• Desert Hell: The British Invasion of Mesopotamia See large image

    Desert Hell: The British Invasion of Mesopotamia (Hardback) By (author) Charles Townshend

    Currently unavailable

    We can notify you when this item is back in stock

    | Add to wishlist

    OR try AbeBooks who may have this title (opens in new window).

    Try AbeBooks

    DescriptionThe U.S.-led conquest and occupation of Iraq have kept that troubled country in international headlines since 2003. For America's major Coalition ally, Great Britain, however, this latest incursion into the region played out against the dramatic backdrop of imperial history: Britain's fateful invasion of Mesopotamia in 1914 and the creation of a new nation from the shards of war. The objectives of the expedition sent by the British Government of India were primarily strategic: to protect the Raj, impress Britain's military power upon Arabs chafing under Ottoman rule, and secure the Persian oil supply. But over the course of the Mesopotamian campaign, these goals expanded, and by the end of World War I Britain was committed to controlling the entire region from Suez to India. The conquest of Mesopotamia and the creation of Iraq were the central acts in this boldly opportunistic bid for supremacy. Charles Townshend provides a compelling account of the atrocious, unnecessary suffering inflicted on the expedition's mostly Indian troops, which set the pattern for Britain's follow-up campaigns in Iraq and Afghanistan over the next seven years. He chronicles the overconfidence, incompetence, and dangerously vague policy that distorted the mission, and examines the steps by which an initially cautious strategic operation led to imperial expansion on a vast scale. Desert Hell is a cautionary tale for makers of national policy. And for those with an interest in imperial history, it raises searching questions about Britain's quest for global power and the indelible consequences of those actions for the Middle East and the world.


Other books

Other people who viewed this bought | Other books in this category
Showing items 1 to 10 of 10

 

Reviews | Bibliographic data
  • Full bibliographic data for Desert Hell

    Title
    Desert Hell
    Subtitle
    The British Invasion of Mesopotamia
    Authors and contributors
    By (author) Charles Townshend
    Physical properties
    Format: Hardback
    Number of pages: 624
    Width: 155 mm
    Height: 235 mm
    Thickness: 47 mm
    Weight: 1,107 g
    Language
    English
    ISBN
    ISBN 13: 9780674059993
    ISBN 10: 0674059999
    Classifications

    Warengruppen-Systematik des deutschen Buchhandels: 15500
    B&T Book Type: NF
    Nielsen BookScan Product Class 3: T5.4
    BIC E4L: WAR
    BIC subject category V2: HBJD1
    BISAC Merchandising Theme: ET030
    Ingram Theme: CULT/BRITIS
    BIC geographical qualifier V2: 1DBK
    B&T Modifier: Region of Publication: 01
    BIC subject category V2: HBJF1
    BIC geographical qualifier V2: 1FB
    B&T Modifier: Academic Level: 05
    B&T Modifier: Subject Development: 01
    BIC subject category V2: HBWN
    BISAC V2.8: HIS015000
    B&T General Subject: 520
    Ingram Subject Code: HM
    Libri: I-HM
    BISAC Merchandising Theme: ET135
    Ingram Theme: CULT/MIDEST, CHRN/PREWWI
    B&T Approval Code: A14204054
    BISAC V2.8: HIS026000
    B&T Merchandise Category: UP
    B&T Approval Code: A15307500
    B&T Modifier: Geographic Designator: 52
    BISAC V2.8: HIS027090
    DC22: 940.415
    LC subject heading: , , , ,
    DC22: 940.4/23
    LC classification: D568.5 .T68 2011
    LC subject heading: ,
    DC22: 940.423
    Thema V1.0: NHWR5, NHD, NHG
    Illustrations note
    16 halftones, 3 maps
    Publisher
    HARVARD UNIVERSITY PRESS
    Imprint name
    The Belknap Press
    Publication date
    31 March 2011
    Publication City/Country
    Cambridge, Mass.
    Author Information
    Charles Townshend is Professor of International History at Keele University.
    Review quote
    Once its troops defeated the fading Ottoman forces, Britain had to deal with unanticipated long-term responsibilities. In a book packed with colorful personalities and military and political details, Townshend's focus on these painful war years spurs the reader to wonder whether 21st-century American leaders would have been more cautious about Iraq if they'd understood this history. -- Elizabeth R. Hayford Library Journal 20110315 [A] riveting history of Britain's initially ill-fated invasion of Mesopotamia (it only became Iraq when the British created that country and gave it a king in 1921), it is difficult to escape the conclusion that foreign powers invariably receive a bloody nose when they intervene in Iraq. -- Justin Marozzi Literary Review 20101101 This book is an exquisite history of the excruciatingly difficult, perhaps pointless, often disastrous British invasion and occupation of Mesopotamia between 1914 and 1924...Townshend skillfully limns the diverse and amazing characters who populated Britain's imperial "moment" in the Middle East. He has a nice touch for personality as well as a prodigious ability to relate military conflict, from the insane courage of soldiers in insect-infested swamps and the acrid, parched hellhole of Kut, where a British army starved and surrendered, to the grander conversations among field marshals, generals, and viceroys. His rendition of the giant battle of British egos, especially among the adventurous upper class, is among the best that I have read...But the great joy in reading Townshend comes from his intimate knowledge of the British Army. Townshend is an historian of movement: the reader can see clearly the British and Indian units attacking--the intrepid engineering on land and water that made the British military so feared and respected in the nineteenth century. With Townshend as a sure guide, the reader can feel the suffering and admire the sheer doggedness of the empire's soldiers, who in the Mesopotamian campaign fought in some of the worst conditions imaginable. -- Reuel Marc Gerecht New Republic online 20110615 It is a harrowing story of a failure of strategic vision, policy drift, a massive disunity of effort, and poor execution. For the soldiers tasked with implementing the campaign, it truly was a "desert hell." -- Mackubin Thomas Owens Weekly Standard 20110829 Townshend has written more than a campaign history; his book pays equal attention to civil affairs and diplomacy, following events to the establishment of the Iraqi monarchy in 1921. -- J. R. Breihan Choice 20111201