Who's Who - Khalil Pasha

British surrender in Kut to Khalil Pasha, 1916 Khalil Pasha (1864-1923) was placed at the head of the Turkish Sixth Army during World War One, based in Mesopotamia.

Simultaneously military governor of Baghdad (and all territory south-west of Aleppo), Khalil's policy during the extended Anglo-Indian advance of 1915 appeared simple: he consistently permitted his field commanders to retreat under fire.

This approach was reversed at the Battle of Ctesiphon (after an initial withdrawal by the Turks) with a counter-attack launched at the retreating British force under Sir Charles Townshend.

After successfully conducting the conclusion of the siege of Kut, when Townshend finally surrendered unconditionally on 30 April 1916, Khalil was inclined to support a more aggressive policy, proposing a Turkish sweep into Persia.

In the event this never came to pass as a renewed British offensive in Mesopotamia towards the close of 1916 under new British Commander-in-Chief Sir Frederick Maude tied up Turkish forces in the region, culminating in the fall of Baghdad itself.

With Baghdad's fall Khalil significantly weakened Sixth Army's strength by throwing them into costly, inadvisable defensive actions, leading to its eventual collapse.

'Push' was slang signifying a large-scale attack upon enemy positions.

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