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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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the Government of India had been able to despatch the 23rd
Cavalry to Mesopotamia; and they also arranged to send to
General Nixon, at his request, twelve 15-pounder field guns
for use in defensive posts.
Of the naval force, the Clio had to be sent for repairs to
Bombay ; the Lawrence had already gone to Bushire ; there
fore, the only naval sloops now remaining were the Espiegle
and the Odin ; and the first of the new river gunboats were,
as stated in the last chapter, not expected till the autumn.
The river steamers and tugs now amounted to a total of
twenty-one* and included those which General Barrett had
asked for in December 1914. Since then the force had
increased and its sphere of operations had been considerably
extended. General Nixon had been instructed in March to
report as to the adequacy of the river craft; and on the 27th
May he telegraphed pointing out that shortly the conditions of
the rivers would prevent many of his steamers and tugs moving
up the Karun, above Ourna on the Tigris and Kubaish on
the Euphrates, and he asked for six powerful tugs to be sent
to him as soon as possible, with a draught not exceeding three
feet and each capable of towing two large flats ; he also asked
for twelve 10-12-knot motor launches. The Indian authorities
searched everywhere in India for tugs of the type demanded
but failed to find any, and on the 20th June informed General
Nixon of this and that they were asking 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. to
try and obtain them in England. General Nixon replied on
the 25th urging the provision of these tugs as soon as possible
as he anticipated much difficulty between the 15th July and
the 15th October, when the rivers would be at their lowest.
It seems necessary to offer at this stage a few general remarks
with regard to the supply of river transport during the first
eighteen months of the operations. On several occasions, the
shortage of river transport made all the difference between
decisive success and complete or comparative failure of the oper
ations. These occasions have been and will be alluded to as they
occur ; and while it is easy to point out the shortage, it is not so
easy to indicate how the mistakes and omissions occurred which
led to this shortage. The provision of river-craft, either for
combatant, or for maintenance and transport, purposes was not
an easy matter. The type of vessel required scarcely existed
elsewhere and consequently would have to be specially con
structed. But usually time did not admit of this and the most
* Four " Tigris ” steamers, seven " P ” steamers, three " Lynch ” tugs*
four Indian tugs, and three small stern-wheelers.

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.' [‎146v] (297/454), British Library: India Office Records and Private Papers, IOR/L/MIL/17/15/66/1, in Qatar Digital Library <> [accessed 27 January 2020]

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