Today in Middle Eastern history: the Surrender of Kut (1916)


Today is the anniversary of one of the worst military fiascos in British history, the surrender of the 6th division of the Indian Army to the Ottomans at the Iraqi town of Kut. Kut followed right on the heels of the Battle of Ctesiphon in November 1915, and its final result turned that indecisive battle into a major strategic Ottoman victory. While neither side got the better of the fighting at Ctesiphon, the Brits, owing to the zealous ineptitude of their commander, Major General Charles Townshend, were left in the far more challenging situation, having overextended their supply routes only to have their offensive blunted deep in enemy territory. Townshend, for reasons I assume made sense to him at the time, opted not to make a beeline for British territory after Ctesiphon, instead choosing to hole up at Kut and await reinforcements.

Source: Today in Middle Eastern history: the Surrender of Kut (1916)

Author: DWD

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