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Most of the men of the 60th Field Regiment somehow managed to return to England via Dunkirk and Bray Dunes.  They were scattered all over England. Eventually they were brought together on the south coast, expecting the German invasion at any time.  There were no artillery guns and they only had rifles. The Battle of Britain was being fought overhead.

Late in 1940 the 60th Field Regiment received twenty-four 18/25 pounders and in January 1941 they left for the Middle East.  The journey took ten weeks, for their convoy had to sail down the west coast of Africa, round the Cape and then up the east coast.  Shortly after arrival in Egypt they were sent as part of a pathetically small force which had been cobbled together to move into Iraq where Rashid Ali, an anti-British nationalist, had seized power. Under the terms of a treaty, Britain had two air bases in Iraq, one at Basra and the other about 50 miles from Baghdad--
RAF Habbaniya--which Iraqi troops had surrounded. The mission of this British column ("Habforce") was to relieve the air base.

The force included 350 Bedouin tribesmen in Glubb Pasha's
Arab Legion, known to the troops as "Glubb's Girls" because they wore long flowing robes.  They tore around the desert in Ford trucks which had twin Lewis guns mounted in the back. 

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Because of the urgency, a small flying
column called "Kingcol" was formed to go in advance of the rest of Habforce.  Whilst the twelve guns of 239 (Grimsby) battery stayed at a point on the oil pipe-line, the eight guns of 237 (Lincoln) battery (a troop of four guns had been sent temporarily to Cyprus) moved across several hundred miles of desert.  Kingcol comprised 237 battery, 350 men of the Arab Legion, the Household Cavalry, eight Royal Air Force armoured cars, two companies of infantry from the 1st Essex, an Australian troop of anti-tank guns, a section of Royal Engineers and a detachment from a Field Ambulance unit. 
They would have to face the entire Iraqi army of four divisions--which had been trained and equipped by the British.  In blistering heat they reached RAF Habbaniya to find that the siege was over.  Far from agreeing to the Iraqi demands to cease flying, the Officer Commanding the air base had bombed the Iraqis and they had left.  Moreover, the 1st King's Own Royal Regiment had been flown into Habbaniya from India.

Major Jack Wright of 237 battery and "girlfriends" in Iraq

The Germans had sent a small force of Heinkels and Messerschmitts to Iraq and Churchill was worried that unless very swift action was taken they would arrive in force, so this small column, "Kingcol", were given the impossible task of advancing to Baghdad to topple Rashid Ali.  The guns of 237 battery went into action supporting the infantry at a town called Falluja which was on the River Euphrates.  Once Falluja had been taken, Kingcol divided into two columns to attack Baghdad from the north and the south, one troop of four guns going with each column.

About half-way between Falluja and Baghdad the southern column captured an Iraqi position. There was a telephone switchboard and one of the interpreters fiddled with the switches and turned the handle.  To his astonishment he got through to the Iraqi HQ, and thinking quickly he pretended that he was an Iraqi soldier.  He reported that the post was surrounded and that at least fifty tanks were on their way to Baghdad.  To the north, the guns of "B" troop fired at an approaching train, believed to contain Iraqi reinforcements arriving from Mosul.  The train quickly reversed.  The Arab Legion captured a high-ranking civilian (the deputy mayor of Baghdad) who was amazed to find Allied troops to the north of the city.  They sent him down river to Baghdad on a raft, with the news that they were part of an Allied force 60,000 strong.  RAF planes from Habbaniya and Basra bombed Baghdad and British bi-planes had a dog-fight with Italian bi-planes in a scene reminiscent of Biggles in the First World War.  The guns of 237 battery went into action both to the north and south of Baghdad, until, suddenly, it was announced that there was to be a cease-fire.  Rashid Ali had fled to Iran.
Thanks to resolute action, speed, bluff and audacity--not to mention a good deal of luck--the small Allied force had succeeded against all the odds. 

Some of the aircraft used in Iraq in 1941.  Left to right:  Hawker Audax, Gloster Gladiator, Italian CR42.

Rashid Ali later went to Berlin, where he broadcast anti-British propaganda.  At the end of the war he sought refuge in Saudi Arabia, until returning to Iraq in 1958.  He attempted to seize power, and plotted a revolt against the government. The revolt was foiled and he was sentenced to death. Later pardoned, he returned to exile where he died in 1965.