04.04.

1939: The Rule of the Last King of Iraq

1939: The Rule of the Last King of Iraq
Photo Credit To Wikipedia Commons/ King Faisal II on his throne

Story Highlights

  • Historical event:
  • 4 April 1939
  • The young King Faisal II came to the throne when World War II broke out in Europe. There was a coup in Iraq in 1941 because the military officers wanted to take power and establish an alliance with Hitler`s Germany.

On this day in 1939 the rule of the last king of Iraq (in the history of this country) began. His name was Faisal II, and it is particularly interesting that he was only three years old when he became a king.

Namely, his father King Ghazi died in a car accident. Of course, King Faisal II was only three year old, and his uncle Prince Abdullah was elected to the position of the governor (regent) of Iraq.

The young King Faisal II came to the throne when World War II broke out in Europe. Prince Abdullah led a pro-British policy, and the conflict occurred in Iraq in 1941.

Namely, the military officers who wanted an alliance with Hitler`s Germany and other Axis powers deposed Abdullah`s government in 1941. The Third Reich sent aircraft (Messerschmitt Bf 110 and Heinkel He 111) to Iraq as a kind of military assistance. However, the British responded and blocked the Iraqi attempt to make an alliance with Nazis. The young King Faisal II stayed in England with his mother during World War II.

After the war, Faisal II attended the prestigious English school Harrow in London. Interestingly, his cousin King Hussein of Jordan went to the same school together with him (they were peers and members of the Hashemite dynasty). Apparently, they were close friends.

Western-raised Faisal II visited the USA in 1952, and saw many places there. In 1953, Faisal II became an adult and began to rule Iraq.

The former governor Prince Abdullah was his adviser, and had a significant role in politics. However, King Faisal II, Prince Abdullah, and other members of the royal dynasty were killed in extremely bloody coup in 1958. It was the end of royal power in Iraq, and the republic was proclaimed.

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