The Insurrection in Mesopotamia, 1920
The Insurrection in Mesopotamia, 1920

HALDANE, Sir Aylmer Lowthorpe. The Insurrection in Mesopotamia, 1920.

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HALDANE, Sir Aylmer Lowthorpe. The Insurrection in Mesopotamia, 1920. Edinburgh, William Blackwood, 1922.

8vo. Original red cloth, spine and front cover lettered in gilt; pp. xi, 352, photogravure portrait, large folding map at rear, plates after photographs; cloth a little marked, pp. 333-336 with torn-away upper outer corners, just affecting one page number, map with repaired tear, light offsetting from enpapers; military booklate inside front cover, a good copy.
Fist edition. After having successfully led British forces in Flanders and Fence during WWI, Haldane was sent to moderrn Iraq, placed under direct British rule by a League of Nations mandate. 'Haldane's period in Mesopotamia was dominated by an Arab uprising that united Sunni and Shi'a and led to the breakdown of civil administration during the summer of 1920 as the insurgents cut railway lines and telegraph communications. Early reverses included the rout of a column of the Manchester regiment on the Kifli road near Hillah on 24 July 1920. He regarded the following twelve days, when the rebels threatened to overwhelm the governing forces, as 'the most tense cycle of activity' in his military career, even including his four years on the western front (Haldane, Insurrection, 139). His principal problem was lack of manpower, and for much of the period he was compelled to husband his resources and undertake only fire-fighting operations, putting down one uprising only for another to break out elsewhere. "We are living on bluff and have been doing so for weeks", he confided to his diary (4 Aug 1920, Jeffery, 151). Only when twenty battalions of reinforcements arrived from India could he take more active steps to suppress the revolt, while restoring the damaged infrastructure. Following the relief of Kufa (17 October 1920) he was able to send out columns, supported by the RAF, to disarm the tribes involved. After a display of force at Suq al-Suyukh by a column under Brigadier-General Frank Coningham (1870–1934) on 3 February 1921 he reported to the War Office that operations were at an end. He was present at the enthronement of King Feisal as the head of the new kingdom of Iraq in October 1921, and spent the remaining period of his command winding down the British military presence, which was replaced with a substantial force of local levies, before leaving Baghdad in March 1922' (ODNB).