Battle of Wadi: 13 January 1916
The Battle of Wadi occurred on 13 January 1916. It was fought in the World War I, between the United Kingdom and British India versus the Ottoman Empire. It was an unsuccessful British attempt to relieve forces under Sir Charles Townshend under the siege by the Ottomans 6th Army. The British forces were led by Fenton Aylmer, George Younghusband and George Kemball. The Ottoman forces were led by Colmar von der Goltz and Halil Pasha.
The attack began on afternoon of 13 January. It was delayed because of a mist and slow advance by the artillery (across the river). Soon, the attack lost the element of surprise. The British forces were outnumbered. They had a problem (on both sides of the enemy lines) to assert themselves against a strong Ottoman defense. Younghusband attempted a wide turning movement. Kemball made a frontal advance. The British didn’t have proper maps. The Ottomans soon faced the flanking manouvre. As a result, the 28th Brigade suffered severe loses. By the end of the day, British realized that they cannot win the battle. The British forces didn’t succeed to reach the river.
Nearly 5.000 British prisoners died before the end of the war. They died because of neglect and mistreatment. Many of them died because of starvation. This was an important Ottoman’s victory. On the other side, the British government had to add more resources into the Mesopotamian Campaign.
At the beginning, the British had at their disposal 19.000 men. They lost 1.600 (died or wounded). The Ottoman Empire had at their disposal 22.500 men. They lost 527 soldiers.