Battle of Shaiba

The Battle of Shaiba was fought between British and Ottoman forces from 12 to 14 April 1915. Ottoman forces wanted to take over the city of Basra. Suleiman Askeri, the Ottoman commander, had at his disposal 18.000 soldiers. 14.000 of them were regular soldiers. The rest were members of the Istanbul Fire Brigade Regiment and Kurds and Arabs. The commander chose to attack British forces southwest of Basra, around Shaiba. The area was hard for the movement, because floods turned into the lake, so they had to travel via boats. 

The British had 7.000 soldiers, but they were in a fortified camp. They were sounded by barb wire and trenches. On 12th April, at 5 a.m., the Ottomans started the bombardment. At the end of the day, they tried to crawl through gaps in the British defense lines, but they were repulsed. The next day, Ottomans forces withdraw to the Barjisiyeh Wood. 

Some of the Arabs and Ottomans soldiers tried to slip around Shaiba. General Melliss, sent 104th Wellesley's Rifles and 7th Hariana Lancers to attack Arabs, but those attacks were failures. Then, General Melliss attacked them with 24th Punjabis and 2nd Dorsets. They captured 400 Arab soldiers and disperse the rest. After this, Arab forces left the battle. 

On April 14, the British forces attacked the Ottomans on the Barjisiyeh Wood. The conflict started at 10 a.m. and lasted until 5 a.m. An hour before the end, the British forces were thirsty and low on ammunition. Ottoman forces showed no indications that they will give up. The Dorsets launched a bayonet attack. Ottoman forces were overwhelmed and they had to retreat. 

 

 

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