The Siege Of Kut-al-amara: At War In Mesopotamia, 1915-1916 by Nikolas Gardner

The Siege Of Kut-al-amara: At War In Mesopotamia, 1915-1916

byNikolas Gardner

Hardcover | September 16, 2014

not yet rated|write a review

Pricing and Purchase Info

$30.15 online 
$36.50 list price save 17%
Earn 151 plum® points

In stock online

Ships free on orders over $25

Available in stores


Kut-al-Amara was the site of one of the longest sieges ever endured by British forces. On December 3, 1915, the 6th Indian Division under Charles Townshend sought refuge from pursuing Turkish forces inside the walled town. With no heavy artillery to destroy fortifications, the Turks circled the town, subjecting it to intermittent shelling, small arms fire, and infantry attacks. British relief units made repeated attempts to break through the Turkish lines. Meanwhile, within Kut-al-Amara a different sort of war was going on. Townshend's division was made up of Muslim sepoys, who had misgivings about fighting the Turks. Not only were the Turks fellow Muslims but they served the Ottoman Sultan, recognized by many as the Caliph, the spiritual and temporal head of Islam. The Turks played upon this potentially divided loyalty with a propaganda campaign intended to encourage desertion. Then, when a shortage of food forced the garrison to supplement its rations with horsemeat, Muslim and Hindu soldiers were faced with violating dietary restrictions in order to survive. For British officers, prolonging the defense of Kut was complicated by the need to combat disaffection and starvation among the Indian rank and file. A significant event in the British campaign in Mesopotamia, the Siege of Kut-al-Amara offers important insights into Britain's imperial army and its role in the Middle East during World War I.

About The Author

Nikolas Gardner is Associate Professor and Co-Chair of the War Studies program at the Royal Military College of Canada in Kingston, Ontario.
Turning Point 1917: The British Empire at War
Turning Point 1917: The British Empire at War

by Douglas E. Delaney


Available for download

Not available in stores

Trial By Fire: Command And The British Expeditionary Force In 1914
Trial By Fire: Command And The British Expeditionary Force In 1914

by Nikolas Gardner


In stock online

Not available in stores

Details & Specs

Title:The Siege Of Kut-al-amara: At War In Mesopotamia, 1915-1916Format:HardcoverDimensions:224 pages, 9 × 6 × 0.98 inPublished:September 16, 2014Publisher:Indiana University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0253013844

ISBN - 13:9780253013842

Look for similar items by category:

Nearby Stores

We found 0 nearby stores

Customer Reviews of The Siege Of Kut-al-amara: At War In Mesopotamia, 1915-1916


Extra Content

Table of Contents

1. Charles Townshend and His Army: 6 Indian Division in the Fall of 1915
2. Townshend's Advance on Baghdad: September-November 1915
3. Retreat from Ctesiphon: 25 November-7 December
4. Outset of the Siege: December 1915
5. Operations of the Relief Force, January 1916
6. Deprivation and Defeat: February-March 1916
7. Innovation, Starvation and Surrender, April 1916

Editorial Reviews

"The author's balanced presentation of Townshend as the architect of his own failure rests on a persuasive analysis of the ill effects on tactical operations of entrenched prejudices about the abilities of non-western soldiers. Nikolas Gardner has filled an unexplored niche in the literature on the British campaigns in Mesopotamia. The Siege of Kut-al-Amara will appeal to general readers as well as scholars interested in this remote theater of the First World War." -Michigan War Studies Review