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'HISTORY OF THE GREAT WAR BASED ON OFFICIAL DOCUMENTS. THE CAMPAIGN IN MESOPOTAMIA 1914-1918. VOLUME I.' [‎15v] (35/454)

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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10 HISTORY OF THE WAR : MESOPOTAMIA
thirty-five miles farther north-west and by the Tigris at the
Fat-ha gorge about sixty-five miles above Samarra. In the
region of the two Zabs there is much cultivation.
The Kurdish mountains rise to heights of 11,000 to 14,000
feet and form a difficult and intricate barrier. To the south
east they merge often into rolling downs and lower hills, where
in spring grass is frequently plentiful. Along the Persian
frontier the ranges run generally north-west and south-east
and the tracks for pack animals which cross them are all
more or less difficult. The passes in winter are usually blocked
by snow.
West of the Euphrates the country is generally an arid
desert, though towards the north it becomes gradually less so.
The above necessarily brief description of a country, difficult
to visualise even in general terms—because it is rarely the
same for more than a few weeks together—shows that “ all
military problems therein, whether strategical, tactical or
administrative, are affected by local conditions to an extent
rarely met with in any theatre of war. Nearly all the
conditions combine to create difficulties ; there is little to
alleviate them, and most may be ascribed either to a lack of
water or a surfeit of it. Far away from the rivers want of water
makes operations impossible, while near them the excess of
water is almost as great a source of trouble.”*
The population has been estimated at between two and
two and a half millions ; but, as there are no accurate statistics
on which to base such an estimate, it may be very wide of the
truth. The Arabs form the great majority of the population
in the plains, where other races are hardly found except in
the towns or on the northern and eastern fringes of the plains—
Armenians and Kurds form the majority of the latter category ;
ut there is a sprinkling there, in the hills and especially in
the towns, of Persians, Jews, Christians of different races and
sects, Yezdis, Chabaks, Circassians, etc.
The Arabs have emigrated from the Arabian deserts and their
establishment in Mesopotamia dates back very many years.
robably caused by the pressure of an increasing population
on a soil growing steadily poorer, they have taken the oppor
tunity offered by the weakness of neighbouring northern states
o occupy land and pastures. The weakness of past adminis
trations has not assisted to accelerate their transition from a
nomadic to a settled life. It seems probable, however, that
in a reconstituted Mesopotamia t he surplus population of
* Field Notes, Mesopotamia, General Staff, India.

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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.' [‎15v] (35/454), 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_100048172213.0x000024> [accessed 23 August 2019]

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