, 160 kilometres (100 mi) south of Baghdad, by the Ottoman Army. In 1915 its population was around 6,500. Following the surrender of the garrison on 29 April 1916, the survivors of the siege were marched to imprisonment at Aleppo, during which many died.[1] Historian Christopher Catherwood has called the siege "the worst defeat of the Allies in World War I".[2]

Prelude

Kut1915
Situation at Kut on 28 September 1915.

The 6th (Poona) Division of the Indian Army, under Major-General Charles Townshend, had fallen back to the town of Kut after retreating from Ctesiphon. The British Empire forces arrived at Kut around 3 December 1915. They had suffered significant losses, numbering only 11,000 soldiers (plus cavalry). General Townshend chose to stay and hold the position at Kut instead of continuing the march downriver towards Basra. Contained within a long river loop, Kut offered a good defensive position although supply lines from distant Basra were stretched.

The siege

Mesopotamian campaign 6th Army Siege of Kut
The siege by Ottoman 6th Army forces

The pursuing Ottoman forces under Halil Pasha arrived on 7 December 1915. Once it became clear the Ottomans had enough forces to lay siege to Kut, Townshend ordered his cavalry to escape south, which it did, led by Lieut. Colonel Gerard Leachman DSO. The Ottoman forces numbered around 11,000 men and were increasing steadily with additional reinforcements arriving constantly. They were commanded by the respected but elderly German general and military historian Baron von der Goltz. Goltz knew the Ottoman army well, as he had spent 12 years working on modernizing it, from 1883 to 1895. After three attacks in December, Goltz directed the building of siege fortifications facing Kut. He prepared for an attack from Basra, using the Tigris River, by building defensive positions further down the river designed to cut off a river-borne relief.

After a month of siege, Townshend wanted to break out and withdraw southwards but his commander, General Sir John Nixon saw value in tying down the Ottoman forces in a siege. Nixon ordered transports from London, but none had arrived. The War Office was in the process of reorganizing military command; previously the orders had come from the Viceroy and India Office.

However, when Townshend—inaccurately—reported that only one month of food remained, a rescue force was hastily raised. It is not clear why Townshend reported he only had enough food for one month when he actually had food for more than four months (although at a reduced level), but Townshend would not attempt an infantry retreat unprotected through hostile tribal lands without river transport. Nixon had ordered this with reinforcements, commanded by his son, but by December they were still only in the Suez Canal. The confusing communications would prove a critical delay.

Medical facilities in Kut were headed by Major General Patrick Hehir.[3]

Relief expeditions

The first relief expedition comprised some 19,000 men under Lieutenant-General Aylmer and it headed up the river from Ali Gharbi in January 1916.

Battle of Sheikh Sa'ad

The first attempt to relieve Kut (the Battle of Sheikh Sa'ad) came on 6 January. Aylmer's advance force was a division or two, under Major-General George Younghusband. Part of the cause of delay was the debate in Cabinet over whether one division would be an adequate force, or whether two divisions should be sent. Deliberations were painfully slow. The ageing General Maurice insisted on being informed at every turn as the evidence came into the Committee of Imperial Defence; which was further complicated by a restructuring involving the setup of a new sub-committee system and transfer of military responsibilities. At least three urgent memoranda were sent from General Nixon demanding transports to evacuate Townshend's division. By Christmas his health had broken down, and he requested a return to Bombay.

Nixon's replacements with additional staff as a mandatory requirement moved forward from Ali Al Gharbi towards Sheikh Sa'ad along both banks of the Tigris. Younghusband's column made contact with the Ottomans on the morning of 6 January 5.6 km (3 12 mi) east of Sheikh Sa'ad. British efforts to defeat the Ottomans were unsuccessful.[4]

The following day, on 7 January, Aylmer arrived with the main body of his forces and ordered a general attack. Younghusband led the attack on the left bank and Major-General Kemball took the right. After heavy fighting all day, Kemball's troops had overrun Ottoman trenches on the right bank, taking prisoners and capturing two guns. However, the Ottoman left bank held firm and they carried out supporting manoeuvres from the north.

