Did the Iranians resist the allied occupation?

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Did the Iranians resist the allied occupation?

Post by aftershock2222 » 08 Dec 2003 02:16

I read that Iran was occupied by the British and Soviets during the war because of the Shah's pro Axis leanings.They installed his son Shah Pahlavi as ruler.Does anyone know if ther was any kind of resistance?

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Post by daveh » 08 Dec 2003 15:40

WW2 Nation by Nation
J Lee Ready ISBN 1 85409 290 1

Says that
2 Iranian warships were sunk and 4 crippled by the R N

6 Iranian fighters were shot down

Iranian Army defending Paytak Pass were bombed then attacked

Iranian armed forces lost
a few hundred killed and wounded

Persia Invaded
By WW2 People's War Team

'This incident brings into war a neutral and pacific country which has had no other care than the safeguarding of tranquillity and the reform of the country.'
- Reza Shah Pahlavi in letter to Franklin Roosevelt, 25 August 1941

Theatre: Middle East
Area: Persia (now Iran)
Dates: 25 August to 17 September 1941
Outcome: Operation Countenance, the invasion of Persia, was a rapid success and secured supply lines for the Eastern Front.
Allies: Iraqforce (renamed Paiforce on 1 September), comprising 8th and 10th Indian Infantry Divisions, 2nd Indian Armoured Brigade, 9th Armoured Brigade and 21st Indian Infantry Brigade; 44th, 47th and 53rd Soviet Armies

Persia: Nine infantry divisions of the Persian Army

Persia's strategic importance increased as the war progressed. In 1940 it produced over eight million tons of oil, essential for the Allied war effort. Furthermore, Germany's invasion of Russia in June 1941 made Persia critically important for sending American Lend-Lease supplies to the Eastern Front.

While officially neutral, Persia had friendly ties with Germany and was home to many German nationals. Reza Shah Pahlavi's refusal to expel the German nationals, coupled with their more strategic concerns, prompted an Anglo-Soviet invasion in August 1941.

The invasion and occupation of Persia was swift and undemanding. The British units invaded Persia from their bases in Iraq, to the south of Iran. The Russians invaded from the north. Persian resistance was rapidly overwhelmed and neutralised by Soviet and British tanks and infantry. Before long, the Shah was exiled to South Africa.

The British and Soviet troops met in Tehran on 17 September and effectively divided the country between them for the rest of the war. A Tri-Partite Treaty of Alliance between Britain, Russia and Persia, signed in January 1942, committed the Allies to leaving Persia at the end of the war.


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Psycho Mike
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Post by Psycho Mike » 08 Dec 2003 16:13

This is an excellent series of articles on the National Socialist background of the Baath party, the present terror groups and the history of resistence and support of Hitler.


Of course how many leftists and anti- war people understand they are supporting Hitler is unknown.

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Re: Did the Iranians resist the allied occupation?

Post by Witch-King of Angmar » 08 Dec 2003 19:56

aftershock2222 wrote:I read that Iran was occupied by the British and Soviets during the war because of the Shah's pro Axis leanings
There was said that Hitler's government intended to draw Iran into the Axis, for four reasons:

- Iranian oil

- possibility to recruit an Iranian volunteer force to hit the Soviet Union from the South

- denial of Iranian resources(oil and others) to the Allies

- possibility to threaten British India.

In regard of these, the invasion was an absolute must for both Britain & USSR - the entire war in the East could be won or lost there.

~The Witch-King of Angmar

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Iran was already cooperating

Post by Vinnie O » 08 Dec 2003 22:31

By the time of the invasion the government of Iran had already ordered the NEUTRAL German civilians out of their country, regardless of the fact that these German petroleum and railway construction engineers and their families had done NOTHING to interfere with the government of Iran.

The English then complained that they'd been given 90 days (or something) instead of over night. The English clearly decided to invade Iran as soon as they had finished invading Iraq and Syria, and there was nothing Iran could have done to prevent the invasion.

I don't believe that the Russians had made ANY demands, submitted any kind of ultimatum, etc., and so the Russian arm of the invasion was a COMPLETE surprise. The English arm was also a COMPLETE surprise, but at least the English had been making threatening noises.

Any country that resisted caving in to Allied demands for free use of their territory and complete domination of their foreign policy was branded "pro-Fascist" and put on the list of countries to be invaded by the Allies. In most cases bona fide nationalists were labelled as "Nazi sympathizers" so as not to confuse the folks back home. The Icelanders came within a hair's breadth of resisting their "occupation" and the US was on the verge of invading Brazil when they discovered by ACCIDENT that the Brazilians would simply LEASE us airbases.

The Allies had no particular need for direct control of Iranian oil since they could simply BUY all of it on the international market. I don't believe that the Germans were in a position to take delivery of ANY Iranian products. Iran was about as much threat to England or Russia as Denmark was to Germany.

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Post by mars » 09 Dec 2003 04:51

British lost in this operation were 22 killed and 42 wounded

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Book on the Invasion of Iran 1941

Post by asiaticus » 05 Mar 2004 05:45

The book that covers the whole Iranian campaign, and the lead up to it is:

Sunrise at Abadan, British and Soviet Invasion of Iran 1941 by Richard A. Stewart, Praeger, 1988.

Very good account with maps, photos and historical background.

