Saturday, March 18, 2006

Kingcol moved into Iraq on 13 May 1941

Kingcol moved into Iraq on 13 May 1941. Advanced elements reached Rutba by nightfall. Those in Habbaniya recommended to Brigadier Kingstone that he approach Habbaniya from the South and avoid Ramadi. A German aircraft had attacked the column and had caused a few casualties. The principal problem was caused by the vehicles, particularly, the heavy lorries, not being desert-worthy. The heaviest bogged down, because they broke through the surface crust. They only reached the Habbaniya area by 18 May. Fortunately, the RAF had succeeded in writing off the Iraqi air force by repeated attacks against its bases. The remaining threat would now be from German aircraft from Erbil and Mosul, as well as from Syria. In response, the RAF was given permission to hit airfields in Syria, even though there would probably be French aircraft damaged in the process. This is based on the account in Vol.II of the Official History.

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