After little change on 8 January, renewed British attacks on 9 January resulted in the Ottomans retiring from Sheikh Sa'ad. Over the following two days the Ottomans were followed by Aylmer's force but heavy rains made the roads virtually impassable.[4]

Battle of Wadi

The Ottomans retreated for about 16 km (10 mi) from Sheikh Sa'ad to a tributary of the Tigris on the left bank known by the Arabic toponym simply as the Wadi (meaning "the river valley"). The Ottomans made their camp beyond the Wadi and on the other side of the Tigris opposite the Wadi.

On 13 January, Aylmer attacked the Ottoman Wadi position on the left bank with all of his forces. After putting up a stiff resistance the Ottomans retreated 8 km (5 mi) to the west and they were followed by Aylmer's troops.

Battle of Hanna

The Ottomans then made their camp upstream of the Wadi at the Hanna defile, a narrow strip of dry land between the Tigris and the Suwaikiya Marshes. British losses at the Battle of Hanna amounted to 2,700 killed and wounded, which was disastrous for the garrison in Kut.[5]

The Times history of the war (1914) (14577828889)
The British Headquarters in Kut

Later efforts

At this point, Khalil Pasha (the Ottoman commander of the whole region) came to the battle, bringing with him a further 20,000 to 30,000 reinforcements.

Following the defeat of Aylmer's expedition, General Nixon was replaced as supreme commander by Percy Lake. More forces were sent to bolster Aylmer's troops. He tried again, attacking the Dujaila redoubt on 8 March. This attack failed, at a cost of 4,000 men. General Aylmer was dismissed and replaced with General George Gorringe on 12 March.

The relief attempt by Gorringe is usually termed the First Battle of Kut. The British Empire's forces numbered about 30,000 soldiers, roughly equal to the Ottomans. The battle began on 5 April and the British soon captured Fallahiyeh, but with heavy losses, Beit Asia was taken on 17 April. The final effort was against Sannaiyat on 22 April. The Allies were unable to take Sannaiyat and suffered some 1,200 casualties in the process.

In April 1916 No. 30 Squadron of the Royal Flying Corps carried out the first air supply operation in history. Food and ammunition were dropped to the defenders of Kut, but "as often as not their parcels go into the Tigris or into the Turkish trenches!"[6]

All the relief efforts had failed, at a cost of around 30,000 Allied killed or wounded. Ottoman casualties are believed to have been around 10,000. The Ottomans also lost the aid of Baron von der Goltz. He died on 19 April, supposedly of typhoid. After Goltz's death, no German commander took his place in Mesopotamia for the rest of the war.

Surrender of the British army

Indian army soldier after siege of Kut
An Indian soldier after siege of Kut

British leaders attempted to buy their troops out. Aubrey Herbert and T. E. Lawrence were part of a team of officers sent to negotiate a secret deal with the Ottomans. The British offered £2 million (equivalent to £150 million in 2016[7]) and promised they would not fight the Ottomans again, in exchange for Townshend's troops. Enver Pasha ordered that this offer be rejected.[8]

The British also asked for help from the Russians. General Baratov, with his largely Cossack force of 20,000, was in Persia at the time. Following the request he advanced towards Baghdad in April 1916, but he turned back when news reached him of the surrender.[9]

General Townshend arranged a ceasefire on the 26th and, after failed negotiations, he simply surrendered on 29 April 1916 after a siege of 147 days. Around 13,000 Allied soldiers survived to be made prisoners. Historian İlber Ortaylı states that "Halil Pasha acted like a gentleman to the surrendering British officers" and offered "to take the PoWs up towards the north in river boats in case fuel could be provided from British bases nearby."[10] The offer was rejected by the British. 65-70% of the British and 15-30% of the Indian troops died of disease or at the hands of their Ottoman guards during captivity.[11][12] However, historian Marc Ferro suggested a different image. According to Ferro, the surrendered British and Indian forces were forced to march around the city of Baghdad while being maltreated by the Ottoman troops supervising their march.[13]

Townshend himself was taken to the island of Heybeliada on the Sea of Marmara, to sit out the war in relative luxury. The author Norman Dixon, in his book On the Psychology of Military Incompetence, described Townshend as being "amused" by the plight of the men he had deserted, as if he had pulled off some clever trick. Dixon says Townshend was unable to understand why his friends and comrades were ultimately censorious over his behaviour.[14]

In British Army battle honours, the siege of Kut is named as "Defence of Kut Al Amara".

