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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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wrote in a private letter to Lord Hardinge: " It seems to me,
however, that sooner or later we must advance to Nasiriya
and Amara." On the 23rd, the Secretary of State telegraphed
officially that the Mesopotamian situation was causing him
anxiety, and he suggested that another infantry brigade, a
cavalry regiment, and a Territorial field battery should be sent
from India. In view of the great issues in Europe, the War Office
were unable to assist. This was followed by a private telegram
on the 26th, in which Lord Crewe expressed the wish that we
could strike at the Turkish force on the Euphrates before
more troops could be massed there, and he asked for General
Barrett’s views and for Lord Hardinge’s opinion on them.
In a private telegram of the 28th replying to this, Lord
Hardinge summarised the situation at Qurna and on the
lower Euphrates as it had altered since his visit to Mesopo
tamia. He concluded: “ The forces at Barrett’s disposal
seem to me strong enough to cope with any forces at present
opposed to him, but in view of constant rumours of troops
being on the march to Baghdad from Syria and elsewhere,
I would like to see his command made up to two divisions
An advance to Nasiriya and Amara seems to me absolutely
necessary if quiet is to prevail at Basra, but Barrett told me
that his great difficulty is shortness of river transport.”
On the 2nd March, the Government of India sent an official
reply to Lord Crewe’s telegram of the 23rd. After summarising
the situation in Mesopotamia, the Indian authorities came to
the conclusion that the enemy on the Euphrates would probably
advance on a wide front with their right in the desert outflanking
Barrett, who had only 14,400 men and 40 guns at Basra,
including the detachment at Ahwaz. Turning to available
resources in India, they could only send—in addition to the
cavalry regiment and the heavy battery then on their way—
two battalions of Indian infantry (being replaced from China),
a Territorial battery, and possibly an Imperial Service Indian
infantry battalion. They emphasised their heavy responsibi
lities to the Indian and European population of India. The
internal situation was again getting worse, and they had to
make provision for the trouble which seemed probable on the
North-West Frontier in the spring. Most of the frontier
tribes were showing signs of unrest and many agents were
preaching Jahad among them; and from several different
sources German officers had been reported as on their way
to Afghanistan. In addition, the attitude of some of the
Mahomedan troops seemed uncertain, as they were averse to

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.' [‎104v] (213/454), British Library: India Office Records and Private Papers, IOR/L/MIL/17/15/66/1, in Qatar Digital Library <> [accessed 21 September 2019]

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