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Rashid Ali Revolt


1941 Rashid Ali Revolt

The British were taken by surprise, and had to send a rag-bag force called Habforce to relieve the cantonment at Habbaniya — this was not a military force in its normal sense, but partly Palestine Police, partly Trans-Jordan Frontier Force (TJFF), and partly Army and RAF volunleers, with a few commandeered lorries and armoured cars. The TJFF was, strictly speaking, not allowed to fight outside the borders of Transjordan, 60 [sic? Perhaps so instead.] authority had to be sought from London after the start of the campaign. I have read accounts of the RAF defence of Habbaniyah — which had a stock of elderly training planes that had to be adapted in a hurry to carry guns and bombs. The general weakness of the Allied forces — despite their successes against the Iraqi rebels — may explain why they hesitated to enter such a city as Baghdad until they had some guarantee of further reinforcements.

The Scribe; Rabbi Walter Rothschild; 9 Primley Garden, Leeds