Aftermath

Jan Morris, a British historian, described the loss of Kut as "the most abject capitulation in Britain's military history."[15] After this humiliating loss, General Lake and General Gorringe were removed from command. The new commander was General Maude, who trained and organized his army and then launched a successful campaign which captured Baghdad on 11 March 1917. With Baghdad captured, the British administration undertook vital reconstruction of the war-torn country and Kut was slowly rebuilt.[16]

Some of the Indian prisoners of war from Kut later came to join the Ottoman Indian Volunteer Corps under the influence of Deobandis of Tehrek e Reshmi Rumal and with the encouragement of the German High Command. These soldiers, along with those recruited from the prisoners from the European battlefields, fought alongside Ottoman forces on a number of fronts.[17] The Indians were led by Amba Prasad Sufi, who during the war was joined by Kedar Nath Sondhi, Rishikesh Letha, and Amin Chaudhry. These Indian troops were involved in the capture of the frontier city of Karman and the detention of the British consul there, and they also successfully harassed Sir Percy Sykes' Persian campaign against the Baluchi and Persian tribal chiefs who were aided by the Germans.[18][19]

See also

References

  1. ^ Peter Mansfield, The British Empire magazine, Time-Life Books, vol 75, p. 2078
  2. ^ Christopher Catherwood (22 May 2014). The Battles of World War I. Allison & Busby. pp. 51–2. ISBN 978-0-7490-1502-2.
  3. ^ McK, A. G. "Obituary Notice: Sir Patrick Hehir, Major-General". Proceedings. Royal Society of Edinburgh. 57: 416–416. doi:10.1017/S0370164600013961 – via Cambridge Core.
  4. ^ a b Baker, Chris. "Sir John Nixon's Second Despatch". The Long, Long Trail. Archived from the original on 2008-05-31. Retrieved 2014-08-05.
  5. ^ Baker, Chris. "The Battle of the Hanna (21 January 1916)". The Long, Long Trail. Archived from the original on 2008-08-28. Retrieved 2014-08-05.
  6. ^ Spooner, Reverend H. Private Papers; Imperial War Museum Documents 7308. Entry for the 16th April 1916 (quoted by Rogan 2016 p. 263)
  7. ^ United Kingdom Gross Domestic Product deflator figures follow the Measuring Worth "consistent series" supplied in Thomas, Ryland; Williamson, Samuel H. (2018). "What Was the U.K. GDP Then?". MeasuringWorth. Retrieved January 5, 2018.
  8. ^ David Fromkin, A Peace to End All Peace, p. 201
  9. ^ Cyril Falls, The Great War, p. 249
  10. ^ İlber Ortaylı, "100. Yılında Kut'ul Amare Zaferi" (The Victory of Kut at its Centennial), Hürriyet, 24 April 2016, p.6
  11. ^ Davies, Ross (20 November 2002). "The tragedy of Kut". The Guardian.
  12. ^ Gardner, Nikolas (2014). The Siege of Kut-al-Amara: At War in Mesopotamia, 1915-1916. Bloomington: Indiana University Press. p. 165.
  13. ^ Ferro, Marc (2002). The Great War. New York: Routledge. p. 75. ISBN 0-415-26734-X.
  14. ^ Dixon, Dr. Norman F. On the Psychology of Military Incompetence Jonathan Cape Ltd 1976 / Pimlico 1994 pp95–109
  15. ^ Jan Morris (22 December 2010). Farewell the Trumpets. Faber & Faber. pp. 3–4. ISBN 978-0-571-26598-5.
  16. ^ Howell, Georgina. Daughter of the Desert: The Remarkable Life of Gertrude Bell. London: Macmillan, 2006. p. 311
  17. ^ Qureshi 1999, p. 78
  18. ^ Sykes 1921, p. 101
  19. ^ Herbert 2003

