The First World War in the Middle East is an accessibly written military and social history of the clash of world empires in the Dardanelles, Egypt and Palestine, Mesopotamia, Persia and the Caucasus. Coates Ulrichsen demonstrates how wartime exigencies shaped the parameters of the modern Middle East, and describes and assesses the major campaigns against the Ottoman Empire and Germany involving British and imperial troops from the French and Russian Empires, as well as their Arab and Armenian allies. Also documented are the enormous logistical demands placed on host societies by the Great Powers' conduct of industrialised warfare in hostile terrain. The resulting deepening of imperial penetration, and the extension of state controls across a heterogeneous sprawl of territories, generated a powerful backlash both during and immediately after the war, which played a pivotal role in shaping national identities as the Ottoman Empire was dismembered. This is a multidimensional account of the many seemingly discrete yet interlinked campaigns that resulted in one to one and a half million casualties.
It details not just their military outcome but relates them to intelligence-gathering, industrial organisation, authoritarianism and the political economy of empires at war.
'This is a splendid book we have long been waiting for: the first comprehensive account of the fierce fighting all over the Middle East during World War One. As good on the logistical nightmares facing military planners in a region with few proper road and rail communications as it is on the set-piece battles at Gallipoli, Gaza and up and down the Tigris in Iraq.' - Roger Owen, A.J. Meyer Professor of Middle East History, and author of The Rise and Fall of Arab Presidents for Life 'In this meticulously researched, engaging book, Kristian Coates Ulrichsen explores the devastating consequences of the Great War for the Middle East and the battles fought there on behalf of the European belligerents, as well as the lasting imprints of the War on the region's political geography. This is essential reading for anyone interested in the history of the Middle East and the study of the formation of modern state-system in the region.' - Mehran Kamrava, author of The Modern Middle East: A Political History since the First World War 'This is a timely and important book. In an age when the post-war imperial political system across the region is being eroded by warfare and turmoil, it is indeed edifying to reflect on the causes and consequences of the First World War in the Middle East. The significance of this book lies in the fact that it is not merely a military history, but also excellently weaves together the differing European and Middle Eastern perspectives on the war, situating it in its proper geo-political context by examining not just the war itself, but also what preceded it, and, above all, what the war brought about in terms of socio-economic, cultural, and political transformations.' - Johan Franzen, Senior Lecturer in Middle Eastern History, University of East Anglia, and author of Red Star Over Iraq: Iraqi Communism Before Saddam 'Kristian Coates Ulrichsen's important study is the first account of the Middle East during the First World War. It is both very readable and a scholarly synthesis of the military, political and social history of the region as well as detailing the legacy of the war.' - Alan Jeffreys, Senior Curator, Social History at the Imperial War Museum
Kristian Coates Ulrichsen holds a PhD in military and imperial history from the University of Cambridge. He is the co-director of the Kuwait Research Programme at the LSE and the author of Insecure Gulf: The End of Certainty and the Transition to the Post-Oil Era, published by Hurst.