ALSO

BY

DAVID

F R O M K I N

The The

Independence Question of

of

Nations

Government

DAVID F R O M K I N

A PEACE TO END A L L PEACE
T H E AND F A L L T H E O F T H E O T T O M A N O F T H E E M P I R E M O D E R N CREATION M I D D L E

E A S T

AN OWL BOOK HENRY HOLT AND NEW YORK COMPANY

Henry Holt and Company, L L C Publishers since 1866 115 West 18th Street New York, N e w York 10011 Henry Holt® is a registered trademark o f Henry Holt and Company, L L C . Copyright © 1989 by David Fromkin All rights reserved. Distributed in Canada by H. B. Fenn and Company L t d . L i b r a r y of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication D a t a Fromkin, David. A peace to end all peace. Bibliography : p. Includes index. I S B N 0-8050-6884-8 1. Great Britain—Foreign relations—Middle East. 2. Middle E a s t — F o r e i g n relations—Great Britain. 3. Middle East—Politics and government—1914-1945. I. Title. DS63.2.G7F76 1989 327.41056 88-34727

Henry Holt books are available for special promotions and premiums. For details contact: Director, Special Markets. First published in hardcover in 1989 by Henry Holt and Company First Owl Books Edition 2001 Printed in the United States of America 13 15 16 14

"After 'the war to end war' they s e e m to have been pretty successful in Paris at m a k i n g a 'Peace to end P e a c e . ' " A r c h i b a l d Wavell (later F i e l d M a r s h a l Earl Wavell), an officer who s e r v e d u n d e r Allenby in the Palestine c a m p a i g n , c o m m e n t i n g on the treaties b r i n g i n g the F i r s t World War to an e n d

C O N T E N T S

List of Illustrations and Maps Photo Credits Acknowledgments A Note on Spelling Introduction P A R T I At the C r o s s r o a d s of History
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 T H E L A S T DAYS OF OLD EUROPE T H E L E G A C Y OF T H E G R E A T GAME IN ASIA T H E M I D D L E E A S T B E F O R E T H E WAR T H E YOUNG T U R K S URGENTLY S E E K AN ALLY W I N S T O N C H U R C H I L L O N T H E E V E O F WAR C H U R C H I L L S E I Z E S T U R K E Y ' S WARSHIPS AN I N T R I G U E AT T H E SUBLIME PORTE

10 11 12 14 15

23 26 33 45 51 54 62

P A R T I I Kitchener o f K h a r t o u m L o o k s A h e a d
8 9 10 11 12 K I T C H E N E R T A K E S COMMAND KITCHENER'S LIEUTENANTS KITCHENER S E T S OUT TO CAPTURE ISLAM INDIA P R O T E S T S T H E MAN IN T H E M I D D L E

79 88 96 106 111

P A R T I I I Britain i s D r a w n into the Middle Eastern Quagmire
13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 T H E T U R K I S H C O M M A N D E R S A L M O S T L O S E T H E WAR KITCHENER ALLOWS BRITAIN TO A T T A C K T U R K E Y ON TO VICTORY AT T H E DARDANELLES RUSSIA'S GRAB FOR T U R K E Y DEFINING BRITAIN'S GOALS IN T H E MIDDLE EAST AT T H E NARROWS OF F O R T U N E T H E WARRIORS T H E POLITICIANS THE LIGHT THAT FAILED

119 124 130 137 146 150 155 159 163

8

CONTENTS

22 23 24 25

C R E A T I N G T H E ARAB B U R E A U MAKING PROMISES TO T H E ARABS MAKING PROMISES TO T H E EUROPEAN A L L I E S TURKEY'S TRIUMPH AT T H E TIGRIS

168 173 188 200

PART
26 27 28 BEHIND ENEMY LINES KITCHENER'S LAST MISSION HUSSEIN'S REVOLT

IV

Subversion
207 216 218

P A R T V T h e Allies a t the N a d i r o f T h e i r F o r t u n e s
29 30 T H E F A L L OF T H E A L L I E D GOVERNMENTS: BRITAIN AND FRANCE T H E OVERTHROW OF T H E CZAR 231 239

P A R T VI
31 32 33 34 T H E NEW W O R L D

N e w Worlds and Promised

Lands
253 263 276 284

LLOYD GEORGE'S ZIONISM TOWARD T H E BALFOUR D E C L A R A T I O N T H E PROMISED LAND

P A R T VII
35 36 37

I n v a d i n g the M i d d l e E a s t
305 315 332

J E R U S A L E M FOR CHRISTMAS T H E ROAD T O D A M A S C U S T H E B A T T L E FOR SYRIA

P A R T V I I I T h e S p o i l s o f Victory
38 39 T H E P A R T I N G O F T H E WAYS BY T H E S H O R E S OF T R O Y ' 351 363

P A R T I X T h e T i d e G o e s Out
40 41 42 THE TICKING CLOCK BETRAYAL T H E U N R E A L WORLD OF T H E PEACE C O N F E R E N C E S 383 389 403

P A R T X S t o r m over Asia
43 44 45 46 47 T H E T R O U B L E S B E G I N : 1919—1921 E G Y P T : T H E W I N T E R O F 1918—1919 A F G H A N I S T A N : T H E S P R I N G O F 1919 A R A B I A : T H E S P R I N G O F 1919 T U R K E Y : J A N U A R Y 1920 415 417 421 424 427

CONTENTS

9

48 49 50 51 52

S Y R I A A N D L E B A N O N : T H E S P R I N G A N D S U M M E R O F 1920 E A S T E R N P A L E S T I N E ( T R A N S J O R D A N ) : 1920 P A L E S T I N E — A R A B S A N D J E W S : 1920 M E S O P O T A M I A ( I R A Q ) : 1920 P E R S I A ( I R A N ) : 1920

435 441 4 45 449 45 5

P A R T X I R u s s i a R e t u r n s t o the M i d d l e E a s t
53 54 55 56 UNMASKING BRITAIN'S ENEMIES T H E SOVIET CHALLENGE IN T H E MIDDLE EAST MOSCOW'S G O A L S A D E A T H IN B U K H A R A 465 471 475 480

P A R T X I I T h e M i d d l e E a s t e r n Settlement o f 1922
57 58 59 60 61 WINSTON CHURCHILL T A K E S CHARGE C H U R C H I L L AND T H E QUESTION OF PALESTINE T H E A L L I A N C E S COME APART A GREEK TRAGEDY T H E S E T T L E M E N T OF T H E MIDDLE EASTERN QUESTION 493 515 530 540 558

Notes Bibliography Index

569 607 621

L I S T O F I L L U S T R A T I O N S AND MAPS 1 Lord Kitchener 2 Sir Mark Sykes 3 Enver 4 Talaat 5 Djemal 6 Crowds gather outside the Sublime Porte. M . 1916 16 Russian occupation of Erzerum 17 Russian troops in Trebizond 18 British camel column in the Jordan Valley 19 British survey party in Palestine 20 Transport camels 21 View of Beersheba 22 The Hejaz flag 23 Prince Feisal 24 King Hussein of the Hejaz 25 T . November 1918 35 British sentry. E . S . 1917 32 Australian Light Horse entering Damascus. 1918 10 . 1915 8 Allied fleet at entrance to Dardanelles 9 Pictorial map of the Dardanelles 10 H . 1913 7 Turkish soldiers at Dardanelles fort. Cornwallis 11 Anzac beach 12 Australian troops at Gallipoli 13 Winston Churchill 14 Russian troop column 15 Russian advance-guard in Turkey. 1919 34 Ottoman soldiers surrender. Lawrence with Lowell Thomas 26 David Ben-Gurion 27 Vladimir Jabotinsky 28 Chaim Weizmann with Lord Balfour 29 Union Jack hoisted above Basra 30 Street scene in Baghdad 31 Reading of General Allenby's proclamation of martial law. 1918 33 General Allenby enters Aleppo. 1920 36 Admiral Calthorpe's flagship. Constantinople.

30. 39. New York.L I S T OF I L L U S T R A T I O N S AND MAPS 11 37 Woodrow Wilson 38 Lloyd George 39 Signing of the Treaty of Sevres. 14. later briefly to be King of the Hejaz 50 Ibn Saud with Sir Percy Cox and Gertrude Bell Photo Credits 1. 19. 33. 15. 18. 10. Abdullah. 16. 1920 40 British bluejackets in Constantinople. 21. 6. Emir of Transjordan. 5. 36. 80 are reproduced courtesy of The Illustrated London News Picture Library. and Ali. New York. 42. 1920 43 Bodies of Greek soldiers in a Turkish field. 31. 12. 7. 9. 34. 38. 35. 46. 27 and 28 are reproduced courtesy of the Zionist Archives and Library. 13. 37. London. 26 is reproduced courtesy of the Bettmann Archive. 1922 42 French troops enter Damascus. 29. 1922 44 Mustapha Kemal 45 Reza Khan 46 Amanullah Khan 47 King Fuad of Egypt 48 Zaghlul Pasha 49 Sons of King Hussein of the Hejaz: Feisal. 11. 23. 49 are reproduced courtesy of UPI/Bettmann Newsphotos. 41. 47. 40. King of Iraq. 24. 20. 3. 32. Maps (Between pages 20 and 21) The Middle East in 1914 T h e Campaign in Central Asia The Greek-Turkish War The Middle East in the 1920s Cartography by Sue Lawes . 22. 17. 45 . 43. 1920 41 French quarter of Smyrna after the fall of the city. 4. 8. 44. 2. 25 .

student K a y Patterson. my friend and colleague R o b e r t L . D . I am grateful to him. a n d s u g g e s t i o n s . A n d Professor S t a n l e y Mallach of the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee helped me find b o o k s I could not find elsewhere. D r N i c h o l a s R i z o p o u l o s read the G r e e k . who offered extensive a n d careful c o m m e n t s . Professor Silvera. Professor K e d o u r i e read the m a n u s c r i p t and g a v e me the benefit of his i m m e n s e erudition a n d authoritative c o m m e n t s . in particular. N o w I cannot think of how the book could have been s t r u c t u r e d any other way. S i g m o n would b u y t h e m for m e a n d s e n d t h e m to me by airmail. He r e a d and re-read the m a n u s c r i p t and offered detailed marginal corrections and c o m m e n t s . a n d M r s Patterson are not r e s p o n s i b l e in any way for the opinions and conclusions I e x p r e s s in the book. At my request. Alain Silvera. L a t e r I p u t my ideas in written f o r m . will observe in reading the book 12 . the m a n u s c r i p t has been extensively rewritten since they saw it. D r R i z o p o u l o s . w h o m I wanted to p e r s u a d e to be the other a c a d e m i c reader of my m a n u s c r i p t . Professor of H i s t o r y at Bryn M a w r College a n d a lifelong friend. A c a d e m i c r e a d e r s . kept me abreast of the latest scholarship by s u p p l y i n g me with articles from learned j o u r n a l s as well as valuable ideas. I hope I need not a d d that Professor K e d o u r i e . information. Professor E r n e s t Gellner of C a m b r i d g e University kindly arranged for me to meet Professor Elie K e d o u r i e .T u r k i s h episodes a n d offered valuable s u g g e s t i o n s . so there may well be factual or other s t a t e m e n t s in it they would have advised me to c h a n g e . As books on my subject a p p e a r e d in L o n d o n . M o r e o v e r .A C K N O W L E D G M E N T S T h e idea of writing this book c a m e to me in the c o u r s e of a conversation with T i m o t h y D i c k i n s o n in which he asked my views a b o u t the history of the M i d d l e E a s t . and to M r s K e d o u r i e for her kindness a n d patience in p u t t i n g up with my d e m a n d s on her h u s b a n d ' s time. J a s o n E p s t e i n s u g g e s t e d that the book be s t r u c t u r e d a r o u n d a personality. I took his s u g g e s t i o n a n d c h o s e Winston Churchill. He showed the m a n u s c r i p t also t o his P h .

. T . S o m e r s e t . for his masterful s t u d i e s of M i d d l e E a s t e r n a n d British history and politics. — t h e B r y n m o r J o n e s L i b r a r y of the University of Hull a n d S i r T a t t o n S y k e s . L a w r e n c e . My heartfelt thanks to t h e m all. the son of Sir G i l b e r t Clayton. indeed. O x f o r d . D . S a m u e l C l a y t o n . H o u s e of L o r d s R e c o r d Office. including the p a p e r s o f S i r H u b e r t Y o u n g . I owe an i m m e n s e d e b t of g r a t i t u d e to R o b Cowley. R . William Y a l e . O x f o r d . — t h e Warden and Fellows of N e w College. my editor at H e n r y Holt and an authority on the F i r s t World War. for permission to q u o t e from the diaries of R i c h a r d M e i n e r t z h a g e n . for permission to q u o t e from the p a p e r s of Sir Mark Sykes. and the R h o d e s H o u s e L i b r a r y . — M r s T h e r e s a S e a r i g h t . for per- . for their hospitality in having me to tea at K e n s i n g t o n Palace. O x f o r d . B a r t . E . a n d the K i n g Feisal and Balfour Declaration files. L o r d Allenby. Alan Bell of R h o d e s H o u s e . I have benefited f r o m the kindness and patience of s u c h unfailingly helpful librarians as L e s l e y F o r b e s of the University of D u r h a m . C . St Antony's College. for his knowledgeable a n d helpful s u g g e s t i o n s and for his constant e n c o u r a g e m e n t and e n t h u s i a s m . for permission to q u ot e from their extensive collection. the L a d y M a r y .ACKNOWLEDGMENTS 13 that I owe an i m m e n s e intellectual d e b t to the b o o k s and e s s a y s of m a n y other s c h o l a r s — m o r e . O x f o r d . whose great life of Winston Churchill is essential to anyone writing a b o u t this p e r i o d . on whose extensive collection I have d r a w n freely. a n d M a r t i n G i l b e r t . a n d Gillian G r a n t o f the M i d d l e E a s t C e n t r e . N o r m a n H i g s o n of the University of Hull. a n d to his wife. than there is s p a c e to n a m e here. M a r i a n W o o d at H e n r y Holt and S a r a M e n g u g at A n d r e D e u t s c h saw me through the publication p r o c e s s with unfailing cheer and a w e s o m e efficiency. F . A n d I was inspired by the e x a m p l e of H o w a r d S a c h a r to believe that a history of the M i d d l e E a s t can be w r i t t e n — a s I was a t t e m p t i n g to d o — o n a very b r o a d scale. — t h e M i d d l e E a s t C e n t r e . for permission to quote from the L l o y d G e o r g e Papers in the Beaverbrook Collection in the custody of the H o u s e of L o r d s R e c o r d Office. I have leaned heavily on G i l b e r t ' s v o l u m e s — a s everyone now m u s t . was kind e n o u g h to s p e n d the best part of an afternoon talking to me a b o u t his father. Chief a m o n g those to w h o m I am thus indebted are Elie K e d o u r i e . — t h e S u d a n Archive of the University of D u r h a m . S t Antony's College. F o r permission to r e p r o d u c e q u o t a t i o n s from d o c u m e n t s I am indebted to the following: — T h e C l e r k of the R e c o r d s . My thanks to h i m . In the c o u r s e of my research in archives in Britain a n d elsewhere over the years. Clive H u g h e s of the I m p e r i a l War M u s e u m . B r u n t o n .

L o n d o n . So there is no s y s t e m or consistency in it. I wish also to thank the British L i b r a r y . A Note on Spelling In spelling T u r k i s h .14 A C K N O W L E D G M E N T S mission t o q u o t e from L o r d Milner's f i l e s . the Bodleian L i b r a r y . F o r access to d o c u m e n t a r y material. a n d Persian n a m e s a n d titles. R e h o v o t . the H o u g h t o n L i b r a r y of H a r v a r d U n i v e r s i t y . — t h e T r u s t e e s of the L i d d e l l H a r t C e n t r e for Military A r c h i v e s at K i n g ' s College. M. O x f o r d . L o n d o n . for p e r m i s s i o n t o q u o t e f r o m L o r d Allenby's papers. . L o n d o n . Camellia I n v e s t m e n t s . I have u s e d whatever form of spelling I am m o s t familiar with f r o m my reading over the years. a n d the N e w Y o r k Public L i b r a r y . A r a b i c . L o n d o n . b u t I would g u e s s that the spellings m o s t familiar to me will be the m o s t familiar to the general reader as well. the I m p e r i a l War M u s e u m . Stationery Office. the Weizmann Archives. Pic. T r a n s c r i p t s / T r a n s l a t i o n s of C r o w n copyright r e c o r d s in the P u b l i c R e c o r d Office a p p e a r by p e r m i s s i o n of the Controller of H. I s r a e l .

toward the end. at best. British official a c c o u n t s — a n d even the later m e m o i r s of the officials c o n c e r n e d — w e r e untruthful too. the A r a b Revolt that f o r m e d the centerpiece of their narrative o c c u r r e d not so m u c h in reality as in the wonderful imagination of T. not unnaturally. fictitious. a teller of fantastic tales w h o m the A m e r i c a n s h o w m a n L o w e l l T h o m a s t r a n s f o r m e d into " L a w r e n c e o f A r a b i a . Moreover. at worst. D u r i n g the past d e c a d e I have w o r k e d in the archives. T h e a u t h o r s whose works I cite in the N o t e s at the e n d of the book m a d e m o s t of the new discoveries.I N T R O D U C T I O N T h e M i d d l e E a s t . and why the A r a b negotiator a l . and now. for e x a m p l e . British officials who played a major role in the m a k i n g of these decisions provided a version of events that was. T h e y s o u g h t to hide their m e d d l i n g in M o s l e m religious affairs ( p a g e s 96—105) a n d to pretend that they had entered the M i d d l e E a s t as p a t r o n s of A r a b i n d e p e n d e n c e — a cause in which they did not in fact believe. with the o p e n i n g of archives of hitherto secret official d o c u m e n t s a n d private p a p e r s . t h o u g h I have m a d e s o m e too: what the Y o u n g T u r k leaders m a y have done in order to p e r s u a d e the G e r m a n s to ally with t h e m on 1 A u g u s t 1914 ( p a g e s 60—6). when I started my r e s e a r c h — t h a t we h a d arrived at a point where at last it w o u l d be possible to tell the real story of what h a p p e n e d . hence this b o o k . " T h e truth has c o m e out over the c o u r s e of d e c a d e s in bits a n d pieces. and p u t together the findings of m o d e r n scholarship to show the picture that is f o r m e d when the pieces of the puzzle are a s s e m b l e d . E. L a w r e n c e . loves a n d h a t r e d s . works of p r o p a g a n d a .F a r u q i m a y 15 . mistakes a n d m i s u n d e r s t a n d i n g s — t h e s e decisions were m a d e . e m e r g e d f r o m decisions m a d e by the Allies d u r i n g and after the F i r s t World War. a s w e know i t f r o m today's headlines. It s e e m e d to m e — i n 1979. R u s s i a n a n d F r e n c h official a c c o u n t s of what they were doing in the M i d d l e E a s t at that time were. In the p a g e s that follow I set out to tell in one v o l u m e the wide-ranging story of how a n d w h y — a n d out of what hopes a n d fears. edited a n d . s t u d i e d the literature. in one great h e a p .

I r a n . a n d then felt the first powerful t u g s of the tide that was g o i n g to pull t h e m b a c k . Israel. a n d the A r a b states of Asia. " Other studies of the F i r s t World War and its aftermath in the region have t e n d e d to deal with a single country or area. the m a n y m i s u n d e r s t a n d i n g s which in 1916 set off a hidden tug-of-war within the British b u r e a u c r a c y between S i r M a r k S y k e s . m i s u n d e r s t o o d what Clayton h a d asked him to d o . So in the m o n t h s a n d years that followed. the head of intelligence in C a i r o ( p a g e 193). S i n c e Clayton never mentioned the m a t t e r to him. It was in whole or in part b e c a u s e of R u s s i a that K i t c h e n e r initiated a British alliance with the A r a b M o s l e m world ( p a g e s 9 7 — 8 ) . believing in all innocence that he was carrying out Clayton's wishes. T h e n . and to show that its reshaping was a function of G r e a t Power politics at a u n i q u e t i m e : the exact m o m e n t when the waves of western E u r o p e a n imperial e x p a n s i o n i s m flowed forward to hit their high-water m a r k . that the F o r e i g n Office publicly proclaimed British s u p p o r t . decided instead to o c c u p y a n d partition the M i d d l e E a s t ( p a g e s 137—42). while C l a y t o n felt s u r e that S y k e s h a d knowingly let h i m d o w n . L o n d o n ' s desk m a n in charge of the M i d d l e E a s t .16 INTRODUCTION have d r a w n a line t h r o u g h inland S y r i a as the frontier of A r a b national independence ( p a g e 178). m e a n s not only E g y p t . or at any rate to d r a w attention to. I m a y be the first to disentangle. and his friend G i l b e r t C l a y t o n . G e t t i n g the b u r e a u c r a t i c politics r i g h t — a n d I hope that is what I have d o n e — h a s been one of my chief endeavors. B u t I place the creation of the m o d e r n M i d d l e E a s t in a wider f r a m e w o r k : I see what h a p p e n e d as the culmination of the nineteenth-century G r e a t G a m e . T u r k e y . playing a leading role in the story. I found that neither S y k e s nor Clayton ever realized that S y k e s . fought to shield the road to I n d i a from the o n s l a u g h t s first of F r a n c e a n d t h e n of R u s s i a in what c a m e to be known a s "the G r e a t G a m e . S y k e s mistakenly a s s u m e d that he and Clayton were still at one. S y k e s r e m a i n e d u n a w a r e that differences h a d arisen between him a n d his colleague. T h e M i d d l e E a s t . too. or of Britain a n d F r a n c e . in the 1916 negotiations with F r a n c e . E v e n those dealing with E u r o p e a n policy in the A r a b or T u r k i s h E a s t as a whole have focused solely. though they would have preferred to preserve the T u r k i s h E m p i r e in the region. b u t also Soviet Central A s i a and A f g h a n i s t a n : the entire arena in which Britain. B u t I have tried to do m o r e than clarify specific p r o c e s s e s and e p i s o d e s . from the N a p o l e o n i c Wars o n w a r d . for e x a m p l e . T h e b o o k is meant to give a p a n o r a m i c view of what was h a p p e n i n g to the M i d d l e E a s t as a whole. when in fact within the b u r e a u c r a c y Clayton had b e c o m e an a d v e r s a r y of his p o l i c y — a n d p e r h a p s the m o s t d a n g e r o u s one. on the role of Britain. as I conceive it. too. S y k e s did the exact o p p o s i t e . that Britain and F r a n c e . a n d therefore show R u s s i a .

L e b a n o n a n d by R u s s i a on the b o r d e r s of A r m e n i a a n d Soviet A z e r b a i j a n . and elsewhere in the S u n n i world keep that issue alive. were British inventions. a n d when oil was not an important factor in the politics of the M i d d l e E a s t . S y r i a . when the F r e n c h . It was a time when E u r o p e a n s . a n d in their a t t e m p t to do so i n t r o d u c e d an artificial state s y s t e m into the M i d d l e E a s t that has m a d e it into a region of countries that have not b e c o m e nations even t o d a y . not the A r a b s . except when I s u g g e s t the outlines a n d d i m e n s i o n s of what E u r o p e a n politicians were ignoring when they m a d e their decisions. too. in which everything s e e m e d (and may indeed have been) p o s s i b l e . a n d I r a q were established by a British civil servant in 1922. a n u m b e r of British officials felt that Britain was obliged to hold the line in the M i d d l e E a s t against c r u s a d i n g B o l s h e v i s m ( p a g e s 4 6 5 — 8 ) . were the d a n g e r o u s enemies of the Zionist m o v e m e n t . however. M i d d l e E a s t e r n p e r s o n alities. E u r o p e a n s and A m e r i c a n s were the only ones seated a r o u n d the table when the decisions were m a d e . formative y e a r s . T h e F r e n c h g o v e r n m e n t . notably in the c o m m u n a l strife that has r a v a g e d L e b a n o n in the 1970s a n d 1980s. not implausibly. which in the M i d d l e E a s t did allow religion to be the basis of politics—even of its o w n — c h a m p i o n e d one sect against the others. It was an era in which M i d d l e E a s t e r n countries a n d frontiers were fabricated in E u r o p e . K h o m e i n i ' s Iran in the Shi'ite world and the M o s l e m B r o t h e r h o o d in E g y p t . is that they were the creative.INTRODUCTION 17 for the establishment of a J e w i s h National H o m e in Palestine ( p a g e s 184—93). for e x a m p l e . a n d by the British. a n d that. By 1922. T h e E u r o p e a n powers at that time believed they could c h a n g e M o s l e m A s i a in the very f u n d a m e n t a l s of its political existence. who p r o p o s e d c o m m u n i s m . and that. so that the especial interest a n d excitement of the years with which this book is concerned. a n d the frontiers between M o s l e m s and C h r i s t i a n s were d r a w n by F r a n c e in S y r i a . the choices had narrowed a n d the c o u r s e s had . believed A r a b and J e w i s h nationalism to be natural allies. c i r c u m s t a n c e s . a n d in the 1914—22 p e r i o d . I r a q a n d what we now call J o r d a n . is an issue kept alive. T h i s is a book a b o u t the decision-making p r o c e s s . 1914 t h r o u g h 1922. in which R u s s i a plays a central role. who p r o p o s e d nationalism or dynastic loyalty. in its place. T h e b a s i s of political life in t h e M i d d l e E a s t — r e l i g i o n — w a s called into question by the R u s s i a n s . while the b o u n d a r i e s of S a u d i A r a b i a . Yet. K u w a i t . T h e year 1922 s e e m s to me to have been the point of no return in setting the various clans of the M i d d l e E a s t on their collision c o u r s e s . this is the first b o o k to tell the story as that of the M i d d l e E a s t in the widest s e n s e : the G r e a t G a m e sense. lines d r a w n on an e m p t y m a p by British politicians after the F i r s t World W a r . so far as I know. a n d political cultures do not figure a g r e a t deal in the narrative that follows. As you will see when you r e a d the book. after the war.

the M i d d l e E a s t h a d started along a road that was to lead to the endless w a r s (between Israel a n d her neighbors. as he worked out Britain's blueprint for the M i d d l e E a s t ' s future. a n d p r o c l a i m e d herself the s p o n s o r of both A r a b a n d J e w i s h nationalism. a m o n g others. Within the British s p h e r e . It . T h e F r e n c h received a bit less than had been a g r e e d . assassination. but the principle of allowing t h e m to s h a r e with Britain in the partition and rule of M o s l e m A s i a was r e s p e c t e d . a n d the R u s s i a n s were only allowed to keep what they had already taken before the war. F r a n c e . It was meant to show that if you p u t together a n u m b e r of the d o c u m e n t s a n d decisions of 1922—the Allenby D e c l a r a t i o n establishing nominal ind e p e n d e n c e for E g y p t . the British treaty establishing the s t a t u s of I r a q . It g o e s on to show that. this settlement of 1922 (as I call it. b e c a u s e m o s t of its elements cluster in a n d a r o u n d that year) flowed from the wartime negotiations which S i r M a r k S y k e s h a d c o n d u c t e d with F r a n c e a n d R u s s i a to agree u p o n a partition o f the postwar M i d d l e E a s t between them. T h e b o o k then follows S y k e s d u r i n g the w a r t i m e years. all went a c c o r d i n g to the S y k e s p l a n : Britain ruled for the m o s t part indirectly. I show that our quarrel with that settlement (to the extent that with hindsight we would have designed the new M i d d l e E a s t differently) is not what we s o m e t i m e s believe it to b e . Britain's placing new m o n a r c h s on the thrones of E g y p t a n d I r a q a n d s p o n s o r i n g a new princely ruler for (what was to b e c o m e ) J o r d a n . T h i s was the story that I originally set out to write.18 INTRODUCTION been set. T w o stories are told in the book a n d then m e r g e into one. the Palestine M a n d a t e a n d the Churchill White P a p e r for Palestine (from which Israel a n d J o r d a n s p r i n g ) . a n d w a s e m b o d i e d in d o c u m e n t s formally a d o p t e d (for the m o s t part) in 1922. the R u s s i a n proclamation of a Soviet U n i o n in which R u s s i a would re-establish her rule in M o s l e m Central A s i a — you would see that when taken together they a m o u n t e d to an overall settlement of the M i d d l e E a s t e r n Q u e s t i o n . a n d between rival militias in L e b a n o n ) a n d to the always-escalating acts of terrorism (hijacking. T h e s e are a part of the legacy of the history recounted in the p a g e s that follow. as protector of nominally independent A r a b m o n archies. the F r e n c h M a n d a t e for S y r i a and L e b a n o n . a n d R u s s i a . T h e first b e g i n s with L o r d K i t c h e n e r ' s decision at the outset of the F i r s t World War to partition the M i d d l e E a s t after the war between Britain. in large part. Moreover. In addition to establishing that there h a d been a settlement of 1922 in the M i d d l e E a s t . a n d r a n d o m m a s s a c r e ) that have been a characteristic feature of international life in the 1970s a n d 1980s. a n d with his a p p o i n t m e n t o f S i r M a r k S y k e s to work out the details. the p r o g r a m S y k e s had formulated was realized after the war.

We see the p r o . 1915. if its object were to r e m a k e the M i d d l e E a s t as I n d i a had been r e m a d e — a t the very time that the British p u b l i c was t u r n i n g to a policy of scaling down overseas c o m m i t m e n t s a n d was deciding it wanted no m o r e imperial a d v e n t u r e s . Winston Churchill. where w o u l d the R u s s i a n frontier in the Middle East be drawn? T h a t . a n d a b o u t how the two m o v e m e n t s interacted. striving to remake the world in the light of their own vision. a n d her decisions in 1922 about how it should be replaced. is the story which I set out to tell. L l o y d G e o r g e . above all. p r e s i d e s over the p a g e s of this b o o k : a dominating figure whose g e n i u s a n i m a t e d events a n d whose larger-thanlife personality colored and enlivened t h e m . L a w r e n c e of A r a b i a . which w e l c o m e d a R u s s i a n a n d a F r e n c h p r e s e n c e in the postwar M i d d l e E a s t . Britain c h a n g e d . so that by 1922—when they formally c o m m i t t e d themselves to their p r o g r a m for r e m a k i n g the M i d d l e E a s t — t h e y no longer believed in it. a n d M u s s o l i n i — m e n who helped s h a p e the twentieth c e n t u r y — a r e a m o n g those who played leading roles in the d r a m a that unfolds in A Peace to End All Peace. a n d British officials a n d politicians c h a n g e d their m i n d s . another e m e r g e d : the story of how. turn into a postwar g o v e r n m e n t that r e g a r d e d R u s s i a in the M i d d l e E a s t as a d a n g e r a n d F r a n c e in the region as a disaster. m o r e i m p o r t a n t . and the enthusiasts for Feisal's A r a b M o v e m e n t turn against Feisal a s untrustworthy a n d against his brother A b d u l l a h as hopelessly ineffectual. F o r L o r d K i t c h e n e r a n d his delegated agent M a r k S y k e s the M i d d l e E a s t e r n Q u e s t i o n was what it had been for m o r e than a century: where w o u l d the F r e n c h frontier in the M i d d l e E a s t be d r a w n a n d . between 1914 a n d 1922.Z i o n i s t s of 1917 turn into the anti-Zionists of 1921 a n d 1922. b u t also from the lack of conviction she b r o u g h t in s u b s e q u e n t years to the p r o g r a m of i m p o s i n g the settlement of 1922 to which she was p l e d g e d . Woodrow Wilson. the book that e m e r g e d was also about how E u r o p e c h a n g e d at the s a m e time. L e n i n . S t a l i n . In the c o u r s e of the narrative we see the British g o v e r n m e n t of 1914. A b o v e all.INTRODUCTION 19 is not even that the British g o v e r n m e n t at that time failed to devise a settlement that would satisfy the n e e d s a n d desires of the p e o p l e s of the M i d d l e E a s t . it is that they were trying to do s o m e t h i n g altogether different. we see Britain e m b a r k i n g on a vast new imperial enterprise in the M i d d l e E a s t — o n e that w o u l d take generations to achieve. as I say. T h e b o o k I intended to write was only about how E u r o p e went about c h a n g i n g the M i d d l e E a s t . K i t c h e n e r of K h a r t o u m . . a n d 1916. It m a y well be that the crisis of political civilization that the M i d d l e E a s t e n d u r e s today s t e m s not merely from Britain's d e s t r u c tion of the old order in the region in 1918. B u t in the telling of it.

S t a l i n . a n d L o r d M i l n e r — t h e M i d d l e E a s t was an essential c o m p o n e n t or a testing area of their worldview. T h e i r vision of the future of the M i d d l e E a s t was central to their idea of the sort of twentieth century they passionately believed would or s h o u l d e m e r g e as a phoenix from the ashes of the F i r s t World War. the history recounted in the p a g e s that follow is the story of how the twentieth century was created.20 INTRODUCTION F o r Churchill. a s for L l o y d G e o r g e . Wilson. and the o t h e r s — a n d for s u c h m e n a s J a n Christian S m u t s . as well as the m o d e r n M i d d l e E a s t . . L e o A m e r y . L e n i n . In that sense.

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PART I AT THE CROSSROADS OF HISTORY .

who had c o m e from Britain via P a r i s . " 1 2 Rotations and revolutions—the heavenly m o v e m e n t s that c a u s e day to b e c o m e night a n d s p r i n g / s u m m e r to b e c o m e a u t u m n / w i n t e r — were reflected in her observations of the l a n d s c a p e a n d its lighting. In Pompeii she a n d her friends w a n d e r e d "down the long lovely silent streets" that once had p u l s a t e d with the life of I m p e r i a l R o m e . Violet A s q u i t h kept a diary of her j o u r n e y . she noted. S o o n she was b a t h e d in s u n s h i n e . those once lively streets were overgrown with g r a s s a n d v e g e t a t i o n . now.1 T H E L A S T DAYS OF OLD EUROPE i In the late s p r i n g of 1912. In Sicily her party c l i m b e d to the ruins of an ancient G r e e k fortress a n d . they were as privileged a g r o u p as any the world has known. In the final enchanted years before the F i r s t World War b r o u g h t their world to an end. a m i d s t wild lavender and h e r b s . the civilian head of the A d m i r a l t y . his brilliant 25-year-old d a u g h t e r Violet. Winston C h u r c h i l l . A m o n g them were the British P r i m e Minister. and Churchill's small party of family m e m b e r s a n d close colleagues. Enchantress b e l o n g e d to the British A d m i r a l t y . sitting on blocks of stone f r o m the fallen walls. T h e a c c o m m o dation a b o a r d was as g r a n d as that on the K i n g ' s own yacht. T h e r e they lay " a m o n g wild thyme a n d h u m m i n g bees and watched the sea c h a n g i n g from b l u e to flame a n d then to cool j a d e green as the s u n d r o p p e d into it a n d the s t a r s c a m e o u t .s c h e d u l e . the graceful yacht Enchantress put out to sea from rainy G e n o a for a M e d i t e r r a n e a n p l e a s u r e cruise—-a carefree cruise without itinerary or t i m e . had a picnic lunch. but a sense of the mortality of civilizations and of political p o w e r s a n d dominations did not o v e r s h a d o w Violet's cheerful vision of her youthful voyage to the l a n d s of antiquity. H e r father p r e s i d e d over 23 . T h e skies brightened as she s t e a m e d s o u t h . where they had stayed at the R i t z . L a t e r they went higher still to watch the sunset over the sea f r o m what r e m a i n e d of the old G r e e k theater on the heights. H e r b e r t A s q u i t h . T h e crew n u m b e r e d nearly a h u n d r e d a n d served a dozen or so g u e s t s .

" T h e Prime Minister was a n intellectual. It was a s s u m e d that the E u r o p e a n powers would . " Violet noted that. II T h e M i d d l e E a s t . T h e P r i m e Minister. " T h o s e G r e e k s a n d R o m a n s . aware that the trend a m o n g historians of the ancient world was away f r o m an exclusive concern with the E u r o p e a n cultures o f the G r e e k s a n d R o m a n s . one of the few regions left on the planet that had not yet been socially.24 AT THE CROSSROADS OF HISTORY an e m p i r e roughly twice as large as the R o m a n E m p i r e at its zenith. their ideals. b u t in the M i d d l e E a s t : in E g y p t and J u d a e a . when Churchill a n d his g u e s t s v o y a g e d a b o a r d the Enchantress. a n d their way of life. was of only marginal concern to them in the early years of the twentieth century when those rivalries were a p p a r e n t l y resolved. T h e region had b e c o m e a political backwater. was as jealous as a child. 3 4 In the early years of the twentieth century. "they are so overrated. T h e y only said everything first. An ardent classicist. It was also not u n c o m m o n to s u p p o s e that. B u t they got in before m e . "It was in vain that my father pointed out that the world had been g o i n g on for q u i t e a long time before the G r e e k s and R o m a n s a p p e a r e d u p o n the s c e n e . S u m e r a n d A k k a d . having already a c c o m p l i s h e d m o s t of what m a n y r e g a r d e d as the West's historical m i s s i o n — s h a p i n g the political destinies of the other p e o p l e s of the g l o b e — t h e y would eventually c o m p l e t e it. it was usual to a s s u m e that the E u r o p e a n peoples w o u l d continue to play a d o m i n a t i n g role in world affairs for as far ahead in time as the mind's eye could see. I've said just as g o o d things myself. she m a y well have t h o u g h t that her father's e m p i r e would last twice as long too. no scholar of ancient l a n g u a g e s or literature. a n enthusiastic sightseer. B a b y l o n i a a n d A s s y r i a . Winston Churchill. Civilization—whose roots stretched t h o u s a n d s of years into the past. culturally. although it had been of great interest to western d i p l o m a t s a n d politicians d u r i n g the nineteenth century as an arena in which G r e a t G a m e rivalries were played out. was inseparable from his Baedeker g u i d e b o o k . a n d politically reshaped in the i m a g e of E u r o p e . C o n s p i c u o u s a m o n g the d o m a i n s still to be dealt with were those of the M i d d l e E a s t . E u r o p e a n civilization—had its b e g i n n i n g s not in G r e e c e and R o m e . " he protested. into the soil of those M i d d l e E a s t e r n monarchies that long a g o had c r u m b l e d into d u s t — was seen to have c u l m i n a t e d in the global s u p r e m a c y of the E u r o pean peoples. he read a n d wrote with ease a n d pleasure in classical G r e e k a n d L a t i n . T h e American professor J a m e s H e n r y B r e a s t e d had won wide a c c e p t a n c e for the thesis that m o d e r n civilization—that is.

a relatively tranquil d o m a i n in which history. * T h e Baghdad Railway project remains the best-known example of German economic penetration of the region. as it had for centuries. planners looked to the o p e n i n g up of railroads a n d new markets in the region. or N e w Y o r k to believe that it affected their lives or interests. shifting tribal alliances. there the matter w o u l d end. Eventually the project became a source of discord between Britain and Germany which. toward the close of the twentieth century. but the British originally encouraged and supported the project. T o d a y . the politics of the M i d d l e E a s t present a completely different a s p e c t : they are explosive.THE L A S T DAYS OF OLD EUROPE 25 one day take the region in hand. Israel. Petty intrigues at court. and a s l u g g i s h . T h e story is a tangled one and often misunderstood. apathetic population c o m p o s e d the picture that E u r o p e a n s formed of the region's affairs. however. who before the F i r s t World War was a rising but widely d i s t r u s t e d y o u n g E n g l i s h politician with no particular interest in M o s l e m A s i a . No m a n played a m o r e crucial role—at times unintentionally—in g i v i n g birth to the M i d d l e E a s t we live with today than did Winston Churchill. was resolved by an agreement reached between the two countries in 1914. like everything else. there are frontier lines now r u n n i n g a c r o s s the face of the M i d d l e E a s t that are scar-lines from those encounters with him. or P a r i s . b u t w o u l d evoke no m o r e lasting concern than R u s s i a n m a s s a c r e s of J e w s . b u t these were commercial ventures. At the t i m e . An occasional T u r k i s h m a s s a c r e of A r m e n i a n s would lead to a p u b l i c outcry in the West. Worldly statesmen who privately believed there was nothing to be d o n e w o u l d go t h r o u g h the p u b l i c m o t i o n s of u r g i n g the S u l t a n to r e f o r m . F e w E u r o p e a n s of Churchill's generation knew or cared what went on in the l a n g u i d e m p i r e s of the O t t o m a n S u l t a n or the Persian S h a h . S y r i a . but there was no longer a sense of urgency about their doing so. a n d S a u d i A r a b i a did not exist then. u n d e r the d r o w s y a n d negligent sway of the O t t o m a n E m p i r e . little aware at the outset of the dangers it might pose. J o r d a n . I r a q . it is t r u e . the political l a n d s c a p e of the M i d d l e E a s t looked different f r o m that of today. A c u r i o u s destiny d r o v e Churchill and the M i d d l e E a s t to interfere repeatedly in one another's political lives. a c o r r u p t officialdom. . M o s t of the M i d d l e E a s t still rested. m o v e d slowly. T h e p a s s i o n s that now drive t r o o p s a n d terrorists to kill a n d be k i l l e d — a n d that c o m p e l global a t t e n t i o n — h a d not yet been a r o u s e d . In Berlin. T h i s left its m a r k s . T h e r e was little in the picture to c a u s e o r d i n a r y p e o p l e living in L o n d o n .

were to play a decisive role in creating the m o d e r n M i d d l e E a s t . but eventually s u r p a s s e d the others. II T h e s t r u g g l e for the M i d d l e E a s t . having turned their b a c k s on the nineteenth-century rivalry with F r a n c e a n d R u s s i a in the M i d d l e E a s t . D a v i d L l o y d G e o r g e . b u t events were to prove them w r o n g . A s q u i t h . b u t in d o i n g so they were u n a b l e to e s c a p e f r o m a Victorian political legacy that A s q u i t h ' s L i b e r a l g o v e r n m e n t thought it had rejected. despite their small size. Y e t there was irony in these t r i u m p h s . D u r i n g the eighteenth century the British Isles. finally established an e m p i r e that encircled the g l o b e . ruled a q u a r t e r of the land surface of the planet. a n d in crowning that achievement by winning I n d i a . their m o n a r c h . Magellan. pitting E n g l a n d against E u r o p e a n rivals. By 1912. the E u r o p e a n powers went on to vie with one another for control of the rest of the world. V a s c o d a G a m a . the Chancellor of the E x c h e q u e r . L i k e the S p a n i a r d s and the D u t c h before t h e m . believed that they could walk away from it. the War Minister. H a v i n g discovered the sea routes in the fifteenth a n d sixteenth centuries. a n d . when Winston Churchill a n d Herbert A s q u i t h cruised a b o a r d the Enchantress. G e o r g e V. a n d D r a k e . L o r d K i t c h e n e r . A s q u i t h and G r e y . the British b o a s t e d that their m o n a r c h now reigned over d o m i n i o n s on which the sun never set. Britain had stretched her line of transport 26 . Of none of their c o n q u e s t s were the British m o r e p r o u d than those in the storied E a s t . was a result of the imperial expansion ushered in by the voyages o f C o l u m b u s . a n d s u c h C a b i n e t colleagues as the F o r e i g n Secretary. S i r E d w a r d G r e y .T H E LEGACY OF T H E GREAT GAME IN ASIA i Churchill. E n g l a n d w a s a relatively late starter in the race. for in besting F r a n c e in A s i a a n d the Pacific. later.

"a q u e s t i o n of R u s s i a n or British s u p r e m a c y in the w o r l d . S h e d i d not desire to control the region. In d o i n g so their principal o p p o n e n t s o o n b e c a m e the R u s s i a n E m p i r e . N a p o l e o n afterwards p e r s u a d e d the m a d C z a r Paul to launch the R u s s i a n a r m y on the s a m e p a t h . T h e i r a t t e m p t to do so w a s . from there to follow the p a t h of legend a n d glory. then P r i m e Minister. for t h e m . she said. A f g h a n i s t a n . " He played it gallantly. b u t to keep any other E u r o p e a n power from d o i n g s o . I confess. " Q u e e n Victoria put it even m o r e clearly: it w a s . " 1 2 3 Ill It a p p e a r s to have been a British officer n a m e d A r t h u r Conolly who first called it "the G r e a t G a m e .I n d i a n boy a n d his A f g h a n mentor foiling R u s s i a n intrigues along the highways to I n d i a . G e o r g e C u r z o n . "the G r e a t G a m e . * 4 T h e g a m e had b e g u n even before 1829. T h o u g h checked in his own p l a n s . P e r s i a — t o m a n y these n a m e s breathe only a sense of utter r e m o t e n e s s . a n d then what remained o f h i m was b r o u g h t u p a n d b e h e a d e d . To m e . " in which the stakes ran high. R u d y a r d K i p l i n g m a d e it f a m o u s in his novel Kim. entered into official c o r r e s p o n dence on the subject of how best to protect India against a R u s s i a n * These activities of the rival intelligence services are what some writers mean by the Great G a m e . a n d lost in a terrible w a y : an U z b e k e m i r cast him for two m o n t h s into a well which w a s filled with vermin a n d reptiles. D e f e a t i n g R u s s i a n d e s i g n s in A s i a e m e r g e d as the o b s e s s i v e goal of generations of British civilian a n d military officials. N a p o l e o n B o n a p a r t e e x p o s e d this vulnerability in 1798. T h r o u g h o u t the nineteenth century.THE LEGACY OF THE GREAT GAME IN ASIA 27 a n d c o m m u n i c a t i o n s so far that it could be cut at rnany points. s u b v e r s i o n . successive British g o v e r n m e n t s therefore p u r s u e d a policy of p r o p p i n g up the tottering I s l a m i c r e a l m s in A s i a against E u r o p e a n interference. T h e p h r a s e "the G r e a t G a m e " was found in his p a p e r s a n d q u o t e d by a historian of the F i r s t A f g h a n W a r . when the D u k e o f Wellington. T r a n s c a s p i a . the future Viceroy of I n d i a . p a s t B a b y l o n . Britain's r e s p o n s e was to s u p p o r t the native r e g i m e s of the M i d d l e E a s t against E u r o p e a n e x p a n s i o n . the story of an A n g l o . to I n d i a . . along the H i m a l a y a n frontier a n d in the deserts and oases of Central A s i a . others use the phrase in the broader sense in which it is used in this book. when he i n v a d e d E g y p t a n d m a r c h e d on S y r i a — i n t e n d i n g . they are the pieces on a c h e s s b o a r d u p o n which is b e i n g played out a g a m e for the d o m i n i o n of the w o r l d .. he later m a i n tained. defined the stakes clearly: " T u r k e s t a n . . a n d invasion.

s o m e t i m e s as a hot one. into the M e d i t e r r a n e a n . T h e best way. In western A s i a the locus of strategic concern was C o n s t a n t i n o p l e ( I s t a n b u l ) . and the threatening R u s s i a n s . 1 8 3 6 .4 . Britain's aim in eastern Asia was to keep R u s s i a from establishing any sort of presence on those d o m i n a t i n g heights. when R u s s i a was defeated in the C r i m e a n War. IV T h e r e were vital m a t t e r s at stake in Britain's long s t r u g g l e against R u s s i a .4 1 . F r o m 1830 o n w a r d . T o w a r d the far side of the A s i a n continent.1 5 . the ancient B y z a n t i u m .8 and 1 8 5 9 . e x p r e s s e d fear that the R u s s i a n E m p i r e m i g h t be able to overthrow the E u r o p e a n balance of power. L o r d P a l m e r s t o n and his successors feared . In 1791 Britain's P r i m e Minister. the powerful British navy could sail t h r o u g h the D a r d a n e l l e s into the Black S e a to d o m i n a t e the R u s s i a n coastline. where the control of d o m i n a t i n g strategic positions was at stake. but diminished again after 1856.28 AT THE CROSSROADS OF HISTORY attack through A f g h a n i s t a n . T h e battle to s u p p o r t friendly buffer regimes raged with particular intensity at the western a n d eastern e n d s of the Asian continent. S o m e t i m e s as a cold war. British strategy thereafter was to employ the decaying regimes of I s l a m i c A s i a as a gigantic buffer between British I n d i a a n d its route to E g y p t . where its presence could threaten the British lifeline. it c o m m a n d e d both the east/west p a s s a g e between E u r o p e and A s i a a n d the north/south p a s s a g e between the M e d i t e r r a n e a n a n d the Black S e a . T h i s policy was associated especially with the n a m e of L o r d P a l m e r s t o n . So long as C o n s t a n t i n o p l e w a s not in unfriendly h a n d s . S i t u a t e d above the narrow straits of the D a r d a n e l l e s . they could also send their own fleet out. the struggle between Britain a n d R u s s i a r a g e d f r o m the D a r d a n e l l e s to the H i m a l a y a s for almost a h u n d r e d y e a r s . a n d 1 8 4 6 . who developed it d u r i n g his many years as F o r e i g n Minister ( 1 8 3 0 . Its o u t c o m e was s o m e t h i n g of a draw. William Pitt. T h a t fear revived after R u s s i a played a crucial role in the final defeat of N a p o l e o n in 1 8 1 4 . was by keeping R u s s i a out of A f g h a n i s t a n .5 1 ) a n d P r i m e Minister ( 1 8 5 5 . f r o m which invaders could p o u r down into the plains of British India. the locus of strategic concern was the stretch of high m o u n t a i n ranges in a n d adjoining Afghanistan. it was a g r e e d . a n d while s o m e of these eventually fell by the wayside. others r e m a i n e d . alongside newer ones that e m e r g e d . which for centuries had d o m i n a t e d the c r o s s r o a d s of world politics. B u t if the R u s s i a n s were to c o n q u e r the straits they could not merely keep the British fleet from c o m i n g in.6 5 ) .

" 6 T h e British feared that R u s s i a did not know where to s t o p . the U n i t e d S t a t e s p r o d u c e d 140 t i m e s m o r e oil than d i d P e r s i a . a n d even Persia's o u t p u t was insignificant in terms of world p r o d u c t i o n . in e x p a n d i n g s o u t h w a r d s a n d e a s t w a r d s . He pointed out that "the U n i t e d S t a t e s in A m e r i c a . b u t the c z a r s . j u s t as the A m e r i c a n s at the time believed it their manifest destiny to c o n q u e r the west. a n d economic issues were a d d e d to the controversy. T h e c z a r s a n d their ministers believed that it was their country's destiny to c o n q u e r the south a n d the east.T H E LEGACY OF T H E G R E A T GAME IN ASIA 29 that if R u s s i a d e s t r o y e d the O t t o m a n E m p i r e the s c r a m b l e to pick up the pieces might lead to a m a j o r war between the E u r o p e a n p o w e r s . He a r g u e d that the need for s e c u r e frontiers obliged the R u s s i a n s to go on d e v o u r i n g the rotting r e g i m e s to their s o u t h . T h e R u s s i a n Imperial Chancellor. At the t i m e . the R u s s i a n s were impelled by internal historical imperatives of their own which h a d nothing to do with I n d i a or Britain. Prince G o r c h a k o v . a n d . B u t it did not play a m a j o r role in the G r e a t G a m e even then. By the m i d d l e of the nineteenth century. T h e d e e p financial involvement o f F r a n c e a n d Italy in O t t o m a n affairs. British t r a d e with the O t t o m a n E m p i r e b e g a n to a s s u m e a m a j o r i m p o r t a n c e . for e x a m p l e . a n d b e c a u s e it was not then known that oil existed in the M i d d l e E a s t in s u c h a g r e a t quantity. put it m o r e or less in those t e r m s in 1864 in a m e m o r a n d u m in which he set forth his g o a l s for his country. When Q u e e n Victoria a s s u m e d the title of I n d i a in 1877 formal recognition was given to the Britain into a species of d u a l m o n a r c h y — t h e British the E m p i r e of I n d i a . followed by G e r m a n economic penetration. T h e line between them was t h u s a over it. Oil entered the picture only in the early twentieth century. as . H o l l a n d in her colonies—all have been d r a w n into a c o u r s e where ambition plays a smaller role than i m p e r i o u s necessity. b e g i n n i n g of the G r e a t G a m e until far into the twentieth m o s t deeply felt concern of British leaders was for the r o a d to the E a s t . Persia was the only significant M i d d l e E a s t e r n p r o d u c e r other than R u s s i a . before a n d d u r i n g the F i r s t World War) c a m e from the U n i t e d S t a t e s . pitting free trade Britain against protectionist R u s s i a . a n d the greatest difficulty is knowing where to s t o p . the safety of the of E m p r e s s evolution of Empire and lifeline. F r a n c e in Algiers. both b e c a u s e there were few politicians who foresaw the c o m i n g i m p o r t a n c e of oil. In 1913. the d r e a m was to fill out an entire continent f r o m ocean t o ocean. h u n g the s w o r d of British leaders s e e m e d not to take into account the possibility that. turned the area in which R u s s i a a n d Britain c o n d u c t e d their s t r u g g l e into a minefield of national e c o n o m i c interests. s F r o m the century. M o s t of Britain's oil ( m o r e than 80 percent. T h a t always remained a concern. a n d casting a long s h a d o w . In each c a s e .

1 9 0 0 . it was too late to go back. without getting anything whatever in e x c h a n g e . and m o r e than 70 percent of its steel. in his 1880—5 administration. 1 8 9 5 .2 ) . Atrocities c o m m i t t e d by the O t t o m a n E m p i r e against Christian minorities were thunderingly d e n o u n c e d by the L i b e r a l leader. u n a b l e to stand on their own. Earl of Beaconsfield. reform the r e g i m e . T h e G e r m a n E m p i r e . " 8 V G e r m a n y ' s entry on the scene. At the s a m e time. 3rd M a r q u e s s of S a l i s b u r y ( P r i m e Minister: 1 8 8 5 . T h e T u r k s . In part this was b e c a u s e of Britain's relative industrial decline.6 . at Constantinople and elsewhere. however. In d o i n g s o . marked the beginning of a new age in world politics. h a d thought of u s i n g s u c h influence as Britain could exert to g u i d e a n d . he l a m e n t e d : " T h e y have just thrown it away into the sea. washed Britain's h a n d s of the O t t o m a n involvement. C l a i m i n g that the Sultan's r e g i m e was "a b o t t o m l e s s pit of fraud and f a l s e h o o d . L i b e r a l s in and out of Parliament began to e x p r e s s their abhorrence of the corrupt and despotic M i d d l e E a s t e r n r e g i m e s that their own g o v e r n m e n t s u p p o r t e d against the R u s s i a n threat. . to s o m e extent. 1 8 8 6 . Half the world's industrial production was then Britishowned. in the 1880 election c a m paign in which he overthrew and replaced the C o n s e r v a t i v e P r i m e Minister. they struck a responsive chord in the country's electorate. 1 9 0 0 . within d e c a d e s had replaced R u s s i a as the principal threat to British interests. and by 1910. Britain p r o d u c e d about twothirds of the world's coal.30 AT THE CROSSROADS OF HISTORY an increasingly d e m o c r a t i c society e n g a g e d generation after generation in the conflict with despotic R u s s i a . aware that the O t t o m a n rulers were j e o p a r d i z i n g their own sovereignty through m i s m a n a g e ment. turned therefore for s u p p o r t to another power. In the m i d d l e of the nineteenth century. 7 When the C o n s e r v a t i v e s returned to office.9 2 . and the British government withdrew its protection and influence from C o n s t a n t i n o p l e . a b o u t half of its iron. Of G l a d s t o n e ' s having dissipated that influence. William E w a r t G l a d s t o n e . B i s m a r c k ' s G e r m a n y . formally created on 18 J a n u a r y 1871. they eventually developed a hatred of R u s s i a that went b e y o n d the particular political and economic differences that divided the two countries. indeed over 40 percent of the entire world output of t r a de d m a n u f a c t u r e d g o o d s was p r o d u c e d within the British Isles at that time. " G l a d s t o n e . R o b e r t Cecil. and G e r m a n y took Britain's place at the S u b l i m e P o r t e . B e n j a m i n Disraeli. Britons grew to object to R u s s i a n s not merely for what they did but for who they were. but by 1870 the figure had sunk to 32 percent.

but also with F r a n c e against G e r m a n y . editor of the influential L o n d o n m a g a z i n e . and left control of that country's foreign policy in Britain's h a n d s . underlined the realities of a new situation in which enemy railroad trains would speed troops and munitions directly to their destination by the straight line which constitutes the shortest distance between two points. Military factors were also involved. British investors preferred to place their money in dynamic economies in the A m e r i c a s and elsewhere a b r o a d . . . and Britain's precarious naval s u p r e m a c y began to seem less relevant than it had been. in any event. b e c a u s e of G e r m a n y . " Russia's disastrous defeat by J a p a n ( 1 9 0 4 — 5 ) . the C z a r ' s a r m i e s were no longer strong enough to remain a cause for concern. "we could not p u r s u e at one and the s a m e time a policy of agreement with F r a n c e and a policy of counteralliances against R u s s i a . a neutral zone. the old idea that R u s s i a is already so great a power that E u r o p e needs to be afraid of her . " 1 2 G r e y therefore negotiated a treaty with R u s s i a . 10 9 Walter B a g e h o t . while the British navy would sail slowly a r o u n d the circumference of a continent and arrive too late. that reconciled the differences between the two countries in A s i a . It could have been anticipated that the settlement of 1907 would arouse fears in Constantinople that Britain would no longer protect . T h e railroad network of the G e r m a n E m p i r e m a d e the K a i s e r ' s realm the m o s t a d v a n c e d military power in the world. belongs t o the p r e . G e r m a n y took the lead. B u t S i r E d w a r d G r e y . R u s s i a gave up her interest in Afghanistan. " R u s s i a was the ally of F r a n c e . F o r e i g n S e c retary in the successor L i b e r a l administration of Henry C a m p b e l l B a n n e r m a n (1905 — 8 ) . and Persia was divided into a R u s s i a n zone. T h e development of railroads radically altered the strategic balance between land power and sea power to the detriment of the latter. s u g g e s t e d that. . followed by revolutionary u p r i s i n g s in St P e t e r s b u r g and throughout the country in 1905. The Economist. E v e n Britain's pre-eminent position in world finance—in 1914 she held 41 percent of g r o s s international i n v e s t m e n t — w a s a facet of decline. Sir Halford M a c k i n d e r . the prophet of geopolitics. such as chemicals and machine-tools. R u s s i a n expansion no longer needed to be feared: " . 11 T h e C o n s e r v a t i v e g o v e r n m e n t o f A r t h u r J a m e s Balfour (1902—5) nonetheless continued to p u r s u e the old rivalry as well as the new one. T h e G r e a t G a m e had seemingly been b r o u g h t to an end. executed in 1907. T i b e t was neutralized. . In newer a n d increasingly more important industries. " he wrote. allying Britain not only with J a p a n against R u s s i a .T H E L E G A C Y OF T H E G R E A T GAME IN ASIA 31 to 15 p e r c e n t . and a British zone. drew the conclusion that. pictured the two policies as contradictory.G e r m a n i c a g e .

G r e y .32 AT THE CROSSROADS OF HISTORY T u r k e y against R u s s i a .s p e a k i n g provinces to their east. while junior British officers in C a i r o and K h a r t o u m harbored d e s i g n s on the A r a b . but neither S i r E d w a r d G r e y nor his a m b a s s a d o r in C o n s t a n t i n o p l e took the trouble to do s o . E v e n t s in 1914 and the s u c c e e d i n g years were to b r i n g their Victorian political views back into unexpected p r o m i n e n c e . VI T h e r e was an intellectual time lag between L o n d o n and the o u t p o s t s of e m p i r e . a n d civil servants stationed along the great arc that s w u n g from E g y p t and the S u d a n to India failed in m a n y cases to a d o p t the new outlook. they continued to regard R u s s i a and F r a n c e as their country's enemies. H a v i n g spent a lifetime countering R u s s i a n and F r e n c h intrigues in the M i d d l e E a s t . agents. E u r o p e would have to take its p l a c e — p r o v e d to be one of those m o t o r s that drive history. and their L i b e r a l colleagues saw Britain's traditional rivals. Both g r o u p s believed. however. F r a n c e and R u s s i a . A s q u i t h and G r e y had no desire for Britain to e x p a n d further into the M i d d l e E a s t . T h i s a s s u m p t i o n — t h a t when the O t t o m a n E m p i r e d i s a p p e a r e d . A s q u i t h . In one respect officers in the field and ministers in L o n d o n were in a g r e e m e n t : both shared the a s s u m p t i o n that what remained of the independent M i d d l e E a s t would eventually fall under E u r o p e a n influence and g u i d a n c e . A P a l m e r s t o n or a S t r a t f o r d C a n n i n g might have allayed such fears. as British friends and allies in the post-Victorian a g e . that the O t t o m a n E m p i r e in the M i d d l e E a s t would collapse one day and that one or m o r e of the E u r o p e a n powers would have to pick up the pieces. But British officers. .

were in fact occupied a n d administered by Britain. waves of n o m a d horsemen s t r e a m e d forth from the s t e p p e s and deserts of central and northeast A s i a . was another such e m p i r e . a m o n g them the e m p i r e s of G e n g h i s K h a n a n d T a m e r l a n e . c o n q u e r i n g the peoples and lands in their path as they rode west. who c a m p a i g n e d on the outskirts of the E a s t e r n R o m a n (or Byzantine) E m p i r e in Anatolia.s p e a k i n g horsemen who had converted to I s l a m .R u s s i a n A g r e e m e n t of 1907 b r o u g h t Afghanistan into the British s p h e r e . founded by T u r k i s h . losing g r o u n d to E u r o p e . Pagan or animist in religious belief. they carved out a variety of principalities and k i n g d o m s for themselves. T h e A r a b s h e i k h d o m s along the Gulf coast route from S u e z to I n d i a had been brought under British sway. T h e O t t o m a n (or O s m a n l i ) E m p i r e . T h e khanates of Central Asia. as had portions of the Persian E m p i r e . had fallen to R u s s i a . the native r e g i m e s of the M i d d l e E a s t had been. though formally still attached to T u r k e y . a b o r d e r l a n d ghazi (warrior for the M o s l e m faith) born in the thirteenth century.3 T H E M I D D L E EAST BEFORE T H E WAR i F o r d e c a d e s and indeed centuries before the outbreak of the First World War in 1914. and divided most of Persia between Britain and R u s s i a . It was a relic of invasions from the east a millennium a g o : beginning a r o u n d AD 1. including K h i v a and B u k h a r a . L i k e a ruined temple of classical antiquity. it took its n a m e from O s m a n . as its frontiers c a m e under p r e s s u r e . the O t t o m a n E m p i r e was a structure that had survived the bygone era to which it belonged. and speaking one or other of the Mongolian or T u r k i s h languages. only the O t t o m a n E m p i r e effectively retained its i n d e p e n d e n c e — t h o u g h precariously. In the M o s l e m M i d d l e E a s t . and C y p r u s a n d E g y p t . T h e A n g l o . in every sense.000. . I n d e e d . with s o m e of its shattered c o l u m n s still erect and visible to tourists s u c h as those a b o a r d the Enchantress. the still-independent T u r k i s h S u l t a n a t e looked out of place in the m o d e r n world.

" A r a b s . the T u r k s had m a s t e r e d the arts of war but not those of g o v e r n m e n t . and other languages) had little in c o m m o n with. the founding of secular public schools offering technical. speaking T u r k i s h . the rationalization of taxation and conscription. A s t a r t — b u t not m u c h m o r e — w a s m a d e along these lines. one another. A r m e n i a n s . Y u g o s l a v i a .34 AT THE CROSSROADS OF HISTORY In the fifteenth century O s m a n ' s s u c c e s s o r s c o n q u e r e d and replaced the Byzantine E m p i r e . the establishment of an executive branch under the S u l t a n ' s chief minister. and what are now the Balkan countries of E u r o p e — G r e e c e . m a n y were descendants of onceChristian slaves from Balkan E u r o p e and elsewhere. T h e y enriched themselves by c a p t u r i n g wealth and slaves. its a r m i e s s t o p p e d only at the g a t e s of Vienna. It stretched from the Persian G u l f to the river D a n u b e . A r m e n i a n . west to E g y p t and N o r t h A f r i c a — a n d into E u r o p e . and it ruled more than twenty nationalities. the ramshackle O t t o m a n r e g i m e s e e m e d d o o m e d to d i s a p p e a r . though they s p o k e T u r k i s h . G r e e k s . R u m a n i a . conscripted into the O t t o m a n ranks. the establishment of constitutional g u a r a n t e e s . T h e empire's s u b j e c t s (a wide variety of p e o p l e s . T h e multinational. M o s t of the reforms took place only on p a p e r . multilingual empire was a mosaic of peoples who did not m i x . in the towns. and went on to c a p t u r e wealth and slaves in their turn. " in fact E g y p t i a n s and A r a b i a n s . ethnic b a c k g r o u n d . and B u l g a r i a — a s well as m u c h of H u n g a r y . when the c o n q u e s t s turned into defeats and retreats. O t t o m a n leaders in the nineteenth century attempted p r o g r a m s of sweeping reform. 1 T h e O t t o m a n s never entirely outgrew their origins as a m a r a u d i n g war b a n d . for e x a m p l e . the O t t o m a n T u r k s e x p a n d e d in all directions: north to the C r i m e a . south to the coasts of A r a b i a and the Gulf. In the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. S v r i a n s and Iraqis were peoples of different history. J e w s . and outlook. T h e i r g o a l s were the centralization of g o v e r n m e n t . the G r a n d Vizier. A l b a n i a . Its population was estimated at between thirty and fifty million at a time when E n g l a n d ' s population was p e r h a p s four million. At its peak. vocational. for the empire was a . the O t t o m a n E m p i r e included most of the M i d d l e E a s t . and in m a n y cases little love for. and as an anachronism in the m o d e r n world. S e m i t i c . T h e e m p i r e was incoherent. and others each lived in their own separate q u a r t e r s . Its O t t o m a n rulers were not an ethnic g r o u p . east to B a g h d a d and B a s r a . G r e e k . S l a v i c . and the like. Religion had s o m e sort of unifying effect. and other training. the slaves. N o r t h Africa. K u r d i s h . I n v a d i n g new territories was the only path they knew to economic g r o w t h . T h o u g h E u r o p e a n o b s e r v e r s later were to generalize a b o u t . in the sixteenth century. R i d i n g on to new c o n q u e s t s . rose to replace the c o m m a n d e r s who retired. the d y n a m i c of O t t o m a n existence was lost.

