Persia (modern Iran) was a key strategic piece on the global chessboard of The Great War, placed as it was between Afghanistan and the warring Ottoman Turkish, Russian and British Empires. In 1914 Britain sent an Anglo-Indian force to Mesopotamia (modern Iraq) to deny the Turks access to the Persian oil fields. Germany retaliated by attempting to stir up an Islamic Jihad against the Allied incursion in Persia and India. This was foiled by the capture of German agents, as was a German attempt to kidnap the young Shah of Persia. Fighting between Russia and Turkey spilt over into Persia, and in the wake of the Russian collapse into revolution in 1918, Britain sent a small force – Dunsterforce – under Gen. Dunsterville into the Caucasus to encourage local resistance against the Turks and Germans. Although eventually withdrawing into Persia, Dunsterforce did succeed in denying the Turks access to the Baku oil fields until the armistice.
OPERATIONS IN PERSIA. OFFICIAL HISTORY OF THE GREAT WAR OTHER THEATRES:
The story of Persia (today’s Iran) during The Great War, when it was a major strategic player between the warring Turkish, Russian and British Empires – vital because of the oil riches in and around it. This volume tells how German attempts to stir up an Islamic Jihad were foiled, and how the situation was saved by Britain’s ‘Dunsterforce’ after the Russian revolution.