Enemy on the Euphrates (eBook)
Between July 1920 and February 1921, in the territory known as Mesopotamia now the modern state of Iraq an Arab uprising came perilously close to inflicting a shattering defeat upon the British Empire. A huge peasant army surrounded and besieged British garrisons with sand-bagged entrenchments; British columns and armoured trains were ambushed and destroyed; and well-armed British gunboats were sunk or captured. The quest for oil was central to Britain’s Middle East policy during the First World War and was one of the principal reasons for its continuing occupation of Iraq. However, with around 131,000 Arabs in arms at one stage of the conflict, the British were very nearly driven out. Only a massive infusion of Indian troops and the widespread use of aircraft prevented a total rout. Enemy on the Euphrates is the definitive account of the first British occupation of Iraq and the revolt against it in 1920. Using a wealth of primary sources, Ian Rutledge brings central players such as Winston Churchill, Arnold Wilson, T.E. Lawrence, Gertrude Bell and Sir Mark Sykes vividly to life in this gripping account. 'Ian Rutledge s brilliant book reveals the folly and delusion of invading Iraq. Read it and shudder.' Nicholas Rankin, author of Churchill s Wizards: The British Genius for Deception 1914 1945 'A lively account of the events leading up to the Iraqi revolution of 1920 ... The description of the military campaign is masterful.' Peter Sluglett, author of Britain in Iraq: Contriving King and Country 'This gripping narrative brings to life the human side of these violent events through vivid descriptions and anecdotes.' Charles Tripp, author of The Power and the People:Paths of Resistance in the Middle East '[A] rare treasure that combines a fascinating account of important historical events with penetrating analysis. Anyone seeking an understanding of the role of oil in shaping modern Middle Eastern history will want to read this book.' Michael Klare, author of The Race for What s Left: The Global Scramble for the World s Last Resources
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