Today’s British soldiers serving in Iraq will know the country in which much of this unit history is set – the land between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers known in the Great War as Mesopotamia. Unusually for such a work of record, the author lays down the background to the Great War in the Middle East in some detail – stressing such factors as the German-Turkish alliance; the building of the Berlin to Baghdad railway and Britain’s interest in the Persian ( Iranian) oilfields. He also reports events with a topical resonance today – such as anti-British riots in Basra, and the declaration of a ‘JIhad’. The 43rd took part in the defeat of the Turks at Khan Baghdadi, and after the armistice in the spring of 1919 was re-deployed to Archangel in northern Russia in an effort to nip the Bolshevik revoloution in the bud. Under the command of General Sir Edmund ‘Tiny’ Ironside the 43rd battled gallantly against Bolshevik forces, although beset by flies, mosquitoes, bloodsucking ticks called clegs – and their unreliable White Russian allies. At last, partly through lack of progress and partly due to political pressure against an un popular foreign adventure – another echo of today- the unit was withdrawn in the autumn of 1919. An intriguing and unusual account of two little-known camapigns with eerily prophetic echoes of events in Iraq today.
HISTORY OF THE 43RD AND 52ND (OXFORD AND BUCKINGHAMSHIRE) LIGHT INFANTRY IN THE GREAT WAR VOL I, THE 43RD LIGHT INFANTRY IN MESOPOTAMIA AND NORTH RUSSIA
A unit history with contemporary echoes – the story of the Ox and Bucks Light Infantry in Mesopotamia ( Iraq) and battling the Bolsheviks in Russia during and after the Great War.