Samarrah Offensive

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Samarrah Offensive
Part of the Mesopotamian Campaign of World War I
DateMarch 13 — April 23, 1917
North of Baghdad, present-day Iraq
Result British victory.

 British Empire

 Ottoman Empire
Commanders and leaders
United Kingdom of Great Britain and IrelandFrederick Stanley Maude Ottoman EmpireKhalil Pasha,
Ottoman EmpireAli İhsan Sâbis
45,000 10,000 (Khalil),
15,000 (Ali Ishan)
Casualties and losses
(+ 37,000 sick)[1]

The Samarrah Offensive (March 13 – April 23, 1917) was launched by the British against the Ottomans as part of the Mesopotamian Campaign in World War I.

After Baghdad fell to the British on March 11, 1917, there were still 10,000 Ottoman troops north of the city, led by Khalil Pasha, who could represent a threat to Anglo-Indian forces.

Furthermore, another 15,000 Ottomans under Ali Ihsan Bey were being driven out of Persia by the Russians, and were attempting at joining Khalil's forces in northern Iraq.

The British commander, Frederick Stanley Maude, decided that, in order to avert these threats, he had to take control of the Samarrah railroad, running 130 km (81 mi) north of Baghdad.

Operations began on March 13, carried forth by 45,000 British troops. On March 19, they conquered Fallujah, a crucial step toward the offensive's goal. The British continued their attacks until April 23, when the town of Samarrah and its railroad fell into their hands.

Although it achieved its aims, the Samarrah offensive cost the British about 18,000 casualties, a considerable price (plus another 38,000 who were taken ill).[1]

Further reading[edit]

  • Barker, A. J. The Bastard War: The Mesopotamian Campaign of 1914–1918. New York: Dial Press, 1967. OCLC 2118235
  • Tucker, Spencer C., ed. (2014). World War I: The Definitive Encyclopedia and Document Collection - 5 volumes. ABC-CLIO. ISBN 9781851099658.


  1. ^ a b c Tucker p 1411

External links[edit]