I n d e e d . or excavated w o n d e r s of the ancient world. B u t the a p p e a r a n c e of orderly a d m i n i s t r a t i o n — i n d e e d of effective administration of any s o r t — w a s chimerical. Israel. but otherwise power was diffuse and the centralized authority was m o r e 2 . O t t o m a n statistics were unreliable. scattered about the e m p i r e . As G e r t r u d e Bell. J o r d a n . M a r o n i t e . to a greater extent than the O t t o m a n E m p i r e . Nestorian Christian. a land of m a k e .b e l i e v e .THE MIDDLE EAST BEFORE THE WAR 35 t h e o c r a c y — a M o s l e m rather than a T u r k i s h s t a t e — a n d most of its s u b j e c t s were M o s l e m s . L e b a n o n . was later to write. T h e extent to which religion g o v e r n e d everyday life in the M i d d l e E a s t was s o m e t h i n g that E u r o p e a n visitors in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries found r e m a r k a b l e . R o m a n C a t h o l i c . broadly speaking. he was always half-slave by birth. military. and Holy L a w administrations could be discerned in an e m p i r e carefully divided into provinces and cantons. U n d e r his rule civil. F o r this and other reasons. a p p e a r e d to live in the p a s t . B u t a m o n g others of the seventy-one sects of I s l a m . S y r i a n U n i t e d O r t h o d o x . a n d counted E g y p t i a n s as a m o n g its s u b j e c t s even after Britain occupied E g y p t in 1882. M o n o p h y s i t e . but G r e e k O r t h o d o x . T h e y c a m e to see Biblical sites. E u r o p e a n s visited the M i d d l e E a s t largely to see the past. S a m a r i t a n . A r m e n i a n Catholic. T h e Porte. T h e O t t o m a n S u l t a n was regarded a s caliph (temporal and spiritual s u c c e s s o r to the Prophet. religion was a divisive rather than a unifying political factor. or n o m a d s who lived as they had in the time of A b r a h a m . It c o m p r i s e d . or any one of a n u m b e r of others. it is t r u e . especially the n u m e r o u s Shi'ites. J e w i s h . " N o country which turned to the eye of the world an a p p e a r ance of established rule and centralized G o v e r n m e n t was. most of the A r a b i a n peninsula and what is now T u r k e y . Protestant. the S u n n i s . in a t e r r i t o r y — d e p e n d i n g on how it is d e f i n e d — a b o u t six times the size of T e x a s . A r m e n i a n G r e g o r i a n . and I r a q . Until the early twentieth century. for e x a m p l e . A n d for those who were not M o s l e m ( p e r h a p s 25 percent of the population at the beginning of the twentieth c e n t u r y ) . M o h a m m e d ) by the majority g r o u p within I s l a m . " T h e r e were army g a r r i s o n s . and it is only in the roughest sense that we can say that the empire's population in the early twentieth century may have been a b o u t twenty to twenty-five million. the O t t o m a n E m p i r e was for most of the time under the absolute personal rule of the S u l t a n . that Bulgaria formed part of the e m p i r e long after losing control of that territory in 1878. an experienced English traveler in M i d d l e E a s t e r n lands. S y r i a . too. there was doctrinal opposition to the Sultan's S u n n i faith and to his claims to the caliphate. O t t o m a n officials continued to pretend. for religion had played no such role in E u r o p e for centuries. In at least one respect he was quite unlike a E u r o p e a n m o n a r c h : as the son of a w o m a n of the h a r e m .

o b s c u r e but a m b i t i o u s new m e n took power in the O t t o m a n E m p i r e . the m o s t b a s i c act of imperial administration. G e r t r u d e Bell. only a b o u t 5 percent of taxes w a s collected by the g o v e r n m e n t . the other 95 percent w a s collected by i n d e p e n d e n t tax f a r m e r s . where b r i g a n d s r o a m e d a t will.d i m i n i s h e d O t t o m a n E m p i r e no longer ruled N o r t h Africa or H u n g a r y or m o s t of southeastern E u r o p e . w a s g o v e r n e d by a Christian military governor directly serving u n d e r the Porte which. . In the final years before the o u t b r e a k of the F i r s t World War. w a s the claim that the S u l t a n a n d his g o v e r n m e n t ruled their d o m a i n s in the s e n s e in which E u r o p e a n s u n d e r s t o o d g o v e r n m e n t a n d a d m i n i s t r a t i o n . What was real in the O t t o m a n E m p i r e t e n d e d to be local: a t r i b e . w a s o b liged to act only in consultation with six E u r o p e a n p o w e r s . T h e r e were districts. S t i m u l a t e d but c o n f u s e d by the nationalism that had b e c o m e E u r o p e ' s c r e e d .36 AT THE CROSSROADS OF HISTORY myth than reality. It w a s not only that E g y p t a n d C y p r u s were in fact g o v e r n e d by Britain. O t t o m a n administration vanished a n d the local sheikh or h e a d m a n ruled instead. In the early years of the twentieth century it w a s reasonable to believe that the d a y s of T u r k i s h dominion were numbered. T h e rickety T u r k i s h g o v e r n m e n t was even incapable of collecting its own t a x e s . respectively. a n d other p o w e r s also asserted a right to intervene in T u r k i s h affairs on behalf of the g r o u p s they s p o n s o r e d . a n d military challenges of m o d e r n E u r o p e . a sect.s p e a k i n g a n d A r a b i c speaking p e o p l e s of the e m p i r e s o u g h t to discover or to forge s o m e sense of their own political identity. intellectuals a m o n g s t the diverse T u r k i s h . found that outside the towns. T h i s c o n f u s e d E u r o p e a n o b s e r v e r s . What w a s m o r e than a little unreal. however. R u s s i a a n d F r a n c e reserved to t h e m s e l v e s the right to protect. or a town was the t r u e political unit to which loyalties a d h e r e d . in the O t t o m a n a r m y a n d in the schools. a s e p a r a t e canton u n d e r arr a n g e m e n t s established in 1864. industrial. 3 F o r e i g n countries exercised v a r y i n g d e g r e e s of influence a n d control within the e m p i r e . in the course of her travels. too. then. L e b a n o n . discontented m e n had told one another in the course of clandestine m e e t i n g s that the e m p i r e h a d to be rapidly c h a n g e d to meet the intellectual. On the eve of the F i r s t World War. the O r t h o d o x a n d Catholic p o p u l a t i o n s of the e m p i r e . a n d that the s h e i k h d o m s along the G u l f coast were u n d e r British control. It had been in a retreat since the eighteenth century that finally looked like a rout. By 1914 the m u c h . E u r o p e a n s a s s u m e d that eventually they themselves would take control of the O t t o m a n d o m a i n s a n d organize them on a m o r e rational b a s i s . a clan. which had occupied them in the late nineteenth century. F o r d e c a d e s . w h o s e m o d e r n notions of citizenship a n d nationality were i n a p p l i c a b l e to the crazy quilt of O t t o m a n politics.

b u t there w a s also a considerable colony of E u r o p e a n a n d other foreigners. Political m a n e u v e r i n g s at the S u b l i m e Porte. filthy s t r e e t s . the O t t o m a n capital. S o m e work h a d been done on the p a v i n g of r o a d s . s h i p p e d to a waterless island to d i e . as they tried to meet the challenge of b r i n g i n g T u r k e y ' s e m p i r e into the twentieth century before the m o d e r n world h a d t i m e to destroy it.THE MIDDLE EAST BEFORE THE WAR 37 relegating the S u l t a n to a figurehead position. too. L i k e R o m e . A start h a d been m a d e toward c o n s t r u c t i n g a d r a i n a g e s y s t e m for the city's narrow. b r i n g i n g s u d d e n c h a n g e s of e x t r e m e heat or cold. and for m a n y years prior to 1914 British o b s e r v e r s had shown that they had no idea where the winds were c o m i n g from or which way they were blowing. In 1914 the p o p u l a t i o n of C o n s t a n t i n o p l e stood at a b o u t a million. A E u r o p e a n influence w a s evident in the architectural style of the newer b u i l d i n g s . T h e political climate. T h e new m e n . b u t not m u c h . 4 5 Violent alternating north a n d south w i n d s d o m i n a t e d the city's climate. II C o n s t a n t i n o p l e — t h e city originally called B y z a n t i u m a n d today known as I s t a n b u l — w a s for m o r e than eleven centuries the capital of the R o m a n E m p i r e in the E a s t . by decision of the municipal council. or A r m e n i a n . known as the G o l d e n H o r n . A b a y s o m e four miles long. R u d i m e n t a r y modernization h a d only just b e g u n . difficult to c o n q u e r or even to attack. the O t t o m a n E m p i r e . at a point where the channel s e p a r a t i n g E u r o p e from A s i a n a r r o w s to w i d t h s of as little as a half-mile. In 1912 electric lighting h a d been i n t r o d u c e d into C o n s t a n t i n o p l e for the first t i m e . it was an eternal city: its strategic location g a v e it an a b i d i n g i m p o r t a n c e in the world's affairs. G r e e k . or c o u g h e d dry d u s t into the air as winds blew t h r o u g h the city. like R o m e . f o r m s a magnificent natural harbor that p r o v i d e s shelter a n d protection for a defending fleet. a n d in s u c h innovations as street lights. m o s t streets still t u r n e d to m u d in the frequent r a i n s t o r m s . a n d then for m o r e than four centuries the capital of its s u c c e s s o r . the g a t e to the G r a n d Vizier's . C o n s t a n t i n o p l e is a collection of towns located principally on the E u r o p e a n side of the great waterway that links the M e d i t e r r a n e a n to the Black S e a . It w a s a c o s m o p o l i t a n a n d polyglot p o p u l a t i o n : most residents of the city were M o s l e m . leaders of the Y o u n g T u r k e y Party. were at once the result a n d the c a u s e of ferment in C o n s t a n t i n o p l e . T h e site is a natural fortress. w a s s u b j e c t to s u d d e n and e x t r e m e c h a n g e s at the beginning of the twentieth century. C o n s t a n t i n o p l e w a s built on seven hills a n d . in the style of d r e s s . a n d the p a c k s of wild d o g s that for centuries had patrolled the city were.

with its walls a n d fortifications c r u m b l i n g into ruin. the old section of the city south of the G o l d e n H o r n . In P e r a . F e w were at home in the narrow. at the s a m e time. T h r e e theaters offered revues a n d plays i m p o r t e d from Paris. After E t o n . if E u r o p e a n accounts were to be believed. were c o n d u c t e d behind a veil of mystery that the British e m b a s s y time a n d again h a d failed to penetrate. dirty lanes of S t a m b o u l . a n d light-complexioned. anything was better than E t o n . were in m a n y cases corrupt a n d cowardly. " ) E a r l y in his military career. retaining their c o m m i s s i o n s in their respective national armies. was located in Pera.38 AT THE CROSSROADS OF HISTORY offices from which the O t t o m a n g o v e r n m e n t took its n a m e . M o s t E u r o p e a n s s u c c u m b e d to the temptation to live in the isolation of their own enclave. a n d for twenty-two years thereafter he r e m a i n e d a British officer. which lay to the north of the G o l d e n H o r n . G r e e k . not T u r k i s h . Ill T h e British e m b a s s y . "Well. (When asked once a b o u t the horrors of the B o e r War. F o r e i g n c o m m u n i t i e s h a d g r o w n up in proximity to their e m b a s s i e s . He . he had little use for sleep. D e e d e s was from a county family of K e n t : four centuries of E n g l i s h country gentlemen h a d p r e c e d e d h i m . T h e Pera Palace Hotel offered physical facilities c o m p a r a b l e with those available in the palatial hotels of the m a j o r cities of Europe. a newly created T u r k i s h police force c o m m a n d e d by E u r o p e a n officers. He worked fifteen h o u r s a day. O n e of the few who felt at ease on either side of the G o l d e n H o r n was an E n g l i s h m a n n a m e d W y n d h a m D e e d e s . Its creation was a reform forced u p o n the S u l t a n by the E u r o p e a n p o w e r s . D e e d e s volunteered to serve in the O t t o m a n G e n d a r m e r i e . was the l a n g u a g e of the streets. indifferent to comfort a n d careless of d a n g e r . who h a d c o m e t o play a n important role in the new Y o u n g T u r k e y administration. for the old police force h a d b e c o m e indistinguishable from the r o b b e r b a n d s it was s u p p o s e d to s u p p r e s s . a n d lived their own lives. he took a c o m m i s s i o n in the K i n g ' s O w n Rifles. the E u r o p e a n q u a r t e r of the city. S m a l l . or food. painfully thin. Ascetic a n d deeply Christian. 6 As viewed in old p h o t o g r a p h s . n o b o d y could have been m o r e unlike the T u r k i s h officers who. D e e d e s a n d his E u r o p e a n colleagues were c o m m i s s i o n e d as officers of the new force while. rest. he did not blend into the O t t o m a n l a n d s c a p e . he replied. separately f r o m that of the city. like those of the other G r e a t Powers. D e e d e s looked an oddity in the oriental s u r r o u n d i n g s in which service in the G e n d a r m e r i e placed h i m . F r e n c h was the l a n g u a g e of legation parties a n d entertainments.

IV M e h m e d T a l a a t .THE MIDDLE EAST BEFORE THE WAR 39 m a d e a s u c c e s s of his challenging a s s i g n m e n t . . U n d e r the autocratic S u l t a n A b d u l H a m i d . Little is known of his origins and b a c k g r o u n d except that they were h u m b l e . and to have been i m p r i s o n e d for a time for his u n d e r g r o u n d activities. that is. O n e of the c o n t i n u o u s t h e m e s of the years to c o m e was that D e e d e s was a C a s s a n d r a : his g o v e r n m e n t chose to d i s r e g a r d his warnings and to ignore his accurate analyses of T u r k i s h political motives. was one of the few E n g l i s h m e n who u n d e r s t o o d T u r k i s h affairs. they scornfully reported that he was of g y p s y origin. " 7 T a l a a t was the single m o s t i m p o r t a n t figure in T u r k i s h politics. was a figure whom British d i p l o m a t s did not r e g a r d as a gentleman. He was very m u c h a self-made m a n . Y e t his g o v e r n m e n t d i d not m a k e real use of his experience a n d knowle d g e . F o u r years later he had achieved s u c h high s t a n d i n g that he was co-opted by the leading figure in the new O t t o m a n g o v e r n m e n t to help run the Ministry of the Interior. D e e d e s . T h e y believed that he lacked race and b r e e d i n g . rarely seen in m e n but s o m e t i m e s in a n i m a l s at d u s k . a n d at least s o m e of it could have been corrected by D e e d e s . a hawk-like nose. who had learned to speak T u r k i s h fluently. and what one of the few s y m p a t h e t i c British observers d e s c r i b e d as "a light in his eyes. ) He is believed to have joined a F r e e m a s o n lodge. He b e g a n life as a minor e m p l o y e e of the Post a n d T e l e g r a p h Office a n d is believed to have been a Bektashi. He had thick black hair. a n d won popularity with the T u r k s . D e e d e s was an unknown figure when he entered the G e n d a r m e r i e in 1910. ( T h e D e r v i s h e s were M o s l e m religious b r o t h e r h o o d s . heavy black eyebrows. T h e minister u n d e r w h o m D e e d e s served i n the O t t o m a n g o v e r n ment in 1914 was M e h m e d T a l a a t . is known to have organized a secret political society. By the time of his thirty-first birthday in 1914. B u t the British e m b a s s y in C o n s t a n t i n o p l e believed that it knew the truth a b o u t O t t o m a n politics already. open political activity was d a n g e r o u s . J o i n i n g a secret organization was a c o m m o n activity in the O t t o m a n E m p i r e o f T a l a a t ' s youth. a m e m b e r of the largest of the T u r k i s h D e r v i s h o r d e r s . the Minister of the Interior a n d the leader of the largest faction within the g o v e r n i n g political party. M o s t of what the British government thought it knew at the time a b o u t T a l a a t a n d a b o u t the political party that T a l a a t led w a s e r r o n e o u s . and therefore that it did not have to inquire further. who reigned f r o m 1876 to 1909.

a n d organized themselves into cells of a handful of m e m b e r s . It was known. D j e m a l Bey. P . initiates swore an oath on the K o r a n a n d a g u n . a staff officer who later played a major role in M i d d l e E a s t e r n politics. typically. T h e n another a r m y officer followed his e x a m p l e . too. T h e S u l t a n sent t r o o p s against t h e m . U . When the s m o k e had cleared the constitution had been restored. and later its m e m b e r s were called the Y o u n g T u r k s . T h e a r m y . U p o n joining it. P . taking t r o o p s a n d a m m u n i t i o n with h i m . which had its headq u a r t e r s there. took control.40 AT THE CROSSROADS OF HISTORY T h e S u l t a n . as it will be called hereafter. too. was T a l a a t ' s initial recruit a m o n g the leadership of the T h i r d A r m y . T h e earliest ones took their inspiration f r o m nineteenth-century E u r o p e a n revolutionary g r o u p s . parliamentary and party politics had . he s l i p p e d out of S a l o n i k a a n d took to the hills. O n e day in 1908 a junior a r m y officer n a m e d E n v e r . M a n y of t h e m . b u t the troops joined the rebels. B e y o n d their g r a s p . cells that honeyc o m b e d the a r m y a n d the e m p i r e . was ordered to return to C o n s t a n t i n o p l e . the b u s t l i n g a n d u n . Afraid that his m e m b e r s h i p had been discovered by the secret police. who was stationed in S a l o n i k a a n d who had also joined T a l a a t ' s g r o u p . T h e political life of the e m p i r e was driven u n d e r g r o u n d . U . would know a m e m b e r of another cell. T a l a a t . was one of the founders of one s u c h secret society which eventually b e c a m e the principal faction within a m e r g e d g r o u p that called itself the C o m m i t t e e of U n i o n a n d P r o g r e s s — t h e C . including the forerunner of the Y o u n g T u r k e y Party. were f o u n d e d by university and military a c a d e m y s t u d e n t s . was S a l o n i k a . who lived a n d worked in S a l o n i k a . however. was an especially fertile b r e e d i n g g r o u n d for s u c h societies. A b d u l H a m i d ' s police forces s u c c e e d e d in s m a s h i n g the secret societies in C o n s t a n t i n o p l e a n d elsewhere. S a l o n i k a is where a n u m b e r of the secret societies established their h e a d q u a r t e r s .T u r k i s h M a c e d o n i a n port in what is now G r e e c e . to which another Y o u n g T u r k e y a r m y colleague had already e s c a p e d . T h e r e was a s p o n taneous c o m b u s t i o n of a bloodless revolution in S a l o n i k a : the C . only one of w h o m . P . U . T h e Y o u n g T u r k s seized control o f the T e l e g r a p h Office—it m a y have been no coincidence that T a l a a t was one of its officials—and established contact with C . especially the Italian carbonari. T h e disorder a n d disintegration with which the T h i r d A r m y had to deal in M a c e d o n i a — a frontier region of the e m p i r e — i n itself was a formative experience that helped the secret societies to enlist recruits within the ranks of the a r m y . its younger m e m b e r s were s h a m e d by their empire's d i s a s t r o u s s h o w i n g on one battlefield after another. developing close relationships with m e m b e r s of the O t t o m a n T h i r d A r m y . as the Y o u n g T u r k e y Party. who s u s p e n d e d the constitution a n d d i s b a n d e d Parliament. was intolerant of dissent a n d e m p l o y e d a secret police force to deal with it. where secret societies proliferated.

U . h a d f o u n d e d an Italian F r e e m a s o n lodge in which he apparently allowed T a l a a t ' s secret society to meet when it was in h i d i n g from the Sultan's secret police. S i r G e r a r d L o w t h e r . fraternity). " 9 In his detailed report of m o r e than 5. a b o u t half of whose 130. a n d the following year the S u l t a n a b d i c a t e d in favor of his brother. T h e y were viewed with s y m p a t h y by the F o r e i g n Office in L o n d o n . to the official head of the F o r e i g n Office. S i r C h a r l e s H a r d i n g e . the results of which were reflected in a confidential report sent by Lowther u n d e r his own n a m e on 29 M a y 1910. L o w t h e r alleged that J e w s had taken over a F r e e m a s o n network ( " T h e Oriental J e w . B u t the C . a n d should the T u r k i s h revolution develop o n the s a m e lines. the strength of the C . fraternite" (liberty. U . U . s e e m s t o have fallen completely u n d e r the influence of G e r a l d F i t z M a u r i c e . criss-crossing the empire. " 8 F i t z M a u r i c e later c o n d u c t e d an investigation of the C . In a d i s o r g a n i z e d society. a n d F i t z M a u r i c e detested the C . equality. had b e c o m e a force with which to reckon. . P . L o w t h e r pointed out that "liberie. T h e leaders of the successful u p r i s i n g at first enjoyed a g o o d enough p r e s s in the western world so that in c o m m o n parlance " Y o u n g T u r k s " c a m e to m e a n any b r a s h g r o u p of y o u n g people with d y n a m i c ideas who rebel against an o u t m o d e d leadership. words d r a w n f r o m the F r e n c h Revolution. a n d not merely b e c a u s e of its s t r o n g representation in the officer c o r p s of the a r m y . U . his F i r s t D r a g o m a n . P . almost f r o m the very outset. was that it had b r a n c h e s everywhere. T h e d e v e l o p m e n t s of the F r e n c h Revolution led to a n t a g o n i s m between E n g l a n d a n d F r a n c e . P . or official interpreter a n d adviser on oriental affairs. P . S a l o n i k a was also a city in which there were F r e e m a s o n l o d g e s . were both the slogan of the Italian F r e e m a s o n s (hence K a r a s u ' s lodge) a n d of the Y o u n g T u r k e y m o v e m e n t . h e claimed. it m a y find itself similarly in a n t a g o n i s m with British ideals a n d i n t e r e s t s . P .000 w o r d s . T h e old politicians took office. E m m a n u e l C a r a s s o (or K a r a s u ) . b a c k g r o u n d . F i t z M a u r i c e concluded that the C . a s "the J e w C o m m i t t e e o f U n i o n and P r o g r e s s . but were disliked a n d d i s d a i n e d in the British e m b a s s y in C o n s t a n t i n o p l e . L o w t h e r referred to the C . and L o w t h e r duly reported this to the F o r e i g n Office in L o n d o n .000 inhabitants were either J e w s or D u n m e h s ( m e m b e r s of a J e w i s h sect that had converted to I s l a m in the seventeenth c e n t u r y ) . egalite. a J e w i s h lawyer. T h e a m b a s s a d o r .THE MIDDLE EAST BEFORE THE WAR 41 r e s u m e d . T h e Y o u n g T u r k s . while the Y o u n g T u r k s r e m a i n e d in the . P . was a Latin-influenced international J e w i s h F r e e m a s o n c o n s p i r a c y . U . I n his report. F i t z M a u r i c e ' s interpretation of the events of 1908 was colored by the fact that they had o c c u r r e d in S a l o n i k a . were "imitating the F r e n c h Revolution a n d its g o d l e s s a n d levelling m e t h o d s . U .

K a r a s u a n d the three other J e w s bent over b a c k w a r d s to p r o v e that they were T u r k s f i r s t and J e w s only s e c o n d . created a Central C o m m i t t e e in 1909. nationalism. I think. L o w t h e r c o n c l u d e d .m a n O t t o m a n Parliament was elected in 1908. a n d are also the apex of F r e e m a s o n r y in T u r k e y . w h o m F i t z M a u r i c e a n d L o w t h e r feared as a C r y p t o . T h e d a n g e r t o E n g l a n d . had it known that they e x i s t e d . A m o n g s t the ringleaders of the J e w i s h F r e e m a s o n c o n s p i r a c y . a m b a s s a d o r t o T u r k e y . F i t z M a u r i c e a n d L o w t h e r misled their g o v e r n m e n t into believing that the Y o u n g T u r k s were controlled by two m e n . . " I n d e e d . U . T a l a a t a n d D j a v i d ("who is a C r y p t o . .J e w ." 10 11 However. indeed. T h e y are the only m e m b e r s of the C a b i n e t who really count. whose b r o t h e r s owned the N e w Y o r k d e p a r t m e n t stores M a c y ' s and A b r a h a m & S t r a u s . was the leader of the pro-British faction. however. L o w t h e r explained this away by c l a i m i n g that the new goal of Z i o n i s m was to create a J e w i s h h o m e l a n d not in Palestine but instead in a section of what is now I r a q . U . P . did attempt at various times to reconcile the aims of Zionism with those of C . a n d that he has confidentially kept his G o v e r n m e n t informed as to this feature of Y o u n g T u r k e y politics. P . . only four J e w s were elected to it. T h e first of these concerned the inner workings of the C . they s u p p o r t e d the C . " ) a n d t h r o u g h it h a d taken control of the O t t o m a n E m p i r e . " In fact the C . U . but F i t z M a u r i c e a n d L o w t h e r did not know that. when the 2 8 8 . nor did he ever rise to a leadership position either in the party or in the g o v e r n m e n t . was split into factions—factions with which the British g o v e r n m e n t c o u l d have intrigued. a n d the fact that E n g l a n d is now friendly to R u s s i a has the effect of m a k i n g the J e w to a certain extent antiBritish . a c c o r d i n g to F i t z M a u r i c e and L o w t h e r . i s that " T h e J e w hates R u s s i a a n d its G o v e r n m e n t .42 AT THE CROSSROADS OF HISTORY is an a d e p t at m a n i p u l a t i n g occult forces . . . P . P . a l i v e . K a r a s u was not elected to m e m b e r ship on it. was the U . ' s m e a s u r e s against Zionist settlement in Palestine. "the official manifestations of the occult power of the C o m m i t t e e . he was never the influential figure that foreigners s u p p o s e d h i m t o b e . U . U . S . "I have reason to believe that my G e r m a n colleague is aware of the extent to which J e w i s h a n d L a t i n M a s o n r y inspires the C o m m i t t e e . O s c a r S t r a u s . wrote L o w t h e r . T h e F i t z M a u r i c e and L o w t h e r report won wide acceptance a m o n g British officials a n d led the British g o v e r n m e n t into at least three p r o f o u n d m i s c o n c e p t i o n s that h a d important c o n s e q u e n c e s . P .J e w " ) were. a n d when the C . It was an ironic coincidence that D j a v i d . A s d e p u t i e s i n Parliament. a c c o r d i n g to L o w t h e r . a consideration to which the G e r m a n s are. 1 2 13 A second misconception was that a g r o u p of J e w s wielded political K a r a s u .

T h e British government never learned that Lowther and FitzMaurice had s u p p l i e d it with a w a r p e d view of O t t o m a n politics. D j e m a l P a s h a b e c a m e Military G o v e r n o r of C o n s t a n t i n o p l e . was its T u r k i s h c h a u v i n i s m . a n d b e c a m e the center of attention in T u r k i s h politics. his raiding party killed the Minister of War.E u r o p e a n bias attracted wide p o p u l a r support. d e s c r i b e d the C .o n e years old. 1 4 V T h e years after 1908 p r o v e d to be a disaster for the O t t o m a n E m p i r e . E n v e r a n d his friends took office. Its s t r e n g t h was that it was o p p o s e d to all foreign interests. U . in a war against Italy a n d in another against a Balkan coalition. he was p r o m o t e d to a field c o m m a n d in which he covered himself with glory. s u d d e n l y seized control o f the g o v e r n m e n t . a n d others. he took over the War M i n i s t r y for himself. a n d . P . b y p r o m i s ing to s u p p o r t the establishment of a J e w i s h h o m e l a n d in Palestine (he h a d by then determined that the Zionist m o v e m e n t desired to return to Z i o n . a principal failing of the C . leaders as "a collection of J e w s a n d g i p s i e s . A r a b s . not to I r a q ) . a n d called E n v e r P a s h a "a Polish a d v e n t u r e r " — c o n f u s i n g him with another T u r k i s h officer whose n a m e was similar a n d whose father was Polish t h o u g h not J e w i s h . P . its a n t i . U . J o h n B u c h a n . a n d that they served foreign interests.THE MIDDLE EAST BEFORE THE WAR 43 power in the O t t o m a n E m p i r e — o r indeed anywhere else in the world at that t i m e . A r m e n i a n s . I t d i s c r i m i n a t e d against J e w s . F i t z M a u r i c e ' s misinformation led to yet another conclusion with important c o n s e q u e n c e s : that the Y o u n g T u r k leaders were foreigners. E n v e r m a r r i e d the niece of the S u l t a n . not T u r k s . a n d led British o b s e r v e r s to miscalculate what the Y o u n g T u r k g o v e r n m e n t w o u l d d o . A few y e a r s later F i t z M a u r i c e drew an o b v i o u s conclusion from his m i s c o n c e p t i o n : that the world war (in which Britain was by then e n g a g e d ) could be won by b u y i n g the s u p p o r t of this powerful g r o u p . U . I t s s u p p o r t c o u l d b e b o u g h t . P . G r e e k s . a s even F i t z M a u r i c e a n d L o w t h e r saw. h e d e c i d e d . in 1913. it w a s in the p r o c e s s of losing a s e c o n d Balkan War when the C . I n fact. a n d . T h i s was the o p p o s i t e of the truth. " p i c t u r e d the O t t o m a n g o v e r n m e n t as the tool of world J e w r y . T h i r t y . m o v e d into a p a l a c e . Y o u n g E n v e r — the s a m e officer who h a d precipitated the events of 1908 in S a l o n i k a — i m p e t u o u s l y led a raid on the S u b l i m e Porte. a n d on 4 J a n u a r y 1914. T h i s reasoning helped to p e r s u a d e the F o r e i g n Office that it o u g h t to p l e d g e British s u p p o r t to the Zionist p r o g r a m — w h i c h it eventually d i d in 1917. who b e c a m e w a r t i m e D i r e c t o r of Information for the British g o v e r n m e n t .

was a monolithic b o d y . also a s s u m e d an important role. T h e r e was. President of the C h a m b e r of D e p u t i e s . and was rife with a n d intrigue. L i k e the previous a m b a s s a d o r . P . T a l a a t . power was wielded by the C . in which personal rivalries a b o u n d e d . U . Mallet sent d i s p a t c h e s to L o n d o n that radiated a m i s l e a d i n g o p t i m i s m about the Porte's intentions. L o w t h e r a n d F i t z M a u r i c e had reported that it was controlled by T a l a a t and D j a v i d . an economics teacher who was a p p o i n t e d Minister o f F i n a n c e . D e c i s i o n s of the Central C o m m i t t e e were reflected in the positions taken by party m e m b e r s in the C a b i n e t and in the C h a m b e r of D e p u t i e s . P . b e c a m e Minister of the Interior and the real leader of the g o v e r n m e n t . T h e courtly Prince S a i d H a l i m provided respectability as G r a n d Vizier and F o r e i g n Minister. T a l a a t . a n d D j e m a l . The faction nature nature C . U . as did M e h m e d D j a v i d . Where his p r e d e c e s s o r had detected J e w i s h a n d G e r m a n control. In L o n d o n the C a b i n e t persisted in accepting L o w t h e r a n d F i t z M a u r i c e ' s mistaken notion that the C . who was s y m p a t h e t i c t o the Y o u n g T u r k s . a c o n s e n s u s about the of the threat that the O t t o m a n E m p i r e faced a n d about the of the policy that ought to be a d o p t e d to counter it. the principal C . P . Halil Bey. P .44 AT THE CROSSROADS OF HISTORY in that position consolidated the C . and especially by its general directorate of a b o u t twelve m e m b e r s who functioned as a sort of politburo. P . however. e n c o m p a s s e d a variety of opinions. Mallet failed to u n d e r s t a n d what the C . however. U . leader. ' s Central C o m m i t t e e of about forty m e m b e r s . as the G e r m a n archives now show. T h e British g o v e r n m e n t sent out a new a m b a s s a d o r . ' s hold on the seat of government. while a c c o r d i n g to later reports—followed by most historians—it was ruled by a dictatorial triumvirate of E n v e r . P . S i r L o u i s Mallet. U . leaders believed T u r k e y ' s interests to be. . U . was uninformed a b o u t what was h a p p e n i n g in C o n s t a n t i n o p l e . In fact. H e too. U .

immediately across the water from Asiatic T u r k e y . the O t t o m a n E m p i r e m a n a g e d to regain s o m e territory in T h r a c e . attacked T u r k e y and in 1911 — 12 c a p t u r e d the coast of what is now L i b y a . in the F i r s t Balkan War (1912—13) the Balkan L e a g u e ( B u l g a r i a . At a b o u t the s a m e time. Italy. Albania revolted against O t t o m a n rule. In C o n s t a n t i n o p l e . G r e e c e .4 T H E YOUNG T U R K S U R G E N T L Y S E E K AN A L L Y i T h e Y o u n g T u r k outlook o n current affairs was colored b y the t r a u m a of continuing territorial disintegration. the b a n d of Y o u n g T u r k a d v e n t u r e r s who had seized power and who ruled the e m p i r e as the S u l t a n ' s ministers. the nations of E u r o p e had divided up the African continent a m o n g themselves. nominally still T u r k i s h . In the S e c o n d Balkan War ( 1 9 1 3 ) . raising a serious question as to whether the e m p i r e could hold the loyalties of its n o n . M o n t e n e g r o . b u t that looked to offer merely a brief respite in the empire's continuing disintegration. feared that their d o m a i n s were in mortal d a n g e r and that the E u r o p e a n p r e d a t o r s were closing in for the kill. m a d e no secret of her d e s i g n s on O t t o m a n territory a n d . T h e provinces of Bosnia a n d H e r c e g o v i n a (in what is now Y u g o s l a v i a ) . Meanwhile. T h e r e were not many directions in which they could look. S o m e of them were now hungry for new c o n q u e s t s .H u n g a r y in 1 9 0 8 — a troubling m o v e that p r o v i d e d the b a c k g r o u n d in 1914 to the assassination of the A r c h d u k e F r a n c i s F e r d i n a n d and the o u t b r e a k of the F i r s t World War. M u c h of the surface of the globe was already taken: a quarter by the British E m p i r e a n d a sixth by the R u s s i a n E m p i r e . a n d S e r b i a ) defeated T u r k e y and annexed almost all of the territory the O t t o m a n E m p i r e still held in E u r o p e . T h e M i d d l e E a s t was 45 . Only a short time before. a latecomer to imperial e x p a n s i o n . were formally annexed by A u s t r o . T h e western h e m i s p h e r e fell within the a m b i t of the M o n r o e Doctrine and thus was shielded by the U n i t e d S t a t e s . as well as R h o d e s a n d other islands off the T u r k i s h coast.T u r k i s h s u b j e c t s . on a flimsy pretext.

* T h e r e were few roads and still fewer a u t o m o b i l e s to m a k e use of t h e m : 110 in Constantinople and 77 elsewhere by 1914. but had not m a d e m u c h p r o g r e s s . A vital item on the C. the empire's few railway lines were also in foreign h a n d s . its 1. but of course wanted to own them.M o s l e m . E u r o p e a n interests were willing to s u p p l y the networks and s y s t e m s which the O t t o m a n E m p i r e lacked. P . 1 2 3 T h e c o m i n g of the s t e a m s h i p h a d put O t t o m a n m a r i t i m e traffic largely in the hands of foreign i n t e r e s t s .LT. to do it. but they w a n t e d . R e jecting an offer from a British c o m p a n y .P. while a d m i r i n g its m o d e r n ways and a c h i e v e m e n t s — t h e C . P . intended to throw off the shackles of E u r o p e i n order t o imitate E u r o p e m o r e closely. P . T h e traditional f o r m of transportation w a s the caravan of c a m e l s . 3 . U . U .'s internal a g e n d a was the modernization of transport and c o m m u n i c a t i o n s . A m b i v a l e n t in its attitude t o w a r d E u r o p e — s c o r n i n g it as n o n . a n d of rival G r e e k . U . leadership w a s convinced that its p r o g r a m o f freeing the empire from E u r o p e a n c o n t r o l — a p r o g r a m that British statesmen.991 kilometers of railways. a m o n g others. A few telephones were in u s e in C o n s t a n t i n o p l e and S m y r n a in 1914. leaders. mules. D u r i n g the nineteenth century. either did not know a b o u t or did not u n d e r s t a n d — w o u l d precipitate the attack. the O t t o m a n E m p i r e also created its own telegraph n e t w o r k . s o m e h o w . of Italian a n d R u s s i a n d e s i g n s further north. U . B e y o n d the eampfires. a n d A u s t r i a n claims to the west.000 square kilometers had only 5. leaders c o u l d sense the a n i m a l s in the dark m o v i n g in for the attack. II T h e C .900. T h e r e were r u m o r s of F r e n c h a m bitions in S y r i a . B u l g a r i a n . preferably on the basis of exclusive concessions. P . a n d animaldrawn carts—and it could not c o m p e t e against the foreign-owned 4 "It is a measure of the iow degree of development of the Ottoman Empire that in 1914. a foreign g r o u p had been given a concession to install a telephone s y s t e m in C o n s t a n t i n o p l e in 1911. like other O t t o m a n leaders before them. T u r k e y h a d created her own postal service. T h e Y o u n g T u r k s s e e m to have had no coherent plan for b r i n g i n g E u r o p e a n economic domination to an end. wanted the E u r o p e a n technologies to be introduced but were determined to avoid E u r o p e a n ownership or control. horses. even though it coexisted within the e m p i r e alongside postal services maintained for themselves by various E u r o p e a n p o w e r s .46 AT THE CROSSROADS OF HISTORY the only vulnerable region left. S u c h as they were. the C ." all of it single-track. T h e C .

again the Porte h a d no p r o g r a m to p r o v i d e it. 8 Bitterly resented by all O t t o m a n leaders were the C a p i t u l a t i o n s . P . U . wanted t o take back control in these areas.THE YOUNG TURKS URGENTLY SEEK AN ALLY 47 railroads. P . t h o u g h it had no refinancing p r o g r a m to p r o p o s e . B e c a u s e the Porte h a d defaulted on a public d e b t of m o r e than a t h o u s a n d million dollars in 1875. T h e C . Industrialization was necessary in order to r e d r e s s the b a l a n c e . U . the S u l t a n was o b l i g e d to issue a decree in 1881 that placed a d m i n i s t r a t i o n of the O t t o m a n p u b l i c debt in E u r o p e a n h a n d s . U . wanted t o cancel these Capitulation privileges. E u r o p e a n s already exercised an economic p r e p o n d e r a n c e which the C . T h e C . d i l e m m a lay in wanting to switch from caravan to railroad without allowing the e m p i r e to p a s s into the control of the E u r o p e a n s who owned the r a i l r o a d s . T h e E u r o p e a n disposition to do so p o s e d a threat to the C . salt. and the railroad cost of t r a n s p o r t i n g g o o d s was p e r h a p s only 10 percent of the caravan c o s t . U . s t a m p s . and f i s h . U . they b r o u g h t along E u r o peans to maintain t h e m . T h e usual s p e e d of a m i x e d c a r a v a n was between two a n d three miles an hour. T u r k e y was in the u n e q u a l position of b e i n g able to s u p p l y only natural r e s o u r c e s a n d having to i m p o r t her m a n u factured needs. T h e S u b l i m e Porte was n o longer master even o f its own T r e a s u r y o r C u s t o m s H o u s e . for the Y o u n g T u r k s p r o p o s e d to assert their power not only against foreigners but also against other g r o u p s inhabiting the e m p i r e . T h e e m p i r e could s u p p l y only unskilled l a b o r . P . R a i l r o a d s p e e d s were at least ten times greater. violated O t t o m a n sovereignty in intervening in defense of Christian minorities a n d Christian rights. A council was created for the p u r p o s e a n d was given control of almost one-quarter of the O t t o m a n E m p i r e ' s revenues. T h e C . P . T e c h n i c a l training for the local population was what was n e e d e d . resentment was that the E u r o p e a n powers h a d . P . P . but the Porte had no p r o g r a m to achieve it. U . on occasion. T h e p u b l i c p r o g r a m of the C . P . as the E u r o p e a n s constructed railroads a n d other types of machinery. a n d its daily s t a g e w a s only between fifteen and twenty m i l e s . U . It wielded exclusive authority over the c u s t o m s duties on s u c h b a s i c items as alcoholic spirits. ' s secret a g e n d a . T h i s ran contrary to what they had p l e d g e d in 1908. resented b u t could d o nothing a b o u t . No T u r k i s h policeman could enter the p r e m i s e s of a E u r o p e a n or A m e r i c a n without the p e r m i s s i o n of the latter's consul. 6 7 E u r o p e a n s also shared in the control of what is at the heart of a political entity: its finances. h a d called for equal rights for all the m a n y . A n o t h e r g r o u n d for C . the concessions that p r o v i d e d E u r o p e a n s with a privileged economic position within the e m p i r e a n d which placed them for m a n y p u r p o s e s under the jurisdiction of their own consuls rather than of the O t t o m a n c o u r t s .

P . to carry t h r o u g h its p r o g r a m — u n l e s s one of the G r e a t Powers could be induced to b e c o m e T u r k e y ' s protector. or a b o u t 40 percent of the total p o p u l a t i o n apiece—yet in the O t t o m a n C h a m b e r of D e p u t i e s there were p e r h a p s 150 T u r k s as against only a b o u t 60 A r a b s . ) T h e r e m a i n i n g 2 0 percent of the population. T h e T u r k i s h . P . P . T u r k e s t a n . it did not enter into his plans. so that the C z a r could lay greater claim to s p e a k for the ethnic T u r k s than could the S u l t a n . M o r e than half the T u r k i s h p e o p l e s of A s i a lived either there or elsewhere outside the O t t o m a n E m p i r e . even those who s p o k e T u r k i s h were often of n o n .I s l a m i c a m b i t i o n s . .s p e a k i n g peoples a n d d o m a i n s of A s i a . E n v e r .T u r k i s h origin. a n d their colleagues were nationalists without a nation. U . a n d J e w i s h c o m m u n i t i e s . P .s p e a k i n g a n d A r a b i c . the C . a British M e m b e r of' Parliament who had traveled extensively in A s i a .F r e n c h ." E n v e r was also s u p p o s e d to harbor p a n . including the important G r e e k . a g e n d a . T h u s the search for a E u r o p e a n ally was the urgent a n d overriding item on the C . as of then. O n c e in power the C . A r m e n i a n . H i s treatment of A r a b fellow-Moslems shows that this. Sir M a r k S y k e s . U . ? " T h e ancient h o m e l a n d of the T u r k i s h peoples. A small m a n . ethnic. that there is no s u c h place a n d no s u c h p e o p l e . U . " If ever there were a chance of creating one. K u r d i s h . w a s in the p o s s e s s i o n of R u s s i a a n d C h i n a . leaders threw it away by excluding 60 percent of the population from its purview. he a p p r o v i n g l y c o m m e n t e d that "I should not hesitate to accept any alliance which rescued T u r k e y f r o m her present position of i s o l a t i o n . but when eventually he heard that E n v e r had p r o p o s e d an alliance with G e r m a n y . Within the e m p i r e (as distinct from the s t e p p e s to its e a s t ) . m u c h a d d i c t e d to theatrical g e s t u r e s a n d to large p r o g r a m s that b e g a n with the prefix "pan-. " 10 . s h o w e d the d a r k side of its nationalism by asserting instead the h e g e m o n y of T u r k i s h . 9 In the view of the C . D j e m a l P a s h a w a s p r o .s p e a k i n g M o s l e m s over all others. E n v e r P a s h a was later associated with the d r e a m of reuniting all the T u r k i s h . ( T h e figures are not exact b e c a u s e it is not clear in every c a s e who was A r a b a n d who was T u r k .s p e a k i n g p o p u l a t i o n s of the e m p i r e were roughly e q u a l — e a c h a b o u t 10 million people. a n d certainly the idea was familiar to him in 1914—intellectually it was in the a i r — b u t . b e g a n one of his b o o k s by a s k i n g : "How m a n y people realize. when they s p e a k of T u r k e y a n d the T u r k s . A c c o r d i n g to the eleventh edition of the Encyclopaedia Britannica ( 1 9 1 0 — 1 1 ) . was discriminated against even m o r e severely than were the A r a b s .48 AT T H E CROSSROADS OF HISTORY religious. . leadership. P . yet "no s u c h thing as an O t t o m a n nation has ever been c r e a t e d . T a l a a t . E u r o p e would not let the e m p i r e survive in any e v e n t — a n d certainly would not allow the C . U . was a slogan that he d i d not translate into policy. the O t t o m a n E m p i r e at the time was inhabited by twenty-two different "races". U . too. a n d linguistic g r o u p s that resided within the e m p i r e .

too. when D j a v i d wrote to p r o p o s e a p e r m a n e n t alliance with Britain. E n v e r explained to von W a n g e n h e i m that the domestic r e f o r m s planned by the C . P . G r e e c e . a p p r o a c h e d R u s s i a — w h i c h was like asking the chief burglar to b e c o m e chief of p o l i c e — a n d his proposal. U . 11 1 2 13 T h e O t t o m a n War Minister was q u i t e open in explaining to the G e r m a n a m b a s s a d o r why the Y o u n g T u r k s were seeking an ally. U . Churchill wrote to the F o r e i g n Secretary that T u r k e y "is the greatest land weapon wh the G e r m a n s cd use against us. Finally.B r i t i s h C . Other than R u s s i a . in desperation. were in agreement that the most urgent item on T u r k e y ' s a g e n d a was to secure a powerful E u r o p e a n ally. F r a n c e . P . o r G e r m a n y — c o u l d protect the O t t o m a n E m p i r e against further e n c r o a c h m e n t s on its territory. U . no G r e a t Power would agree to protect it.THE YOUNG TURKS URGENTLY SEEK AN ALLY 49 III All s h a d e s of opinion within the C . P . T h e O t t o m a n E m p i r e ' s diplomatic isolation was c o m p l e t e . 1 4 10 T h e g o v e r n m e n t of Britain. H i s p r o p o s a l was turned d o w n b y H a n s von W a n g e n h e i m . the C . P . T h e Y o u n g T u r k s believed that one o f the E u r o p e a n blocs or indeed any one of the leading G r e a t P o w e r s — B r i t a i n . but the F o r e i g n Office would not agree to his d o i n g s o . the Minister of M a r i n e . or Bulgaria. who was p r o F r e n c h . " H e e x p r e s s e d his belief that the e m p i r e could be s e c u r e d against s u c h attacks only by "the s u p p o r t of one of the g r o u p s of G r e a t P o w e r s .H u n g a r y . T a l a a t . leaders conferred together at the villa of the G r a n d Vizier a n d authorized E n v e r . meanwhile. was unaware of the flurry of T u r k i s h diplomatic activity a n d d i d not realize that the Porte was . with increasing urgency the C ." At the end of 1911. A u s t r i a . U . had already appealed to Britain. G e r m a n y ' s a m b a s s a d o r i n C o n s t a n t i n o p l e . the p r o . Between M a y a n d J u l y 1914. was rebuffed. E n v e r m a d e his a p p r o a c h o n 2 2 J u l y 1914. D j a v i d . " A p p a r e n t l y he was unable to p e r s u a d e the G e r m a n a m b a s s a d o r that the O t t o m a n E m p i r e had anything of sufficient value to give in return. m a d e overtures to F r a n c e b u t was rebuffed. at the time of the initial Italian attack on T u r k e y . the countries that were m o s t likely to invade the O t t o m a n E m p i r e were powers of lesser s t r e n g t h : Italy. P . Churchill was the only senior C a b i n e t minister who had wanted to r e s p o n d positively. Minister o f F i n a n c e . U . leaders secretly a p p r o a c h e d three other E u r o p e a n G r e a t Powers in search of an a l l y . Churchill wanted to s e n d an e n c o u r a g i n g reply. who had served in Berlin. D j e m a l . H i s a p p e a l had been m a d e in 1911. to a p p r o a c h G e r m a n y with a r e q u e s t for an alliance. A r g u i n g that T u r k e y ' s friendship was m o r e i m p o r t a n t than Italy's. could be carried out only if the O t t o m a n E m p i r e were "secured against attacks f r o m a b r o a d .

the c o m m o n a s s u m p t i o n was that G e r m a n y m i g h t a t t e m p t to entice the O t t o m a n E m p i r e into an alliance. when Britain unexpectedly f o u n d herself at war alongside the Entente Powers ( F r a n c e a n d R u s s i a ) a n d against the Central Powers ( G e r m a n y a n d A u s t r i a . details of how the O t t o m a n E m p i r e a n d G e r m a n y forged their alliance r e m a i n e d o b s c u r e . . who w a s said to have driven the T u r k s into G e r m a n y ' s a r m s . few thoughts were s p a r e d for the O t t o m a n E m p i r e .H u n g a r y ) . on the eve of a s u d d e n war crisis that neither Churchill nor his C a b i n e t colleagues h a d foreseen. British leaders at the t i m e never s u s p e c t e d that it was the other way a r o u n d : that T u r k e y was seeking an alliance with G e r m a n y . but the still-emerging evidence f r o m d i p l o m a t i c archives tells a different a n d m o r e c o m p l e x story—which b e g a n in 1914. but to the extent that they were.50 AT THE CROSSROADS OF HISTORY urgently seeking a G r e a t Power alliance.H u n g a r y sent an u l t i m a t u m to S e r b i a . C o n t e m p o r a r i e s a n d a n u m b e r of historians b l a m e d Winston Churchill. British ministers received their first intimation that a war crisis might arise in E u r o p e that could involve Britain. when A u s t r i a . A few days after the G e r m a n a m b a s s a d o r in C o n s t a n t i n o p l e rejected the O t t o m a n p r o p o s a l . Between 23 J u l y 1914. a n d that G e r m a n y was reluctant to grant it. a n d 4 A u g u s t . when it was discovered that T a l a a t a n d Enver had s o u g h t the alliance. E v e n after the war was over.

F e a r i n g that he. b u t it was largely the a m u s e d indulgence of the P r i m e Minister a n d the powerful s p o n s o r s h i p of D a v i d L l o y d G e o r g e . a n d the thrusting cigar started to take c o m m a n d . Winston Churchill w a s a b o u t to begin his fourth year as F i r s t L o r d of the A d m i r a l t y in the L i b e r a l g o v e r n m e n t o f P r i m e Minister H e r b e r t A s q u i t h . the Chancellor of the E x c h e q u e r . He still s p o k e with the trace of a schoolboy lisp. He was 51 . S o m e s u s p e c t e d that. a n d the opinion was wides p r e a d that he was not sufficiently steady or m a t u r e to have been entrusted with high office. diseased father who h a d died a political failure at the a g e of forty-five. He w a s a mercurial figure. T h o u g h h e a d m i n istered his i m p o r t a n t d e p a r t m e n t a l office ably a n d vigorously. He was a decade or m o r e younger than the other m e m b e r s of the C a b i n e t . It was not his p e r s o n b u t his driving personality that fascinated those who encountered h i m . H i s energy a n d t a l e n t — a n d his gift for publicizing his own e x p l o i t s — h a d b r o u g h t h i m forward at an early a g e . He h a d put on s o m e weight in recent years. that sustained him in his governmental position. too. he was physically u n p r e p o s s e s s i n g .5 WINSTON C H U R C H I L L ON T H E EVE OF WAR i In 1914. a n d with a hint of r o u n d e d lines. Only recently h a d the belligerent tilt of the head. like his father. while others r e g a r d e d h i m as merely too y o u n g . the b r o o d i n g scowl. b u t his colleagues recognized the childishness m o r e readily than they did the g r e a t n e s s . Churchill had shamelessly elbowed friend and foe a s i d e in his d a s h to the top in the short time that he believed still remained to h i m . m e d i u m height. He c o m b i n e d a s p e c t s of greatness with those of childishness. at the age of thirty-nine. only with hindsight could it have been seen that he would one day a p p e a r f o r m i d a b l e . Of r u d d y c o m p l e x i o n . he was not then the i m p o s i n g figure the world later c a m e to know. b u t was not yet portly. a n d his s a n d y hair had b e g u n to thin a bit. h a u n t e d by the specter of his brilliant. w o u l d die y o u n g . H i s face h a d just b e g u n to lose its last hints of adolescence. he w a s emotionally u n b a l a n c e d .

inexperience. He had soldiered in I n d i a . a n d he often e m b a r k e d on lengthy tirades when instead he s h o u l d have been listening or o b s e r v i n g . d u r i n g the c o u r s e of a brief international crisis. b u t echoed the usual accusation that the y o u n g H o m e Secretary was too apt to act first and think a f t e r w a r d . Unlike the others. a n d his m a n y enemies. with a solitary exception.h e a r t e d . He h a d been the m o s t p r o . p r o p o s e d h i m for it. a n d his mentor. he d i s d a i n e d to play it safe. T h e other leading contender for the position of F i r s t L o r d e x p r e s s e d w a r m a d m i r a t i o n for Churchill's energy and c o u r a g e . he b r o u g h t p a s s i o n into everything he u n d e r t o o k . his c a n d i dacy was h a m p e r e d by his youth. the y o u n g e s t p e r s o n ever to serve as H o m e S e c retary. T h e y also learned that the A d m i r a l t y was unwilling to create a N a v a l War Staff.G e r m a n .G e r m a n of ministers a n d h a d b e c o m e the m o s t a n t i . who claimed that he h a d p u s h e d himself forward with u n s e e m l y haste.T u r k . poor j u d g m e n t . a n d i m p u l siveness. 1 F o r whatever reason. his c h a n g e s of m i n d were as violent a n d e x t r e m e as they were frequent. a n d b e c o m e a hero by e s c a p i n g from a prisoner-of-war c a m p in S o u t h Africa. T h r e e years before—in the s u m m e r o f 1911—an u n e x p e c t e d o p portunity h a d o p e n e d up for h i m to fulfill s o m e of his a m b i t i o n s . C a b i n e t ministers at the time were told that the Royal N a v y was u n a b l e to t r a n s p o r t a British E x p e d i t i o n a r y F o r c e across the E n g l i s h Channel. To t h e m he a p p e a r e d to p o s s e s s in excess the characteristic faults of y o u t h : obstinacy. He h a d been the l e a d i n g p r o . Colleagues who a i m e d at detachment and understatement found him tiresome.52 AT THE CROSSROADS OF HISTORY m o o d y . He often c h a n g e d his views. He was noisy. He h a d been a T o r y a n d now was a L i b e r a l . a r g u e d that he had run ahead of himself. then H o m e S e c r e t a r y . a n d often was unaware of the effect p r o d u c e d by his own w o r d s a n d behavior. At thirty-six he was already. the P r i m e Minister decided to take a chance . Predictably. a n d even his friends r e m a r k e d that he allowed himself to be too easily carried away. T h o u g h g e n e r o u s a n d w a r m . a n d since he always held his views passionately. T o his enemies h e a p p e a r e d d a n g e r o u s l y foolish. the A s q u i t h g o v e r n m e n t had been s h o c k e d to learn that the A d m i r a l t y was not p r e p a r e d to carry out w a r t i m e m i s s i o n s in s u p p o r t of the a r m y . He w a s h a p p y in his m a r r i a g e a n d in his high g o v e r n m e n t office. It b e c a m e clear to A s q u i t h and his colleagues that a new F i r s t L o r d of the A d m i r a l t y h a d to be a p p o i n t e d to institute basic r e f o r m s . he took things personally. angled for the j o b . T a k i n g risks had b r o u g h t him f a m e a n d h a d c a t a p u l t e d him to the top in politics. To their a m a z e m e n t . he was not sensitive to the thoughts a n d feelings of others. At that t i m e .T u r k in the C a b i n e t and was t o b e c o m e the m o s t a n t i . but his t e m p e r a m e n t w a s restless: he s o u g h t worlds to c o n q u e r . Churchill. seen war in C u b a a n d the S u d a n . L l o y d G e o r g e .

a n d the record of the A d m i r a l t y from the s u m m e r of 1911 to the s u m m e r of 1914 showed that he had won his wager. his ancestor the D u k e of M a r l b o r o u g h . he had served on active duty as an a r m y officer. . Churchill had t r a n s f o r m e d the coal-burning nineteenthcentury fleet into an oil-burning twentieth-century navy. II Elected to Parliament for the first time in 1900. Churchill was distrusted by both p a r t i e s — n o t entirely without r e a s o n . he replied. Churchill took his seat (in 1901) as a m e m b e r of the Conservative P a r t y : a Unionist (the term usually u s e d at this p e r i o d ) . or ( u s i n g the older w o r d ) a T o r y . As a political r e n e g a d e . looked out at the lovely M e d i t e r r a n e a n coastline a n d e x c l a i m e d . a n d he was enthralled by the profession of a r m s . When Violet A s q u i t h . in 1904. " 2 As war c l o u d s s u d d e n l y g a t h e r e d over the s u m m e r t i m e skies of 1914. Inspired by L o r d F i s h e r . a b o a r d the Enchantress in 1912. he c r o s s e d the floor of the H o u s e a n d joined the Liberals. . He inherited a g e n i u s for warfare f r o m Britain's greatest general. or a C o n s e r v a t i v e . b u t on q u e s t i o n s of foreign a n d defense policy his instincts were T o r y . "How perfect!". He tended toward L i b e r a l i s m on social a n d e c o n o m i c issues. B u t on the bitterly d i s p u t e d issue of free t r a d e .W I N S T O N C H U R C H I L L O N T H E E V E O F WAR 53 on C h u r c h i l l . . Churchill was belligerent by nature a n d out of s y m p a t h y with the streak of idealistic pacifism that ran through the L i b e r a l P a r t y . " Y e s — r a n g e perfect—visibility p e r f e c t — I f we had got s o m e six-inch g u n s o n b o a r d how easily w e could b o m b a r d . he had been schooled at a military a c a d e m y rather than at a university. for his political instincts were never wholly at one with either of t h e m . L i b e r a l pacifists s e e m e d to be out of touch with events while Churchill at the A d m i r a l t y s e e m e d to be the right m a n at the right place at the right t i m e . the retired b u t still controversial A d m i r a l of the Fleet.

the Osman m o u n t e d m o r e heavy g u n s than any battleship ever built b e f o r e . He takes huge risks [original e m p h a s i s ] . he had mobilized the fleet on his own responsibility in the last days of peacetime a n d had sent it north to S c a p a F l o w . What he had done was p r o b a b l y illegal. the fleet was r e a d y . He can a n d d o e s always—all w a y s p u t s himself in the pool. which in Britain were a p p l a u d e d on all s i d e s . but events had justified his actions. "Certainly not his j u d g m e n t — h e is constantly very w r o n g indeed . once wondered in her diary what it w a s that m a d e Winston Churchill pre-eminent. A n illustrated p a g e in the Taller of 12 A u g u s t 1914 r e p r o d u c e d a p h o t o g r a p h of a determined-looking Churchill. with an inset of his wife. E a c h originally had been ordered by Brazil." 2 T h e battleships were the Reshadieh a n d the larger Sultan Osman I. . " she wrote. or protects himself—though he thinks of himself perpetually. where it would not be vulnerable to a G e r m a n s u r p r i s e attack. M a r g o t A s q u i t h . h e d g e s .C H U R C H I L L SEIZES T U R K E Y ' S WARSHIPS i On the outbreak of war. At the time. He never shirks. his p r o u d e s t boast was that when war c a m e . the P r i m e Minister's wife. " S h e concluded that: "It is of c o u r s e his c o u r a g e a n d c o l o u r — h i s a m a z i n g m i x t u r e of industry a n d enterprise. but then 3 54 . A l t h o u g h the C a b i n e t had refused him p e r m i s s i o n to do s o . In the days following Britain's entry into the war even his bitterest political enemies wrote to Churchill to e x p r e s s their a d m i r a t i o n of h i m . Winston Churchill briefly b e c a m e a national hero in Britain. his c o m m a n d e e r i n g of T u r k i s h battleships for the Royal N a v y was a p p l a u d e d almost a s m u c h . F o r m u c h of the rest of his life. B o t h h a d been built in British shipyards a n d were i m m e n s e l y p o w e r ful. "It certainly is not his m i n d . . " 1 Mobilizing the fleet despite the Cabinet's decision not to do so was a h u g e risk that e n d e d in t r i u m p h . u n d e r the heading " B R A V O W I N S T O N ! T h e R a p i d Mobilisation and P u r c h a s e o f the T w o F o r e i g n D r e a d n o u g h t s S p o k e V o l u m e s for your Work a n d Wisdom.

