• CLOSED
  • FREE
  • Chelsea, London
  • CLOSED
  • FREE
  • Chelsea, London

Holding the Line: Soldiering in South-Eastern Iraq

A Company 2 Rifles conduct operations in Basra, Iraq, in 2007

Join the Director of the National Army Museum, Brigadier JCW Maciejewski, as he talks about the experience of the 2 Rifles Battlegroup in Basra in 2006-07, the most intense period of the campaign in Iraq.

More than 10 years have passed since the final drawdown of the British military presence in southern Iraq. In this online talk, Justin Maciejewski DSO MBE reflects on the British Army’s operations in Basra during this most intense and critical period of Britain’s controversial, unpopular and little-understood campaign. 
 
In 2006, the public focus in Britain was on the unfolding war in Afghanistan. The political focus was on the maintenance of the Anglo-American strategic relationship. And the media focus was on the toxic politics surrounding British involvement in Iraq. 

Although the human cost was reported in the British press, little effort was made at the time to explain the Army’s hard-fought and intense operations, designed to avoid a potentially humiliating tactical defeat at the hands of Iranian-trained and -supported militias. 

As a result, this recent chapter in the history of the British Army has been largely obscured. Justin will share his views on and experience of this significant campaign.

Justin Maciejewski is a veteran of multiple tours of duty in Iraq. He was in command of the 2 Rifles Battlegroup in Basra in 2007. He has been the Director of the National Army Museum since 2018.

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"First time @NAM_London today. Thoroughly enjoyed it. Thought the presentation & interpretation made the subject accessible..."