Sir John Nixon, 1857-1921, British General

Career soldier. Entered the army after attending Sandhurst (1875). From 1878 he served in the Army of India, rising to the rank of General by 1914. In 1915, after the Turkish entry into the First World War, he was appointed to command the Mesopotamian expedition, intended to protect British oil supplies by occupying the area round Basra, and initially controlled from India. After initial success, the expedition ran into trouble when Nixon's over optimistic reports led the government to sanction a march on Baghdad under Sir Charles Townshend. After being defeated by the Turks at the battle of Ctesiphon (22-26 November 1915), Townshend was forced to retreat to Kut, where he was besieged from December 1915 until April 1916, when he surrendered to the Turks. Nixon's attempts to relieve Townshend all failed after the Turks built fortifications down river of Kut, and he was replaced in January 1916. An Army inquiry into the disaster ran from August 1916 to 1918, and although Nixon received most of the blame, for his inaccurate reports, he was considered to have explained himself, and he was not punished.

Books on the First World War | Subject Index: First World War

How to cite this article: Rickard, J. (7 March 2001), Sir John Nixon, 1857-1921, British General,

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