Christopher Trevelyan © 2003-2014 |

The Indian Army on campaign 1900-1939

Battle of Shaiba, April 12-15, 1915

The Battle of Shaiba took pace between April 12-15 1915, and was the first major Turkish offensive of the Mesopotamia Campaign. The ultimate objective was the re-capture of Basra from the Anglo-Indian Expeditonary Force, but Shaiba Fort and the British positive around it had to be overcome first. The battle last 3 days, resulting in thousands of casulaties on both sides. In the end, after being abandoned by their Arab iregular ‘allies’, the Turkish force was routed and its commander committed suicide. The battle establishing Anglo-Indian control over Southern Mesopotamia, cooled Arab support for the Turks, and made possible the series of stunning British victories that led up to the Battle of Ctesipohon outside Baghdad in November 1915.

The following images were taken by an unknown photographer, though the album came from a family with a relative who served in the Bagdad Military Police during the Great War. Not all of the photographs are of the Battle of Shaiba, with other photographs being taken later in 1915 or possibly even 1916.

Photos courtesy of John Wilson. Please ask permission For the use of any photographs or illustrations on this site.

British camp by Shaiba Fort - April 1915 - taken from the Northwest

23rd or 30th Mountain Battery at Shaiba - April 1915

Possibly ‘S’ Battery RHA at Shaiba - April 1915

Same Battery as above

Palm groves in southern Mesoptamia

Reinforcements & supplies from Basra across the flooded desert

British & Indian troops concentrating near Shaiba

Shaiba Fort, overlooking the entrenched British Camp

Maj.-General C.I. Fry & Staff, 18 Indian Infantry Brigade

Maj.-General Fry & Staff again. Fry was in command of British forces at Shaiba.

Shaiba Fort

British entrenchments, believed to be around Shaiba

Indian wounded, after the Battle of Shaiba

British dead, following the Battle of Shaiba

Indian infantry at the Battle of Shaiba

Indian soldiers and military police in Southern Mesopotamia, probably in and around Basra.