British influence was thought to be strong in the M a r i n e Ministry. T h e y were intended to be the m a k i n g of the m o d e r n O t t o m a n navy. they o v e r s h a d o w e d other surface vessels a n d . D j a v i d .A d m i r a l S i r A r t h u r H . but Churchill enjoyed the rare a d v a n t a g e of having personally met three of the five leading figures in the O t t o m a n g o v e r n m e n t : T a l a a t . the m i s s i o n of A d m i r a l L i m p u s in T u r k e y ever since its inception years before. in a sense. T h e docking facilities having been c o m p l e t e d . In L o n d o n little was known of M i d d l e E a s t e r n politics. G e r m a n influence was strongest in the War Ministry. 4 Churchill. who was reckoned the m o s t p r o . R e a r .b a l a n c e d each other. Churchill was aware that these vessels meant a great deal to the Ottoman E m p i r e . had lobbied successfully with the O t t o m a n authorities to secure the contract to build docking facilities for two British f i r m s — V i c k e r s . the Reshadieh was scheduled to leave Britain soon after the Sultan Osman I. had not been delivered b e c a u s e the T u r k s had lacked a d e q u a t e m o d e r n d o c k i n g facilities to a c c o m m o d a t e her. and A r m s t r o n g Whitworth. with ships of the T u r k i s h navy. L i m p u s . and the Minister of F i n a n c e . As s u c h .T u r k m e m b e r of the A s q u i t h C a b i n e t . head of the British naval m i s s i o n . led by the P r u s s i a n G e n e r a l of Cavalry. a n d it was a s s u m e d that they would enable the e m p i r e to face G r e e c e in the A e g e a n and R u s s i a in the Black S e a . T h e Reshadieh a n d Sultan Osman I were battleships of the new D r e a d n o u g h t class. and for the cause of B r i t i s h . T h e i r p u r c h a s e had been m a d e p o s s i b l e b y patriotic public s u b s c r i p tion throughout the e m p i r e . By the s u m m e r of 1914 the . which was to be c o m p l e t e d in A u g u s t 1914. though launched in 1913. had followed with care. He therefore had been given an o p p o r tunity to learn that Britain's conduct as naval s u p p l i e r a n d adviser could have political repercussions in C o n s t a n t i n o p l e . A d m i r a l L i m p u s had put out to sea from C o n s t a n t i n o p l e on 27 J u l y 1914. A h m e d D j e m a l . propelled the newly built T u r k i s h vessels into significance in both L o n d o n a n d Berlin. With Churchill's s u p p o r t . waiting to greet the Sultan Osman I a n d escort her back t h r o u g h the straits of the D a r d a n e l l e s to the O t t o m a n capital. T h e two m i s s i o n s t o s o m e extent c o u n t e r . T h e Reshadieh. r e n d e r e d them obsolete. O t t o L i m a n von S a n d e r s . where a "navy week" had been s c h e d u l e d with lavish ceremonies for the Minister of M a r i n e . b u t it was said that w o m e n had sold their jewelry a n d schoolchildren had given up their pocket-money to contribute to the popular s u b s c r i p t i o n . E n v e r . however. T h e tales m a y have been i m p r o v e d in the telling. T h e E u r o p e a n war crisis.O t t o m a n friendship. T h e British advisory mission to the O t t o m a n navy was a l m o s t as large as the similar G e r m a n mission to the O t t o m a n a r m y .CHURCHILL SEIZES TURKEY'S WARSHIPS 55 had been built instead for the O t t o m a n E m p i r e . a n d had s u p p o r t e d with e n t h u s i a s m .

as the F i r s t L o r d of the A d m i r a l t y took precautionary m e a s u r e s in the war crisis. S e i z i n g the T u r k i s h warships was an original idea of Churchill's a n d it c a m e to him in the s u m m e r of 1914. the question of taking foreign vessels was raised for the first time on T u e s d a y . A c c o r d i n g to Churchill. T h e a d d i t i o n o f the two D r e a d n o u g h t s built for T u r k e y w o u l d increase the p o w e r of the R o y a l N a v y significantly. s T h i s account was not t r u e . "In case it m a y b e c o m e necessary to acquire the 2 T u r k i s h battleships that are nearing completion in British y a r d s . 28 J u l y 1914. S i r A r c h i b a l d M o o r e . and H o l l a n d . there s e e m e d to be no t i m e to b u i l d m o r e o f t h e m before battle was j o i n e d a n d d e c i d e d . in an inquiry that Churchill directed to the F i r s t S e a L o r d . G r e e c e ." 6 A d m i r a l M o o r e looked into the matter. T h e chain of events which apparently flowed from Churchill's initiative in this matter eventually led to him being b l a m e d for the tragic outbreak of war in the M i d d l e E a s t . he wrote that the a r r a n g e m e n t s for the taking of such vessels "comprised an elaborate s c h e m e " that had been devised years before a n d had been b r o u g h t up to date in 1 9 1 2 . a n d t o the T h i r d S e a L o r d . Conversely. H i s version of the matter implied that he did not single out the O t t o m a n vessels. Brazil. but instead issued orders applicable to all foreign w a r s h i p s then under construction. T h e history of these matters has been confused ever since b e c a u s e both Churchill's story a n d the story told by his detractors were false. and found no administrative . Prince L o u i s o f B a t t e n b e r g . Chile. A c c o r d i n g to Churchill's history of the F i r s t World War. D u r i n g the week before the war. their a c q u i s i t i o n by the G e r m a n E m p i r e or its allies c o u l d decisively shift the b a l a n c e of forces a g a i n s t Britain. S i n c e the E u r o p e a n war was e x p e c t e d to be a s h o r t one. he raised the issue of whether the two T u r k i s h battleships could be taken by the Royal N a v y . British contingency p l a n s a d o p t e d in 1912 provided for the taking of all foreign warships b e i n g built in British yards in the event that war should ever occur.56 AT T H E CROSSROADS OF HISTORY R o y a l N a v y h a d taken delivery of only e n o u g h to give B r i t a i n a m a r gin over G e r m a n y o f seven D r e a d n o u g h t s . "please formulate p l a n s in detail s h o w i n g exactly the administrative action involved in their acquisition a n d the p r o s p e c t i v e financial transactions. E a r l y in the week of 27 J u l y 1914. w a r s h i p s were being built in British yards for T u r k e y . " he wrote. It was not fanciful to s u p p o s e that the Reshadieh a n d Sultan Osman I c o u l d p l a y a material role in d e t e r m i n ing the o u t c o m e of what was to b e c o m e the F i r s t World War. In turn he later a t t e m p t e d to defend himself by p r e t e n d i n g that he had done no m o r e than to carry into effect s t a n d i n g o r d e r s . When the war broke out in 1914. he d i d nothing m o r e than follow the regulations a d o p t e d in 1912.

w h e r e u p o n British sailors b o a r d e d the Sultan Osman I. even t h o u g h u n f i n i s h e d . A high-ranking p e r m a n e n t official in the F o r e i g n Office took the s a m e point of view that day b u t p l a c e d it in a b r o a d e r a n d m o r e practical political perspective. . into O t t o m a n territory). who told him that there was no precedent for taking any s u c h action. 7 T h e T u r k s s u s p e c t e d what Churchill had in m i n d . if it really needed the s h i p s . T h e lawyer advised the A d m i r a l t y that. T h e F o r e i g n Office lawyer said that if Britain were at war it could be a r g u e d that national interests take precedence over legal rights. u n d e r prevailing international law. but Churchill had not r e s p o n d e d . it s h o u l d try to p e r s u a d e the O t t o m a n g o v e r n m e n t to sell t h e m . n o w — a l t h o u g h the other 1 1 1 2 * T h i s opinion was rendered a week before.CHURCHILL SEIZES TURKEY'S WARSHIPS 57 or legal p r o c e d u r e that would justify seizing the T u r k i s h s h i p s . "I think we m u s t let the A d m i r a l t y deal with this q u e s tion as they consider n e c e s s a r y . F o r the first time Churchill noted that w a r s h i p s were also being built in British s h i p y a r d s for countries other than T u r k e y . A d m i r a l M o o r e had b r o u g h t this to the F i r s t L o r d ' s attention several d a y s before. in connection with the mobilization of the fleet. b u t that since Britain was not at war it w o u l d be illegal for Churchill to take the foreign-owned vessels. " 9 1 0 On 31 J u l y the C a b i n e t accepted Churchill's view that he o u g h t to take both T u r k i s h vessels for the Royal N a v y for possible use against G e r m a n y in the event of war. to notify both Vickers a n d A r m s t r o n g that the O t t o m a n w a r s h i p s were to be detained a n d that the A d m i r a l t y p r o p o s e d to enter into negotiations for their p u r c h a s e . He consulted one of the legal officers of the F o r e i g n Office. "and afterwards m a k e such defence of our action to T u r k e y as we c a n . " he m i n u t e d . for on 29 J u l y the F o r e i g n Office warned the A d m i r a l t y that the Sultan Osman I was taking on fuel a n d was u n d e r o r d e r s to depart for C o n s t a n t i n o p l e immediately. the outbreak of war between Britain and Germany.G e n e r a l advised Churchill that what he was d o i n g was not justified by statute. but that the welfare of the C o m m o n w e a l t h took precedence over other considerations and might e x c u s e his temporarily detaining the v e s s e l s . He also ordered British security forces to g u a r d the vessels and to prevent T u r k i s h crews from b o a r d i n g them or from raising the O t t o m a n flag over them (which w o u l d have converted them. b u t was told only that the battleship was being detained for the time b e i n g . T o w a r d m i d n i g h t on 1 A u g u s t Churchill wrote instructions to A d m i r a l M o o r e . T h e O t t o m a n a m b a s s a d o r called at the F o r e i g n Office to ask for an explanation. 8 T h e following day the A t t o r n e y . Churchill immediately ordered the b u i l d e r s of both battleships to detain t h e m .

U . the G r a n d Vizier and F o r e i g n Minister. " ' Secret talks b e g a n at once in C o n s t a n t i n o p l e . a n d ordered that Enver's offer of an alliance should be e x p l o r e d . Chancellor T h e o b a l d von B e t h m a n n Hollweg. K a i s e r Wilhelm II personally overruled the negative decision of his a m b a s s a d o r to C o n s t a n t i n o p l e . saying that he was s u r e the T u r k i s h g o v e r n m e n t would u n d e r s t a n d Britain's position. T a l a a t Bey. but overlooked. a n d that "financial & other loss to T u r k e y will receive all d u e c o n s i d e r a t i o n . the three O t t o m a n leaders kept their negotiations secret from the Central C o m m i t t e e and even from their powerful colleague D j e m a l Pasha. for completion and eventual p u r c h a s e . T h a t evening the F o r e i g n Office cabled the British e m b a s s y in C o n s t a n t i n o p l e with instructions to inform the O t t o m a n g o v e r n m e n t that Britain desired to have the contract for the p u r c h a s e of the Osman transferred to H i s Majesty's G o v e r n m e n t . On 31 J u l y . T h e following day Sir E d w a r d G r e y sent a further cable to C o n s t a n t i n o p l e . the negotiators were Prince S a i d H a l i m . On 3 A u g u s t the A d m i r a l t y entered into a r r a n g e m e n t s with A r m s t r o n g for taking the Sultan Osman I into the Royal N a v y i m m e d i a t e l y . remained unenthusiastic a b o u t the potential entanglement. 6 1 7 .58 AT THE CROSSROADS OF HISTORY foreign vessels were not of equal i m p o r t a n c e — h e ordered them to be detained. Central C o m m i t t e e were in favor of an alliance with G e r m a n y . On 28 J u l y the O t t o m a n leaders forwarded their draft of a p r o p o s e d treaty of alliance to Berlin. T h e significance of these dates will b e c o m e clear presently. P . a n d the K a i s e r decided that "at the present m o m e n t " O t t o m a n interest in contracting an alliance should be taken a d v a n t a g e of "for reasons of e x p e d i e n c y . Minister of the M a r i n e . too. II In Berlin the onset of the war crisis on 23 J u l y led to s o m e second t h o u g h t s a b o u t the value of T u r k e y as an ally. and E n v e r P a s h a . the G e r m a n Prime Minister. Minister of the Interior. D e s p i t e the K a i s e r ' s views. Minister of War. An Austrian u l t i m a t u m to S e r b i a — t h e u l t i m a t u m that initiated the war crisis in E u r o p e — h a d been delivered the previous evening. and on or before 29 J u l y strongly s u s p e c t e d that they were g o i n g to be taken. point is that the O t t o m a n government did not learn for the first time of Churchill's seizure of the battleship when officially informed of it in the 3 A u g u s t cable. A l t h o u g h E n v e r had told the G e r m a n a m b a s s a d o r that a majority of the m e m b e r s of the C . T h e T u r k s knew that the battleships were b e i n g taken on 31 J u l y . On 24 J u l y 1914. On the O t t o m a n side. " 13 1 4 15 A key. the day the G e n e r a l Staff told him to issue the order to go to war.

1 8 N o t merely h a d the negotiations been conducted in secret. the Porte ordered general mobilization to b e g i n . the G r a n d Vizier a n d his associates h o p e d that they would not be d r a g g e d into the war. " A u g u s t 1 w a s the crucial day in the negotiations.CHURCHILL SEIZES TURKEY'S WARSHIPS 59 B e t h m a n n H o l l w e g sent a wire to his a m b a s s a d o r in C o n s t a n t i n o p l e . Germany declared war several days before Austria-Hungary did. 19 T h e O t t o m a n E m p i r e i n turn u n d e r t o o k t o o b s e r v e strict neutrality in the then current conflict between S e r b i a and A u s t r i a . T h e O t t o m a n leaders went out of their way in conversations with Allied representatives to stress the possibility of friendly relationships. the T u r k s did not want to join in the fighting at all. instructing him not to sign a treaty of alliance with the O t t o m a n E m p i r e u n l e s s he w a s certain that " T u r k e y either can or will undertake s o m e action against R u s s i a worthy of the n a m e . In fact. which w a s s c h e d u l e d to expire on 31 D e c e m b e r 1918. T h u s on the face of it they h a d little to offer. by force of a r m s if need b e . a n d E n v e r went so far as to s u g g e s t that T u r k e y m i g h t join the Allies. " G e r m a n y ' s obligation was a c o n t i n u i n g one for the length of the treaty. b u t also p r o c l a i m e d neutrality in the E u r o p e a n conflict. the O t t o m a n E m p i r e p l e d g e d that it too would intervene. as it happened. T h e day after the treaty w a s s i g n e d .H u n g a r y and to go to war only if G e r m a n y were r e q u i r e d to enter the fighting by the t e r m s of her treaty with A u s t r i a . to defend O t t o m a n territory in c a s e it should be t h r e a t e n e d . b u t Article 8 of the treaty p r o v i d e d that the agreement should continue to be kept secret. U . Article 4 was what the C . T h e treaty r e m a i n e d a s e c r e t . . leaders had chiefly s o u g h t : " G e r m a n y obligates itself. T h e oddly drawn treaty with the Ottoman Empire therefore did not—if read literally—obligate the Turks to enter the war. In such c i r c u m s t a n c e s . which both s i d e s s i g n e d the following afternoon. On the G e r m a n side. * T h e treaty was signed the day after Germany had declared war on Russia. Germany had not been required to declare war by the terms of her treaty with Austria. P . a n d in s u c h c i r c u m s t a n c e s only. a n d w o u l d allow the G e r m a n military m i s s i o n in C o n s t a n t i n o p l e to exercise "effective influence" over the c o n d u c t of its a r m i e s . As later events were to show. Yet by the end of the day the three Y o u n g T u r k s had w r u n g an alliance agreement from the G e r m a n s . and E n v e r a n d his coc o n s p i r a t o r s c l a i m e d that the p r o g r a m of mobilization was not directed against the Allied P o w e r s . von W a n g e n h e i m w a s o p e r a t i n g under direct instructions from the head of his g o v e r n m e n t : the Chancellor in Berlin had m a d e it quite clear that the O t t o m a n p r o p o s a l s h o u l d be rejected unless the T u r k s h a d s o m e t h i n g u n e x p e c t e d l y significant to contribute to the G e r m a n c a u s e in the war. D e t a i l s of what was said in the c o u r s e of the b a r g a i n i n g are still not known.

G e r m a n y would protect the O t t o m a n Empire? Ill A couple of d e c a d e s a g o . A student of the G e r m a n diplomatic archives disclosed that they showed that on 1 A u g u s t 1914 E n v e r and T a l a a t . s u d d e n l y offered to t u r n over to G e r m a n y one of the m o s t powerful w a r s h i p s in the world: the Sultan Osman. If s o . in return. who only weeks before had said that the O t t o m a n E m p i r e at G e r m a n y ' s side w o u l d not be an "asset. however. a c u r i o u s fact c a m e to light. von W a n g e n h e i m ignored his instructions f r o m Berlin. b u t the T u r k s refused to be hurried into taking action. 2 0 T h e a r m y had been g u i d e d for several years by a G e r m a n military m i s s i o n . he m a y have been seeking to please the K a i s e r . hitherto skeptical of what the O t t o m a n E m p i r e could contribute." b e g a n to p r e s s for T u r k i s h aid against Britain as well as R u s s i a . Von W a n g e n h e i m a c c e p t e d the offer. What was that "something meaningful"? T h e c o m m o n a s s u m p t i o n o f historians s e e m s t o b e that the T u r k s offered nothing new that d a y — t h a t . On 5 A u g u s t the Chief of the G e r m a n General Staff. in effect. a n d B r i t i s h Intelligence r e p o r t s from behind G e r m a n lines two weeks later showed that officers of the G e r m a n fleet had eagerly e x p e c t e d to receive the vitally important 21 . von W a n g e n h e i m had g r a n t e d the Y o u n g T u r k s an alliance even t h o u g h he m u s t have believed that the O t t o m a n E m p i r e would not be r e a d y to fight until the war was a l m o s t over. S i n c e a l m o s t everybody's a s s u m p t i o n on 1 A u g u s t was that the war would be over within a few m o n t h s . now b e c a m e a n x i o u s to obtain T u r k i s h a s s i s t a n c e . in a meeting with A m b a s s a d o r von W a n g e n h e i m . then the q u e s t i o n which historians have not asked b e c o m e s intriguing: what d i d E n v e r offer G e r m a n y on 1 A u g u s t that was so i m p o r t a n t that the G e r m a n a m b a s s a d o r c h a n g e d his m i n d and agreed that. Y e t his instructions from Berlin were that he s h o u l d not conclude an alliance unless the Y o u n g T u r k s could p r o v e to him that they had s o m e t h i n g meaningful to contribute to the G e r m a n war effort.60 AT T H E C R O S S R O A D S OF HISTORY Berlin. If. von Wangenheim did a t t e m p t to follow the instructions he had received from Berlin. Indeed the lack of transportation facilities m a d e it i m p o s s i b l e for the e m p i r e to mobilize swiftly. s o the G e r m a n a m b a s s a d o r p r e s u m a b l y had been i n f o r m e d that it would be physically i m p o s s i b l e for the O t t o m a n E m p i r e to enter the war until the late a u t u m n or the winter. or it m a y be that the threatened o u t b r e a k of a general E u r o p e a n war led h i m to view the O t t o m a n E m p i r e as m o r e significant militarily than he had believed ten d a y s before.

In fact the G e r m a n s never discovered that they had been d u p e d . . Y e t the evidence cannot be d i s p u t e d . a n d only learned they could not do so when they received official notification of Churchill's action several d a y s later—after G e r m a n y h a d already signed a p l e d g e to protect the O t t o m a n E m p i r e against its enemies. 2 2 21 M i g h t this not p r o v i d e the answer to an earlier question? V o n W a n g e n h e i m was not s u p p o s e d to g r a n t the O t t o m a n E m p i r e an alliance unless the T u r k s could show that they would m a k e a material contribution to the defeat of the Allies. the T u r k s s u s p e c t e d on 29 J u l y that Churchill was a b o u t to seize the Osman. O n the s a m e d a y that E n v e r a n d T a l a a t m a d e their offer to G e r m a n y — 1 A u g u s t 1 9 1 4 — E n v e r revealed to fellow Y o u n g T u r k leaders that Britain had seized the Osman. H i s t o r i a n s have not e x a m i n e d this e p i s o d e in any great detail. p o s s i b l y b e c a u s e on the s u r f a c e it s e e m s so difficult to explain. Was not the offer of the Osman on 1 A u g u s t . B u t nonetheless he a g r e e d to an alliance on 1 A u g u s t . in secret. in p a s s i n g . it would have been political suicide for any O t t o m a n leader to even p r o p o s e to do s o . and on 31 J u l y protested that he had already d o n e s o — i t is entirely p o s s i b l e that even before 1 A u g u s t Enver knew that the battleship had b e e n taken by B r i t a i n . they could have m a d e it with impunity. therefore. s o m e twenty years ago a student of the O t t o m a n archives m e n t i o n e d . E n v e r a n d T a l a a t could not p o s s i b l y have intended to give away T u r k e y ' s prize battleship. T h e y s e e m to have a s s u m e d that E n v e r a n d T a l a a t meant to keep their side of the b a r g a i n . when the week before he had not believed that the O t t o m a n a r m e d forces could m a k e s u c h a contribution. a conversation that might p r o v i d e a n explanation. in L o n d o n . a n d in which the e m p i r e took s u c h p r i d e . in which the p o p u l a c e had invested so m u c h emotion as well as money. T h u s on 1 A u g u s t he already knew! I n d e e d — s i n c e it is now known that. largely in return (it is s p e c u l a t e d here) for E n v e r ' s a n d T a l a a t ' s worthless p r o m i s e .CHURCHILL SEIZES TURKEY'S WARSHIPS 61 new w a r s h i p — a n d a p p a r e n t l y were bitterly d i s a p p o i n t e d when Churchill seized the vessel i n s t e a d . the material contribution that b o u g h t E n v e r a n d T a l a a t their G e r m a n alliance? If E n v e r a n d T a l a a t knew before m a k i n g their secret offer that they had already lost the Osman to B r i t a i n — t h a t it was therefore no longer theirs to d i s p o s e of—they could have m a d e the offer. they m a d e von W a n g e n h e i m the offer. In another connection.

the Breslau. could m o r e conveniently c o m e t o C o n s t a n t i n o p l e . consisting of the powerful Goeben and its sister s h i p . On 3 A u g u s t the G e r m a n A d m i r a l t y d i s p a t c h e d o r d e r s to that effect to R e a r . P r e s u m a b l y E n v e r already knew that he had lost the battleship to B r i t a i n . Significantly.7 AN I N T R I G U E AT T H E S U B L I M E PORTE i In the c o u r s e of the secret negotiations between G e r m a n y and the Y o u n g T u r k s in C o n s t a n t i n o p l e on 1 A u g u s t . none of the three m e n a p p e a r s to have believed that the Osman might be available to fulfill that function. It s e e m e d to t h e m that naval m a s t e r y was essential if a successful c a m p a i g n were to be m o u n t e d . and with the head of the G e r m a n military mission.B u l g a r i a n armies a free hand in invading R u s s i a . T h e wireless m e s s a g e reached S o u c h o n in the early m o r n i n g of 4 A u g u s t . when he was close to the coast of Algeria where he intended to disrupt the flow of t r o o p s f r o m F r e n c h N o r t h Africa to the m a i n l a n d of F r a n c e . where G e r m a n 62 . L i m a n a n d von Wangenheim r e q u e s t e d their g o v e r n m e n t to send the G e r m a n s h i p s to T u r k e y . Otto L i m a n von S a n d e r s . while the G e r m a n s believed that the v e s s e l — u n d e r orders from E n v e r — w a s g o i n g to join the G e r m a n fleet at a N o r t h S e a port. the Minister of War. s h o u l d c o m e to C o n s t a n t i n o p l e to strengthen the O t t o m a n fleet in the Black S e a so as to give the T u r k i s h . E n v e r . H a n s von W a n g e n h e i m .A d m i r a l Wilhelm S o u c h o n . T h e y concluded that the G e r m a n M e d i t e r r a n e a n fleet. S o u c h o n first shelled two port cities of Algeria. D e c i d i n g not to turn back immediately. c o m m a n d e r o f the Mediterranean S q u a d r o n . T h e three m e n d i s c u s s e d the form that military collaboration between their countries m i g h t take if T u r k e y a n d B u l g a r i a should contract with each other to join in a war against R u s s i a on G e r m a n y ' s side. which already were in the M e d i t e r r a n e a n . 1 After the conference. a n d only then t u r n e d back to refuel in the neutral Italian port of M e s s i n a in Sicily. held a private meeting in the G e r m a n e m b a s s y in C o n s t a n tinople with the G e r m a n a m b a s s a d o r . so that the Goeben a n d the Breslau.

b u t is now Y u g o s l a v i a ) ." the P r i m e Minister's daughter later told Churchill. which is what he s u p p o s e d she would d o . E n v e r had not consulted his colleagues before inviting the G e r m a n warships to C o n s t a n t i n o p l e . or the A d m i r a l t y that the O t t o m a n E m p i r e ought to figure in strategic calculations. as there was of military c o m p e t e n c e at sea. the British. When the Goeben and her sister s h i p . and determined to p r o c e e d to T u r k e y to force the i s s u e . S o u c h o n did encounter a British naval contingent as he s t e a m e d eastward. S o u c h o n received a telegram from Berlin apparently c h a n g i n g his o r d e r s again. On the British side there was as m a s s i v e a failure of political imagination in L o n d o n . they were by no m e a n s a n x i o u s to be drawn into the fighting. Instead he found the way clear. S o u c h o n ' s force arrived at the entrance to the straits of the D a r d a n e l l e s . S l o w e d d o w n by defective boilers on the Goeben. T h e y a s s u m e d that when he h e a d e d east it was in order to elude them a n d d o u b l e back t o w a r d the west. the War Office. After p r o d i g i e s of exertion on the part of the G e r m a n s . and when the O t t o m a n g o v e r n m e n t learned that the s h i p s were en route. 2 . a n d the c o m m a n d i n g E n g l i s h admiral positioned his naval s q u a d r o n to intercept her when she should c o m e out of the straits of M e s s i n a after refueling. He placed his s q u a d r o n west of Sicily. e m e r g e d from the straits of M e s s i n a on 6 A u g u s t . far to the northeast. A m u c h smaller force was already stationed in the Adriatic S e a . Neither in L o n d o n nor in the field did anybody in c o m m a n d consider the possibility that A d m i r a l S o u c h o n might be h e a d e d toward C o n s t a n t i n o p l e . w h o m Churchill had o r d e r e d to s h a d o w the Goeben. "It was all the A d m i r a l s ' fault. a n d set his c o u r s e toward the A e g e a n . the s q u a d r o n did not reach M e s s i n a until the m o r n i n g of 5 August. It s e e m s never to have occurred to the F o r e i g n Office. to block her s h o u l d she attempt to return to her h o m e port of Pola (in what "was then A u s t r i a . had lost sight of her u n d e r cover of night on 4 A u g u s t . the Breslau. T h i s personal decision of the G e r m a n admiral was a turning point in events. Berlin cabled S o u c h o n that his call on the O t t o m a n capital was "not possible". but it withdrew rather than risk battle with the formidable Goeben. to meet her as she returned to attack N o r t h Africa again. it warned Berlin not to let t h e m c o m e . b u t S o u c h o n chose to interpret this merely as a w a r n i n g rather than as an order. a n d of b l u n d e r i n g on the part of the E n g l i s h p u r s u e r s . instead of p u t t i n g two at one end a n d none at the o t h e r ? " S h e advised him to retire all his a d m i r a l s a n d p r o m o t e captains in their place. "Who but an A d m i r a l would not have p u t a battle-cruiser at both e n d s of the M e s s i n a S t r a i t s .AN INTRIGUE AT THE SUBLIME PORTE 63 coaling-stations awaited him. but on the 5th s h e was sighted again. At his refueling s t o p . Meanwhile. A d m i r a l S o u c h o n expected to find his way blocked by a superior British force.

s o m e t h i n g would . In reply to a request for clarification. as a neutral. on 9 A u g u s t . a n d Churchill angrily d a s h e d off a telegram to his forces ordering them to institute a blockade of the D a r d a n e l l e s . b u t unless von W a n g e n h e i m wanted to a b a n d o n the Goeben a n d Breslau to the long-range g u n s of the British navy. P . it could have been c o n s t r u e d in Constantinople as an act of war. so that if T u r k e y refused t h e m admittance to the straits. V o n W a n g e n h e i m h a d barely recovered from the extortionate d e m a n d s of 6 A u g u s t when. He had no authority to issue s u c h an order on his own a n d . he had no choice b u t to a g r e e . had the order been carried out. I n s t e a d . the G r a n d Vizier d i s c u s s e d the fate of the Goeben a n d Breslau with the G e r m a n a m b a s s a d o r . it b e c a m e clear that his t e r m s were s t e e p . was obliged either to send the G e r m a n s h i p s b a c k out or to intern t h e m . At the A d m i r a l t y in L o n d o n . they would be t r a p p e d between the T u r k i s h forts in front of them a n d the British s q u a d r o n behind t h e m . B u t . T h e British M e d i t e r r a n e a n S q u a d r o n was following close behind the two G e r m a n s h i p s . T h e G r a n d Vizier. the G r a n d Vizier had m o r e news for the G e r m a n a m b a s s a d o r . T h e O t t o m a n g o v e r n m e n t did neither.64 AT THE CROSSROADS OF HISTORY II At 1:00 in the m o r n i n g on 6 A u g u s t . S a i d H a l i m a n n o u n c e d that the O t t o m a n E m p i r e might join with G r e e c e a n d R u m a n i a in a public pact of neutrality in the E u r o p e a n conflict. the A d m i r a l t y cabled back that there had been a "mistake in wording" a n d "no blockade i n t e n d e d . a n d thus of privileges hitherto a c c o r d e d to the G e r m a n s a n d other E u r o p e a n s . F r o m a G e r m a n point of view these p r o p o s a l s were o u t r a g e o u s . U . T u r k e y ' s decision to admit the G e r m a n w a r s h i p s looked like collusion between Constantinople and Berlin. S a i d H a l i m . priorities—abolition of the C a p i t u l a t i o n s . a n n o u n c e d that his g o v e r n m e n t had decided to allow the G e r m a n ships to enter the straits so that they could m a k e g o o d their e s c a p e . as well as other E u r o p e a n s . T h e T u r k s had h i m a t g u n point. Churchill a n d his colleagues had no idea that what really was going on was extortion. Other p r o p o s a l s guaranteed T u r k e y a share of the spoils of victory if G e r m a n y won the war. T h e y showed t h a t — c o n t r a r y to what British observers believed—the Y o u n g T u r k g o v e r n m e n t intended t o escape domination by the G e r m a n s . he said. If s o . the legal situation p r o m p t e d the Porte to extract further concessions from the G e r m a n s . " Instead the British ships were to wait in international waters for the G e r m a n s h i p s to c o m e out. conditions were attached to this p e r m i s s i o n . the first of which was high on the list of C . a n d when he a n n o u n c e d what they were. 3 4 Britain protested to the S u l t a n ' s g o v e r n m e n t that under accepted conventions of international law T u r k e y . T h e Porte d e m a n d e d that G e r m a n y accept six far-reaching p r o p o s a l s .

British g o v e r n m e n t leaders were certain that there was a connection between the two events. T h e Y o u n g T u r k leaders. D j e m a l P a s h a . On 10 A u g u s t the G e r m a n Chancellor cabled von W a n g e n h e i m from Berlin rejecting this T u r k i s h p r o p o s a l a n d u r g i n g i m m e d i a t e T u r k i s h entry into the war. however. a n d at a ceremony on 16 A u g u s t the Minister of the M a r i n e . even today. T h e Porte p r o p o s e d a fictitious p u r c h a s e of the two w a r s h i p s : the T u r k s w o u l d take over ownership of the vessels. Churchill b e c a m e a n g r y at the T u r k s . were reluctant to involve the e m p i r e in the E u r o p e a n conflict. the G e r m a n s should do it for t h e m . a n d on 14 A u g u s t a frustrated von W a n g e n h e i m a d v i s e d Berlin that there w a s no choice b u t to go along with the "sale". 5 It was little m o r e than a week since angry schoolchildren had p o u r e d into the streets of C o n s t a n t i n o p l e to protest at Churchill's seizure of the battleships that had been p u r c h a s e d with their m o n e y ." 6 7 In turn. Von W a n g e n h e i m refused the p r o p o s a l .AN INTRIGUE AT THE SUBLIME PORTE 65 have to be done a b o u t the continuing presence of the Goeben a n d the Breslau in T u r k i s h waters so as not to c o m p r o m i s e T u r k i s h neutrality. historians continue to repeat that account of the affair. H i s advice was heeded. T h e O t t o m a n g o v e r n m e n t t h e r e u p o n unilaterally issued a public declaration falsely claiming that it had b o u g h t the two G e r m a n cruisers a n d had p a i d eighty million m a r k s for them. In L o n d o n the entire e p i s o d e was viewed as a calculated G e r m a n m a n e u v e r d e s i g n e d to show that G e r m a n y was generously restoring to the O t t o m a n E m p i r e the type of m o d e r n warships that Churchill had wrongfully taken a w a y . a n d d e cided that. Public opinion t h r o u g h o u t the e m p i r e was elated. where the G r a n d Vizier angrily r e p r o a c h e d him for the p r e m a t u r e arrival of the Goeben a n d the Breslau. On 17 A u g u s t the . while his sailors were given fezzes a n d O t t o m a n u n i f o r m s . a n d . S a i d H a l i m repeated his p r o p o s a l that the ships should be transferred to T u r k i s h o w n e r s h i p . A d m i r a l S o u c h o n was a p p o i n t e d c o m m a n d e r of the O t t o m a n Black S e a Fleet. to d i s a v o w it risked turning local sentiment violently a r o u n d against the G e r m a n c a u s e . for the time being. and w o u l d pretend to have p a i d for t h e m . I g n o r i n g his own government's c o m plicity in the affair of the G e r m a n w a r s h i p s . In that way there could be no objection to the s h i p s r e m a i n i n g in T u r k e y . formally received the vessels into the O t t o m a n navy. there w o u l d be no breaching of the laws of neutrality. and went t h r o u g h the f o r m s of enlisting in the S u l t a n ' s n a v y . T h e P r i m e Minister's c o m m e n t a b o u t T u r k e y ' s " p u r c h a s e " of the G e r m a n s h i p s was that " T h e T u r k s are very a n g r y — n o t u n n a t u r a l l y — a t Winston's seizure of their battleships here. T h e T u r k s did not have the trained officers and crews that were needed to operate a n d maintain s u c h sophisticated vessels. Von Wangenheim was s u m m o n e d that day to the S u b l i m e Porte.

but D e e d e s u r g e d that the effort s h o u l d be m a d e . they would c a u s e or allow the O t t o m a n E m p i r e to be partitioned. It a p p e a r e d . " C a b i n e t opinion. who a r g u e d that it w o u l d be d a m a g i n g for Britain to a p p e a r to be the a g g r e s s o r against the Ottoman Empire. Of course the Porte was u p s e t a b o u t the seizure of the s h i p s . As early as 26 A u g u s t A d m i r a l L i m p u s had reported to Churchill that "Constantinople is almost completely in G e r m a n h a n d s at this moment. that explanation was u n t r u e : the battleships were not at the heart of the p r o b l e m . W y n d h a m D e e d e s . was swayed by the views of the Secretary of S t a t e for War and the Secretary of S t a t e for I n d i a . b u t would not change its p r o . to a s s u m e positions in the O t t o m a n a r m e d forces. ( E n v e r did not mention that.) 9 D e e d e s was a l a r m e d by his conversation with the T u r k i s h a m b a s s a d o r . T h e T u r k i s h a m b a s s a d o r told D e e d e s that if the Allies won the war. no s u c h partition would be allowed to o c c u r . that T u r k e y w a s drifting into the enemy c a m p b e c a u s e of her fears of Allied intentions. Churchill. in his m o s t bellicose m o o d all for s e n d i n g a t o r p e d o flotilla thro' the D a r d a n e l l e s — t o threaten & if necessary to sink the Goeben & her c o n s o r t . however." 10 . G e r m a n y had given a written g u a r a n t e e to protect O t t o m a n territory. through neutral B u l g a r i a . that the O t t o m a n E m p i r e was m o v i n g toward the e n e m y c a m p . T h a t was why the Porte had b e c o m e proG e r m a n . went to see his friend. S i n c e Britain had allied herself with R u s s i a — R u s s i a . in fact. L o r d K i t c h e n e r . D e e d e s denied that the Allies would allow the O t t o m a n E m p i r e to be partitioned. who had returned from T u r k e y to E n g l a n d in a daring journey via Berlin. 8 F e a r of R u s s i a n e x p a n s i o n i s m w a s at the heart of the Porte's policy. and the plausible explanation c o m m o n l y a c c e p t e d in L o n d o n was that it was Churchill's seizure of the T u r k i s h battleships which had c a u s e d that to h a p p e n . which he r e g a r d e d as b e c o m i n g e n e m y territory. in L o n d o n a n d discovered that. while if G e r m a n y won the war. meanwhile. Information reaching h i m in the last half of A u g u s t indicated that G e r m a n officers a n d m e n were m o v i n g overland. and its existence was not revealed until m a n y years later. however. a n d warned the new British War Minister.66 AT THE CROSSROADS OF HISTORY P r i m e Minister noted that "Winston. in addition.G e r m a n policy even if the ships were r e t u r n e d . b u t the a m b a s s a d o r had been told by E n v e r that the Allied Powers had given similar a s s u r a n c e s years before but had not kept their w o r d . was increasingly belligerent toward the O t t o m a n E m p i r e . He a n d his colleagues continued to keep their treaty of alliance with G e r m a n y a secret. which had been a t t e m p t i n g to d i s m e m b e r the O t t o m a n E m p i r e for a century a n d a half—it w o u l d be no easy task to reassure the Porte. the O t t o m a n a m b a s s a d o r .

B o t h a m b a s s a d o r s recognized. 1 1 F r e e p a s s a g e t h r o u g h the D a r d a n e l l e s had been a s s u r e d b y treaty. T h i s cut off the flow of Allied m e r c h a n t s h i p p i n g a n d thus struck a crippling blow. and once again they a p p e a r e d to have been provoked to do so by the actions of Winston Churchill. On 1 S e p t e m b e r he initiated staff talks between the A d m i r a l t y a n d the War Office to plan an attack on T u r k e y in the event of war. f r o m the point of view of the G e r m a n g o v e r n m e n t . the situation was baffling a n d frustrating. T h i s was a b l u n d e r : it drove the T u r k s to strike b a c k with s t u n n i n g effectiveness. T h r o u g h them she sent 50 percent of her export t r a d e . in violation of O t t o m a n neutrality. notably her wheat c r o p which. however. enabled her to buy a r m s a n d a m m u n i t i o n for the w a r . a n d the G e r m a n a n d A u s t r i a n a m b a s s a d o r s received repeated d e m a n d s f r o m their h o m e g o v e r n m e n t s to p u s h the T u r k s into taking action. Its position of passive hostility left Churchill baffled a n d f r u s t r a t e d . T h e following day he received authority f r o m the C a b i n e t to sink T u r k i s h vessels if they issued from the D a r d a n e l l e s in c o m p a n y with the Goeben a n d Breslau. P u r s u a n t to Churchill's authorization. G e r m a n military officers a t t e m p t i n g to b r i n g T u r k e y into the war found themselves driven to anger a n d d e s p a i r . that whatever the Y o u n g T u r k s ' ultimate intentions m i g h t b e . they could have seen that T u r k e y ' s m i n i n g of the straits threatened to b r i n g d o w n C z a r i s t R u s s i a a n d . for. 12 Ill T h o u g h Churchill d i d not know it. too. Y e t the O t t o m a n E m p i r e m a d e no m o v e to declare war. it had G e r m a n sailors a b o a r d . with her. the s q u a d r o n s t o p p e d a T u r k i s h t o r p e d o boat on 27 S e p t e m b e r a n d turned it back. In retaliation. in t u r n . E n v e r P a s h a authorized the G e r m a n officer c o m m a n d i n g the T u r k i s h defenses of the D a r d a n e l l e s to order the straits to be sealed off a n d to c o m p l e t e the laying of minefields across t h e m . L a t e r he authorized his D a r d a n e l l e s s q u a d r o n c o m m a n d e r to u s e his own discretion as to whether to turn back T u r k i s h vessels attempting t o c o m e out from the D a r d a n e l l e s b y themselves. T h e D a r d a n e l l e s had been R u s s i a ' s one ice-free m a r i t i m e p a s s a g e w a y to the west. Berlin w a s bitterly d i s a p p o i n t e d that the continuing presence of the Goeben a n d Breslau did not provoke Britain into declaring war.f: AN I N T R I G U E AT T H E S U B L I M E PORTE 67 Churchill continued to p r e s s for action. the Allied c a u s e . once again the O t t o m a n authorities were violating their obligations u n d e r international law. H a d the Allied leaders realized that the F i r s t World War w a s g o i n g to develop into a long war of attrition. the G r a n d Vizier .

L i m a n pointed out that Enver's recent statements and military dispositions indicated that the C . it will be recalled. B u l g a r i a sat astride T u r k e y ' s principal land route to the rest of E u r o p e a n d — o f m o r e i m m e d i a t e i m p o r t a n c e — w a s a n e i g h b o r who coveted additional territory. for lack of m o n e y a n d food. the e m p i r e would be helpless. he r a g e d against the Y o u n g T u r k s . this meant that the O t t o m a n E m p i r e . h e s p o k e o f challenging E n v e r a n d D j e m a l to d u e l s . a n d L i m a n von S a n d e r s p r e s u p p o s e d that B u l g a r i a a n d the O t t o m a n E m p i r e would c o m b i n e forces. I n d e e d .68 AT THE CROSSROADS OF HISTORY and his colleagues had valid reasons for not m o v i n g toward intervention in the E u r o p e a n conflict immediately. the c a m p a i g n plan that had been worked out on 1 A u g u s t by E n v e r . Were B u l g a r i a to invade T u r k e y while the O t t o m a n armies were away fighting the R u s s i a n s . P . however. T u r k i s h negotiations with neighboring B a l k a n countries. as the G e r m a n s in C o n s t a n t i n o p l e had been m a d e to u n d e r s t a n d . W a n g e n h e i m . B u t in C o n s t a n t i n o p l e only two d a y s later. G e n e r a l L i m a n von S a n d e r s — f r o m the o p p o s i t e point of v i e w — d e s p a i r e d of b r i n g i n g T u r k e y into the war a n d sent a r e q u e s t to the K a i s e r that he a n d his military mission be allowed to return h o m e . In his r e q u e s t to the K a i s e r . M o r e o v e r . a n d particularly with B u l g a r i a . too. " 13 T h e B u l g a r i a n s . L i k e Churchill. a n d while T a l a a t s u c c e e d e d in negotiating a defensive treaty with B u l g a r i a . w o u l d continue to maintain its neutrality. intended to keep T u r k e y on the sidelines until the war was over. F r o m the beginning. a n d it was not clear. a n d . " S u r e l y . which p r o v i d e d for m u t u a l assistance in certain c i r c u m s t a n c e s in case either country was attacked by a third party. the Porte h a d m a d e clear its view that T u r k e y could intervene in the war only in p a r t n e r s h i p with B u l g a r i a . once mobilization had been c o m p l e t e d . Churchill. were reluctant to c o m m i t themselves. had not yet c o m e to fruition. A t roughly the s a m e t i m e that A d m i r a l L i m p u s was reporting t o 1 4 15 . no longer believed in T u r k i s h neutrality a n d had p r o p o s e d to the C a b i n e t that a flotilla be sent up to the D a r d a n e l l e s to sink the Goeben a n d Breslau. the t e r m s of the treaty were inapplicable to the situation that would arise if T u r k e y s h o u l d join G e r m a n y in the war against R u s s i a . U . Berlin a n d L o n d o n b o t h viewed C o n s t a n t i n o p l e with d e s p o n d e n c y . if the Porte continued to keep them in a state of m o b i l i z a t i o n . or at least until it b e c a m e clear b e y o n d a d o u b t that G e r m a n y was g o i n g to win it. signed on 19 A u g u s t . B u l g a r i a was not p r e p a r e d to intervene in the R u s s o . He also pointed out that the O t t o m a n armies might collapse even before entering the war. " G e r m a n y would not want T u r k e y to c o m m i t s u i c i d e . Mobilization of the a r m e d forces was not yet c o m p l e t e d . " the G r a n d Vizier r e m a r k e d to the G e r m a n a m b a s s a d o r . how the fragile O t t o m a n exchequer could continue to s u p p o r t it.G e r m a n conflict.

w h e r e u p o n it b e c a m e evident how skillful the T u r k i s h leaders had been in flirting without c o m m i t t i n g themselves. while the Allied a m b a s s a d o r s . in p r e s e n t i n g a joint E u r o p e a n protest to the Porte. a n d threatened that he a n d the military mission w o u l d p a c k up a n d leave for h o m e immediately. T h e G e r m a n a m b a s s a d o r flew into a rage u p o n receiving the news. w a s u n a b l e to explain to his h o m e g o v e r n m e n t how unrealistic. T h e K a i s e r . w h o m the a m b a s s a d o r had once d e s c r i b e d as s t a n d i n g "like a rock for G e r m a n y . when the Porte s udde n l y a n n o u n c e d its unilateral a b r o g a t i o n of the C a p i t u l a t i o n s privileges o f all foreign p o w e r s — i n c l u d i n g G e r m a n y . T h a t they stayed illustrated the i m p r o v e m e n t in the T u r k i s h b a r g a i n i n g position since late J u l y . however. T h e Porte went O c t o b e r all foreign were m a d e s u b j e c t on foreign i m p o r t s a h e a d to p u t its decision into effect. a n d c u s t o m s d u t ie s not only were taken over.AN INTRIGUE AT THE SUBLIME PORTE 69 Winston Churchill that C o n s t a n t i n o p l e w a s almost completely in G e r m a n h a n d s . E n v e r ' s colleagues were still o p p o s e d to intervention. IV C o n s i d e r i n g the tangible benefits that h a d b e g u n to flow f r o m the policy of non-intervention. " believed that the time for action had not yet c o m e : T u r k e y was not ready militarily a n d . the G e r m a n a n d A u s t r i a n a m b a s s a d o r s joined with their enemies in the war. refused L i m a n ' s r e q u e s t that h e s h o u l d b e allowed to return to G e r m a n y . b u t were also raised. in t u r n . von W a n g e n h e i m . In early p o s t offices in the e m p i r e were c l o s e d . T h e G e r m a n a m b a s s a d o r . E v e n E n v e r . foreigners t o T u r k i s h laws a n d c o u r t s . a n d thereafter Berlin s t e p p e d u p the p r e s s u r e t o b r i n g T u r k e y into the war. however. the British. G e n e r a l L i m a n von S a n d e r s w a s reporting t o the K a i s e r that the whole a t m o s p h e r e of C o n s t a n t i n o p l e m a d e it a l m o s t u n b e a r a b l e for G e r m a n officers to continue their service t h e r e . in any event. I n a n extraordinary m a n e u v e r . at least for the time being. G e r m a n y ' s plan to win the war quickly by a r a p i d victory in western E u r o p e h a d collapsed at the first Battle of the M a r n e in early S e p t e m b e r . neither he nor the m i s s i o n left. a n d R u s s i a n a m b a s s a d o r s . that project a p p e a r e d to be in C o n s t a n t i n o p l e . F r e n c h . F o r the G e r m a n a n d A u s t r i a n a m b a s s a d o r s privately intimated to the Porte that they w o u l d not p r e s s the issue for the time being. In the event. intimated that they w o u l d accept the T u r k i s h decision if T u r k e y continued to remain neutral. 1 6 1 7 T h e difference between the ultimate objectives of the two g o v e r n m e n t s b e c a m e vividly evident on 8 S e p t e m b e r 1914. it s e e m s astonishing that at a b o u t this time E n v e r P a s h a b e g a n to plot against that policy a n d against its .

m a y have played a role in his calculations. s u p p o r t e d by the Goeben a n d Breslau. H u n d r e d s of t h o u s a n d s of R u s s i a n t r o o p s had been killed or c a p t u r e d by the G e r m a n s . she would have to intervene s o o n . until now h a d seen no reason to hazard 1 9 . " a n d a d d i n g "that. a n d the o p p o r t u n i s t i c E n v e r s e e m s to have been jolted into believing that it was his last chance to j u m p a b o a r d . a n d that the G r a n d Vizier was m o r e likely than his o p p o n e n t to b e l o n g to the latter c l a s s . but in S e p t e m b e r . On 26 S e p t e m b e r E n v e r personally o r d e r e d the closing of the D a r d a n e l l e s to all foreign s h i p s (in effect. T h e British F o r e i g n Office. in the wake of the R u s s i a n collapse. " 18 W o u l d it have been p o s s i b l e for a well-informed British a m b a s s a d o r to have exerted s o m e influence on the evolution of events in C o n s t a n t i n o p l e ? H i s t o r i a n s continue to debate the question. T h e G e r m a n victory train was leaving the station. later r e m e m b e r e d remarking that "nothing but the assassination of E n v e r would keep T u r k e y from joining G e r m a n y . a n d of c o u r s e there is now no way to p u t the matter to the t e s t . . for T a l a a t headed the principal faction in the party. and in the o n g o i n g battle of the M a s u r i a n L a k e s that b e g a n in S e p t e m b e r . A b i d for power was taking place in Constantinople behind closed d o o r s . P . U . A week later he told von Wangenheim that the G r a n d Vizier was no longer in control of the situation. which knew next to nothing a b o u t the internal politics of the C . leaders. Other C . what was g o i n g on in the a u t u m n of 1914 was a p r o c e s s in which rival factions and personalities m a n e u v e r e d for s u p p o r t within the C . before G e r m a n y had won an u n a i d e d victory. a n d even a less i m p e t u o u s observer than E n v e r might have c o n c l u d e d that R u s s i a was a b o u t to lose the war. while s h a r i n g Enver's belief that G e r m a n y would p r o b a b l y win the war. there were a p t to be two classes of p e r s o n — a s s a s s i n s a n d a s s a s s i n a t e d . P . Enver's g r o w i n g influence c a m e from winning over T a l a a t B e y to his point of view. I n J u l y a n d A u g u s t his policy had been motivated b y fear of R u s s i a n seizures of T u r k i s h territory. He switched f r o m a defensive to an aggressive policy. U . in times of crisis a n d violence in T u r k e y . I t m a y b e s u r m i s e d that the spectacular G e r m a n military t r i u m p h s over the R u s s i a n s at the battle of T a n n e n b e r g at the end of A u g u s t . the F o r e i g n Secretary. to Allied s h i p p i n g ) without consulting his colleagues. if T u r k e y wanted to win a share of R u s s i a n territory. S i r E d w a r d G r e y .70 AT THE CROSSROADS OF HISTORY leading p r o p o n e n t . took a simplistic view of the affair. O b s c u r e though the details remain. the G r a n d Vizier. H i s switch was a turning point in O t t o m a n and M i d d l e E a s t e r n affairs. p e r s u a d e d E n v e r that. T h e substantial G e r m a n military presence in C o n s t a n t i n o p l e . Central C o m m i t t e e . P . he s e e m s to have turned to t h o u g h t s of T u r k e y seizing R u s s i a n territory. b u t what E n v e r had in m i n d is m o r e likely to have been the c o u r s e of the R u s s o G e r m a n war. U .

2 0 On 10 O c t o b e r . o f c o u r s e . As War Minister a n d G e r m a n y ' s best friend. he failed to see that bets can be lost as well as won. E n v e r reported this to the G e r m a n s on 23 O c t o b e r . nonetheless. younger a n d m o r e i m p e t u o u s than Churchill b u t filled with m u c h the s a m e passion for glory. F a i l i n g that. E n v e r a s s u r e d the G e r m a n s that he c o u l d b r i n g T u r k e y into the war by m i d . All he n e e d e d . E n v e r . and D j e m a l conferred. In putting his chips on G e r m a n y . E n v e r gave up a t t e m p t i n g to p e r s u a d e his p a r t y and his g o v e r n m e n t to intervene in the war. on the b a s i s of his following in the Central C o m m i t t e e — w h i c h . On 11 O c t o b e r . he stood to benefit personally from the m a n y o p p o r t u n i t i e s to increase his fame a n d position that war at G e r m a n y ' s side would offer. Minister of the M a r i n e . A d a s h i n g figure who had enjoyed almost unlimited luck b u t had d e m o n s t r a t e d only limited ability. O v e r s t a t i n g his political strength. He could not get T u r k e y to declare war on the Allies so he pinned his hopes on a plan to provoke the Allied g o v e r n m e n t s to declare war on Turkey.O c t o b e r . w a s G e r m a n gold to s u p p o r t the army. T a l a a t . T h e G e r m a n s . in reality. a n d informed the G e r m a n s that their faction was now c o m m i t t e d to war a n d would authorize A d m i r a l S o u c h o n to attack R u s s i a as soon as G e r m a n y deposited two million T u r k i s h p o u n d s in gold in C o n s t a n t i n o p l e to s u p p o r t the a r m e d forces. D j e m a l . he told t h e m . was T a l a a t ' s following—that he could install a new pro-interventionist g o v e r n m e n t . T h e second s h i p m e n t arrived in C o n s t a n t i n o p l e on 21 October.AN INTRIGUE AT THE SUBLIME PORTE 71 their empire's future on the accuracy of that prediction. Halil. T a l a a t a n d Halil then c h a n g e d their m i n d s : they p r o p o s e d to keep the gold b u t . he said. while E n v e r was a warrior. On 9 O c t o b e r . he t h o u g h t he was m a k i n g an investm e n t — w h e n he was d o i n g no m o r e than placing a w a g e r . w o u l d be to try to g a i n the s u p p o r t of D j e m a l P a s h a . T h e next m o v e . he s a i d . E n v e r a n d D j e m a l issued secret o r d e r s allowing A d m i r a l S o u c h o n to lead the Goeben a n d Breslau into the Black S e a to attack R u s s i a n vessels. L i m a n had reported to the K a i s e r that they w o u l d be in i m m i n e n t d a n g e r of collapse without it. Enver's plan w a s to claim that the warships had been attacked . he p l a n n e d to provoke a C a b i n e t c r i s i s . s h i p p i n g the gold b y rail t h r o u g h neutral R u m a n i a . were already aware that the O t t o m a n forces w o u l d need m o n e y . he claimed. T h o u g h h e later a n n o u n c e d that T a l a a t had s w u n g back again to the pro-interventionist c a u s e . but claimed that it did not matter as long as he could still count on the other military service minister. President of the C h a m b e r of D e p u t i e s . E n v e r informed von W a n g e n h e i m that he had won the s u p p o r t of T a l a a t a n d of Halil B e y . T h e y were politicians. D j e m a l joined the conspiracy. T h e G e r m a n s r e s p o n d e d b y s e n d i n g a million p o u n d s on 12 O c t o b e r a n d a further million on 17 O c t o b e r . to remain neutral in the war.

were t i e d . A p p a r e n t l y the c o n s e n s u s a p p r o x i m a t e d the thinking of A s q u i t h in Britain j u s t before the outbreak of war: that the first priority was to maintain party unity. 21 On 31 O c t o b e r E n v e r reported to the G e r m a n s that his colleagues in the Cabinet insisted on d i s p a t c h i n g a note of apology to the R u s s i a n s . he now found himself isolated in the C a b i n e t . resignations were tendered. led by the G r a n d Vizier a n d the Minister of F i n a n c e . When the T u r k s did not c o m p l y . T h e British were unaware of the deep split in Y o u n g T u r k ranks and believed the Porte to have been in collusion with G e r m a n y all along. it deferred to the views of the minority. a n d resignations were withd r a w n . E n v e r . he s a i d . on his own initiative he dispatched an order to his forces in the M e d i t e r r a n e a n on the afternoon of 31 O c t o b e r to " C o m m e n c e hostilities at once against T u r k e y . R e s p o n d i n g to S o u c h o n ' s attack even before the Porte drafted its a p o l o g y .72 AT THE CROSSROADS OF HISTORY by the R u s s i a n s a n d had been forced to defend themselves. d i s o b e y e d E n v e r ' s o r d e r s a n d openly started the fighting by b o m b a r d i n g the R u s s i a n coast. T h o u g h E n v e r and his G e r m a n co-conspirators did not yet know it. the details of which were veiled even f r o m the normally well-informed G e r m a n s and A u s t r i a n s . having " d u p e d " his colleagues a b o u t the attack on R u s s i a . to s p r e a d the w a r . was "to force the T u r k s . T h e G r a n d Vizier and the C a b i n e t forced E n v e r to cable an o r d e r to A d m i r a l S o u c h o n to cease fire. the C a b i n e t authorized the s e n d i n g of an ultimatum requiring the T u r k s immediately to expel the G e r m a n military mission a n d to remove the G e r m a n officers and m e n from the Goeben a n d Breslau. coalitions were f o r m e d . a n d D j e m a l in the view that the O t t o m a n E m p i r e now ought to enter the war. however. A d m i r a l S o u c h o n . T h e incident led to an o p e n s h o w d o w n in C o n s t a n t i n o p l e . A political crisis ensued that lasted for nearly two d a y s . he stated later. T h e r e were meetings of the O t t o m a n Cabinet a n d of the C . O n c e again the G e r m a n admiral gave history a p u s h . Churchill did not bother to refer the matter back to the C a b i n e t . his h a n d s . P . even against their will. D e b a t e was joined. threats were issued. H i s p u r p o s e . it was all too clear that the Goeben a n d Breslau had struck a p r e m e d i t a t e d blow. there was no need for a l a r m : in L o n d o n the British C a b i n e t had already risen to the bait. T u r k e y was u n a w a r e that . " 2 2 2 3 T h e British admiral who received Churchill's order d i d not carry it out immediately a n d . " As a result of his actions. b u t E n v e r said that. rather than allow a party split to occur. E v e n though a majority in the Central C o m m i t t e e s u p p o r t e d the newly f o r m e d triumvirate of T a l a a t . in c o n s e q u e n c e . F r o m the G e r m a n point of view this w a s a d a n g e r o u s p r o p o s a l . U . Central C o m m i t t e e . there was now no lie behind which E n v e r could conceal what he had allowed to h a p p e n .

like it or not. In D o w n i n g Street the official account was believed. negotiating. however. In C o n s t a n t i n o p l e . T h e relative c a s u a l n e s s with which the British drifted into the O t t o m a n war reflected the attitudes of British Cabinet ministers at the t i m e : it was not a war to which they attached m u c h i m p o r t a n c e . were neglected.AN I N T R I G U E AT THE S U B L I M E PORTE 73 Britain had g o n e to war against her. at a meeting with the Privy Council. At the time. that T u r k e y r e s p o n d e d to the warning. issued an u l t i m a t u m to the Porte. and that it had done so over G e r m a n protest. It also was not known that it was the Porte that had seized the Goeben a n d Breslau. T h e y did not regard T u r k e y as an especially d a n g e r o u s enemy. according to which the K a i s e r had initiated the transfer to T u r k e y of the G e r m a n vessels to replace the Osman a n d Reshadieh in order to win over to G e r m a n y the T u r k s w h o m Churchill had alienated. It was not until the m o r n i n g of 5 N o v e m b e r that. On 3 N o v e m b e r . even the G r a n d Vizier's peace faction was obliged to recognize that the e m p i r e was now at war. Yet no declaration of war was issued from London. and they m a d e no great effort to prevent it. the chief significance of the b o m b a r d m e n t s e e m e d to be its demonstration that hostilities h a d c o m m e n c e d . . 24 2 5 V In L o n d o n it was still not k n o w n — i n d e e d it would not be known until years later—that E n v e r h a d taken the initiative in p r o p o s i n g . and executing a secret treaty of alliance with G e r m a n y before the A d m i r a l t y had seized the T u r k i s h battleships. A s q u i t h confided that "we are now frankly at war with T u r k e y . " T h e formalities. T o prevent that f r o m h a p p e n i n g . Predictably the Czar's g o v e r n m e n t rejected the allegation. British naval forces c o m m e n c e d hostile operations against the O t t o m a n E m p i r e on 1 N o v e m b e r . E n v e r still feared that the T u r k i s h apology t o R u s s i a might b e a c c e p t e d . on instructions f r o m Churchill. the p r o c l a m a t i o n s of war against the Hohenzollern a n d H a b s b u r g e m p i r e s were a m e n d e d to include the O t t o m a n Empire. At a d r a m a t i c meeting of the O t t o m a n C a b i n e t on the night of N o v e m b e r 1—2. British w a r s h i p s b o m b a r d e d the outer forts of the D a r d a n e l l e s . however. Critics later c h a r g e d that this w a s a piece of childish petulance on Churchill's p a r t which alerted T u r k e y to the vulnerability of the forts. T h e r e is no evidence. On 4 N o v e m b e r . he again foiled the intentions of his C a b i n e t colleagues by inserting into the T u r k i s h note an o u t r a g e o u s allegation that R u s s i a had provoked the a t t a c k . a n d on 2 N o v e m b e r declared war.

b u t in the public imagination of the British it w a s Churchill who had done so. was "very m u c h against any aggressive action vis-a-vis T u r k e y wh. " O n 2 1 A u g u s t .74 AT THE CROSSROADS OF HISTORY It was the c o m m o n view. S h e r e m a i n e d anxious to a c q u i r e even m o r e O t t o m a n territory. On 2 S e p t e m b e r he initiated private talks with the G r e e k g o v e r n m e n t to d i s c u s s the form that military cooperation . a n d "Winston violently antiT u r k . however. R u m a n i a . Churchill. A s q u i t h noted that "Venizelos. Britain could now hold out the lure of territorial gains in order to b r i n g Italy a n d the Balkan countries into the war on her side. T h e Balkan countries. for his p a r t . " Churchill was not so i m p e t u o u s as that m a d e him s o u n d . the G r e e k Prime Minister. . a n d offered the p r o s p e c t of helping b r i n g the war against G e r m a n y to a swift a n d successful conclusion. has a great s c h e m e on foot for a federation of B a l k a n S t a t e s against G e r m a n y a n d A u s t r i a . S o u c h o n a n d E n v e r had in fact started the war between T u r k e y a n d the Allies. On 31 A u g u s t Churchill wrote a private letter to Balkan leaders u r g i n g the creation of a confederation o f B u l g a r i a . M o n t e n e g r o . F r e e at last to cut up the O t t o m a n E m p i r e a n d to offer portions of its territory to other countries at the eventual p e a c e settlement. a n d G r e e c e to join the Allies. 2 6 2 7 2 8 By the end of A u g u s t . Italy. L l o y d G e o r g e continued to level the c h a r g e against h i m as late as 1 9 2 1 . . He had given up on them two m o n t h s too soon. F o r Britain to forge an alliance with all the Balkan countries by the p r o m i s e of O t t o m a n territory r e q u i r e d the reconciliation of s o m e of their rival a m b i t i o n s . A s q u i t h characterized a n u m b e r of his ministers as looking to Italy. b u t if this c o u l d be achieved. " He himself. Eventually. a latecomer to the p u r s u i t of colonial e m p i r e . R u m a n i a . b u t it was only when he had b e c o m e convinced that there was no chance of keeping T u r k e y out of the war that he had s w u n g a r o u n d to pointing out the a d v a n t a g e s of having her in it. excite our M u s s u l m a n s in I n d i a & E g y p t . or B u l g a r i a as potential allies of i m p o r t a n c e . S e r b i a . w d . In fact he had taken the time a n d trouble to c o m m u n i c a t e personally with E n v e r and other O t t o m a n leaders who were h o p i n g to keep their country neutral. coveted additional territorial g a i n s . Churchill a n d L l o y d G e o r g e were enthusiastic advocates of the B a l k a n a p p r o a c h . Already on 14 A u g u s t . s u c h a c o m b i nation would b r i n g powerful forces to b e a r against the O t t o m a n a n d H a b s b u r g e m p i r e s . I n d e e d . that it was Churchill who had b r o u g h t a b o u t the war with T u r k e y . h a d c o m e to see the vulnerable O t t o m a n d o m a i n s as the principal territories still available for acquisition. b e g a n to point out in A u g u s t 1 9 1 4 — a n d continued to point out thereafter—that having the O t t o m a n E m p i r e for an e n e m y had its a d v a n t a g e s . too. L l o y d G e o r g e as being "keen for B a l k a n confederation". therefore. the lure of acquisition helped to b r i n g her into the war on the Allied s i d e .

the representatives of the British g o v e r n m e n t eventually h a d been instructed to give a s s u r a n c e s that. b u t in at least one respect their thinking evolved in a parallel way. I am not s u g g e s t i n g that we s h o u l d take a g g r e s s i v e action against T u r k e y or declare war on her ourselves. the T o r y M . if she did s o . p u s h e d into it by E n v e r a n d S o u c h o n as it s e e m s n o w — t h e conclusion that British policy-makers drew therefore s e e m e d to be i n e s c a p a b l e . if T u r k e y s i d e d with G e r m a n y and A u s t r i a . " 3 0 When the O t t o m a n E m p i r e entered the w a r — p u l l e d into it by Churchill as it s e e m e d then. without r e g a r d to the interests or integrity of T u r k e y . " 3 1 Earlier in 1914. S i r M a r k S y k e s . on the other h a n d . F r o m this there followed a converse proposition. In order to p e r s u a d e T u r k e y to r e m a i n neutral.AN INTRIGUE AT THE SUBLIME PORTE 75 between their two countries m i g h t take in an offensive operation against the O t t o m a n E m p i r e ." Wellington. "that. " 2 9 G r e y a n d A s q u i t h were m o r e c a u t i o u s in their a p p r o a c h . of c o u r s e we could not answer for what might b e taken from T u r k e y i n A s i a M i n o r . P a l m e r s t o n . particularly B u l g a r i a . Y e t in a little less than a h u n d r e d days the British g o v e r n ment h a d completely reversed the policy of m o r e than a h u n d r e d y e a r s . and they were defeated. In the turmoil of war the A s q u i t h g o v e r n m e n t had lost sight of one of the m o s t important truths a b o u t traditional British foreign policy: that the integrity of the O t t o m a n E m p i r e was to be protected not in order . a n d now s o u g h t to destroy the great buffer e m p i r e that in times p a s t British g o v e r n m e n t s had risked a n d w a g e d w a r s to s a f e g u a r d . b u t in A s i a . Churchill wrote to S i r E d w a r d G r e y that "in our a t t e m p t to placate T u r k e y we are crippling our policy in the B a l k a n s . not only in E u r o p e . had w a r n e d the H o u s e of C o m m o n s that "the d i s a p p e a r a n c e of the O t t o m a n E m p i r e m u s t be the first step t o w a r d s the d i s a p p e a r a n c e of our own. 3 T h e Cabinet's new policy was p r e d i c a t e d on the theory that T u r k e y h a d forfeited any claim to enjoy the protection of Britain. " He c o n c l u d e d his additional r e m a r k s by a d d i n g that "All I am a s k i n g is that the interests a n d integrity of T u r k e y shall no longer be c o n s i d e r e d by you in any efforts which are m a d e to s e c u r e c o m m o n action a m o n g the C h r i s t i a n Balkan S t a t e s . C a n n i n g . O t t o m a n territorial integrity w o u l d be r e s p e c t e d . a n d less enthusiastic a b o u t the p r o p o s e d B a l k a n Confederation than were Churchill a n d L l o y d G e o r g e . In a s p e e c h delivered in L o n d o n on 9 N o v e m b e r 1914. P . At the e n d of S e p t e m b e r . the P r i m e Minister predicted that the war h a d "rung the death-knell of O t t o m a n d o m i n i o n . a n d Disraeli had all felt that preserving the integrity of the O t t o m a n E m p i r e was of i m p o r t a n c e to Britain a n d to E u r o p e . that G r e y h a d m a d e explicit as early as 15 A u g u s t . but we o u g h t from now to m a k e a r r a n g e m e n t s with the Balkan S t a t e s . who was his party's leading e x p e r t on T u r k i s h affairs.

T h u s the one thing which B r i t i s h leaders foresaw in 1914 with perfect clarity was that O t t o m a n entry into the war m a r k e d the first step on the r o a d to a r e m a k i n g of the M i d d l e E a s t : to the creation. In t u r n . indeed. of the m o d e r n M i d d l e E a s t . the British decision to d i s m a n t l e the O t t o m a n E m p i r e finally b r o u g h t into play the a s s u m p t i o n that E u r o p e a n s h a d s h a r e d a b o u t the M i d d l e E a s t for c e n t u r i e s : that its p o s t . .O t t o m a n political destinies w o u l d be taken in h a n d by one or m o r e of the E u r o p e a n powers.76 AT THE CROSSROADS OF HISTORY to serve the best interests of T u r k e y b u t in order to serve the best interests of Britain.

