In an operation so hazardous few expected to return alive, the actions of a junior officer fighting his first battle helped transform the fortunes of an entire army. Steve Snelling charts the dramatic story of an assault river crossing which avenged one of Britain’s worst defeats of the Great War and opened the way to Baghdad.
The battle was barely over and Bassett Hornor’s mind was still buzzing with an excitement bordering on exhilaration that was positively intoxicating. From the wastes of war-torn Mesopotamia, the young subaltern described a baptism of fire like few others with all the gushing exuberance of a Boy’s Own ripping yarn. “Just a line to let you know I’m all right,” he hurriedly scribbled home from the banks of the Tigris. “Have been in action at last and thoroughly enjoyed it. By Jove, we’ve given the old Turk a dusting up too…”