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Report on the Operations in the Vicinity of Shaiba 12th-14th April 1915. Simla: General Staff India, 1915. [‎18] (29/70)

The record is made up of 35 folios. It was created in 1915. It was written in English. The original is part of the British Library: India Office The department of the British Government to which the Government of India reported between 1858 and 1947. The successor to the Court of Directors. Records and Private Papers.


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sa sii(d
ln »» 4e
and Vo ^-<53 r d Battery
had only 5 gam.
Ffom personal observation shortly after dawn on 14th April 1915, from the . Re P ort on 0 P er ^
,Ki!n Post, considerable bodies of the enemy were seen in the direction of South [gl's. 0 * 14tn ?rl
Mound some 2-J miles south-west of Shaiba Fort, while the immediate vicinity
of the fort was practically clear of the enemy.
The exact whereabouts of the enemy's mVm force was uncertain. 4 0n the
12th April a large force had been reported to be at Old Basrah, while all reports
pointed to the Barjisiyah Woods being strongly held, but it was evident that the
enemy had been severely shaken by the action of the 13th Apri'. I decided
therefore to continue the offensive without awaiting the arrival of the remainder
of the 30th Brigade (2 battalions). These reinforcements' would, I was aware,
be necessarily delayed by the difficulty of transport through the area which is
inundated to a depth of from a to 4 feet and which extends for some 8 miles
between Shaiba and Basrah. Moreover the necessary line of advance to Shaiba
from Old Basrah had been, as I was aware, hitherto closed by the enemy, while
reports of withdrawal from Barjisiyah Wood in a north-west direction rendered
it desirable to advance without further delay.
I therefore ordered the whole force (less 104th Rifles, 48 h Pioneers
3 field guns as Gamp Garrison) to start at 9 A M. to engage the enemy w
ever found.
Operation Orders were issued accordingly. 300 rounds rifle ammunition and
«water pakhals were taken by the troops, who carried a havresack ratiDn,
The troops moved off at 9-30 A.M. in preparatory formation for Artillery
fire, the »6th Brigade, with the 23rd Mountain Battery, 22nd Company Sappers
and Miners and 24th Punjabis attached, moving with their left directed on a
point 300 yards to the west of South Mound, while the three Battalions of the 18th
Brigade, with 17th Company Sappers and Miners, moved off on the left of the
16th Brigade, echeloned back, left refused. The Cavalry Brigade was moved
wide on the right flank of the 16 th Brigade, detaching ^ Squadron to protect our
extreme left flank, guns in rear of centre and Divisional Headquarters with the
The 16th Brigade were directed on South Mound, with 18th Brigade refused
on my left, as I apprehended a possible attack from the direction of Old Basrah
or Zubair. The advance on South Mound took place under ineffective long
range rifle fire from the enemy's advanced troops—mostly mounted men who soon
gave way before our advance, South Mound being occupied and Divisional
Headquarters established there by 10-30 A.M.
It now became apparent that the enemy's main force was in position in the
vicinity of Barjisiyah Wood and that Old Basrah and Zubair were not strongly
held. I accordingly ordered the left of the 16th Brigade to be directed some
what north of the W'atch Tower while I ordered 2 battalions of the 18th Brigade
(2nd Battalion, Norfolk Regiment, and 120th Rajputana Infantry) to pass from
left to the right rear of the )6th Brigade and the remaining battalion of the 18th
Brigade (110th Mahratta Light Infantry) to remain echeloned on left of 16th
Brigade Whilst these movements were in progress I rode forward to where
the Cavalry Brigade were in position on my right flank, engaged in dismounted
fire action. From this point I endeavoured to make a reconnaissance of the
enemy's position but owing to the mirage this proved extremely difficult. It was
not possible to locate any of the enemy's trenches but I was able to determine
that his right extended as far south as the high Watch Tower, but where his
left rested I could not ascertain. On returning to Divisional Headquarters I
therefore ordered General Delamain to direct the left of his advance on the
Watch Tower and requested General Fry, Commanding 18th Brigade, to pass
over his remaining battalion (f 10th Mahratta Light Infantry) to the right rear of
his own Brigade. My plan of operations was to engage the enemy along his front
extending from a point to the west of the W'atch Tower, while I drove back his left
with the 18th Brigade and thereby threatened his line of retirement towards
Nakhailah. I ordered my Cavalry Brigade to co-operate with this object, while
giving the Brigadier a free hand to seijce any opportunity for vigorous action
^hjch might ofter.

About this item


This file contains military despatches regarding the Battle of Shaiba that took place between British and Ottoman forces on 12-14 April 1915.

The file begins with an introductory letter from General Sir John Eccles Nixon, Commanding Force "D" to the Chief of General Staff, Simla (folios 4-6) that is followed by a report related to events of 11-12 April written by Major-General C. I. Fry (folios 8-10) and another report that concerns events of April 13-14 written by Major-General C. J. Melliss (folios 14-19).

The file contains a number of maps and sketches of the battlefield and surrounding area.

Extent and format
35 folios

The file contains an contents page (that uses the original printed pagination system) on folio 3.

Physical characteristics

A bound, printed volume. The file's foliation sequence commences at the front cover and terminates at the inside back cover; these numbers are written in pencil, are circled, and are located in the top right corner of the recto The front of a sheet of paper or leaf, often abbreviated to 'r'. side of each folio. Please note that ff. 31-34 are housed within f. 35.

The volume also contains an original printed pagination sequence.

Written in
English in Latin script
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Report on the Operations in the Vicinity of Shaiba 12th-14th April 1915. Simla: General Staff India, 1915. [‎18] (29/70), British Library: India Office Records and Private Papers, IOR/L/MIL/17/15/95, in Qatar Digital Library <> [accessed 20 August 2019]

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