PART II KITCHENER OF KHARTOUM LOOKS AHEAD .

E a r l y in A u g u s t he traveled to D o v e r to catch a Channel s t e a m e r . T h e c r u s t y . K i t c h e n e r h a d c o m e to Britain intending to stay only long e n o u g h to attend the 17 J u l y c e r e m o n i e s elevating h i m to the rank a n d title of E a r l K i t c h e n e r of K h a r t o u m . b a d . S h o r t l y before noon on 3 A u g u s t . a n d over lunch the y o u n g politician a n d the old soldier e x c h a n g e d views. he b o a r d e d the s t e a m e r at D o v e r . the s a m e day that he initiated the seizure of the T u r k i s h vessels. Churchill held a luncheon meeting with F i e l d M a r s h a l H o r a t i o H e r b e r t K i t c h e n e r to d i s c u s s the d e e p e n i n g international crisis. t h o u g h he feared that "the politicians" w o u l d block his a p p o i n t m e n t . On 28 J u l y 1914. As p r o c o n s u l in E g y p t . an i m p o r t a n t new g o v e r n m e n t a l appointment in L o n d o n w a s b e g i n n i n g to affect British policy in the M i d d l e E a s t . was r e s p o n s i b l e for the naval escort of the t r o o p s h i p s on their long voyage to E u r o p e . the veteran c o m m a n d e r of Britain's imperial a r m i e s was r e s p o n s i b l e for the security of the S u e z C a n a l a n d of the t r o o p s f r o m I n d i a who were to be t r a n s p o r t e d through it in the event of war. he was anxious to return to his post as British A g e n t a n d C o n s u l . " It w a s not what the field m a r s h a l wanted to hear. h e told K i n g G e o r g e that he wanted to be a p p o i n t e d Viceroy of I n d i a when that post b e c a m e available as s c h e d u l e d in 1915. the F i r s t L o r d of the A d m i r a l t y . a n d c o m p l a i n e d 79 . as so m a n y things d i d . It b e g a n .t e m p e r e d K i t c h e n e r loathed politicians. you will not go b a c k to E u r o p e . 1 2 E v e n the disintegrating international situation could not keep h i m in L o n d o n . Churchill. a n d there w o u l d b o a r d a cruiser for E g y p t . a s the O t t o m a n E m p i r e was drifting into the war. with Winston Churchill. Churchill told K i t c h e n e r that "If war c o m e s .G e n e r a l in E g y p t as soon as p o s s i b l e . H i s eyes h a d always been t u r n e d t o w a r d the E a s t .8 K I T C H E N E R T A K E S COMMAND i D u r i n g the s u m m e r a n d a u t u m n o f 1914. the plan w a s that he w o u l d take the train f r o m C a l a i s to Marseilles.

written by its military c o r r e s p o n d e n t . t h o u g h apparently without indicating that the p r o p o s a l c a m e from the Conservatives as well as from himself. if obliged to remain in L o n d o n . a L o n d o n c l u b . was (to do h i m justice) not at all anxious to c o m e in. It is clearly u n d e r s t o o d that he has no politics. As he wrote: " K . which had not yet left D o v e r . a n d decided instead to keep K i t c h e n e r in Britain merely in an a d v i s o r y position. On b o a r d the C h a n n e l s t e a m e r . s o m e o n e who fell into conversation with a C o n s e r v a tive M e m b e r of Parliament r e m a r k e d that the War Office was in an absolutely chaotic state a n d that it was a pity that K i t c h e n e r had not been asked to take it over. a n d K i t c h e n e r was a p p o i n t e d War Minister. Churchill saw the P r i m e Minister a n d p r o p o s e d K i t c h e n e r ' s a p p o i n t m e n t . As it h a p p e n e d . A n d r e w B o n a r L a w a n d S i r E d w a r d C a r s o n — t h e leaders t o w h o m the conversation was r e p o r t e d — t o o k the matter up with A r t h u r Balfour. he w o u l d accept no position less than S e c r e t a r y of S t a t e for War. the former Conservative P r i m e Minister." A s s u m i n g . P . as did nearly everybody else. back in L o n d o n he found that A s q u i t h did not s e e m to be thinking of a regular position for him. and it was with difficulty that he was p e r s u a d e d to d i s e m b a r k . T h e previous evening. U r g e d on by his colleagues. It is a h a z a r d o u s experiment. T h e field marshal at first r e f u s e d . T h a t s a m e m o r n i n g .80 K I T C H E N E R OF KHARTOUM LOOKS AHEAD impatiently when it failed to set off for C a l a i s at the s c h e d u l e d departure time. in the s m o k i n g r o o m of B r o o k s ' s . that the war would last no m o r e than a 3 . but the best in the c i r c u m s t a n c e s . K i t c h e n e r received a m e s s a g e f r o m the P r i m e Minister asking him to return immediately to L o n d o n . u r g i n g the a p p o i n t m e n t of K i t c h e n e r to head the War Office. reported his conversation to two of his party's leaders who were in a semi-private r o o m of the club d i s c u s s i n g the international situation. On the m o r n i n g of 3 A u g u s t — t h e d a y G e r m a n y declared war on F r a n c e — a n article a p p e a r e d in The Times. P u s h e d by politicians a n d the p r e s s . L a t e r that evening. the P r i m e Minister g a v e way the next d a y . Churchill's notes indicate that he thought that A s q u i t h had accepted the p r o p o s a l at the t i m e . & that his place at C a i r o is kept o p e n — s o that he can return to it when peace c o m e s . his d e p a r t u r e was a b o u t to be cancelled rather than delayed. the M . by which time G e r m a n a r m i e s were already o v e r r u n n i n g B e l g i u m — a n d stated that. b u t in fact the P r i m e Minister was reluctant to make the a p p o i n t m e n t . I think. let alone one with clearly defined p o w e r s a n d responsibilities. H i s fears were justified. he went to see the P r i m e Minister for a one-hour meeting on the evening of 4 A u g u s t — the night Britain decided to go to war. with w h o m he was on g o o d t e r m s . who p a s s e d the s u g g e s t i o n on to Churchill. but when it was presented to h i m as a d u t y he a g r e e d . K i t c h e n e r decided to force the i s s u e .

5 T h e p u b l i c . K i t c h e n e r w a s a figure of l e g e n d — a national m y t h w h o s e photo h u n g on walls t h r o u g h o u t the k i n g d o m .KITCHENER TAKES COMMAND 81 few m o n t h s . less than a five-minute walk from the War Office. On 6 A u g u s t K i t c h e n e r took up his new duties in the War Office in Whitehall. He arose at 6:00 a . arrived at his office at 9 : 0 0 a . were instantaneous a n d overwhelming. St James's Palace. who in 1660 restored the m o n a r c h y a n d then was r e w a r d e d with high office. . it w a s s a i d . [Everything that he t o u c h e d 'came o f f . A n d he at once g a v e . T h e g l a s s or two of wine with dinner and the nightly scotch a n d s o d a that h a d been his c o m f o r t s in E g y p t were forsworn. 4 Asquith's reluctance to b r i n g the f a m o u s soldier into the C a b i n e t s e e m s to have been p r o m p t e d by the fear that. but s i m p l y trusted him completely. and a b o v e all s u c c e s s . . rather than the P r i m e Minister. " In the p a s t he h a d always b r o u g h t things to a successful conclusion. a national status to the g o v e r n m e n t . would e m e r g e as Britain's w a r t i m e leader. decision. which m e a n t that he could s p e n d almost every waking m o m e n t on the j o b . It w a s located just off the intersection o f C a r l t o n H o u s e T e r r a c e a n d C a r l t o n G a r d e n s . K i t c h e n e r . it is all r i g h t . . No great soldier h a d served in a m a j o r office of state since the D u k e of Wellington's ministry nearly a century b e f o r e . a n d then after dinner would r e a d official cables until late at n i g h t . L o r d K i t c h e n e r lived in a b o r r o w e d h o u s e in L o n d o n . to read the evening p a p e r s a n d n a p . T h e principle of civilian authority had been u p h e l d jealously since then. a residence provided for him by K i n g George. . generally took a cold lunch there. at the request of G e o r g e V he h a d p l e d g e d to set a national e x a m p l e by drinking no alcoholic b e v e r a g e s d u r i n g the war. the tonic to p u b l i c confidence. T h e r e was a feeling that K i t c h e n e r c o u l d not fail. was s t r e n g t h . A s q u i t h did not replace K i t c h e n e r as A g e n t and C o n s u l G e n e r a l in E g y p t . d i d not reason a b o u t K i t c h e n e r . s a y i n g " K i t c h e n e r is there. T h e psychological effect of his a p p o i n t ment. After he took up his C a b i n e t a p p o i n t m e n t . he thought that the field m a r s h a l would be returning to his post there shortly. . 6 In March 1915 he moved into York House. as S e c r e t a r y for War. As the P r i m e Minister's d a u g h t e r later wrote: He w a s an almost s y m b o l i c figure a n d what he s y m b o l i z e d . I think. returned to his t e m p o r a r y h o m e at 6:00 p . m . a n d no serving a r m y officer h a d been i n c l u d e d in a C a b i n e t since G e n e r a l G e o r g e M o n k . large c r o w d s would gather to watch h i m enter a n d leave the War Office each d a y . m a k i n g it plain that he d i d not intend to stay. m . m . in his own right. b u t A s q u i t h felt obliged to s u b o r d i nate it to his urgent need for F i e l d M a r s h a l Kitchener's services.

s h o u l d e r e d . the book dwelt at length on the characteristic organizational ability that derived from the sirdar's b a c k g r o u n d as an engineering officer. T h e F r e n c h had then a t t e m p t e d t o intrude u p o n Britain's imperial d o m a i n s . like a s p h i n x presiding over the desert. He was fortunate. the imperialist q u a r t e r l y ) . a n d D a v i d L l o y d G e o r g e . A y o u n g F o r e i g n Office clerk w h o watched the field marshal at a gathering with the P r i m e Minister. who was p e r h a p s the leading war c o r r e s p o n d e n t of his t i m e . recorded in his diary that "Kitchener looked like an officer who has got m i x e d up with a lot of strolling players a n d is trying to p r e t e n d he doesn't know t h e m . As c o m m a n d e r of the armies of I n d i a in the early twentieth century. K i t c h e n e r p r e p a r e d his m o v e m e n t s with s u c h 8 . In S o u t h Africa the B o e r War h a d b e g u n b a d l y . literature. insecure. b u t in 1898 K i t c h e n e r firmly confronted t h e m at the fort of F a s h o d a in the S u d a n . then K i t c h e n e r c a m e to take charge and b r o u g h t it to a victorious conclusion. bristling m o u s t a c h e . K i p l i n g . or c o m m a n d e r . he was fortunate in the journalists who followed his career a n d who created his p u b l i c i m a g e . H i s painful shyness w a s not seen as s u c h . from the waters of the N i l e Valley to l a n d s where rain never falls.j a w e d . L i o n e l C u r t i s (a founder of the Round Table. and secretive figure who u s e d a small g r o u p of aides as a wall against the world. A lone. he had i m p o s e d his will as decisively as he had d o n e in E g y p t . a n d the F r e n c h contingent b a c k e d d o w n a n d withdrew from the fort. b r o a d . D i s t a n c e m a d e him s e e m at once magical a n d larger-than-life. Disraeli. to c o n q u e r a country of a million s q u a r e miles. F r o m his earliest c a m p a i g n s . in the timing of his career. he towered physically over his fellows and looked the part for which destiny a n d the p o p u l a r p r e s s had cast him. cold b l u e eyes set widely apart. " S t e e v e n s wrote a book a b o u t the S u d a n c a m p a i g n . G e o r g e S t e e v e n s of the Daily Mail. E. his fear of his political colleagues a p p e a r e d to be d i s d a i n . T h e far-off o u t p o s t s of e m p i r e in which he won his brilliant victories lent h i m their g l a m o r . s q u a r e . I g n o r i n g the episodes in which Kitchener's generalship was open to criticism. of the E g y p t i a n a r m y ) led his a r m i e s south over nearly a t h o u s a n d miles of rock and s a n d .82 K I T C H E N E R OF KHARTOUM LOOKS AHEAD He had avenged the m u r d e r of G e n e r a l C h a r l e s G e o r g e G o r d o n in the fall of K h a r t o u m by d e s t r o y i n g the e m p i r e of the D e r v i s h e s and r e c o n q u e r i n g the S u d a n . telling how K i t c h e n e r (then sirdar. a n d ideology in Britain. J o h n B u c h a n . with b u s h y eyebrows. which coincided with the rise of imperial sentiment. told his readers in 1900 that Kitchener's "precision is so u n h u m a n l y unerring he is m o r e like a machine than a m a n . A c c o r d i n g to S t e e v e n s . too. A. S i r E d w a r d G r e y . a n d an intimidating glower. " 7 T a l l . W. and others created the tidal wave of feeling on the crest of which he r o d e . he a p p e a r e d instead to be the s t r o n g and silent hero of p o p u l a r m y t h o l o g y . M a s o n (author of Four Feathers).

a n d would concentrate his forces. . T h e i m p e n d i n g O t t o m a n war. " When he joined the C a b i n e t . a n d indeed for m a n y m o n t h s afterw a r d . K i t c h e n e r r e m a r k e d . which ran counter to everything which they had been led to believe. he felt. as having the E a s t for his special province. . a skeptical) C a b i n e t that Britain would have to maintain an a r m y of millions of m e n in the field. they a c c e p t e d his j u d g m e n t s without d e m u r . T h e y h a d believed the professional British a r m y to be of a d e q u a t e size. H i s officers a n d m e n are wheels in the m a c h i n e : he feeds t h e m e n o u g h to m a k e t h e m efficient. T h e M i d d l e E a s t played no role in his plans for winning the war. b u t K i t c h e n e r with unerring foresight told an astonished ( a n d . " T h e accepted view was that the war would be a short one. as will be seen presently. " S t e e v e n s wrote that "the m a n has d i s a p peared . . w o u l d be a s i d e s h o w . which s u r p r i s e d his c o n t e m p o r a r i e s as m u c h as it has a m a z e d posterity. A l t h o u g h they were jolted by his military p r o n o u n c e m e n t s . a n d that it would only be d e c i d e d by bloody battles on the continent of E u r o p e a n d not at s e a . not d i s s i p a t e t h e m in s i d e s h o w s . II It was p u r e accident that the military hero brought into the g o v e r n ment to p r e s i d e over the war effort should have been one who r e g a r d e d himself. b u t only the S i r d a r . He w o u l d s p e n d the first years methodically creating. that the war w o u l d last at least three y e a r s . . neither as k i n g affection nor giving it. K i t c h e n e r instead raised his m a s s a r m y by a volunteer recruitment c a m p a i g n . B u t that did not m e a n that K i t c h e n e r h a d no M i d d l e E a s t e r n policy. D e f y i n g the conventional view that a large a r m y could be created only by conscription. its other m e m b e r s — t o m o s t of w h o m he was a s t r a n g e r — w e r e in awe of h i m . . training. and works t h e m as mercilessly as he works h i m s e l f . it w o u l d be a waste of r e s o u r c e s to send additional t r o o p s to fight the T u r k s . F r o m that accident c a m e the distinctive outlines of the policy that e m e r g e d . but d u r i n g his first d a y at the War Office. " T h e r e is no a r m y . He feared a T u r k i s h attack on the S u e z C a n a l — h i s only military concern in the M i d d l e E a s t — but he believed that the British forces in E g y p t could deal with it. a n d was r e g a r d e d by others.KITCHENER TAKES COMMAND 83 care that "he has never given battle without m a k i n g certain of an annihilating victory . a n d e q u i p p i n g an a r m y of o v e r w h e l m i n g strength. there i s n o m a n H e r b e r t K i t c h e n e r . he held s t r o n g views a b o u t what role Britain s h o u l d play in the region once the E u r o p e a n war was won. 10 1 1 1 2 K i t c h e n e r p r o p o s e d to win the war by organizing his forces as thoroughly as he h a d d o n e in a d v a n c e of the K h a r t o u m c a m p a i g n . according to Churchill.

13 At the t i m e — t h e end of the nineteenth c e n t u r y — t h e G r e a t Power principally o p p o s e d to the e x p a n s i o n of British E g y p t was F r a n c e . As of 1914. a n d c i r c u m stances. history. mistakenly. the British stayed on. Alt h o u g h in theory he was the O t t o m a n Sultan's viceroy in E g y p t . there were persistent r u m o r s that he considered the possibility of taking the S u l t a n ' s place as temporal a n d spiritual l o r d — S u l t a n and C a l i p h — o f the A r a b i c . which had aligned herself with R u s s i a .s p e a k i n g world. as e x p e r t s on A r a b affairs. a n d in E g y p t and the S u d a n . In the S u d a n c a m p a i g n . were otherwise different—in population mix. I n s t e a d of leaving. outlook. the alliance s e e m e d to be directed against Britain. a n d British officers who served there with K i t c h e n e r h a d b e g u n to develop a distinctive outlook on events. British officials were aware that the K h e d i v e — t h e native prince from behind whose throne Britain ruled E g y p t — w a s a m b i t i o u s to e x p a n d his authority. for e x a m p l e . K i t c h e n e r h a d g o v e r n e d E g y p t . Neither K i t c h e n e r nor his aides d e m o n s t r a t e d any real awareness of the great differences b e tween the m a n y c o m m u n i t i e s in the M i d d l e E a s t . in which he w o u l d serve as her viceroy.s p e a k i n g country. that w o u l d not necessarily have m a d e K i t c h e n e r ' s aides the experts on A r a b i a they c l a i m e d to b e . b u t which h a d in effect been an independent country until the British h a d o c c u p i e d it in 1882.84 KITCHENER OF KHARTOUM LOOKS AHEAD M o s t recently. T h e British a n d E g y p t i a n officers attached to him would u n d e r s t a n d that the achievement of any s u c h plan would b r i n g greatly enlarged authority to themselves. E v e n had they been the e x p e r t s on E g y p t which they believed themselves to b e . A r a b i a n s a n d E g y p t i a n s . S t a t i o n e d as they were in an A r a b i c . a country officially still part of the O t t o m a n E m p i r e . I t m a y have been d u r i n g the S u d a n c a m p a i g n that K i t c h e n e r first b e g a n to d r e a m of carving out a great new imperial d o m a i n for Britain in the M i d d l e E a s t .s p e a k i n g . u n d e r t a k e n in the face of m i s g i v i n g s within both the F o r e i g n Office a n d L o r d C r o m e r ' s E g y p t i a n a d min is t r a t io n . a n d were all the m o r e frustrated to be e x c l u d e d from foreign policy m a k i n g by the F o r e i g n Office a n d by the G o v e r n m e n t of I n d i a — t h e two b o d i e s that traditionally dealt with the A r a b i c s p e a k i n g portions of the O t t o m a n E m p i r e . As early as the end of the nineteenth century.s p e a k i n g provinces of the e m p i r e . F r a n c e was the enemy whose threatening presence was . As viewed from Britain's o u t p o s t s b o r d e r i n g the M e d i t e r r a n e a n . with the stated a i m of restoring order and then leaving. B u t R u s s i a was far away. culture. E g y p t was a relatively recent addition to the British s p h e r e of influence. t h o u g h both A r a b i c . they had c o m e to r e g a r d themselves. thereby splitting the e m p i r e in half. A variant was the r u m o r that he p l a n n e d to annex the M o s l e m H o l y Places in A r a b i a and establish a caliph there u n d e r his p r o t e c t i o n . K i t c h e n e r had greatly e x p a n d e d the area of Britain's control of the A r a b i c .

the Oriental S e c r e t a r y (which is to say. indeed. In the artful w o r d s of R o n a l d S t o r r s : "We d e p recated the I m p e r a t i v e . Optative m o o d . T h e y p r o m u l g a t e d u n d e r their own n a m e decisions reco m m e n d e d to t h e m by the British a d v i s e r s attached to their respective offices. in the case of E g y p t . a c c o r d i n g to what officials in C a i r o were told.s p e a k i n g w o r l d : that was the policy in the service of which K i t c h e n e r ' s officers h a d been r e a r e d . the office of the British A g e n t in E g y p t . an enclave that p o s s e s s e d (wrote o n e of K i t c h e n e r ' s a i d e s ) "all the n a r r o w n e s s a n d p r o v i n c i a l i s m of an E n g l i s h g a r r i s o n t o w n . with at least token reference to. . h a d already m a d e the decision. the T u r f C l u b . " 1 5 . T h e C a b i n e t a b a n d o n e d its own views in deference to those of the A g e n c y . protested that. T h e A g e n c y (that is. eventual i n d e p e n d e n c e — a case a r g u e d effectively by Milne C h e e t h a m (acting chief of the A g e n c y in K i t c h e n e r ' s a b s e n c e ) . " T h e local c o m m u n i t y o f B r i t i s h officials a n d their families w a s tight a n d h o m o g e n e o u s . T h e C a b i n e t was in favor of an n e x i n g both countries a n d . preferring the S u b j u n c t i v e . Ill T h e outbreak of the war against the O t t o m a n E m p i r e m a d e it necessary to clarify the nature of Britain's presence in E g y p t a n d C y p r u s . in this instance. for both were nominally still part of the S u l t a n ' s e m p i r e . L o r d K i t c h e n e r ) a d v o c a t e d a protectorate s t a t u s for E g y p t . . In K i t c h e n e r ' s E g y p t a hereditary prince a n d native C a b i n e t ministers a n d g o v e r n o r s went t h r o u g h the motions of governing.KITCHENER TAKES COMMAND 85 felt close at h a n d . even the wistful. Rivalry with F r a n c e for position a n d influence in the A r a b i c . s u c h a decision violated forty years of p r o m i s e s by British g o v e r n m e n t s that the British occupation was merely t e m p o r a r y . and the balls given at a leading hotel six nights out of seven. It was not to be direct rule. I t s life centered a r o u n d the S p o r t i n g C l u b . T h e C a b i n e t . s u c h as was practiced in p a r t s of I n d i a . allowed Kitchener's A g e n c y to establish the p r o t o t y p e of the form of rule that the field m a r s h a l and his staff eventually wanted Britain to exercise throughout the A r a b i c speaking world. 14 It was from this provincial g a r r i s o n c o m m u n i t y — i t s views on A r a b policy hitherto ignored by the m a k e r s of British world policy—that L o r d Kitchener emerged. L a r g e r c o m b i n a t i o n s a n d considerations in world politics were beyond the range of the typical officer in British C a i r o . that w a s the form of protectorate g o v e r n m e n t favored by the K i t c h e n e r g r o u p . and thus showed the direction of things to c o m e . R o n a l d S t o r r s . the staff specialist in E a s t e r n affairs) to L o r d K i t c h e n e r in C a i r o .

it turned out. British Intelligence. S i r E d w a r d G r e y . the Viceroy of I n d i a . O n e reason that M e m b e r s of Parliament and the C a b i n e t left eastern questions so m u c h to K i t c h e n e r a n d his e n t o u r a g e was that they themselves knew little a b o u t t h e m . a c c u s t o m e d to b u l g i n g reference libraries. British officers c o n d u c t i n g operations in O t t o m a n territory in the first years of the war were operating in the d a r k . when British armies were poised to invade northward toward S y r i a . s who had traveled in the E a s t . O n e of the m a n y reasons for the failure of Britain's invasion of T u r k e y in 1915 was that the British invasion force was s u p p l i e d with only one m a p of the peninsula it was to a t t a c k — a n d that m a p . none was b a s e d on original research.86 KITCHENER OF KHARTOUM LOOKS AHEAD T h e E g y p t i a n decision w a s the forerunner of others in which S t o r r s a n d other m e m b e r s of K i t c h e n e r ' s entourage m a d e policy decisions for the M i d d l e E a s t u n d e r cover of the reclusive field marshal's authority. c o m p l a i n e d that in the E n g l i s h l a n g u a g e there was not so m u c h as one authentic history of the O t t o m a n E m p i r e . it was one of a m e r e handful of s u r v e y s g a t h e r e d by British I n t e l l i g e n c e . the F o r e i g n S e c r e t a r y . a n d to the o v e r w h e l m i n g s u p p l y of detailed information a b o u t foreign countries g a t h e r e d by the m a j o r g o v e r n m e n t s . T h e British g o v e r n m e n t lacked even the most elementary type of i n f o r m a t i o n — i n c l u d i n g m a p s — o f the empire with which it was at war. S i r M a r k S y k e s . British ignorance of the M i d d l e E a s t d u r i n g the 1914 war would be u n i m a g i n a b l e . it was the latter that were likely to prevail. one of K i t c h e n e r ' s intelligence officers h a d secretly surveyed a n d m a p p e d a wilderness area close to British E g y p t ' s Sinai frontier. Of the histories then current. was inaccurate. P . the F o r e i g n Secretary. Shortly after Britain f o u n d herself at war with the Porte. m i n u t e d " D o e s L o r d K i t c h e n e r agree? If s o . In 1913 — 14. F o r the m o s t part. a n d all were b a s e d on a G e r m a n work that left off in the year 1744. asked by the a r m y to p r o v i d e a g u i d e to conditions there. a n d a p p r o v e d even those p r o p o s a l s of the War Minister with which he d i s a g r e e d . to worldwide p r e s s coverage. To a g o v e r n m e n t official in the 1980s. " He c o u l d have written the s a m e inscription on t h e m all. or the C a b i n e t were instead m a d e by relatively junior officials who represented K i t c h e n e r a n d p u r p o r t e d to represent his views. D e c i s i o n s that normally w o u l d have been m a d e by the P r i m e Minister. When the views of the g o v e r n m e n t a b o u t the E a s t c a m e into conflict with those of L o r d K i t c h e n e r . O n one t e l e g r a m f r o m C a i r o . As late as 1917. a n d were therefore long out of d a t e . K i t c h e n e r was s c r u p u l o u s in clearing foreign-policy decisions with G r e y . one of the few M . Only the field marshal's u n i q u e prestige m a d e this p o s s i b l e . reported that there was no b o o k in any E u r o p e a n l a n g u a g e that provided a survey of the social a n d political conditions of the area. When it c a m e to 1 6 1 7 1 8 9 20 . I will a p p r o v e . b u t G r e y deferred t o him.

the politicians. B u t the C a b i n e t ministers who deferred to K i t c h e n e r in M i d d l e E a s t e r n matters were unaware of how little was really u n d e r s t o o d about the M i d d l e E a s t either by the War Minister or by the aides in C a i r o a n d K h a r t o u m on w h o m he relied for advice a n d information.KITCHENER TAKES COMMAND 87 the M i d d l e E a s t . like the soldiers. . were aware that they were m o v i n g in areas that were literally u n c h a r t e d .

s p e a k i n g world rose with him to p r e . What w a s c o n s p i c u o u s at the end of 1914 w a s that K i t c h e n e r had s t a m p e d his personal b r a n d on the g o v e r n m e n t ' s policies. K i t c h e n e r m o v e d m u c h of the evaluation of information and the m a k i n g of policy from the capital city of a world e m p i r e . T h e British enclaves in C a i r o a n d K h a r t o u m were the environment to 88 . L i e u t e n a n t . but also the staff remaining in E g y p t a n d the S u d a n m o v e d toward the center o f power with h i m . K i t c h e n e r ' s old lieutenants in the A r a b i c . Instead of being ignored or neglected. a s his a l m o s t sole a n d constant c o m p a n i o n . K i t c h e n e r had always relied heavily on his staff.9 KITCHENER'S LIEUTENANTS i A v o i d i n g not merely w o m e n (as he had always done) b u t the outside world as a whole. but what t u r n e d out to be of m o r e lasting i m p o r t a n c e w a s that he h a d chosen the p e o p l e who were to inform a n d to advise the British g o v e r n m e n t a b o u t the M i d d l e E a s t t h r o u g h o u t the w a r — a n d afterward. British officials in E g y p t a n d the S u d a n were given a chance to m a k e their weight felt. where the prejudices of old h a n d s went unchallenged a n d unchecked.e m i n e n c e in E a s t e r n policy-making. when p e o p l e said they had written to or heard f r o m K i t c h e n e r . not only F i t z G e r a l d . they meant that they had written to or heard from F i t z G e r a l d . F i t z G e r a l d c o r r e s p o n d e d a n d conversed on K i t c h e n e r ' s behalf.C o l o n e l O s w a l d F i t z G e r a l d . as they felt they h a d been in the p a s t . T h u s L o r d K i t c h e n e r i m p o s e d his design on policy not merely by s h a p i n g a new a p p r o a c h toward the M i d d l e E a s t . where officials—even t h o u g h not specifically knowledgeable a b o u t M i d d l e E a s t e r n a f f a i r s — t e n d e d toward a b r o a d and c o s m o p o l i t a n view of matters. the War M i n i s t e r lived in a m a s c u l i n e preserve with his personal Military S e c r e t a r y . By tranferring authority to them. b u t also by delegating power to chosen officers in the field who would g u i d e a n d execute that policy. N o w that he had m o v e d into the center of power in L o n d o n . to the colonial capitals of E g y p t a n d the S u d a n .

K i t c h e n e r . R o n a l d S t o r r s a n d his colleagues in E g y p t a n d the S u d a n continued to look u p o n the War Minister as their real chief. he asked R o n a l d S t o r r s . then in his mid-thirties. S t o r r s . that the field m a r s h a l would not be able to return to C a i r o for s o m e time.G e n e r a l S i r F r a n c i s R e g i n a l d Wingate. He p a s s e d for a m a s t e r of A r a b i c . C a m b r i d g e . in order to keep the position in C a i r o vacant for his return. 1 II By the end of 1914. r e p o r t e d directly to K i t c h e n e r at the War Office rather than to. his Oriental S e c r e t a r y . H i s lowly r a n k — a f t e r the o u t b r e a k of war. service as Oriental S e c r e t a r y of the A g e n c y in C a i r o for m o r e than a d e c a d e h a d established h i m as a specialist in M i d d l e E a s t e r n affairs. w a s that "He is m o r e or less a foreigner" in E n g l a n d . M c M a h o n was a colorless official from I n d i a . who had s u c c e e d e d K i t c h e n e r as s i r d a r of the E g y p t i a n a r m y and G o v e r n o r G e n e r a l of the S u d a n . L o n d o n was m o r e alien than C a i r o or C a l c u t t a . principally in Military Intelligence. Wingate's entire career had been one of military service in the E a s t . When he was a p p o i n t e d War Minister. T h e War Minister's weakness. S i r J o h n M a x w e l l . A l t h o u g h he h a d no m o r e than an u n d e r g r a d u a t e education in E a s t e r n l a n g u a g e s and literature. K i t c h e n e r continued to be inspired by his s u g g e s t i o n s . c o m m a n d i n g general of the British forces in E g y p t . D e s p i t e M c M a h o n ' s a p p o i n t m e n t . he finally obtained diplomatic s t a n d i n g . T h e field marshal was profoundly ill at ease with unfamiliar faces.KITCHENER'S LIEUTENANTS 89 which the War Minister longed to return a n d f r o m which spiritually he h a d never d e p a r t e d . a c c o r d i n g t o one observer. T h e senior figure in the War Minister's following in the M i d d l e E a s t was L i e u t e n a n t . rather than A g e n t ) . To him. or t h r o u g h . was an intellectually elegant g r a d u a t e of P e m b r o k e College. when S t o r r s returned to E g y p t . the new H i g h C o m m i s s i o n e r . he continued to fall b a c k on his staff in E g y p t . on the verge of retirement. the son of an Anglican c l e r g y m a n . personally selected S i r H e n r y M c M a h o n to serve as his replacement ( u n d e r the-new title of H i g h C o m m i s s i o n e r . t h o u g h only as a second s e c r e t a r y — g a v e no indication of his high position in the field marshal's esteem. S t o r r s pointed out that g o v e r n m e n t a l regulations w o u l d not allow it but. it was clear that the war was not c o m i n g to a quick conclusion. I n s t e a d of relying on the War Office a n d the F o r e i g n Office in L o n d o n for information a n d advice a b o u t the M i d d l e E a s t . Of his role in K i t c h e n e r ' s K h a r t o u m . to stay on in L o n d o n with h i m . a n d that therefore a new British proconsul h a d to be selected for E g y p t .

. the A r a b . little u s e has been m a d e of my experience in this. for he m a k e s it his b u s i n e s s to know everything . a n d only twelve days later he wrote that he had c h a n g e d his m i n d and had decided "that we ought not to keep entirely to ourselves information & views which m a y be helpful" to those r e s p o n s i b l e for m a k i n g p o l i c y . at the s a m e time. N o t h i n g is hid f r o m Colonel W i n g a t e . On 18 F e b r u a r y 1915. 3 In fact Wingate could not bear to keep silent. or in other m a t t e r s connected with the situation. he sent a letter m a r k e d Very Private to his A g e n t in the E g y p t i a n capital that cried out with his sense of hurt: 2 T h e m o r e that I think over the A r a b i a n Policy question & the peculiar situation into which it has drifted owing to the n u m b e r of "cooks" c o n c e r n e d in its concoction—the less I consider it desirable we should show our h a n d s unless we are officially called u p o n for a s t a t e m e n t of our views. C l a y t o n m o v e d into a central position in m a k i n g Britain's A r a b policy on 31 4 . as D i r e c t o r of Intelligence of the E g y p t i a n a r m y . it was 1. b u t clearly that view is not s h a r e d by either the H o m e or I n d i a n authorities & therefore. Colonel Wingate can converse with him for h o u r s . " Wingate governed the S u d a n f r o m K h a r t o u m . S p e a k i n g for m y s e l f — y o u m u s t r e m e m b e r that in spite of my position in E g y p t & the S u d a n & the n u m b e r of years I have been in the country. 0 0 0 inhabitants that had been completely rebuilt to the specifications of L o r d K i t c h e n e r . I think that our geopolitical position & our connection with the A r a b i a n Provinces nearest to u s . .s c o r c h e d capital city of s o m e 7 0 .345 miles away f r o m C a i r o . Wingate's A g e n t in C a i r o — t h e official representative in E g y p t of the S u d a n g o v e r n m e n t — w a s G i l b e r t Clayton. the journalist G e o r g e S t e e v e n s wrote that "Whatever there was to know. After receiving his c o m m i s s i o n in the Royal Artillery in 1895. By steamer and railroad. a n d at the end know not only how m u c h truth he has told. a n d Wingate felt cut off a n d neglected. a s u n . I prefer to keep silent for the time b e i n g .90 KITCHENER OF KHARTOUM LOOKS AHEAD c a m p a i g n . who had also served under L o r d K i t c h e n e r in the S u d a n c a m p a i g n . Colonel Wingate surely knew it. F r o m 1908 to 1913 he served as Private Secretary to Wingate. . Clayton went out to E g y p t a n d had been stationed there or in the S u d a n ever since. but exactly what truth he has s u p p r e s s e d . . F r o m 1913 onward he served as S u d a n A g e n t in C a i r o a n d . has given us opportunities for u n d e r s t a n d i n g the situation t h e r e — a n d the views of the M o s l e m s of the Holy P l a c e s — b e t t e r than m a n y others. As I have often said before. As for that mysterious child of lies.

A former a r m y captain. he wrote. or failed to report. T h e y saw h i m as s h r e w d . m a d e a case for the proposition that they were d a n g e r o u s l y in c o mp e t e n t . as well as the E g y p t i a n a r m y . he b e c a m e head of all intelligence services in C a i r o — o f the British civil authority a n d the British a r m y . b e c a u s e the intelligence services either did not know. for his y o u n g m e n . to "have c r u m p l e d . . It was not until that expert on O t t o m a n affairs. what was g o i n g on inside the O t t o m a n E m p i r e . whether or not they took it. T h e o p p o r t u n i t y was m i s s e d . though diverse in other r e g a r d s . which i n turn w o u l d have allowed Britain to m o v e t h r o u g h the Balkans to defeat G e r m a n y . a c c o r d i n g to L l o y d G e o r g e . W y n d h a m D e e d e s . sensible. He was a b o u t ten years older than m o s t of them a n d . the British authorities in C a i r o were blind to what w a s h a p p e n i n g behind enemy lines. 5 A m o r e easily p r o v e d failing of C a i r o Intelligence was that it was unaware of the extent to which the E g y p t i a n g o v e r n m e n t h a d been infiltrated by e n e m y a g e n t s . F o r t h e m he was the incarnation of the old h a n d . . went to work in C a i r o in 1916. u p " the T u r k s . T h u s L o n d o n heard only one version of intelligence data from E g y p t — C l a y t o n ' s — i n s t e a d of three. a c c o r d i n g to him. there was a point in 1916 when the O t t o m a n E m p i r e was too exhausted to continue fighting. a n d . who r e p o r t e d directly to K i t c h e n e r . In this fatherly way. As a result.KITCHENER'S LIEUTENANTS 91 October 1914. It was not until years after the war h a d e n d e d that D a v i d L l o y d G e o r g e . when. Clayton rapidly m o v e d up the ranks during'the war a n d by the e n d of it was a general. A c c o r d i n g to L l o y d G e o r g e . In particular. S i r J o h n Maxwell. all liked a n d r e s p e c t e d h i m . C l a y t o n served as mentor to the a d v e n t u r o u s y o u n g archaeologists a n d orientalists who flocked to C a i r o to serve in the intelligence services d u r i n g the war. he claimed. Ill A l t h o u g h the F o r e i g n Office a n d the I n d i a Office often d i s p u t e d the views or p r o p o s a l s that Wingate a n d Clayton e s p o u s e d . they listened to his advice. by decision of the C o m m a n d i n g G e n e r a l in E g y p t . nobody d u r i n g the war q u e s t i o n e d their professional ability or their expert knowledge b a s e d on long experience in the M i d d l e E a s t . a n d steady. If the British forces in E g y p t h a d launched an attack on Sinai and Palestine t h e n — o r even in 1 9 1 5 — little effort would have been n e e d e d . sober. u s i n g information that b e c a m e available f r o m the G e r m a n side. He m u s t have h a d o u t s t a n d ing h u m a n qualities. the British g o v e r n m e n t failed to win the war d u r i n g the years when the war still could have been won on British t e r m s .

a n d low-born intriguers" in Constantinople. a b o u t a m o n t h before the O t t o m a n war b e g a n . in s u p p o s i n g that M o s l e m s were o p p o s e d to a J e w i s h Palestine b e c a u s e of the w a r . 8 S t o r r s wrote to K i t c h e n e r (which is to say. T h e false r u m o r that Berlin a n d C o n s t a n t i n o p l e were a b o u t to back Z i o n i s m echoed back a n d forth through the years. generally s u p p o r t e d the O t t o m a n E m p i r e a n d its alliance with G e r m a n y . even in n o n .C o l o n e l O s w a l d F i t z G e r a l d ) at the end of the year. M o s l e m opposition to a J e w i s h Palestine 9 . a p p e a r e d in the a u t u m n of 1914.i 92 KITCHENER OF KHARTOUM LOOKS AHEAD discovered that the E g y p t i a n police forces were h o n e y c o m b e d with s p i e s . the inhabitants of S y r i a were filled with hatred of the O t t o m a n g o v e r n m e n t b e c a u s e they believed it w o u l d s u p p o r t Z i o n i s m .Z i o n i s t Declaration immediately.G e r m a n J e w s . H e c o m m e n t e d o n p l a n s for the postwar M i d d l e E a s t ." the informant s t a t e d . " He a d d e d a d i s q u i e t i n g note a b o u t the intelligence i m b a l a n c e : " T h e E a s t is full of G e r m a n spies a n d they get fairly g o o d i n f o r m a t i o n . wrote from E g y p t to L o r d K i t c h e n e r that "It is very difficult to p u t a true value on all the r e p o r t s f r o m C o n s t a n t i n o p l e . " T h e s e Zionists are closely connected with Berlin a n d C o n s t a n t i n o p l e a n d are the m o s t i m p o r t a n t factor in the policy of Palestine. a n d claimed that M o s l e m s w o u l d o p p o s e a J e w i s h Palestine b e c a u s e they b l a m e d J e w s for the war. . I can get n o information direct a s the T u r k s g u a r d the frontier very closely—our agents cannot get t h r o u g h — t h o s e we had on the other side have been b a g g e d . An early sign of the i n a d e q u a c y of Cairo's intelligence a p p a r a t u s that o u g h t to have sent up a w a r n i n g signal. S t o r r s sent Maxwell a report of r e m a r k s m a d e by a S y r i a n informant a b o u t p u b l i c opinion b e h i n d enemy lines. a n d later in the w a r misled the British C a b i n e t into believing that it h a d to issue a p r o . financiers. J u s t after the war b e g a n . At the end of 1914 G e n e r a l Wingate b l a m e d the war on "a syndicate of J e w s . but d i d not. that the T u r k i s h network was s m a s h e d . 7 He a n d his colleagues c o m p o u n d e d the error by linking it to m i s l e a d i n g information a b o u t the state of M o s l e m opinion. to his personal military secretary. M o s l e m opinion. too. as F o r e i g n Office a n d A r a b B u r e a u reports later were to show. " 6 At least Maxwell was aware that he d i d not know what was g o i n g on in C o n s t a n t i n o p l e . . " In fact. L i e u t e n a n t . T h e y a c c e p t e d G e r a l d F i t z M a u r i c e ' s mistaken theory that the O t t o m a n g o v e r n m e n t was in the h a n d s of a g r o u p of p r o . A s i a M i n o r a n d S y r i a .T u r k i s h areas. a n d a section of which has u n d o u b t e d l y helped to thrust the T u r k s over the precip i c e . "Again would not I s l a m be extremely indignant at the idea of h a n d i n g over our c o n q u e s t s to a people which has taken no p a r t as a nation in the war. S t o r r s w a s w r o n g . Wingate a n d C l a y t o n fell into the t r a p of believing that they d i d . when the local British a r m y c o m m a n d e r . G e n e r a l Maxwell. A c c o r d i n g to the informant.

" Wingate. as intolerable. P e r h a p s the S c o t s are better than the E n g l i s h . He p r o p o s e d to create what would a p p e a r to be a new E g y p t i a n e m p i r e to replace the O t t o m a n E m p i r e in the A r a b i c speaking M i d d l e E a s t . b u t they p r o p o s e d to replace it with a different T u r k i s h g o v e r n m e n t . their ability to u n d e r s t a n d the natives w a s quite limited. the only possibility left was the one advocated by S t o r r s : the incorporation of S y r i a into British E g y p t . received with s o m e frequency. wrote in the second chapter of his a d v e n t u r e novel Greenmantle that "the truth is that we are the only race on earth that can p r o d u c e m e n c a p a b l e of getting inside the skin of r e m o t e p e o p l e s . Instead they seemingly relied on the sort of intuitive ability that S t e e v e n s had a s c r i b e d to W i n g a t e : the gift of b e i n g able to divine the extent to which any native is telling the truth. in the w a k e of Zionist colonization at the end of the nineteenth century. and since S t o r r s a n d his colleagues took it for g r a n t e d that the A r a b i c .KITCHENER'S LIEUTENANTS 93 had arisen long before the war. C l a y t o n . or at any rate a different I s l a m i c g o v e r n m e n t . it was not willing to be ruled by n o n . C l a y t o n . British Cairo particularly misu n d e r s t o o d one of the salient characteristics of the M o s l e m M i d d l e E a s t : to the extent that it was politically conscious. it was behind that facade that L o r d K i t c h e n e r w o u l d rule as Britain's viceroy. and S t o r r s acted as t h o u g h they u n d e r s t o o d the natives of the O t t o m a n E m p i r e as well as did the S c o t s hero of B u c h a n ' s novel.s p e a k i n g peoples could not govern t h e m s e l v e s . B e h i n d e n e m y lines there were M o s l e m s who were dissatisfied with the Y o u n g T u r k g o v e r n m e n t . S u m m a r i z i n g a m e m o r a n d u m s u b mitted by a S y r i a n leader who called for A r a b independence. indicated that—other than the M a r o n i t e s . s u c h as Britain. he believed thai he could offer the S y r i a n s a p o p u l a r alternative. J o h n B u c h a n . S e e n in that light. who later b e c a m e w a r t i m e D i r e c t o r of I n f o r m a t i o n in L o n d o n . In evaluating r e p o r t s that there was dissatisfaction with O t t o m a n rule in s o m e sections of the e m p i r e . a Christian sect with ties to the F r e n c h — m o s t S y r i a n s who held political views objected to the p r o s p e c t of b e i n g ruled in the postwar world by F r a n c e . S t o r r s a p p a r e n t l y believed that he c o u l d get a r o u n d that by p r e tending that it was E g y p t i a n rule that w o u l d be s u b s t i t u t e d for T u r k i s h rule. reports that S y r i a n s considered the G e r m a n s and T u r k s to be Zionists a n d the F r e n c h to be detestable meant that the S y r i a n s m u s t be p r o . S t o r r s derived particular satisfaction from reports that O t t o m a n rule h a d b e c o m e u n p o p u l a r in S y r i a .M o s l e m s . A characteristic flaw in the information-gathering c o n d u c t e d by Clayton a n d S t o r r s was that they frequently accepted information s u p p l i e d by a single informant without testing a n d checking it. b u t we're all a t h o u s a n d percent better than a n y b o d y else. As it t r a n s p i r e d . T h e y r e g a r d e d rule by a C h r i s tian E u r o p e a n power. A c c u rate r e p o r t s .B r i t i s h .

S p e e d w a s of the essence. . F r a n c e m a i n tained close ties with one of the C h r i s t i a n c o m m u n i t i e s a l o n g the M o u n t L e b a n o n coast of S y r i a . writing the s a m e d a y to F i t z G e r a l d / K i t c h e n e r to seek g u i d a n c e . Wingate. F r e n c h officials in the M i d d l e E a s t (like their British c o u n t e r p a r t s .94 KITCHENER OF KHARTOUM LOOKS AHEAD stated that "it is to E n g l a n d . T h e newly arrived H i g h C o m m i s s i o n e r in C a i r o . outlined the alternatives as they had u n d o u b t e d l y been d e s c r i b e d to him by S t o r r s a n d C l a y t o n : " T h e S y r i a n s want our intervention and say that unless we can give t h e m s o m e a s s u r a n c e of s u p p o r t they will have to turn to the F r e n c h altho they w o u l d prefer us to the F r e n c h . silk. S t o r r s wrote to F i t z G e r a l d / K i t c h e n e r that " T h e r e is no d o u b t that local S y r i a n feeling. C l a y t o n . F r a n c e ' s minister in C a i r o and C o n s u l .A r a b s are t u r n i n g . e c o n o m i c .h e a d e d a n d professionally a m b i t i o u s .000 French troops. is strongly in favor of our a d d i n g that country t o the E g y p t i a n S u l t a n a t e . the F o r e i g n Ministry. " T h e question was whether actively to p r o m o t e that feeling. a n d S t o r r s ) therefore f o r m u l a t e d p l a n s t o annex T u r k e y ' s S y r i a n p r o v i n c e s . 13 T h e i r p r o p o s a l could hardly have been m o r e i n o p p o r t u n e . a n d in 1 9 1 4 — a millennium later—there were still F r e n c h m e n who r e g a r d e d S y r i a a s p r o p e r l y part o f F r a n c e . a n d F r e n c h s h i p p i n g . T h u s for religious. a n d the C a b i n e t .h e a d e d a n d a m b i t i o u s t o o . Britain's m e n on the s p o t s u p p o s e d that A r a b s w a n t e d t o b e ruled b y E u r o p e a n s . While there were powerful colonialist figures in P a r l i a m e n t . in their view. F r a n c e ' s m e n on the s p o t were w r o n g . N o v e m b e r w a s a m o n t h in which everyone's attention was still f o c u s e d . M c M a h o n . T h e m o m e n t that the O t t o m a n E m p i r e entered the war. K i t c h e n e r ' s lieutenants a i m e d at taking control of S y r i a . a n d historical r e a s o n s .G e n e r a l in Beirut immediately joined in u r g i n g their g o v e r n m e n t to invade the L e b a n e s e coast. I t reached the F r e n c h g o v e r n m e n t in N o v e m b e r 1914. who would be joined—they believed—by 3 0 . T h e i r quixotic plan called for a landing of only about 2. " O n 2 F e b r u a r y 1915. a n d they also a i m e d to take S y r i a . 10 1 1 2 IV D u r i n g the C r u s a d e s . when it w a s still in exile in B o r d e a u x . . a n d other interests eyed c o m m e r c i a l possibilities in the area. that both S y r i a n C h r i s t i a n s a n d P a n . b o t h C h r i s t i a n a n d M u s l i m . " W r o n g . a n d b u o y e d by this mistaken belief. F r a n c e would have to strike before T u r k e y could raise an a r m y a n d before Britain c o u l d strike f i r s t . having fled from Paris in the face of the G e r m a n a d v a n c e to the M a r n e . F r a n c e saw herself as h a v i n g a role to play in Syria's affairs. 0 0 0 local volunteers. and to E n g l a n d alone. F r e n c h knights w o n k i n g d o m s a n d built castles in S y r i a .

16 Millerand immediately r e p o r t e d these conversations to the F r e n c h C a b i n e t . the War Minister. visited Paris. D e l c a s s e went over to L o n d o n and took u p the m a t t e r o f S y r i a with S i r E d w a r d G r e y . the Minister of War. K i t c h e n e r a n d his lieutenants also went on to p u r s u e other d a n g e r o u s d e s i g n s there. B u t their m e n on the s p o t in the M i d d l e E a s t continued to stir up trouble between Britain a n d F r a n c e .KITCHENER'S LIEUTENANTS 95 o n the mortal s t r u g g l e i n northern F r a n c e a n d B e l g i u m . As of 1914 F r a n c e s u p p l i e d 45 percent of the foreign capital in the private sector of the O t t o m a n e c o n o m y a n d 60 percent of the O t t o m a n p u b l i c debt. of A l e x a n d r e M i l l e r a n d . whether invited by her to participate or not. a n d the g o v e r n m e n t having returned to P a r i s — t h e p r o p o s a l to invade S y r i a did receive attention. a n d thus h a d an e n o r m o u s stake in the empire's continued existence a n d v i t a l i t y . S i r H e n r y M c M a h o n . as deliberate a n d s u b t l e evasions. . however. b u t that it would be far preferable for the e m p i r e not to be broken u p . a s s u m e d he m u s t be clever a n d a s t u t e : his i n c o m p e t e n t replies were interpreted by M i l l e r a n d . to s u p p o r t a S y r i a n expedition. T h e F r e n c h F o r e i g n Minister was r e a s s u r e d that Britain would not invade S y r i a without g i v i n g prior notice. D e l c a s s e was one of the m a n y F r e n c h officials who believed that a n n e x i n g S y r i a would be of m u c h less value to his country than p r e s e r v i n g the O t t o m a n E m p i r e w o u l d b e . A delegation of colonialist politicians s e c u r e d the agreement. M c M a h o n was notoriously dull-witted a n d ineffectual. m i s u n d e r s t a n d i n g the region. h o w e v e r — t h e contending a r m i e s i n E u r o p e having settled d o w n in their trenches. T h e p r o p o s a l to d i s p a t c h troops to S y r i a was rejected. r e m a i n e d vehemently o p p o s e d : " N o t h i n g a p p e a r s less desirable than intervention in S y r i a . b u t the F r e n c h . a n d . He m e t with officials of the F o r e i g n Ministry and War Ministry but failed to reply coherently to their q u e s t i o n s a b o u t Britain's M i d d l e E a s t e r n policy. m a s k i n g a secret British plan to invade a n d o c c u p y S y r i a by t h e m s e l v e s . who was a b o u t to take up his duties as K i t c h e n e r ' s replacement in C a i r o . T h e following m o n t h . " he s a i d . T h u s the foreign ministers settled the differences between their two c o u n t r i e s — t e m p o r a r i l y . Britain would not o p p o s e F r a n c e ' s d e s i g n s on S y r i a . T h e two foreign ministers a p p e a r to have agreed that if the O t t o m a n E m p i r e were to be partitioned. who d i d not know him. 1 4 15 O n 30—31 D e c e m b e r 1914. which authorized h i m to create an expeditionary force to invade S y r i a whenever Britain d i d . F o r e i g n Minister T h e o p h i l e D e l c a s s e . In F e b r u a r y 1915. in principle.

believed that in the M o s l e m world religion counts for everything." as an organization. T h e y r e g a r d e d I s l a m as a single entity: as an "it.s p e a k i n g part.10 K I T C H E N E R S E T S OUT T O CAPTURE ISLAM i T h e West a n d the M i d d l e E a s t have m i s u n d e r s t o o d each other throughout m o s t of the twentieth century. K i t c h e n e r a n d his colleagues believed that I s l a m could be b o u g h t . i t m u s t b e r e m e m b e r e d that when the O t t o m a n E m p i r e entered the F i r s t World War. C o r t e z had won control of M e x i c o by seizing the Aztec e m p e r o r . a n d his choice of A r a b politicians with w h o m to deal have colored the c o u r s e of political events ever since. or c a p t u r i n g its 96 . In m u c h the s a m e spirit. K i t c h e n e r . maintained that when the war was over. a n d m u c h of that m i s u n d e r s t a n d i n g can be traced b a c k to L o r d K i t c h e n e r ' s initiatives in the early years of the F i r s t World War. either in the M i d d l e E a s t or elsewhere. To a p p r e c i a t e the novelty of K i t c h e n e r ' s a p p r o a c h to the M i d d l e E a s t . it was in Britain's vital interest to seize m u c h of the O t t o m a n E m p i r e for herself: the A r a b i c . K i t c h e n e r . T h i s would m e a n a total reversal of Britain's traditional policy. G r e y . T h e y believed that it o b e y e d its leaders. a n d Churchill did not intend to retaliate by seizing any of its d o m a i n s for Britain. B u t the field m a r s h a l a n d his colleagues in C a i r o and K h a r t o u m mistakenly s e e m e d to believe that M o h a m m e d a n i s m was a centralized. however. the misinformation regularly s u p p l i e d to him by his lieutenants in C a i r o a n d K h a r t o u m . a n d medieval F r e n c h kings h a d tried to control C h r i s t e n d o m by keeping the p o p e captive in A v i g n o n . m a n i p u l a t i n g . b u t A s q u i t h ' s Britain h a d no territorial d e s i g n s of her own on O t t o m a n l a n d s . T h e peculiarities of his character. A s q u i t h . the deficiencies of his u n d e r s t a n d i n g of the M o s l e m world. C e n t u r i e s before. m a n i p u l a t e d . authoritarian s t r u c t u r e . or c a p t u r e d by b u y i n g . like m o s t B r i t o n s who h a d lived in the E a s t . T h e y did p r o p o s e to allow Britain's allies to m a k e territorial g a i n s in E u r o p e a n d A s i a M i n o r at T u r k e y ' s e x p e n s e .

the m y s t e r i o u s u p r i s i n g . the possibility of a M o s l e m Holy War against Britain was a recurring n i g h t m a r e . particularly R u s s i a . 1 T h e British imagination was h a u n t e d b y the I n d i a n M u t i n y (1857—9). J o h n B u c h a n . was inspired by a new religious leader who called himself the M a h d i . there is an ancient p r o p h e c y . there are portents of his c o m i n g .I s l a m i c unrest in E g y p t in 1905—6 had c a u s e d Britain deep concern. incited by religion. the War Minister worried that once the world war was won. S i n c e S u n n i M o s l e m s (who p r e d o m i n a t e d in M o h a m m e d a n I n d i a ) r e g a r d e d the T u r k i s h S u l t a n as a C a l i p h . F o r K i t c h e n e r a n d his e n t o u r a g e . a n d M o h a m m e d a n s constituted a disproportionately large part of the I n d i a n A r m y . and the S u d a n . who lived alongside the S u e z Canal sea r o a d to I n d i a . however. d r a m a t i z e d these fears in his 1916 novel Greenmantle. T h e reason was that when the war h a d been won. T h e D i r e c t o r o f I n f o r m a t i o n . T h e prophet a p p e a r s in T u r k e y . as of 1914. the caliphate c o u l d b e u s e d ( K i t c h e n e r believed) to u n d e r m i n e Britain's position in J n d i a . " P a n . In C a i r o a n d K h a r t o u m it was believed that. " T h e r e is a dry wind b l o w i n g t h r o u g h the E a s t . K i t c h e n e r saw a G e r m a n . and the parched g r a s s e s wait the s p a r k . a title E u r o p e a n s translated as " M e s s i a h . K i t c h e n e r perceived this as a continuing threat. the C a l i p h had fallen into the h a n d s of J e w s a n d G e r m a n s . After Britain had won the war. Central to K i t c h e n e r ' s analysis w a s the contention that the C a l i p h might hurl I s l a m against Britain. M o r e recently the u p r i s i n g in the S u d a n . In E g y p t a n d the S u d a n . b u t K i t c h e n e r knew that they could not even begin to deal with a revolt. there is a m o d e r n revelation. Britain ruled over half of the world's M o s l e m s . the C a l i p h m i g h t b e c o m e a tool in the h a n d s of Britain's M i d d l e E a s t rivals. Britain ruled millions m o r e . E g y p t . A n d the wind is blowing t o w a r d s the I n d i a n b o r d e r . " 2 K i t c h e n e r believed that a call to a r m s by the C a l i p h against Britain d u r i n g the 1914 war c o u l d p e r h a p s be offset by the w o r d s or actions of other M o s l e m religious leaders. I n enemy h a n d s . that had b r o u g h t d o w n the rule of the E a s t I n d i a C o m p a n y . which K i t c h e n e r had so brilliantly avenged. In India alone there were almost seventy million of t h e m . m o r e decisive action w o u l d b e necessary. and the region in which he intends to ignite a rebellion is m a d e explicit.KITCHENER SETS OUT TO CAPTURE ISLAM 97 religious l e a d e r s h i p . R u s s i a was s u r e to take p o s s e s s i o n of C o n s t a n t i n o p l e a n d — u n l e s s s o m e t h i n g were d o n e a b o u t it—of the C a l i p h . in which G e r m a n y m a k e s use of a M o s l e m p r o p h e t in a plot to destroy Britain's e m p i r e . T h e y were intrigued by the notion that whoever controlled the p e r s o n of the C a l i p h — M o h a m m e d ' s s u c c e s s o r — c o n trolled I s l a m . T i n y British g a r r i s o n s policed these tens of millions of natives.c o n t r o l l e d C a l i p h as merely .

after the war. M o h a m m e d h a d been an A r a b i a n . A b d u l l a h h a d been afraid that the Y o u n g T u r k s were a b o u t to m o v e against his father. A b d u l l a h s e e m s to have s o u g h t a s s u r a n c e s of British help if the Porte were to seek to . B u t he saw a R u s s i a n controlled C a l i p h as a mortal d a n g e r to the British E m p i r e . B u t shortly afterward his father a n d the Porte c o m p o s e d their differences. a n d also m e t with R o n a l d S t o r r s . as the O t t o m a n war a p p r o a c h e d . for (unlike A s q u i t h a n d G r e y ) . A n d even before the O t t o m a n E m p i r e entered the war. whose indolent disposition hid a bold intelligence. T h e only completely satisfactory o u t c o m e of the war. it is not certain what A b d u l l a h said in C a i r o a n d what was said to him. the ruler of M e c c a . A b d u l l a h a p p a r e n t l y first met L o r d K i t c h e n e r there in 1912 or 1913. had visited Cairo s o m e m o n t h s earlier and had s u g g e s t e d that A r a b i a m i g h t be ripe for revolt. was for G e r m a n y to lose it without R u s s i a winning i t — a n d in 1914 it was not clear how that could be acc o m p l i s h e d . T h e a d v a n t a g e o f this was that the coastline of the A r a b i a n peninsula could easily be controlled by the British navy. He met K i t c h e n e r in C a i r o again in F e b r u a r y a n d April 1914. So the War Minister p l a n n e d to strike first in the c o m i n g postwar s t r u g g l e with R u s s i a for control of the road to a n d into India. K i t c h e n e r believed she could g a i n control of I s l a m . so that British assistance was no longer needed. O n c e Britain could install the C a l i p h within her s p h e r e of influence in A r a b i a . K i t c h e n e r ' s p r o p o s a l was that. too. E v e n now. the favorite son of H u s s e i n . K i t c h e n e r p r o p o s e d to e n c o u r a g e the view that M o h a m m e d ' s s u c c e s s o r s a s C a l i p h should b e A r a b i a n . Britain s h o u l d a r r a n g e for her own nominee to b e c o m e C a l i p h . from K i t c h e n e r ' s point of view. a n d A b d u l l a h . II T o w a r d the end of the s u m m e r of 1914. G e r m a n y was an e n e m y in E u r o p e a n d R u s s i a was an enemy in A s i a : the p a r a d o x of the 1914 war in which Britain and R u s s i a were allied was t h a t by winning in E u r o p e . Britain risked losing in A s i a . G i l b e r t Clayton recalled that A b d u l l a h . Britain would be able to insulate the C a l i p h f r o m the influence of Britain's E u r o p e a n rivals. K i t c h e n e r believed that R u s s i a still harb o r e d a m b i t i o n s of taking I n d i a away from Britain. K i t c h e n e r ' s lieutenants in C a i r o r e m i n d e d the War Minister that an obvious c a n d i d a t e to be the A r a b i a n c a l i p h — t h e ruler of M e c c a — h a d already been in touch with him.98 KITCHENER OF KHARTOUM LOOKS AHEAD d a n g e r o u s — h e would a t t e m p t to foment unrest in I n d i a to throw Britain off balance in the E u r o p e a n war. At the time. looked a b o u t for p o s s i b l e s u p p o r t from a b r o a d . In K i t c h e n e r ' s view.

was u n a b l e to offer A b d u l l a h the encoura g e m e n t that h e s o u g h t . D i s c o n t e n t e d . T h u s a l . like his chief. or else decentralizing a n d allowing them g r e a t e r a u t o n o m y at the local level.* was b o r n a n d b r o u g h t up in E g y p t . P . a c l a s s m a t e of w h o m he held a low opinion. A b d u l l a h a p p a r e n t l y c l a i m e d — f a l s e l y — t h a t the rival chiefs of the A r a b i a n p e n i n s u l a were p r e p a r e d to follow his father in o p p o s i n g the Porte's d e s i g n s .u p c h a r g e s in early 1914. * T h e Circassians were a people from the Caucasus.s p e a k i n g e m i g r e s in C a i r o . m a y have misled h i m in this connection. U . a small secret society of a r m y officers who objected to the C . S t o r r s . T h e y advocated either a d m i t t i n g the A r a b i c . U .s p e a k i n g p o p u lations to a greater share of power in the central g o v e r n m e n t . 5 E n v e r P a s h a was responsible for h a v i n g h a d M a j o r a l . a n d other differences divided t h e m . dynastic. In fact none of the A r a b i a n e m i r s was willing to accept one of the others as a leader. T o S t o r r s . After military service in the field. o f C i r c a s s i a n ancestry. he h a d e m e r g e d as a leader of the Y o u n g T u r k e y Party.M a s r i r e s p o n d e d by organizing al'Ahd. with w h o m he met. h a d b e c o m e Minister of War. P . who i n q u i r e d in detail a b o u t the difficulties in A r a b i a . He s u g g e s t e d a future relationship between A r a b i a a n d Britain similar to that between A f g h a n i s t a n a n d Britain. B u t G i l b e r t Clayton failed to appreciate the extent to which religious.s p e a k i n g exiles living in C a i r o with w h o m Clayton s p o k e was a colorful former O t t o m a n a r m y officer a n d C .KITCHENER SETS OUT TO CAPTURE ISLAM 99 d e p o s e his father. s e e m s to have d i s c l a i m e d any interest in interfering in internal O t t o m a n affairs. or p e r h a p s b o t h . he h a d a t t e n d e d military school in the O t t o m a n E m p i r e . U . b e c a u s e he a s p i r e d to leadership of the O t t o m a n E m p i r e as a whole.M a s r i arrested and convicted on t r u m p e d .M a s r i .M a s r i unwillingly f o u n d himself cast in the role of an A r a b r e v o l u t i o n a r y — unwillingly. T h o u g h the idea was attractive to him. Prominent a m o n g the A r a b i c . . R e s p o n d i n g to opinion in C a i r o . 3 4 Several A r a b i a n e m i r s had indeed been in conflict for years with the Y o u n g T u r k leadership i n C o n s t a n t i n o p l e . Y e t he was a m e r e major attached to the G e n e r a l Staff at a t i m e when E n v e r .M a s r i . once ruled by Turkey and later by Russia. ' s centralizing policies a n d its failure to give those who s p o k e A r a b i c their fair s h a r e of high office. a l . T h e officers of al-'Ahd were united in their o p p o s i t i o n to the T u r k i f y i n g policies a d o p t e d by the C . A b d u l l a h m a y have been less i m p r e s s e d by the disclaimer of interest than by the e x p r e s s i o n of concern. politician n a m e d Aziz Ali a l . K i t c h e n e r . At the t i m e . A r a b i c . not a m e r e section of it. A l . P . in which the former exercised internal self-rule a n d the latter a d m i n i s t e r e d all foreign relations.

