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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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commenced. The camp site (sodden by the recent rain) and a
field of fire had to be cleared, involving among other work the
cutting down of date-palms on all sides ; and roads and ramps
—constructed mainly of hatch covers from the transports—
had to be made for landing guns, wagons and horses. In
consequence, only the 17th Company of Sappers and the 63rd
Field Battery disembarked that day.
General Barrett now received the following order from India :
“ Your objective is Basra. If after discussion with and taking
over from Delamain you consider your present force strong
enough you will move on Basra. Remainder of 6th Division
embarks on 19th at Bombay for Shaft al Arab.” After dis
cussing the situation with General Delamain, who told him
that information from reconnaissances and various other
sources indicated that Turkish forces were concentrating about
Saihan, only four miles west of the camp, General Barrett
instructed General Delamain to reconnoitre next day and to
dislodge this hostile gathering without involving his own force
too seriously.
For this operation, General Delamain detailed the 30th
Mountain Battery, Dorsets, and 104th Rifles under his own
command—with the 23rd Mountain Battery and 20th Punjabis
held ready in camp to reinforce should an engagement take
place—and stated his intention in his orders as ” a reconnais
sance will be made up-stream to-morrow.” On the 15th, this
force moved off at 6 a.m. and emerging south of the date
plantations marched westwards across the desert at a distance
of about 1,200 yards from them. About 7.10 a.m., when
the advanced guard consisting of half the Dorsets and
two guns of the 30th Battery arrived south of Saihan village
and creek, the enemy opened fire on it from two positions
on the edge of the plantations with rifles and machine guns
and on the main body, 1,200 yards behind, with artillery.
The 104th were sent to turn the enemy’s left, capture their
first position, and then to work through the plantations from
the east. By about 8.30 a.m., supported by the 30th Battery
which also kept in check the hostile artillery in the Turkish
second position, the 104th had captured the first position " in
capital style.” By this time the 23rd Battery and 20th
Punjabis, who had started from camp on hearing the firing,
had arrived ; and the advanced guard—reinforced by the
remainder of the Dorsets and of the 30th Battery—extended
to its left to outflank the enemy’s second position from the
west. Two companies of the 20th were pushed in to fill the

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.' [‎68r] (140/454), British Library: India Office Records and Private Papers, IOR/L/MIL/17/15/66/1, in Qatar Digital Library <> [accessed 26 May 2020]

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