Townshend could have done nothing

TCD MS 3414 folio 69 recto

TCD MS 3414 folio 69 recto

[November 1915]

right up to High Wall, either they mistook us for the Turks & had come to pick up what they could find, or they simply stumbled up against us, however our men opened fired & caused a good many casualties amongst them. Very large quantities of small arm ammunition had, unfortunately to be left behind owing to lack of transport; this was buried. The Div stopped the whole of the 26th at Lajj, the Turks had had such a severe knock that we were not in any way molested, they gradually returned to their old front line & pushed their cavalry forward. Wounded were evacuated and there was no confusion, the men were dead tired and the days rest at Lajj greatly helped to pull them round. As I said early in this chapter, the enemy were known to have 24000 on the battlefield, & another 10,000 were daily expected. I was informed on good authority that the Army Staff were aware that this 10,000 had actually arrived at Dialah the day before the battle, & that Gen Townsend was kept in ignorance of the fact. Even if he had known of their presence thus making the enemy’s total up to 34000 men, Sir J Nixon was so determined to push to Baghdad having forced the Governments hand up till then, that Townshend could have done nothing except remind him of his original objection in writing, when he pointed out the folly of undertaking such a stupendous