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By Kristian Coates Ulrichsen

An exam of the way the logistical calls for of the British army campaigns in Palestine and Mesopotamia resulted in a extra intrusive and authoritarian type of imperial keep an eye on in 1917-18. This early instance of Western army intervention within the center East provoked a localized backlash in 1919-20 whose results remain felt this present day.

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Extra resources for The Logistics and Politics of the British Campaigns in the Middle East, 1914–22

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By contrast, 38 Logistics and Politics in the Middle East the experience of India and the British commands in the Middle East differed substantially, as the decisive turning-point in their civil and military contributions to the war effort only took place during the second half of 1916, as a war economy developed to meet the enormous logistical requirements posed by the campaigns and spearheaded the expansion of state control to regulate it. 143 Kitchener’s decision to raise and equip the ‘New Army’ and the political fallout from the shell scandal in May 1915 ultimately decided the issue in favour of himself and Lloyd George.

There, the EEF advanced away from the river, rather than along it, and this created logistical problems of a different kind. The soft, sandy soil of the Sinai desert proved impassable for wheeled transport unless fitted with special wooden blocks called pedrails. 5 Later, in 1916, when the decision to advance across Sinai to El Arish was taken, General Murray realised that logistics were the keys to success in the desert campaign. By February 1917, a railway and water pipeline traversed the 88 miles from the Canal base of Qantara to El Arish near the boundary with Ottoman Palestine and the front lines opposite Gaza.

86 This was related to the second reason, which was to ensure the smooth passage of troops, munitions and supplies from the Dominions and India to the European theatre and to safeguard the line of communication through the Suez Canal following the declaration of war with the Ottoman Empire in November 1914. 87 In the absence of any direct military threat to India during the formative months of the war, defence planners and strategists in London decided that imperial interests could best be defended by restoring the balance of power in western Europe.

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