Tuesday, March 21, 2006

The capture of Fallujah

The RAF softened up Fallujah with bombing raids, starting on 18 May 1941. Early on 19 May, 57 aircraft hit Iraqi positions around Fallujah. A final attack was made at 2:45pm, and then Captain Graham led his Assyrian company on an attack against Fallujah. They were covered by 25pdr fire. The defence of Fallujah proved to be a paper tiger. Thre was only token resistance and about 300 Iraqi prisoners were taken. The strike evoked a response from German aircraft, which bombed and strafed Habbaniyah, "destroying or damaging several aircraft and causing a number of casualties". The Iraqis attacked Fallujah "two days later", hoping to retake the town. The town was defended by two companies of the King's Own and Levies. Brigadier Kingstone arrived and took command. Kingcol was alerted, in case they were needed. After a second attack, "two companies of the 1st Essex Regiment arrived in time to repel it". They inflicted heavy casualties on the Iraqis, who withdrew. Aircraft from Habbaniyah attacked Iraqi reinforcements moving forward and driven back. This is based on the account in Vol.II of the Official History.

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