Battle of Habbaniya 1941

Discussion in 'North Africa & the Med' started by Kieron Hill, Dec 27, 2008.

  1. Kieron Hill

    Kieron Hill Senior Member

    I have a photo album that covers this forgotten battle dated 41 to 43, it may have only lasted 5 days and one of which we won against all odds, a very interesting campagain considering the current situation.

    A link to a site that covers it in more details Google Image Result for http://www.assyrianlevies.com/images/kjhgf.jpg

    Below are some photos from the album:

    pic1 The Levies
    pic2 Habbaniya Aiport 3287 miles London 55 miles Baghdad
    pic3 Habbaniya police
     

    Attached Files:

    Paul Reed likes this.
  2. Kieron Hill

    Kieron Hill Senior Member

    Pic 4 Looks like an Indian Regiment
    Pic 5 Caravan Baghdad to Basara (six weeks)
    Pic 6 Engineers Badge carved out of stone
     

    Attached Files:

  3. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

    Fantastic Pictures Kieron

    Cheers
     
  4. Kieron Hill

    Kieron Hill Senior Member

    Pic 7 War memorial Baghdad
    Pic 8 Not sure

    this is only few of the pictures lots more covering Syria, Lebenon, North Africa etc...

    I have a couple of pictures of Bridges Lancaster Bridge Dlala River and Coita Bridge but I can not find any reference to them at all...any ideas?
     

    Attached Files:

  5. Kieron Hill

    Kieron Hill Senior Member

    Drew I have seen that you served in the Signals, I have an album that belonged to a gentleman in the Signals who served with them during the North African campagain he was attached to an armoured division and when looking at your pictures of when you served in Iraq is was nice to see a then and now...great pics!
     
    Drew5233 likes this.
  6. Paul Reed

    Paul Reed Ubique MOD

    These are great photos, Kieron. Thanks for sharing them.
     
  7. spidge

    spidge RAAF RESEARCHER Patron

    I have a photo album that covers this forgotten battle dated 41 to 43, it may have only lasted 5 days and one of which we won against all odds, a very interesting campagain considering the current situation.

    A link to a site that covers it in more details Google Image Result for http://www.assyrianlevies.com/images/kjhgf.jpg

    Below are some photos from the album:

    pic1 The Levies
    pic2 Habbaniya Aiport 3287 miles London 55 miles Baghdad
    pic3 Habbaniya police

    That is quite an interesting site Kieron.

    Gp Capt. Joe O'Sullivan
     
  8. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    I first read about this battle in one of my old VICTOR annuals when I was a lad.
    It's always stuck in my head.
    To think people used to say comics were bad for us kids.
    Great photos Kieron.
     
  9. Harry Ree

    Harry Ree Very Senior Member

    In May 1941,Rashid Ali, an Iraqi nationalist, was egged on by the Germans to promote an uprising by promising German support which ultimately failed.The support did not materialise to any extent and Habbaniya was relieved by the intervention of Wellingtons flown in from RAF Middle East Air Force Egypt.Having said that, the garrison kept Rachid Ali at bay by the use of Oxfords and obsolescent trainers such as the Audax as improvised bombers from the flying training unit based at RAF Habbaniya

    RAF Habbaniya is situated below a plateau which Rachid Ali had captured and was shelling the base.In turn,the RAF were using their improvised bombers to cut him down to size and the short seige had a sudden ending when Wellintons appeared on the scene.The illogical point was that Rachid Ali did not cut of the water to the base which was supplied from the works on the plateau.

    RAF Habbaniya, on the Euphrates was one of those welcoming staging posts on the journey from Britain to India and the Far East.Created in the early 1920s, it was a permanent RAF base and had all the hallmarks of the British colonial presence,but when the British left after the troubles of 1958, the base upkeep deteriorated.The last time I saw news of it, it was occupied by US Forces.
     
  10. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

    RAF Habbaniya, on the Euphrates was one of those welcoming staging posts on the journey from Britain to India and the Far East.Created in the early 1920s, it was a permanent RAF base and had all the hallmarks of the British colonial presence,but when the British left after the troubles of 1958, the base upkeep deteriorated.The last time I saw news of it, it was occupied by US Forces.

    Shaiba Airbase just South of Basrah was a old RAF base too I believe. It certainly had a feel of pre WW2 RAF about it.


    Kieron.....Glad you like the pictures.:)
     
  11. Kuno

    Kuno Very Senior Member

    @ Harry Ree; the German support was provided by "Sonderkommando Junck"; actually "only" Luftwaffe support.
     
  12. Warlord

    Warlord Veteran wannabe

    @ Harry Ree; the German support was provided by "Sonderkommando Junck"; actually "only" Luftwaffe support.

    So, did Jerry show up down at ol' Mesopotamia?

    I read somewhere that Luftwaffe kites did in fact operate over Iraq; where did they come from, in the first place? Vichy Syria?
     
  13. Kieron Hill

    Kieron Hill Senior Member

    Warlord I read that they took off from as you suggested Vichy Syria. I also read somewhere that it would have turned out alot different if they would have turned off the water supply to the base during the siege.

    A few more of the pics around the base

    Pic 1 shows one of the boys holding up a bit of armour with writting on 'One of ours'
    Pic 2 around the camp
    Pic 3 One of the Levies on a bike
     

    Attached Files:

  14. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

    Great Pic of the bike. Reminds me of the one in the Iraq section I posted :)
     
  15. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    Have you shown Rich P that Matchless photo?
     
  16. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

    Have you shown Rich P that Matchless photo?


    :confused: Me or Kieron Owen?
     
  17. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    :confused: Me or Kieron Owen?
    Andy, I meant Keiron in this case but any pics of old bikes make sure Rich Payne gets a heads up on it.
    It keeps him happy.
    :)
     
  18. China Hand

    China Hand No Longer A Forum Member

    Interesting pics of a fairly unknown battle !

    As a slight aside - which is why the thread caught my eye - I recall working in the UK Ministry of Defence in January 1991, Gulf War 1. Someone reported that RAF Tornados (I think) had bombed Habbaniya, which of course was being used by the Iraqis at this time.

    "Oh, that's ironic", I said, "the RAF bombing one of its old airfields..." Blank looks from my historically-challenged colleagues...:)
     
  19. Kieron Hill

    Kieron Hill Senior Member

    Owen got a few pictures of bikes I'll have to to post a thread up just Rich P ;)
     
  20. Rich Payne

    Rich Payne Rivet Counter Patron 1940 Obsessive

    Pic 4 Looks like an Indian Regiment
    Pic 5 Caravan Baghdad to Basara (six weeks)
    Pic 6 Engineers Badge carved out of stone

    Thanks for the various heads-up chaps !

    I've seen the bikes now but have only just looked at picture 4 - Surprised that the specialist vehicle ID ers haven't mentioned it.

    Looks to me like a Mack NJU-1 Pontoon Tractor. I don't think that I've seen one of those in Commonwealth service before. Nice:)
     

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