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The British occupation of Mesopotamia, 1914-1922

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During World War I the military campaign in Mesopotamia placed enormous demands on local man- and animal power to provide the logistical resources vital to its conduct. This required the British civil and military authorities to construct a wartime state apparatus that filled the administrative vacuum left by the retreating Ottomans and made possible its downward penetration and mobilisation of local resources for the war effort. This article examines the interaction of politics and logistics in Mesopotamia and views the enhanced wartime levels of resource extraction in light of the British attempts to codify their presence in the country after 1918 and the nationalist backlash that resulted.

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