Thursday, March 09, 2006

Habbaniyah in April 1941

The story of Habbaniyah has echoes from the present. Habbaniyah is located 50 miles to the west from Baghdad. The road from Baghdad to Habbaniyah runs through Falluja, where the road crosses the Euphrates river. Habbaniyah is named for the lake near the Euphrates. Flying boats were able to land in the lake. The road running to the south connects to Karbala. To the west, along the road running to Haifa is Ramadi.

There were 1,000 airmen at Habbaniyah, along with "1,200 Iraqi and Assyrian levies", about 9,000 European, Indian, and Assyrian civilians. The facilities included the school, an "Aircraft Depot with repair shops, a Supply Depot, fuel and ammunition stores, and a hospital". The place had a watertower and a power station. The Official History said that the base was "almost indefensible". This is based on the account in the Official History.

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