COLONEL GERARD LEACHMAN: IRAQ 1920

March 26, 2008 at 3:28 am | Posted in Arabs, Books, Globalization, History, Iraq, Islam, Middle East, United Kingdom, World-system | Leave a comment

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Colonel Gerard Leachman

At the Triumph Leader Museum, which houses a collection of gifts given to Saddam Hussein over the years, curators had removed things from the display cases and squirrelled them away for safekeeping, although it was doubtful how safe anything would be anywhere in Baghdad once the bombs began to fall.

I went to the museum to take another look at the gun that had been used in 1920 to assassinate Colonel Gerard Leachman, a British officer who spent the First World War in the deserts of what was then Mesopotamia, leading Bedouins in skirmishes against the Ottoman Turks. By 1920, after the League of Nations gave the British a “mandate” to govern what was now referred to as Iraq, Leachman was trying to subdue restive Arab tribesmen. He advocated “wholesale slaughter” as the only really effective method, and in present-day Iraq his assassin, Sheikh Dhari, is remembered as a hero and a patriot. The Sheikh’s descendants gave his gun to Saddam as a birthday present a few years ago.

The March 6th issue of the Iraq Daily, a badly translated English-language newspaper produced by the Ministry of Information, carried the usual stories giving the government’s spin on events, including an editorial with the headline “the U.S. army generals dream of the British vanished empire.” The editorialist referred to Britain’s calamitous twentieth-century military adventures in Iraq and suggested that the Americans would share a similar fate: “We have prepared for you a nice and comfortable grave next to your inferior Stanley Maude”—the British general who captured Baghdad from the Ottomans in 1917 and died there while attempting to impose some kind of order on Mesopotamia’s Sunnis, Shiites, Kurds, Jews, and various tribes and clans. The curator who was called to assist me at the Triumph Leader Museum seemed to share the editorialist’s point of view. She asked me where I was from, and when I told her she taunted me with a little rhyme:

Welcome, U.S.A., go away.” But another curator was more sympathetic. He said he would fetch the gun, and he went down some stairs and returned in a few minutes, along with several uniformed guards, carrying a long-barrelled bolt-action rifle. It was, the curator explained, a Brno rifle made under license in Persia, specially for long-distance precision marksmen. He pointed out some Farsi script on the barrel, and the numbered sight for calibrating distance. “This,” he said, smiling, “is the rifle that killed Colonel Leachman.” I admired it for a few minutes, and the gun was taken away again.

Colonel Leachman was a contemporary of T. E. Lawrence, and, like Lawrence, he became famous for his exploits in the desert, living among the Arabs and accomplishing great feats of endurance and daring. Lawrence was more celebrated than Leachman, largely because of Lowell Thomas’s razzmatazz presentation of his story, and because Lawrence lived to write his memoirs, but Leachman was a heroic figure, and news of his murder both inspired the Arab tribes to revolt and horrified the British public, which was already having second thoughts about the occupation of the Middle East. Leachman had come to Mesopotamia in 1907, after serving in the Boer War and then in India. He spent a short time in the cosmopolitan society of Westerners in the cities of Basra and Baghdad, but he made his reputation moving among the tribes of the Euphrates. He wore traditional Arab garments and rode horses and camels on long trips across desolate, unmapped landscapes, reporting back on the intrigues among tribal chieftains during the last days of the Ottoman Empire.

Leachman was a severe man, and by the time of the armistice, in 1918, he had survived many savage battles and many attempts on his life. After the war, he was ruthless in putting down Arab uprisings. The British used aerial bombardments as a cost-efficient method of controlling the resentful tribes, and Leachman was especially feared for his ideas about quelling disorder. In August, 1920, he drove west from Baghdad toward the town of Al Fallujah, about forty miles away, to meet with Sheikh Dhari, perhaps to negotiate the waiver of a loan to the Sheikh, who had thus far not participated in the Arab rebellion. Exactly what happened that day is unclear, but the British tended to believe that Leachman was shot in the back at a police post, and that he had been set up.

Sheikh Dhari’s descendants, the family who donated the rifle to Saddam, still live in the village of Khandhari, on the old road to Al Fallujah, which runs alongside the superhighway linking Baghdad and Amman. I was taken there by a new government minder, who replaced the truant Khalid. The village is about halfway to Al Fallujah, which is now the site of a complex of industrial facilities under intermittent scrutiny by U.N. weapons inspectors. Chemical weapons were produced at Al Fallujah during the nineteen-eighties and nineties and may or may not have been made inoperative or harmless. We stopped in front of the Khandhari mosque, a yellow brick building with an ornately tiled turquoise-yellow-and-green minaret.

