Tigers Along the Tigris
The Leicestershire Regiment in Mesopotamia During the First World War
Experiences with a famous county regiment in Iraq during the First World War Beyond the attrition of the Western Front trenches, the Great War raged all over the globe. These 'sideshows' were full scale conflicts by the standards of war to that time, only diminished by the magnitude of the campaigns in France and Belgium. The war against Turkey, Germany's ally, raged from the Turkish homeland itself to the complete expanse of the crumbling Ottoman Empire in North Africa, the Holy Land and the cradle of civilisation itself-Mesopotamia-now modern day Iraq-a land through which flowed the Tigris and Euphrates-rivers of romance and legend. There was little romantic of the war the Leicestershire regiment knew. 'Johnny'-the tough enemy, the omnipresent German air force, the heat and flies were all exacerbated by rampant disease which decimated the allied troops. As part of the 7th (Meerut) Division the 'Tigers'-as the regiment were nicknamed after their distinctive cap badge-fought vicious actions in the Battles for Istabulat, Samarra and Juber Island during the 1917 campaigns beyond Baghdad towards Tekrit in the north of the country. This is a well written eyewitness account, which introduces us to the officers and men who wore the 'Black Diamond' hat badge, and is full of 'on the spot' detail and fascinating descriptions of intense combat.