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H.M. Naval Base, Basra
H.M.S. Euphrates
Ensign of the Royal Navy animated.gif
CountryFlag of the Ottoman Empire (1844–1922).png Basra Vilayet, Mesopotamia, Ottoman Empire
AllegianceFlag United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.gif United Kingdom
BranchNaval Ensign of the United Kingdom.svg Royal Navy
TypeNaval Base & Station
Part ofEgypt and Red Sea Station
Garrison/HQRN Base, Basra, Iraq

Basra was a naval base and area command of the British Royal Navy, it was first established in 1916 and deactivated in 1919. At various times it encompassed a shore base, naval formations and other ships not attached to other formations. Command was initially vested in a Captain.


Basra, Mesopotamia. 1918. Aerial view of the port of Ashar with the Shatt-el-Arab in the foreground. Image is in the Public Domain

Basra was, for a long time, a flourishing commercial and cultural center. It was captured by the Ottoman Empire in 1668. It was fought over by Turks and Persians and was the scene of repeated attempts at resistance. From 1697 to 1701, Basra was once again under Safavid control. The Zand Dynasty under Karim Khan Zand briefly occupied Basra after a long siege in 1775–9. The Zands attempted at introducing Usuli form of Shiism on a basically Akhbari Shia Basrans. The shortness of the Zand rule rendered this untenable.

In 1884 the Ottomans responded to local pressure from the Shi'as of the south by detaching the southern districts of the Baghdad vilayet and creating a new vilayet of Basra.

After the Battle of Basra (1914) during World War I, the occupying British modernized the port (works designed by Sir George Buchanan); these British commercial interests made it one of the most important ports in the Persian Gulf "with shipping and trade links to the Far East. The British established a naval base HMS Euphrates in the Port of Basra, Iraq on the river Euphrates.[1] The station was disestablished after the first world war. It was a sub-area command of the larger Egypt and Red Sea Station (1916-1919)

During World War II it was an important port through which flowed much of the equipment and supplies sent to the Soviet Union by the other allies. At the end of the Second World War. In 1941, with the success of the Anglo-Soviet invasion of Iran, HMS Euphrates was reestablished at the former Iranian Navy base at Khurramshahr on the Shatt-al-Arab.[2] Khurramshahr was subordinate command of the Senior Naval Officer, Persian Gulf, until 1945.

In Command

Divisional Naval Transport Officer, Basra

Divisional Naval Transport Officer, Basra
Rank Insig Name Term Notes/Ref
1 Commander RN Captain Rank Insignia.png Rose C. P. Price 1916 - December, 1919.


  1. Admiralty, British (December 1919). Navy List. London England: H.M.S.O. p. 1154.
  2. "HyperWar: The Royal Indian Navy (Chapter 5)". Retrieved 2018-10-30.