The mosque is almost directly across the road from the Abu Ghraib prison, and we could see a huge portrait of Saddam wearing black gangster garb next to the prison’s main gate. Officially, the prison has been empty since last October, but I had heard that it is up and running again. A dusty bazaar was nearby, with sidewalk venders and truckstop teahouses. It was not hard to imagine the place as an old caravanserai, or way station, in the days of camels and horse carts.

Sheikh Dhari’s family was at noon prayers in the mosque, and we waited for them for about an hour. Three old men in traditional robes and checked head scarves came out—the Sheikh’s grandsons—and the minder explained that I had come to hear their family’s story of the killing of Leachman. They invited me to their home, a couple of low buildings surrounded by date palms just off the main road, and led me into the diwaniya, a long rectangular meeting room lined with tea tables and cheaply tapestried sofas and chairs. The three elders—Sheikh Muther Khameez Al-Dhari, seventy-one; Sheikh Abdul Wahab Khameez Al-Dhari, seventy-two; and Sheikh Taher Khameez Al-Dhari, seventy-five—pulled up chairs next to me. Sheikh Muther, a hefty, mostly toothless man, spoke first. He belted out his version of the famous story in a truculent tone, and his brothers immediately indicated that they disagreed with him. The eldest, Sheikh Taher, a distinguished-looking man with a fine gold-embroidered robe and decorated walking stick, looked at his brother stonily and said nothing. Sheikh Abdul Wahab turned away from Taher and rolled his eyes. Muther stomped out angrily, but he returned a few moments later. Abdul Wahab then took the floor but was soon interrupted by Muther. This was all going on in Arabic, with my minder, Muslim, finding it quite beyond his abilities to translate, but I heard the name Leachman mentioned a lot. Muslim wrote down what they said, and occasionally asked them questions, but he seemed bewildered. “They are old men, and each has his story,” he said. The bickering continued. Finally, wordlessly and with a great display of dignity, Taher removed himself, walking away to sit with some other relatives in the room. A dozen or so sons and nephews and grandsons of the old sheikhs had gathered to listen, and, as their elders quarrelled, they smiled and shook their heads.

One of the younger relatives, who spoke English, sat down next to me. He said that his name was Abdul Razaq, and he asked me whether I was a Christian or a Jew. When I told him that I was of Christian origin, he smiled with relief. “I am glad,” he said. “I don’t like Jews.” Abdul Razaq pointed to an old black-and-white photograph on the wall near a portrait of Saddam Hussein. The photograph was of Sheikh Dhari, he said. The face had been crudely touched up to represent an angelic-looking man, rather like the old-fashioned renderings of Joseph in illustrated bible stories for children. His hands were folded pacifically on his knees. Like his grandsons, he was bearded and wore a robe and a head scarf.

During a lunch of rice, red beans, grilled chicken, and salad, served on a tablecloth laid out on the floor, Muslim gave me the gist of what the old men had said. They claimed that Leachman was thwarting efforts by several sheikhs in the Middle Euphrates, including Sheikh Dhari, to gain independence from British rule. Leachman had accused the sheikh of supporting a gang of bandits and had made a rendezvous with him at a police station near the sheikh’s home. Sheikh Dhari went to the meeting, but he brought several relatives with him. The two men quarrelled, and while they were standing at the doorway, the Sheikh signalled his relatives to shoot. Leachman was wounded in the leg, and Sheikh Dhari stabbed him with his sword and killed him. Sheikh Dhari fled to Turkey, and the Arab tribes revolted. A price was put on the sheikh’s head. He was captured a few years later by a British spy and brought back to Baghdad, where he died in a hospital after being injected with poison.

This version of events is remarkably similar to the way the story was told in “Clash of Loyalties,” a film made by British and Iraqi producers in 1983. Leachman, played by Oliver Reed, is a drunken, cold-hearted cynic who says things like “Killing and intimidation are my job, and I do it well.” Sheikh Dhari is a tragic hero. He gallops off into exile after his daring feat, but years later, when he is old and sick, he is lured back to Iraq, betrayed, and murdered. In the final scene, the sheikh’s casket is followed by thousands of angry mourners who pass by the British Legation, where diplomats look on smugly. The image right before the credits shows spouting oil wells and flames.

