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‘Military report on Persia Volume I 1930’ [‎8r] (20/154)

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The record is made up of 1 volume (73 folios). It was created in 1920-1931. 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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co-operation was at first afiorded by the Persian authorities,
some of whom in 1915 were actively engaged in facilitat
ing the escape of enemy war prisoners, but considerable
improvement in their attitude was subsequently manifested.
During 1916, much trouble was caused in the Sarhad
region by the^ Damani tribe, of which a sharp little cam-
paipi by Dritish troops, resulting in the subjugation of the
malcontents, was the outcome. Early in 1917, the 2nd
bemirechia Cossacks were withdrawn in order to partici
pate in Russian punitive measures against the Yamut
-Turkomans in the Asterabad area and in the Gurgan and
Atrek regions, and the militia left for Turkistan some
what later.
W ith the outbreak of the Russian revolution rapid de
moralisation _ of the remaining Cossacks set in. Although
anti-Bolshevik in attitude, discipline quickly disappeared,
and ^ early in 1918, the men insisted on returning to
Semirechia to protect their homes. On arrival at Askhabad
they Mere promptly disarmed by the # Bolsheviks, and the
same fate befell the 2 nd Semirechia regiment on their return
to Turkistan from Asterabad. Khurasan was thus left to
anarchy and to the unchecked movements of enemy bodies
and agents, and to remedy this state of affairs British
troops (in the first instance, the 19th Punjabis and the
28th Light Cavalry) were pushed up to Meshed in March
1918. In July a Military Mission, with the main object of
preventing German and Turkish penetration to Afghanistan
through Trans-Caspia and Khurasan, was formed at Meshed.
In the same month a rising in Trans-Caspia of Russian
and Turkoman elements against Bolshevik tyranny occurred,
and met with some initial success. The Bolsheviks,
however, speedly reinforced from Tashkent, pressed back
their ill-organised opponents from the Oxus to the vicinity
of Merv, and in August 1918, the Trans-Caspian Provisional
Government invoked British _ assistance, for which sanction
was received. In a succession of engagements in Trans-
Caspia the 19th Punjabis and 28th Light Cavalry,
subsequently reinforced by British infantry "and artillery
from the North Persian Force, were instrumental in saving
the situation for the Trans-Caspian forces, and in placing
the local defeat of the Bolshevik forces within their grasp.
In April of 1919, the British force was, for reasons of
major policy, withdrawn to Khurasan. The Trans-Caspians
were reinforced by elements from Denikin’s forces from

About this item


Military report on the Khurasan [Khurāsān] and Seistan [Sīstān] regions of Persia [Iran], with maps and illustrations. Produced by the General Staff, India, and published in Calcutta [Kolkata] by the Government of India Press, 1931. Marked for official use only.

The report includes chapters on:

  • a history of Khurasan and Seistan
  • the geography of Khurasan and Seistan (mountains, rivers, deserts, an alphabetical listing of towns) and climate (including assessments of the health risks associated with both regions)
  • population (religion, tribes)
  • resources (including crops, grazing, fuel, transport, and a note on horses and mules in Khurasan)
  • armed forces (including a description of the Eastern Division of the Persian military, an Order of Battle, organisation, armaments, equipment, clothing, rations, training)
  • aviation (detailing the organisation, personnel, equipment, aerodromes, etc., of the Persian Air Force)
  • administration (municipal, police, justice, department of public instruction, revenue, roads and communications, census, post and telegraphs, sanitation)
  • communications (railways, roads, types of motor transport in use, principal routes used by travellers from Meshed [Mashad] to Russian territory, telegraphs, telephones, wireless)

An appendix includes a veterinary note on conditions in Khurasan and Seistan. The volume also includes four colour plates illustrating different badges associated with Persian army and police officers, and a number of maps and diagrammatic maps.

Extent and format
1 volume (73 folios)

A contents page at the front of the volume (f 6) and index at the rear (ff 64-66) both reference the volume’s original printed pagination.

Physical characteristics

Foliation: the foliation sequence (used for referencing) commences at the front cover with 1, and terminates at the inside back cover with 75; 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 file also contains an original printed pagination sequence.

Written in
English in Latin script
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‘Military report on Persia Volume I 1930’ [‎8r] (20/154), British Library: India Office Records and Private Papers, IOR/L/MIL/17/15/7, in Qatar Digital Library <> [accessed 7 December 2019]

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