Sunday, March 26, 2006
The German plan to cause trouble in Iraq
By 24 March 1941, Foreign Minister Ribbentrop thought that the time was ripe for military action in Iraq. The main difficulty was supplying the Iraqis with weapons. On 3 April was Rashid Ali's coup d'etat. The decision had been made by 17 April what arms were available to be sent to Iraq. On 18 April, the British landings in Basra occurred. The Germans hoped that the conflict in Iraq would lead to a general Arab uprising, which the Germans were ready to recognize and to support. Only by 6 May had the Germans decided to send weapons from French stocks in Syria. This was the day that the siege of Habbaniyah was lifted. Support for the Iraqis would be sent by air from Syria, if the Iraqis could hold out long enough. This is based on the account in Vol.II of the Official History.