Back in the diwaniya, over tea, Sheikh Muther became agitated. “Leachman was trying to make war between the people in Iraq in order to get what he wanted,” he yelled. “Tell America not to attack! I am a warrior just like Sheikh Dhari, and I will defend my country bravely.” He chuckled and grinned and grabbed me in an affectionate-seeming embrace. Once our clinch was broken, I asked Muther what lessons the Americans should draw from the British experience, and Abdul Razaq spoke up. “We learned many lessons about how to defend ourselves from any kind of occupation. The Americans and British cannot occupy Iraq. Nobody can occupy Iraq.”

Abdul Razaq invited me to go with him to where Leachman was killed, in an old yellow brick building with arched windows and a single doorway, set back from the road amid eucalyptus trees and a warren of mud hovels. It had been the Turkish police station, he said, and during Leachman’s time it was requisitioned by the British. A family was living there now, and I saw a young man and a few small children inside. A central passageway led past dark, vaulted chambers to a courtyard paved with stones. Beyond several arches lay a kind of open stable block, where a large white goose wandered around. Before we left the house, Abdul Razaq stopped me, just inside the great front door. “This is the spot where Leachman was killed—right here,” he said. Abdul Razaq pointed to an old tree that stood about a hundred feet away and said that was where the relatives with guns waited. I told him I was very impressed that Leachman could have been shot from such a distance, standing inside a darkened doorway, with Sheikh Dhari right next to him. Abdul Razaq smiled.

“Remember,” he said, “Iraqis are very good warriors.”

In late November, 1914, shortly after Britain declared war on the Ottoman Empire, a British expeditionary force seized Basra, and a few months later the British began moving north, toward Baghdad. They got within twenty-five miles of the city but then had to retreat to Kut, a village on the Tigris River. There, on December 3, 1915, they hunkered down, under siege from the Turks and their Arab allies. A few days later, Colonel Leachman, who had been covering the flanks of the retreating troops and was outside Kut, broke through Turkish lines to rescue some of his servants who were trapped in the village, including a young Indian boy who had become his constant companion. Leachman led a breakout with a few thousand cavalry troops. The rest of the army was not so lucky. Ten thousand British and Indian soldiers died between the start of the march on Baghdad and the surrender in Kut in April, 1916. Twenty-three thousand more troops died trying to rescue the trapped soldiers. The survivors of the siege were sent on a death march and were press-ganged into work as laborers on a railroad line. It had been the longest and most terrible siege in the history of the British Empire.

Kut is now an ugly, down-at-the-heels town of a few hundred thousand people. To get to it from Baghdad, you drive through a flat landscape of churned-up, trash-strewn brown earth and an industrial belt of scrubby factories that eventually merges into green fields of alfalfa and small farms and stands of date palms. When I drove there in mid-March, I saw hundreds of newly bulldozed snipers’ nests and sandbagged foxholes. They were fragile, rather pointless-looking defenses—a single shot from a tank would blow any one of them to smithereens. Not much else in the way of military preparation seemed to be going on. Just outside the large concrete arches and the military inspection post that serve as the gateway to Kut, we passed an army barracks where uniformed men who seemed to be recruits were being rallied at the roadside, but there was a desultory look to their activity.

Donkey carts carrying jerricans and fresh alfalfa bobbed along on the streets of Kut. It was a springlike morning, and as I waited outside the governor’s compound, where I had gone to ask permission to visit the British cemetery, I could hear children playing in a nearby schoolyard. The school let out, and a group of young boys came down the road, hopping in and out of recently dug foxholes. After an hour or so, some senior-looking officials emerged with my minder, Muslim, and we drove in a big loop around the town, past a stadium where soldiers were making more dugouts in the median strip of a boulevard, and into a scrubby area of the city, with tiny, badly built brick houses and raw sewage running down the streets. The British cemetery is a sunken square of land surrounded by buildings on three sides. A fence ran along the street in front of it, but the front gate was open, and I could see that the whole place was strewn with garbage, and about half of it was hidden behind a tall thicket of weeds. An inscription next to the front gate read, “Kut War Cemetery, 1914-1918.” As I stared in dismay, the man who had guided us from the governor’s office explained, through Muslim, that the poor state of the graveyard was the result of the U.N. sanctions and the lack of diplomatic relations with Great Britain. “The men who used to look after it, and who received salaries from the British, have gone,” he said. “That is the reason it looks like this.”

