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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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place as Senior Naval Officer was taken by other officers. On
the 15th September the position was held by Lieutenant-
Commander Cookson, R.N.
By the 16th General Townshend’s force had reached Sannaiyat,
eight miles from Nur-ud-Din’s position. The advance from
Ali Gharbi had been carried out principally by marching along
the river bank, accompanied by the naval flotilla and the river
transport. The weather was still intensely hot by day, with
temperatures varying from 110° to 120° in the shade; but
the nights and early mornings were comparatively cool, and
by marching only from daybreak to 8.30 a.m. the casualties
from heat were kept as low as possible ; nevertheless, on the
12th and 13th they amounted to 101. The march, especially
the last stage, had been very trying to the troops owing to
the heat, the rough ground to be traversed, and the trouble
given by the heterogeneous second line -transport. No fighting
of any consequence, however, occurred, as the Turkish advanced
troops fell back before the British advance without offering
any real opposition. General Townshend had now to halt and
send back all his shipping to Amara to bring up the 63rd Field
and l/5th Hants Howitzer Batteries and also the remaining
supplies. The last ship did not reach Sannaiyat again till the
night of the 25th.
On the 14th and 15th aerial and naval reconnaissances of
the enemy’s position had been carried out showing that the
Turks were in strength and working hard at their entrench
ments* On the 16th further information was obtained by
aerial reconnaissances supported by the naval flotilla ; and
by a cavalry reconnaissance particularly directed to ascertain
the extent of dry land between the Suwada and Suwaikiyaf
marshes, and to investigate the truth of a report that the
Turks were digging trenches between the Suwada and the
Ataba marshes. General Townshend in his book describes the
fine aerial reconnaissance work performed at this time by Major
Reilly, who by the 17th had furnished him with a map and
detailed information of the enemy position. There was suffi
cient dry land between the marshes for General Townshend to
make the turning movement he desired ; and the cavalry
reconnaissance showed that the ground, some two miles wide,
between the marshes was hard and good, a nd that the route
* It is of interest to note that the aerial reconnaissances of the 14th reported
that the trenches were deserted, and that no guns could be seen. It require
the action of the naval flotilla the next day to force the enemy to show their
f See Map 7.

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.' [‎171r] (346/454), British Library: India Office Records and Private Papers, IOR/L/MIL/17/15/66/1, in Qatar Digital Library <> [accessed 21 September 2019]

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