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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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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. VIEWS
(5) The moral effect on the Arabs.
(6) The control of the telegraph up to this point and also of
the passage of the Euphrates.
He concluded, “ When we have reached Qurna and fully
established ourselves there it will be time enough to consider
whether we should go farther. We should know by then the
attitude of Ibn Saud and of the Arabs as a whole. We shall
know the political situation at Baghdad and whether the Turks
are in a condition to resist us. We shall have fully established
ourselves in a military sense at Basra. I see no object in doing
more than this at present. When we have consolidated our
selves in the Shatt al Arab region we shall be in all the better
position to take another step forward with Baghdad as its
objective, but let nothing be done in haste. Time is on our
side. It would be unwise to decide on going to Baghdad till
we can frame a policy for the future, and this we cannot do
till we see clearer the general trend of events and the inward
attitude of the Arabs. But whatever we do, let us not stand
still. Let us move on to Qurna directly General Barrett gets
his third brigade and is ready for the move.”
As a result of the above the Secretary of State replied on
the 27th to the Viceroy's private telegram of the 25th as
follows : “We are not disposed to authorise an advance to
Baghdad at present as there are grave international considera
tions involved, but as soon as General Barrett is ready to do
so we sanction an advance to Qurna with a brigade or such
portion of his force as may be necessary for the operation.*
Presumably he will await the arrival of his third brigade, for
Basra and the whole region from Qurna will have to be con
trolled by us in both a military and a political sense, and on
such considerations it will probably be desirable to keep the
bulk of the division at Basra, which should for the present be
regarded as the headquarters.”
This telegram was repeated on 3rd December to General
Barrett, who had already decided of his own accord to occupy
Qurna. The Viceroy, writing to Lord Crewe on 2nd December,
said : “You did not give me time to send you our views on
* These “ grave international considerations ” were subsequently explained
in answer to a query by the Viceroy as follows : But setting aside i cu y
of force necessary to occupy and hold Baghdad, because if we once were
there it would be unfortunate to retire under menace of superior orce,
I consider that it is premature to take action, which appears to oblige con
sideration both by Allies and by Arabs of ultimate settlement regar mg
Mesopotamia and other parts of the Turkish Empire. It will be a most compli
cated matter, and we are not at present able to do more than asser , as we
have, our paramount claims and powers at the head of the Persian Bu .

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.

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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.' [‎79r] (162/454), British Library: India Office Records and Private Papers, IOR/L/MIL/17/15/66/1, in Qatar Digital Library <> [accessed 13 December 2019]

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