In the r h y t h m of life in the I s l a m i c E a s t .100 KITCHENER OF KHARTOUM LOOKS AHEAD L o r d K i t c h e n e r intervened o n his behalf. P e r h a p s Clayton was r e m i n d e d of A b d u l l a h ' s visit and of what he h a d said to S t o r r s a n d K i t c h e n e r . 6 Ill It was a c o m m o n British concern in 1914 that the O t t o m a n E m p i r e . p r o .M a s r i was m i s u n d e r s t o o d by the British intelligence officers who wrongly r e g a r d e d him both as powerful a n d as a potential ally. it a p p e a r s that a l . A l . R o n a l d S t o r r s focused attention on the s u p p l y of c a m e l s available to the O t t o m a n forces. a l . T h e Clayton m e m o r a n d u m was enclosed in a letter that S t o r r s was to s e n d to his old chief on the relatively innocuous subject of c a m e l s . the H e j a z . If s o . anti-British. O n e of the issues raised in Clayton's m e m o r a n d u m was whether the O t t o m a n S u l t a n could b e replaced a s C a l i p h of I s l a m by an A r a b i a n leader friendly to Britain. m i g h t launch an attack against the S u e z C a n a l . the E m i r of M e c c a . a s u p p o r t e r of the O t t o m a n E m p i r e who was o p p o s e d only to its g o v e r n m e n t . T h e O t t o m a n a r m y . a n d met with C l a y t o n . P e r h a p s he told C l a y t o n s o . the g u a r d i a n of the M o s l e m H o l y Places. he wrote in his letter to K i t c h e n e r . T h e world war interfered. no activity was m o r e important than the m a s s p i l g r i m a g e each year to the H o l y Places of A r a b i a — a p i l g r i m a g e that every M o s l e m able to do so is c o m m a n d e d to m a k e at least once in his lifetime. like officials in the war ministries of E u r o p e who analyzed the military potential of n e i g h b o r i n g e n e m y countries in t e r m s of railroad facilities. a n d D j e m a l P a s h a a r r a n g e d to have him p a r d o n e d a n d exiled to his native E g y p t . and what S t o r r s p r o p o s e d was to e n c o u r a g e the local r u l e r — t h e E m i r of M e c c a — n o t to deliver t h e m . Clayton met with R o n a l d S t o r r s and m a d e a r r a n g e m e n t s for him to forward a secret m e m o r a n d u m to L o r d K i t c h e n e r .M a s r i visited the British A g e n c y in C a i r o . since his childhood. of British rule in E g y p t . T h e m e s s a g e a b o u t c a m e l s served as his cover: with it S t o r r s forwarded Clayton's secret m e m o r a n d u m of 6 S e p t e m b e r 1914 to K i t c h e n e r which u r g e d h i m to enter into conversations with the ruler of M e c c a for other p u r p o s e s . a military politician who n u m b e r e d a m e r e handful of colleagues a m o n g his s u p p o r t e r s . After seeing a l . w o u l d count on obtaining its animals from the c a m e l . . was an o b v i o u s c a n d i d a t e .b r e e d e r s of the western district of A r a b i a .G e r m a n .M a s r i . a n d . In early S e p t e m b e r 1914. An o p p o n e n t . if it entered the war. the m o r e so as he was in a position to p r o v i d e Britain with important assistance in the matter of p i l g r i m a g e s .M a s r i knew that A b d u l Aziz I b n S a u d a n d other A r a b i a n leaders had in the p a s t considered rising against the P o r t e .

a n d not merely afterward. there was a question as to whether they w o u l d forgive the disruption of the p i l g r i m a g e that played so large a role in their lives. K i t c h e n e r cleared it with S i r E d w a r d G r e y . the nominal ruler of E g y p t u n d e r the S u l t a n . who also r e g a r d e d himself as a c a n d i d a t e to succeed the S u l t a n as C a l i p h of I s l a m . " A c c o r d i n g to Clayton's m e m o r a n d u m . 7 T h e claim that the other rival leaders w o u l d unite b e h i n d the E m i r of M e c c a was one that A b d u l l a h h a d a d v a n c e d on his father's behalf s o m e five m o n t h s before in conversations with R o n a l d S t o r r s . E v e n if I n d i a n M o s l e m s were to forgive Britain for g o i n g to war against the only significant i n d e p e n d e n t I s l a m i c power. C l a y t o n m a d e the erroneous assertion that the rival regional leaders of the A r a b i a n p e n i n s u l a — t h e rulers of Asir a n d the Y e m e n .M a s r i or by s o m e other exiled O t t o m a n figure. b u t friendly a n d favourable.o l d discussion of who the various a n d diverse A r a b i c . T h e H o l y Places o f A r a b i a ." 8 A few weeks later the m e s s e n g e r returned from his undercover j o u r n e y to O t t o m a n A r a b i a with a v a g u e but e n c o u r a g i n g reply. T h e novelty of the m e m o r a n d u m lay in the suggestion that the A r a b i a n s could be of service to Britain d u r i n g the war. and in the student q u a r t e r s of Paris from the nineteenth ." 9 Meanwhile the A g e n c y h a d again been in c o m m u n i c a t i o n with M a j o r a l .s p e a k i n g p e o p l e s of the e m p i r e were. K i t c h e n e r r e s p o n d e d immediately. the E m i r of M e c c a — i n addition to b e i n g ruler of the H e j a z — w a s in a position to a s s u m e the mantle of the C a l i p h . in which he o r d e r e d that S t o r r s be told to s e n d a trusted m e s s e n g e r to A b d u l l a h to ask a q u e s t i o n in confidence: in the event of war. T h e s e exiles from the O t t o m a n E m p i r e continued to carry on the d e c a d e s . C l a y t o n m a y have been indicating that the information h a d been recently confirmed to him by a l . w o u l d the H e j a z be for or against Britain? Before s e n d i n g his c a b l e .KITCHENER SETS OUT TO CAPTURE ISLAM 101 particularly in 1915. It is not clear how Clayton intended to reconcile the conflicting a m b i t i o n s of this diverse g r o u p . whose ruler therefore was in a position to s a f e g u a r d the right of British M o s l e m s to continue visiting their shrines despite the war. In his secret m e m o r a n d u m . or o u g h t to b e . the m o v e m e n t was e n c o u r a g e d by the K h e d i v e .M a s r i and also other A r a b i c e m i g r e s in C a i r o . It invited the War Minister to spell out what he h a d in m i n d . which he t e r m e d "very important. In presenting it as fresh information. who was i m p r e s s e d by Clayton's m e m o r a n d u m . a n d M e d i n a are located i n the H e j a z . a s well a s I b n S a u d a n d p e r h a p s I b n R a s h i d o f N e j d — w e r e c o m i n g together with the ruler of M e c c a to work for "an A r a b i a for the A r a b s . M e c c a . C a i r o cabled K i t c h e n e r that " C o m m u n i c a t i o n is g u a r d e d . T h i s question of national identity was one which h a d been raised in the coffee h o u s e s of D a m a s c u s a n d Beirut. He sent a cable to C a i r o on 24 S e p t e m b e r 1914. C l a i m i n g descent f r o m the Prophet's family.

cabled an intelligence m e m o r a n d u m a b o u t the secret societies to K i t c h e n e r on 26 October 1914. In large part they were m e m b e r s of the A r a b i c . what the exiles advocated was a greater say in g o v e r n m e n t a l matters. were of m i x e d ethnic stock a n d b a c k g r o u n d . told the A g e n c y that S t o r r s s h o u l d reply to A b d u l l a h . the lives of M o s l e m s circle a r o u n d a central m o s q u e . for. T h o u g h often referred to as nationalists. s u c h as a l . or of s u c h cities as Algiers or C a i r o . A great deal m o r e is now known a b o u t these m e n a n d what they represented than was known to the British at the t i m e . a n d h a d given rise to a variety of literary c l u b s a n d secret societies within the O t t o m a n E m p i r e .F a t a t and al-'Ahd. for historically. like the cities built in the A r a b world in medieval times.G e n e r a l in C a i r o . as the field marshal p o n d e r e d the t e r m s of his next m e s s a g e to A r a b i a . while the A r a b i c . In the context of O t t o m a n politics. U n l i k e E u r o p e a n nationalists. T h e y were willing to be ruled largely by T u r k s b e c a u s e the T u r k s were fellow-Moslems.s p e a k i n g p o p u l a t i o n s of s u c h provinces as B a g h d a d or D a m a s c u s . they asked for a greater m e a s u r e of participation a n d local rule. a n d m o r e a n d higher official positions for those who s p o k e A r a b i c — a b o u t the s a m e percentage a s s p o k e T u r k i s h . they were people whose beliefs existed in a religious rather than secular framework. 1 1 12 IV Kitchener's t e l e g r a m . the only ethnic or "true" A r a b s were the inhabitants of A r a b i a . which was cleared and sent by G r e y at the F o r e i g n Office.s p e a k i n g elites who had been well connected with the r e g i m e which h a d been overthrown by the Y o u n g T u r k s and who felt threatened by the p r o . T h e y lived within the walls of the city of I s l a m in a sense in which E u r o p e had not lived within C h r i s t e n d o m since the early M i d d l e A g e s . In one way or another. of which the British A g e n c y in C a i r o was b e c o m i n g increasingly a w a r e . as m e m b e r s of one or m o r e of the secret societies.s p e a k i n g exiles in C a i r o were r e s p o n d i n g to those policies of the Y o u n g T u r k g o v e r n ment which s u b j e c t e d the majority of the inhabitants of the O t t o m a n E m p i r e to the h e g e m o n y of the roughly 40 percent of the population who s p o k e T u r k i s h . P . the acting A g e n t and C o n s u l . T h e y did not ask for independ e n c e . Milne C h e e t h a m . U . the A r a b i c . p o l i c y .T u r k i s h and centralizing t r e n d s i n C . these m e n are m o r e accurately d e s c r i b e d as s e p a r a t i s t s .102 KITCHENER OF KHARTOUM LOOKS AHEAD century o n w a r d . 10 T h e r e were only a few dozen p e o p l e who were active partisans of A r a b i c nationalism ( s e p a r a t i s m ) in O c t o b e r 1914. s p a n n i n g the vast r a n g e of ancient p e o p l e s and cultures that e x t e n d e d from the Atlantic O c e a n to the Persian G u l f . T h e y did not represent an ethnic g r o u p .

Wingate believed in stirring up the tribes of A r a b i a on Britain's behalf. S y r i a a n d M e s o p o t a m i a " ) . 1 3 1 4 As the K i t c h e n e r m e s s a g e w a s b e i n g sent out in A r a b i c translation.s p e a k i n g A s i a ("Palestine. p r o m i s ing that if their inhabitants threw off the T u r k s .s p e a k i n g provinces. K i t c h e n e r . If the A r a b i c . in defiance of all the probabilities. who p r o p o s e d to deal with A r a b i a at the end of the war. a n d will give A r a b s every assistance against foreign a g g r e s s i o n . there was no reason why Britain s h o u l d not have g u a r a n t e e d help in protecting their future i n d e p e n d e n c e . " T h i s went far in the direction pointed out by R e g i n a l d Wingate. A g a i n the A g e n c y went b e y o n d its instructions. U n l i k e K i t c h e n e r . the e m i g r e g r o u p s with which C l a y t o n kept in contact in C a i r o s e e m to have told him that A r a b s in the H e j a z would be s u s p i c i o u s of British intentions. 15 A l t h o u g h the A g e n c y exceeded its instructions in m a k i n g this public offer. " H i s familiar c o m plaint was that his s u p e r i o r s h a d not heeded his advice in t i m e . " K i t c h e n e r here meant those who lived in A r a b i a .s p e a k i n g A s i a . if the A r a b i a n leaders freed their p e n i n s u l a f r o m the S u l t a n a n d declared their i n d e p e n d e n c e . . A p p a r e n t l y with the e n c o u r a g e m e n t of C l a y t o n . to do s o . Britain h a d not yet m a d e any conflicting c o m m i t m e n t to the Allied Powers r e g a r d i n g the future of A r a b i c . the impatient Wingate u r g e d i m m e d i a t e action at the b e g i n n i n g of the war. with G r e y ' s a p p r o v a l . Britain would recognize a n d g u a r a n t e e their i n d e p e n d e n c e . with respect b o t h to w a r t i m e a n d to postwar rivalries. It would have been in Britain's national interest. immediately authorized the A g e n c y to issue a further statement. E n g l a n d will g u a r a n t e e that no internal intervention take place in A r a b i a . Britain would help to protect t h e m against any invasion from a b r o a d . H i s goal was to lure the A r a b s away from the O t t o m a n E m p i r e a n d as early as 14 J a n u a r y 1915 he wrote to C l a y t o n that "I fear British action has been so long delayed that it is doubtful if we shall now s u c c e e d i n detaching the A r a b s . the p l e d g e itself was a reasonable one. At the A g e n c y . C h e e t h a m a n d S t o r r s were r e s p o n s i b l e for s u p e r vising the translation of this m e s s a g e into A r a b i c . a n d i s s u e d proclam a t i o n s directed not merely to A r a b i a . but to practically all of A r a b i c . h a d struck a m a j o r blow for the Allied c a u s e by s e c e d i n g from the O t t o m a n E m p i r e a n d by successfully winning their f r e e d o m by their own exertions. . It was rather the m e s s a g e that K i t c h e n e r had authorized that was troubling.KITCHENER SETS OUT TO CAPTURE ISLAM 103 that "If the A r a b nation assist E n g l a n d in this war that has been forced u p o n us by T u r k e y . ) In other w o r d s . a n d that s o m e sort of clarification of what was b e i n g p r o m i s e d w o u l d be in o r d e r . for—reflecting his belief that A r a b i a was important not for the role it c o u l d play in the war b u t for the role it could play after the w a r — h e h a d closed his m e s s a g e to M e c c a with his b o m b s h e l l : "It . " ( B y " A r a b s . they b r o a d e n e d its l a n g u a g e to p l e d g e British s u p p o r t for "the e m a n c i p a t i o n of the A r a b s .

the d o m i n i o n of the C a l i p h as u p h o l d e r of the H o l y L a w is p e r v a s i v e . Wingate. K i t c h e n e r ' s followers. for he a n d K i t c h e n e r had not intended that the area ruled by the E m i r s h o u l d be e x p a n d e d . of c o u r s e . As will be seen. were not likely to u n d e r s t a n d what he h a d in m i n d . for like so m a n y of the d o z e n s of c o n t e n d i n g sects into which I s l a m is divided. a n d S t o r r s were mistaken in believing that the C a l i p h could be a spiritual leader only.104 KITCHENER OF KHARTOUM LOOKS AHEAD m a y be that an A r a b of true race will a s s u m e the K h a l i f a t e at M e c c a or M e d i n a . B u t A r a b i a n s . living within the political confines of their own peninsula. T h e y would be even less likely to recognize that K i t c h e n e r . m i s s e d the i m p o r t a n c e of another point: they ignored the extent of I s l a m i c disunity a n d f r a g m e n t a t i o n . Wingate. where it a n d M o h a m m e d were b o r n thirteen centuries before. when the ruler of M e c c a o p e n e d the di s c u s s i o n of what the b o u n d a r i e s of his new k i n g d o m were to b e . In the s u m m e r of 1915. C l a y t o n . b u t that was not a realistic possibility. What B r i t i s h C a i r o d i d not see is that the C a l i p h is also a p r i n c e : a governor a n d a leader in battle as well as a leader in prayer. who read it as an offer to make him ruler of a vast k i n g d o m . falls within the g o v e r n a n c e of the H o l y L a w . to recognize the spiritual authority of the S u n n i ruler of M e c c a . all of life. leader of the fierce puritanical Wahhabi sect. that in medieval E u r o p e pitted p o p e against e m peror. K i t c h e n e r . 16 S c h o l a r s have been kept b u s y ever since explaining to western s t u d e n t s of the M i d d l e E a s t that the split between t e m p o r a l a n d spiritual authority. T h u s the K i t c h e n e r plan called for I b n S a u d . C l a y t o n . so that in the eyes of S u n n i M o s l e m s . a n d i m p r e s s u p o n t h e m that "he has no idea of p r e t e n d i n g to any temporal rights within their territories. was K i t c h e n e r ' s strategy for p r e p a r i n g for the rivalry with R u s s i a which was b o u n d to follow the conclusion of the war against G e r m a n y . T h e y would not know that at the outset of one great conflict between E u r o p e a n p o w e r s he was already thinking a h e a d to the next." 1 7 . " R e s t o r i n g the caliphate to A r a b i a . for that. is what the new C a l i p h of I s l a m would have been. In I s l a m . including g o v e r n m e n t a n d politics. S t o r r s w a s a p p a l l e d . s u c h as the O t t o m a n S u l t a n a n d the E m i r of M e c c a . S t o r r s wrote to F i t z G e r a l d / K i t c h e n e r that if the ruler of M e c c a could conciliate the other ruling e m i r s a n d chieftains of the A r a b i a n peninsula. theirs were at daggers drawn. d i d not o c c u r in the world of I s l a m . a n d S t o r r s did not u n d e r s t a n d the nature of the caliphate. for all their s u p p o s e d knowledge of the I s l a m i c world. a n d so g o o d m a y c o m e by the help of G o d out of all the evil that is now o c c u r r i n g . his chances of a g e n e r a l — t h o u g h hardly yet of a universal—recognition as C a l i p h will be good. T h e p r o p o s a l which K i t c h e n e r a n d his followers sent off to M e c c a misled its recipient.

while ( u n b e k n o w n to t h e m too) the l a n g u a g e they u s e d e n c o u r a g e d him to a t t e m p t to b e c o m e ruler of the entire A r a b w o r l d — t h o u g h in fact S t o r r s believed that it w a s a mistake for H u s s e i n to aim at e x t e n d i n g his rule at all. .KITCHENER SETS OUT TO CAPTURE ISLAM 105 T h e British intended to s u p p o r t the c a n d i d a c y of H u s s e i n for the position of "Pope" of I s l a m — a position that ( u n b e k n o w n to t h e m ) did not exist. K i t c h e n e r a n d his lieutenants would have been astonished to learn what their c o m m u n i c a t i o n signified to M o s l e m s in A r a b i a .

S e c r e t a r y to the Political D e p a r t m e n t of the I n d i a Office. " I n d i a s e e m s o b s e s s e d with the fear of a powerful a n d united A r a b state. M . in hinting at an A r a b caliphate. M ." 3 4 5 A t t e m p t i n g to soothe feelings in the India Office and in the G o v e r n m e n t of I n d i a .11 INDIA P R O T E S T S i A r t h u r Hirtzel. "What we want is not a U n i t e d A r a b i a : but a weak a n d disunited A r a b i a . Hirtzel quickly criticized "a very d a n g e r o u s c o r r e s p o n d e n c e " which. H i r t z e l p r o t e s t e d that it w a s "a startling d o c u m e n t . forwarded to the I n d i a Office with s u p p o r t from the g o v e r n o r s of A d e n . split up into little principalities so far as possible u n d e r o u r s u z e r a i n t y — b u t i n c a p a b l e of coordinated action against u s . would not d o . w a s not shown the K i t c h e n e r m e s s a g e s to H u s s e i n until 12 D e c e m b e r 1914—after they h a d reached M e c c a . and that M o s l e m s in I n d i a . f o r m i n g a buffer against the P o w e r s in the W e s t . " T h i s m i s u n d e r s t o o d British Cairo's intentions: as Clayton later wrote to Wingate. L o r d C r e w e . . . B o m b a y . " "a g u a r a n t e e given . which can never exist unless we are fool e n o u g h to create it. privately told the Viceroy that K i t c h e n e r refused to see that the spiritual prestige of the existing C a l i p h — t h e T u r k i s h S u l t a n — r e m a i n e d intact. 1 2 W h e n h e saw K i t c h e n e r ' s p l e d g e t o protect A r a b i a n i n d e p e n d e n c e . a n d elsewhere. " T h e S e c r e t a r y of S t a t e for I n d i a . "does the very thing which this Office has always u n d e r s t o o d that H . He was a g h a s t . G . even if they accepted his being replaced would never accept his b e i n g replaced as a result of foreign meddling. which explained that. L o r d C r e w e explained that there had been no prior consultation a b o u t the K i t c h e n e r pledge b e c a u s e "this was a private c o m m u n i c a t i o n of L o r d K i t c h e n e r ' s " rather than an official 106 . " H i r t z e l ' s protest was b u t t r e s s e d by an earlier m e m o r a n d u m from the F o r e i g n D e p a r t m e n t of the G o v e r n m e n t of I n d i a . who held h i m in high r e g a r d . G . i n writing w i t h o u t the a u t h o r i t y o f H .

Whatever she did. L i k e A b d u l l a h i n C a i r o . a n d eastern A r a b i a . T h e F o r e i g n D e p a r t m e n t of the G o v e r n m e n t of I n d i a exercised responsibility for relations with s u c h n e i g h b o r i n g areas a s T i b e t .INDIA PROTESTS 107 c o m m u n i c a t i o n f r o m H i s Majesty's G o v e r n m e n t . it had avoided involvement in the politics of the interior. T h o u g h the G o v e r n m e n t of I n d i a h a d long followed a policy of holding the coastal p o r t s along the Persian G u l f sea route to S u e z . he intervened in an area of I n d i a n concern a n d activity. as Political A g e n t in K u w a i t . a n d L o r d K i t c h e n e r ' s I s l a m i c policy p o s e d a threat to this vital interest. C a p t a i n William H e n r y S h a k e s p e a r . m a n y o f w h o m were M o s l e m . 6 II India's institutional outlook w a s that of a b e l e a g u e r e d g a r r i s o n s p r e a d too thin along an o v e r e x t e n d e d line. a n emir and a rising p o w e r in central A r a b i a . H e r instinct w a s to avoid new involvements. H e r strategy for the M i d d l e E a s t w a s to hold the bare m i n i m u m — t h e coastline of the G u l f . Colonization a n d e c o n o m i c d e v e l o p m e n t of these provinces w o u l d b r i n g great riches. it flamed on heatedly t h r o u g h o u t the war a n d afterward. a n d like K i t c h e n e r a n d S t o r r s . it w a s believed. in the years immediately p r e c e d i n g the o u t b r e a k o f w a r . British I n d i a w a s d e t e r m i n e d to identify her interests with those o f her s u b j e c t s . to keep o p e n the sea r o a d to a n d f r o m B r i t a i n — a n d t o refuse t o b e d r a w n inland. an officer in the I n d i a n Political S e r v i c e . E v e n s o . a n d the G o v e r n m e n t of I n d i a also a d m i n i s t e r e d Britain's protectorate over A d e n a n d the G u l f s h e i k h d o m s t h r o u g h a network of g o v e r n o r s a n d resident a g e n t s . entered into relations of political a n d personal friendship with A b d u l Aziz I b n S a u d . even t h o u g h in the p a s t its officials h a d often w a r n e d against a s s u m i n g further territorial responsibilities. S h a k e s p e a r w a s obliged to indicate that his g o v e r n m e n t w a s unwilling to interfere in m a t t e r s of purely d o m e s t i c O t t o m a n concern. h a d . a n d the G o v e r n m e n t of I n d i a w a s t e m p t e d . T h u s when K i t c h e n e r entered into d i s c u s s i o n s with the ruler of M e c c a . T h i s w a s even m o r e t r u e at the time b e c a u s e the F o r e i g n Office b a c k e d the p r o . Persia. B u t the j u r i s d i c tional d i s p u t e that h a d flared up w a s not extinguished by s u c h a s s u r a n c e s .T u r k i s h H o u s e of 7 . N o n e t h e l e s s the u n w a n t e d war against the O t t o m a n E m p i r e o p e n e d u p the possibility o f a n n e x i n g n e a r b y B a s r a a n d B a g h d a d . A f g h a n i s t a n . I b n S a u d h a d e x p r e s s e d a willingness for his d o m a i n to b e c o m e a British client s t a t e . K i t c h e n e r ' s initiatives also i n t r u d e d into a foreign policy s p h e r e in which the G o v e r n m e n t of I n d i a jealously g u a r d e d its rights against c o m p e t i t o r s within the British g o v e r n m e n t .

T a k i n g a contrary view. long a friend of B r i t a i n . 1 1 * "Simla" is often used to mean the Government of India. a n d that he had f o u n d the caliphate question to be of no interest to t h e m . f r o m the British point of view.M a s r i on an expedition to organize agitation a n d p e r h a p s revolution in M e s o p o t a m i a . Britain's friends. was aware of others in the A r a b i c . in warning of r e p e r c u s s i o n s in A r a b i a . only to find C a i r o b a c k i n g a rival in M e c c a . on the b a s i s of prewar dealings. A F o r e i g n Office official. the m o n t h that the O t t o m a n E m p i r e entered the war. it would also do no g o o d in the A r a b world. I b n S a u d said that a m o n g the A r a b i a n chiefs "no one cared in the least who called himself C a l i p h . Percy C o x . I n d i a was free to b a c k her p r o t e g e I b n S a u d . I b n S a u d s h o u l d lead this revolt. . found its own projects thwarted by I n d i a . reported in D e c e m b e r 1915 that he h a d held meetings with the S h e i k h of K u w a i t a n d I b n S a u d . worse. noted that the E m i r o f Mecca's two enemies t h e r e — I b n S a u d a n d S e y y i d M o h a m m e d a l . I n d i a believed that if the A r a b s ever were to turn against the T u r k i s h g o v e r n m e n t . the ruler of A s i r — w e r e . C a i r o p r o p o s e d (with the a p p r o v a l of Sir E d w a r d G r e y ) to s e n d M a j o r a l . they w o u l d not work. " a n d claimed that his W a h h a b i sect did not recognize any caliphs after the first four (the last of w h o m h a d died m o r e than a t h o u s a n d years before). C a i r o . E v e r fearful of igniting a conflagration that c o u l d blaze out of control. what the caliphate issue was principally a b o u t ) . in turn. there was the friendly ruler of the Persian port of M u h a m m a r a .I d r i s i . A p a r t f r o m this difference in overall strategy. T h e r e w a s S h e i k h M u b a r a k of K u w a i t . whose summer capital it was. b u t a s o f D e c e m b e r 1914. the Viceroy a r g u e d that action along these lines would be p r e m a t u r e . 8 9 10 I n d i a n officials m a d e the point that Cairo's policies were reckless. "dangerous scoundrel" t h o u g h Hirtzel believed him to b e . there was even S a y y i d T a l i b . I n d i a blocked the p r o p o s a l . the p a r a m o u n t rulers of central A r a b i a a n d the H o u s e of S a u d ' s hereditary e n e m y . Britain's s p o n s o r s h i p of an A r a b caliphate would not only adversely affect M o s l e m opinion in I n d i a ( a n d M o s l e m opinion in I n d i a was. B u t with the o u t b r e a k of war. in his view. S i m l a . of the Indian Political S e r v i c e . K i t c h e n e r a n d his followers in C a i r o a n d K h a r t o u m looked to Sherif H u s s e i n as Britain's important A r a b i a n ally.108 K I T C H E N E R OF KHARTOUM LOOKS AHEAD R a s h i d . a n d i s s u e d p r o c l a m a t i o n s u r g i n g A r a b s t o revolt.s p e a k i n g world who might be alienated by British s u p p o r t for the E m i r of Mecca's pretensions. In N o v e m b e r 1914. the m a g n a t e o f B a s r a .

a n d s p e e c h e s . however. In O c t o b e r 1915 G i l b e r t C l a y t o n wrote a m e m o r a n d u m a r g u i n g that although the jihad until then had been a failure. u p o n entering the F i r s t World War. the S u l t a n / C a l i p h p r o c l a i m e d a jihad. b u t nothing h a p p e n e d . a n d g i v i n g serious t r o u b l e in I n d i a . He was right. " 17 18 * Troubles caused by groups such as the nomadic Senussi on Egypt's Libyan frontier were minor. In N o v e m b e r 1914. n o b o d y in L o n d o n or in S i m l a s e e m s to have d r a w n the a p p r o p r i a t e conclusion f r o m art e p i s o d e at the end of 1914 that showed the power of the C a l i p h h a d been put to the test a n d had been shown to be illusory. they might be able to declare a regular J e h a d [sic]. " 15 1 6 Meanwhile Wingate. the skeptical G e r m a n a m b a s s a d o r p r o v e d a better p r o p h e t : he wrote in a private letter that the p r o c l a m a t i o n would "coax only a few M o s l e m s " to c o m e over to the side of the Central P o w e r s . A c c o r d i n g to L o r d C r e w e . against Britain. T h e staff o f the G e r m a n F o r e i g n Ministry predicted that the S u l t a n ' s actions w o u l d "awaken the fanaticism of I s l a m " a n d m i g h t lead to a large-scale revolution in I n d i a .* 1 4 E n t h u s i a s m for a Holy War was low. T h e r e were c r o w d s . p r o b a b l y affecting Afghanistan. a n d S t o r r s were actively p u r s u i n g the K i t c h e n e r plan that called for an association in the postwar world with A r a b i a a n d with a n A r a b i a n religious p r i m a t e .INDIA PROTESTS 109 III O d d l y . a s s u r e d F i t z G e r a l d / K i t c h e n e r that "We shall do what we can to p u s h the A r a b m o v e m e n t & I have got various irons in the fire in this c o n n e c t i o n . 1 2 1 3 T h e G e r m a n military attache in C o n s t a n t i n o p l e believed that the proclamation w o u l d influence M o s l e m soldiers in the British a n d F r e n c h a r m i e s not to fire on G e r m a n t r o o p s . T h e British. but Wingate. . a m i d s t well-planned d e m o n s t r a t i o n s in C o n s t a n t i n o p l e . T h e jihad was p r o c l a i m e d . in a coinage of the F i r s t World War. the only reason it had not worked was b e c a u s e the Porte did not control the Holy Places of the H e j a z : "If the C o m m i t t e e of U n i o n a n d P r o g r e s s get control of M e c c a . Clayton. However. T h e cautious Clayton w a r n e d that the A r a b caliphate was a delicate matter a n d should b e p r o p o s e d b y A r a b s t h e m s e l v e s . b a n d s . or H o l y War. and might well have occurred in any event. a " d u d " : a shell that was fired. it still m i g h t c o m e a l i v e . The jihad p r o v e d to b e . b u t failed to explode. T h e W i l h e m s t r a s s e o r d e r e d copies o f the proclamation to be forwarded immediately to Berlin for translation into "Arabic a n d I n d i a n " (sic) for leaflet p r o p a g a n d a a m o n g M o s l e m t r o o p s i n e n e m y a r m i e s . a s always impatient to m o v e forward. Secretary of S t a t e for I n d i a . even in C o n s t a n t i n o p l e . continued to be wary a n d feared that any jolt might c a u s e the unexp l o d e d shell s u d d e n l y to go off.

S i m l a was g o i n g to s e n d m a n y of its E u r o p e a n soldiers to E u r o p e . F o r the duration of the war it was in a weak position to quell whatever u p r i s i n g s m i g h t occur. D u r i n g the c o u r s e of the war. As the war p r o g r e s s e d . C a i r o a n d C o n s t a n t i n o p l e both s e e m e d to S i m l a to be p u r s u i n g policies that threatened to inflame M o s l e m p a s s i o n s in I n d i a a n d t h u s to imperil the I n d i a n E m p i r e . . b u t the British officials g o v e r n i n g E g y p t . B r i t i s h C a i r o went a h e a d with its intrigues in M e c c a .110 K I T C H E N E R OF KHARTOUM LOOKS AHEAD B u t the I n d i a Office continued to fear that. British officials who ruled I n d i a increasingly c a m e to believe that their m o s t d a n g e r o u s adversaries were neither the T u r k s nor the G e r m a n s . for despite India's p r o t e s t s . as a result of these activities. a n d large n u m b e r s of I n d i a n t r o o p s as well. M e c c a would be d r a w n into the vortex of world p o l i t i c s — a n eventuality that might d i s t u r b opinion in I n d i a at a time when any d i s t u r b a n c e could prove fatal.

M o s l e m s . a b o u t 200 miles a c r o s s . the long a n d narrow western section of the A r a b i a n p e n i n s u l a b o r d e r i n g the R e d S e a . f r o m the nearest coastal p o r t . H e j a z m e a n s " s e p a r a t i n g " — a reference to the highlands that divide it f r o m the plateau to the east. E n t r a n c e into its precincts was prohibited to n o n . D a t e s . were the staple c r o p . Protecting the p i l g r i m s from m a r a u d i n g B e d o u i n tribes was a principal function of the local representative of the O t t o m a n government . h a d always lent it considerable a u t o n o m y . A b o u t 7 0 . 0 0 0 . its distance f r o m C o n s t a n t i n o p l e . A l t h o u g h it f o r m e d part of the O t t o m a n E m p i r e . M e c c a was a two-day camel j o u r n e y . a n d controlled the p a s s a g e s t h r o u g h the s u r r o u n d i n g hills. the H e j a z precariously s u p p o r t e d a population estimated at 3 0 0 . Only a few E u r o p e a n travelers had s u c c e e d e d in penetrating the city in d i s g u i s e a n d b r i n g i n g back detailed descriptions of it. at its widest. A b o u t 750 miles long a n d . magnified by the primitive state of transportation a n d c o m m u n i c a t i o n s . 0 0 0 .12 T H E MAN IN T H E M I D D L E i M e c c a . w a s "physically the m o s t desolate and uninviting province in A r a b i a . t o which h e e m i g r a t e d . but the real industry of the province was the annual p i l g r i m a g e . a n d the authorities m a d e a practice of offering s u b s i d i e s to the tribes in the hope of p e r s u a d i n g t h e m that there was better pay in s a f e g u a r d i n g than in molesting the visitors. Its population was estimated at 6 0 . " Whole sections of it were u n watered a n d u n i n h a b i t e d wilderness. half-Bedouin a n d half-townsmen. are the holy cities that for M o s l e m s everywhere give u n i q u e i m p o r t a n c e to the m o u n t a i n o u s H e j a z . in the w o r d s of the 1910 Encyclopaedia Britannica. a n d M e d i n a . of which a h u n d r e d varieties were said to grow. where M o h a m m e d was b o r n . a n d exercised the powerful lure of the f o r b i d d e n . In the early twentieth century A r a b i a was an e m p t y a n d desolate land. or a b o u t forty-five miles. It lay in a hot a n d b a r r e n valley. Ill . 0 0 0 p i l g r i m s m a d e the journey t o M e c c a each year. a n d the H e j a z .

even the p r y i n g eyes of enemies were unable to detect him in any i m p r o p e r c o n d u c t . who ruled the H e j a z on behalf of the O t t o m a n S u l t a n . a n d are only kept b a c k in the m a r c h of p r o g r e s s by the r e m a r k a b l e defect of organizing power and incapacity for c o m b i n e d action. it is with impatience that even these are b o r n e . they yield to few races. T h u s . mentally. which backed the candidate of a rival clan. of m a n k i n d . however. H u s s e i n ibn Ali. was personally selected by the S u l t a n . ' s C o n s t a n t i n o p l e b r o u g h t the arid H e j a z into the center of twentieth-century politics. were a m o n g nature's aristocrats. . T h e new attentions that M e c c a received in the 1914 war b r o u g h t it into the center in other ways. N o w . T h e r e . M e c c a had always been the center of the world. was not an easy one. P . " T h e u n s p e a k a b l e vices of M e c c a are a scandal to all I s l a m . he had spent m u c h of his life in glorified captivity at the court in C o n s t a n t i n o p l e . like his courtly friend the G r a n d Vizier and like the S u l t a n himself. a n d a constant s o u r c e of wonder to pious p i l g r i m s . T h e slave trade has connexions with the p i l g r i m a g e which are not thoroughly clear. he spent his time in meditation. A c c o r d i n g to the Encyclopaedia Britannica. was a m e m b e r of the H o u s e of H a s h e m . if any. over the opposition of the C . was styled the Sherif of M e c c a a n d its E m i r . H u s s e i n continually e x p r e s s e d s t r o n g personal loyalty to the S u l t a n . To be a sherif. he found himself caught in the m i d d l e . H u s s e i n . was a figurehead. they s u r p a s s m o s t . Of m e d i u m height." Y e t E u r o p e a n travelers also r e p o r t e d that the people of the H e j a z . if the Britannica was to be believed. and indeed of all A r a b i a . T h e j o b of the E m i r of M e c c a ." . F o r s o m e time it had been the practice of the O t t o m a n regime to appoint the E m i r of M e c c a from a m o n g rival sherifs. U . F o r M o s l e m s .. In 1908 H u s s e i n . the a m b i t i o n s of K i t c h e n e r ' s C a i r o a n d of the C . or notable. . U . with a white b e a r d . A c c o r d i n g to the Britannica: Physically the A r a b s are one of the strongest a n d noblest races of the world . L a x a n d imperfect as are their f o r m s of g o v e r n m e n t . . a n d a b o u t sixty years of a g e in 1914. was to be a d e s c e n d a n t of M o h a m m e d . . physically. b u t u n d e r cover of the p i l g r i m a g e a great deal of importation a n d exportation of slaves g o e s on. Real power at the Porte was Hussein referred to himself and his family as "Hashemites. w a s a m a n of old-fashioned b r e e d i n g a n d learning whose style of expression was ornate. less welcome to its E m i r .112 KITCHENER OF KHARTOUM LOOKS AHEAD T h e s e E u r o p e a n s reported that even in the holy city certain dark practices lingered from a primitive p a s t .' A w n clan. T h e S u l t a n . like M o h a m m e d himself. P . of the D h a w u . a n d H u s s e i n .

threatened to exercise direct rule over M e d i n a . for his family. the T u r k i s h government's plan would make H u s s e i n into a m e r e s u b o r d i n a t e functionary. T h e g o v e r n m e n t p u s h e d forward with construction of the H e j a z railroad. b u t not H u s s e i n .T H E MAN IN THE MIDDLE 113 wielded by the Y o u n g T u r k s . and the rest of the H e j a z . g o v e r n m e n t c o n s p i r e d to decrease it. P . T h i s was a threat to the c a m e l .o w n i n g B e d o u i n tribes of the H e j a z and to their lucrative control of the pilgrim routes to the Holy Places. If carried into effect.s p e a k i n g half of the e m p i r e . " Y e t the T u r k i s h g o v e r n m e n t also strongly distrusted him. to M e d i n a in the H e j a z . was for b o l d n e s s . F e i s a l advised against o p p o s i n g the g o v e r n m e n t . A b d u l l a h . the C . the A r a b d e p u t i e s in the O t t o m a n Parliament asked H u s s e i n to lead the A r a b i c . . a short. By 1913 A r a b nationalists apparently r e g a r d e d him as "a tool in the hands of the T u r k s for striking the A r a b s . a n d e x p l o r e d the possibility of d e p o s i n g h i m . F o r H u s s e i n . while the centralizing C . A b d u l l a h . in perpetuity. a n d n e r v o u s . with w h o m he was out of s y m p a t h y . they explored the possibility of uniting against the Y o u n g T u r k s in s u p p o r t of greater rights for the A r a b i c . at curtailing the E m i r ' s a u t o n o m y . In the years just before the b e g i n n i n g of the E u r o p e a n war. a m o n g other things. T h o u g h loyal to the S u l t a n . A year later the secret societies s e e m to have a p p r o a c h e d his rivals. the secret societies in D a m a s c u s a n d the various rival lords of A r a b i a were in frequent touch with one another. Hussein's a m b i t i o n was to m a k e his position as E m i r s e c u r e for himself a n d . capital of what is now S y r i a . he r e f u s e d . he believed that with the s u p p o r t of the secret societies a n d of Britain it could be d o n e . U s i n g the railroad and also the t e l e g r a p h .s p e a k i n g p e o p l e s in throwing off the T u r k i s h yoke. U . he found himself increasingly at o d d s with the Sultan's g o v e r n m e n t . a n d in particular with its policy of centralization. 1 T w o of H u s s e i n ' s sons were active politically. was a d e p u t y from M e c c a in the O t t o m a n Parliament. Feisal. was for caution. while Feisal was a d e p u t y from J e d d a h . tall. b u t not a c h a n g e in allegiance. astute man with a politician's conciliating manner. T h e railroad already ran from D a m a s c u s . H u s s e i n res p o n d e d by inspiring civil d i s t u r b a n c e s . quick. new m e n without family b a c k g r o u n d . At one time or another most of the principal A r a b i a n chiefs were involved in s u c h conversations. his favorite. A b d u l l a h counselled his father to resist the g o v e r n m e n t . He strove to increase his independence. this represented a c h a n g e in policy. heavy-set. a i m e d . who h a d b e g u n his administration of affairs by u s i n g T u r k i s h t r o o p s against the A r a b i a n tribes. What the g o v e r n m e n t p r o p o s e d was to extend the line to M e c c a and to the port of J e d d a h . M e c c a . P . He remained in the a m b i g u ous position of s u p p o r t i n g the O t t o m a n E m p i r e while o p p o s i n g its government. In 1911. U .

A c c o r d i n g to A b d u l l a h a n d H u s s e i n . he asked for mo n e y to raise t r o o p s a n d s u p p l i e s for the O t t o m a n E m p i r e . the time was not yet ripe. family. as well as its secret plan to a p p o i n t a new emir in H u s s e i n ' s p l a c e . his rival a n d a powerful warlord to the east. p r o m i s i n g to s e n d t r o o p s to join in the attack. At the s a m e t i m e — a t the e n d of 1 9 1 4 — w h e n D j e m a l P a s h a p r e p a r e d to attack the British at the S u e z C a n a l . T h e r e were the A r a b nationalists. however. as to whether or not he s h o u l d associate M e c c a with the S u l t a n ' s call for a Holy War against Britain a n d her allies. however. He h a d r e d u c e d the political influence of the local C . while A b d u l l a h replied to S t o r r s in British C a i r o that the H e j a z h a d d e c i d e d to side with Britain in the war. l o d g e s in M e c c a a n d M e d i n a . w h o m he h a d threatened a n d who threatened him. a n d he d i s c u s s e d with A r a b i c nationalist leaders from D a m a s c u s the possibility of joint action against the Porte. H u s s e i n a n d A b d u l l a h m a y well have s u s p e c t e d a C . He asked the advice of A b d u l Aziz I b n S a u d . while regular T u r k i s h t r o o p s would be sent to take their place in g a r r i s o n i n g the H e j a z .114 KITCHENER OF KHARTOUM LOOKS AHEAD H u s s e i n . Finally. the A r a b i a n lords to his south a n d east. for the duration of the war. was inclined to t e m p o r i z e a n d delay. F o r the m o m e n t . With each year in office as E m i r he had increased his prestige and his m a s t e r y over the c o m p l e x web of personal. H i s p r i m a c y within his own emirate was established firmly. P . p l o t : the m e n of the H e j a z w o u l d be sent as soldiers to distant battlefields. p o s t p o n e d completion of the railroad a n d the a d o p t i o n of its new governmental regulations. . He gave Kitchener's messages and promises a warm response. T h e r e were his neighbors a n d traditional rivals. H u s s e i n a s s u r e d all his d a n g e r o u s neighbors that he would a c t in a c c o r d a n c e with their w i s h e s — b u t p u t off d o i n g so until s o m e time in the f u t u r e . B u t it o r d e r e d H u s s e i n to s u p p l y m a n p o w e r for the a r m y . T h e r e were the British. In 1913 a n d 1914. U . In reply to r e q u e s t s a n d d e m a n d s from the Porte. he found himself s u r r o u n d e d by external enemies. there was the O t t o m a n g o v e r n m e n t which threatened a s h o w d o w n on the issue of the E m i r ' s a u t o n o m y . it was not p o s s i b l e for the E m i r to reveal his intention of allying with Britain. the C . whose navy could easily d o m i n a t e the long coastline of the H e j a z once they went to war against the O t t o m a n E m p i r e — a n d he knew that they w o u l d b e c o m e his enemies if he threw in his lot with the e m p i r e . but continued to postp o n e s e n d i n g any contingents to the T u r k i s h a r m y . P . U . P . s o m e of w h o m r e g a r d e d him as an essentially T u r k i s h official. A b d u l l a h explained. U . H u s s e i n wrote to him. who h a d played off his enemies against one another for years. a n d tribal relationships that m a d e for authority in the H e j a z . nor could he take action. a n d would then seize control of it. N o w . that this would have to be kept a secret.

K i t c h e n e r believed that G e r m a n y was the enemy that m a t t e r e d and that E u r o p e w a s the only battlefield that c o u n t e d . S i n c e H u s s e i n ' s desire was to avoid b e i n g d r a w n into the perilous war. " 3 T h e War Minister w a s satisfied. H e did not share Wingate's belief that a tribal revolt in A r a b i a could affect Britain's fortunes in the war. a n d am firmly convinced that he is a m o r e p a y i n g p r o p o s i t i o n for our care a n d attention than any purely local Chieftain (however powerful in himself) who cannot enjoy the p r e s tige of receiving the annual h o m a g e of the representatives of I s l a m t h r o u g h o u t the w o r l d . T h e H i g h C o m m i s s i o n e r . . h e wrote F i t z G e r a l d / K i t c h e n e r that "I am still in very friendly a n d intimate contact with the Sherif of M e c c a . on t e r m s of close cordiality with M e c c a . H u s s e i n d i d nothing to associate himself or M e c c a with the p r o c l a m a t i o n of a H o l y War. . In his view. the office of the British H i g h C o m m i s s i o n e r . r e p o r t e d to K i t c h e n e r on 2 F e b r u a r y 1915. H i s long-term plan to c a p t u r e the caliphate w a s d e signed for the p o s t w a r world. with the Sherif of M e c c a — h a d been d o n e . the two parties to the c o r r e s p o n d e n c e were in a c c o r d . . " 2 F o r the m o m e n t all that K i t c h e n e r a n d the R e s i d e n c y really asked of H u s s e i n was neutrality. he g a v e no sign of d i s a p p o i n t m e n t when H u s s e i n d i d not p r o p o s e to lead s u c h a revolt. he a n d i t — a n d the M i d d l e E a s t — c o u l d wait until the war w a s over. that "there is no need for i m m e d i a t e action . S i r H e n r y M c M a h o n . as all that is necessary for the m o m e n t . O n 2 7 J a n u a r y 1915. F o r the R e s i d e n c y .THE MAN IN THE MIDDLE 115 II S t o r r s w a s p l e a s e d that his c o r r e s p o n d e n c e h a d p l a c e d the R e s i d e n c y . the corres p o n d e n c e therefore h a d a c c o m p l i s h e d everything that could reasonably have been d e s i r e d .

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PART III BRITAIN IS DRAWN INTO THE MIDDLE EASTERN QUAGMIRE .

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r e g a r d e d E n v e r as a buffoon in military m a t t e r s . pictured himself as a leader of a wholly different 119 .13 T H E T U R K I S H COMMANDERS A L M O S T L O S E T H E WAR i At the time of his a p p o i n t m e n t as War Minister. he m u s t have w o n d e r e d how he had allowed such a situation to c o m e a b o u t . when the Goeben a n d Breslau o p e n e d fire on the R u s s i a n coast. T h o u g h a u d a c i o u s a n d c u n n i n g . F r o m O c t o b e r 1914. E n v e r . L i m a n von S a n d e r s . K i t c h e n e r did not intend Britain to be d r a w n into any involvement in the M i d d l e E a s t d u r i n g the war. the O t t o m a n a r m i e s b l u n d e r e d f r o m one defeat to another. in 1915—16. L a t e r . when an a v e n g i n g British fleet b e g a n its b o m b a r d m e n t of the straits of the D a r d a n e l l e s a n d then s t e a m e d t o w a r d C o n s t a n t i n o p l e . In practice it placed h i m second to none. until F e b r u a r y 1915. when he found his country fully e n g a g e d in the M i d d l e E a s t . however. British officials viewed O t t o m a n military capability with c o n t e m p t . it had been his unwavering doctrine to d i s r e g a r d the E a s t while focusing on the western front." In theory this placed h i m s e c o n d only to the figurehead S u l t a n . T h i s was an a s s u m p t i o n that was widely shared. he was not aware that this was what he was d o i n g . the P r u s s i a n a r m y adviser with w h o m he frequently f o u n d himself at o d d s . he was an incompetent c o m m a n d e r . K i t c h e n e r ' s opinion that T u r k e y a n d the M i d d l e E a s t c o u l d safely be ignored for the duration of the E u r o p e a n conflict derived in part from the a s s u m p t i o n that the O t t o m a n E m p i r e d i d not p o s e a significant military threat. not those of a general. T h e S u p r e m e C o m m a n d e r o f the T u r k i s h a r m e d forces was E n v e r P a s h a . who a week before the war b e g a n had p r o c l a i m e d himself "vice-generalissimo. a n d the record of the first six m o n t h s of warfare in the E a s t confirmed them in their view. When he started a l o n g the road that led to s u c h an involvement. F r o m the outset of the war. E n v e r h a d the qualities of a lone adventurer.

a n d attack the fortified R u s s i a n position on the C a u c a s u s plateau by the sort of orchestrated m o v e m e n t pictured in military textbooks. 1 E n v e r ' s plan. 600 miles long a n d 300 miles wide. With routes blocked by the winter snows. he d e t e r m i n e d to launch a frontal attack across that d a u n t i n g natural frontier.120 THE M I D D L E EASTERN QUAGMIRE character. H a v i n g c r u s h e d the R u s s i a n s . H i s troops were forced to bivouac in the bitter cold (as low as m i n u s thirty degrees Fahrenheit without t e n t s ) . with s o m e c o l u m n s attacking directly. they had no idea they faced a foe who was utterly inept. he would then m a r c h via Afghanistan to the c o n q u e s t of India. At the outset of the war. T h e few roads were steep a n d narrow. in secure p o s s e s s i o n of the high g r o u n d . cross the frontier into Czarist territory. L o n g winters a n d m o u n t a i n s n o w s t o r m s m a d e whole sections of it u n p a s s a b l e m u c h of the year. as he explained it to L i m a n von S a n d e r s . which blocked the invasion highway. every shell. the strategic mobility r e q u i r e d for the military m o v e m e n t s that he envisaged would be unavailable. Against the advice of L i m a n von S a n d e r s . unexplored a n d uncharted. E n v e r left his artillery behind b e c a u s e of the deep snow. which the R u s s i a n s . . was to then m o v e out of this s t a g i n g area. every bullet. had to be t r a n s p o r t e d by c a m e l — a journey of six weeks. E n v e r left Constantinople a n d on 21 D e c e m b e r took c o m m a n d of the O t t o m a n T h i r d A r m y . He portrayed himself as an heir to the founders of the O t t o m a n E m p i r e : the b a n d of ghazis—crusading warriors for the Islamic faith—who in the fourteenth century had galloped f r o m the obscurity of the Byzantine frontier onto the center stage of history. T h e r e was an obstacle in his p a t h : the forbidding C a u c a s u s mountain r a n g e . On 6 D e c e m b e r 1914. T h e y ran short of food. said E n v e r . and others m o v i n g out at an angle and then wheeling a b o u t to flank or encircle. the b r i d g e s having collapsed long before a n d having never been repaired. He p r o p o s e d initially to g r o u p his forces along an e n o r m o u s territory within T u r k e y . had heavily fortified—and to do so in the d e p t h s of winter. He led the attack on the C a u c a s u s plateau in p e r s o n . which formed the land frontier between the two e m p i r e s . without railroads or other t r a n s p o r t . t h r o u g h which there was no railroad to t r a n s p o r t t r o o p s or s u p p l i e s . Enver's plan was for his forces to launch a coordinated s u r p r i s e attack on the R u s s i a n b a s e called S a r i k a m i s h . they lost their way in the tangled mountain p a s s e s . M u c h of the territory was without track or habitation. T h e rivers could be c r o s s e d only by fording. B e c a u s e the nearest railhead was over 600 miles away. T h e R u s s i a n s were terrified and appealed to Britain to help s o m e h o w . He entertained no d o u b t s of his s u c c e s s . He was u n m o v e d by the reminder that. An epidemic of t y p h u s broke out. he hastened to attack the R u s s i a n E m p i r e .

d u g wells along the route. T h e r e m n a n t s of what had once been an a r m y s t r a g g l e d b a c k into eastern T u r k e y in J a n u a r y 1915. he b e g a n his m a r c h toward E g y p t to launch a s u r p r i s e attack across the Suez Canal. D j e m a l d i s c o v e r e d that m o s t of his t r o o p s could not use the b r i d g i n g p o n t o o n s that were meant to t r a n s p o r t t h e m to the other side. a n d kept on g o i n g all the way b a c k to Syria. K r e s s von K r e s s e n s t e i n . 86 percent were lost. the logistical p r o b l e m s were ignored. T h e c a m e l . 5 T u r k i s h g e n e r a l s h i p b e c a m e a j o k e . On 15 J a n u a r y 1915. . E a r l y in the m o r n i n g of 3 F e b r u a r y . a n d the wastes of the 130-mile wide Sinai desert were trackless. 2 . D j e m a l took the field as c o m m a n d e r of the O t t o m a n F o u r t h A r m y . a G e r m a n engineering officer. In the battle a n d the s u b s e q u e n t rout. T h e British. b u t the troops had not been trained in their u s e . T h e time of year. A u b r e y H e r b e r t wrote from S h e p h e a r d ' s Hotel in C a i r o to his friend M a r k S y k e s that the latest O t t o m a n plan was "that the T u r k s are to b r i n g t h o u s a n d s of c a m e l s down to the C a n a l a n d then set a light to their hair. A G e r m a n officer attached to the O t t o m a n G e n e r a l Staff d e s c r i b e d what h a p p e n e d to the T h i r d A r m y by s a y i n g that it h a d "suffered a disaster which for rapidity a n d c o m p l e t e n e s s is without parallel in military history. In c o m m a n d was D j e m a l P a s h a . awoke to discover an O t t o m a n a r m y on the o p p o s i t e b a n k of the e n o r m o u s d i t c h . b a s e d in S y r i a a n d Palestine. E n v e r o r d e r e d another ill-conceived offensive. D j e m a l o r d e r e d a retreat. from b e h i n d their fortifications. D j e m a l o r d e r e d the attack to c o m m e n c e nonetheless. the various T u r k i s h c o r p s arrived at different times at S a r i k a m i s h to attack a n d to be destroyed piecemeal. whose prestige a n d power had b e g u n to o v e r s h a d o w those of the other Y o u n g T u r k s . was well c h o s e n : J a n u a r y is the best m o n t h in E g y p t for avoiding the terrible heat. Of the p e r h a p s 100. 4 B u t when the F o u r t h A r m y reached the b a n k s of the S u e z C a n a l . it b e g a n ." Y e t even as he r o d e back f r o m the catastrophe in the northeast. which enabled t h e m to survive the m a r c h through the desert. having lost touch with one another. for once.000 m e n who took part in the a t t a c k . 2 3 A g a i n . J e a l o u s of E n v e r . while the sky was still half-dark. a n d with their superior w e a p o n r y they o p e n e d fire u p o n it.THE TURKISH COMMANDERS 121 but. T h e r o a d s of S y r i a and Palestine were so b a d that not even horse-drawn carts could m o v e along m a n y of t h e m . 0 0 0 O t t o m a n t r o o p s — a b o u t 10 percent of D j e m a l ' s forces—were killed. the Minister of the M a r i n e . T h e O t t o m a n soldiery nonetheless perf o r m e d p r o d i g i e s of e n d u r a n c e a n d valor. T h e G e r m a n engineers h a d b r o u g h t the p o n t o o n s from G e r m a n y . S o m e h o w they t r a n s p o r t e d themselves a n d their e q u i p m e n t f r o m S y r i a t o S u e z .

and they have retired into the d e s e r t . a n d no patience for administration. labeled as deserters. a n d that it would be decided in a few lightning c a m p a i g n s . the s u p p l y of draft animals fell. all at the s a m e time—their n u m b e r s dwarfed the conscription offices. H a v i n g flooded in from the countryside. He b e g a n by o r d e r i n g all eligible m e n throughout the imperial d o m a i n s to report for induction into the a r m y immediately. As War Minister he thoughtlessly led his country into c h a o s .122 THE MIDDLE EASTERN QUAGMIRE u s i n g its well known reasoning p o w e r s . T h e poor things & their w o u l d . the draft of m e n a n d pack animals b r o u g h t famine in g o o d years as well as b a d . no head for logistics. T h e transportation s y s t e m of the e m p i r e was also shattered by the war. will d a s h to the C a n a l to put the fire out. In the a b s e n c e of railroads a n d u s a b l e r o a d s . B r i n g i n g in the m a n p o w e r f r o m the countryside ruined what w o u l d have been the bountiful harvest of 1914. Control of the scarce s u p p l i e s of food a n d other g o o d s b e c a m e the key to wealth a n d power. " I n L o n d o n the P r i m e Minister lightly d i s m i s s e d the O t t o m a n invasion by saying that " T h e T u r k s have been trying to throw a b r i d g e across the S u e z C a n a l & in that ingenious fashion to find a way into E g y p t . S o o n they b e g a n to drift away. T h e shrinkage in agricultural activity was equally d r a m a t i c : cereal acreage was cut in half. When they reported as o r d e r e d — w h i c h is to say. which could not deal with so m a n y at once. in the past g o o d s had been mostly s h i p p e d by sea. N o w the empire's 5. a Chicago-style political b o s s with g a n g l a n d connections fought against E n v e r ' s G e n e r a l Director of the C o m m i s s a r i a t for effective control of the e c o n o m y . In the north the G e r m a n s a n d T u r k s pulled back the Goeben and Breslau for the 8 . D u r i n g the war years. He had neither a plan for a war of attrition nor an u n d e r s t a n d i n g of what s u c h a war m i g h t entail.b e b r i d g e were blown into smithereens. It set a terrible p a t t e r n : t h r o u g h o u t the war. When they have done this in sufficient quantities the T u r k s will m a r c h over t h e m . b r i n g i n g with t h e m enough food for three d a y s . " 6 7 II E n v e r had a s s u m e d that the war w o u l d be short.000 miles of coastline were u n d e r the g u n s of the Allied navies. He had no gift for organization. horses to 40 percent and oxen a n d buffaloes to 15 percent of what they had been. In the sprawling metropolis of C o n s t a n t i n o p l e . afraid to return either to the conscription offices or to their h o m e s . the draftees ate up their three d a y s ' s u p p l y of food a n d then had nothing to eat. a n d cotton fell to 8 percent of its prewar p r o d u c t i o n level.

the export trade was down to a q u a r t e r a n d the i m p o r t trade d o w n to a tenth of what they had been. a b a n d o n i n g the Black S e a to the newly built battleships o f the R u s s i a n s .000 industrial workers in an e m p i r e of 25 million p e o p l e . 9 . Before long. On the eve of war. which was now ruined. T h e Porte ran u p h u g e b u d g e t deficits d u r i n g the wartime years. the country h a d no i n d u s t r y . Allied s h i p s cut off the O t t o m a n coal s u p p l y . By the e n d of the war. a n d helplessly ran p a p e r m o n e y off the printing p r e s s e s to pay for t h e m . there were only a b o u t 17.THE TURKISH COMMANDERS 123 defense of the D a r d a n e l l e s . T h e M e d i t e r r a n e a n was d o m i n a t e d by the F r e n c h a n d British navies. for practical p u r p o s e s .675 percent. D u r i n g the war prices rose 1. a n d the Y o u n g T u r k g o v e r n m e n t had no idea what to do a b o u t it. the war h a d b r o u g h t the O t t o m a n e c o n o m y a l m o s t to its knees. thereafter the e m p i r e d e p e n d e d for its fuel on the m e a g r e s u p p l i e s that could b e b r o u g h t overland from G e r m a n y . All that it h a d was agriculture.

He was. N o w that they had done s o . was not one who willingly goes down with a sinking s h i p . a b o v e all. s o m e w o u l d say. a s u r v i v o r : years later it could be seen that he was the only B r i t i s h minister who s u c c e e d e d in staying in the C a b i n e t from the o u t b r e a k of the F i r s t World War until its e n d . e n c o u n t e r e d u n e x p e c t e d p r o b l e m s with which it h a d no idea how to deal. E v e r y time 2 3 124 . n o b o d y in Britain had any idea of how to b r e a k t h r o u g h enemy lines. the zig-zags in his policy forced him to seek s u p p o r t first f r o m one g r o u p then from another. T h e wiliest politician in the C a b i n e t — D a v i d L l o y d G e o r g e — w a s c o n s p i c u o u s a m o n g those who looked for a way out.14 K I T C H E N E R ALLOWS BRITAIN TO ATTACK TURKEY i T h e British g o v e r n m e n t . as he w a s c o m p e l l e d to leap from one b a c k to another H i s d e v i o u s n e s s was a b y w o r d . T h e glowing. At the outset of war n o b o d y in Britain h a d foreseen that the w a r r i n g a r m i e s w o u l d d i g trenches across western E u r o p e . As 1914 turned into 1915. no p l e d g e final. after A s q u i t h the m o s t powerful politician in the L i b e r a l Party a n d in the C a b i n e t . L l o y d G e o r g e . so that even an admirer said that his truth w a s not a straight line but "more of a c u r v e . so that "He b e c a m e like a trick rider at the circus. " T h e way he himself p u t it was that. d y n a m i c political wizard from Wales was the s u p r e m e s t r a t e g i s t — o r ." No minister felt m o r e greatly frustrated than he did by the way Allied c o m m a n d e r s were fighting the war in F r a n c e a n d F l a n d e r s : hopeless direct assaults on entrenched enemy positions." wrote one of his c o n t e m p o r a r i e s . if there were a way round. " T o L l o y d G e o r g e no policy was p e r m a n e n t . the British C a b i n e t b e c a m e increasingly u n h a p p y a b o u t the direction of the war. L o r d Kitchener's strategy of concentrating all forces in western E u r o p e s e e m e d to offer no hope of victory in the foreseeable f u t u r e . "I never believed in costly frontal attacks either in war or politics. too. o p p o r t u n i s t — o f his time.

a n d particularly through T u r k e y . L l o y d G e o r g e looked for a solution in the E a s t . but that G r e e k help in c a p t u r i n g C o n s t a n t i n o p l e was unacceptable b e c a u s e it w o u l d offend the R u s s i a n s . blocked this a p p r o a c h . As early as 7 O c t o b e r 5 * T h e historical evidence now shows that this was not t r u e . It was the F o r e i g n Office's view not only that Bulgaria's rivalry with R u m a n i a a n d G r e e c e rendered an alliance that included all three states unfeasible. An a r m y . who had closed off Britain's alternative of remaining neutral in the war. S i r E d w a r d G r e y . he h a d d o n e this. ( T h e philosopher B e r t r a n d Russell later w r o t e : "I h a d noticed d u r i n g previous years how c a r e fully S i r E d w a r d G r e y lied in order to prevent the p u b l i c from knowing the m e t h o d s by which he w a s c o m m i t t i n g us to the s u p p o r t of F r a n c e in the event of w a r . he f o u n d the route blocked either by the War Office on behalf of Britain's generals. nothing in the to the leading m e m b e r s war was b e i n g won or the hopeful views of Allied c o m m a n d e r s in first m o n t h s a n d years of the war s u g g e s t e d of the C a b i n e t that on the western front the even could be won. a c c o r d i n g to L l o y d G e o r g e ' s associates in the left wing of the L i b e r a l Party. If the G r e e k army or another B a l k a n a r m y were not to be allowed to help. who h a d entered into secret p r e w a r a r r a n g e m e n t s with R u s s i a r e g a r d i n g the D a r d a n e l l e s . in order to defeat the O t t o m a n E m p i r e a n d to turn the G e r m a n flank. He was a m o n g those who favored entering into Balkan alliances. by his secret prewar a r r a n g e m e n t s with F r a n c e . notwithstanding the field. then the British a r m y w o u l d b e n e e d e d . F r o m the b e g i n n i n g . S o did M a u r i c e H a n k e y . a n d with the m o s t lasting results on the p e a c e of the world through her allies. cogently outlined the a r g u m e n t s underlining the Cabinet's belief that " G e r m a n y can p e r h a p s be struck m o s t effectively. b u t L o r d K i t c h e n e r s u p p o r t e d those Allied field c o m m a n d e r s who decreed that no t r o o p s s h o u l d be diverted f r o m the trenches of the western front until the war in E u r o p e was won. they a r g u e d . It was G r e y . or by the F o r e i g n Office on behalf of Britain's allies.BRITAIN TO ATTACK TURKEY 125 that he s o u g h t a way out or a way a r o u n d . But the left wing of the Liberal Party continued to believe that it was. Secretary of the War C a b i n e t a n d m o s t influential of the civil s e r v a n t s . Hankey's m e m o r a n d u m of 28 D e c e m b e r 1914. " 4 T h e F o r e i g n S e c r e t a r y . " ) N o w again it was G r e y . they c l a i m e d . Yet. p r o p o s i n g an assault on the D a r d a n e l l e s in collaboration with Balkan allies. 6 Y e t it was a g r e e d by the A d m i r a l t y . a n d "the C a b i n e t alike that C o n s t a n t i n o p l e could not be c a p t u r e d by the Royal N a v y alone. the War Office. notably with G r e e c e . . w a s needed as well. Other C a b i n e t ministers a g r e e d . who a r g u e d that Allied claims to postwar territorial gains p r e c l u d e d b r i n g i n g the Balkan states into the war.

