9 – In the Jebel Hamrin

Jebel Hamrin 2
Artillery in action, Jebel Hamrin, Persian Front, Mesopotamia, 1917

By October of 1917, Will Grummett had been on the Persian front for just over two months. He’d spent some of that time confined to a segregation camp as part of an effort to defeat an epidemic of diphtheria. He was released in late July and had been engaged from then primarily in training exercises in preparation for the upcoming season of “active campaigning” against the Turkish army.

Since April, both armies had been nearly inactive due to the intense heat.¬† The British Commander, General Maude, noted in a dispatch describing this period that, “…movements could not be undertaken by either side without grave risk of incurring¬† substantial casualties from heat stroke and heat exhaustion,” (Gen. Maude, London Gazette, Jan. 8, 1918). Just before the halt in the fighting, Maude and his army had driven the Turks eastward to the foothills known as the Jebel Hamrin, and south of the Diyala River just beyond the village of Deli Abbas on the north side of the river. (see Map 1 below, Turkish lines are indicated by the brown line). Continue reading “9 – In the Jebel Hamrin”