>> Set up by British troops in 1918, this shipyard in Iraq survives old age. Thanks to its vintage machinery and the skills of its workers. Thousands of ships, including former dictator Saddam Hussein's yacht, have passed through Basra's shipyard's three docks. A giant steam engine hauls them out of the water and up the century old wooden tracks.
Here, it is in action in 1917.>>
> It's the same wood that's on the tracks and on the dock where it's anchored. It's the same wood. It said they brought it in from the British colonies, from Burma, a 100 years ago. And the longer it goes, the stronger it becomes.
We tried to drill a one and a half inch nail into it once, and it broke. We couldn't. It's like stainless steel, not wood.
>> There are no spare parts and no written manuals. The engineers say, its success is all down to the high quality of British manufacturing. And Iraqi expertise to keep this ancient shipyard in use. In its heyday, the complex handled nine ships every month. In 2018, it repaired eight boats in total.
Set up by the British after its campaign to capture Baghdad from the Ottoman Turks during the first World War. It's since survived multiple wars, staying afloat and preserving history.