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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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it was intended to create a diversion by landing a force at any
point in Turkish territory. On the 1st March the War Office
sent their reply. They estimated that a division of the 1st
Army Corps (a new formation of twelve battalions lately
arrived in Baghdad), the 35th and the 38th Divisions formed
the Turkish force in Mesopotamia ; the attack on the Dardan
elles, which was progressing favourably, would, in their opinion,
relieve the pressure on General Barrett; and they did not
anticipate that any further Turkish reinforcements would be
sent to Mesopotamia, either from the Caucasus front or from
While this appreciation put the situation in Mesopotamia
in a better light, Army Headquarters in India were much
concerned at the lack of mobility on land of General Barrett’s
force. In reply to a query as to how he stood in this respect,
General Barrett had replied on the 28th that his land transport
amounted to 300 camels, 440 mule carts and 3,000 pack mules.
These were only just sufficient to supply Shaiba and did not
admit of any movement in force by land. This lack of trans
port had not hitherto been important, as all main movements
had been by river. General Barrett's efforts to obtain camels
locally had failed owing to lack of grazing and to the floods,
and he now considered that, for an advance on Nasiriya,
the best solution lay in a light railway for part or all of the
way. General Barrett was at once asked for any suggestions
he might have for improving the mobility of his force and for
a definite plan for a light railway.* He was also asked whether
he considered that the state of the country prevented any
Turkish advance in force on Basra, as it appeared to the
Chief of the General Staff in India that Force " D ” seemed
to be rather unduly dispersed to meet such an attack.
On the 3rd March, General Barrett replied that this dispersion
of his force had been only a temporary makeshift and that
it was now possible to reduce the Qurna garrison still further.
At the same time, he was obliged to retain posts on the Kanin
in view of the persistent reports of the Turkish intention to
advance by that flank. The Turkish main strength, however,
was on the Euphrates, where they must be confronted with
great supply and transport difficulties, and where orders were
The idea of such a light railway was not seriously considered at this
s age as a possible immediate project. The floods would make it impossible
v? construct for some months to come. Force “ D " could not advance
i reinforced considerably. There seemed small probability of this for some
ime, and it might then prove better to use the Euphrates river route and
to construct a good road to Zubair or Shaiba.

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.' [‎101v] (207/454), 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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