Wednesday, June 25, 2014
Fao - 1914
The Iraqi city of Basra is cut off from any land approach during the flood season of March thru May. Unfortunately for any invading army this is also the coolest weather for campaigning.
Small dams of built up earth and clay hold back the waters. If broken the yellow soil becomes a quagmire halting all wheeled traffic and slows both the hoof and foot. Units can become cut off from each other if flooding occurs. These dams were little maintained in 1914 and in 2014 they still are a problem
While a rail line was discussed from Baghdad to Basra, the engineering issues halted the design. (This part of Iraq/Iran has continues to be under developed. ) This was to come back to haunt both the Turks and the British during this campaign.
The route of advance and logistics would be maintained by the waterways, and the Royal Navy and the IEF D did not bring along enough boats. The reports from the officers in charge do not think the lack of boats or other logistic items are a concern. The IEF D also needed more than the two companies of engineers for this operation. Losses will be heavy because of these over sites.