We clambered down to the cemetery grounds, over a huge pile of stinking rubbish. Women peering out of a window giggled and chattered. Some young boys sat on a wall, dangling their feet and staring at us. The stench of excrement was strong; in one spot the skin of a freshly slaughtered goat buzzed with flies. There was a dead tree with bicycle inner tubes caught in its branches. An unmarked obelisk at the center was splattered with black and yellow paint, and broken-off headstones lay everywhere. Those still standing and legible showed that most of the men who were buried here, English privates with surnames like Martin, Nicholls, Newton, and Rogers, had been killed at the height of the siege of Kut, between January and April of 1916.

When I was done poking around, I chatted with the official from the governor’s office and mentioned that ten thousand soldiers had died in Kut. He smiled. “And if the Americans invade you will see many of them killed at the borders with Iraq,” he said. “We are here, living in our homes, and we will defend ourselves and our country with courage, the same as people anywhere would do in our position.” I asked the officer his name. He told me, with some reluctance, that it was Hassan Al-Wazaty. When I asked him his rank, he laughed and demurred: “No rank. I am just one of the people of Iraq. We are all like soldiers now.”

Later, in a situation without minders or translators, I told a man who is highly placed in Baghdad that I had seen trenches and foxholes on the road to Kut, and he laughed. That was just to keep people busy doing things, he said. It was obvious that the regime did not intend to defend anything but Baghdad itself. The Republican Guard and the Special Republican Guard had been pulled to Baghdad from the south and the north and had been dispersed throughout the city, in civilian areas. This seemed like a foolhardy policy to him, but there it was. “If everything else is gone,” he said, “then why fight for Baghdad? What is the point in that?”

Colonel Leachman was buried in an unmarked grave in Al Fallujah, among the bodies of other soldiers who had fallen in the Arab rebellion. Leachman’s body was disinterred in 1921 and reburied in Baghdad, in the North Gate War Cemetery, in the Bab al Mouatham neighborhood.

The graveyard is a dusty fifteen-acre oblong with rows of regimental tombstones, and open spaces where the ashes of Muslim and Hindu soldiers lie. It is dotted with the odd plinth and funereal obelisk and bisected by a row of forlorn-looking date palms. The Turkish embassy is across the street. Several laborers were working on a new guardhouse when Khalid, the minder who was soon to abscond to his home in Karbala, and I visited. One of the laborers unlocked the gate and pointed to General Maude’s imposing domed stone mausoleum at the center of the grounds. “That’s where most of the visitors go,” he said. We walked toward it, passing an obelisk inscribed with the message, in English and Sanskrit, “God is One—His is the Victory: In Memory of the brave Hindus and Sikhs who sacrificed their lives in the Great War for their King and their Country.” Etched into a large limestone plinth nearby were the words “Their Name Liveth for Evermore.”

Some of the headstones had broken off, and lay toppled and neglected. Those still standing were etched with Christian crosses and regimental insignias: an elephant and palm for the Ceylon Sanitary Corps, a castle standard for the Essex Regiments, and a stag’s head for the Seaforth Highlanders. The headstone for 201775 Private S. Brown of the Dorsetshire Regiment, who died on September 28, 1917, at the age of twenty-five, bore the words “Peace, Perfect Peace.” Many of the graves were anonymous and were inscribed with the same message: “Four Soldiers of the Great War—Known Unto God.” The casket in General Maude’s mausoleum bore the epitaph “He Fought a Good Fight and Kept the Faith.” A plaque identifying him was covered with graffito markings in Arabic, the names of Iraqi boys: Jassim, Muhammad, Shakir . . .

As we were walking out of the cemetery, we passed an obelisk with the inscription “Here are the honoured Turkish soldiers who fell for their country in the Great War, 1914-1918.” When I pointed this out to Khalid, he seemed confused, and I explained that the obelisk had been erected by the British to honor their enemies. He smirked. “So, the British have honor!” he said, and he walked away, then turned back. “Maybe they will do the same for us, after they have killed us. Thank you very much.”

(Jon Lee Anderson, Letter from Baghdad, also “Fall of Baghdad, 2004 book)

Colonel Gerard Evelyn Leachman:

Brevet Lieut.-Colonel Gerard Evelyn Leachman CIE DSO (1880August 12, 1920), was a British soldier and intelligence officer who travelled extensively in Arabia.

