RAF Habbaniya, Iraq 'Jewel of the Desert' DVD
RAF Habbaniya, the largest RAF station in the World.
In 1934, a huge RAF Station was built in central Iraq, next to the River Euphrates on the shores of Lake Habbaniya, it housed Air Headquarters Iraq, hundreds of RAF serviceman and their families, flying squadrons, armoured car units and several thousand Iraq, Kurdish and Assyrian Levies as well as their families.
The RAF helped to protect British oil interests in the region, provided a staging post for aircraft heading to and from the Far East and, in 1940, became the home of No.4 Flying Training school, who moved away from the war in the Middle East to the supposedly peaceful skies of Iraq.
However, the station’s very existence was threatened in 1941 by the violent, Nazi sponsored, Rashid Ali uprising that besieged RAF Habbaniya, bringing it to the brink of defeat and starvation.
Winston Churchill appreciated that the defeat of the RAF in Iraq would place the Allied oil fields and pipelines in Axis hands, and have grave consequences for outcome of the War.
The full story of the dramatic siege of Habbaniya and the part the Flying School, The Levies and British forces played, in the 1941 Iraq War, is revealed and recounted by some of those who actually lived through it illustrated by rare archive film and photographs in ‘RAF Habbaniya Jewel of the desert’
This opulent and fascinating Royal Air Force Station remained one of the RAFs prime postings throughout the War and up until 1958 when another Iraqi revolution forced the British to hand the base over to the Iraqi Army and leave the country.
The full 90 minute DVD will be available from this website later this year.