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Halil Kut

Nickname: The Hero of Kut Kutx╝lamare Kahraman─▒
Place of birth: Yenimahalle, Istanbul, Ottoman Empire
Place of death: Istanbul, Turkey
Allegiance: Ottoman Empire
Rank: Mirliva
Unit: Sixth Army

Halil Kut (1881-August 20, 1957) was an Ottoman regional governor and military commander. Halil Pasha was the uncle of Enver Pasha, who was the War Minister during World War I.

Early career

He graduated from the War Academy (Staff College) at Istanbul (Constantinople) in 1905 as a Distinguished Captain (Mx╝mtaz Yx╝zba┼č─▒).

For three years following his graduation he served the Third Army in Macedonia. When the constitutional order was restored in 1908, the government sent him to Iran to organize dissidence against the Shah which Persia had the Persian Constitutional Revolution. After the Countercoup (1909) of 13 April 1909, he was called back and became the commander of the Imperial Guard.

Initially he was involved in fighting insurgents and bandits around Selanik prior to the Balkan Wars. He was at Salonica to command the mobile gendarmerie units in the region. He was also commanded a unit during Balkan Wars. He was among the group of young officers sent to Libya (Trablusgarp) in 1911 to organize the defense against the Italian invasion during the Italo-Turkish War. Before World War I, he served as the commander of the gendarmerie regiment in Van.

World War I

When Turkey entered the World War, he was working at the High Command in Istanbul(Constantinople). He later served as the divisional commander in 3rd Ottoman army on the Russian border, thereby also involved in operations against the Armenians who were allied to the Russians. Later, he was one of the senior commanders of the Ottoman forces in Mesopotamia, now Iraq, during World War I.

In 1915, he was the commander of the forces capturing Kut in southern Iraq and taking General Townshend prisoner. After this successful campaign, he was promoted to General. He was appointed governor of the Baghdad province (present day Iraq and Kuwait combined) and was also the commander of the Sixth Army from 19 April 1916 till the end of the war in 1918.

His greatest success during his tactical - after 19 April 1916 operational - command in Iraq was the encirclement and 143 day Siege of Kut, and the eventual surrender of the British Expeditionary Armies on 29 April 1916. However, credit for this success is shared with his senior officer and predecessor as Commander of the 6th Ottoman Army, German Field-Marshall Colmar Freiherr von der Goltz, who had died 10 days before this surrender.

In 1917, Halil Pasha was ordered by the Minister of Defense Enver Pasha to move some of his troops to the Persian Campaign It was an unsuccessful attempt to destabilize the British supported government there. This limited his ability to defend Baghdad and led to the Fall of Baghdad. After which fresh British forces were massed at the Iraq front after this surrender.

In 1918, his army was defeated by the joint British-Indian armies and he surrendered the remains of the 6th Army in October 1918 at the Battle of Sharqat, allowing the British to occupy Mosul which was in violation to the Mondoros ceasefire agreement signed between the British and Ottoman Empires a few days earlier.

Late years

He was jailed by the British Occupying Forces in Constantinople, but escaped and fled to Moscow. In accordance with the terms of the Treaty of Moscow (1921) signed between the Ankara Government and the Soviet leadership, he carried the gold bullion sent by Lenin to Ankara, to pay for Turkey's return of Batum to the Soviets. Since he was not permitted to stay in Turkey at the time, he first moved back to Moscow and then to Berlin.

He was permitted to return to Turkey after the declaration of the Republic of Turkey in 1923. He died in 1957 in Istanbul.

The Battle of Wadi
The Battle of Hanna


Biographical note - Khalil Pasha - downloaded from FirstWorldWar.com, January 13, 2006.

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Source: WikiPedia

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