Leachman was commissioned into the Royal Sussex Regiment and served in India and in the Boer War. He spent most of his career as a political officer in Iraq, where he was instrumental in pacifying warring tribes to bring stability to the new country. Leachman also made various expeditions further south into Arabia, where he contacted Ibn Sa’ud on behalf of the British government. He travelled as a naturalist of the Royal Geographical Society, but was in fact a British agent.

With his dark, Semitic looks and skill at riding a camel, Leachman was easily able to pass as Bedouin and often travelled incognito.

Leachman’s first major expedition south into the Arabian Peninsula was in 1909, during which he was involved in a ferocious battle between the Anaiza and Shammar tribes near Ha’il. He was awarded Macgregor Memorial medal for reconnaissance in 1910. In 1912 Leachman made a second expedition with the intention of crossing the Rub Al Khali, but was refused permission by Ibn Sa’ud when he reached Riyadh and instead went to Hasa. He was the first Briton to be received by Ibn Sa’ud in his home city.

In December, 1915, during the Siege of Kut, the British commanding officer, Major General Charles Townshend, ordered Leachman to save the British cavalry by breaking out and riding south. This he did and the cavalry were the only British unit to escape before the fall of the city to the Ottomans.

Leachman was close to Gertrude Bell‘s friend Fahd Bey and fought with the Muntafiq tribal federation. After the war, he was made first military governor of Kurdistan. He was murdered by Sheikh Dhari, a tribal leader, near Fallujah on August 12, 1920.

He was played by Oliver Reed in al-Mas’ Ala Al-Kubra (1983), a film financed by Saddam Hussein.

References

  • A Paladin of Arabia. The Biography of Brevet Lieut.-Colonel G. E. Leachman, N.N.E.Bray, Unicorn Press (1936). ISBN 0-7103-0976-7

  • Travellers in Arabia, Eid Al Yahya, Stacey International (2006). ISBN 0 9552 1931 0 (9780955219313)

  • OC Desert; the life of Lieutenant-Colonel Gerard Leachman, H.V.F. Winstone, Quartet (1982). ISBN 0704323303

The Siege of Kut was a major battle of World War I. It was part of the Mesopotamian Campaign (in what is now Iraq). The British Empire‘s Mesopotamian Expeditionary Force (MEF) was defeated by Ottoman forces.

Kut-al-Amara is a town on the Tigris, where it meets the ancient Shatt al-Hai canal. It is 350 km upstream from Basra and around 170 km from Baghdad. In 1915 its population was around 6,500.

The 6th (Poona) Division of the Indian Army, under Major-General Charles Townshend, had fallen back to the town of Kut after retreating from Ctesiphon. The British Empire forces arrived at Kut around December 3, 1915. They had suffered significant losses and were down to around 11,000 soldiers (plus cavalry). General Townshend chose to stay and hold the position at Kut instead of continuing the march downriver towards Basra. Kut offered a good defensive position, it was contained within a long loop of the river. The problem was how to get supplies. Kut was a long way from Basra. In retrospect, Townshend’s decision to stay at Kut was a disastrous one.

The siege

The pursuing Ottoman forces arrived on December 7, 1915. Once it became clear the Turks had enough forces to lay siege to Kut, Townshend ordered his cavalry to escape south, which it did, led by Colonel Gerard Leachman. The Ottoman forces numbered around 11,000 men and were commanded by the respected but old German General and military historian Baron von der Goltz. Goltz knew the Turkish army well as he had spent 12 years working on modernizing the Ottoman army from 1883 to 1895. After three attacks in December, Goltz directed the building of siege fortifications facing Kut. He also, like Caesar at Alisia, prepared for an attack from Basra, using the Tigris River, by building defensive positions further down the river.

After a month of siege, Townshend wanted to break-out and withdraw southwards but his Commander, Sir John Nixon saw value in tying down the Ottoman forces in a siege. However, when Townshend — inaccurately — reported only one month of food remained, a rescue force was hastily raised. It is not clear why Townshend reported he only had enough food for one month when he actually had food for more than four months (although at a reduced level).

Relief expeditions

The first relief expedition comprised some 19,000 men under General Aylmer and it headed up the river from Ali Gharbi in January 1916. It was badly mauled in three clashes in January (Sheikh Sa’ad, Wadi and Hanna). At this point Khalil Pasha (the Ottoman commander of the whole region) came to the battle, bringing with him a further 20,000 to 30,000 reinforcements.

Following the defeat of Aylmer’s expedition, General Nixon was replaced as supreme commander by Percy Lake. More forces were sent to bolster Aylmer’s troops. He tried again, attacking the Dujaila redoubt on March 8. This attack failed at a cost of 4,000 men. General Aylmer was dismissed and replaced with George Gorringe on March 12.

The relief attempt by Gorringe is usually termed the First Battle of Kut. The British Empire forces numbered about 30,000 soldiers, roughly equal to the Ottomans. The battle began on April 5 and the British soon captured Fallahiyeh but with heavy losses, Bait Asia was taken on April 17. The final effort was against Sannaiyat on April 22. The Allies were unable to take Sannaiyat and suffered some 1,200 casualties in the process.

The relief efforts had all failed at a cost of around 23,000 Allied killed or wounded. Ottoman casualties are believed to be around 10,000. The Turks also lost the aid of Baron von der Goltz. He died on April 19 supposedly of typhoid but the rumor at the time was that he was poisoned by some of his Turkish officers. It is a fact that there was no German commander in Mesopotamia for the rest of the war.

Surrender of the British army

British leaders attempted to buy their troops out. Aubrey Herbert and T. E. Lawrence were part of a team of officers sent to negotiate a secret deal with the Turks. The British offered £2 million and promised they would not fight the Turks again, in exchange for Townshend’s troops. Enver Pasha ordered that this offer be rejected. [1]

The British also asked for help from the Russians. General Baratov, with his largely Cossack force of 20,000 was in Persia at the time. Following the request he advanced towards Baghdad in April 1916 but turned back when news reached him of the surrender.[2]

General Townshend arranged a ceasefire on the 26th and, after failed negotiations, he simply surrendered on April 29, 1916 after a siege of 147 days. Around 13,000 Allied soldiers survived to be made prisoners. 70% of the British and 50% of the Indian troops died of disease or at the hands of the Turkish guards during captivity. Townshend himself was taken the island of Malki on the Sea of Marmara, to sit out the war in luxury.

In British Army battle honours, the siege of Kut is named as “Defence of Kut Al Amara”.

Aftermath

James Morris, a British historian, described the loss of Kut as “the most abject capitulation in Britain’s military history.” After this humilitating loss, General Lake and General Gorringe were removed from command. The new commander was General Maude, who trained and organised his army and then launched a successful campaign which captured Baghdad on March 11, 1917. With Baghdad captured, the British administration undertook vital reconstruction of the war-torn country. Kut was slowly rebuilt as a memorial to those who had died in its defence, while those citizens who had lost family in the siege received funds for the reconstruction of their homes[3]. In a few short months the city of Kut was reborn with a growing population of two hundred [3].

 

References

  1. David Fromkin, A Peace to End all Peace, p. 201

  2. Cyril Falls, The Great War, p. 249

  3. Howell, Georgina. Daughter of the Desert: The Remarkable Life of Gertrude Bell. London: Macmillan, 2006. p. 311

Sources and further reading

  • Barber, Major Charles H. Besieged in Kut – and After Blackwood, 1917

  • Braddon, Russell The Siege Cape, 1969 / Viking Adult, 1970 ISBN 0-670-64386-6

  • Dixon, Dr. Norman F. On the Psychology of Military Incompetence Jonathan Cape Ltd 1976 / Pimlico 1994 pp95–109

  • Harvey, Lt & Q-Mr. F. A. The Sufferings of the Kut Garrison During Their March Into Turkey as Prisoners of War 1916–1917 Ludgershall, Wilts: The Adjutants’s Press, 1922

  • Keegan, John (1998). The First World War. Random House Press.

  • Long, P. W. Other Ranks of Kut Williams & Norgate, 1938

  • Mouseley, Capt. E. O. The Secrets of a Kuttite: An Authentic Story of Kut, Adventures in Captivity & Stamboul Intrigue Bodley Head, 1921

  • Sandes, Major E. W. C. In Kut & Captivity with the Sixth Indian Division Murray, 1919

  • Strachan, Hew (2003). The First World War, pp 125. Viking (published by the Penguin Group).

  • Wilcox, Ron (2006) Battles on the Tigris. Pen and Sword Military.

  • Mons, Anzac & Kut by Aubrey Herbert

Colonel Gerard Evelyn Leachman

Comment:

Hitchcock’s 1936 thriller, “The Secret Agent” has the Battle of Kut 1915/1916 and the surrender at Kut of Charles Townsend as its backdrop.

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