Thursday, March 16, 2006

The attack on Rutba

Before Habforce could move into Iraq, an attack was made on Rutba. The fort at Rutba was occupied by Iraqi police. Rutba was attacked from the air by Blenheims from No.203 Squadron on 9 May 1941. On 10 May, part of No.2 Armoured Car Company RAF arrived. They found that the Iraqi police had left the fort during the night. The politics of the situation were such that a squadron of the Transjordan Frontier Force refused to take part. However, the Emir Abdullah of Transjordan had ordered the Arab League to take part, and they performed well during the campaign. Habforce was delayed, as the 1st Cavalry Division so far only had one motorized brigade, the 4th. The rest were still horsed cavalry. This is based on the account in Vol.II of the Official History.

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