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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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(e) Long-standing British rights of navigation on the rivers
of Mesopotamia to be confirmed and extended.
(/) A settlement to be made in regard to the Turco-Persian
frontier, and a convention to be concluded, on the
basis of proposals submitted, for the future conservancy
of the Shatt al Arab.
(g) A complete adjustment to be reached of all questions
relating to 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. , so as to ensure the
recognition and continuance of the political status quo of
a hundred years, and the consequent maintenance of
peace and development of trade in those regions.
All these points were settled satisfactorily and were on
the point of ratification when war broke out. Concurrent
negotiations were pursued by Great Britain and Germany
on the one hand and by Germany and Turkey on the other,
the British object being to reconcile the great and manifold
interests of both countries and to substitute mutual co-operation
for suspicion and distrust. The ensuing Anglo-German con
vention was also on the point of ratification in August 1914.
With the possible exception of the Turco-Persian boundary
question, there is perhaps no single subject so complicated,
no correspondence so voluminous in the archives of the Foreign
Office, as that respecting British rights of navigation on
Mesopotamian rivers during the past eighty years. Before
then no serious difficulties arose and nothing but a friendly
welcome was extended to the British flag. All through the
latter half of the eighteenth century the East India Company’s
ships assisted the Pasha of Baghdad in his operations against
the Arabs above and below Basra; in 1774, British-built
vessels, each carrying fourteen guns, were supplied for the
Pasha, who, finding himself unable to man them, said he
must rely upon the British Resident to employ them as he
might think best for Turkish interests ; in 1775, the naval
defence of Basra against the Persians was entrusted to English
men, who in 1778 aided in regaining the town for Turkey
and re-established order on the rivers. Nor was the association
of British ships with these waters confined to naval operations :
the first attempt of the East India Company to trade with
Basra was made in 1639, and in five years' time this place was
described as one of the Company’s most important centres
of exchange. By the end of the seventeenth and throughout
the eighteenth century the Company's ships navigated the
Euphrates and Tigris ; and although by the beginning of the
nineteenth century regular sailings on the Euphrates by

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.' [‎32r] (68/454), British Library: India Office Records and Private Papers, IOR/L/MIL/17/15/66/1, in Qatar Digital Library <> [accessed 24 August 2019]

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