Sources

  • Herbert, Edwin (2003). Small Wars and Skirmishes 1902–1918: Early Twentieth-century Colonial Campaigns in Africa, Asia and the Americas. Nottingham, Foundry Books Publications. ISBN 1-901543-05-6.
  • Qureshi, M Naeem (1999). Pan-Islam in British Indian Politics: A Study of the Khilafat Movement, 1918-1924. Brill Academic Publishers. ISBN 90-04-11371-1.
  • Rogan, Eugene (2016). The Fall of the Ottomans. Penguin Books.
  • Spackman, Tony, ed. (2008). Captured at Kut, Prisoner of the Turks: The Great War Diaries of Colonel W.C. Spackman. Pen & Sword Military. ISBN 184415873-X.
  • Sykes, Peter (1921). "South Persia and the Great War". The Geographical Journal. Blackwell Publishing on behalf of The Royal Geographical Society. 58 (2): 101–116. doi:10.2307/1781457. ISSN 0016-7398.

Further reading

  • Barber, Major Charles H. (1917). Besieged in Kut – and After. Blackwood.
  • Barker, A.J. (1967). The Bastard war: The Mesopotamian campaign of 1914-1918. Dial.
  • Braddon, Russell (1970) [1969]. The Siege. Viking Adult. ISBN 0-670-64386-6.
  • Davis, Paul K. (1994). Ends and Means: the British Mesopotamian Campaign and Commission. Associated University Presses.
  • Dixon, Dr. Norman F. (1994) [1976]. On the Psychology of Military Incompetence. Pimlico.
  • Gardner, Nikolas (2004). "Sepoys and the Siege of Kut-al-Amara, December 1915 –April 1961". War in History. 11 (3).
  • von Gleich, Gerold (1921). Vom Balkan nach Bagdad: militärisch-politische Erinnerungen an dem Orient. Scherl Verlag.
  • Harvey, Lt & Q-Mr. F. A. (1922). The Sufferings of the Kut Garrison During Their March Into Turkey as Prisoners of War 1916–1917. Ludgershall, Wilts: The Adjutants's Press.
  • Herbert, Aubrey (1919). "Mons, Anzac & Kut". Hutchinson.
  • Keegan, John (1998). The First World War. Random House Press.
  • Long, P. W. (1938). Other Ranks of Kut. Williams & Norgate.
  • Mouseley, Capt. E. O. (1921). The Secrets of a Kuttite: An Authentic Story of Kut, Adventures in Captivity & Stamboul Intrigue. Bodley Head.
  • Moynihan, Michael (1983). God On Our Side. Secker & Warburg.
  • Sandes, Major E. W. C. (1919). In Kut & Captivity with the Sixth Indian Division. Murray.
  • Strachan, Hew (2003). The First World War. Viking.
  • Townshend, Charles (2010). When God Made Hell: The British Invasion of Mesopotamia and the Creation of Iraq, 1914-1921. Faber and Faber.
  • Wilcox, Ron (2006). Battles on the Tigris. Barnsley: Pen and Sword Military.

External links

103rd Mahratta Light Infantry

The 103rd Mahratta Light Infantry were an infantry regiment of the British Indian Army. They could trace their origins to 1768, when they were raised as the 2nd Battalion, Bombay Sepoys. The regiment was first in action in the Mysore Campaign during the Third Anglo-Mysore War, quickly followed by the Battle of Seedaseer and the Battle of Seringapatam in the Fourth Anglo-Mysore War. Their next action was at Beni Boo Ali against pirates in Eastern Arabia and the Persian Gulf region led the East India Company to carry out a punitive expedition in 1819 to Ras al Khaimah which destroyed the pirate base and removed the threat from the Persian Gulf.

In 1848, the regiment took part in the Siege of Multan and the Battle of Gujrat in the Second Anglo-Sikh War. The 1868 Expedition to Abyssinia was next for the regiment. This was a punitive expedition carried out by armed forces of the British Empire against the Emperor Tewodros II of Ethiopia, he had imprisoned several missionaries and two representatives of the British government. During World War I they took part in the Mesopotamia Campaign. With the 17th (Ahmednagar) Brigade they were at the Battle of Es Sinn. They were captured by the Turks with the 6th (Poona) Division after the Siege of Kut.

