May 31st, 1941: The Iraq insurgence ends

On this day 78 years ago, one of the most bizarre episodes of WW2 ended.
On may 31st, 1941, British troops reached Baghdad, ending an axis- backed attempt to overthrow the Iraqi government and get control of an important part of the middle- east.

Iraq was practically in the middle of an area everybody wanted to control, for different reasons. Before the war, Iraq was forced to let the RAF build and use several air bases; when the Iraqi insurgence started, these seemed to be the focal point of the conflict.
In a British newsreel of the time, you can see Bf110’s attacking Habbaniya airfield.


The Luftwaffe sent in several units that were quickly marked as Iraqi air force, but in the end it was all to no avail. The result was that the British regained control and Prince 'Abd al-Ilah was returned to power.

The luftwaffe sent ZG 76 to Iraq. They didn’t really bother to hide their origin, covering the “Balkenkreuz” but leaving ZG76’s characteristic shark mouth in place.

Thus ended the coup that aimed to take control of Iraq, 78 years ago to this day.
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