Battles - The Battle of Nahr-al-Kalek, 1917

Turkish mobilization in Constantinople The Battle of Nahr-al-Kalek was fought in the immediate aftermath of the British recapture of Kut in February 1917 by Sir Frederick Maude, and largely destroyed the effectiveness of Turkish river forces on the Tigris River.

Having inadvertently outrun their own ground forces on 26 February 1917, the Royal Navy gunboats Mantis, Moth and Tarantula found themselves under fire some 30km north of Kut by four Turkish vessels at Nahr-al-Kalek while pursuing the retreating Turkish force from Kut.

Among the Turkish ships was the originally-British monitor Firefly.  In the ensuing gunnery battle the British succeeded in routing the Turks, destroying all three Turkish-built ships while successfully recapturing Firefly.

In addition to trouncing the Turks the British managed to secure several hundred prisoners from Turkish infantry along the shore.  But for the fact that the Royal Navy vessels were some distance ahead of their own infantry the damage inflicted upon the Turks could have been markedly more severe.

Click here to view a map charting operations in Mesopotamia through to 1917.

Photograph courtesy of Photos of the Great War website

'minnie' was a term used to describe the German trench mortar minnenwerfer (another such term was Moaning Minnie).

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