In the C a b i n e t . C a r s o n . both m e n were s u r p r i s e d to find him ignorant a n d foolish. but the oracle s o m e t i m e s was awkwardly silent a n d at other times s p o k e a g i b b e r i s h that u n d e r m i n e d belief in his p o w e r s of divination. in the c o m p a n y of those w h o m he f e a r e d — s t r a n g e r s . civilians. He s p o k e of Ireland to the Irish leader. even to close colleagues. Beneath the g r o u n d . F i e l d M a r s h a l K i t c h e n e r always had f o u n d it immensely difficult to explain his military views. " By the end of D e c e m b e r . b u t it manifested itself only on occasion. T r e n c h warfare b e g a n as an e n d u r a n c e contest a n d e n d e d as a survival contest. 9 . E a c h side thus decisively b a r r e d the way to the other. s h o w i n g one E u r o p e a n d the a s s e m b l e d a r m i e s in a vast a n d illimitable perspective. T o break the silence. Y e a r s after the war. . No g r o u n d was g a i n e d . at the s a m e time. politicians—he w a s s t r u c k d u m b . and of Wales to L l o y d G e o r g e . the b i g o p p o s i n g a r m i e s m a y i n s o m e months' t i m e c o m e t o s o m e t h i n g like s t a l e m a t e . . unfortunately. h e s o m e t i m e s launched into long d i s c o u r s e s on nonmilitary s u b j e c t s of which he knew little or nothing. one side played the role of the firing s q u a d whenever the other side launched one of its frequent attacks. in a m e m o r a n d u m to C a b i n e t colleagues. in the p e r h a p s 3 5 .126 THE MIDDLE EASTERN QUAGMIRE 1914. a n d K i t c h e n e r . t h o u g h he quickly divined the p r o b l e m . Winston Churchill (as he informed the P r i m e Minister) thought it "quite p o s s i b l e that neither side will have the strength to penetrate the other's lines in the Western theatre". 7 8 T h e civilian ministers turned for g u i d a n c e to the military oracle in their m i d s t . till one felt that one was looking along it into the heart of reality— a n d then the shutter w o u l d turn a n d for weeks there w o u l d be nothing b u t a blank d a r k n e s s . " L l o y d G e o r g e took it back by a d d i n g : N o ! He was like a great revolving lighthouse. Alternately executioners a n d executed. the o p p o s i n g a r m i e s lived in bloody s q u a l o r a n d s u b j e c t e d one another to p u n i s h i n g a n d almost ceaseless artillery b a r r a g e s . A s q u i t h noted that K i t c h e n e r "thinks it is not i m p r o b a b l e that . S o m e t i m e s the b e a m of his m i n d u s e d to shoot out. T h e E n t e n t e Powers a n d the Central Powers m a n n e d parallel lines of fortifications that soon stretched all the way f r o m the Atlantic O c e a n to the A l p s . d i s m i s s e d the p r o s p e c t s of a b r e a k t h r o u g h on the western front as an "impossibility. F i t z G e r a l d was not available to s p e a k a n d listen for h i m . while. It was a deadlock. p u n c t u a t e d by suicidally futile charges against the other side's b a r b e d wire a n d machine g u n s . having remarked that K i t c h e n e r "talked t w a d d l e . a d m i t t e d that he saw no solution. L l o y d G e o r g e . T h e r e was genius within h i m ." History had seen nothing like the trench warfare that s p o n t a n e o u s l y e m e r g e d in the a u t u m n of 1914. 0 0 0 miles of trenches that they eventually d u g .

When shown the m e m o r a n d u m . or the east. would have to be o v e r c o m e . Churchill continued to believe that the Baltic S e a project was a m o r e p r o m i s i n g m o v e . on an island off G e r m a n y ' s Baltic S e a coast. while R u s s i a . however.BRITAIN TO ATTACK TURKEY 127 K i t c h e n e r ' s failure to show t h e m a way out of the d e a d l o c k on the western front led the country's civilian leaders to devise p l a n s of their own. inspired by A d m i r a l L o r d F i s h e r ( w h o m he had b r o u g h t b a c k f r o m retirement to serve as F i r s t S e a L o r d ) . Hankey p r o p o s e d that Britain s h o u l d m o v e three a r m y c o r p s to participate with G r e e c e . a n d that such an action w o u l d be m u c h m o r e difficult to m o u n t in J a n u a r y than it would have been in N o v e m b e r . carried all before him with his p e r s u a s i v e m e m o r a n d u m of 28 D e c e m b e r 1914. they would be unlikely to give it u p . a n d R u m a n i a in an attack on T u r k e y at the D a r d a n e l l e s that w o u l d lead to the occupation of C o n s t a n t i n o p l e a n d the s u b s e q u e n t defeat of G e r m a n y ' s two allies. m i g h t well (in G r e y ' s view) c h a n g e sides in the war. C o n s t a n t i n o p l e . Churchill. T h e situation in A t h e n s was that the P r i m e Minister. rather than let any other country seize it. Hankey's plan. G r e y was not hopeful of reconciling B u l g a r i a n claims with those of the other B a l k a n states b u t . B u l g a r i a . L l o y d G e o r g e ' s m i n d inclined t o w a r d collaboration with G r e e c e in the vulnerable southeast of E u r o p e . Churchill c o m m e n t e d that he himself had a d v o c a t e d an attack at the D a r d a n e l l e s two m o n t h s earlier. the B y z a n t i u m of their great d a y s . a n d S i r E d w a r d G r e y ' s worry that a G r e e k m a r c h on C o n s t a n t i n o p l e might be t r o u b l i n g to R u s s i a . a b o v e all. but recognized that he a n d H a n k e y thought alike in e s p o u s i n g s o m e sort of flanking attack. was never put to the test. p r o p o s e d a landing in the northwest of E u r o p e . however. the O t t o m a n and H a b s b u r g e m p i r e s . M a u r i c e H a n k e y . Venizelos. It foundered on the usual s h o a l s : K i t c h e n e r ' s unwillingness to divert t r o o p s from the west. who at the outset of the world war h a d offered to enter into a war . T h e doctrine of the generals was to attack the enemy at his strongest point. T h e plans r e s e m b l e d one another in p r o p o s i n g to swing a r o u n d the fortified western front in order to attack from the north. that of the politicians was to attack at his weakest. T h e political p r o b l e m o f reconciling B u l g a r i a with G r e e c e a n d R u m a n i a . the south. he pointed out. what led h i m to o p p o s e a G r e e k attack at the D a r d a n e l l e s was the fear that it m i g h t s u c c e e d . for if the G r e e k s were to c o n q u e r their old imperial capital. b u t he believed that this could be done as a result of Allied military participation in the c a m p a i g n a n d Allied g u a r a n t e e s that all three states would receive a fair s h a r e of the spoils of victory. but that K i t c h e n e r had refused to s u p p l y the needed m a n power.

the O t t o m a n capital w o u l d have been defenseless. . . was still inclined to join the Allies. civilian m e m b e r s of the C a b i n e t leaped at the chance to e s c a p e f r o m the western front strategy which they (unlike the Allied generals) r e g a r d e d as hopeless. In retrospect it s e e m s clear that if the G r e e k a r m y h a d m a r c h e d on C o n s t a n t i n o p l e in early 1915. t h r o u g h o u t J a n u a r y a n d F e b r u a r y .G e r m a n K i n g C o n s t a n t i n e . after c r u s h i n g the O t t o m a n invaders that m o n t h . Enver's attack on the C a u c a s u s was responsible for the R u s s i a n plea a n d hence for K i t c h e n e r ' s c h a n g e of m i n d . I n s t e a d . that the attack h a d to be m o u n t e d by the Royal N a v y on its o w n : he would m a k e no troops available. . If R u s s i a prevents G r e e c e helping. while his political a d v e r s a r y . a l o n g s i d e the British navy. 1 0 II When 1915 b e g a n . a n d decisive victory over Enver's T u r k s in J a n u a r y 1915. P S If you don't back up this G r e e c e — t h e G r e e c e of Venizelos—you will have another who will cleave to G e r m a n y . T h e R u s s i a n high c o m m a n d h a d urgently asked h i m to stage a diversionary attack there. . I will d o m y u t m o s t t o o p p o s e her having C p l e . No m a t t e r . . the R u s s i a n s s h o u l d have told L o r d K i t c h e n e r that it was no longer necessary for h i m to launch a diversionary attack on C o n s t a n t i n o p l e — o r K i t c h e n e r s h o u l d have drawn that conclusion for himself. . o p p o s e d G r e e k entry into the war. like K i n g C o n s t a n t i n e . acted to prevent him f r o m d o i n g so. the K a i s e r ' s brother-in-law. Half-hearted m e a s u r e s will ruin a l l — & a million m e n will die t h r o u g h the prolongation of the war . Britain's leaders considered how best to attack C o n s t a n t i n o p l e in order to relieve R u s s i a from a T u r k i s h threat that no longer existed. p r o . the British F o r e i g n Office. R u s s i a ' s cry for help c a m e before her quick. & yet paying all the future into R u s s i a n h a n d s . however. L o r d K i t c h e n e r s u d d e n l y c h a n g e d his m i n d a n d p r o p o s e d that Britain s h o u l d attack the D a r d a n e l l e s . a n d he was fearful that if he did not c o m p l y R u s s i a might be driven out of the w a r — w h i c h at that point would have been fatal for Britain a n d F r a n c e . . for it w o u l d have allowed the G e r m a n s to concentrate all their forces in the west.128 THE MIDDLE EASTERN QUAGMIRE with T u r k e y . L o g i c a l l y . I n s t e a d of throwing its weight behind Venizelos. K i t c h e n e r insisted. easy. T h e a n g u i s h of Winston Churchill when this w a s not allowed to h a p p e n is evident in the p h r a s e s of a letter that he wrote to G r e y in the winter of 1915 b u t never sent: I beseech you . [ N ] o i m p e d i m e n t m u s t be p l a c e d in the way of G r e e k c o o p e r a t i o n — I am so afraid of your losing G r e e c e .

Britain a n d the M i d d l e E a s t . which was to so alter the fortunes o f Churchill a n d K i t c h e n e r .BRITAIN TO ATTACK TURKEY 129 T h u s b e g a n the D a r d a n e l l e s c a m p a i g n . A s q u i t h a n d L l o y d G e o r g e . .

T h i r t e e n miles after entering the waterway. K i t c h e n e r m e t with his advisers at the War Office to ask t h e m to reconsider their position a b o u t the opening of the new front. W a r s h i p s a t t e m p t i n g to force their p a s s a g e against the s t r o n g current w o u l d face lines of m i n e s in front of t h e m a n d a crossfire of cannon b a r r a g e s from the E u r o p e a n a n d A s i a n s h o r e s .600 y a r d s a c r o s s . on the m o r n i n g of 3 J a n u a r y 1915. met with his War G r o u p at the A d m i r a l t y to reconsider whether. but they were a d a m a n t in reiterating that no troops could be m a d e available. Only if an attacking a r m y took p o s s e s s i o n of the coastline could it silence the artillery on shore a n d give its fleet a chance to s w e e p the m i n e s ahead of it. it really would be out of the question to m o u n t a wholly naval operation. and the War G r o u p decided to ask the c o m m a n d e r on the spot for his views. Churchill's reply from the A d m i r a l t y echoed what every informed p e r s o n in the military and in g o v e r n m e n t s a i d : that the D a r d a n e l l e s could be forced only by a c o m b i n e d operation in which the navy was joined by the a r m y . Churchill. the forts. s h i p s reach the N a r r o w s . in other w o r d s . Churchill sent an inquiry to the c o m m a n d e r of the British naval s q u a d r o n off the D a r d a n e l l e s . In his cable Churchill a s k e d : " D o you consider the forcing of the D a r d a n e l l e s by s h i p s alone a practicable o p e r a t i o n ? " — a d d i n g that older s h i p s would be u s e d . which can be d o m i nated by the g u n s of the forts on shore. given the i m p o r t a n c e of keeping R u s s i a in the war. 1 130 . In t u r n .15 ON TO VICTORY AT T H E DARDANELLES i When L o r d K i t c h e n e r p r o p o s e d that an expedition to the D a r d a n e l l e s should be m o u n t e d by the Royal N a v y alone. a m e r e 1. A glance at the m a p w o u l d show why. T h e 38-mile-long straits are at no point m o r e than 4 miles w i d e . a n d that the i m p o r t a n c e of the operation would justify severe l o s s e s . T h e idea of employing only w a r s h i p s that were old a n d e x p e n d a b l e was r a i s e d . A d m i r a l Sackville C a r d e n . S o o n after the m e e t i n g a d j o u r n e d . h a d to be s t o r m e d or destroyed to allow the navy to get t h r o u g h .

b e g a n establishing a record that he. a n d his views carried the day. t h o u g h . an e b b i n g . that s e n d i n g a naval expedition to the D a r d a n e l l e s was a m i s t a k e . 2 II T h o u g h gifted in m a n y other ways. w a s o p p o s e d to the expedition unless the a r m y participated in it. B u t he was never able to articulate the basis for his foreboding. T h e C a b i n e t overruled C h u r c h i l l — w h o a r g u e d in favor of a naval strike in the Baltic i n s t e a d — a n d authorized him to put C a r d e n ' s D a r d a n e l l e s plan into operation. S u p p o r t for the D a r d a n e l l e s expedition initially h a d been unanim o u s . could not be seized in a single a t t a c k — " T h e y might be forced by extended operations with a large n u m b e r of s h i p s . he m o v e d to carry it out with all of his energy and e n t h u s i a s m . it was s i m p l y that he preferred his Baltic p l a n . so he could not p e r s u a d e Churchill to c h a n g e c o u r s e . too. while the D a r d a n e l l e s could not be "rushed"—in other w o r d s . M a u r i c e H a n k e y . a n d that his imprecision in the u s e of their technical l a n g u a g e fueled their resentment. O n c e the D a r d a n e l l e s decision h a d been taken. When he g a v e o r d e r s that naval officers felt ought properly to have been i s s u e d by one of t h e m s e l v e s . Churchill was not o p p o s e d to the D a r d a n e l l e s p l a n . He also did not know (for they did not tell him) how m u c h his colleagues in the C a b i n e t were alienated by his other traits. he inspired a collegia] a n d institutional hostility of which he was una w a r e . the p r o b l e m was m u t u a l . He talked at s u c h length that they could not e n d u r e it. He b u b b l e d over with ideas for their d e p a r t m e n t s . w h o m he had chosen as F i r s t S e a L o r d . w h o s e intuitive g e n i u s a n d extreme eccentricity were rather like K i t c h e n e r ' s . Neither s u b o r d i n a t e s nor colleagues d a r e d to tell h i m to his face that he was often i m p o s s i b l e to work with. " C a r d e n h a d been in c o m m a n d at the D a r d a n e l l e s for m o n t h s . his naval idol a n d mentor. A d m i r a l C a r d e n replied t o Churchill that. to w h o m F i s h e r h a d c o m p l a i n e d of Churchill in J a n u a r y . found it difficult to c o m m u n i c a t e with h i m . E v e n F i s h e r . so that within d a y s the tide had reversed direction a n d was flowing swiftly the other way. on or before 19 J a n u a r y . Churchill was insensitive to the m o o d s a n d reactions of his colleagues. he did not know that they viewed him as an interfering a m a t e u r . and oblivious to the effect he p r o d u c e d u p o n others. which they r e g a r d e d as m e d d l i n g .ON TO VICTORY AT THE DARDANELLES 131 T o everybody's s u r p r i s e . L o r d F i s h e r . As the m o s t skillful . b u t from that rising high tide of e n t h u s i a s m there h a d been a turn. it s h o u l d be said. h a d a s u d d e n h u n c h .

b u t if the a r m a d a p r o c e e d e d to attack. D e e d e s replied that in his view s u c h a plan w o u l d be fundamentally u n s o u n d . and a b r u p t l y d i s m i s s e d h i m . unless a substantial b o d y of troops was sent to s u p p o r t i t — t r o o p s that K i t c h e n e r h a d repeatedly refused to s e n d a n d which. 6 E a r l y in the m o r n i n g of 16 F e b r u a r y F i s h e r sent a similar warning to Churchill. T h e dire situation was this: the British naval a r m a d a off the T u r k i s h coast was d u e to c o m m e n c e its attack within forty-eight to seventy-two h o u r s . George and Balfour that Fleet could not effect passage and that all naval officers thought so. As he b e g a n to explain why that w o u l d be so. K i t c h e n e r s p o k e with W y n d h a m D e e d e s . S i r H e n r y J a c k s o n ." Hankey indeed had issued such warnings. should be supported by landing a fairly strong military force. an enraged K i t c h e n e r cut him short. In a diary entry for 19 March he recorded that "On the first day proposal was made I warned P. h a v i n g written a m e m o r a n d u m of his own along similar lines the day before. and asked his opinion of a naval attack on the D a r d a n e l l e s . he told the Prime Minister so. Chief of Staff. 7 Before attending the War C o u n c i l . whose views are always worth hearing. the officer who had s e r v e d in the O t t o m a n G e n d a r m e r i e before the war. . although the attack was s c h e d u l e d to begin in a matter of d a y s . w a s also a s sociated with this criticism. who was t h u n d e r s t r u c k : he was driven to seek an i m m e d i a t e e m e r g e n c y session with whatever m e m b e r s of the War Council of the C a b i n e t were available. . . for enemy s u b m a r i n e s m i g h t soon be sent to sink i t . * He told the Cabinet so. a copy of which he had forwarded to H a n k e y . " C a p t a i n H e r b e r t William R i c h m o n d . . H a n k e y w a s m o r e sensitive to the currents of opinion that prevailed in Churchill's A d m i r a l t y than was Churchill himself. the Prime Minister noted that "I have just been having a talk with Hankey. * On 15 F e b r u a r y . it w o u l d fail. A d m i r a l t y opinion h a d t u r n e d against the idea of a purely naval venture. in any event. Later still he spoke to Asquith.. a c c o r d i n g to this s u d d e n l y revised opinion of the naval leadership of the A d m i r a l t y . " 3 4 5 . I have been for some time coming to the same opinion . now a captain in intelligence serving in L o n d o n . L. and he recorded his opinion in letters and memoranda. told h i m he did not know what he was talking a b o u t . Lord K. On 13 February. M .132 THE MIDDLE EASTERN QUAGMIRE b u r e a u c r a t of his t i m e . It was not on 13 January (when the Cabinet committee decided on the Dardanelles expedition) but on 10 February that he wrote to Balfour along those lines. circulated a m e m o r a n d u m in which he said that the purely naval plan "is not r e c o m m e n d e d as a s o u n d military o p e r a t i o n . who a m o n t h earlier h a d u r g e d Churchill to i m p l e m e n t C a r d e n ' s p l a n s immediately. the a r m a d a could not p o s t p o n e its attack while r e m a i n i n g in the area. but a month later than he claimed. He thinks very strongly that the naval operations . Assistant D i r e c t o r of O p e r a t i o n s . could hardly be expected to arrive in time even if d i s p a t c h e d immediately. He was aware that by the m i d d l e of F e b r u a r y .

the t r o o p s w o u l d c o m e in behind t h e m to o c c u p y the adjacent shore a n d . K i t c h e n e r told m e m b e r s of the War C o u n c i l that he would agree to send the 29th D i v i s i o n — t h e only regular a r m y division that r e m a i n e d in B r i t a i n — t o the A e g e a n to s u p p o r t the navy's attack. a c o m b i n e d assault w a s called for. the new A u s t r a l i a n a n d N e w Z e a l a n d t r o o p s who had arrived in E g y p t c o u l d be d i s p a t c h e d if necessary. S t e p by s t e p . At a meeting of the War Council on 24 F e b r u a r y . On 22 F e b r u a r y . ' " 8 T h e plan was f l a w e d . A c c o r d i n g to a diary entry. T h e publicity o f the a n n o u n c e m e n t had c o m m i t t e d u s . focusing attention on the attack a n d a r o u s i n g public expectations. a n d the others. K i t c h e n e r c h a n g e d his m i n d . the a r m y o u g h t to have helped by attacking the D a r d a n e l l e s forts. N o t even ." when L l o y d G e o r g e a r g u e d in favor of a d h e r i n g to that plan ("If we failed at the D a r d a n e l l e s we ought to be immediately ready to try s o m e t h i n g else"). without m e a n i n g to. I f the T u r k i s h defenders h a d c o m p e t e n t leadership a n d a d e q u a t e a m m u n i t i o n . I n s t e a d of waiting for the navy to win the battle. was that once the navy's ships had won the battle for the straits. C o n s t a n t i n o p l e . he s a i d . " If the fleet failed. which now met the r e q u i r e m e n t s of F i s h e r . b u t for the m o m e n t they had no m e a n s to defend against it. In addition. T h e civilian M a u r i c e H a n k e y saw this clearly. "the a r m y o u g h t to see the b u s i n e s s t h r o u g h . the War Minister cited the A d m i r a l t y ' s public c o m m u n i q u e as his reason for the c h a n g e . A l t h o u g h he had originally p r o p o s e d to "leave off the b o m b a r d m e n t if it were ineffective. " 9 1 11 F i r s t he had s u g g e s t e d s e n d i n g in the navy. The Times noted that " b o m b a r d m e n t f r o m the sea will not carry s u c h a project very far unless it is c o m b i n e d with troops". " L o r d K ' s w o r d s to Winston were: ' Y o u get t h r o u g h ! I will find the m e n . the A d m i r a l t y i s s u e d a public c o m m u n i q u e announcing that the D a r d a n e l l e s attack h a d b e g u n a n d d e s c r i b i n g it in detail. J a c k s o n .ON TO VICTORY AT THE DARDANELLES 133 Y e t the interview with D e e d e s c h a n g e d K i t c h e n e r ' s m i n d . A few h o u r s later. K i t c h e n e r was allowing Britain to be d r a w n into a major e n g a g e m e n t in the Middle East. T h e plan. N o w he h a d decided to send in the a r m y . Ill T h e T u r k s expected Churchill's attack o n the D a r d a n e l l e s . T h e n e w s p a p e r s took up the story. T h e r e c o u l d b e n o g o i n g b a c k . thereafter. a n d w a r n e d that " T h e one thing the Allies d a r e not risk in a persistent attack on the D a r d a n e l l e s is failure. R i c h m o n d . the a d m i r a l s a n d generals did not." K i t c h e n e r i s s u e d a similar w a r n i n g of his own to C a b i n e t colleagues. " T h e effect of a defeat in the Orient w o u l d be very s e r i o u s .

T u r k i s h . with the B a l k a n countries as allies. 1 5 When the a r m a d a of British w a r s h i p s . C a r d e n m o v e d his w a r s h i p s closer to . even B u l g a r i a .H u n g a r i a n E m p i r e to invade G e r m a n y from the relatively undefended south. he p r o p o s e d . the O t t o m a n high c o m m a n d received a n u m b e r of intelligence r e p o r t s indicating that an Allied naval attack on the straits was i m m i n e n t . a m b a s s a d o r to T u r k e y noted that the s u c c e s s of the Allied forces s e e m e d inevitable. A d m i r a l C a r d e n ' s British w a r s h i p s fired the o p e n i n g shots i n the D a r d a n e l l e s c a m p a i g n . S . On 15 F e b r u a r y 1915. a n d that s o m e of the O t t o m a n g u n b o a t s h a d e n o u g h shells to fire for a b o u t one m i n u t e each. 1 2 1 3 14 T h e roar of the British naval g u n s at the m o u t h of the D a r d a n e l l e s echoed politically t h r o u g h the capital cities of the strategically crucial Balkan countries. b u t saw their efforts nullified by the lack of a m m u n i t i o n . In order to inflict greater d a m a g e on the T u r k i s h shore fortifications. detailed information was received on a concentration of British a n d F r e n c h war vessels in the eastern M e d i t e r r a n e a n . On the m o r n i n g of 19 F e b r u a r y . the O t t o m a n forces a n d their G e r m a n advisers h a d b e g u n to strengthen the forts on b o t h sides of the straits of the D a r d a n e l l e s . It was a m e a s u r e of the Porte's despair that it even considered seeking help f r o m R u s s i a . o p e n e d fire at long r a n g e on the m o r n i n g of 19 F e b r u a r y .134 THE MIDDLE EASTERN QUAGMIRE W y n d h a m D e e d e s — u s u a l l y so well informed on O t t o m a n a f f a i r s — knew this secret.G e r m a n alliance: R u s s i a . s u p p o r t e d by a F r e n c h s q u a d r o n . a n d in Sofia politicians started m o v i n g toward the Allied c a m p . its age-old enemy. F o r the T u r k s there s e e m e d to be no way out of a losing battle for the straits. although the G e r m a n s were well aware of it. "One o u g h t to m a k e peace with R u s s i a so that one could then hit E n g l a n d all the h a r d e r . At the outset of the war. In A t h e n s . the T u r k i s h shore batteries at the m o u t h of the D a r d a n e l l e s lacked the range even to reply. As the G r a n d Vizier explained to the G e r m a n a m b a s s a d o r in C o n s t a n t i n o p l e . w o u l d enter the war alongside the E n t e n t e Powers i f the D a r d a n e l l e s c a m p a i g n were w o n . Berlin learned that the s u p p l y of a m m u n i t i o n at the straits was e n o u g h to fight only a b o u t one e n g a g e m e n t . It was evident that all of them. T h e U . A s L l o y d G e o r g e had repeatedly a r g u e d . T h e d a y after the British attack b e g a n . D u r i n g the next six weeks. s h o u l d be offered free p a s s a g e through the D a r d a n e l l e s in return for switching s i d e s in the w a r . " T h e G e r m a n s relayed the p r o p o s a l t o R u s s i a . At the end of 1914 a n d at the b e g i n n i n g of 1915. a n d the inhabitants of C o n s t a n t i n o p l e thought that their city w o u l d fall within d a y s . the T u r k i s h a m b a s s a d o r t o G e r m a n y s u g g e s t e d the creation of a R u s s i a n . in B u c h a r e s t . b u t nothing c a m e of it. Britain could b r i n g the war to an end by m o v i n g through the disaffected A u s t r o .

even the p r o . where the artillery defenses of the D a r d a n e l l e s were concentrated. "The more I consider the Dardanelles.ON TO VICTORY AT T H E D A R D A N E L L E S 135 shore. will deserve full and . T h e P r i m e Minister of R u m a n i a indicated to the British representative in B u c h a r e s t that not only was his own country a friend to the Allies b u t that "Italy would m o v e s o o n . even the Italians. British m a r i n e s who were put on shore at the tip of the peninsula found the forts at the entrance of the straits d e s e r t e d . the P r i m e Minister's daughter. weather permitting. a c c o r d i n g to Venizelos. " Churchill s e e m s to have sensed that such claims were p r e m a t u r e : in a confidential letter to the F o r e i g n S e c r e t a r y . even he was converted when intercepted G e r m a n wireless m e s s a g e s revealed that the remaining D a r d a n e l l e s forts. T h e rush to take credit for the i m p e n d i n g victory was on. the less I like it I" (original e m p h a s i s ) . a n d the navy was o b l i g e d to discontinue operations for five d a y s b e c a u s e of poor visibility a n d icy gales. who had not yet entered the war. in a b o u t fourteen d a y s . T h o u g h suffering from influenza. were a b o u t to run out of a m m u n i t i o n . He confessed to Violet A s q u i t h . that "I think a c u r s e s h o u l d rest on me b e c a u s e I am so h a p p y . B u t on 10 M a r c h . " In early M a r c h a joyful a n d excited Churchill received a secret cable from Venizelos-—still serving as Prime Minister—-promising G r e e k s u p p o r t . T h a t night the weather t u r n e d . S h e said that "If the D a r d a n e l l e s c o m e s off W." A c c o r d i n g to a cable from A d m i r a l C a r d e n to Churchill dated 4 M a r c h . On 25 F e b r u a r y the attack r e s u m e d . Churchill was elated. the fleet could expect to arrive at C o n s t a n t i n o p l e . the T u r k s a n d G e r m a n s h a d withdrawn to the N a r r o w s . including three a r m y divisions for G a l l i p o l i . including the key ones d o m i n a t i n g the N a r r o w s . T h e British mission in Sofia r e p o r t e d that the Bulgarian a r m y might join in the attack on T u r k e y . 8 1 9 2 0 21 Only F i s h e r r e m a i n e d skeptical for a few d a y s m o r e . and told him that it was Churchill who would deserve the accolades of t r i u m p h . F i s h e r p r o p o s e d to go out to the A e g e a n a n d personally a s s u m e c o m m a n d of the a r m a d a .G e r m a n K i n g C o n s t a n t i n e was p r e p a r e d to join the A l l i e s . T h e postwar fate of the O t t o m a n E m p i r e leaped to the t o p of the international a g e n d a . he w r o t e . 2 2 O n e evening after d i n n e r — a rare social occasion for the War Minister—Violet A s q u i t h s p o k e with L o r d Kitchener. 16 17 Victory was in the air. a n d . he p r o p o s e d that E u r o p e a n T u r k e y should be c a p t u r e d but that the Allies s h o u l d dictate an armistice that would leave O t t o m a n A s i a in O t t o m a n h a n d s at least t e m p o r a r i l y . b e g a n to claim their "share in the eventual partition of T u r k e y . Shifting s u d d e n l y to great e n t h u s i a s m . I know this war is s m a s h i n g a n d shattering the lives of t h o u s a n d s every m o m e n t — a n d y e t — I cannot help i t — I enjoy every second I live.

He has shown s u c h c o u r a g e a n d consistency in taking the responsibility t h r o u g h o u t all the vacillations of F i s h e r and others." I n her diary she r e c o r d e d that " L o r d K .136 THE MIDDLE EASTERN QUAGMIRE almost sole credit. replied indignantly: 'Not at a l l — I was always strongly in favour of it.' " 2 3 .

In return. 1 Sir E d w a r d G r e y u n d e r c u t the F r e n c h position. An Allied victory at the D a r d a n e l l e s m i g h t s e e m an occasion for rejoicing. In Paris the R u s s i a n d e m a n d was received with d i s m a y .16 RUSSIA'S GRAB FOR T U R K E Y i It was at R u s s i a ' s u r g i n g that K i t c h e n e r a n d Churchill h a d launched the expedition to the D a r d a n e l l e s . and L o r d K i t c h e n e r would b e m o v e d t o s u b m i t his. H7 . sent a secret circular t e l e g r a m to L o n d o n a n d Paris conveying a m e s s a g e f r o m C z a r Nicholas I I . T h e R u s s i a n g o v e r n m e n t worried that once the British c a p t u r e d C o n s t a n t i n o p l e they m i g h t decide to keep it. now m o v e d to allay R u s s i a n s u s p i c i o n s of British intentions at the D a r d a n e l l e s . Afraid that p o s s e s s i o n of C o n s t a n t i n o p l e w o u l d enable R u s s i a to b e c o m e France's rival in the M e d i t e r r a n e a n . On 4 M a r c h 1915 the R u s s i a n F o r e i g n Minister. the F r e n c h g o v e r n m e n t att e m p t e d to put off the R u s s i a n s with v a g u e expressions of "goodwill. the C z a r ' s g o v e r n m e n t p a n i c k e d . G r e y g a v e priority to t h e need to reassure R u s s i a . G r e y . S e r g e i S a z a n o v . b u t it w o u l d m e a n that C o n s t a n t i n o p l e would fall into British h a n d s — a n d s udd e n l y a century of G r e a t G a m e fears a n d jealousies revived in R u s s i a n m i n d s . the C z a r and S a z a n o v p r o m i s e d to listen with s y m p a t h e t i c u n d e r s t a n d i n g to British a n d F r e n c h plans to achieve their own national a m b i t i o n s in other regions of the O t t o m a n E m p i r e and elsewhere. d e m a n d i n g that the Allies turn over C o n s t a n t i n o p l e and the s t r a i t s — a n d also adjacent territories—to R u s s i a . b u t when it looked as t h o u g h that expedition m i g h t s u c c e e d ." D e l c a s s e s u g g e s t e d that a detailed territorial settlement s h o u l d await the eventual peace conference. I n his s y m p a t h y for the susceptibilities of his country's Allies. then F r a n c e would be m o v e d to s u b m i t her claims. In d o i n g so he o p e n e d P a n d o r a ' s box. H o w e v e r alive he m a y have been to s u c h d a n g e r s . If R u s s i a n claims were g r a n t e d in a d v a n c e of the peace conference. who h a d allayed F r e n c h s u s p i c i o n s of British intentions in S y r i a .

S i r E d w a r d G r e y had already c o m m i t t e d the country to eventual R u s s i a n control of Constantinople. arrived at in 1903 d u r i n g a C o n s e r v a t i v e administration. a n d they could point to the conclusion of the C o m m i t t e e of I m p e r i a l D e f e n c e . G r e y later explained how p r o . At the outset of the O t t o m a n war.G e r m a n o p p o n e n t s if R u s s i a were not given satisfaction in the C o n s t a n t i n o p l e matter. to win the war. G r e y had refused t o encourage a n a n t i . he wrote of Constantinople and the straits that "It has b e c o m e quite clear that R u s s i a m e a n s to incorporate them in her own E m p i r e . . she would not p r e s s claims in Persia. . why were British forces being sent to the D a r d a n e l l e s at a time when the F r e n c h and British armies were being so h a r d p r e s s e d in F r a n c e that the R u s s i a n A r m i e s were m a k i n g u n h e a r d of sacrifices to save t h e m ? 2 G r e y a n d A s q u i t h . . H e i r s to the political tradition of G l a d s t o n e . If this were not s o . of course it was our policy still. the leaders of the L i b e r a l administration. b e c a u s e it would have prevented him from giving C o n s t a n t i n o p l e to R u s s i a . in any event. " 3 4 U n b e k n o w n s t to the rest of the C a b i n e t . H i s view was that if R u s s i a ' s legitimate aspirations were satisfied at the straits. T h e month before. . What he had done w a s in line with British decisions 5 6 . aimed at taking T u r k e y out of the war. " and a d d e d that "Personally I have always been & am in favour of Russia's claim . & Constantinople either b e c o m e R u s s i a n (which I think is its p r o p e r destiny) or if that is i m p o s s i b l e neutralised . that to exclude R u s s i a from C o n s t a n t i n o p l e w a s no longer a vital British interest. they were a n t i . the position of the p r o Allied ministry in P e t r o g r a d might be u n d e r m i n e d by p r o . eastern E u r o p e .138 THE MIDDLE EASTERN QUAGMIRE II A c c o r d i n g to the British F o r e i g n Office.G e r m a n elements at the R u s s i a n court-—whom he s e e m s to have genuinely f e a r e d — w o u l d m i s r e p resent British military operations at the D a r d a n e l l e s if s u c h an a s s u r a n c e were not given: It had always been British policy to keep R u s s i a out of Constantinople a n d the S t r a i t s . or elsewhere.T u r k a n d sympathetic to R u s s i a n aspirations.. d i s p o s e d to m a k e the concession that Britain's wartime ally r e q u e s t e d . " In M a r c h 1915. R u s s i a should not have Constantinople at the peace. give me greater pleasure than to see the T u r k i s h E m p i r e finally d i s a p p e a r from E u r o p e . Britain was now g o i n g to o c c u p y Constantinople in order that when Britain a n d F r a n c e h a d been enabled. the P r i m e Minister wrote that " F e w things wd. . having m a d e p r o m i s e s along these lines to the R u s s i a n g o v e r n m e n t in 1 9 0 8 . were. when the issue a r o s e . by R u s s i a ' s help.G e r m a n coup d'etat in C o n s t a n t i n o p l e .

G r e y p r o v i d e d S a z a n o v with a n u m b e r of other B r i t i s h c o m m e n t s a n d qualifications. that the C o n s t a n t i n o p l e a g r e e m e n t they h a d just reached was to be kept secret. wrote G r e y . m o v e d by an overriding fear that R u s s i a m i g h t seek a s e p a r a t e p e a c e .R u s s i a n A g r e e m e n t so as to give Britain the hitherto neutral third of Persia in addition to the third she already o c c u p i e d . for the c o m m i t m e n t into which he h a d j u s t entered "involves a c o m p l e t e reversal of the traditional policy of H i s Majesty's G o v e r n m e n t .RUSSIA'S GRAB FOR TURKEY 139 regarding G r e e c e a n d the Balkan s t a t e s . belatedly followed by the F r e n c h (10 April 1915). It w o u l d be i m p o s s i b l e . He feared that Britain w o u l d be seen as a party to the destruction of the last r e m a i n i n g independent M o h a m m e d a n power . in G r e y ' s w o r d s ." G r e y repeatedly e m p h a s i z e d that in a g r e e i n g to the C z a r ' s p r o p o s a l s . " R u s s i a is a s k in g for a definite p r o m i s e that her wishes shall be satisfied with r e g a r d to what is in fact the richest prize of the entire war. G r e y also p o i n t e d out that before Britain h a d been given a chance to decide u p o n her o w n war g o a l s . formally accepted the secret p r o p o s a l . He e m p h a s i z e d . the g o v e r n m e n t . T h e British ( 1 2 M a r c h 1915). T h e a g r e e m e n t was t o b e kept secret b e c a u s e G r e y was worried a b o u t the effect on M o s l e m opinion in I n d i a if its t e r m s were revealed. " Churchill d i s s e n t e d . too. H e u r g e d looking b e y o n d i m m e d i a t e w a r t i m e concerns: " E n g l i s h history will not e n d with this war." G r e y went on to outline what R u s s i a m i g h t be expected to concede in return. a n d on the war b e i n g p r o s e c u t e d by all of t h e m to a final successful conclusion. for any British g o v e r n m e n t to do any m o r e than A s q u i t h was d o i n g in meeting R u s s i a ' s desires. a n d wrote to G r e y that he h a d instructed the A d m i r a l t y to u n d e r t a k e a s t u d y of how R u s s i a n control of C o n s t a n t i n o p l e a n d the straits would affect British interests. O b s e r v i n g that R u s s i a h a d originally asked only for C o n s t a n t i n o p l e a n d the straits b u t was now a s k in g for adjacent territories as well." he c a u t i o n e d . D e s p i t e Churchill's counsel. a g r e e d to the t e r m s p r o p o s e d b y S a z a n o v and the C z a r . "the unsettlement of R u s s i a ' s wholeheartedness in the w a r . He m a d e it clear that his g o v e r n m e n t h a d not yet f o r m u lated m o s t of its o w n objectives in the E a s t . a n d is in direct opposition to the opinions a n d sentiments at one time universally held in E n g l a n d a n d which have still by no m e a n s died out. the British g o v e r n m e n t was g i v i n g the greatest p o s s i b l e proof of its friendship and loyalty to R u s s i a . also dated 10 M a r c h 1915. b u t that one of t h e m would be revision of the 1907 A n g l o . reiterating that their a c c e p t a n c e was conditional on their own desires with respect to the O t t o m a n E m p i r e being realized. 7 8 In an additional British m e m o r a n d u m . H e was o p p o s e d t o issuing anything m o r e than a general statement of s y m p a t h y for R u s s i a n a s p i r a t i o n s . not b r i n g i n g t h e m into the war on the Allied side b e c a u s e d o i n g so m i g h t have meant.

H e . would control a convenient land route to India safe from disruption by F r a n c e or R u s s i a . B e s i d e s . however. of which Britain would also * Now called Iskenderun. It w a s essential that it s h o u l d do so in order to give Britain a hold on the spiritual leadership of the M o s l e m world. 9 1 0 Ill A r a b i a d i d . too. 11 In K i t c h e n e r ' s c o m p r e h e n s i v e design for the postwar M i d d l e E a s t . play a role in the postwar plans of the powerful British S e c r e t a r y of S t a t e for War. Britain. a n d M e c c a a n d M e d i n a m a d e it unthinkable from a religious point of view that it s h o u l d be established anywhere b u t in A r a b i a . and located in the extreme south of what is now Turkey. A c c o r d i n g l y . G r e y told the R u s s i a n s that if the t e r m s of their a g r e e m e n t were to b e c o m e known. but he a d d e d that it s h o u l d exist u n d e r British a u s p i c e s . It was too arid a country to m a k e it worth the while of any ravenous Power to o c c u p y as a p e r m a n e n t p a s t u r e . H i s Majesty's G o v e r n m e n t have stipulated that the M u s s u l m a n Holy Places a n d A r a b i a shall u n d e r all c i r c u m s t a n c e s remain u n d e r independent Mussulman dominion. or with F r a n c e . the p r o m i s e was an easy one to m a k e . a n d to construct a railroad f r o m it to the M e s o p o t a m i a n provinces (now in I r a q ) . . T h e War Minister's plan was for Britain to take p o s s e s s i o n of Alexandretta. it was a territory that none of the G r e a t Powers coveted. f r o m its recently a n n e x e d M e d i t e r r a n e a n island of C y p r u s . near the frontier of what is now Syria. led L o r d K i t c h e n e r to warn the C a b i n e t in a m e m o r a n d u m dated 16 M a r c h that after the war "old enmities a n d jealousies which have been stilled by the existing crisis in E u r o p e m a y revive" and that Britain m i g h t be "at enmity with R u s s i a . or with both in c o m b i n a t i o n . R u s s i a ' s d e m a n d s of 4 M a r c h 1915. Britain w o u l d have to c o m p e n s a t e I s l a m for destroying the O t t o m a n E m p i r e by establishing a M o s l e m state elsewhere. " It w a s not then known that there were i m m e n s e deposits of oil in the region. D a v i d L l o y d G e o r g e later wrote that "no one c o n t e m p l a t e d that foreign t r o o p s s h o u l d o c c u p y any p a r t of A r a b i a . a n d their a c c e p t a n c e by Britain on 12 M a r c h . the great natural port on the A s i a n m a i n l a n d o p p o s i t e C y p r u s . " What he anticipated was no less than a revival of the G r e a t G a m e ." As G r e y viewed it. he w o u l d want to state publicly "that t h r o u g h o u t the negotiations. u r g e d the creation o f a n independent A r a b i a n k i n g d o m to include M e c c a a n d M e d i n a .140 THE MIDDLE EASTERN QUAGMIRE of any c o n s e q u e n c e .

He viewed it as an area that could be irrigated and m a d e rich by colonists f r o m I n d i a . 1 3 . keeping up q u i t e a large a r m y white & coloured in an unfamiliar c o u n t r y . that politicians s u c h as Churchill. T h e b r o a d swath of British-owned territory it w o u l d traverse w o u l d p r o v i d e a shield for the Persian Gulf. at the e n d of the War. T h e British railroad from the M e d i t e r r a n e a n to the head of the Persian G u l f w o u l d enable t r o o p s to m o v e to a n d f r o m I n d i a rapidly. s p o k e for practically everybody else on this i s s u e . that the ancient M e s o p o t a m i a n l a n d s watered b y the T i g r i s and E u p h r a t e s rivers could be developed so as to p r o d u c e agricultural riches.RUSSIA'S GRAB FOR TURKEY 141 take p o s s e s s i o n . . for instance—with or without Alexandretta .. We b o t h think that in the real interest of our own future. we have taken & gained nothing. . It was b e c o m i n g increasingly clear that in L o n d o n two of the c o n t e n d i n g rival p o w e r s fighting one another for a s h a r e of the O t t o m a n E m p i r e were the British H i g h C o m m i s s i o n e r in C a i r o a n d the British Viceroy in Simla. A s q u i t h wrote: I believe that. we c o u l d say that . the administration of the area would be e n t r u s t e d to the G o v e r n m e n t of I n d i a a n d w o u l d fall within the jurisdiction of the I n d i a Office. If Britain failed to take p o s s e s s i o n of it. at the m o m e n t . In his s c h e m e . the best thing w o u l d be if. worse than we have ever h a d in I n d i a with a hornet's nest of A r a b t r i b e s . as well as a r o a d to I n d i a . who felt that Britain ought to do as well out of the war as her allies. b u t from purely material considerations. . T a k i n g on M e s o p o t a m i a . that it was now in Britain's interest to carve up the O t t o m a n E m p i r e a n d to take a large piece of it.. S i r A r t h u r Hirtzel of the I n d i a Office wrote a similar m e m o r a n d u m at a b o u t the s a m e time. A n d that not from a merely moral & sentimental point of view . T h e P r i m e Minister was practically alone in seeing a need to e x a m i n e that a s s u m p t i o n in a critical light. with one significant difference in e m p h a s i s : he u r g e d that the M e s o p o t a m i a n provinces should be incorporated into the I n d i a n E m p i r e . . he feared that R u s s i a would. 1 2 U n d e r l y i n g b o t h Hirtzel's a n d K i t c h e n e r ' s m e m o r a n d a w a s the a s s u m p t i o n . tackling every kind of tangled administrative question. s h a r e d by m o s t m e m b e r s of the g o v e r n m e n t . b u t in K i t c h e n e r ' s view the principal a d v a n t a g e s of his p r o p o s a l were strategic. m e a n s s p e n d i n g millions in irrigation & develo p m e n t with no i m m e d i a t e or early r e t u r n . however. It was believed. too. G r e y a n d I are the only two m e n who d o u b t & d i s t r u s t any s u c h settlement. He a d m i t t e d . by K i t c h e n e r a n d others. It was generally believed (though not yet p r o v e n ) that the M e s o p o t a m i a n provinces contained large oil reserves which were d e e m e d i m p o r t a n t by Churchill a n d the A d m i r a l t y .

while he was in s y m p a t h y with G r e y ' s view "that we have already as m u c h territory as we are able to h o l d . L a r g e l y unnoticed a n d u n d i s c u s s e d .142 THE MIDDLE EASTERN QUAGMIRE T h e P r i m e Minister told m e m b e r s of his C a b i n e t that when they d i s c u s s e d the future of the O t t o m a n territories. R u s s i a in effect h a d challenged the western p o w e r s to formulate their own territorial d e m a n d s . A s q u i t h took up the challenge: he appointed an interdepartmental g r o u p under the c h a i r m a n s h i p of a career d i p l o m a t . N o w . M o n t h s before A s q u i t h a p p o i n t e d the interdepartmental c o m m i t t e e chaired by the d i p l o m a t S i r M a u r i c e de B u n s e n to outline Britain's a i m s in the postwar M i d d l e E a s t . A p p a r e n t l y O s w a l d F i t z G e r a l d . K i t c h e n e r ' s aide. In the 100 days between the o u t b r e a k of the G e r m a n war a n d the outbreak of the O t t o m a n war. d u r i n g . in the 150 d a y s since the o u t b r e a k of the O t t o m a n war. with special reference to the possibility that R u s s i a a n d F r a n c e might r e s u m e their traditional hostility to Britain in that part of the world. K i t c h e n e r turned to his former staff in C a i r o to elaborate the details of his p l a n s for the p o s t w a r M i d d l e E a s t . S i r M a u r i c e de B u n s e n . L o r d K i t c h e n e r h a d anticipated that d e m a n d at the outset of the war. wrote t o S t o r r s asking for c o m m e n t s on the role of Palestine after the war with . the A s q u i t h g o v e r n m e n t h a d c o m e a r o u n d to the view that dividing up the O t t o m a n E m p i r e was positively desirable. " he did not r e g a r d himself a n d his colleagues as "free a g e n t s " who were entitled to hold back f r o m taking m o r e . their "discussion h a d r e s e m b l e d that of a g a n g of b u c c a n e e r s . we s h o u l d not b e d o i n g our d u t y . If "we were to leave the other nations to s c r a m b l e for T u r k e y without taking anything ourselves. a n d that Britain w o u l d benefit f r o m taking part in it. which his lieutenants p u r s u e d before. to study the matter a n d to r e c o m m e n d what Britain o u g h t to ask from an O t t o m a n peace settlement. " 14 15 In the c o r r e s p o n d e n c e that c o m p r i s e d the C o n s t a n t i n o p l e a g r e e ment. IV T h e A s q u i t h government's m o v e to plan the b r e a k u p of the O t t o m a n E m p i r e was p r o m p t e d b y the R u s s i a n d e m a n d for C o n s t a n t i n o p l e . a n d after the de B u n s e n proceedings. Britain h a d overturned the foreign policy of m o r e than a century by a b a n d o n i n g any c o m m i t m e n t to the preservation of the territorial integrity of the O t t o m a n E m p i r e . K i t c h e n e r h a d initiated informal inquiries of his own along these lines. another m a j o r step had been taken. What he told the C a b i n e t was that. " B u t it was typical of h i m that he did not take a s t a n d against t h e m .

we a r e . After considering the alternatives. In effect he was p r o p o s i n g that m o s t of the A r a b i c . S t o r r s c o n c l u d e d that the m o s t attractive a p p r o a c h w o u l d be to annex a n d incorporate Palestine into E g y p t . or of a too great extension of the inevitable F r e n c h Protectorate over the L e b a n o n . I take it. told . averse to the p r o s p e c t of a R u s s i a n a d v a n c e S o u t h w a r d s into S y r i a . when the generation that is full of war m e m o r i e s p a s s e s away. b u t L o r d C r e w e . while S y r i a should be nominally independent under a British protectorate a n d should be joined to A r a b i a u n d e r the spiritual leadership of an A r a b caliph. K i t c h e n e r wrote to S i r E d w a r d G r e y that the F r e n c h s h o u l d be p e r s u a d e d to forego their traditional interest in S y r i a . "Please r e m e m b e r m e t o the Chief.s p e a k i n g world s h o u l d be o r g a n i z e d into a confederation that would be a British protectorate ruled b y K i t c h e n e r from C a i r o . but the J e w s . t h o u g h they constitute a majority in J e r u s a l e m itself are very m u c h in a minority in Palestine generally. 16 7 1 8 As he developed a M i d d l e E a s t e r n policy for Britain. the War Minister b a s e d it on the S t o r r s p r o p o s a l . w o u l d offer K i t c h e n e r an attractive alternative to b e c o m i n g Viceroy of I n d i a . p r o p o s i n g that after the war K i t c h e n e r s h o u l d return to a new " N o r t h African or N e a r E a s t e r n Vice-Royalty including E g y p t and the S u d a n a n d across the way from A d e n to A l e x a n d r e t t a . T h e J e w i s h S t a t e is in theory an attractive idea. a n d form indeed a b a r e sixth of the whole p o p u l a t i o n . " T h i s . b u t we cannot count on the p e r m a n e n c e of any E n t e n t e ." S t o r r s wrote again at the b e g i n n i n g of M a r c h 1915. On 11 N o v e m b e r 1914. the Secretary of S t a t e for I n d i a .s p e a k i n g leaders without telling the F r e n c h g o v e r n m e n t . S t o r r s replied at the e n d of 1914: With r e g a r d to Palestine. a n d s h o u l d in exchange be given m o r e of N o r t h Africa after the w a r . F r a n c e would be a better n e i g h b o u r than R u s s i a . H e e n d e d b y saying. he s u g g e s t e d . however C o r d i a l e . It was one of the first t i m e s that Z i o n i s m — t h e m o v e m e n t to create a J e w i s h h o m e l a n d in Palestine—entered into British wartime s p e c u lations. I s u p p o s e that while we naturally do not want to b u r d e n ourselves with fresh responsibilities as would be i m p o s e d u p o n us by annexation.RUSSIA'S GRAB FOR TURKEY 143 respect to a p r o b a b l e F r e n c h a n d / o r R u s s i a n position further north. ) K i t c h e n e r later s u g g e s t e d to G r e y that negotiations might be opened with A r a b i c . A buffer S t a t e is m o s t desirable. ( T h i s w a s the matter a b o u t which K i t c h e n e r h a d c o r r e s p o n d e d with H u s s e i n of M e c c a m o n t h s b e f o r e . etc. E g y p t i a n s are h o p i n g that he will continue to direct their fate from afar. but can we get one u p ? T h e r e is no visible indigenous elements out of which a M o s l e m K i n g d o m of Palestine can be c o n s t r u c t e d .

p r o d u c e d a detailed m e m o r a n d u m outlining the p a n . m a d e it s e e m that m a n y voices were urging the s c h e m e . a n d indicated that such areas would m o v e instead into the orbit of s o m e E u r o p e a n 20 21 22 power.s p e a k i n g a r e a s merely meant independence from the O t t o m a n E m p i r e . R e g i n a l d Wingate. which h a d been a l a r m e d by his corres p o n d e n c e with H u s s e i n m o n t h s b e f o r e — w h y the m o v i n g of the caliphate was central to his strategy for the postwar world. the C a i r o Intelligence chief. s u p p o r t i n g the plan for Britain to take S y r i a a n d for the caliphate to be brought to A r a b i a . K i t c h e n e r .144 THE MIDDLE EASTERN QUAGMIRE G r e y that s u c h a course of p r o c e e d i n g s would not be "feasible. a n d S i r M a r k S y k e s . L o r d C r e w e said that two different views were taken in the India Office about the future of the O t t o m a n E m p i r e .A r a b s c h e m e of which the caliphate would be p a r t ." In any event. repeated what was r e g a r d e d as o b v i o u s when she wrote that "the A r a b s can't govern t h e m s e l v e s . K i t c h e n e r and his colleagues continued to p r e s s their s c h e m e .G e n e r a l of I n d i a that "I conceive it to be not i m p o s s i b l e that in the d i m future a federation of s e m i . the field marshal's colleague. a n d looking to G r e a t Britain as its patron a n d p r o t e c t o r . Wingate corr e s p o n d e d with K i t c h e n e r ' s c a n d i d a t e for the p o s i t i o n — H u s s e i n . S i r S a y y i d Ali a l . a c c o r d i n g to S t o r r s . all wrongly believed that the F r e n c h could be p e r s u a d e d to a b a n d o n their interest in S y r i a (except for the C h r i s t i a n a r e a s of M o u n t L e b a n o n . C a p t a i n G . linked together by racial a n d linguistic g r o u n d s .i n d e p e n d e n t A r a b S t a t e s might exist u n d e r E u r o p e a n g u i d a n c e a n d s u p p o r t . " T a k i n g the lead in p u s h i n g for an A r a b caliphate. who joined the K i t c h e n e r e n t o u r a g e in 1915. "independence" for A r a b i c . while the Military 23 24 . G o v e r n o r . On 26 A u g u s t 1915. " A s u s e d b y B r i t i s h officials a m o n g themselves d u r i n g the war. G i l b e r t C l a y t o n . S y m e s . the most f a m o u s of prewar British travelers in A r a b i a n lands. and S t o r r s s u b m i t t e d another m e m o r a n d u m s u p p o r t i n g the A r a b caliphate on 2 M a y 1915. owing spiritual allegiance to a single A r a b P r i m a t e . T h r o u g h o u t the next two years. the T o r y M . it long had been an article of faith a m o n g the British officials who dealt with oriental affairs that they were incapable of g e n u i n e i n d e p e n d e n c e . the ruler of M e c c a a n d M e d i n a — t h r o u g h an A r a b religious leader in the S u d a n . where their presence m i g h t prove to b e . S t o r r s . t h o u g h with several v o i c e s .M i r g h a n i . As to the A r a b i c . wrote the G o v e r n o r . S . when in fact it was only a single faction s p e a k i n g . L o r d K i t c h e n e r explained t o his c o l l e a g u e s — i n c l u d i n g the representative of I n d i a . G e r t r u d e Bell.s p e a k i n g p e o p l e s . T h e Political D e p a r t m e n t wanted to sacrifice T u r k e y to A r a b i a . Wingate's private secretary. " i n e v i t a b l e " ) . At a meeting of the War C o m m i t t e e of the Cabinet on 19 M a r c h 1915.G e n e r a l of the S u d a n . I n L o n d o n . P .

the tall old soldier cast a long s h a d o w over the future of the M i d d l e E a s t . He was a living legend west a n d east of S u e z .RUSSIA'S GRAB FOR TURKEY 145 D e p a r t m e n t wanted to make T u r k e y as s t r o n g as possible as a barrier against a potential R u s s i a n threat. T h e image is one used by Lord Beaverbrook. and the I n d i a Office could not. would always b e u n d e r p r e s s u r e from their s t r o n g R u s s i a n n e i g h b o u r . m o r e than the empire's greatest soldier. a n d in the sunset of his career. m o r e than an old hand at African a n d A s i a n affairs. overrule the j u d g m e n t of H e r b e r t K i t c h e n e r . on the other h a n d . the I n d i a Office went further and called it dangero u s . the K h a l i f a t e were transferred to A r a b i a . If. 25 T h e F o r e i g n Office d e e m e d it unwise to interfere in M o s l e m religious affairs. T h e T u r k s . . it would r e m a i n to a g r e a t extent under our i n f l u e n c e . h e s a i d . M i n u t e s of the m e e t i n g record that L O R D K I T C H E N E R objected to the Military D e p a r t m e n t ' s p l a n . m o r e than a C a b i n e t minister. He was m o r e than the head of the War Office. and the R u s s i a n influence m i g h t indirectly assert itself over the M o h a m m e d a n part of the p o p u l a t i o n of I n d i a . He was K i t c h e n e r of K h a r t o u m . B u t the F o r e i g n Office would not. with the result that the K h a l i f a t e m i g h t be to a great extent u n d e r R u s s i a n domination.

K i t c h e n e r ' s War Office was represented on the c o m m i t t e e by G e n e r a l Sir C h a r l e s Calwell. too. He spent two years at J e s u s C o l l e g e . a n d t h r o u g h S y k e s . T h e r e a f t e r S y k e s remained the L o n d o n b u r e a u c r a t charged with responsibility for M i d d l e E a s t e r n affairs t h r o u g h o u t the war. S y k e s was not well known either to the public or to his fellow politicians. S y k e s . C a m b r i d g e . In addition. D u r i n g and after his u n d e r g r a d u a t e years at C a m b r i d g e . He was restless.h e a r t e d b u t wanton mother a n d his harsh elderly father lived a p a r t . He was m o v e d from school to school a n d there were times when he was not at school at all. 36-year-old R o m a n Catholic T o r y baronet. he b e c a m e a Catholic. had been elected to the H o u s e of C o m m o n s in 1911. He r o a m e d the E a s t . the War Minister d o m i n a t e d the committee's p r o c e e d i n g s . and spent 146 . T h e committee was c o m p o s e d of one representative each from the F o r e i g n Office. T h i s h a d m a d e him one of the Conservative Party's experts on O t t o m a n affairs. a n d as his party was out of office. when his mother converted to R o m a n C a t h o l i c i s m . H i s education was fitful. a n d other relevant d e p a r t m e n t s . T h e vast estates that he inherited a n d his horse-breeding stables did not keep him at h o m e . S y k e s was the p r o d u c t of a c u r i o u s b a c k g r o u n d . the A d m i r a l t y . When he was seven his father took him on a trip to the E a s t . the India Office. a n d p r o d u c e d its report on 30 J u n e 1915. a wealthy. b u t d i d not stay to take his d e g r e e . D i r e c t o r . H i s religion a n d his travels in the E a s t remained lifelong p a s s i o n s . At the age of three. b u t as O t t o m a n affairs had not played any significant role in British politics between 1911 a n d 1914. He was the only child of an u n h a p p y m a r r i a g e : his w a r m .17 D E F I N I N G BRITAIN'S GOALS IN THE MIDDLE EAST T h e d e B u n s e n c o m m i t t e e — t h e interdepartmental g r o u p that A s q u i t h created to a d v i s e the C a b i n e t as to what Britain o u g h t to want in the M i d d l e E a s t — w a s a p p o i n t e d on 8 April 1915. he h a d traveled widely in Asiatic T u r k e y a n d h a d p u b l i s h e d a c c o u n t s o f his j o u r n e y s .G e n e r a l of Military O p e r a t i o n s . K i t c h e n e r placed S i r M a r k S y k e s on the c o m m i t t e e as his personal (as distinct from his d e p a r t m e n t a l ) representative.

Smith. K i t c h e n e r r e q u i r e d a y o u n g politician who knew the M i d d l e E a s t . in both cases of almost professional quality. at the t i m e of his a p p o i n t m e n t . . . S y k e s m a d e an effort to find a j o b that w o u l d m a k e use of his M i d d l e E a s t e r n e x p e r t i s e . the easier it was to do what he required . he alone could speak f r o m first-hand knowledge.DEFINING BRITAIN'S GOALS 147 four years attached to the e m b a s s y in C o n s t a n t i n o p l e . S y k e s was given his de B u n s e n a s s i g n m e n t . While there. E. M a c d o n o g h . H e held opinions strongly. S y k e s fell into K i t c h e n e r ' s orbit as a result of meeting L i e u t e n a n t Colonel O s w a l d F i t z G e r a l d . are at your d i s p o s a l but Churchill either d i d not have a position for h i m or did not offer it. " 2 F r o m the outset. T h e n . H e was o u t s p o k e n a n d opinionated. As a T o r y . and was never to know him m u c h better. a fellow R o m a n Catholic who h a d attended the s a m e p u b l i c school. He w a s a caricaturist a n d a m i m e . In the s u m m e r of 1914 he wrote a letter to Winston Churchill a s k i n g for a j o b "on the spot" working against T u r k e y . too. S y k e s later c o m m e n t e d that " T h e less I saw of him. F i t z G e r a l d a r r a n g e d for S y k e s to be b r o u g h t into the War Office early in 1915.. he s h a r e d m a n y of K i t c h e n e r ' s sentiments a n d p r e j u d i c e s . When the war c a m e . a n d y o u n g S i r M a r k S y k e s was one of the handful of M e m b e r s of Parliament who knew the area. t h o u g h . He was a m u s i n g a n d m a d e friends easily. He was welc o m e d everywhere for his talents. H e was the only m e m b e r of the c o m m i t t e e who h a d been to m o s t parts of the O t t o m a n E m p i r e . the field marshal's close friend a n d personal military secretary. " He wrote that "I know you won't think me self-seeking if I say all the knowledge I have of local tendencies a n d possibilities. offering to "raise native scallywag c o r p s . the other m e m b e r s a s s u m e d that he spoke with the full weight of L o r d K i t c h e n e r ' s authority. T h e relatively inexperienced M . he m a d e an especial friend of G. b u t c h a n g e d t h e m rapidly. S y k e s was directed to call F i t z G e r a l d every evening to give a full report of the de B u n s e n committee's d i s c u s s i o n s . H i s few a t t e m p t s at actually seeing the reclusive national legend evidently p r o v e d unsatisfactory. win over notables. controlled the interdepartmental c o m mittee. * Both belonged to the Other Club. M a c d o n o g h p r o v e d a valuable ally in a d v a n c i n g S y k e s ' s career. In every sense they were m e m b e r s of the s a m e c l u b . F i t z G e r a l d would later tell him what K i t c h e n e r wanted him to say or do at the meetings that followed. as D i r e c t o r of Military Intelligence. founded by Winston Churchill and F. P . S h o r t l y after his arrival at the War Office. where he served u n d e r Calwell p r e p a r i n g information booklets for troops in the M e d i t e r r a n e a n area. he barely knew K i t c h e n e r . or any other o d d m e n t . M. W. Y e t .

