A gunner, prepares a brew in front of his armoured car

Habbaniyah – Raising the Siege

Even as Iraqi troops were assembling on the Heights above Habbaniyah, Wavell had been instructed by Churchill to ready a relief force. This was the only time in the entire war that he completely overruled one of his commanders.

Map showing the positioning of forces during the Battle of Habbaniyah

The Battle for Habbaniyah

After the coup and the escape of the Regent, British reinforcements from India were dispatched to Basrah where they disembarked and retook Shaibah airfield. Rasid Ali retaliated by forbidding any further movement of British troops to reinforce Habbaniyah.  A weak battalion of British Infantry was flown from Basrah to Habbaniyah.
Ali then raised the stakes by ordering a full Iraqi Brigade to occupy and subdue the RAF base.

Vehicle crew, waiting for a camp kettle to boil beside their armoured car

Iraq 1941

Hitler’s main objective for 1941 was the defeat of the Soviet Union and Stalin. He had curtailed any thoughts of invasion of the British Isles and moved the majority of his offensive armour eastwards. To protect his southern flank during operation Barbarossa, the invasion of Russia, Hitler needed the British and Commonwealth forces to be unable to interfere with his advance.

Map showing the location of the Suez Canal

Egypt and Suez

In Egypt tensions grew over the British failure to produce an acceptable Anglo-Egyptian Treaty to replace the pre-war one, which had expired and required renegotiation. Anti-British demonstrations took place in Cairo and the threat to British installations in the Canal Zone jeopardised the effectiveness of the main British base in the Middle East.

Map of Palestine

Palestine 1946-49 End Game

Even as the war in Europe ended, the pre-war violence between Arab and Jew returned. The wartime ceasefire was broken early and 1946 saw new active terrorism by Jewish activists against the British.

Contemporary Regiment Gunner in front of WW2-era Typhoons

NI: Non-roulement Tasks

The Squadrons that manned the roulement tasking at Aldergrove and Bishops Court through the long years of the 70’s and 80’s, often had to cope with further taskings directed their way by hard pressed Army Commanders.

Contemporary Regiment Gunner in front of WW2-era Typhoons

Northern Ireland – The Long War

At 08:00hrs on 27 April 1969, 16 Field Squadron’s B Flight Grouping, commanded by Flying Officer JC Murphy entered the city limits of Londonderry, initiating the longest deployment in the Corps history.

Map of Cyprus

Cyprus

After the departure of British Forces from Egypt, Cyprus became the main British base in the Eastern Mediterranean with a Regiment Squadron setting a record for the longest single deployment.