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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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co-operation with the expected attack by General Delamain..
In the absence of this attack, however, the 18th Brigade were
unable to advance nearer than five hundred yards to the
hostile trenches. In this situation they dug themselves in at
Generals Townshend and Fry could hear that General
Delamain’s force was heavily engaged, but they were still out
of communication with him and had no idea what was happen
ing. About 6.40 p.m., when it was completely dark, General
Delamain's guns ceased firing. But General Townshend
received no further news till the next morning, when General
Fry’s patrols and the British aeroplanes found that during the
night the Turkish force had evacuated all their positions east
of Kut and were in full retreat up the Tigris towards Baghdad.
General Delamain’s men, after their fine attack, passed a
miserable night; stupefied with their exertions, hungry and
parched with thirst, they suffered intensely from the bitter
cold* After they had had a few hours’ rest, General Delamain
sent Captain Cochran, of the Divisional General Staff, who
had accompanied his force, with a small cavalry escort to
inform General Townshend of what had happened, but all the
horses of the party were killed on the way by enemy fire and
the party had to lie out in the plain waiting for the dawn and
could neither get the news through to General Townshend nor
inform General Delamain that they had failed to do so. The
cavalry, which had withdrawn from the final attack when
darkness fell, spent several hours trying to find water and then
General Delamain’s column, in both of which they failed.
They then settled down for the night in a separate bivouac.
Early next morning the aeroplanes brought General Delamain
the news of the Turkish flight and his force was at last able to
get to the Tigris to obtain water.
Soon after General Delamain’s successful attack the naval
flotilla made a gallant attempt to break through the Turkish
obstruction in the Tigris. While co-operating with General
Fry’s attack, the Senior Naval Officer (Lieutenant-Commander
E. C. Cookson, R.N.) received a message from General Town
shend, about 6 p.m., suggesting that he should make an effort
to get through the obstruction, when it might be possible to
capture the Turkish steamers. Knowing that General Dela
main’s force was in rear of the Turkish trenches, General
* The temperature dropped 50 degrees. Captain Birch Reynardson, in
“ Mesopotamia, 1914-1915,” gives a graphic description of the men’s con

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.' [‎180v] (365/454), British Library: India Office Records and Private Papers, IOR/L/MIL/17/15/66/1, in Qatar Digital Library <> [accessed 30 March 2020]

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