A British railroad was to be constructed from a M e d i t e r r a n e a n port to M e s o p o t a m i a . He explored the relative a d v a n t a g e s of several different k i n d s of territorial settlement: annexation of the O t t o m a n territories by the Allied P o w e r s . a n d J a z i r a h . Controlling the a g e n d a . as being the easiest. In any event. was to be g u i d e d in s u c h m a t t e r s by the G r e e k a n d L a t i n classics they had studied at public school: they e m p l o y e d the v a g u e G r e e k t e r m s u s e d by Hellenistic g e o g r a p h e r s two t h o u s a n d years earlier." the coastal strip o c c u p i e d by the Philistines m o r e than a t h o u s a n d years before C h r i s t . a n d writing the m i n u t e s of what was said a n d decided at meetings. the c o m m i t t e e had to decide what n a m e s to give to the various areas into which they m i g h t want to divide the O t t o m a n E m p i r e . a n d felt free to r e m a k e the face of the M i d d l e E a s t as they saw fit. (Eventually the c o m m i t t e e reco m m e n d e d trying the last choice first. though the areas to be included in each were unclear.148 THE MIDDLE EASTERN QUAGMIRE he was a politician. H a n k e y was on the r o a d to b e c o m i n g the m o s t valuable a n d i m p o r t a n t m a n in the b u r e a u c r a c y . into a friend a n d personal s u p p o r t e r . A r m e n i a . led by M a r k S y k e s . also in his thirties. dividing the territories into s p h e r e s of influence instead of annexing them outright. T h e c o m m i t t e e . it was a g e o g r a p h i c t e r m current in the Christian western world to describe the H o l y L a n d . T h e A r a b i c s p e a k i n g areas of A s i a to the north of A r a b i a thus collectively were referred to as " M e s o p o t a m i a " in the east and " S y r i a " in the west.) In order to d i s c u s s these m a t t e r s . was S e c r e t a r y to the C o m m i t t e e of I m p e r i a l D e f e n c e a n d S e c r e t a r y to the War C o u n c i l of the C a b i n e t . As the c o m m i t t e e saw it. T h e y were to be S y r i a . a n d his s u p p o r t p r o v e d invaluable to S y k e s . H a n k e y . Palestine.I r a q (the northern and southern p a r t s of M e s o p o t a m i a ) . leaving the O t t o m a n E m p i r e in place. it was S y k e s who outlined the alternatives that were available to Britain.a u t o n o m o u s units. to p r o v i d e ." a corruption of "Philistia. b u t rendering its g o v e r n m e n t s u b m i s s i v e . and was to b e c o m e the first holder of the office of Secretary of the British C a b i n e t . the vilayets (or p r o v i n c e s ) . or decentralizing the administration of the e m p i r e into s e m i . In the de B u n s e n p r o c e e d i n g s . Anatolia. p r o p o s e d the creation of five largely a u t o n o m o u s provinces in the decentralized O t t o m a n E m p i r e which they e n v i s a g e d . T h e southern part of S y r i a was called "Palestine. British influence or control would be desirable in a wide swath across the M i d d l e E a s t from the Mediterranean to the Persian Gulf. the tendency of the c o m m i t t e e m e m b e r s . It is indicative of the spirit in which they a p p r o a c h e d their task that they saw no need to follow the lines of existing political s u b d i v i s i o n s of the e m p i r e . He m a d e the other key m e m b e r of the c o m m i t t e e . M a u r i c e H a n k e y . like that of the British g o v e r n i n g class in general. a n d while no country had ever called itself Palestine.

b u t he a d d e d that it also would put it out of reach of financial control by F r a n c e . though with slight modifications of his own. Filistin [Palestine] British. After m o r e of the s a m e . S o p h i a and a Nunc Dimittis in the M o s q u e of O m a r . 4 . and I shall sing a Te Deum in S t . L i k e K i t c h e n e r . Adalia Italian. m e d i a t i n g between the two.T u r k still. Pray p a s s on without fear. however. To his intimate friend a n d fellow p r o T u r k i s h M . S o u t h e r n T a u r u s and N o r t h S y r i a F r e n c h . C C . K e l t i c . a n d A r m e n i a n in honour of all the gallant little nations. S y k e s . F R G S . T h e overall a p p r o a c h . Y o u r Policy i s wrong.. I got a s u m m o n s f r o m F i e l d to attend a meeting of the O t t o m a n Society to which I never b e l o n g e d . for he a s s u m e d that O t t o m a n finances would be largely controlled by the F r e n c h in view of the large F r e n c h investment in the O t t o m a n public d e b t . . We will s i n g it in Welsh. a b a n d o n e d his conviction that the integrity of the O t t o m a n E m p i r e o u g h t to be maintained. . M e n of b a s e clay cannot be expected to u n d e r s t a n d . M e s o p o t a m i a British a n d everything else R u s s i a n — including C o n s t a n t i n o p l e . S y k e s closed with a note: T o the C e n s o r T h i s is a brilliant letter from one g e n i u s to another. . In all other respects S y k e s hewed close to the K i t c h e n e r line. he advocated m o v i n g the caliphate to the s o u t h to put it out of the reach of R u s s i a ' s influence. T u r k e y m u s t cease to b e . S m y r n a shall be G r e e k . A u b r e y H e r b e r t . but S y k e s d e m a n d e d that it be H a i f a . . K i t c h e n e r continued to insist on Alexandretta as the port. was K i t c h e n e r ' s . let S y k e s have his way. I immediately wired to M c K e n n a [ H o m e S e c r e t a r y ] a n d I have every hope that the whole c r o w d have been c l a p p e d into b a r b e d w i r e — h a ! ha! H o w furious this m u s t m a k e y o u ha! ha! again. M P . Polish. P . a n d F i t z G e r a l d . M a r k S y k e s L t .T u r k i s h bloc in Parliament. who had been a c o n s p i c u o u s m e m b e r of the p r o . Col.DEFINING BRITAIN'S GOALS 149 the overland r o a d to the E a s t . . h e wrote o n April Fool's D a y : 3 I perceive by your letter that you are p r o . J P .

Churchill h a d cabled h i m on 13 M a r c h reporting that "we have information that the T u r k i s h F o r t s are short of a m m u n i t i o n a n d that the G e r m a n officers have m a d e d e s p o n d i n g r e p o r t s . A d m i r a l C a r d e n told his s e c o n d s . "makes me s q u i r m " . at the scene of battle. He s u m m o n e d a fleet physician. and learned to harass the British m i n e s w e e p e r s by firing on t h e m with howitzers and small m o b i l e g u n s . "I do not u n d e r s t a n d why m i n e s w e e p i n g s h o u l d be interfered with by fire which c a u s e s no casualties. On the eve of the m a i n battle for the straits. b u t the strain of anxiety proved too m u c h for him a n d s u d d e n l y his nerves b r o k e . T h i s . b u t the major p r o b l e m was that A d m i r a l C a r d e n was losing his nerve. the T u r k i s h troops along the shore b e g a n to regain their confidence.i n . although no British casualties h a d been suffered. On 13 M a r c h Churchill received a cable from C a r d e n s a y i n g that m i n e s w e e p i n g was not p r o c e e d i n g satisfactorily d u e to what C a r d e n claimed was heavy T u r k i s h fire.c o m m a n d that he could no longer go on. who were not willing to operate u n d e r fire. " Part of the p r o b l e m — a n d it was one of the defects in A d m i r a l C a r d e n ' s original p l a n — w a s that the m i n e s w e e p e r s were m a n n e d by civilian e m p l o y e e s . who e x a m i n e d h i m and certified that he was suffering from indigestion a n d that he s h o u l d be placed on the sick list 1 2 150 . T h e weather kept the w a r s h i p s f r o m b r i n g i n g their full fire power to bear. the f l e e t m o v e d slowly.18 AT T H E NARROWS OF F O R T U N E i L o n d o n was dealing quickly with the political c o n s e q u e n c e s of the i m p e n d i n g victory at the D a r d a n e l l e s b u t . b u t the admiral worried. T w o or three h u n d r e d casualties w o u l d be a small price to pay for s w e e p i n g up as far as the N a r r o w s . a n d could neither eat nor sleep. noted Churchill. As the d a y s went by. d e p e n d i n g on the weather. " to which C a r d e n replied that he w o u l d launch the m a i n attack into the straits a n d w a g e the battle for the crucial N a r r o w s on or a b o u t 17 M a r c h . He had lost no s h i p s a n d reported that he h a d suffered no casualties.

C a p t a i n Hall had not yet learned of the collapse of the negotiations when. according to his cabled report to the A d m i r a l t y . " Churchill a n d F i s h e r did not tell the C a b i n e t . they merely cabled him that it was important not to give the i m p r e s s i o n that operations were s u s p e n d e d . T h e negotiations failed because the British g o v e r n m e n t felt unable to give a s s u r a n c e s that the O t t o m a n E m p i r e could retain C o n s t a n t i n o p l e — s o deeply were the British now c o m m i t t e d to satisfying R u s s i a ' s a m b i t i o n s . T h e day b e g a n to go badly when a F r e n c h battleship mysteriously e x p l o d e d a n d d i s a p p e a r e d just before 2:00 in the afternoon. De R o b e c k . On the afternoon of 19 M a r c h . the D i r e c t o r of N a v a l Intelligence. T h e British a n d T u r k i s h negotiators met at a seaport in E u r o p e a n T u r k e y on 15 M a r c h . he told Churchill of the plan to offer four million p o u n d s to T u r k e y if she would leave the war. the D i r e c t o r of N a v a l Intelligence. also struck a m i n e . b u t I'm going t h r o u g h . C a p t a i n William R e g i n a l d Hall. however. they g r a s p e d its significance immediately. the enemy would collapse. to take his place. for N a v a l Intelligence had discovered that when the action r e c o m m e n c e d . b r o u g h t Churchill and F i s h e r an intercepted. Decision of Medical Officer follows. Churchill cried out in excitement that "they've c o m e to the end of their a m munition. the second-inc o m m a n d . had initiated negotiations with T a l a a t Bey. the y o u n g T u r k leader. "By G o d . 3 4 U n k n o w n to Churchill and F i s h e r . Hall cabled his emissaries to withdraw the offer.AT THE NARROWS OF FORTUNE 151 for three or four weeks. a i m e d at inducing the O t t o m a n E m p i r e to leave the war in return for a large p a y m e n t of m o n e y . At their insistence." as indeed they h a d . De R o b e c k reported to the A d m i r a l t y . a n d it a n d the Irresistible both sank. there was elation. A vessel sent to rescue one of t h e m . I tell you I'm g o i n g t h r o u g h t o m o r r o w . at M a u r i c e Hankey's s u g g e s tion. on the night of 19 M a r c h . for fear of c o m p r o m i s i n g their intelligence s o u r c e s . On 16 M a r c h C a r d e n cabled Churchill " M u c h regret obliged to go on the sick list. Churchill was aghast a n d F i s h e r was furious. then c o m m e n c e d the main attack at 10:45 on the m o r n i n g of 18 M a r c h . T w o hours later two British battleships struck mines. T h e n a F r e n c h warship d a m a g e d by gunfire was b e a c h e d . " 5 6 . the Irresistible. At the A d m i r a l t y in L o n d o n . no. nor did they tell de R o b e c k . that the rest of his s h i p s would be ready to r e c o m m e n c e action in three or four d a y s . C a p t a i n Hall." Churchill p r o m p t l y appointed J o h n d e R o b e c k . d e c o d e d m e s s a g e from the G e r m a n K a i s e r . Hall later recalled that F i s h e r started up f r o m his chair a n d s h o u t e d " F o u r million? N o . I'll go t h r o u g h tomorrow" and then repeated " T o m o r r o w ! We shall p r o b a b l y lose six s h i p s . F i s h e r waved the m e s s a g e over his head a n d s h o u t e d .

Special trains were p r e p a r e d for the S u l t a n a n d for the foreign diplomatic colony. T h e well-to-do sent wives a n d families ahead to the interior of the country. P l a c a r d s denouncing the g o v e r n m e n t b e g a n to a p p e a r in the streets of the city. M o r a l e in C o n s t a n t i n o p l e disintegrated. Ill L o n d o n rejoiced a n d C o n s t a n t i n o p l e d e s p a i r e d . Meanwhile those m e m b e r s of the E n v e r . a n d e q u i p p e d it with extra petrol tanks for the long drive to a distant place of refuge. a n d wired St S o p h i a a n d the other great m o n u m e n t s with d y n a m i t e . he s a i d "I s u p p o s e I am done f o r . w h o m K i t c h e n e r had sent out in advance of the forthc o m i n g t r o o p s . F a t e now a p p e a r e d in the c h a r m i n g person of General S i r Ian H a m i l t o n .s p e a k i n g c o m m u n i t y as well. " De R o b e c k was u n n e r v e d b e c a u s e he did not know what had caused his losses.T a l a a t faction who had s u p p o r t e d it to the bitter end g a t h e r e d up petrol a n d p r e p a r e d to b u r n down the city when the Allies a r r i v e d . T a l a a t . T h e y had been placed there the night before a n d had e s c a p e d notice by British aerial o b s e r v e r s . T h e state archives a n d the gold reserves of the b a n k s were sent to safety. with o r d e r s to 7 . the Minister of the Interior. He feared for his career. but in the straits of the D a r d a n e l l e s . In fact his s h i p s had run into a single line of m i n e s running parallel to the shore rather than across the straits. requisitioned a powerful M e r c e d e s for his personal use. a n d O t t o m a n s u p p l i e s of these were so depleted that the T u r k s were driven to catch and re-use the mines that the R u s s i a n s were u s i n g against t h e m . T h e Goeben m a d e ready to escape into the Black S e a . when evening c a m e on the 18th and de R o b e c k s u r v e y e d the results of the day's battle. A m i d s t r u m o r s and panic. b u t his military dispositions were so incompetent t h a t — a s L i m a n von S a n d e r s later r e c a l l e d — a n y T u r k i s h attempt at o p p o s i n g an Allied landing in C o n s t a n t i n o p l e had been rendered i m p o s s i b l e . T h e casualties a n d losses from m i n e s on 18 M a r c h had left A d m i r a l de R o b e c k d e s p o n d e n t . b u t now the police b e g a n to arrest s u s p e c t s within the T u r k i s h . T h e G r e e k a n d A r m e n i a n c o m m u n i t i e s were expected b y the a u thorities to welcome the Allies. the m o o d of the British c o m m a n d was bleak. It was a one-time fluke. E n v e r bravely planned to remain a n d defend the city. the evacuation of the city c o m m e n c e d . A c c o r d i n g to one report. H a m i l t o n was to be their c o m m a n d e r .152 THE MIDDLE EASTERN QUAGMIRE II All that stood between the British-led Allied fleet a n d C o n s t a n t i n o p l e were a few s u b m e r g e d mines.

S i n c e he could not give de R o b e c k o r d e r s to r e s u m e the attack. Churchill felt obliged to return to A s q u i t h a n d ask for the P r i m e Minister's consent. Churchill fought back against the decision to let the navy a b a n d o n the c a m p a i g n . O n c e A d m i r a l de R o b e c k realized that he had an alternative to going back into battle—that in L o n d o n it was r e g a r d e d as acceptable for him to turn over the responsibility to H a m i l t o n a n d the a r m y if he chose to do s o — h e saw no reason to run further risks. like it or not. he a t t e m p t e d to get him to do it through p e r s u a s i o n . and heard his p r o p o s a l s I now consider" that the a r m y has to enter the c a m p a i g n . R e t u r n i n g to the A d m i r a l t y that afternoon. c a p t u r e the N a r r o w s . 8 9 On the m o r n i n g of 23 M a r c h the War G r o u p met at the A d m i r a l t y to d i s c u s s de R o b e c k ' s decision. a n d which in no uncertain t e r m s o r d e r e d the a d m i r a l to renew the attack. the cable p e r s u a d e d A s q u i t h that " T h e A d m i r a l t y have been o v e r . Churchill violently disa g r e e d . He h a d drafted a s t r o n g cable to de R o b e c k which he b r o u g h t along for the Cabinet's a p p r o v a l . Winston Churchill was a p p a l l e d a n d shocked.s a n g u i n e as to what they c d . after m e e t i n g with I a n H a m i l t o n on 22 M a r c h . a n d took the matter to the C a b i n e t when the War G r o u p m e e t i n g e n d e d . Hamilton's alternative orders were to invade the E u r o p e a n shore of the straits. that "having m e t G e n e r a l H a m i l t o n . who drafted a p p r o p r i a t e l y s t r o n g cables to S i r Ian H a m i l t o n . H i s personal view was that the attack s h o u l d be r e s u m e d . If the navy failed to win t h r o u g h on its own. " De R o b e c k cabled Churchill. Whoever said it first. took the view that the decision of the m a n on the s p o t h a d to be a c c e p t e d .AT THE NARROWS OF FORTUNE 153 let the navy win the c a m p a i g n a n d then to d i s e m b a r k a n d take possession of the shore. A s q u i t h . Wilson. a n d let the navy t h r o u g h . refused to give it. Churchill found that F i s h e r . A d m i r a l F i s h e r . however. He s p o k e again with the . de R o b e c k and H a m i l t o n a g r e e d that the navy s h o u l d wait until the a r m y could c o m e into action. K n o w i n g as he did that the a m m u n i t i o n crisis in T u r k e y meant that the r o a d to C o n s t a n t i n o p l e w a s o p e n . As a civilian minister att e m p t i n g to overrule the F i r s t S e a L o r d a n d his fellow a d m i r a l s on a naval matter. do by s h i p s a l o n e . . b u t he would not order it over the o p p o s i t i o n of the S e a L o r d s at the Admiralty. . H a m i l t o n had already cabled his views to K i t c h e n e r . who on 18 M a r c h s h o w e d the cable to the P r i m e M i n i s t e r . He sent cables in which he a t t e m p t e d to reason with the a d m i r a l a n d to show h i m why a res u m p t i o n of the naval attack was i m p o r t a n t . At the Cabinet meeting Churchill received s u p p o r t from both the P r i m e Minister a n d from K i t c h e n e r . but the F i r s t S e a L o r d . a n d in this view he was s u p p o r t e d by A d m i r a l of the Fleet S i r A r t h u r Wilson and A d m i r a l Sir H e n r y J a c k s o n . a n d J a c k s o n r e m a i n e d a d a m a n t l y o p p o s e d t o his s e n d i n g the cabled order to de R o b e c k .

154 THE MIDDLE EASTERN QUAGMIRE P r i m e Minister who e x p r e s s e d his "hope" that the attack would r e s u m e s o o n . T h e O t t o m a n E m p i r e . T h o u g h they w o u l d continue to p u r s u e their nineteenth-century goals in the region. It was to no avail. a n d R u s s i a to i m p o s e their d e s i g n s on the M i d d l e E a s t with e a s e . F r a n c e . never doubted that it would have done so. . F o r Winston Churchill. which h a d been sentenced t o death. O n l y a few h u n d r e d casualties had been suffered. a n d once the lines of m i n e s s u r r o u n d i n g the N a r r o w s had g o n e . unaware of de R o b e c k ' s decision. 1 0 IV After the battle of 18 M a r c h — t h e battle that so a l a r m e d de R o b e c k that he decided to t u r n his s h i p s a r o u n d a n d s t e a m a w a y — t h e O t t o m a n c o m m a n d e r s c o n c l u d e d that their cause was lost. received o r d e r s to fire their remaining r o u n d s of a m munition a n d then to a b a n d o n their coastal positions. working without interruption or o p p o s i t i o n . * Historians still debate the question of whether victory in the Ottoman war in 1915 would have led to a rapid Allied victory in the German war. T h e "Easterners. It was m o r e than a personal t r i u m p h that h a d s l i p p e d t h r o u g h his fingers. While A d m i r a l de R o b e c k . there were no m o r e laid. who h a d led his fleet in battle for only one day. It was also his last chance to s a v e the world in which he h a d g r o w n u p : to win the war while the familiar. had p l u n g e d b a c k into battle for a s e c o n d day he w o u l d have seen the enemy forces withdraw a n d melt a w a y . who was only h o u r s away f r o m victory. a b o a r d s h i p ." led by Lloyd George. could have cleared a path t h r o u g h the N a r r o w s . was g i v i n g his o r d e r s to give up the fight. In a few h o u r s his m i n e s w e e p e r s . the nearness of it—the knowledge that he was almost there. that it was within his g r a s p — w a s to b e c o m e the torment of a lifetime. traditional E u r o p e of established monarchies and e m p i r e s still survived. h a d received an u n e x p e c t e d last-minute reprieve. T h e fleet w o u l d have s t e a m e d into C o n s t a n t i n o p l e without opposition. It was also the lost last chance for Britain. If A d m i r a l de R o b e c k . Its leaders rushed to m a k e use of the time that Britain h a d allowed t h e m before the new trial of a r m s b e g a n . thereafter they w o u l d do so in the uncongenial environment of the twentieth century. on shore the T u r k i s h d e f e n d i n g forces. b u t the A d m i r a l t y ' s D a r d a n e l l e s c a m p a i g n was over.

who would seize the high g r o u n d a n d d o m i n a t e the field. C o a l . O t t o m a n agents in neutral G r e e c e could hardly have m i s s e d noticing the vast fleet as it m o v e d t h r o u g h the islands of the A e g e a n . notably giving a responsible position to M u s t a p h a K e m a l . he h a d jealously q u e s t i o n e d the j u d g m e n t s a n d c i r c u m scribed the authority of his G e r m a n colleagues. and in m a n y a r e a s he continued to do s o . E n v e r P a s h a announced an uncharacteristic and important decision: he relinquished c o m m a n d of the O t t o m a n forces at the D a r d a n e l l e s to the G e r m a n general. Until that m o m e n t he h a d resisted p r e s s u r e s to turn over authority. L i m a n w a s kept well informed of B r i t i s h p r o g r e s s in o r g a n i z i n g an invasion force. M u n i t i o n s . L i m a n von S a n d e r s . L i m a n h a d little t i m e . H e a s s e m b l e d s u c h forces a n d s u p p l i e s as were to be f o u n d a m i d s t the wreckage of the empire's resources. and F o r t r e s s e s . a n d wasted none. A l t h o u g h he h a d allowed G e r m a n officers in his War Ministry to m o v e into key p o s t s in the D e p a r t m e n t s of O p e r a t i o n s .19 T H E WARRIORS i S h a k e n by the Allied b o m b a r d m e n t of 18 M a r c h . even to the G e r m a n experts who served as d e p a r t mental a n d staff a d v i s e r s . kept h i m in o b s c u r e a n d u n r e w a r d i n g a s s i g n m e n t s . S u p p l y . Y e t u n d e r the g u n s of the Allied a r m a d a he finally s t e p p e d aside on the battlefield that m o s t m a t t e r e d . a T u r k i s h officer who a d m i r e d E u r o p e a n ways a n d whose scorn o f O t t o m a n b a c k w a r d n e s s a n d bitter c o n s c i o u s n e s s that he was superior to those a d v a n c e d over his h e a d h a d . until then. N e w s of the British expedition's a s s e m b l y and e m barkation in E g y p t was p u b l i s h e d by n e w s p a p e r s in C a i r o and rep o r t e d t o the T u r k s b y m e r c h a n t s i n A l e x a n d r i a . its lights and 155 . R a i l r o a d s . It ran counter to all of Enver's instincts to turn over his M o s l e m warriors to a f o r e i g n — a n d C h r i s t i a n — c o m m a n d e r . L a t e r . Intelligence. K e m a l was to prove the battlefield genius of the c o m i n g c o m b a t : the c o m m a n d e r with the eye for the key tactical position. H e m a d e his own c o m m a n d a p p o i n t m e n t s .

which is why (despite his own misgivings) he had o r d e r e d the navy to take him back from T u r k e y to E g y p t to a s s e m b l e his forces. at their meeting the War Minister. " 2 T h e Director of Military O p e r a t i o n s at the War Office then briefed H a m i l t o n by showing h i m a m a p a n d a plan of attack b o r r o w e d from the G r e e k G e n e r a l Staff. It was the t y p e of e n g a g e m e n t in which the steadfastness of the O t t o m a n soldiery could be e m p l o y e d fo best a d v a n t a g e . the O t t o m a n defending forces u n d e r L i m a n ' s workmanlike direction were waiting for the British invasion when it c a m e . He wrote that t h o u g h they could be routed by a s u r p r i s e attack. a n d therefore that he needed at least s o m e w o r d of explanation and guidance. He was to attack only the E u r o p e a n side of the s t r a i t s : the Gallipoli peninsula. It took h i m a b o u t three weeks to organize his expeditionary force. a n d hills that divided the shoreline into tiny beaches cut off from one another. T h e War Office h a d not taken the time or trouble to work out one of their own. As H a m i l t o n later recalled. warned that the t r o o p s were "only to be a loan a n d are to be returned the m o m e n t they can be s p a r e d . " He explained that "all things e a r m a r k e d for the E a s t are looked on by powerful interests both at h o m e a n d in F r a n c e as having been stolen from the W e s t ." 1 II F o r S i r I a n H a m i l t o n . G e n e r a l H a m i l t o n was sent out with an inaccurate a n d out-of-date m a p . . He was not to attack until he had his whole force. the British C o m m a n d e r . " It was a r u g g e d l a n d s c a p e of ravines. its military b a n d s blaring a b o v e the s o u n d of winds a n d waves by day. S i r M a r k S y k e s had pointed this out in late F e b r u a r y in a letter to Churchill. while giving him c o m m a n d of the division that initially was b e i n g sent out to the D a r d a n e l l e s in s u p p o r t of the navy.156 THE MIDDLE EASTERN QUAGMIRE signal l a m p s shining brightly t h r o u g h the night. 3 H a v i n g traveled on a fast naval cruiser from Marseilles. a n d little else to g u i d e h i m . He carefully followed the instructions that the War Minister h a d given him for the c a m p a i g n . He told the War Minister that he knew nothing a b o u t T u r k e y . he r e m a r k e d immediately that "the Peninsula looks a tougher nut to crack than it did on L o r d K . On seeing the Gallipoli peninsula for the first time. H a m i l t o n reached the coast of Gallipoli on 18 M a r c h . Well-officered for once. " T u r k s always g r o w f o r m i d a b l e if given time to think. in time to influence de R o b e c k to call off the naval c a m p a i g n . the c a m p a i g n began the m o r n i n g of 12 M a r c h when L o r d K i t c h e n e r u n e x p e c t e d l y — a n d without e x p l a n a t i o n — s u m m o n e d h i m to the War Office to offer him the c o m m a n d . By late April he was s t e a m i n g back toward the straits to c o m m a n d the army's attack. ' s small and featureless m a p .

D o m i n i o n . they s t o p p e d b e c a u s e of confusion as to who was in c o m m a n d . also p r o v e d a s u r p r i s e to the A u s t r a l i a n a n d N e w Z e a l a n d t r o o p s who landed t h e r e — t h e navy h a d taken t h e m to the w r o n g b e a c h . At X. W. K i t c h e n e r h a d o r d e r e d that it s h o u l d be done nonetheless. s a y i n g that he believed the O t t o m a n generals had left the E u r o p e a n side of the straits m o r e or less u n d e f e n d e d . who h a d known when b u t not where the Allies would attack. the western (or E u r o p e a n ) shore of the D a r d a n e l l e s . A t S . b u t m a d e c a m p on the beach without a t t e m p t i n g to a s c e n d to the top of the s l o p e that overlooked it." L l o y d G e o r g e said he "thought it m o r e p r o b a b l e that they w o u l d m a k e a s t a n d " . they encountered T u r k i s h soldiers who fled until rallied b y their c o m m a n d e r . the five other Allied landings were at b e a c h h e a d s c o d e . X. C o m p t o n M a c k e n z i e . its only T o r y m e m b e r — t h e former P r i m e Minister A r t h u r B a l f o u r — a s k e d "whether the T u r k s were likely. and the invaders c l i m b e d u n o p p o s e d to the top of the cliff that d o m i n a t e d the b e a c h . the B r i t i s h . M u s t a p h a K e m a l .n a m e d S. in fact. r e p o r t e d f r o m the D a r d a n e l l e s that " F r e n c h officers who have fought in the West say that as a fighting unit one T u r k is worth two G e r m a n s . to s u r r e n d e r or to fight with their b a c k to the wall. T h e Allies held a n o v e r w h e l m i n g numerical superiority that d a y — .THE WARRIORS 157 then the navy took h i m back to T u r k e y to launch his invasion of Gallipoli. the landing party m e t little opposition. At the tip of G a l l i p o l i . if cut off. At Y there were no T u r k s . T h e battle r a g e d all day. V. the attackers also m o u n t e d the cliff—and also s t o p p e d there. A s c e n d i n g the steep slopes to the ridge a b o v e . the y o u n g novelist-turnedwar c o r r e s p o n d e n t . 4 5 A year later. with his back to the wall the T u r k i s magnificent. A r i B u r n u . a n d Allied a r m i e s w a d e d ashore onto six narrow. were taken by s u r p r i s e a n d p r o b a b l y could have been o v e r w h e l m e d that d a y . At a War C o u n c i l meeting. a n d Y. unconnected beaches on the Gallipoli peninsula. T h e r e were m o m e n t s when it could have gone either way. a verdict on the matter was returned by Allied a r m i e s serving in the field. T h e T u r k s . but in the end the T u r k s d r o v e the i n v a d e r s b a c k down the s l o p e ." 6 Ill At dawn on 25 April 1915. m e e t i n g little opposition. but instead of m a r c h i n g on. b u t K i t c h e n e r replied that they w o u l d p r o b a b l y surrender. It was a risky v e n t u r e : indeed p r e w a r British military studies that were revealed to the C a b i n e t by A s q u i t h at the end of F e b r u a r y had c o n c l u d e d that an attack on Gallipoli by the British a r m y was too risky to be u n d e r t a k e n . T h e n o r t h e r n m o s t invasion site.

158 THE MIDDLE EASTERN QUAGMIRE m o s t of L i m a n ' s forces were held in reserve at a distance f r o m the battlefield—and at b e a c h e s Y. on the advice of his officers. T u r k i s h reinforcements started to p o u r in. a n d indeed. While the T u r k s d u g in on the d o m i n a t i n g heights. B y 2 6 April the situation h a d c h a n g e d . b l o o d y a s s a u l t s on fixed positions. U n k n o w i n g l y . c o m m a n d e r of the A N Z A C forces. . Gallipoli was to b e c o m e a d r a w n . a n d S the invasion forces could have exploited their s u r p r i s e attack by a d v a n c i n g a n d d e s t r o y i n g the small T u r k i s h g a r r i s o n in the vicinity. B u t S i r I a n H a m i l t o n .e m b a r k i n g a n d a b a n d o n i n g the positions his forces o c c u p i e d . d i g g i n g in w a s m o r e likely to p r o d u c e a stalemate than b r e a k o n e . a n d in a s e n s e it w a s all over: a cheap victory at Gallipoli w a s no longer in sight for the Allies. b u t at worst to suffer disaster. the British c o m m a n d e r s o r d e r e d their t r o o p s to entrench on the b e a c h e s . As h a d been shown in F r a n c e a n d F l a n d e r s . r e c o m m e n d e d r e . S o o n m o s t m e m b e r s of the British g o v e r n m e n t in L o n d o n c a m e to view evacuation as the only solution. d e c i d e d instead to d i g in. G e n e r a l B i r d w o o d . H a m i l t o n thereby c o n c e d e d that the expedition he l e d — a n d which w a s intended to b r e a k the military stalemate in the w a r — w a s d o o m e d to fail. X. a n d there at the water's e d g e the Allied fight eventually b e c a m e one for survival. a n d K i t c h e n e r b e c a u s e he believed it w o u l d be a d i s a s t e r for a British a r m y to be seen to be defeated by a M i d d l e E a s t e r n one. but Churchill a n d K i t c h e n e r fought against it: Churchill b e c a u s e he w a s never willing to a c c e p t defeat. B i r d w o o d ' s c o m m a n d i n g officer. in futile.o u t replay of the trench warfare on the western front. H a m i l t o n h a d positioned his t r o o p s at best to fight the T u r k s to a d r a w .

20 THE POLITICIANS i Winston Churchill's d o g g e d determination to fight on at Gallipoli until victory was won kept him in the spotlight even after the army had taken over the D a r d a n e l l e s c a m p a i g n from the navy. it was not generally known that L o r d K i t c h e n e r w a s the author of the plan to send the navy on its own to attack the D a r d a n e l l e s . that the F i r s t L o r d of the A d m i r a l t y has been a s s u m i n g responsibilities a n d overriding his expert advisers to a degree which m i g h t at any time e n d a n g e r the national safety . Churchill was m a d e the s c a p e g o a t for the continuing casualties a n d setbacks as the Allied a r m i e s fought on hopelessly at Gallipoli. The Times gave voice to a gathering c o n s e n s u s in 1915 when its 18 M a y editorial p r o c l a i m e d that What long ago p a s s e d b e y o n d the stage of mere r u m o u r is the c h a r g e . which has been repeatedly a n d categorically m a d e in public. it is time for his colleagues in the C a b i n e t to take s o m e definite action. . a n d the m a n who had c a u s e d Britain to suffer one defeat after another in that war. When a civilian Minister in charge of a fighting service persistently seeks to g r a s p p o w e r which s h o u l d not p a s s into his u n g u i d e d hands. He a p p e a r e d to be both the m a n who had b r o u g h t the O t t o m a n war a b o u t . K i t c h e n e r ' s prestige was so great that the p r e s s . and 159 . the p u b l i c . Although from April o n w a r d the battle for the straits was no longer the A d m i r a l t y ' s operation. a n d Parliament f o u n d it inconceivable that he had been responsible for the b l u n d e r s that had been c o m m i t t e d . 1 O u t s i d e of the War C a b i n e t . a n d a t t e m p t s to u s e that power in perilous ways. Churchill w a s b l a m e d for the decision. b u t Churchill was an interfering civilian a n d it was easy to believe the a d m i r a l s who claimed that his a m a t e u r i s h m e d d l i n g in naval m a t t e r s had been the c a u s e of British s e t b a c k s . .

If he hadn't tried that coup but had cooperated with the A r m y . F i s h e r . A final split between Churchill and Britain's greatest sailor. we might have got to C o n s t a n t i n o p l e with very little l o s s . for F i s h e r refused to see him. who had a n n o u n c e d that he was resigning on eight previous occasions. a coup that had failed and threatened to lose t h e m their lives. " 2 3 A b u s e was heaped on Churchill f r o m all q u a r t e r s . Infuriated. that he was resigning his office. S i n c e the p r e s s and the political world did not yet know of Fisher's resignation. the F i r s t S e a L o r d . Churchill was a s s u r e d on S u n d a y . L a t e r . walked over from the A d m i r a l t y to n e a r b y 11 D o w n i n g Street a n d told the Chancellor of the E x c h e q u e r . E a r l y the following m o r n i n g F i s h e r received several m e m o r a n d a f r o m Churchill s u m m a r i z i n g the points on which they had a g r e e d . locked the door.160 THE MIDDLE EASTERN QUAGMIRE therefore for the several weeks of a d v a n c e warning that had been given to E n v e r and L i m a n von S a n d e r s . that the S e c o n d . he d i s a p p e a r e d from view for a time. a n d F o u r t h S e a L o r d s were all willing to continue in their positions. who served in the a r m e d forces there. Churchill planned to a n n o u n c e both Fisher's resignation a n d the new dispositions at the A d m i r a l t y to the H o u s e of C o m m o n s on M o n d a y m o r n i n g — b e f o r e the O p p o s i t i o n h a d time to d i s r u p t his p l a n s . a n d his political position deteriorated rapidly. and that the intentions of the other m e m b e r s of the A d m i r a l t y B o a r d were unknown. " L a t e r he wrote that "As for Winston. Churchill and F i s h e r had conferred and had reached agreement on a p r o g r a m of reinforcements of the fleet s u p p o r t i n g the Gallipoli c a m p a i g n on F r i d a y . T h i r d . 14 M a y . A d m i r a l of the Fleet L o r d F i s h e r . a n d drew the blinds. who was next door at 10 D o w n i n g Street. b u t also a d d i n g new s u g g e s t i o n s of his own. He also secured the agreement of A d m i r a l of the Fleet Sir A r t h u r Wilson to return to his prewar position of F i r s t S e a L o r d in Fisher's place. I would like him to die in s o m e of the t o r m e n t s I have seen so m a n y die in h e r e . sent a hint of what he had done to A n d r e w B o n a r . a n d the two of them a t t e m p t e d to p e r s u a d e F i s h e r that he had to remain at his post at least temporarily. he is killing free m e n to m a k e himself f a m o u s . wrote in his diary that "Winston's n a m e fills everyone with r a g e . A u b r e y H e r b e r t . however. b r o u g h t m a t t e r s to a h e a d . T h e officers on the Gallipoli beaches saw the earlier naval attack as a show-off stunt by the F i r s t L o r d of the A d m i r a l t y . Churchill learned of the situation from his colleagues. F i s h e r refused. 16 M a y . which enabled them to entrench their armies to repel the Allied assault on Gallipoli. L l o y d G e o r g e sent for the Prime Minister. F i s h e r . R o m a n e m p e r o r s killed slaves to m a k e themselves p o p u l a r . T h e i m m e d i a t e p r o b l e m was that the navy—in the m i d d l e of a w a r — w a s without its chief c o m m a n d i n g officer. D a v i d L l o y d G e o r g e . a n d then went back to his r o o m at the A d m i r a l t y .

THE POLITICIANS 161 L a w . On 19 M a y 1915. T h e O p p o s i t i o n theretofore had refrained f r o m challenging the government in w a r t i m e . in the face of one military failure after another. A s q u i t h said that he did not want the s c h e d u l e d d e b a t e between the parties to take p l a c e . H e asked the Chancellor whether F i s h e r had r e s i g n e d . no longer felt that they could give the L i b e r a l g o v e r n m e n t their unqualified s u p p o r t . T h e political world d i d not know at the time that. who a b r u p t l y a g r e e d . the D a r d a n e l l e s c a m p a i g n could have been won at a time when only a few h u n d r e d casualties had been i n c u r r e d . it was being won by the other side. . He asked B o n a r L a w to wait at 11 D o w n i n g S t r e e t while he went next d o o r to consult the P r i m e M i n i s t e r . if Churchill had been listened to. T h e political world in Britain also failed to g r a s p another essential fact: the war in the E a s t w a s not merely being lost by the Allies. leader of the O p p o s i t i o n . E a r l y that afternoon he went to the H o u s e of C o m m o n s to a n n o u n c e that the S e a L o r d s had a g r e e d to stay on with A d m i r a l of the Fleet Wilson as their new head. B o n a r L a w explained his own view of the g r a v e political c o n s e q u e n c e s that could b e expected t o e n s u e . r e p r e s e n t i n g the two m a j o r parties in Parliament. N o r would they s t o p their attacks there. Churchill w a s r e m o v e d f r o m the A d m i r a l t y a n d given the minor position of Chancellor of the D u c h y of L a n c a s t e r — i n effect. L l o y d G e o r g e then put the case for a coalition forcefully to A s q u i t h . Churchill knew none of this. B o n a r L a w ' s solution w a s t o b r o a d e n the g o v e r n m e n t . 0 0 0 casualties. L l o y d G e o r g e instantly saw the force of the a r g u m e n t . a n d called o n L l o y d G e o r g e first thing M o n d a y m o r n i n g . Minister Without P o r t f o l i o — a l t h o u g h he r e m a i n e d in the War C a b i n e t . but B o n a r L a w s a i d that he could no longer restrain his followers: F i s h e r w a s their hero. B o n a r L a w g u e s s e d what it meant. T h u s it failed to g r a s p the essential fact that Britain's generals a n d a d m i r a l s were losing the war for her a n d that the country urgently needed not less but m o r e civilian control of the military. He arrived to find that L l o y d G e o r g e a n d A s q u i t h would not let him m a k e his s p e e c h . H e p r o p o s e d that the L i b e r a l g o v e r n m e n t s h o u l d be replaced by a coalition government. and that it w a s b e c a u s e the a d m i r a l s a n d g e n e r a l s h a d overruled h i m that Britain h a d e m b a r k e d on a c a m p a i g n that was in the p r o c e s s of costing her m o r e than 2 0 0 . for the T o r y M e m b e r s of Parliament. T h e results of the c a m p a i g n were a reflection of the fact that the c o u r a g e a n d tenacity of the A u s t r a l i a n . and they would not let Churchill stay at the A d m i r a l t y if F i s h e r went. a n d Labour. When L l o y d G e o r g e confirmed that he h a d . the new g o v e r n m e n t w a s a n n o u n c e d . He told Churchill that he would f o r m a new g o v e r n m e n t in which the L i b e r a l s would share office with the C o n s e r v a t i v e s a n d with L a b o u r .

however. and F r e n c h soldiery was being m a t c h e d by the c o u r a g e a n d tenacity of their O t t o m a n o p p o n e n t s . Churchill's cousin. & has accordingly entered on a risky c a m p a i g n without caring a straw for the misery a n d h a r d s h i p it would b r i n g to t h o u s a n d s . . a g r e e to Winston's having anything but a minor p o s i t i o n .162 THE MIDDLE EASTERN QUAGMIRE N e w Z e a l a n d . British. He claimed that "he had fought to get Winston high office . however. I am finished!'" 4 5 6 L l o y d G e o r g e had always r e g a r d e d the O t t o m a n war a s Churchill's fault. in the hope that he would p r o v e to be the o u t s t a n d i n g m a n m this w a r . " L l o y d G e o r g e was aware. In the s p r i n g of 1915 the Chancellor took an even wider view of his former protege's failings. When it b e c a m e clear that Churchill would have to leave the A d m i r a l t y . sent a note on 24 M a y s a y i n g "Pro tern L G has d o n e you i n . s p o k e bitterly of the Chancellor as a J u d a s w h o s e "Welsh trickiness" h a d shattered the F i r s t L o r d ' s career. that a hurt a n d a n g r y Churchill p l a c e d the b l a m e on h i m . even years later. II L l o y d G e o r g e had b r o u g h t a b o u t the creation of this first coalition g o v e r n m e n t . When the war c a m e he saw in it the c h a n c e for glory for himself. " Churchill himself e x c l a i m e d : "I am the victim of a political intrigue. which e x c l u d e d Churchill f r o m a major C a b i n e t p o sition. L l o y d G e o r g e c o m m e n t e d : "It is the N e m e s i s of the m a n who has fought for this war for years. Churchill's wife. " .. and the D u k e of M a r l b o r o u g h . H i s colleagues would not.

s who entered the new coalition g o v e r n m e n t b e g a n t o take another look a t L l o y d G e o r g e a n d L o r d K i t c h e n e r . and finance. B o n a r L a w and his colleagues h a d c o m e into the C a b i n e t . they took it that the next item on the a g e n d a s h o u l d be the defense of L o r d K i t c h e n e r against his principal a d v e r s a r y . I n s t e a d the Chancellor of the E x c h e q u e r w a g e d his c a m p a i g n on g r o u n d s of his o w n choosing. L l o y d G e o r g e i n a u g u r a t e d the final p h a s e s of a c a m p a i g n that s u c c e e d e d in d e t a c h i n g the munitions a n d s u p p l y functions f r o m K i t c h e n e r ' s War Office a n d placing t h e m u n d e r himself as Minister of M u n i t i o n s . T h e U n i o n i s t . O n c e started on questioning K i t c h e n e r ' s j u d g m e n t s . the Chancellor of the E x c h e q u e r . Involving q u e s t i o n s of labor. T h e T o r i e s c a m e t o a d m i r e a n d a p p l a u d his efforts. D a v i d L l o y d G e o r g e . On 19 M a y 1915. P .21 T H E L I G H T T H A T FAILED i T h e U n i o n i s t . L l o y d G e o r g e never s t o p p e d . H a v i n g s u c ceeded in r e m o v i n g Churchill f r o m the A d m i r a l t y . held the distinction of having b e e n the first m e m b e r of the C a b i n e t to q u e s t i o n a decision of F i e l d M a r s h a l K i t c h e n e r ' s after the latter b e c a m e S e c retary of S t a t e for W a r . In his new ministry he s u c c e e d e d in starting to do what K i t c h e n e r h a d not been able to d o : e x p a n d i n g civilian p r o d u c t i o n of war material a n d finding new s o u r c e s of s u p p l y . L l o y d G e o r g e b e c a m e a t o r n a d o twisting with elemental force t o d e s t r o y the e n e m y . the day on which formation of the new government was a n n o u n c e d . p r o d u c t i o n . A v o i d i n g the pitfall that was Churchill's u n d o i n g at the A d m i r a l t y . the L i b e r a l politician did not at first d a r e to challenge the field m a r s h a l on issues that were strictly military. whose q u a r r e l they h a d p r e j u d g e d .C o n s e r v a t i v e M . the L i b e r a l politician L l o y d G e o r g e . As Minister of M u n i t i o n s . T h e issue that he raised was the s h o r t a g e of munitions a n d other s u p p l i e s .C o n s e r v a t i v e m e m b e r s of the new British g o v e r n m e n t took office in the belief that their task would be to protect the country's military leadership f r o m civilian interference. it w a s an issue r e g a r d i n g which his qualifications to s p e a k were greater than K i t c h e n e r ' s .

. " 2 C a r s o n b e g a n c r o s s . T h e T o r i e s discovered that the S e c r e t a r y of S t a t e for War did not s u p p l y them with the information they required in order to form a j u d g m e n t .164 THE MIDDLE EASTERN QUAGMIRE to protect K i t c h e n e r and the military from interference by amateurish L i b e r a l civilians. ministers found that an important piece of c a b l e d information h a d been received there although the War Minister denied all knowledge of it. T h e i m m e d i a t e military decision facing the new g o v e r n m e n t was what to do about the Gallipoli expedition. On 10 D o w n i n g Street stationery. C A R S O N said that the slaughter which h a d g o n e on w a s no s u c c e s s . K i t c h e n e r was secretive a n d reluctant to disclose military information to civilians. At times he a v o i d e d answering questions b e c a u s e he was not fully a n d accurately i n f o r m e d . c o m b i n e d with hopeful predictions f r o m S i r I a n H a m i l t o n that never s e e m e d to be fulfilled. I n s t e a d he continued to talk in t e r m s of how m a n y t r o o p s could be s p a r e d f r o m the western front. but to their s u r p r i s e found themselves r a n g e d alongside L l o y d G e o r g e in q u e s t i o n i n g Kitchener's c o m p e t e n c e . T h e question was what level of reinforcements w o u l d e n s u r e s u c c e s s . B O N A R L A W asked i f S i r Ian Hamilton was t o continue attacking when such action was obviously h o p e l e s s . T h e field marshal's evasiveness. In exasperation. T y p i c a l c o m m e n t s d u r i n g sessions of the D a r d a n e l l e s C o m m i t t e e were " S I R E . . by early S e p t e m b e r C a r s o n was writing that "What I feel so acutely a b o u t is that all our calculations (if we can dignify t h e m by that n a m e ) are absolutely h a p h a z a r d — w e are always told what we can send & not how m a n y are necessary . S i r E d w a r d C a r s o n . " l By q u e s t i o n i n g the War Office on one occasion. At times he e s p o u s e d positions that were contradictory. the new AttorneyG e n e r a l . T h e War C o u n c i l of the Cabinet reconstituted itself as the D a r d a n e l l e s C o m m i t t e e . " 3 T h e question of what to do d r a g g e d on into the late a u t u m n . C a r s o n p e n n e d a note a n d p a s s e d it along the C a b i n e t table t o L l o y d G e o r g e : " K doesn't read the t e l e g r a m s — & we don't see t h e m — i t is i n t o l e r a b l e . to deliberate the matter.e x a m i n i n g K i t c h e n e r in C a b i n e t m e e t i n g s as though he were an a c c u s e d criminal in the dock. b u t K i t c h e n e r would not say how m a n y t r o o p s the T u r k s h a d at Gallipoli or how m a n y B r i t i s h troops were needed in order to win. and inquired if it were to be continued" and " M R . T h e r e a f t e r it met often. Either K i t c h e n e r h a d forgotten the cable or h a d m i s u n d e r s t o o d it. for K i t c h e n e r failed to offer an alternative that p r o m i s e d . a n d held its first meeting in A s q u i t h ' s r o o m s at the H o u s e of C o m m o n s on 7 J u n e 1915. C a b i n e t opinion b e g a n to h a r d e n in favor of withdrawal from Ga l l i p o l i . were inclined either to a b a n d o n the venture or else to send e n o u g h reinforcements to Gallipoli to e n s u r e s u c c e s s . b r o u g h t the T o r y leaders to frustration and d e s p a i r . B o n a r L a w and his principal T o r y colleague.

T h e f i e l d m a r s h a l ' s colleagues waited with g r o w i n g anger a n d impatience in the d a r k n e s s for the powerful b e a m of light that never again s w u n g a r o u n d to dispel the night. a r g u i n g that Britain should soldier on. t o d o s o m e t h i n g a b o u t it. K i t c h e n e r felt c o m p e l l e d to agree that Gallipoli s h o u l d be a b a n d o n e d . b u t the P r i m e Minister resisted the p r o p o s a l . he retained his following in the country. 5 II In L l o y d G e o r g e ' s vivid i m a g e . He tried to get his m e s s a g e through to t h e m . " t h o u g h he a d m i t t e d that he "would like to liquidate the s i t u a t i o n . a n d A s q u i t h felt that to replace him would be politically i m p o s s i b l e . In the event. joined together with two other officers. On the Gallipoli b e a c h e s the situation was d e s p e r a t e . o n c e he went out a n d saw the battlefield himself. b u t they were reluctant to accept the unpa l a t a b l e truth. t u r n i n g turret of a lighthouse. 4 B a c k in L o n d o n . the m o r e s o a s the c o m m a n d e r on the spot. B u t the C a b i n e t continued to hesitate. I a n H a m i l t o n w a s r e p l a c e d . r e m a i n e d hopeful. D e e d e s had also g u e s s e d what D a w n a y would discover. D a w n a y saw K i t c h e n e r and other British leaders. b u t s o m e w h e r e in the r a g i n g s t o r m of the Gallipoli c a m p a i g n the light h a d s u d d e n l y gone out. was L o r d K i t c h e n e r .THE LIGHT THAT FAILED 165 s u c c e s s . He claimed that " a b a n d o n m e n t w o u l d be the m o s t d i s a s t r o u s event in the history of the E m p i r e . G e o r g e L l o y d a n d G u y D a w n a y . K i t c h e n e r d i s s e n t e d . the p r o b l e m . S i r I a n H a m i l t o n . T h e P r i m e Minister's typical solution was to s e n d K i t c h e n e r out to the D a r d a n e l l e s on a fact-finding expedition in the hope that he would be detained there indefinitely. the officer who had w a r n e d K i t c h e n e r against the D a r d a n e l l e s adventure but who was serving there. a n d told h i m s o : "And I bet the best you found was Winston after all!" In the end. D a w n a y h a d the chance. Only the inner g r o u p in the g o v e r n m e n t was aware of the field marshal's failings. a n d the new British c o m m a n d e r saw at once that the situation w a s hopeless a n d called for an i m m e d i a t e evacuation. a s always. T h e y s c h e m e d to get one of their n u m b e r sent back to L o n d o n to tell the C a b i n e t the truth a b o u t their situation. K i t c h e n e r ' s m i n d was pictured as the m o v i n g . and seized it. even including the recently d e m o t e d Churchill. a n d W y n d h a m D e e d e s . " T h e C a b i n e t was unwilling to order a withdrawal from Gallipoli without L o r d K i t c h e n e r ' s sanction. A r m e d with K i t c h e n e r ' s a p p r o v a l . the C a b i n e t finally i s s u e d the . E v e n the T o r y B o n a r L a w had c o m e a r o u n d s o far a s t o p r o p o s e that L l o y d G e o r g e s h o u l d replace K i t c h e n e r at the War Office.

things to c o m e . D e e d e s called the evacuation "one of the m o s t r e m a r k a b l e things in h i s t o r y . as an a r m y officer on the western front. the Allies c o u l d have won an easy.166 THE MIDDLE EASTERN QUAGMIRE necessary authorization. the setback to Allied fortunes d r o v e Britain both in a specific a n d a general sense to involve herself m o r e deeply in M i d d l e E a s t e r n affairs. K i t c h e n e r was b l a m e d too. a n d each h a d suffered a q u a r t e r of a million casualties. Winston Churchill c r o s s e d over to F r a n c e to serve. it e m e r g e d that they h a d lost one of the costliest military e n g a g e m e n t s in history. he . the M i d d l e E a s t e r n w a r — b u t did not. with it. having resigned as Chancellor of the D u c h y of L a n c a s t e r . M o r e i m p o r t a n t . On returning to L o n d o n at the end of 1915. in that the Allies could have won it. IV On 18 N o v e m b e r 1915. T h e military involvement which K i t c h e n e r h a d feared b u t failed to prevent was s u s p e n d e d temporarily by the Allied evacuation. T h e political world continued to place the b l a m e for Gallipoli on h i m . but w o u l d r e s u m e a year later. b u t deliberately d i s a p p o i n t e d t h e m . a n d K i t c h e n e r knew it. as will be seen presently.s o a k e d beaches of the D a r d a n e l l e s . " 6 Ill On 25 April 1915. Half a million soldiers h a d been e n g a g e d in battle on each side. when they withdrew in defeat f r o m their last positions on the b l o o d . at the b e g i n n i n g of 1916. It was a decisive battle. It f o r e s h a d o w e d . In a specific sense. the sheer m a g n i t u d e of Britain's c o m m i t m e n t and loss at Gallipoli m a d e it s e e m vital years later that she s h o u l d play a m a j o r role in the postwar M i d d l e E a s t to give s o m e sort of m e a n i n g to so g r e a t a sacrifice. It h a d the effect of d r a w i n g E u r o p e into M i d d l e E a s t e r n affairs on a long-term b a s i s . the evacuation—which was far a n d away the m o s t brilliant operation of the c a m p a i g n — w a s c o m p l e t e d . b l o o d l e s s victory by their s u r p r i s e attack. too. L o r d K i t c h e n e r was aware that his C a b i n e t colleagues h o p e d he w o u l d not return f r o m his trip to the D a r d a n e l l e s . at his own r e q u e s t . it d r o v e K i t c h e n e r ' s lieutenants to ally themselves with a M i d d l e E a s t e r n ruler they believed c o u l d help to s a v e S i r I a n Hamilton's a r m i e s at Gallipoli f r o m perishing. a s u p p o s e d l y b a c k w a r d A s i a n a r m y h a d defeated a m o d e r n E u r o p e a n one. a n d . a n d . In the C a b i n e t . b u t 2 5 9 d a y s later. however. A n d in a general sense.

A fighting soldier f r o m the western front. With the P r i m e Minister's a p p r o v a l . Y e t K i t c h e n e r retained authority in formulating political policy for the M i d d l e E a s t . F i e l d M a r s h a l S i r William R o b e r t s o n . a n d offered to resign. a n d a revolutionary p r o g r a m on the basis of that alliance for t u r n i n g the tide in the O t t o m a n w a r — a p r o g r a m that K i t c h e n e r was t o p u s h t h r o u g h the Cabinet.THE LIGHT THAT FAILED 167 s p o k e frankly with the P r i m e Minister a b o u t his loss of s u p p o r t within the C a b i n e t . r e d u c ing the p o w e r s a n d responsibilities of the j o b . was then b r o u g h t into office as Chief of the I m p e r i a l G e n e r a l Staff with widely e x p a n d e d p o w e r s that until then h a d fallen within K i t c h e n e r ' s d o m a i n as War Minister. he a r r a n g e d for a b a s i c change in the nature of the position he held as War Minister. he a d o p t e d a different a p p r o a c h . his aide S i r M a r k S y k e s also returned to L o n d o n f r o m a long factfinding trip. . b r i n g i n g with h i m exciting news of a M i d d l e E a s t e r n ruler who m i g h t ally himself with Britain. When he returned to L o n d o n at the end of 1915. When an a c c e p t a b l e replacement could not be f o u n d for h i m .

He traveled to the B a l k a n s . as the Allies p l a n n e d and executed their evacuation of Gallipoli a n d as L o r d K i t c h e n e r took a lesser role in the c o n d u c t of the war. After the de B u n s e n c o m m i t t e e — w h i c h Sir M a r k S y k e s had g u i d e d — s u b m i t t e d its report on the postwar M i d d l e E a s t on 30 J u n e 1915. to the Persian Gulf. in the s u m m e r of 1 9 1 5 — S y k e s met with K i t c h e n e r ' s M i d d l e E a s t advisers in E g y p t . but it was almost 1916 before he was able to meet with C a b i n e t m e m b e r s in L o n d o n to tell t h e m in p e r s o n what he h a d learned. and when the winter was over the planning of how to carve up the M i d d l e E a s t went forward even t h o u g h Churchill's expected c o n q u e s t of C o n s t a n t i n o p l e — w h i c h was the reason for d o i n g the p l a n n i n g — h a d not materialized. w h o m he had known before the war. Projects often develop a m o m e n t u m of their own: in the winter of 1915 the British naval attack on the D a r d a n e l l e s had g o n e forward even after the R u s s i a n p r o b l e m it was meant to alleviate h a d been solved. introduced him 168 . In his first s t o p in C a i r o — o n the way out. the British g o v e r n m e n t sent S y k e s out to the E a s t to d i s c u s s the committee's r e c o m m e n d a t i o n s with officers a n d officials on the s p o t . to E g y p t twice (on the way out and on the way b a c k ) . Sykes's journey lasted half a year. S y k e s was returning h o m e from a long mission of inquiry into how the Allies s h o u l d deal with the defeated M i d d l e E a s t — a mission without m u c h urgency after T u r k e y ' s victory at Gallipoli. R o n a l d S t o r r s . Kitchener's personally a p p o i n t e d M i d d l e E a s t expert. T h e y acted on the basis of r e c o m m e n d a t i o n s b r o u g h t back f r o m the E a s t b y S i r M a r k S y k e s . British policy in the M i d d l e E a s t took a new t u r n : K i t c h e n e r a n d his colleagues b e g a n to focus in an organized way on the uses Britain might m a k e of discontented A r a b leaders a n d soldiers within the O t t o m a n E m p i r e .22 CREATING T H E ARAB BUREAU i In the winter of 1915—16. It g a v e him a u n i q u e e x p o s u r e to a range of different points of view. It was a m a j o r u n d e r t a k i n g . to M e s o p o t a m i a . a n d to I n d i a .

C h a r l e s H a r d i n g e . S y k e s was introduced by his friends to A r a b i c . a former a m b a s s a d o r to R u s s i a . he served in a family tradition that harked b a c k to the previous century. 1 T h e r e was. H i s a s s u m p t i o n was that the talk of rivalry was inspired by enemy p r o p a g a n d i s t s . II In I n d i a . u n d e r the spiritual rule of the Sherif a n d the nominal t e m p o r a l rule of the figurehead m o n a r c h of E g y p t . F r a n c e could be given c o m p e n sation elsewhere. m o r e o p e n in his dealings with Clayton than C l a y t o n was in r e t u r n . a n d . As G o v e r n o r . however. had been the career official in charge of the F o r e i g n Office before c o m i n g out to India as Viceroy. a plan that a c c o r d e d perfectly with his own view that the caliphate s h o u l d be m o v e d s o u t h . a n d was one of Britain's m o s t distinguished foreign policy professionals.F r e n c h talk ( a n d m o r e than talk) c a m e f r o m s o m e of his own friends in C a i r o . h a d spent a lifetime in g o v e r n m e n t service. halfway t h r o u g h his first year in his first g o v e r n m e n t a l j o b .G e n e r a l . at the o p p o s i t e political pole. S y k e s found a reception that was less than cordial.C R E A T I N G T H E ARAB BUREAU 169 to G i l b e r t C l a y t o n . Only many m o n t h s later did he learn that the a n t i .G e n e r a l of I n d i a in the 1840s.B r i t i s h views. Attracted by the plan e s p o u s e d at that time by his friends a n d by Wingate for the Sherif H u s s e i n to be elevated to the caliphate. He was a y o u n g m a n . S y k e s did not believe that there were any serious g r o u n d s for d i s a g r e e m e n t between the two wartime allies. T h i s p r o p o s e d a single A r a b i c . a n d b e c a m e an advocate of Clayton's view that S y r i a s h o u l d b e c o m e British. a n d he never learned that one of the ringleaders of the g r o u p was his friend Gi l ber t C l a y t o n . T h e m a n he had c o m e to see was two de c a d e s his senior. the d e c a d e before the . he t h o u g h t that F r a n c e did not really care a b o u t S y r i a . S y k e s was won over to the S t o r r s " E g y p t i a n E m p i r e " s c h e m e . he s a i d . and he had c o m e out f r o m L o n d o n to tell I n d i a a b o u t the E a s t . a current of opinion in C a i r o that S y k e s found d i s t u r b i n g : the talk of rivalry between Britain a n d F r a n c e in the M i d d l e E a s t . a n d could be i n d u c e d to look elsewhere for her share of the winnings. He w a s led by Clayton a n d S t o r r s to believe that the populations of the region would welcome s u c h a d e v e l o p m e n t . Religion f o r m e d an instant b o n d : Clayton was a devout C h r i s t i a n whose s e r i o u s n e s s i m p r e s s e d S y k e s deeply. although S y k e s w a s . to be governed f r o m C a i r o by the British H i g h C o m m i s s i o n e r — w h o was to be L o r d K i t c h e n e r . in any event. T h e y b e c a m e friends as well as colleagues.s p e a k i n g entity.s p e a k i n g p e r s o n alities of engagingly p r o . the only g r o u p s in F r a n c e that wanted S y r i a were clerics or p r o m o t e r s of c o m m e r c i a l c o n c e s s i o n s . his g r a n d f a t h e r h a d been G o v e r n o r .

T h e A r a b B u r e a u (as it was to be called) was not to be a s e p a r a t e body. to be established in C a i r o u n d e r his own direction. " T h e r e was n o central policy: S i m l a . and A f g h a n i s t a n . and often at c r o s s ." M o r e inclined than ever to s u p p o r t C a i r o against S i m l a . the F o r e i g n Office. they did not intend to s u r r e n d e r the control they exercised over British policy. T h e o b stacles in the way of arriving at a policy were f o r m i d a b l e : S y k e s once counted eighteen agencies that would have to be consulted before an a g r e e d decision could b e r e a c h e d . S y k e s did p r e s s forward by p r o p o s i n g the creation of a central agency to coordinate policy: an A r a b B u r e a u . to c o m b a t seditious e n e m y p r o p a g a n d a in I n d i a . each working in ignorance of what the others were doing. agreement was reached to accept the S y k e s p r o p o s a l . S y k e s explored the idea of establishing an overall b u r e a u to a s s u m e charge of A r a b affairs.170 THE MIDDLE EASTERN QUAGMIRE Mutiny. T h i s was insisted on by K i t c h e n e r (represented by F i t z G e r a l d ) and by the F o r e i g n Office. R e t u r n i n g to L o n d o n at the end of 1915. a n d his view of C a i r o ' s p r o p o s a l s was that they were "absolutely fantastic" a n d "perfectly fatal. 2 3 4 D u r i n g the course of his trip. in r e s p o n s e . A u s t e n C h a m b e r l a i n . T h e Viceroy of I n d i a . He a r g u e d that "our traditional way of letting various offices run their own s h o w s . at the s a m e time u r g e d the creation of an I s l a m i c B u r e a u ." He rejected the notion of A r a b i n d e p e n d e n c e . s At the conference. but merely a section of the C a i r o Intelligence D e p a r t m e n t . on 13 D e c e m b e r 1915. T h e new S e c r e t a r y for I n d i a . C a i r o was authorized to establish and staff a new entity. b u t a central agency to take c h a r g e of overall policy was not c r e a t e d — a n d that h a d been the point of the S y k e s . C l a y t o n reported that he had started to a s s e m b l e the nucleus of a N e a r E a s t Office a n d h o p e d that S y k e s w o u l d p r e s s forward with the p r o j e c t . especially if S y k e s a n d his friends were to be in c h a r g e . however n o m i n a l . E a r l y in J a n u a r y 1916 A s q u i t h o r d e r e d an interdepartmental conference to consider the creation of an I s l a m i c Bureau. a n d the A d m i r a l t y each ran its own operation. he wrote that "Sykes d o e s not s e e m to be able to g r a s p the fact that there are p a r t s of T u r k e y unfit for representative institutions. H a r d i n g e ' s policy was for I n d i a to o c c u p y a n d annex M e s o p o t a m i a . m a d e it clear that he o p p o s e d the creation of any b u r e a u that planned to intrude into areas within his jurisdiction. C a i r o was enthusiastic. b u t with a m a j o r modification that cut the s u b s t a n c e out of it. Persia. which was allright in the past when such sectors dealt with varying p r o b l e m s which were not related.p u r p o s e s . C a i r o . as did officials in the field. the War Office. S y k e s also c a m e to believe that the conflict in views a n d in jurisdictions was harmful in itself. but it is b a d now that each sector is dealing in reality with a c o m m o n e n e m y .

" At the b e g i n n i n g Clayton did not have an expert in T u r k i s h a f f a i r s — a n d in w a g i n g an intelligence w a r against T u r k e y that was an evident d i s a d v a n t a g e . On 10 D e c e m b e r 1915. . also joined the b u r e a u . An e v e n .t e m p e r e d . U n d e r H o g a r t h . H o g a r t h replaced the acting head of the A r a b B u r e a u . T h e n he h a d a stroke of luck. a n d H o g a r t h b r o u g h t i n T h o m a s E d w a r d ( " T . revolving a r o u n d the A r a b B u r e a u . a n d not in his own right as chief of an independent agency. S . S o o n C a i r o was bustling with y o u n g M e m b e r s of Parliament a n d others a m b i t i o u s to have a say in M i d d l e E a s t e r n policy. P . E . t o placate him. his c a n d i d a t e . a career a r m y officer who was Kitchener's nephew. L a w r e n c e was later to win renown as " L a w r e n c e of Arabia. an O x f o r d archaeologist serving as a N a v a l Intelligence officer. S y k e s continued to m a k e policy only as a representative of K i t c h e n e r . who d i d not wish to relinquish control. W y n d h a m D e e d e s — w h o had served in the O t t o m a n G e n d a r m e r i e before the w a r — a r r i v e d in Cairo from G a l l i p o l i . but was not officially posted to it until the end of 1916. both M a r k Sykes's friends f r o m before the Lawrence worked closely with the Arab Bureau. H o g a r t h was a s h a d o w y figure who had worked with British intelligence agencies before the war. T h e various d e p a r t m e n t s of g o v e r n m e n t continued to m a k e a n d carry out their independent a n d often conflicting policies. . D a v i d G . a y o u n g m a n who had worked for him at the A s h m o l e a n M u s e u m in O x f o r d a n d over whose career he had p r e s i d e d ever since. M . low-keyed officer of the S u d a n g o v e r n m e n t n a m e d K i n a h a n Cornwallis b e c a m e H o g a r t h ' s d e p u t y . K i t c h e n e r . Alfred Parker. Philip G r a v e s . in early J a n u a r y Clayton s u c c e e d e d in co-opting h i m as d e p u t y head of E g y p t i a n Intelligence. c a m e over t o the A r a b B u r e a u from the S u d a n . T h e head of N a v a l Intelligence q u e s t i o n e d the desirability of creating the new b u r e a u in C a i r o a l o n g the lines that S y k e s a n d Clayton p r o p o s e d . " ) L a w r e n c e . where his k n o w l e d g e of T u r k i s h affairs p r o v e d an invaluable asset.C R E A T I N G T H E ARAB BUREAU 171 p r o p o s a l . was n a m e d to be its h e a d . a n officer n a m e d G . the b u r e a u fought to assert the views of Wingate a n d C l a y t o n — w h o wanted to e x p a n d British E g y p t ' s control of the A r a b w o r l d — a s against those of the F o r e i g n Office a n d the G o v e r n m e n t of I n d i a . A m o n g t h e m were A u b r e y H e r b e r t . . F r o m the outset H o g a r t h worked directly u n d e r C l a y t o n . whose principal views he s e e m s to have s h a r e d . a n d Wingate's secretary. T h e leading role continued to be played by K i t c h e n e r . a former Times c o r r e s p o n d ent. to w h o m the F o r e i g n S e c r e t a r y deferred. M . and G e o r g e L l o y d . P . insisted that the situation s h o u l d remain that way. H o g a r t h . S y m e s .

m a k i n g for the M i d d l e E a s t . . a n d Clayton had the satisfaction of knowing that in L o n d o n the real m a k e r s of Britain's M i d d l e E a s t policy were Cairo's leader.172 THE MIDDLE EASTERN QUAGMIRE war. a n d his representative. L o r d K i t c h e n e r . M a r k S y k e s . At last C a i r o had b e c o m e a center of British p o l i c y .

