Friday, May 12, 2006

Iran ("Persia") becomes a problem

Even in 1939, there had been about 3,000 Germans in Iran. More entered after May 1941, after the Iraqi coup. British operations, in conjunction with the Russians, began on 25 August 1941. The plan was "to occupy the oilfields at Ahwaz" "and at Khanikin". Khanikin was just to the northeast of Baghdad. Lt-General Quinan, the commander in Iraq, commanded the operation. Following the usual forms, they had given the Iranian government an ultimatum on 17 August. The 8th Indian Division took the southern oilfields. The northern operation was undertaken by the 10th Indian Division and the 2nd Indian Armoured Brigade and the 9th Armoured Brigade. These were actually motorized, as only the 2nd Indian Armoured Brigade had one regiment of British light tanks. The RAF had 7 squadrons available to support the operation. The Iranian government collapsed by 28 August, and the Shah was succeeded by his son. "British and Russian forces entered Teheran" on 17 September. This is based on the account in Vol.II of the Official History.

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