The siege of Kut is a very important event in the history of the Ottoman Empire. In order to fully understand the real story, we have another article, which tells the background of the Siege of Kut. We recommend please read the article to fully understand the history completely. Click here
On November 3rd, the forces of the British reached Kut-Al-Amara. Although, Indian Division substantiated there but the troops of Ottoman blockade them. Nurettin bey asked Townshend to relinquish but the British commanders were not ready to give up. At that time, on December 7, Goltz reached to Baghdad and also Approached to Kut-Al-Amara to check the situation. Goltz was appointed as the new commander of 6th army but Nurettin bey thought that Goltz was a non-Muslim commander in the area, it would not leave a good impact on the people. He also told to Istanbul that Ottoman forces had the power to encounter British forces. Nurettin wanted to attack British forces within no time but Goltz opinion was that it would prove wrong so they both disagreed with each other’s opinion about taking steps.
British forces retreated Ottoman forces by the order of Nurettin Bey. So, Ottoman troops had to face much loss. So, Goltz discharged Nurettin on his wrong step. And appointed Khalil Pasha as the 6th Army Commander in place of Nurettin Bey.
Changing the War Conditions and Nature effect
Khalil pasha kept on fighting with the forces came from Basra. The British commander made deep trenches and bar all around the city to save his army from the troops coming from the riverside. The commander of British forces, General Nixon dismissed the Colonel Fenton John Alymer and dispatched to the help of Townshend. British colonel continued to pass over the defence line of Ottomans from January to March in 1916. But he had to suffer many troubles and he pulled back his army, Due to this, a new commander General Percy Lake was appointed.
The troops were continuously facing the burning sun. As the crusade was happening in the rivers of Euphrates Tigris so the troops had to face many floods which disorganized the units of forces. They also face the contagious diseases through mosquitoes. The commander of 6th Army Goltz also suffer from Typhus and due to this, he died in Baghdad. Then on 22nd April 1916, the new commander of Khalil Bey was appointed as Brigadier General and Governor of Iraq.
Offers by British and General Townshend
General Townshend received three letters from Nurettin Bey and Khalil Pasha who asked for him to surrender and to accept the retreat but he refused. But the troops of the British were facing many problems due to hunger and contagious diseases. So, the British commander sent an offer that they will surrender but their troops will be free, the ottoman forces will take over only on the armour of British and Khalil Bey also gave a cheque of one million pounds to British army but Pasha did not accept the offer as he said is it a joke? because the ammunition of the British after the war had no use for them.
After this, the British sent the second offer with the help of Lawrence of Arabia who was the secret agent of British. In the 2nd offer, the British army had decided to pay 2 million pounds to Ottomans but the other requisitions remained unchanged.
In Kut, the last attempt to assist the British army was that they will be provided with the foods and armour and will send “Julnar” the Steamboats otherwise the ship will assist the Ottomans. At that time ,in Kut-Al-Amara British were slaughtering their horses for food due to hunger.
How Captured Generals treated by Ottoman Empire
The British troops Although facing the problems of food shortage and contagious disease and lack of armour. On April 1916, the surrendered themselves with 13,309 troops which were including 6 Generals and 476 officers. But Khalil Pasha freed Townshend and called him as a guest of Sultan. The imprisoned soldiers of British were sent to Anatolia and later on, his officers sent them to Istanbul. In November 1918 after the end of World War 1, they kept Townshend as a deport in Hyderabad and Buyukada for 2.5 years. Townshend was considered as a guest but not as a prisoner because he was the officer of highest ranked of British as he participated in many truces. After his exile, Townshend met his wife and his daughter at London in 1919. In this way, the siege of Kut-Al-Amara became the cause of the dismissing the career of Townshend.
Although, Ottoman empire embrace victory in Iraq. Later on, the British army once again attacked Kut-Al-Amara with 50,000 army. So, they besieged on 11 March 1917 on Kut-Al-Amara.
After the ordinance, the commander who besieged the Kut-Al-Amara received the Surname of Kut. Later on, Major Clement Attlee becomes the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1945 to 1951.