‘Wonder and pain’: Mesopotamia, November 1914–May 1916

Mark Harrison

in The Medical War

Published in print October 2010 | ISBN: 9780199575824
Published online January 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191595158 | DOI:
‘Wonder and pain’: Mesopotamia, November 1914–May 1916

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This chapter looks at the period from the landings of the predominantly Indian force in November 1914 through to the wholesale changes of early 1916, which saw the replacement of commanders and the switch of operational control from Delhi to London. After an encouraging start, with comparatively few British and Indian casualties, high levels of disease began to hinder the expeditionary force and the lightly-equipped and under-staffed medical services were unable to cope. Commanders had not given much thought to medical arrangements or logistics and there were great delays in the disposal of casualties down the line to the base in Basra. The chapter examines the reasons for these failures and their consequences for morale and military operations.

Keywords: casualty disposal; commanders; disease; Indian army; logistics; Ottoman Empire; Mesopotamia; Iraq; morale

Chapter.  11707 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Military History

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