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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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If there is no change in Turkish numbers and dispositions,
it is thought that an opportunity should present itself
of concentrating your forces in such a way that you will
be able to defeat them piecemeal.”
The Mesopotamia Commission took the evidence of Generals
Sir Beauchamp Duff and Sir John Nixon with reference to the
exact intention and interpretation of these orders. The
“occupation of the Basra Vilayet’' meant the occupation of
Nasiriya and Amara, and General Nixon was so informed while
at Army Headquarters. The occupation of Nasiriya had been
suggested by the 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. in December, and the authorities
in India and Mesopotamia had inferred from the correspondence
exchanged that it was the intention of H.M. Government that
both Amara and Nasiriya should be occupied sooner or later.
By asking General Nixon to submit plans for their occupation
and for a subsequent advance to Baghdad, Sir Beauchamp Duff
stated that he was only doing what seemed prudent in view of
possible eventualities. These plans were only meant for
execution should H.M. Government issue orders to that effect,
and until they did so telegraphic orders could easily restrict
the scope of operations to the required extent. Sir John
Nixon, however, informed the Commission that he took the
instructions as meaning that he was to take the offensive
rather than remain on the defensive ; in fact, that he looked
on them as indicating a change of policy.
On the 5th April, General Nixon arrived at Bushire on his way
to Basra. The situation in Ears and at Bushire was disquieting
owing to the anti-British activities of Turco-German agents.
But the Government of India impressed on General Nixon
the importance of avoiding any action in Bushire beyond
what was necessary to safeguard the life and property of
British subjects. On the 9th April, he arrived at Basra and took
over command of Force “ D.” General Barrett, whose health
had been failing, proceeded to India three days later. He
had thus to hand over his task at the very moment that a
decisive action appeared to be imminent.
The 30th Infantry Brigade, consisting of the 24th and
76th Punjabis and the 2/7th Gurkhas, under command of
Major-General C. J. Melliss, had reached Basra on the 6th
April; and the fourth battalion of the 33rd Brigade (the
11th Rajputs) on the 9th April. During the preceding month
the British dispositions had undergone some adjustment in
order to meet the changes in the situation. Qurna garrison
had been reduced, the size of the force at Ahwaz had

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.' [‎109v] (223/454), British Library: India Office Records and Private Papers, IOR/L/MIL/17/15/66/1, in Qatar Digital Library <> [accessed 25 August 2019]

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