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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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On the 21st, General Nixon reported to India that he had
begun to transfer troops to the left bank of the Shatt al Arab
near Basra with the object of concentrating in the direction
of Ahwaz. He was probably strengthened in his decision to
undertake the offensive in Arabistan by a telegram of the 19th
from the Secretary of State to the Viceroy. This telegram
was repeated from India on the 21st to General Nixon, who was
directed to use his discretion in the matter. Lord Crewe’s
telegram ran as follows :—
“ . . . . Admiralty most anxious for early repair
pipe-line as oil question becoming serious. Recent victory
having averted danger from west, Government would
welcome immediate move against enemy on Karun side
if supply and transport render operation feasible. Moral
effect of Shaiba followed up by successful attack from
Ahwaz would probably terminate Arab disaffection and
ensure future security of pipe-line. Early expulsion of
Turks from Persian Arabistan very desirable. Such
service to Persian Government may enable us to negotiate
for summer quarters in Bakhtiari Hills* I assume
Nixon can concentrate ten thousand men near Ahwaz
by end April for these operations.”
On the 19th, General Nixon had wired to India asking for
the reinforcement of his command by another cavalry brigade
and a battalion of pioneers, saying that the cavalry then in
Mesopotamia could not meet the demands that would shortly
be made on that arm, and that more pioneers were required
in view of the heavy labour that would be caused by obstruc
tions in the rivers and by other works. On the 22nd, India
replied that they could spare no more cavalry or pioneers.
Their decision, which was approved by Lord Crewe, was
influenced by their own anxieties regarding the internal
situation in India and on the North-West Frontier. There was
trouble with the Mohmands, and a great part of the Peshawar
Division had been engaged in a fight with about four thousand
Mohmands on the 18th.
Preparations continued for the operations in Arabistan,
where, on the 23rd, Brigadier-General Lean (commanding 12th
Infantry Brigade) took over command of Ahwaz from Major-
General Davison, who had been appointed Inspector-General
of Communications.
* This suggestion emanating from 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. did not commend itself
to General Nixon, who did not understand it and considered that it conflicted
with the spirit of the instructions he had received in India.

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.' [‎122v] (249/454), British Library: India Office Records and Private Papers, IOR/L/MIL/17/15/66/1, in Qatar Digital Library <> [accessed 19 August 2019]

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