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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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at the
In the
ire all
i arid
ess so.
ly the
t “ all
:al or
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Arabia will find not only an abundant means of livelihood
but far-reaching possibilities of social and intellectual advance.*
The Arabs are not found in the east beyond the Tigris above
Mosul—a predominantly Arab city—but south of there they
share with the Kurds the plains east and north of the Jabal
Hamrin to where it is pierced by the Diyala river, where the
Jabal Hamrin forms the dividing line between the two races.
Arabs meet Kurds at the foot of the Pusht-i-Kuh hills, and in
Arabistan they hold the greater part of the plains.
If united, the Arabs would constitute a factor of the highest
importance in the general situation: but differences of religion,
character, pursuits and interests have prevented any enduring
combination. About one half of them are nomads or semi
nomads, and it is this fact which has hitherto placed insuperable
obstacles in the way of the development of the country.
Most of the nomads are found in Upper Mesopotamia, the
western desert and Arabistan. They are pastoral tent-dwellers
and possess a tribal organisation. Each tribal unit has certain
pasture grounds which it visits according to the state of pasture
and water, and their movements are frequently far and wide.
Some of the nomad Shaikhs have more or less recognised
claims over cultivated lands, which are worked for them by
negroes or fellahin. But disputes and strife over all lands
are common and add to the complexity of administration.
The semi-nomads consist generally of tribes living in various
intermediate stages between pme nomadism and the condition
of settled cultivators. But reversion to the nomad stage is
frequent. They are, as a rule, mainly dependent on their
live-stock, and in the spring, when there is abundant pasture in
the open desert and steppe, the majority of them range over
the plains with their flocks and herds. Some of them live
in tents all the year round even when they raise their crops ;
others have villages of mud or reed huts near their fields.
Among them also tribal organisation still holds sway, though
having taken partly to agriculture as a means of livelihood
they have lost caste with the true Bedouin.
Amongst both nomads and semi-nomads tribal law and
customs reign and tribal blood feuds continue. The Turks
exercised only a limited authority over them and the Turkish
administration was wont deliberately to foster tribal jealousies
from sheer inability to exercise effective control.
The settled Arabs who are cultivators still keep more or
* Readers interested in this question are referred to the Report on the
Administration of Mesopotamia by Miss Gertrude Bell. 1919.

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.' [‎16r] (36/454), British Library: India Office Records and Private Papers, IOR/L/MIL/17/15/66/1, in Qatar Digital Library <> [accessed 23 August 2019]

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