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Battle Name : Qurna

Date(s) : 08 December 1914 - 09 December 1914

Part of : First World War , The Mesopotamian Front ,

Outcome : A victory for Indian Expeditionary Force 'D' (IEF) over Turkish 38th Division

Type of battle : Land


After the unopposed occupation of Basra by the Indian Expeditionary Force (IEF) ‘D’ on 21st November 1914, and the securing of the oil pipe line to Ahwaz in Persia, it was found necessary to further secure the area of the oil refinery at Abadan by pushing the Turks further North. Units of 6th Indian Division were ferried north to the junction of the Tigris and Euphrates at Qurna and the Turks were dislodged after a sharp two day action by 17th Bde with support from the Royal Naval river flotilla.


Qurna lies at the junction of the Rivers Tigris and Euphrates some 40 miles north of Basra. (Iraq)

More details

General Barratt ordered the 104th Wellesley’s Rifles from 16th Indian Infantry Brigade together with 110th Mahratta Light infantry, with 2 Coys of 2 Norfolks and 2 Field Guns of 18th Bde to a concentration point 3 miles downstream from Qurna on 3rd Decemeber 1914. This force moved forward towards Qurna on the 5th and occupied the village of Muzereh. Finding no bridge over the Tigris the force withdrew to their overnight area. The following day with the remaining Coys of 2 Norfolks , 7th Rajputs and the 120th Rajputana Infantry having arrived Muzereh was retaken and held. On the 8th the 108th and 110th and a section of mountain guns with some Sappers and Miners crossed the Tigris well north of Qurna and enveloped the Turks left flank.The Norfolks kept the Turks heads down whilst the enveloping force moved round. Street fighting developed and on the following day the Turkish commander Subhi bey capitulated.
HMS Espiègle, HMS Miner, HMS Sheitan and HMS Louis Pelly provided gunfire support.

After the battle the IEF pushed westward and later engaged the Turks at Shaiba before resuming their northward expansion.

Casualty figures

Indian Expeditionary Force 'D' (IEF)

Number engaged :

Casualties :

Turkish 38th Division

Number engaged :

Casualties :