After World War I the Indian government reformed the army moving from single battalion regiments to multi battalion regiments. In 1922, the 103rd Mahratta Light Infantry became the 1st Battalion 5th Mahratta Light Infantry. After independence they were one of the regiments allocated to the Indian Army.

104th Wellesley's Rifles

The 104th Wellesley's Rifles were an infantry regiment of the British Indian Army. They could trace their origins to 1775, when they were raised as the 5th Battalion, Bombay Sepoys.

The regiments first action was during the Mysore Campaign in the Third Anglo-Mysore War. This was followed by their participation in the Battle of Seringapatam in the Fourth Anglo-Mysore War. They were next called to serve in the Beni Boo Ali campaign in 1821, against the pirates in Eastern Arabia and the Persian Gulf region. Returning to India they took part in the Siege of Multan during the Second Anglo-Sikh War. They were next involved in the Anglo-Persian War in 1856, followed the next year by the Indian Rebellion of 1857 taking part in the Central India Campaign.

Twenty years were to pass until their next action in the Battle of Kandahar during the Second Afghan War. They were also in East Africa during the Sudan Campaign. During World War I they were in the 6th (Poona) Division during the Mesopotamia Campaign.

After a string of early successes particularly during the Battle of Es Sinn, the 6th Division was defeated at the Battle of Ctesiphon in November 1915. Following this engagement, the division withdrew to Kut and Siege of Kut began. After a lengthy siege all they surrendered in April 1916.After World War I the Indian government reformed the army moving from single battalion regiments to multi battalion regiments. In 1922, the 104th Wellesley's Rifles became the 1st Battalion 6th Rajputana Rifles. After independence they were one of the regiments allocated to the Indian Army.

110th Mahratta Light Infantry

The 110th Mahratta Light Infantry were an infantry regiment of the British Indian Army. The regiment traces their origins to 1797, when they were raised as the 2nd Battalion, 5th (Travancore) Regiment of Bombay Native Infantry.

The regiments first saw action during the Mysore wars being involved on the Third Anglo-Mysore War and the Battle of Seedaseer and the Battle of Seringapatam in the Fourth Anglo-Mysore War. They were then used in the punitive expedition in the Beni Boo Ali campaign in 1821, against the pirates in Eastern Arabia and the Persian Gulf. The regiment was involved in the Siege of Kahun next during the First Afghan War. The annexation of the Punjab was next during the Second Anglo-Sikh War. Their next action was in China in the Second Opium War. They returned to Afghanistan again to participate in the Second Afghan War, their last conflict in the 19th century was the annexation of Burma in the Second Burmese War. In World War I the regiment was attached to the 6th (Poona) Division in the Mesopotamian campaign. After a string of earlier successes, the 6th Division was delivered a setback at the Battle of Ctesiphon and forced to withdrew back to Kut. The Siege of Kut began and after a lengthy siege surrendered in April 1916.After World War I the Indian government reformed the army moving from single battalion regiments to multi battalion regiments. In 1922, the 110th Mahratta Light Infantry became the 3rd Battalion 5th Mahratta Light Infantry. After independence they were one of the regiments allocated to the Indian Army.

117th Mahrattas

The 117th Mahrattas were an infantry regiment of the British Indian Army. The regiment traces their origins to 1800, when they were raised as the Bombay Fencible Regiment.

During World War I the regiment was attached to the 6th (Poona) Division and served in the Mesopotamian campaign, delivered a setback at the Battle of Ctesiphon in November 1915. They were forced to withdrew back to Kut, and forced to surrender after the Siege of Kut.After World War I the Indian government reformed the army moving from single battalion regiments to multi battalion regiments. In 1922, the 117th Mahrattas became the 5th Battalion 5th Mahratta Light Infantry. After independence they were one of the regiments allocated to the Indian Army.

119th Infantry (The Mooltan Regiment)

The 119th Infantry (The Mooltan Regiment) was an infantry regiment of the British Indian Army. The regiment originated in 1817, when it was raised as the 1st Battalion, 10th Regiment of Bombay Native Infantry.

