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'HISTORY OF THE GREAT WAR BASED ON OFFICIAL DOCUMENTS. THE CAMPAIGN IN MESOPOTAMIA 1914-1918. VOLUME I.' [‎11v] (27/454)

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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2
HISTORY OF THE WAR: MESOPOTAMIA
and forms the principal means of communication with Arabistan
and the Anglo-Persian oilfields. The delta below Mohammerah
is navigable by only one arm and for six months in the year
is generally a swamp caused by the melting of the snows and
occasionally by the action of the autumn rains.
At Kurmat Ali, five and three-quarter miles above Basra,
the Euphrates enters from the west by its new channel; while
its old channel comes in at Qurna, forty miles further up. The
course of this river is nowhere clearly defined in its lower
reaches ; for, in addition to the old and new channels of the
main stream, there are many subsidiary watercourses and
tracts of water. Navigation is consequently complicated,
especially during the flood season. The Hammar lake, about
thirty-five miles west of Ourna, offers the chief obstacle owing
to its shallowness and narrow entrance. In 1914 this lake was
navigable only by vessels of three feet draught and that only
during the high water season : in the time of low water all
navigation was suspended except for heliums*
From Qurna to this lake and beyond it to some seven miles
downstream of Nasiriya the channel runs through extensive
swamps. There is then some cessation of these to Samawa
(209 miles from Qurna), though the country adjoining the
river is liable to floods in the spring. Here two channels come
in. These are the branches into which the Euphrates divides
a short distance below Musaiyib (155 miles up-stream) and are
generally known as the Hindiya canal and Shatt Hilla. The
Hindiya barrage, one of the Willcocks irrigation projects, is
situated at the point of diversion of the two channels and
regulates the distribution of water between them. Between
the barrage and Samawa are considerable tracts of water and
marsh, including the Shinafiya lake.
From Musaiyib to Falluja, a distance of fifty-six miles, the
average width of the river is 270 yards. The depth of water
in this stretch averages six and a half feet at its lowest and
the stream-level is then some ten feet below the river-banks.
In the spring the floods increase the depth of water from six
and a half to about eighteen feet, and the country on the
right bank for some twenty miles upstream of Musaiyib is
then liable to flooding if the marginal bunds are not well
looked to. *
* Country sailing boats of one to seventy-five tonnage (freight) and with a
draught of one to five and a half feet when fully laden. On the Shatt al
Arab this term is applied to small rowing boats, while the larger boats are
termed mahailas.

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Content

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)
Arrangement

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.' [‎11v] (27/454), British Library: India Office Records and Private Papers, IOR/L/MIL/17/15/66/1, in Qatar Digital Library <https://www.qdl.qa/archive/81055/vdc_100048172213.0x00001c> [accessed 21 September 2019]

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