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'Historical Summary of Events in Territories of the Ottoman Empire, Persia and Arabia affecting the British Position in the Persian Gulf, 1907-1928' [‎9r] (24/188)

The record is made up of 1 volume (90 folios). It was created in 1928. 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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PART II.—THE WAR (1914-19).
Chapter (4).—The Ottoman Empire (19i4:-19).
In this Part no attempt has been made to follow as a whole or in detail the
^ course of military operations in the Middle East during the years of war. To have
done so would be outside the scope of this paper. What has been attempted is a
broad consecutive outline of such political and military events as were an expression
of policy, on the part of the enemies of Great Britain, of Great Britain herself, or
of her Allies, that bore more or less directly upon British interests in the Persian
Gulf. Even with these limitations the subject is a large one.
On the ,31st October, 1914, the day after the Entente Powers had broken oft'
relations with lurkey, the Committee of Union and Progress sent a circular letter to
all its sections throughout the Empire. This letter explained that, in deciding to
participate in the World War, Turkey was moved by two chief considerations. She
sought to defend herself against the traditional Russian purpose of destroying the
Empire and taking possession of Constantinople and the Straits. And she sought
the realisation of something ' £ far nearer to our hearts "—the " vindication of our
national ideal ... in order to obtain thereby a national frontier to our Empire,
which should include and unite all branches of our race." In putting forward these
motives there can be no doubt the Committee of Union and Progress fastened on
^ them as making the strongest appeal to the country.
On the 6th November, 1914, a week after the beginning of hostilities with
Turkey, a British expeditionary force from India landed at Eao, in Mesopotamia,
for the protection of the oil supply from Persia. On the 22nd November this force
occupied Basra.
On the 14th November the Turkish Sultan-Caliph proclaimed jehad against all
Powers making war upon Turkey or her allies. Much was expected from the playing
of this trump, out the results were disappointing. It will be necessary to say more
on this subject when writing of events of the war in Arabia.
In prosecution of the war against Russia and at the same time of pan-Turkish
aims, the chief Turkish military effort was directed to the Transcaucasian front.
The presence of the cc Goeben " secured the line of sea communications to Trebizond
and enabled troops to be conveyed by water. Nevertheless, it was found impossible
to begin these ambitious operations before the middle ol December—'two weeks later
than had been intended, and therefore in danger of winter snow. They were a
^ boldly conceived and conducted attempt to envelop and destroy the opposing Russian
forces by a wide encircling movement, and as a result to secure immediate occupation
of the lost districts of Ivars and Ardahan. Many German officers were employed
and Enver Pasha himself was present. But exceptionally heavy snow arrived and
delayed the enveloping troops that were to come in on the Russian rear by Ardahan
from Trebizond. During ten days of severe fighting the Russians were able to deal
with the widely separated Turkish forces in detail; and by the first week in January
1915 a Turkish army of 150,000 men had ceased to exist as a military organisation.
It had. however, been touch and go at the crisis of the struggle. Enver Pasha and
the pan-Turks never came so near to achieving a great and resounding triumph as
they did during the last few days of December 1914" Nor was the pan-Turkish cause
ever able to overtake the disastrous effects of these early battles around Sarikamish.
Meanwhile Turkish troops had advanced into Persian Azerbaijan in attempted
realisation of pan-Turkish aims. And although this movement was defeated by the
Russians, yet the Turks were able to prevent a Russian occupation of territory
around Lake \ an that would have prevented Turkish access to North-Western
A dissipation of Turkish strength in Persia and North-Eastern Asia Minor
> was opposed to German ideas of what the interests of the alliance required. German
military policy called for an advance through Syria on Egypt. That was the quarter
m which Turkish military effort could produce the most valuable results—risings
against the British, interruption of the Canal, the locking-up of British troops on a
large scale. The restoration of Ottoman sovereignty in North-East Africa was
speciously advanced as the obvious reward of Turkish success in Egypt
But conquest in this direction had no attraction for the pan-Turks. They
recognised the extreme military difficulties that would attend it. Nor had they any

About this item


The volume is entitled Summary of Events in Territories of the Ottoman Empire, Persia and Arabia affecting the British Position in the Persian Gulf Historically used by the British to refer to the sea area between the Arabian Peninsula and Iran. Often referred to as The Gulf or the Arabian Gulf. , 1907-1928 (printed by the Committee of Imperial Defence, October 1928).

Includes sections on The Ottoman Empire, Persia, Arabia (Nejd [Najd]), Mohammerah [Khorramshahr], Muscat, and Bahrein [Bahrain].

Extent and format
1 volume (90 folios)

There is a table of contents at the front of the volume.

Physical characteristics

Foliation: the foliation sequence commences at 1 on the front cover and terminates at 90 on the back cover. These numbers are written in pencil, are enclosed in a circle, and appear in the top right hand corner of the recto The front of a sheet of paper or leaf, often abbreviated to 'r'. page of each folio. Foliation anomalies: ff. 1, 1A; ff. 86, 86A. Two folios, f. 3 and f. 4 have been reattached in the wrong order, so that f. 4 precedes f. 3. The following map folios need to be folded out to be examined: f. 87, f. 88.

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English in Latin script
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'Historical Summary of Events in Territories of the Ottoman Empire, Persia and Arabia affecting the British Position in the Persian Gulf, 1907-1928' [‎9r] (24/188), British Library: India Office Records and Private Papers, IOR/R/15/1/730, in Qatar Digital Library <> [accessed 22 October 2019]

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