254 The Great War ALES SON INS E A -P ROWE T O FRIENDLY NAT IVES ALONG THE TIGRIS .Retainers o f the Sheikh o f M ahom m erah about to inspect H .M.S. Espiegle. This armed sloop together with the Odin covered the disembarkation of the original Mesopotamian Exp ed itio nary Force Fat ao. Above :Enemy patrol-boat sunk b they Espiegle. The craft was eventually salved. in all prior advances. Outflanking operations owing to the condition of the country on both sides of the river, were impracticable. He had to move along the strip of high ground contiguous to its banks. The marshes, flooded to the full extended far on each side. Beyond the marshes lay the desert firm enough for transport or foothold but waterless save for a few isolated wells totally inadequate to the necessities of troops and known only to the Arabs. Good progress had been made during a weeks fighting by the 13th Division which had so conspicuously distinguished itself at the Dardanelles and lost 6000 officers and men out of a total strength of 10,500, thereby disproving the German axiom that no unit could survive the loss of twenty-five percent, of its strength. The men of the 13th had Progress of the supported a drain of more than twice 13th Division that amount yet showed no sign of reduced vigour. Though in seven days the distance which separated them from Kut had only been reduced by eight miles they had fought for and carried every inch of the way. Trenches had been pushed forward by means of saps to within one hundred yards of the enemys position at Umm-el-Henna where he was strongly entrenched in places as deeply as nine feet. A t 5 a.m. on the last day of March, the leading battalions of the 13th Division rushed the first and second intrenches quick succession under the support of concentrated artillery and machine-gun fire. Another hour saw them in possession of the third line, and by 7 a.m. after two hours furious fighting during BACK T O THEIR OWN PEOPLE .Hospital ship drawing into Felahieh. After K u t-el-A mara surrendered, the Turks allowed the sick and wounded to be sent to the British lines.
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