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'HISTORY OF THE GREAT WAR BASED ON OFFICIAL DOCUMENTS. THE CAMPAIGN IN MESOPOTAMIA 1914-1918. VOLUME I.' [‎148r] (300/454)

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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PROPOSED ADVANCE TO KUT
271
Nixon held that there were also good military reasons for this
operation. He considered that a Turkish garrison at Nasiriya
would be a permanent menace to his line of communications,
as the slightest reverse or check up the Tigris might again
bring Ajaimi and thousands of Arabs, acting under Turkish
instigation and supported possibly by Turkish troops, against
the Lower Tigris and the Shatt al Arab. The Commander-in-
Ghief in India accepted General Nixon's view rather than that
of his own General Staff, who did not consider the advance on
Nasiriya as altogether desirable from a purely military point
of view, having specially in mind that, were an advance to
Baghdad to be ordered later on, a detachment at Nasiriya would
weaken the force available for such an operation.
As regards the proposal to advance to Kut al Amara, the
Viceroy* and the Commander-in-Chief in India were at first
averse to the proposal, as was also Mr. Chamberlain, advised
by General Barrow. The subsequent decision to make this
advance was so fateful that it is well to state clearly the reasons
which led to it, as they arose. General Nixon’s reason given
on the 11th June was that it would enable us to hold both
ends of the Shatt al Hai. The Turks had used this waterway
during the previous four months or so for the despatch of troops
both to and from Nasiriya, and it was generally believed that
it extended as a navigable route for steamers for the whole
distance between Nasiriya and Kut. It was not then known
that steamers could only use it for the five months or so ®
high water and then only from Kut to Shatrat al Muntank
whence troops had to march by land for the last thirty milest
to Nasiriya, or had to proceed by boat down the Baidha
channel to the Hammar lake. On the 13th June,
Nixon gave as a further reason for occupying Kut that it
would improve our position greatly in regard to the tnbes on
the Tigris line, whose attitude after the capture of Amara
appeared to be satisfactory for the time being. These tribes,
it may be noted, subsequently gave us considerable trouble
owing to their predatory and treacherous habits , an even
during June the movement of Turkish detachments southward
of Kut was causing unrest among them. . , ,,
In the meantime, the General Staff in India, m one o eir
perio dical appreciations of the situation, had been considenng
♦Lord Hardinge however, wrote to Mr. Chamberlain on the 17th
poinding out ihat from the pomt of v ie w of irrigation and water control the
TSoughl road 'of ’^orte^jdsted^t'w^ difficult to traverse owing to the
numerous canals or creeks to be crossed.

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Content

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)
Arrangement

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.' [‎148r] (300/454), British Library: India Office Records and Private Papers, IOR/L/MIL/17/15/66/1, in Qatar Digital Library <https://www.qdl.qa/archive/81055/vdc_100048172214.0x000065> [accessed 26 August 2019]

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