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The record is made up of 1 volume (223 folios). It was created in 1923. It was written in English. The original is part of the British Library: India Office The department of the British Government to which the Government of India reported between 1858 and 1947. The successor to the Court of Directors. Records and Private Papers.


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increase of the active strength of the Army Bearer Corps to
4,500* they considered that the deficiency in trained medical
personnel should, in case of mobilization, be obtained from
Great Britain or, if she was at war, by improvised arrangements
or from the Dominions and, under the Geneva Convention,
from neutral nations.
India’s industrial development was so backward that it was
said that it was not possible for her to equip completely from
her own resources even one infantry soldier. Her annual out
turn of rifles was only nine thousand, of shell twenty-four
thousand, of quick-firing field artillery only the very small
number of guns required to replace ordinary wastage and of
small-arm ammunition fifty-two million rounds; machine
guns, heavy artillery and many classes of shell were not made
in the country at all. For expansion, men, machinery, tools
and material had to come from Home, where already there
was a shortage ; and the same applied to railway, telegraph
and telephone material and in fact to practically every article
of military equipment, except clothing and boots. At the
outbreak of war all the pilots and students at the aviation
school were sent home and given up to the War Office, and when
the latter were able many months afterwards to send out the
first two aeroplanes, aviators had to be borrowed from the
Dominions. And so it went on. From the very commence
ment India denuded herself freely, and that she could not give
more was due to her conditions and to the same fact that
hampered operations in Europe, namely, the lack of national
organisation of the resources of the United Kingdom and the
Empire for purposes of war.
During the period that the danger from Russian aggression
appeared greatest, His Majesty’s Government had accepted the
responsibility of providing reinforcements for India from over
seas in the event of war. About 1911, when war with Germany
appeared a possibility, the thoughts of the General Staff at the
War Office turned to the assistance that India might be able
to render the Empire in time of need. There is evidence to
show that during the next two years some members of the
General Staff both at the War Office and at Army Headquarters,
India, were discussing this question among themselves, but
apparently without the knowledge of the higher civil authorities
in either country. In December 1912 this discussion resulted
in the preparation by the General Staff at the War Office of a
draft letter from the Army Council to the India Office The department of the British Government to which the Government of India reported between 1858 and 1947. The successor to the Court of Directors. asking
* When war broke out the active strength was 3,150.

About this item


The volume is the first volume of an official government publication compiled at the request of the Government of India, and under the direction of the Historical Section of the Committee of Imperial Defence, by Brigadier-General Frederick James Moberly. The volume was printed and published at His Majesty's Stationery Office, London.

The contents provide a narrative of the operations of 1914-1918 in Mesopotamia, based mainly on official documents.

The volume is divided into two parts. The first part, entitled, 'Part I. Before the Outbreak of Hostilities', consists of the following five chapters:

  • General Description of the Country
  • The Turks in Mesopotamia
  • British Pre-War Policy
  • The Army in India and Pre-War Military Policy
  • Inception of the Operations

The second part, entitled, 'Part II. The Campaign in Lower Mesopotamia', consists of the following seven chapters:

  • The Landing in Mesopotamia of Force "D" and the Operations Leading to the Occupation of Basra
  • The Occupation of Basra and the Capture of Qurna
  • Commencement of the Turkish Counter-Offensive
  • Development and Defeat of the Turkish Counter-Offensive
  • Operations in Arabistan and the Capture of Amara
  • Operations on the Euphrates and the Occupation of Nasiriya
  • The battle of Kut and Occupation of Aziziya

The volume also includes nine maps, entitled:

  • The Middle East
  • Lower Mesopotamia
  • Map 1 - To illustrate operations described in Chapter VI
  • Map 2 - To illustrate fighting near Qurna
  • Map 3 - To illustrate fighting round Shaiba
  • Map 4 - To illustrate operations in Persian Arabistan
  • Map 5 - To illustrate operations in the Akaika Channel 27th June to 5th July 1915
  • Map 6 - To illustrate operations near Nasiriya 6th to 24th July 1915
  • Map 7 - To illustrate the Battle of Kut 28th September 1915
Extent and format
1 volume (223 folios)

The volume contains a page of errata (folio 5), a list of contents (folios 6-8), a list of maps and illustrations (folio 9), appendices (folios 185v-192), an index (folios 192v-214v), and eight maps in a pocket attached to the inside back cover (folios 217-224).

Physical characteristics

Foliation: the foliation sequence commences at the inside front cover with 1 and terminates at the inside back cover with 225; these numbers are written in pencil, are circled, and are located in the top right corner of the recto The front of a sheet of paper or leaf, often abbreviated to 'r'. side of each folio.

Pagination: the volume also contains an original printed pagination sequence.

Written in
English in Latin script
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'HISTORY OF THE GREAT WAR BASED ON OFFICIAL DOCUMENTS. THE CAMPAIGN IN MESOPOTAMIA 1914-1918. VOLUME I.' [‎44v] (93/454), British Library: India Office Records and Private Papers, IOR/L/MIL/17/15/66/1, in Qatar Digital Library <> [accessed 17 February 2020]

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