Battle of Ctesiphon: 22 November 1915 – 25 November 1915

The Battle of Ctesiphon was fought between the British Empire, together with British India, versus the Ottoman Empire. It was part of the Mesopotamian Campaign during the World War I. The Indian Expeditionary Force D, was led by Gen. Sir John Nixon. This unit was made from Indian soldiers. Since the landing at Al Faw, they met success in the Mesopotamian Campaign. The main reason, why the Mesopotamian Campaign had to happen was to protect the oil refinery. It was located at the mouth of the Shatt al-Arab. More precisely, it was located at Abadan. The British forces were led by General Townshend. They managed to successfully defend their position of Ottoman attacks (there were many small attacks). After a one year, of defeat, the Ottoman forces halted the British advance for two days at Ctesiphon.

The British wanted to separate the army into 4 columns. This was the Townshend's plan. Three columns of infantry: A, B and C were prepared for the frontal attack. They should attack several different points. The fourth column was made from infantry and cavalry. They should swing around the left flank. The attack Ottomans commander, Colonel Nureddin had 55 days to prepare the defense. He prepared it well. The units were deployed in L formation. The artillery should fire at British gunboats, and then on other units.

The 6th Division lost 4.600 soldiers. They sustained a casualty rate of 40%. Soldiers were exhausted but they had a strength of 8.500. Townshend realized that he must withdraw his army and rebuilt it. The battle was ended as: Ottomans victory (strategic) and tactically inconclusive. 

 

 

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