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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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Ourna from attack from the north and at the same time
guarding the oil supply as directed in your telegram of
24th May. He (i.e., Nixon) reports that this operation
will begin on 31st May.
“ Its progress should give him data which will enable
him to give us better the information you now request.
We feel however that while military operations are actually
in progress and in present quite uncertain military situation
in Lower Mesopotamia it would be undesirable and even
dangerous to tie him down with precise orders which
might not fit in with the local situation which confronts
him. He may possibly find himself opposed by superior
military forces on the Tigris which may impose on him a
defensive attitude or he may find himself strong enough
to dominate situation. But neither he nor we can yet say.
“ We therefore think it desirable for the present not to
alter our original instructions to him which were sent you
by post on 7th April, except in so far as they have been
modified by your subsequently received directions and in
particular those which directed safeguarding of pipe-line,
i.e., your telegram of 24th May. Under the original
instructions, he will, as soon as he is in a position to do
so, submit a plan for the occupation of the Basra vilayet
which includes Amara. This he will do with a far more
complete knowledge of the local situation than is now
available and we will then report to you for further orders.
We should not propose to authorise any advance beyond
Amara, for which his force is not adequate.”
In addition to the chance that we might have to face further
risings of Arabs instead of looking for effective co-operation
from them, there were other reasonsr which at this stage
influenced 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 adopting a cautious policy in
Mesopotamia. Persian affairs were in a critical state; the
German Minister was almost complete master of the situation
at Tehran ; and the attitude of the Bakhtiaris was giving
some anxiety. Such a state of affairs was very likely
to react on the situation in Afghanistan,* and also in India
where, though the position was rather more reassuring owing to
the precautionary measures that had been taken, there were still
many causes for anxiety. The Turks were also now threatening
Aden. But most important of all, perhaps, was the question
* During May reports reached H.M. Government from various sources
that parties of Turkish and German officers were well on their way 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.

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.' [‎132v] (269/454), British Library: India Office Records and Private Papers, IOR/L/MIL/17/15/66/1, in Qatar Digital Library <> [accessed 26 August 2019]

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