Kut al-Amara: Epic Victory for Turks, Worst Defeat for British

Turkey marked the 104th anniversary of Kut al-Amara victory referred as the worst defeat of the allies during World War I by historians. British army suffered tens of thousands of losses and surrendered to Ottoman army on April 26th 1916 after 147 days of siege.

Turkish president Erdogan posted a a message on Twitter to commemorate the victory. “We commemorate the 104th anniversary of the Kut al-Amara victory, which our nation engraved in our glorious history in golden letters with an epic struggle despite all harsh conditions and limited circumstances,” Erdoğan said.

“Despite all the impossibilities in Kut al-Amara, I am commemorating our heroic ancestors, who wrote a glorious epic, with respect and mercy,” Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu also tweeted in remembrance of the 1916 victory.

Ottoman forces sieged the town of Kut which is in modern Iraq today near after retreat of the British army into the town. British army general Townshed failed to break through Ottoman positions and took refuge in Kut finding it a safe sanctuary since his division had much superior man power and arms over the Ottoman division. The siege lasted 147 days and the British army surrendered on April 26th, 1916 after suffering several thousand losses on numerous attempts to break the siege. Ottoman division humiliated the British Empire by taking more than 13 thousand British army soldiers including 467 officers and 6 generals hostage.

Kut al-Amara ranks among the worst defeats in the British history alongside Yorktown (1781) and Singapore (1942).

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