Enemy on the Euphrates: The Battle for Iraq, 1914-1921 by Ian Rutledge
"Material with acute relevance to the crisis now tearing Iraq to pieces"—Independent
"Rutledge's account displays a novelist's taste for intrigue, espionage, gunboat diplomacy, personal hardship and murder."—BBC History Magazine
"[A] rare treasure that combines a fascinating account of important historical events with penetrating geopolitical analysis"—Professor Michael Klare, Hampshire College, Amherst
In 1920 an Arab revolt came perilously close to inflicting a shattering defeat upon the British Empire's forces occupying Iraq after the Great War. A huge peasant army besieged British garrisons and bombarded them with captured artillery. British columns and armoured trains were ambushed and destroyed, and gunboats were captured or sunk. Britain's quest for oil was one of the principal reasons for its continuing occupation of Iraq. However, with around 131,000 Arabs in arms at the height of the conflict, the British were very nearly driven out. Only a massive infusion of Indian troops prevented a humiliating rout.
Enemy on the Euphrates is the definitive account of the most serious armed uprising against British rule in the twentieth century. Bringing central players such as Winston Churchill, T. E. Lawrence and Gertrude Bell vividly to life, Ian Rutledge's masterful account is a powerful reminder of how Britain's imperial objectives sowed the seeds of Iraq's tragic history.
Ian Rutledge is Research Director of the Sheffield Energy Resources Information Services. A graduate of the University of Cambridge where he received his PhD in Economic History, he has taught at the universities of London and Sheffield. His other publications include Addicted to Oil: America's Relentless Drive for Energy Security.