Skip to main content

Mesopotamia (Iraq) - Baghdad

March 1917, British troops entering Baghdad
March 1917, British troops entering Baghdad [Source: Mrs Stuart Menzies, Sir Stanley Maude and Other Memories, London (1920), Herbert Jenkins, page 48]

Baghdad is the capital of Iraq. It is located along the Tigris River and was founded in the 8th century. Within a short time it became a significant cultural, commercial, and intellectual centre for the Islamic world; it had a worldwide reputation as the “Centre of Learning”. For five centuries from its founding, Baghdad was the largest city of the Middle Ages. It was largely destroyed at the hands of the Mongol Empire in 1258, resulting in a period of decline for many centuries.

In 1534, Baghdad was captured by the Ottoman Turks. Baghdad and southern Iraq remained under Ottoman rule until March 1917, when captured by the British during World War I. Cyril Sladden, as part of the 13th (Western) Division of the British Army forming the Mesopotamia Expeditionary Force, was one of the first to enter the city on 11th March 1917.

Letters mentioning this place: