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Betrayal of an Army (Kindle)

Mesopotamia 1914-1916

WWI Mesopotamia

By N.S Nash
Imprint: Pen & Sword Military
File Size: 61.3 MB (.prc)
Pages: 300
ISBN: 9781473843783
Published: 27th July 2016

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The British invasion of Mesopotamia was initially successful in securing the oil fields around Basra by November 1914.

Despite evidence of stiffening Turkish resistance and inadequate supply lines which relied solely on the River Tigris, the Expeditionary Force was disastrously ordered to advance on Baghdad under the command of the ambitious, capable but flawed Major General Charles Townshend. After a pyrrhic victory at Ctesiphon in November 1915 the British were forced to withdraw to Kut. After a five month siege Townshend had little option but to surrender due to heavy losses and inadequate supplies.

Such was the humiliation and loss of life that the British Parliament ordered a Mesopotamia Commission to be set up. This attributed responsibility and blame to the toxic combination of incompetent leadership and wholesale military misjudgement.

This fine book re-examines the circumstances and personalities that brought about such a disastrous and costly outcome to a classic example of ‘mission creep’.

Trapped until surrender the following April, the worst military disaster for the British since Yorktown, which had lost the American colonies, as Nash concludes in this brilliant account Mesopotamia is 'an immovable dark blot on Britain's military history.'

Military History Society May 2017

I’d definitely give this book the full five stars and recommend it unreservedly.

Read the full review here.

ARRSE

The campaign in Mesopotamia - as brilliantly chronicled by Nash - ultimately resulted in 'mission creep' of monumental proportions.

Military History

Although initially a successful invasion, despite evidence of stiffening Turkish resistance and inadequate supply lines the Expeditionary Force was disastrously ordered to advance on Baghdad under the command of the ambitious, capable but flawed Major General Charles Townshend. After a pyrrhic victory at Ctesiphon in November 1915 the British were forced to withdraw to Kut. After a five month siege Townshend had little option but to surrender due to heavy losses and inadequate supplies. Such was the humiliation and loss of life that the British Parliament ordered a Mesopotamia Commission to be set up. This attributed responsibility and blame to the toxic combination of incompetent leadership and wholesale military misjudgement. This fine book re-examines the circumstances and personalities that brought about the disastrous and costly outcome to a classic example of ‘mission creep’.

Pennant, November 2016

About N.S Nash

N S ‘Tank’ Nash CBE, is a retired brigadier. His highly amusing ’Sustainer’ articles in military journals attracted a wide following. He lives near Edinburgh.

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