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Remembered Today:

Overview of Middle East campaign?

Len Trim

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I have a good working knowledge of the Western Front but find my interest waning. A slightly worrying fact considering the amount of time, effort and indeed money I have put into my hobby/ obsession. However the Middle East campaigns have begun to interest me. Recent article on LRDG' s forerunners fascinating. Anyway to begin. Any recommendations for interesting overviews and exciting ways in?Is there a Martin Middlebrook equivalent for the Middle East?


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I’m also trying to get a better understanding of the Middle East. These are the books that helped me the most to start off with.


The Last Crusade by Anthony Bruce 

Forgotten Soldiers of the First World War by David R. Woodward


If you find these excite your interest then you might find a couple of books by Stuart Hadaway to be a good read.


From Gaza To Jerusalem 

Pyramids And Fleshpots


Also there are some memoirs around which are more interesting when you have an idea of the events and geography of the idea.


Regards Nigel.

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Thanks Nigel I shall search out copies on Amazon and eBay.


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Abe books usually come up trumps

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I read 'Battles on the Tigris' by Ron Wilcox, which I found gave a decent overview of the Mesopotamian campaign.




Kev Loughnane

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Thanks Alisonmallen62 and Kloughnane for your helpful advice.


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On 28/02/2020 at 09:44, Len Trim said:

the Middle East campaigns have begun to interest me.


Hi Len,


All I can offer in respect of the various (how many were there?) Middle Eastern Campaigns, is an insight as to what is on the shelves of my own, very limited library:

in no very particular order


Re Gallipoli;-


Michael Hickey – Gallipoli

Nigel Steel & Peter Hart – Defeat at Gallipoli

L A Carlyon – Gallipoli

[The last one was written by a journalist and is the easiest to read]


For the view from the other side:-

General Limon von Sanders – Five Years in Turkey

Edward J. Erickson – Gallipoli, the Ottoman Campaign


In respect of the Dardanelles;

it seems that the Royal Navy is under reported and under recorded - for a general background to the campaign see

E Keble Chatterton – Dardanelles Dilemma

AF Lord Wester-Wemyss GCB– The Navy in the Dardanelles Campaign


These will give a general view of the campaigns on the sea and on land.

For something more specific, then more details of your particular interests will be required


Good luck with your research


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A few suggestions:


Eugene Rogan The Fall of the Ottoman Empire


Excellent introduction and gives equal weight to all the participant nations would probably be top of my list


More Anglocentric, or perhaps more correctly the British Empire, a finely paced book acknowledging it is a strategic analysis of the campaigns and includes an analysis of naval operations



I'd avoid 'From Eden to Armageddon' Roger Ford, the first serious book I bought on the topic but I don't recall I ever finished it, (not unusual!) but it is available quite cheaply and does offer an overview of the campaign.



The Official History is available online and numerous other titles through http://warletters.net/battles/mesopotamia/

the page has links to forum pal Maureene's excellent bibliography on British Families in India


There are many books on the Siege of Kut and personal accounts of the aftermath.


Also check our forum pal Harry's Sideshows



The campaigns and literature are just as rich as the Western Front, though arguably less poetry!




PS don't forget to order books from Amazon and Abe using the Support the Forum button at the top of the page.





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On 28/02/2020 at 11:26, Nigel1898 said:

From Gaza To Jerusalem by Stuart Hadaway

I recently read this book and it gives a good account up to December 1917, as the title says.I bought it primarily for anything about the 74th Division, but it was rather sparse. Other divisions it covered were more comprehensive. All said I would also look for any maps of the campaign as the book can be a bit bewildering in place names identification.

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The FIBIS Fibiwiki  has various pages with links to many online books and maps


Gallipoli  https://wiki.fibis.org/w/Gallipoli


Egypt, Palestine, Syria (First World War)  https://wiki.fibis.org/w/Egypt,_Palestine,_Syria_(First_World_War)


Mesopotamia Campaign. https://wiki.fibis.org/w/Mesopotamia_Campaign (This page is also accessible through one of the links kenf48 provided in post 8 above)


Norperforce   https://wiki.fibis.org/w/Norperforce


Prisoners of the Turks (First World War) https://wiki.fibis.org/w/Prisoners_of_the_Turks_(First_World_War)




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Thanks to all the above for their valuable contributions. I can see that my bookcases will be overflowing on to the floor shortly. 

Pity that trips to the middle eastern battlefields will be more problematic and more expensive than my old biannual trips to the Western Front.


PS books will be purchased via forum link where possible!

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Len, this is all really helpful to me as I'm researching a Scot who served in Egypt and I have to admit that what I sort of know about the campaign is incorrectly gleaned from having seen 'Lawrence of Arabia' lots of times (including the 70mm director's cut on the big screen). Thanks for asking the question - it's serendipity.



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7 minutes ago, stu said:

I found Kut 1916 by Patrick Crowley an excellent read.

Agreed. I've become really intrigued by Kut and its aftermath.

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A. J. Barker,  "The Neglected War : Mesopotamia 1914-1918" ( London: Faber and Faber, 1967) An excellent account, still of value today


S. C. Rolls,  "Steel Chariots in the Desert: The Story of an Armoured-Car Driver with the Duke of Westminster in Libya & in Arabia with T. E. Lawrence" (originally published in 1937 but available as a modern paperback)

Edited by Resurgam13
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For Palestine you could also try "A Brief Record of the Advance of the Egyptian Expeditionary Force: July 1917 to October 1918". Published in 1919, original copies can be had starting at £15 on Abebooks. It contains an excellent selection of maps, over 50 of them, which I've seen offered for sale disbound each at more than the cover price! Quite a decent read, in bite-size chunks, with a detailed order of battle.

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  • 6 months later...

Just to mention Lawrence of Arabia: Britain's Great Explorer is on C5 now 30/9 21:00- 23:05 good photodoc at the very least

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