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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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Seven paddlers from the Irrawaddy Flotilla Com
pany, with two flats from the Eastern Bengal State
Railway ;
Two motor-boats;
Four tugs ;
Four steam launches and two steam cutters and
two horse-boats understood to be coming from Egypt.’'
Further, on the 31st March, the Chief of the General Staff,
India, telegraphed to General Nixon (who had then left Army
Headquarters) an appreciation of the situation in Mesopotamia,
as it presented itself to the General Staff that day :—
“ The dispositions of the Turkish troops consist of two
wings which are greatly separated, and a central body.
“ The left wing, which is west of Ahwaz at Ghadir,
comprises one division, strength about 8,000 men. Muham
mad Daghistani commands this wing.
“ The centre, which is on the Tigris at Ruta, consists
of a detachment principally composed of gendarmerie.
“ The right wing, which is on the Euphrates down
stream from Khamisiya, consists of one cavalry brigade
and two divisions. This force, which has a strength of
about 18,000 men, is commanded by Sulaiman Askari.
“ In addition, another division may possibly be in the
Euphrates valley in reserve.
“ In every case the Turkish forces are supplemented
by local tribesmen.
“ The Turks had planned to attack Basra from the
west and simultaneously to advance to the Karun. This
latter move was intended to exert pressure on Persia
to throw in her lot with them, and to mete out punishment
on Mohammerah for having thrown in his lot with us.
“ Up to the present this plan has not matured, probably
and chiefly by reason of the incapacitation of Sulaiman
Askari by wounds. Moreover, it appears that Muhammad
Daghistani is an old man, and he is said to be antipathetic
to the young Turks, with whom Sulaiman Askari is in
sympathy. Further, the question of supply must also
be causing great difficulties.
“ Be that as it may, reports state that owing to their
inactivity, the loyalty of the local Arab tribesmen is
affected and they are deserting.
“ Once your light draught steamers reach Basra, it is
hoped that your river transport will enable you to assume
the offensive against these separated Turkish forces.

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.' [‎109r] (222/454), British Library: India Office Records and Private Papers, IOR/L/MIL/17/15/66/1, in Qatar Digital Library <> [accessed 20 September 2019]

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