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Leo Niehorster
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Post by Leo Niehorster » 05 Mar 2004 09:29

Hi asiaticus,

Does Sunrise at Abadan, British and Soviet Invasion of Iran 1941 by Richard A. Stewart, Praeger, 1988, have an (detailed) order of battle for the various invading parties? For Iran?


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Iran oob

Post by asiaticus » 05 Mar 2004 10:28

It mentions many units in its text and index and it metions where they were stationed in the text. I purchased your Iranian Armed Forces 0ct 1940 listing and compared it to the text to create an oob for an addon to a computer wargame. I can post my conjecture of their dispositions based on the text:

Iranian Army Aug. 25, 1941

1st Guards (Teheran)
2nd Guards (Teheran)

1st Guards (Teheran)
1st , 2nd (Ahwaz area)
20th Inf
1st Art 105mm short Skoda
Mtn Art. batteries

2nd Guards (Teheran)
6th Inf, 21st, 1st Art 105mm short Skoda
Mtn Art. batteries

9 mixed divisions garrisoned at:
3rd Tabriz
4th Rezeiyeh
5th Kurdistan
6th Ahvaz
9th Meshed
10th Gorgan
11th Rasht
12th Kermanshah
13th Isfahan
15th Ardabil
17th Khovey

Deployed vs Russia with metioned units. (locations)

3rd (Tabriz)
eng Btn
4th (Rezeiyeh)

9th (Meshed)
2inf 2cav rgts , Art. R 3 75mm , 3 105mm batteries(Meshed)
28th Inf(Tobat e Jam)
? Cav (Bojnurd)

10th (Gorgan)
23rd cav (Gonbad i Kavas)
? I. Rgt (Atrek R.)

11th (Rasht)
36th Rgt (Bandar i Pahlavi)

15th (Ardabil)
11th,? Rgts

17th (Khovey)
2? Cav. Rgts 1800men
17th Rgt (Maku)

Deployed vs UK with metioned units. (locations)

5th Kurdistan(Senneh)
22nd Muzaffar Inf, 6th Art mixed(Senneh)
8th Ind Bttn Gendarmarie(Senneh)
14th Cav, 6th Ind Bttn Gendarmarie(Sakriz)
24th Inf(Baneh)
23rd Inf(Merivan)
7th Ind Bttn Gendarmarie (Nausud)

6th (Ahvaz)
13th, 43rd, Gendarmarie (Abadan)
19th, (Dizful)
30th (Qsar)
45th,(w. of Hawizeh)
9th cav,(Shush)

12th (Kermanshah)
38th Inf, 23rd Cav (Kermanshah)
14th Art, 39th Inf (Qasr-i-Shiran & Naft-i-shah)
5th Gendarmarie (Pusht-i-Koh)
8th Eng. Bttn

13th (Isfahan)
37th Inf, 38th Art.

16th Division (loc ?)

Iran also had Police forces that fought the Brits too, see the oob above.

5 independent brigades. (police)

1 independent mechanized brigade: made up of
1 anti-aircraft regiments
1 tank regiment,
1 mechanized infantry regiments came into being
1 heavy artillery regiment

1 independent infantry regiment,
1 heavy artillery regiment,
1 anti-aircraft battalion,
armed police force
7 independent mixed regiments
15 mixed battalions

The book mentions that there was a well equipped and armed fortress in a key pass in the north that could have tied up the Russians if the Iranians had garrisoned the thing properly.

From a website article I ran across:

In the face of the Brit and Russian threats, in 1941 the number of active army personnel increased to 120,000. All of the armed forces were dispersed into six military districts.

The armed police force fielded seven independent mixed regiments and 15 mixed battalions that formed a corps for internal and frontier security duties.

In 1940 an independent mechanized brigade made up of anti-aircraft, tank, and mechanized infantry regiments came into being.

Officers were mainly French trained.

Their artillery was a mix of mostly French WWI stuff and some modern Czech guns. Small arms Czech for the Guard and Mech Bde. others for the Mixed Divisons.


From the TANKS Website I gleened the following:

It seems this independent mechanized brigade was equipped with Czech tanks:

CKD AH-IV [similar to the Romanian R-1]

CKD TNH [later known as Pz 38(t)A used by the Germans]

Iran also had British built 1921 Rolls Royce India Pattern armored cars

the Police had an American La France Company manufacturedTK-6 Armored cars and Marmon Herrington CTL1's

So thats what I know in breif.

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military districts

Post by asiaticus » 05 Mar 2004 10:37

I think these are IDs and the troops for 2 of the military districts.

5th Military District (Isfahan)
5th Military District HQ
5th Kurdistan Division(Senneh)
13th Division (Isfahan)
6th Independant Battalion Gendarmarie(Sakriz)
7th Independant Battalion Gendarmarie (Nausud)
8th Independant Battalion Gendarmarie(Senneh)

6th Military District (Ahvaz)
6th Ahvaz Division
12th Kermanshah Division
6th Independant Regiment Gendarmarie (Abadan)
5th Independant Battalion Gendarmarie (Pusht-i-Koh)

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Leo Niehorster
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Post by Leo Niehorster » 05 Mar 2004 13:17

Great Stuff. Many thanks


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Post by DrG » 05 Mar 2004 13:27

In this page there is a description of Iran in WW2 and some useful maps and links: http://history.acusd.edu/gen/WW2Timeline/iran.html

In this Italian page there is an account of that forgotten campaign: http://www.lasecondaguerramondiale.it/iran.html.
There are 3 maps:
Soviet attack
British southern attack
British northern attack

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