Today in Middle Eastern history: the Fall of Baghdad (1917)

The First Battle of Kut was as complete an Ottoman victory as you’re likely to find in World War I’s Middle Eastern theater, and it stands as one of the lowest points for the British military not just in that war, but ever. Following the disaster, the British army replaced its commander in Mesopotamia, Lt. General Percy Lake, with the newly arrived Lt. General Frederick Stanley Maude. It was Maude’s task to right the ship and restore both the British war effort in Iraq and, to some degree, Britain’s martial reputation in general. His successful capture of Baghdad less than a year later accomplished both.

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