The regiment's first action was in the Battle of Ghazni in the First Afghan War. After Afghanistan it took part in the Siege of Multan in the Second Anglo-Sikh War. It returned to Afghanistan in the Second Afghan War and took part in the Siege of Multan. During World War I it was attached to the 6th (Poona) Division and served in the Mesopotamian campaign. It fought in the Battle of Basra, the Battle of Qurna, the Battle of Es Sinn before suffering a setback at the Battle of Ctesiphon, after which it withdrew to Kut. Trapped in the city in the Siege of Kut the regiment was forced to surrender after 147 days. A second battalion was raised from men on leave and reinforcements, and sent to Mesopotamia.After World War I the Indian government reformed the army moving from single-battalion to multi-battalion regiments. In 1922 the 119th Infantry (The Molten Regiment) became the 2nd (Mooltan Battalion), The 9th Jat Regiment. After independence it was one of the regiments allocated to the Indian Army.

120th Rajputana Infantry

The 120th Rajputana Infantry were an infantry regiment of the British Indian Army. The regiment traces their origins to 1817, when they were raised as the 2nd Battalion, 10th Regiment of Bombay Native Infantry.

The regiments first action was during the Anglo-Persian War in 1856, for which they were awarded the battle honours of Persia, Reshire, Bushire and Koosh-ah. During World War I they were attached to the 6th (Poona) Division and served in the Mesopotamian campaign. They fought in the Battle of Basra, the Battle of Qurna, the Battle of Es Sinn before being delivered a setback at the Battle of Ctesiphon. Following this engagement, they withdrew to Kut. Trapped in the city during the Siege of Kut they were forced to surrender after 147 days. A second battalion was raised from men on leave and reinforcements and sent to Mesopotamia.After World War I the Indian government reformed the army moving from single battalion regiments to multi battalion regiments. In 1922, the 120th Rajputana Infantry became the 2nd (Prince of Wales's Own), 6th Rajputana Rifles. After independence they were one of the regiments allocated to the Indian Army.

48th Pioneers

The 48th Pioneers were an infantry regiment of the British Indian Army. They could trace their origins to 1901, when they were raised as the 48th (Pioneers) Bengal Infantry.

During World War I the regiment was part of 6th (Poona) Division and was captured in its entirety at the Siege of Kut. A 2/48th Pioneers was reformed in Mesopotamia in May 1916, renumbered 48th Pioneers in June, and attached to 15th Indian DivisionAfter World War I the Indian government reformed the army moving from single battalion regiments to multi battalion regiments. In 1921, the 48th Pioneers now became the 4th Battalion, 2nd Bombay Pioneers.

Al-Gharraf River

The Gharraf Canal, Shaṭṭ al-Ḥayy (Arabic: شط الحي), also known as Shaṭṭ al-Gharrāf (Arabic: شط الغرّاف) or the Hai river, is an ancient canal in Iraq that connects the Tigris at Kut al Amara with the Euphrates east of Nasiryah. As an Ottoman position lay along the canal, it, was one of the objectives of intense military action during the First World War during the siege of Kut (December 1915 to April 1916). The Turks surrounded and besieged General Townsend's British Empire forces which occupied Kut. The Shatt al-Hayy was picked by the Ottoman Army as an advantage point as part of that siege.The Turks attacked a British force commanded by General Booking at Al-Gharraf River (Shatt al-Hai) on 7 February 1916 The Battle of Hanna,took place nearby in January 1916 when the Turks repelled a British attack.The Battle of Dujaila, also took place east of the Al-Gharraf in March 1916 with a similar result. These battles were between the forces of the Ottoman Empire (Turkey) and those of the British Empire (including many Indian troops.) In both of these battles the Anglo-Indian relief force were trying to relieve the British forces in the city of Kut. One of the reasons the British had decided to defend Kut was that the canal was considered as a possible route for the Turks or the Anglo-Indian Force to transport troops between the Tigris and Euphrates and vice versa. By 20 May 1916 the British occupied the right (south) bank of the Tigris as far west as the Al-Gharraf, clearing it of Turkish forces, but had not yet recaptured Kut. They were able to cross to the other side on 13 December 1916. The Turks evacuated Kut on 24 February 1917.The book of the Fall of the Ottomans is all about the different battles the Ottoman Empire took part in until defeat.

