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IN MESOPOTAMIA.

AN AVIATOR'S EXPERIENCES.

After some twelve months' absence from New Zsaland, a considerable portion of which period he was in Mesopotamia. Lieutenant J. W. H. Scotland, of the Royal Flying Corpe, returned to Wellington on sis months' furlough by the Maitai last week. Lieutenant Scotland first entered the service of the Indian Government as au aviator, and was in, tbe Indian Flying Corps. At that time the Government there had charge of tbe Mesopotamian campaign, but it was afterwards taken over by the British War Office, The Indian Flying Corps then came under, the control of the Royal Flying Corp3. Conversing with a "Post" representative last week, Lieutenant Scotland said that he left Bombay on February 27th on his return to New Zealand. He had a severe attack of malaria, which made it imperative for him to get out of Mesopotamia The worst enemy the British bad to fight there, he said, was the climate, whiph was just about intolerable, and was responsible for a terrible amount of sickness among the troops. As an instance, he quoted the case of 82 aviation mechanics who went out from England, and in three days 25 of them were down with fever. The fact of tbe matter was that the climate was not a white man's climate at nil, and this greatly increased the difficulties of an already difficult campaign

p'or a portion o£ the time he waa on active servioe Lieutenant Scotland was at But»rab. where he was testing and fitting lp aeroplanes. At first the machine used was a Firman 'plane, bat afterwards a consignment of a later and more up to«d'ite machine was received. Tbe machines, after being fitted up, hud to be taken up the river, and ibis waa one o£ Lieutenant Scotland's duties. The machines were then carried to their destinations on steamers. To demon strate how difficult is the conduct of the campaign, be instanced the building of monitors at the;,town where the Anglo Persian Oil Company's vi(jrk3 are situated So shallow waa the Sbat el-Arab in places that the draught of monitors was only 2ft 6in The soil was not sand , .it,was really a kind of clay, which smothered J everything.

When Lieutenant {Scotland was taken ill he was flying one o£ the aeroplanes up the river, and just left about the time that General Town ehend met with hig reverse at OtesiphoD, roughly, about 14 miles from Bagdad. The enemy brought up Bnoicaous reinforcements and outnumbered the British troops by about pix to one, with the result that

General Townshend'B army bud to retreat about JPO miles to Kul el Araarti, aitoi" sustaining heavy pa 3 ualties, British reinforcements were now pouring io, however, including well known Imperial regiments. Aero piano work in Mesopotamia (Lieuten rint ScDtland stated) was vastly different, be imngined, to what it w^p

in Franoe. The Turks and Arabs had few anti aircraft guns, but they were receiving up to date armaments from Germany General yon der Goltz was in cuurgo of the Turkish army, and in ypifce of his age he was looked upon us a very capable nnd clever officer.

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Permanent link to this item

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Bibliographic details

IN MESOPOTAMIA., Akaroa Mail and Banks Peninsula Advertiser, Volume LXXV, Issue 3533, 4 April 1916

Word Count
523

IN MESOPOTAMIA. Akaroa Mail and Banks Peninsula Advertiser, Volume LXXV, Issue 3533, 4 April 1916

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