This moving and unusual story of a British engineer who becomes caught up in the horrifying events of the First World War vividly illuminates life - and death - on the Mesopotamian Front. At the outbreak of War, William Reed had recently arrived in the region to work as a marine engineer. By the time fighting ceased in 1918, not only his own life but the whole course of the history of the Middle East had been transformed. Reed began his career in Persia just before the outbreak of war as chief engineer of the Julnar, a ship owned by the Euphrates and Tigris Steam Navigation Company in Baghdad, and was subsequently drawn into the war effort as a Royal Naval Reservist. In this gripping history of Iraq during the First World War, Josephine Hammond skilfully weaves together her grandfather's diaries, placing his personal adventures against the backdrop of the unfolding drama of war. Reed's own involvement in the war effort, carrying troops and supplies up and down the Tigris River, ended abruptly when he was captured by the Turks in 1916. He spent two years in a Turkish prison camp and the frustrations and privations of this period of captivity are also vividly evoked here. Battle in Iraq offers an invaluable record of events in Iraq during the First World War as well as sensitively drawing out the unavoidable parallels with the contemporary conflict and the long-term consequences of international interference in the region.
Battle in Iraq
Letters and Diaries of the First World War