Between 1934 and 1939, the Kut Barrage was constructed in the Tigris to control the water level of the river and to provide a constant inflow of water to the Shatt al-Hayy.

Can Atilla

Can Atilla (born in 1969) is a Turkish musician and composer of electronic, ethnic, orchestral and new age music. Graduated from Hacettepe University Ankara State Conservatory in 1990 with a BA degree in violin, he has composed several studio albums as well as numerous scores for films, plays and television series. Although his earlier works fall in the category of electronic music, starting from mid 2000's he started to compose in more traditional style and gained reputation with his epic Empire Pentalogy, which consists of 5 Ottoman-era themed albums (Cariyeler ve Geceler, 1453 - Sultanlar Aşkına, Aşk-ı Hürrem, Altın Çağ, 1453 - Fatih Aşkına) that he produced during the years between 2005 and 2012. Can Atilla is widely regarded as a pioneer in Turkish electronic and new age music.He composed "Diriliş" (Resurrection), the official music for the 90th anniversary of the Turkish parliament in 2010. In 2016, he composed 17 tracks for the musical stage play titled Kut al-Amara Dramatic Show with Documents. The play celebrates the 100th anniversary of the Ottoman victory over the British in the Siege of Kut during the First World War.

Charles Melliss

Major General Sir Charles John Melliss, (12 September 1862 – 6 June 1936) was a British Army officer of the late 19th and early 20th centuries and a recipient of the Victoria Cross, the highest award for gallantry in the face of the enemy that can be awarded to British and Commonwealth forces. A staff officer in the Mesopotamian Campaign of the First World War, he was captured after the Siege of Kut.

Henry Petre

Henry Aloysius Petre, DSO, MC (12 June 1884 – 24 April 1962) was an English solicitor who became Australia's first military aviator and a founding member of the Australian Flying Corps, the predecessor of the Royal Australian Air Force. Born in Essex, Petre forsook his early legal career to pursue an interest in aviation, building his own aeroplane and gaining employment as an aircraft designer and pilot. In 1912, he answered the Australian Defence Department's call for pilots to form an aviation school, and was commissioned as a lieutenant in the Australian Military Forces. The following year, he chose the site of the country's first air base at Point Cook, Victoria, and established its inaugural training institution, the Central Flying School, with Eric Harrison.

Shortly after the outbreak of World War I, Petre was appointed commander of the Mesopotamian Half Flight, the first unit of the newly formed Australian Flying Corps to see active service. He led the Half Flight through the Battles of Es Sinn and Ctesiphon, and the Siege of Kut. His actions in the Middle East earned him the Distinguished Service Order, the Military Cross, and four mentions in despatches. Transferring to the Royal Air Force as a major in 1918, he commanded No. 75 Squadron before retiring from the military the following year. Petre resumed his legal practice in England, and continued to fly recreationally until his death in 1962, aged seventy-seven. He was married to racing driver Kay Petre.

Humphrey Osbaldston Brooke Firman

Humphrey Osbaldston Brooke Firman VC (24 November 1886 – 24 April 1916) was an English recipient of the Victoria Cross, the highest and most prestigious award for gallantry in the face of the enemy that can be awarded to British and Commonwealth forces.

Firman was born in 1886 to H. B. Firman, J.P., of New Malden, Surrey. When he was 29 years old, and a lieutenant in the Royal Navy during the First World War, he was awarded the Victoria Cross for his deeds on the night of 24 April 1916 in Mesopotamia in an attempt to resupply the forces trapped in the Siege of Kut. He was killed in action.

Kut

Al-Kūt (Arabic: الكوت‎ Al Kūt), also spelled Kut al-Imara or Kut El Amara, is a city in eastern Iraq, on the left bank of the Tigris River, about 160 kilometres (99 miles) south east of Baghdad. As of 2003 the estimated population is about 374,000 people. It is the capital of the province long known as Al Kut, but since the 1960s renamed Wasit.

The old town of Kut is within a sharp "U" bend of the river, almost making it an island but for a narrow connection to the shore. For centuries Kut was a regional center of the carpet trade. The area around Kut is a fertile cereal grain growing region. The Baghdad Nuclear Research Facility, looted following the 2003 invasion of Iraq, is located near Kut.

