Monday, October 08, 2012
The Iraqi operation in perspective
The Iraq operation was very important for a variety of reasons. The first was that by little cost, the Iraqi army was defeated by British forces. The obvious effects were to assert firm control over the port of Basra, the pipeline to Haifa, and the British-owned oil fields in Iraq.The forces involved were relatively small. There was a brigade-size force from Transjordan and two Indian brigades that had been en route to Malaya. All this had happened while the Greek campaign had been coming to a disastrous end and before the Germans were ready to attack the island of Crete. Knocking down the Iraqi Arab nationalist movement got the attention of the rest of the Arab world and put to rest any idea of similar uprisings, such as "in Syria, Lebanon, and Palestine". This is based on the account in Vol.II of the Australian Official History.