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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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can we give the sign ? My solution of the problem is that we
must give the signal before war breaks out or it may be too
late, and that the best way of doing so is to send a force from
India to the Shatt al Arab at once. We can easily do so at the
present moment without arousing any suspicion. Troops and
ships are in readiness at Bombay. The navy can convoy them
to the mouth of the Gulf, and the expedition, if despatched
under sealed orders, could arrive at the mouth of the Shatt al
Arab without a soul knowing anything about its despatch for
this purpose.
On arrival the troops could be landed on Persian soil at
Mohammerah or at Abadan island, ostensibly to protect the
oil installation, but in reality to notify to the Turks that we
meant business and to the Arabs that we were ready to support
them. So startling and unexpected a sign of our power to
strike would at once determine the attitude of the Shaikhs of
Mohammerah and Kuwait as well of Ibn Saud, and the support
of the Arabs would utterly destroy all prospect of Turkish
success either in Mesopotamia or in Egypt. With the Arabs
on our side a Jahad is impossible, and our Indian frontier is
safe from attack.
The force that we might thus despatch in the first instance
need not be large, as it will be perfectly secure from attack by
the Basra division in its position on the left bank of the Shatt
al Arab. I am of opinion that it might be limited to :—
One brigade of the 6 th Division.*
Two mountain batteries.
Two companies of Sappers.
If war breaks out it will be necessary to occupy Basra at
once, and this force might not be sufficient for such a purpose if
the Baghdad troops had also been brought down. This con
tingency might be provided for by bringing the necessary
reinforcements later on to Basidu (Kishmf) where they would
be within two days sail of the Shatt al Arab. We should thus
have a force more than sufficient to deal with any Turkish
opposition south of Baghdad itself .... (Here follow
some details regarding the 6 th Division which it was proposed
to employ).
This seems the psychological moment to take action. So
unexpected a stroke at this moment would have a startling
* This was the third Indian infantry division, which had been mobilized
in readiness to follow the other two infantry divisions to Egypt or Europe,
f Kishm island in 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. , where Basidu was a British naval station.

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.' [‎54r] (112/454), British Library: India Office Records and Private Papers, IOR/L/MIL/17/15/66/1, in Qatar Digital Library <> [accessed 21 August 2019]

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