The Kut Barrage was constructed in the city in the 1930s to provide irrigation water for the surrounding area. The barrage supports a road and includes a lock for boats passing up and down the Tigris. Its purpose is to maintain a sufficiently high water level in the Tigris to provide water for the Gharraf irrigation canal.

In 1952, 26,440 hectares (65,300 acres) were irrigated from water provided by the Gharraf Canal. Of this newly reclaimed land, 14,080 hectares (34,800 acres) was distributed to small farmers as part of a social land reform program. These farmers received 10 hectares (25 acres) per family and were required to live on the land they farmed. In 2005, repairs and maintenance works were carried out at the Kut Barrage and the Gharraf Head Regulator for a total cost of US$3 million.

Mesopotamian campaign

The Mesopotamian campaign was a campaign in the Middle Eastern theatre of World War I fought between the Allies represented by the British Empire, mostly troops from Britain, Australia and British India, and the Central Powers, mostly of the Ottoman Empire.

Ottoman Iraq

Ottoman Iraq refers to the period of the history of Iraq when the region was ruled by the Ottoman Empire (1534–1704 and 1831–1920).

Before reforms (1534–1704), Iraq was divided into four eyalets (provinces):

Baghdad Eyalet

Shahrizor Eyalet

Basra Eyalet

Mosul EyaletOttoman Iraq was later (1831–1920) divided into the three vilayets (provinces):

Mosul Vilayet

Baghdad Vilayet

Basra VilayetDuring World War I, an invasion of the region was undertaken by British Empire forces and was known as the Mesopotamian campaign. Fighting commenced with the Battle of Basra in 1914 and continued for the duration of the war. The most notable action was the Siege of Kut, which resulted in the surrender of the British and British Indian Army garrison of the town in April 1916, after a siege of 147 days. Of the 11,800 Allied soldiers who survived to be made prisoners, 4,250 died of disease or at the hands of their Ottoman guards during captivity.

Patrick Hehir

Major-General Sir Patrick Hehir KCIE CB CMG FRCPE FRCSE FRSE (1859–1937) was a British military surgeon. He served in the Indian Medical Service (IMS) and as the Principal Medical Officer to the army of the Nizam of Hyderabad. During the 148 day Siege of Kut he suffered alongside the troops and wrote extensively on the topic of prolonged starvation.

Second Battle of Kut

The Second Battle of Kut was fought on 23 February 1917, between British and Ottoman forces at Kut, Mesopotamia (present-day Iraq).

The battle was part of the British advance to Baghdad begun in December 1916 by a 50,000-man British force (mainly from British India) organised in two army corps.

The British, led by Frederick Stanley Maude, recaptured the city, but the Ottoman garrison there did not get trapped inside (as had happened to Townshend's troops in the previous year when the Ottomans had besieged Kut in the Siege of Kut): the Ottoman commander, Kâzım Karabekir Bey, managed a good-order retreat from the town of his remaining soldiers (about 2,500), pursued by a British fluvial flotilla along the Tigris River.

The British advance wore off on 27 February at Aziziyeh, some 100 kilometers (62 mi) beyond Kut. After three days' worth of supplies had been accumulated, Maude continued his march toward Baghdad.

Sir Fenton Aylmer, 13th Baronet

Lieutenant-General Sir Fenton John Aylmer, 13th Baronet, VC, KCB (5 April 1862 – 3 September 1935) was an Anglo-Irish recipient of the Victoria Cross. He was in command of the first failed efforts to break the siege of Kut in 1916. From a military background, Aylmer was commissioned into the Indian Army, and immediately involved in fierce fighting on the north-west frontier. In a singularly heroic action, still in his twenties, he helped rescue Townshend's garrison at Chitral, spearheading the relief column. For his valorous conduct he was awarded the Victoria Cross, and rapid promotion through the officer class.

Tigris 1916 (Battle honour)

Tigris 1916 was a battle honour awarded to units of the British and Imperial Armies that took part in the ultimately unsuccessful attempt to relieve the Siege of Kut in the Mesopotamian Campaign of the Great War. Battles included:

Battle of Hanna

Battle of Dujaila

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