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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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ostensibly co-operating with the Turkish troops, has just
sent in an emissary to convey his submission and intimate
his wish to come in and hand over four thousand rifles
received or seized by him from the Turks and it is hoped
that the neutrality if not the active co-operation of the
tribes can be secured by judicious diplomacy. Effect of the
recent defeat has been very great, and if advance is made
before it wears off and while cool season lasts Baghdad
will in all probability fall into our hands very easily. After
earnest consideration of the arguments for and against
I find it difficult to see how we can well avoid taking over
Baghdad. We can hardly allow Turkey to retain posses
sion and make difficulties for us at Basra ; nor can we
allow any other Power to take it; but once in occupation
we must remain, for we could not possibly allow the Turks
to return after accepting from Arabs co-operation afforded
on the understanding that the Turkish regime had dis
appeared for good. It is also a matter for consideration
that there are some thirty British subjects detained there
whom we need to release. I may mention that I sent
Major Shakespear to Ibn Saud with instructions to get
him to come north and to remain with him in case we
wanted him to assist us with the tribes beyond Basra.
I shall report officially in due course arrangements we are
making for administration of Basra.”
General Barrett approved of the despatch of this telegram,
thinking that in view 7 of the possibility of a later advance up
the figris there were obvious advantages in ventilating the
subject as soon as possible. The resulting reply was likely to
show the intentions of H.M. Government and both General
Barrett and Sir P. Cox were anxious to know these, to help
them in their military and political plans and policy. As
General Barrett was led to believe that Arab co-operation and
support w 7 ould be forthcoming to the desired extent, he con
sidered at that time that an advance to Amara would be both
feasible and expedient. It was not till nearly two months later
that force of circumstances* brought home to him that his
force would be compelled to remain on the defensive.
* As will be seen later these were : the failure of the Arabs to afford the
expected co-operation and support; the increasing strength of the "lurks,
the lack of aeroplanes and light draught gunboats ; and the indications
that the threatening frontier and internal situations in India were likely to
interfere with the despatch of reinforcements.

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.' [‎77v] (159/454), British Library: India Office Records and Private Papers, IOR/L/MIL/17/15/66/1, in Qatar Digital Library <> [accessed 19 August 2019]

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