R u s s i a . T h e y o u n g m a n ' s n a m e w a s M u h a m m e d Sharif a l . As noted earlier. was alone among Kitchener's followers in believing from the very outset of the Ottoman war that Hussein could be of military assistance to Britain. What he b r o u g h t was news of a m y s t e r i o u s y o u n g A r a b who claimed that he and his friends c o u l d help Britain win the war. D u r i n g his m o n t h s in the spotlight in 1915—16. To the twentieth-century M i d d l e E a s t . O n e can only g u e s s at his m o t i v e s . a n d others i n the p o s t w a r M i d d l e E a s t .F a r u q i e p i s o d e w a s the q u a s i a g r e e m e n t L o r d K i t c h e n e r h a d r e a c h e d with the E m i r H u s s e i n o f M e c c a at the outset of the war. a n d held the attention of the British g o v e r n m e n t well into 1916. 173 .F a r u q i . he directly or indirectly led Britain to p r o m i s e concessions to F r a n c e . L o r d K i t c h e n e r . he w a s either m i s u n d e r stood or else m i s r e p r e s e n t e d each to the other. a n d little is known of h i m now. N o t h i n g w a s known of a l . who governed the Sudan.* had initiated a c o r r e s p o n d e n c e with him in the a u t u m n of * Reginald Wingate. II T h e b a c k g r o u n d t o the a s t o n i s h i n g a l . b e f o r e s l i p p i n g b a c k into o b s c u r i t y a n d d y i n g y o u n g . A s m i d d l e m a n between B r i t i s h officials a n d A r a b l e a d e r s . he b r o u g h t back t o L o n d o n s o m e t h i n g m o r e i m m e d i a t e l y startling a n d o f m o r e lasting i m p o r t a n c e than his idea of creating an A r a b B u r e a u . r e g a r d i n g the E m i r H u s s e i n as a spiritual rather than a material force. he left a legacy of m i s u n d e r s t a n d i n g that time h a s not yet entirely d i s s i p a t e d . A r a b s .23 M A K I N G PROMISES TO T H E ARABS i When S y k e s r e t u r n e d f r o m the E a s t at the end of 1915. killed on a road in I r a q in 1920 d u r i n g a tribal r a i d . He e m e r g e d f r o m obscurity in the a u t u m n of 1915.F a r u q i then.

1 2 T h e Y o u n g T u r k plan t o d e p o s e h i m forced H u s s e i n . as K i n g of the Hejaz. the Emir Hussein and. In carrying out this mission. gently replied to him that discussion of M i d d l e E a s t e r n frontiers ought to be p o s t p o n e d until the e n d of the war. S t o r r s c o m m e n t e d that H u s s e i n "knows he is d e m a n d i n g . not wishing to d i s c o u r a g e H u s s e i n . against his inclinations. . F e a r i n g that to do so might isolate h i m in the A r a b world. U n b e k n o w n s t to M c M a h o n and S t o r r s . Feisal s t o p p e d in D a m a s c u s twice: en route to Hussein ibn Ali. a r o u s e d wonder a n d mirth in British C a i r o . He p r o m p t l y sent his s o n Feisal to see the G r a n d Vizier in C o n s t a n t i n o p l e . later. B u t H u s s e i n ' s s u d d e n d e m a n d for a n independent A r a b k i n g d o m was by no m e a n s the u n r e a s o n a b l e act that it a p p e a r e d to be at the time in C a i r o . s u d d e n l y d e m a n d i n g — w i t h o u t explanation—that almost all of A r a b A s i a s h o u l d b e c o m e an independent k i n g d o m u n d e r his rule. the Sherif. the hope. that t e m p t e d h i m at the t i m e . the British H i g h C o m m i s s i o n e r i n E g y p t . he would not use his spiritual prestige against Britain in the O t t o m a n war (as K i t c h e n e r had feared he m i g h t d o ) a n d . An a m u s e d R o n a l d S t o r r s c o m m e n t e d that H u s s e i n ought to be satisfied to be allowed to keep the province of the H e j a z . b u t learned that there was little c h a n c e of p e r s u a d i n g the Porte to reverse this decision. the British R e s i d e n c y in C a i r o was s u r p r i s e d to receive another letter from H u s s e i n half a year later. he w o u l d use it in favor of Britain (as K i t c h e n e r h o p e d he w o u l d do when the war was over a n d British rivalry with R u s s i a r e s u m e d ) . or the p o w e r to expect. ( A s indicated earlier. later. at s o m e future point. ) H u s s e i n ' s u n e x p e c t e d d e m a n d . M a t t e r s having been settled early in 1915. H u s s e i n sent F e i s a l to D a m a s c u s to s o u n d out the possibility of obtaining s u p p o r t from the A r a b secret societies h e a d q u a r t e r e d there. in the s u m m e r of 1915. K i n g Hussein. what had h a p p e n e d in M e c c a was that in J a n u a r y 1915 H u s s e i n had discovered written evidence that the O t t o m a n g o v e r n m e n t was p l a n n i n g to d e p o s e him at the end of the w a r — a n d indeed had p o s t p o n e d d e p o s ing him only b e c a u s e of the c o m i n g of the w a r . far m o r e than he has the right. to consider o p p o s i n g T u r k e y in the war." S i r H e n r y M c M a h o n . the Sherif Hussein. is referred to variously as Hussein. the Sherif of Mecca and its Emir. possibly as a b a s i s of negotiations. not the caliphate. a n d it was the k i n g d o m . He is also referred to as the ruler of the Hejaz and.174 THE MIDDLE EASTERN QUAGMIRE 1914 that had been c o n c l u d e d on t e r m s satisfactory to both m e n . British officials were u n a w a r e that H u s s e i n w o u l d u n d e r s t a n d that they were offering him a k i n g d o m when they s u g g e s t e d that he should b e c o m e the A r a b caliph. Hussein* was to do nothing for the m o m e n t . c o m i n g without explanation after m o n t h s of silence.

h a d scented an A r a b plot a n d taken s t e p s to s m a s h it. the m e m b e r s of the secret societies also e x p r e s s e d reservations a b o u t doing s o . Feisal b r o u g h t it b a c k from D a m a s c u s to M e c c a . it would also stake his c l a i m to leadership in A r a b i a n a n d A r a b politics. D j e m a l P a s h a . H u s s e i n h a d nothing to lose in m a k i n g the d e m a n d s . T h e m e n of the secret societies h a d drafted a d o c u m e n t defining the territories that were to be A r a b a n d independent. a n d again on his way back from C o n s t a n t i n o p l e afterwards. on his way h o m e . He had broken up the three A r a b a r m y divisions. So in the s u m m e r of 1915 he sent his letter incorporating the D a m a s c u s Protocol d e m a n d s to the British Residency in C a i r o . When he returned to D a m a s c u s on 23 M a y 1915. 3 A handful of the r e m a i n i n g c o n s p i r a t o r s — s i x men a c c o r d i n g to one account. T h e d o c u m e n t w a s called the D a m a s c u s Protocol. F o r one thing. nine a c c o r d i n g to a n o t h e r — n o w told Feisal that they could no longer initiate a revolt against the O t t o m a n E m p i r e . a n d they would follow him—if H u s s e i n could first induce the British to p l e d g e s u p p o r t for A r a b i n d e p e n d e n c e . D o i n g s o w o u l d help him obtain s u p p o r t f r o m the secret societies—for whatever that m i g h t be worth—when he launched his revolt. F o r another. A l t h o u g h evidence of what they were p l a n n i n g is scanty. arresting m a n y of the ringleaders a n d d i s p e r s i n g others. the T u r k i s h governor o f S y r i a . he f o u n d the situation considerably c h a n g e d . He h a d c r u s h e d the secret societies. T h e y a d v i s e d H u s s e i n (through F e i s a l ) not to join the Allies unless Britain p l e d g e d to s u p p o r t i n d e p e n d e n c e for m o s t of A r a b western A s i a . On his first s t o p in D a m a s c u s . the secret societies a p p a r e n t l y were inclined to set up a b i d d i n g competition between Britain a n d T u r k e y for A r a b loyalties. With s u c h a British p l e d g e in h a n d . they were b o u n d to ask themselves why they s h o u l d join the losing side. m o s t o f t h e m believed G e r m a n y would s o o n win the w a r . Feisal was told that there were three O t t o m a n a r m y divisions with mainly A r a b soldiers concentrated in the D a m a s c u s area. where the d e m a n d s — a s has been s e e n — w e r e not taken seriously. the secret societies c o u l d then have asked the O t t o m a n E m p i r e to m a t c h it. H u s s e i n should do it. in late M a r c h 1915. a n d w o u l d help to justify his s u p p o r t of C h r i s t i a n s against M o s l e m T u r k e y . T h o u g h they talked of leading a revolt against T u r k e y . F e i s a l p r o c e e d e d to C o n s t a n t i n o p l e to meet with the G r a n d Vizier. a n d h a d sent m a n y of their officers away to Gallipoli a n d e l s e w h e r e . After his m e e t i n g s in D a m a s c u s .MAKING PROMISES TO THE ARABS 175 C o n s t a n t i n o p l e to see the G r a n d Vizier. they preferred to be ruled by M o s l e m T u r k s than b y E u r o p e a n C h r i s t i a n s . It set forth the d e m a n d s that the E m i r H u s s e i n was to s u b m i t to B r i t a i n . as between the O t t o m a n E m p i r e and the E u r o p e a n Allies. a n d that the secret society c o n s p i r a t o r s believed that these divisions would follow their lead. 4 .

176 THE MIDDLE EASTERN QUAGMIRE III L i e u t e n a n t M u h a m m e d S h a r i f a l . He m a y have been a m o n g those who m e t with Feisal there at that t i m e . U n d e r interrogation by British Intelligence officials. He learned. Chief of Staff of the O t t o m a n 12th Division. Whatever his motives.F a r u q i a d m i t t e d that "I am not authorized . L i e u t e n a n t a l . was a secret society m e m b e r stationed in D a m a s c u s at the time of Feisal's first s t o p there in early 1915. A l .F a r u q i was one of the secret society officers o r d e r e d out of D a m a s c u s a n d sent by D j e m a l P a s h a to the Gallipoli front. that H u s s e i n had in fact written to the British in C a i r o in the s u m m e r of 1915 incorporating the D a m a s c u s Protocol in his letter a n d presenting it as his own set of d e m a n d s for his establishment as m o n a r c h of an A r a b k i n g d o m c o m p r i s i n g a l m o s t all of A r a b western A s i a . In the a u t u m n of 1915. the y o u n g officer c l a i m e d to be a m e m b e r of the secret A r a b military society a l . that his p o s t i n g to Gallipoli showed that D j e m a l s u s p e c t e d h i m of treason. a n d was p r o m p t l y sent to E g y p t for interrogation. A l . but could not have been s u r e . S e n d i n g s u s p e c t e d A r a b plotters to the front lines to be killed looked to be a deliberate policy of D j e m a l ' s in crushing sedition. On the other h a n d . there were valid military reasons for s e n d i n g t r o o p s to reinforce the Gallipoli front where the O t t o m a n r e g i m e was fighting for survival.F a r u q i . he acted on an i m p u l s e of his o w n : n o b o d y had entrusted h i m with a m i s s i o n .F a r u q i m a y have s u s pected. a n d d e c i d e d to e s c a p e while there was time. He learned that the remnant of the secret societies in D a m a s c u s h a d e n c o u r a g e d H u s s e i n to lead an A r a b revolt against the O t t o m a n E m p i r e if Britain would first agree to s u p p o r t the D a m a s c u s Protocol: the secret society p r o g r a m for A r a b i n d e p e n d ence.F a r u q i deserted the O t t o m a n forces at Gallipoli and c r o s s e d over to Allied lines.F a r u q i s p o k e little E n g l i s h . P e r h a p s he feared that D j e m a l was a b o u t to obtain proof of his m e m b e r s h i p in the antiT u r k i s h conspiracy.A h d . if not. A l . He invoked the n a m e of its leading figure stationed in D a m a s c u s . a n d it is difficult to tell f r o m the f r a g m e n t a r y historical record the extent to which he was correctly u n d e r s t o o d or the extent to which w o r d s were put in his m o u t h by those who wanted to hear what they claimed he s a i d . A l . a 24-year-old A r a b O t t o m a n staff officer from M o s u l (in what is now I r a q ) . G e n e r a l Y a s i n a l .H a s h i m i . He claimed to have important information for British Intelligence in C a i r o . where casualties were high. a n d although a l .F a r u q i kept in touch with secret society officers who r e m a i n e d in D a m a s c u s . F r o m t h e m he learned further details of what F e i s a l a n d H u s s e i n were d o i n g . too. P e r h a p s he h o p e d to win glory by playing a lone hand in world politics. he learned what had been said from colleagues who had a t t e n d e d the meeting.

F a r u q i . A c c o r d i n g to a l . A l . p u r p o r t e d l y s p e a k i n g for the A r a b a r m y officers in D a m a s c u s . the y o u n g deserter p r e t e n d e d — f o r whatever r e a s o n — t o be a s p o k e s m a n for the organization a n d was accepted as s u c h by G i l b e r t C l a y t o n . When he did so the pieces s u d d e n l y s e e m e d to fall into place for British Intelligence. 5 What g a v e plausibility to a l . . and that unless a g r e e m e n t were reached with it. the head of British Intelligence in C a i r o . British Intelligence believed it and did not investigate further. Clayton g r a s p e d the essential fact it was no coincidence that the two sets of d e m a n d s were identical a n d that both were the s a m e as those that a l . He was not in fact a representative of al-'Ahd or indeed of any other g r o u p : Clayton had been d u p e d .' A h d — a n d other A r a b exiles in C a i r o had been m a k i n g since the outset of the war. that " T h e A r a b q u e s t i o n is reaching an acute s t a t e . C a i r o was seized with excitement. R o n a l d S t o r r s wrote to F i t z G e r a l d / K i t c h e n e r on 10 O c t o b e r 1915. H u s s e i n would be s p e a k i n g for h u n d r e d s of t h o u s a n d s of O t t o m a n t r o o p s a n d millions of O t t o m a n subjects. the A r a b m o v e m e n t would throw all of its s u p p o r t behind G e r m a n y a n d the O t t o m a n Empire. T h o u g h his story was unverified. the British h a d to g u a r a n t e e the i n d e p e n d e n c e of the A r a b i c . If the secret societies were b a c k i n g H u s s e i n . the A r a b s would go over to the e n e m y .F a r u q i represented t h e m to be and as C l a y t o n erroneously i m a g i n e d t h e m to be. the E m i r of M e c c a was no longer to be thought of as representing merely his section of the A r a b i a n p e n i n s u l a . " At a b o u t the s a m e time Clayton c o m p o s e d a m e m o r a n d u m outlining his conversations with a l . A l . Presenting an u l t i m a t u m . the y o u n g man g a v e Britain only a few weeks to accept the offer. otherwise. d e m a n d e d that Britain give a p l e d g e to s u p p o r t an independent A r a b state within the frontiers that H u s s e i n had outlined.s p e a k i n g M i d d l e E a s t if they wanted al-'Ahd to lead an A r a b rising within the O t t o m a n E m p i r e . 6 7 Kitchener's followers in C a i r o apparently believed that an A r a b * A curious assertion. who urgently cabled K i t c h e n e r on 12 O c t o b e r that a "powerful organisation" existed b e h i n d enemy lines. F o r if the A r a b secret societies were as powerful as a l . that Hussein's p r o p o s a l s had actually c o m e from that organization.F a r u q i .M a s r i — t h e founder of a l .F a r u q i ' s claim to represent al-'Ahd was t h a t — f r o m his colleagues in D a m a s c u s — h e knew the details of the British c o r r e s p o n d e n c e with Sherif H u s s e i n a n d knew a b o u t the d e m a n d s that H u s s e i n h a d sent to C a i r o in the s u m m e r of 1915.F a r u q i w a r n e d C l a y t o n a n d his colleagues that they m u s t reply to H u s s e i n immediately.F a r u q i for General Maxwell. since the Arabs were already in the enemy camp. the British army c o m m a n d e r in E g y p t . he s a i d .MAKING PROMISES TO THE ARABS 177 to d i s c u s s with you officially" the p r o p o s a l s of al-'Ahd.

Clayton recognized that F r a n c e could not be excluded from the coast . to meet the A r a b d e m a n d s . the E m i r of M e c c a . It b e g a n at the urgent request of S i r I a n H a m i l t o n at Gallipoli. the R e s i d e n c y r e p o r t e d that those d e m a n d s were o p e n to negotiation: the y o u n g A r a b would make concessions where necessary. reported that a l .F a r u q i said H u s s e i n would never allow F r a n c e to have A l e p p o . o r p a r a p h r a s i n g what a l . while in C a i r o he p u r p o r t e d to negotiate for H u s s e i n . a n d K i t c h e n e r ' s C a i r o followers m a y well have been in touch with h i m to help t h e m p e r s u a d e the reluctant H i g h C o m m i s s i o n e r in E g y p t . 9 IV Clayton. d i s a v o w i n g responsibility for the (by then u n s u c c e s s f u l ) A r a b Revolt. A l . each of w h o m took a l .F a r u q i to be the emissary of one of the other parties.F a r u q i actually told him m a y never be known. T h e British a r m y c o m m a n d e r a t Gallipoli was Ian H a m i l t o n . b u t learned only his n a m e . . T h a t they did so is s u g g e s t e d by a statement m a d e by M c M a h o n a year later. 8 While urgently pleading with L o n d o n for authorization to meet alF a r u q i ' s d e m a n d s . In the weeks a n d m o n t h s that followed. S i r H e n r y M c M a h o n . I was b e g g e d by the F o r e i g n Office to take i m m e d i a t e action and draw the A r a b s out of the war. m i s q u o t i n g . In what was b e c o m i n g a great hoax. a l . . At that m o m e n t a large portion of the forces at Gallipoli a n d nearly the whole o f the force i n M e s o p o t a m i a were A r a b s .F a r u q i introduced himself in a letter to H u s s e i n as an al'Ahd m e m b e r who h a d the ear of the British. Feisal tried to discover the identity of the m y s t e r i o u s A r a b w h o h a d b e c o m e so important in C a i r o . Whether C l a y t o n was q u o t i n g . who was strongly d i s p o s e d to o p p o s e F r e n c h claims to the interior of S y r i a (on a line that r u n s from A l e p p o to D a m a s c u s through H o r n s and H a m a ) . " Feisal wrote in a report to H u s s e i n . It was the m o s t unfortunate date in my life when I was left in charge of the A r a b m o v e m e n t a n d I think a few words are necessary to explain that it is nothing to do with m e : it is purely military b u s i n e s s . the y o u n g m a n drew a n d redrew the frontiers of countries a n d e m p i r e s . a n d A r a b nationalist leaders. A c c o r d i n g t o M c M a h o n . in the c o u r s e of exchanges a m o n g the British R e s i d e n c y .F a r u q i s u c ceeded in r e m a i n i n g at the center of the dialogue.178 THE MIDDLE EASTERN QUAGMIRE rebellion would enable t h e m to s a v e the Allied a r m i e s who were fighting for their lives at the e d g e s of the Gallipoli peninsula in the D a r d a n e l l e s . H a m a . a K i t c h e n e r p r o t e g e . and D a m a s c u s . which told him nothing: "I did not know h i m . Horns.

so they were the towns an E n g l i s h m a n might specify if he sought to define the territory of inland S y r i a . they defined the long narrow corridor which w a s the agriculturally cultivated region of inland S y r i a . in a cable to the F o r e i g n Office quoted a l . to the city of D a m a s c u s . A l e p p o . In a sense the debate was pointless.L e b a n o n . F o r d e c a d e s afterward p a r t i s a n s of an A r a b Palestine a r g u e d that if these four geographical t e r m s were properly u n d e r s t o o d . or was it M c M a h o n or Clayton? By districts. British C a i r o had p r o m i s e d that Palestine would be A r a b . M c M a h o n deliberately u s e d p h r a s e s so devious as to c o m m i t himself to nothing at all. the four towns represented the other. Was reference m a d e .D a m a s c u s geographical definition. where C h r i s t i a n s u n d e r F r e n c h p a t r o n a g e res i d e d . he was p r o b a b l y thinking of S y r i a and L e b a n o n a n d of how to split off the interior of the country from the French-influenced coast. H a m a . A l . b u t to a reader of the Encyclopaedia the logic of g r o u p i n g them together would be evident. M c M a h o n a n d Clayton wanted authorization to accept these t e r m s . If Clayton was the author of the A l e p p o . when the time c a m e to m a k e pledges. or the province of D a m a s c u s ? D i d "districts" mean wilayahs (environs) or vilayets (provinces)? Was it a l . . a n d s e e m e d willing. in H u s s e i n ' s n a m e . G r a n t e d . b u t that he would o p p o s e "by force of a r m s " any F r e n c h attempt to occupy the districts o f A l e p p o . S i t u a t e d between m o u n t a i n a n d unrelieved desert.b u i l t line of the Societe O t t o m a n e * Professor Elie Kedourie among them. as will be seen. B u t the geographical references m a d e by M c M a h o n were hazy. T h e F r e n c h . the H i g h C o m m i s s i o n e r .F a r u q i who s p o k e of districts.D a m a s c u s d e m a n d has been bitterly d e b a t e d ever since.MAKING PROMISES TO THE ARABS 179 of S y r i a . a n d H a m a are shown as the only towns of inland S y r i a .H a m a . S i r H e n r y M c M a h o n . Horns. the towns are dissimilar. 1 0 T h e towns had another important feature in c o m m o n : they constituted the railroad line.F a r u q i fell in with his views. D a m a s c u s . the environs of D a m a s c u s .F a r u q i as saying that the E m i r of M e c c a w o u l d not insist on maintaining his original d e m a n d that his western frontier should extend to the sea. to s u r r e n d e r A r a b claims in that area. for e x a m p l e . while partisans of a J e w i s h Palestine a r g u e d the reverse.H o m s . Horns.H o m s .F a r u q i informed H u s s e i n that he had been asked to m a k e s u c h a c o n c e s s i o n — a n d h a d refused. On the m a p of S y r i a in the then-current (1910) edition of the Encyclopaedia Britannica. did the British m e a n towns? T h e significance o f the A l e p p o . so that leading historians* have thought it illogical to g r o u p them together.H a m a . a n d again he reported that a l . T h e seacoast represented one of the two north-south lines of civilization in S y r i a . B a s e d o n Clayton's r e p o r t s . a n d D a m a s c u s .

Referring to S i r Milne C h e e t h a m . surely it was this that he h a d in m i n d . or take any interest in. any soldier or politician representing H u s s e i n in a territorial negotiation would p r e s u m a b l y have insisted on gaining control of the railroad stations: not merely of D a m a s c u s .H a m a et P r o l o n g e m e n t s . was the one who first mentioned the four towns by n a m e . Recent experience dictated the d e m a n d . b u t if you knew the difficulty Clayton a n d I had all last a u t u m n in getting S i r Milne to m a k e any proposal a b o u t . C l a y t o n a n d his friends were afraid that other British officials might not u n d e r s t a n d the i m p o r t a n c e of meeting t h e m . It was only to be expected that if H u s s e i n were on the winning side of the war he would p u r s u e the mirror o p p o s i t e of their strategy: he would d o m i n a t e inland S y r i a by control of its railroad line. His view of politics in the area had been that a r r a n g e m e n t s were m a d e between the rival foreign G r e a t P o w e r s . as the metropolis of the north. a n d that necessarily altered all calculations. but also of the two railroad towns that connected t h e m : H o m s a n d H a m a . as the metropolis of the south. H a v i n g told S y k e s the a l . D a m a s c u s . the A r a b q u e s t i o n . A l e p p o . Clayton a n d his colleagues infected S y k e s with their belief in the electrifying possibility that the A r a b half of the O t t o m a n E m p i r e m i g h t c o m e over to the Allied side of the war. a n d of A l e p p o .F a r u q i ' s A l e p p o . not C l a y t o n . S u r e l y this would have a p p e a r e d to be of i m m e n s e significance at the t i m e . T h e Y o u n g T u r k s (before the war intervened) had planned to d o m i n a t e the H e j a z by control of the railroad line r u n n i n g from D a m a s c u s down to the main cities of the H e j a z .D a m a s c u s d e m a n d s . his superior at the R e s i d e n c y who had been acting head until M c M a h o n arrived. Clayton's luck was that S i r M a r k S y k e s — a s mentioned e a r l i e r — h a d s t o p p e d in C a i r o again on his way back from India to L o n d o n in N o v e m b e r 1915. T h a t the A r a b i c . which was opened in 1895. the interests and aspirations of native populations had not . which ran south to M e d i n a . connected A l e p p o in the north of Syria to D a m a s c u s in the s o u t h .F a r u q i story. T h i s was the a m a z i n g news that greeted S y k e s on his arrival. At D a m a s c u s one m a d e the connection with the H e j a z railroad.180 THE MIDDLE EASTERN QUAGMIRE du C h e m i n de F e r D a m a s . a n d if a l . H o r n s . and H a m a were its four s t o p s . Whether or not they formulated a l .t o . R o n a l d S t o r r s wrote to F i t z G e r a l d / K i t c h e n e r at C h r i s t m a s i m p l o r i n g t h e m to give priority to the A r a b negotiation a n d a d d i n g " E x c u s e my worrying you with these difficulties.s p e a k i n g world could be a major factor in the war c a m e as especial news to S y k e s . 1 1 In an era in which railroads were considered to be of p r i m e military and political i m p o r t a n c e .F a r u q i . connecting S y r i a with H u s s e i n ' s d o m a i n . vou would u n d e r s t a n d our • »12 anxiety.

MAKING PROMISES TO THE ARABS 181 entered in any significant way into his calculations. Clayton also coached A u b r e y H e r b e r t . 14 15 Newly enthusiastic about M i d d l e E a s t e r n e r s . Clayton p r i m e d him to return to L o n d o n p r e p a r e d to a r g u e Cairo's new thesis that H u s s e i n could be m o r e i m p o r t a n t than the F r e n c h in b r i n g i n g the war in the E a s t to a swift conclusion. H e r b e r t . He g a v e it as his opinion that he could have the a r m y in b e i n g in a b o u t eight w e e k s . a n d enthusiastically p r o p o s e d the creation of an A r m e n i a n a r m y . No other man had m e t with every important British officer from . to invade T u r k e y . Sir E d w a r d G r e y . an M . P . H i s u n d e r g r a d u a t e d e s c r i p t i o n s of t h e m had been an exercise in pejorative vocabulary. S y k e s was entirely won over to Clayton's view that A r a b a r m i e s could s u p p l y the key to victory. It was then that he p r o p o s e d creating an A r a b B u r e a u a n d took the first s t e p s leading to its establishment (see C h a p t e r 2 2 ) . "Even J e w s have their g o o d points. "but A r m e n i a n s have n o n e . now showed that he could discard them with equal e a s e . who had a reputation for picking up opinions a n d a r g u m e n t s without taking the time to think them t h r o u g h . s o that the towns could b e ceded to H u s s e i n ." he had written. a n i m a l s . according to the new information s u p p l i e d by C l a y t o n . and H a m a . whose web of d a n g e r o u s international intrigue he discerned in m a n y an o b s c u r e corner. drafted a s t r o n g m e m o r a n d u m u r g i n g the F r e n c h to give up their claim to D a m a s c u s . " Y e t these were to be Britain's key allies in the M i d d l e Eastern fighting. A l e p p o . " B e d o u i n A r a b s were "rapacious. greedy . V With m u c h that was new to report and to advocate. and who undertook to see L o r d K i t c h e n e r a n d the F o r e i g n S e c r e t a r y . " "vicious as far as their feeble bodies will a d m i t . . He h a d always a d m i r e d the T u r k i s h . S y k e s returned to a w a r m w e l c o m e in L o n d o n in D e c e m b e r 1915. t o explain m a t t e r s to t h e m . Of town A r a b s . with Clayton's help. who was returning to L o n d o n . l j F r o m school days o n w a r d . he h a d written that they were "cowardly. serving in C a i r o Intelligence. Y e t there was another g r o u p a b o u t which his feelings had been even m o r e violent. S y k e s .s p e a k i n g ruling class but had not thought m u c h of the subject populations of the O t t o m a n E m p i r e in Asia. He b e c a m e a s u d d e n convert to the c a u s e of the native peoples of the M i d d l e E a s t ." "insolent yet d i s p i c a b l e [ s i c ] . H o m s . S y k e s had harbored a n a b i d i n g and almost obsessive fear of J e w s . to be recruited from prisoners-of-war a n d A r m e n i a n s in the U n i t e d S t a t e s . " N o w S y k e s met with A r m e n i a n leaders in C a i r o . .

indicate that McMahon was pledging that Palestine would be Arab.182 THE MIDDLE EASTERN QUAGMIRE the B a l k a n s a n d E g y p t to I n d i a . Sir H e n r y M c M a h o n then r e s u m e d the c o r r e s p o n d e n c e with M e c c a — t h e f a m o u s M c M a h o n letters. H u s s e i n h a d written M c M a h o n a second letter. vehemently insisted on authorizing C a i r o to r e s p o n d immediately a n d to reach agreement with H u s s e i n . a n d K i t c h e n e r ' s views carried the day. but K i t c h e n e r . T h e y did not even represent his own s u g g e s t i o n s . and that it was vitally and urgently important to reach agreement with H u s s e i n . in L o n d o n it was recognized that Britain w o u l d have to pay a p r i c e — a n d a high one-—to obtain F r a n c e ' s consent to the m a k i n g of p r o m i s e s to H u s s e i n . she would have to m a k e major concessions to the F r e n c h in return for the privilege of b e i n g allowed to m a k e concessions to the A r a b s . b a c k i n g S y k e s . B u t they were not his own claims. 17 On 24 October 1915 M c M a h o n replied in a quite different spirit to H u s s e i n . In it he accused M c M a h o n of "lukewarmth a n d hesitancy" b e c a u s e of his reluctance to d i s c u s s frontiers and b o u n d a r i e s . " T h e new Secretary of S t a t e for I n d i a . advocates of an Arab Palestine have argued for decades that the geographical terms employed by McMahon. O t h e r s were not. was also o p p o s e d t o d o i n g s o . T h e principal m e s s a g e that S y k e s b r o u g h t back to the C a b i n e t was that the A r a b s — w h o m he h a d previously d i s r e g a r d e d as a factor in the w a r — w e r e now of p r i m e i m p o r t a n c e to the Allies. former Viceroy of I n d i a . A u s t e n C h a m b e r l a i n . that no p r o m i s e s should be m a d e to the A r a b s b e c a u s e they were "a p e o p l e who are at this m o m e n t fighting against us as h a r d as they c a n . A u t h o r i z e d a n d directed to do so by L o n d o n . he reluctantly a g r e e d to enter into a discussion of specific territories a n d frontiers. Although C a i r o a n d S y k e s s e e m e d unaware of the fact. b u t as he evidently was unwilling to a s s u m e * As noted earlier. if properly interpreted. C l a y t o n . . a n d S t o r r s . H a d they been merely his own claims (the E m i r continued) s u c h a discussion indeed could have been p o s t p o n e d until the end of the war. M a u r i c e H a n k e y a r r a n g e d an audience for h i m with K i n g G e o r g e . T h e y were d e m a n d s that h a d been formulated by o t h e r s : by "our p e o p l e . Instructed b y L o r d K i t c h e n e r t o m a k e the necessary p l e d g e s . It was the view of L o r d C u r z o n . 1 6 In the interim. and advocates of a Jewish Palestine have argued the reverse. the m e a n i n g of which has been d e b a t e d so m u c h a n d so long by partisans of A r a b and J e w i s h c a u s e s in Palestine. " C a i r o R e s i d e n c y officials now knew that this m e a n t the mysterious secret society conspirators whom they imagined had a m a s s following in the A r a b world. H a n k e y also a r r a n g e d for S y k e s to go before the inner War C o m m i t t e e of the C a b i n e t . of which he was Secretary. K i t c h e n e r and G r e y were willing to p a y the price.

M c M a h o n b e g a n b y r e m a r k i n g that H u s s e i n m u s t give u p claim t o territory west of the districts of D a m a s c u s .F a r u q i already had a g r e e d (or at least M c M a h o n thought he h a d ) that H u s s e i n would concede this point. not Palestine. . In other w o r d s . any "independent" A r a b k i n g d o m in the postwar M i d d l e E a s t would have to be a British protectorate. including H u s s e i n ' s rival. whether s u c h a r r a n g e m e n t s would leave any r o o m for an assertion of A r a b s o v e r e i g n t y — a n d if so when a n d to what e x t e n t — w a s left u n s a i d . Britain did not bind herself to s u p p o r t H u s s e i n ' s claims anywhere at all. L e b a n o n . and H a m a . M c M a h o n o b s e r v e d that the established position a n d interests of Britain were s u c h that she would have to establish "special administrative a r r a n g e m e n t s " with respect to t h e m . A l e p p o . on the other. I b n S a u d . Britain at the time enjoyed treaty relationships with other A r a b i a n chiefs. therefore. which at the time was divided a m o n g a n u m b e r of leaders. a n d insisted that these advisers and officials s h o u l d be exclusively British. T h a t left only A r a b i a . the M e s o p o t a m i a n provinces o f B a s r a a n d B a g h d a d . he indicated that E u r o p e a n advisers and officials would be needed to establish the administration of A r a b countries. he u s e d l a n g u a g e evasively. a n d Palestine. b u t . " S i n c e F r a n c e at the time claimed those territories in their entirety (indeed S y k e s discussed F r a n c e ' s claim to Palestine with a l .s p e a k i n g M i d d l e E a s t . By p r o c e s s of elimination.L e b a n o n here. but on a m o r e natural reading he was referring only to S y r i a . Horns. of w h o m H u s s e i n was one. On the one h a n d .MAKING PROMISES TO THE ARABS 183 personal responsibility for m a k i n g definite c o m m i t m e n t s . M c M a h o n pointed out that he could not p r o m i s e anything to H u s s e i n that w o u l d p r e j u d i c e Britain's relationships with other A r a b chiefs. he a g r e e d that after the war the A r a b s s h o u l d have their i n d e p e n d e n c e . In the eastern portion of the A r a b i c . M c M a h o n later wrote that he intended to say that the territories H u s s e i n a n d the A r a b s were not to have were coastal S y r i a . A l e p p o .F a r u q i in N o v e m b e r 1915) it followed that Britain could not p l e d g e s u p p o r t for A r a b claims with respect to them either—not even to D a m a s c u s . H i s l a n g u a g e can be read that way. In the western p o r t i o n — S y r i a and P a l e s t i n e — B r i t a i n could extend a s s u r a n c e s to H u s s e i n only in those territories "in which she can act without detriment to the interests of her ally F r a n c e . a n d H a m a . Horns. In his letter. with an eastern frontier that might be d r a w n s o m e w h e r e in what is now J o r d a n . A l . What territories should be included in the British-protected independent A r a b k i n g d o m ? M c M a h o n replied b y dividing the lands claimed by H u s s e i n into four areas a n d explaining that Britain could not bind herself to s u p p o r t H u s s e i n ' s claims in any one of t h e m .

b u t nonetheless it was t h e r e ) . 18 J u n e 1916). D e e d e s feared that the difficulties in the way of arriving at an u n d e r s t a n d i n g with the A r a b s accordingly might p r o v e " i n s u p e r a b l e . who (he believed) wanted i n d e p e n d e n c e for themselves. b u t were up against the intention of the G o v e r n m e n t of I n d i a to annex and rule t h e m . political. He believed that the impatient Wingate had tried to p u s h h i m into doing so. whose m a i n aim w a s that the hated F r e n c h s h o u l d not be allowed in ("It is difficult rather to account for this extraordinary dislike he wrote. wrote D e e d e s . there were the A r a b s of I r a q . as had L o r d H a r d i n g e . a n d of course that ran counter to the d e m a n d s of F r a n c e .184 THE MIDDLE EASTERN QUAGMIRE A c c o r d i n g to a s u m m a r y later p u b l i s h e d in the secret Arab Bulletin (no. T h e r e were the S y r i a n s . and later it was discovered that those d e m a n d s clashed with other conflicting c o m m i t m e n t s Britain might be called u p o n to m a k e . a n d is the view of m a n y of the A r a b s a n d all of the T u r k s themselves" that "this idea is not a practical one. S u c h fears were b y n o m e a n s u n r e a s o n a b l e . " 18 It therefore w o u l d have been d a n g e r o u s for M c M a h o n as H i g h C o m m i s s i o n e r to have m a d e any firm c o m m i t m e n t s to H u s s e i n . the Viceroy of India: I am afraid b o t h the H i g h C o m m i s s i o n e r a n d L o r d H a r d i n g e are u n d e r the i m p r e s s i o n that I am a believer in the creation of . b u t D e e d e s said that m o s t A r a b s a n d all T u r k s would be o p p o s e d to this. T h e negotiations between S y k e s a n d the F r e n c h a b o u t the future of the M i d d l e E a s t — t o be d e s c r i b e d p r e s e n t l y — h a d not yet taken place. A s W y n d h a m D e e d e s — t h e C a i r o Intelligence expert o n the O t t o m a n E m p i r e — analyzed the situation early in 1916. He wrote that "I think it is the view of m o s t of u s . a n d in all honesty Britain could not agree to satisfy the d e m a n d s of any one of the three. M c M a h o n .s p e a k i n g A s i a b u t had refused to c o m m i t itself with respect to the f o r m s of g o v e r n m e n t that would be installed in the area or with respect to precise b o u n d a r i e s . an experienced b u r e a u c r a t . whose aim w a s to head an A r a b k i n g d o m . the u p s h o t of the c o r r e s p o n d e n c e was that H i s Majesty's G o v e r n m e n t had indicated a willingness to p r o m o t e indep e n d e n c e in A r a b i c ." Other A r a b s . B u t R e g i n a l d Wingate wrote to Clayton that M c M a h o n had misinterpreted his views. there were three g r o u p s of A r a b s . 5. a n d intelligence leaders. for Britain's military. M c M a h o n was u n d e r o r d e r s from K i t c h e n e r not to lose the alliance with H u s s e i n . a n d n o b o d y in the British government knew with any certainty what would have to be conceded to F r a n c e or. Finally. afterwards. had seen the need to be completely noncommittal. b u t the H i g h C o m missioner m u s t have feared that he w o u l d be m a d e the s c a p e g o a t if he did go ahead to meet H u s s e i n ' s d e m a n d s . were unwilling to accept H u s s e i n as their leader. T h e r e was H u s s e i n . t o R u s s i a .

N o t i n g F r a n c e ' s c l a i m to L e b a n o n . s o h e had to rebel against t h e m whether Britain met his t e r m s or not. b u t not a g r e e d which s h o u l d take which floors or r o o m s . " 22 . he did not r e g a r d matters as h a v i n g been settled. T h e F o r e i g n Office. " So he failed to reach agreement with M c M a h o n .H a m a . b u t the F o r e i g n S e c r e t a r y .H o m s . who strongly o p p o s e d defining Britain's relations with the A r a b s until the war w a s over. the British w o u l d be u n d e r no obligation to keep theirs. .MAKING PROMISES TO THE ARABS 185 a consolidated A r a b K i n g d o m u n d e r the S h e r i f — O f course any such notion is altogether remote f r o m my real views. he wrote that "any concession d e s i g n e d to give F r a n c e or any other P o w e r p o s s e s s i o n of a single s q u a r e foot of territory in those p a r t s is quite out of the q u e s t i o n . believed that the M c M a h o n letters had s u c c e e d e d in p u t t i n g the matter off a n d in a v o i d i n g the giving of any meaningful c o m m i t m e n t . b u t h a d its own sources of information. b u t felt compelled to s u p p o r t the Allies nonetheless: the Y o u n g T u r k s were g o i n g t o d e p o s e h i m . H u s s e i n indicated that with r e g a r d to Palestine a n d also with r e g a r d to L e b a n o n a n d the other lands in the M i d d l e E a s t . of the A r a b B u r e a u of British Intelligence in C a i r o . " 2 1 In L o n d o n the F o r e i g n Office took the view that the p r o m i s e s would never b e c o m e d u e for p a y m e n t : that Britain had p l e d g e d herself to s u p p o r t A r a b i n d e p e n d e n c e only if the A r a b half of the O t t o m a n E m p i r e rose against the S u l t a n — w h i c h (the F o r e i g n Office believed) it would never d o ." 20 H u s s e i n replied to M c M a h o n that he could not accept the A l e p p o . b u t it has suited m e . S i n c e the A r a b s would not keep their side of the b a r g a i n (so ran the a r g u m e n t ) .D a m a s c u s f o r m u l a .s p e a k i n g world w a s a b o u t to change sides in the war. to give the leaders of the A r a b m o v e m e n t this i m p r e s s i o n a n d we are quite sufficiently covered by the c o r r e s p o n d e n c e which has taken place to show that we are acting in g o o d faith with the A r a b s as far as w e have g o n e . t o two p e r s o n s a b o u t t o inhabit one house. . H e insisted o n having the provinces of A l e p p o a n d B e i r u t . A c c o r d i n g to H o g a r t h . which did not rely on Clayton. S i r E d w a r d G r e y . M o n t h s later C l a y t o n s u m m a r i z e d what M c M a h o n h a d d o n e by writing that " L u c k i l y we have been very careful indeed to c o m m i t ourselves to nothing whatsoever. In a conversation s o m e years later with D a v i d H o g a r t h . 1 9 G i l b e r t C l a y t o n . "He c o m p a r e d o u r s e l v e s a n d himself . G r e y told A u s t e n C h a m b e r l a i n not to worry a b o u t the offers b e i n g m a d e by Cairo as "the whole thing was a castle in the air which w o u l d never m a t e r i a l i z e . He indicated that he r e g a r d e d all m a t t e r s as b e i n g s u b j e c t to negotiation at the Peace C o n f e r e n c e . did not believe that the A r a b i c . as I believe it has suited all of u s . saw no h a r m in letting K i t c h e n e r a n d his lieutenants p r o m i s e anything they wanted as an inducement to the A r a b s to defect.

T h e y w o u l d not accept what M c M a h o n a n d C l a y t o n called A r a b i n d e p e n d e n c e : they dem a n d e d the real thing. and the E m i r H u s s e i n were offering Britain coin that was equally counterfeit. the A r a b secret society leader. " 23 2 4 T h i s explanation d i s t u r b e d the Viceroy. he wrote. " He claimed that the negotiations with H u s s e i n w o u l d neither "establish our rights . a n d the secret societies had no visible following. alF a r u q i . so instead they were a t t e m p t i n g to cheat. they d i d not want British d o m i n a t i o n or a British p r o t e c t o r a t e . b u t I did not like p l e d g e s given when there is no intention of keeping t h e m . nor bind our h a n d s in that country. . T h a t m a y prove eventually to be the case.F a r u q i . was sheer fantasy. T h o u g h C l a y t o n a n d his colleagues did not know it. if she intended to g o v e r n t h e m — w h i c h of course was exactly what M c M a h o n a n d C l a y t o n intended Britain t o d o . M c M a h o n explained that "I had necessarily to be v a g u e as on the one hand H M G disliked being c o m m i t t e d to definite future action.186 THE MIDDLE EASTERN QUAGMIRE M c M a h o n . from the G o v e r n m e n t of I n d i a . a l . He c a m e . after all. . wrote t o L o r d K i t c h e n e r a p p r o a c h i n g the a r g u m e n t from the other side. worried that the whole thing might not be a castle in the air. H u s s e i n had no a r m y . by p r e t e n d i n g to meet H u s s e i n ' s d e m a n d s when in fact they were giving him the counterfeit coin of m e a n i n g l e s s language. A l ." that is. To the Viceroy of I n d i a . who had p r o m i s e d an A r a b revolt when he first arrived.M a s r i had spotted the falseness in the British position. 25 26 A l .s p e a k i n g M i d d l e E a s t unless she were willing to leave its peoples free to exercise full a n d genuine i n d e p e n d e n c e . whether or not they believed it themselves. " In early 1916 A z i z a l . on the other h a n d . K i t c h e n e r and his followers badly wanted to win A r a b s u p p o r t b u t were unwilling to pay the price the E m i r H u s s e i n d e m a n d e d for it. and on the other h a n d any detailed definition of our d e m a n d s would have frightened off the A r a b . who claimed that India's interests were neglected in the c o r r e s p o n d e n c e with H u s s e i n . when he met S i r M a r k S y k e s : he . T h o s e for w h o m he s p o k e wanted from Britain "non pas une domination ou un protectorat.M a s r i . but rather that it w o u l d s u c c e e d — a n d then w o u l d p o s e a danger to B r i t a i n . whose constant anxiety was the prospect of nationalist agitation. especially if the A r a b s continue to help the enemy. T h e y w o u l d not s u p p o r t Britain. T h e i r talk of rallying tens or h u n d r e d s of t h o u s a n d s of A r a b t r o o p s to their c a u s e . o r b i n d our h a n d s . who wrote to the Secretary of S t a t e for I n d i a a b o u t M c M a h o n ' s claim "that the negotiations are merely a matter of w o r d s a n d will neither establish our rights. He wrote (in F r e n c h . M c M a h o n confided to W y n d h a m D e e d e s that his fear was not that the plan for an A r a b revolt would break down. the l a n g u a g e of d i p l o m a c y ) that Britain could not achieve her objectives in the A r a b i c . c h a n g e d his story by 15 N o v e m b e r .M a s r i .

.MAKING PROMISES TO THE ARABS 187 now said that there c o u l d be no A r a b u p r i s i n g until a n d unless Allied a r m i e s first landed in force on the S y r i a n coast. too. H u s s e i n . w o u l d do nothing until British armies arrived on the scene. c o n c l u d e d that it was u r g e n t for Britain to invade S y r i a and Palestine. S y k e s . h o p i n g Britain would take the military lead. refused to go into action by claiming it would be p r e m a t u r e to launch an u p r i s i n g . a c c e p t i n g these s t a t e m e n t s at face value. in other w o r d s . T h e A r a b s .

in retrospect. the A r a b s were m o r e important than the F r e n c h . military. it was not a year in which the Allies could easily afford to send m a n p o w e r elsewhere.) At the s a m e time.s p e a k i n g world. b u t his g o v e r n m e n t nonetheless a t t e m p t e d to p e r s u a d e F r a n c e to m a k e the concessions S y k e s believed to be necessary. without industrial.24 MAKING PROMISES TO T H E EUROPEAN A L L I E S i In D e c e m b e r 1915 S y k e s reported to his g o v e r n m e n t that in C a i r o he had been told by a l . 1 T h e radical new view that S y k e s had b r o u g h t back with h i m f r o m the M i d d l e E a s t was that in t e r m s of winning the war. S y k e s w a r n e d .F a r u q i that if British E g y p t were to launch an invasion of Palestine a n d S y r i a . he s a i d .s p e a k i n g t r o o p s a n d p r o v i n c e s of the O t t o m a n E m p i r e w o u l d c o m e over to the Allied s i d e . it w o u l d trigger a revolt in which the A r a b i c . N e g o t i a t i o n s with F r a n c e a i m e d at allaying s u c h fears were the answer. or m a n p o w e r resources. the Sherif m i g h t be d e p o s e d a n d killed by the T u r k s . a n d what S y k e s told the C a b i n e t ministers was that they o u g h t to seek s u c h p e r m i s s i o n from the F r e n c h immediately. early in 1916 G e r m a n y attacked V e r d u n in what by 1918 was to b e c o m e the biggest battle in world history.200. financial. Sykes's new view was u n b a l a n c e d . b r o u g h t with him only an uncertain prospect of s u b v e r t i n g loyalty in the O t t o m a n c a m p . 2 188 . a n d 1. a n d not without r e a s o n . or c a p t u r e d at V e r d u n in 1916. S y k e s raised a related matter: the Sherif H u s s e i n hesitated to c o m e over to the Allied side ( S y k e s r e p o r t e d ) for fear of F r e n c h a m b i t i o n s in the A r a b i c . ( F r a n c e was reluctant to allow any diversion of resources from E u r o p e . g a s s e d . T h e p r o b l e m was that Britain needed F r a n c e ' s p e r m i s s i o n to divert the resources from the western front to launch s u c h an offensive. a n d events in the Holy Places m i g h t ignite a real H o l y W a r .000 at the S o m m e . w o u n d e d . F r a n c e was a m o d e r n industrial power that had mobilized eight million m e n to fight the war. S e v e n h u n d r e d t h o u s a n d m e n on both sides were to be killed. while H u s s e i n . If these p r o b l e m s with F r a n c e were not resolved soon.

a n d it was his first d i p l o m a t i c a s s i g n m e n t . He h a d lived and traveled in the E a s t . Britain could not m a k e p r o m i s e s a b o u t S y r i a to the E m i r H u s s e i n without F r a n c e ' s p e r m i s s i o n . for the F o r e i g n S e c r e t a r y . a n d included senior representatives from the F o r e i g n . a n d later Italy that ultimately resulted in the S y k e s . Moreover.S e c r e t a r y at the F o r e i g n Office. He was p r o . I n d i a . As a R o m a n Catholic himself. a n d War Offices. S y k e s p o s s e s s e d s o m e of the qualifications necessary to carry out his a s s i g n m e n t .S a z a n o v A g r e e m e n t and s u b s e q u e n t Allied secret treaty u n d e r s t a n d i n g s were a m o n g the results of L i e u t e n a n t a l . T h e talks h a d d e a d l o c k e d by the time S y k e s returned to L o n d o n in D e c e m b e r . a l . at least to s o m e extent. R u s s i a . T h u s not only the M c M a h o n letters. II T h e F r e n c h representative. but a l s o — a n d m o r e i m p o r t a n t l y — the negotiations with F r a n c e .F r e n c h . On the other h a n d . late that m o n t h the British g o v e r n m e n t delegated S y k e s — K i t c h e n e r ' s m a n — t o take the place of the N i c o l s o n t e a m in order to break the deadlock. h a d recognized F r a n c e ' s special interest in that area. a n d h a d m e t with and knew the views of Britain's soldiers a n d civil s e r v a n t s there.F a r u q i ' s hoax.P i c o t . T h e F o r e i g n Office. F r a n c o i s G e o r g e s Picot. he was not p r e j u d i c e d against F r a n c e ' s goal of p r o m o t i n g Catholic interests in L e b a n o n . he h a d held g o v e r n m e n t office for less than a year. In effect the F o r e i g n Office t u r n e d the responsibility over t o L o r d K i t c h e n e r . S i r E d w a r d G r e y . therefore immediately r e q u e s t e d the F r e n c h g o v e r n m e n t to send a delegate over to L o n d o n to negotiate the future frontiers of S y r i a so as to define the extent to which Britain was free to deal with H u s s e i n . T h e British negotiating team was at first h e a d e d by S i r A r t h u r N i c o l s o n . He had no experience in negotiating with a foreign g o v e r n m e n t . Until 3 J a n u a r y 1916 S y k e s went to the F r e n c h e m b a s s y on a daily basis to negotiate. He passionately wanted to succeed in reaching an a g r e e m e n t with the other side. As a result of early schooling a b r o a d . a n d was in a weak b a r g a i n ing position b e c a u s e he wanted too m u c h from the other side. He reported in detail at night to F i t z G e r a l d a n d . c a m e over t o L o n d o n a n d c o m m e n c e d negotiations o n 2 3 N o v e m b e r 1915. he s p o k e F r e n c h — t h o u g h it is not clear how well. having authorized M c M a h o n to m a k e p l e d g e s to H u s s e i n on 20 O c t o b e r 1915.MAKING PROMISES TO THE EUROPEAN ALLIES 189 In fact. Permanent U n d e r . too obviously.F a r u q i had p e r s u a d e d L o r d K i t c h e n e r a n d his followers that H u s s e i n ' s claims to S y r i a also h a d to be a c c o m m o d a t e d . the British g o v e r n m e n t already h a d initiated talks with F r a n c e .

F l a n d i n claimed that D a m a s c u s was the third holiest city in I s l a m a n d was the potential center of an A r a b i c I s l a m . a n d his brother was treasurer of the C o m i t e de l'Asie F r a n c a i s e . too. Paralleling K i t c h e n e r ' s views a b o u t M e c c a and the caliphate. in d e s c r i b i n g his dealings with L o r d K i t c h e n e r . Picot. issued a report on S y r i a and Palestine in 1915 that b e c a m e the manifesto of the " S y r i a n P a r t y " in F r e n c h politics—the party that Picot c h a m p i o n e d . a n d political interests in s u p p o r t of Picot's position p r o v e d potent. so that for c o m m e r c i a l r e a s o n s . it was vital for the F r e n c h E m p i r e to p o s s e s s it. as well as historic a n d g e o g r a p h i c ones. to the C r u s a d e s a n d the e s t a b lishment of L a t i n C r u s a d e r k i n g d o m s in S y r i a and Palestine. F r a n c e d a r e d not let another . a n d n o n e of the three m e n left a record of what occurred. M a r k S y k e s r e m a r k e d that "I could never m a k e myself u n d e r s t o o d . and he could never u n d e r s t a n d what I t h o u g h t .) It was i n c u m b e n t u p o n F r a n c e to continue its "mission historique" there. ( H i s a r g u m e n t harked back nearly a t h o u s a n d years. L a t e r . to s u c h an extent that it f o r m e d the F r a n c e of the N e a r E a s t . S y r i a a n d Palestine form one country. 5 6 Pierre-Etienne F l a n d i n . Earlier in 1915 Picot had inspired a parliamentary c a m p a i g n in Paris against the ministers who were p r e p a r e d to give way to Britain in the M i d d l e E a s t . the scion of a colonialist dynasty in F r a n c e — h i s father w a s a founder of the C o m i t e de l'Afrique F r a n c a i s e . leader of the F r e n c h S y r i a m o v e m e n t in the S e n a t e . I could never u n d e r s t a n d what he thought. a c c o r d i n g to F l a n d i n . T h e r e m a y have been a m i s u n d e r s t a n d i n g between them as to what S y k e s w a s instructed to d e m a n d a n d what he was told to c o n c e d e . " 4 3 T h e r e is m o r e evidence from the F r e n c h side of the negotiations than f r o m the British s i d e as to the secret hopes a n d p l a n s that were involved. of which his father was also a m e m b e r — a c t e d effectively as the advocate of the colonialist party within the Q u a i d'Orsay a n d was as dedicated a p r o p o n e n t of a F r e n c h S y r i a as his g o v e r n m e n t could have chosen to represent i t . P r o p o n e n t s of a F r e n c h S y r i a took control of the C o m m i t t e e on F o r e i g n Affairs of the C h a m b e r of D e p u t i e s . he wrote. T h e potential wealth of the country was i m m e n s e . he a r g u e d . he c l a i m e d . that for centuries had been s h a p e d by F r a n c e . D o c u m e n t s exist that establish what Picot a n d his political associates h o p e d to gain f r o m the negotiations and how they h o p e d to achieve their g o a l s .190 THE MIDDLE EASTERN QUAGMIRE through him continued to receive the ghostly g u i d a n c e of K i t c h e n e r . it was vital for strategic r e a s o n s . T h e m i x t u r e o f d o m e s t i c F r e n c h commercial. T h e n . clerical. It is i m p o s s i b l e to know what S y k e s s a i d or was told: K i t c h e n e r a n d F i t z G e r a l d kept no p r o p e r files. T h e L y o n s a n d Marseilles C h a m b e r s o f C o m m e r c e sent resolutions to the Quai d'Orsay in s u p p o r t of a F r e n c h S y r i a .

were u n a n i m o u s in desiring to b e ruled b y F r a n c e . E v e n Britain's claim to M o s u l . was to be sacrificed in order to place the F r e n c h in the front line. it therefore was a d v i s a b l e to take control of S y r i a a n d Palestine.MAKING PROMISES TO THE EUROPEAN ALLIES 191 power direct it a n d p e r h a p s u s e it a g a i n s t F r a n c e . a n d it b e c a m e central to his strategic plan for the p o s t w a r E a s t . S y k e s a n d his friends in C a i r o believed that the F r e n c h were blinding themselves when they ignored this o p p o s i t i o n .h e l d z o n e s . with the oil riches strongly s u s p e c t e d to exist there. O p p o s i t i o n t o F r e n c h rule was intense a m o n g the e d u c a t e d classes in S y r i a (other than the M a r o n i t e s . In secretly p l a n n i n g to take M o s u l . p e r h a p s by S t o r r s . ) Picot drafted his own negotiating instructions outlining a strategy to win the concessions that he w a n t e d from the British. T h e War Office point of view . a n d to control the rest of S y r i a indirectly t h r o u g h A r a b p u p p e t rulers. 8 7 T h e F r e n c h F o r e i g n Office recognized that policing inland S y r i a w o u l d strain F r e n c h r e s o u r c e s . however. What he h o p e d to get was an extension of the F r e n c h sphere of influence e a s t w a r d f r o m S y r i a to M o s u l (in what is now Iraq). according to him a n d his colleagues. It h a d been s u g g e s t e d to K i t c h e n e r . Picot's plan was to pretend to S y k e s that F r a n c e insisted on o b t a i n i n g direct rule over all of S y r i a .r i t e R o m a n Catholic c o m m u n i t y s p o n s o r e d by F r a n c e ) . F l a n d i n claimed that at heart Syria-Palestine was F r e n c h already. Picot w a s unaware that K i t c h e n e r a n d S y k e s were secretly p l a n n i n g to give it to h i m . Partition h a d b e c o m e inevitable. would protect the British M i d d l e E a s t f r o m attack by the R u s s i a n b a r b a r i a n s to the north. I t s inhabitants. like the G r e a t Wall of C h i n a . that they were d e l u d i n g themselves in the s a m e way by thinking that the p e o p l e s of those areas ardently desired to be g o v e r n e d by B r i t a i n . however. so that when he m o d e r a t e d the claim he c o u l d obtain s o m e concession in return. F r a n c e and R u s s i a would be b a l a n c e d one against the other. the E a s t e r n . at a point where the R u s s i a n s might be e x p e c t e d one day to attack. T h e F r e n c h d e l u d e d themselves. what Picot a n d his g o v e r n m e n t m o s t desired was to assert direct F r e n c h rule only over the M e d i t e r r a n e a n coastline a n d an e n l a r g e d L e b a n o n . T h e y wanted the F r e n c h s p h e r e of influence to be ex t e n d e d f r o m the M e d i t e r r a n e a n coast on the west all the way to the east so that it paralleled a n d a d j o i n e d R u s s i a n . T h e y show that he w o u l d have preferred to p r e s e r v e the O t t o m a n E m p i r e intact. ( C l a y t o n a n d his colleagues did not see. T h i s concept had a p p e a r e d in the de B u n s e n p r o c e e d i n g s . even t h o u g h F r a n c e w o u l d d i s m e m b e r the O t t o m a n E m p i r e b y d o i n g s o . the F r e n c h zone was to p r o v i d e Britain with a shield against R u s s i a . so that the F r e n c h M i d d l e E a s t . for its "feeble condition" offered F r a n c e "limitless s c o p e " to e x p a n d her economic i n f l u e n c e .

the F r e n c h a m b a s s a d o r in L o n d o n . the principle of inserting a w e d g e of F r e n c h territory between any British zone a n d the R u s s i a n C a u c a s u s would seem in every way d e s i r a b l e . especially for S y k e s . and an agreement that Britain could invade the O t t o m a n E m p i r e at A l e x a n d r e t t a . while the F r e n c h feared that they w o u l d not be allowed to rule any of it. " 10 In the end both S y k e s a n d Picot o b t a i n e d what they wanted f r o m one another: F r a n c e was to rule a G r e a t e r L e b a n o n and to exert an exclusive influence over the rest of S y r i a . Picot a r g u e d that C h r i s t i a n L e b a n o n would not tolerate even the nominal rule of the E m i r of M e c c a . In the end a c o m p r o m i s e w a s r e a c h e d : Britain was to have the p o r t s of A c r e a n d H a i f a (rather than Alexandretta. while the rest of the country was to fall u n d e r s o m e sort of international a d m i n i s t r a t i o n . S y k e s held a brief from C a i r o to reserve the towns in S y r i a that were being p r o m i s e d to the Sherif H u s s e i n . were not p e r s u a d e d that H u s s e i n w o u l d contribute anything of value to the Allied c a u s e . they told their F o r e i g n Minister to ratify the preliminary S y k e s . a n d n o b o d y in the British g o v e r n m e n t wanted to see any other G r e a t Power e s t a b lished in the postwar world astride the road to I n d i a . T h e a g r e e m e n t reached by S y k e s a n d Picot was to c o m e into effect only after the A r a b Revolt was p r o c l a i m e d . north of S y r i a . while Paul C a m b o n . w a r n e d that F r e n c h rule would be necessary to avert the o u t b r e a k of a religious war: "It is e n o u g h to know the intensity of rivalries between the various rites a n d religions in the Orient to foresee the violence of the internal strife in L e b a n o n as soon as no external authority is there to c u r b i t . before the British h a d a . C a m b o n . It was a challenging a g e n d a . even though L o r d K i t c h e n e r did not. B a s r a a n d B a g h d a d . a s p h e r e of F r e n c h influence that extended t o M o s u l . " On the British side of the negotiations S y k e s also wanted F r a n c e ' s agreement to an E g y p t i a n offensive. S y k e s s u c c e e d e d in giving. E x c e p t for Palestine a n d for the a r e a s in which F r a n c e or Britain exercised direct rule. and Picot s u c c e e d e d in taking. were to go to Britain. S y k e s wanted it for Britain. Picot a n d the F r e n c h a m b a s s a d o r . while Picot w a s d e termined to get it for F r a n c e . a neophyte in d i p l o m a c y . the two M e s o p o t a m i a n provinces.P i c o t A g r e e m e n t ( c o n c l u d e d on 3 J a n u a r y 1916) as soon as p o s s i b l e . nominally i n d e p e n d e n t but in reality divided into F r e n c h and British s p h e r e s of influence. not even coastal L e b a n o n . K i t c h e n e r wanted A l e x a n d r e t t a .192 THE MIDDLE EASTERN QUAGMIRE was that " F r o m a military point of view. 9 T h e British feared that Picot w o u l d not c o m p r o m i s e on F r a n c e ' s claim to exercise direct rule over all of S y r i a . Palestine p r o v e d to be a s t u m b l i n g block. the M i d d l e E a s t was to form an A r a b state or confederation of states. the h a r b o r that K i t c h e n e r preferred) a n d a territorial belt on which to construct a railroad from there to M e s o p o t a m i a .

U n d e r his veneer of worldliness. To S y k e s it a p p e a r e d that he had tailored the c o m m i t m e n t s to F r a n c e and to the A r a b s to fit together. T h e S y k e s . S y k e s w a s . a n d H a m a t o H u s s e i n ' s i n d e p e n d e n t A r a b confederation. C l a y t o n . they m e a n t that they wanted it to be a d m i n i s t e r e d by Britain rather than F r a n c e . he said. S y k e s h a d concentrated on satisfying what C a i r o h a d told him were H u s s e i n ' s c l a i m s . S y k e s characterized A r a b s a s wanting recognition of their essential unity. 1 2 13 S y k e s also h a d m i s u n d e r s t o o d his British friends a n d colleagues in C a i r o . a n d when they said they wanted it to be independent.MAKING PROMISES TO THE EUROPEAN ALLIES 193 chance to b e c o m e disillusioned a b o u t the A r a b s . Horns. under the aegis of an A r a b i a n p r i n c e . and also t h r o u g h A u b r e y H e r b e r t . they really m e a n t that they wanted it for Britain. a n innocent: he believed that p e o p l e m e a n t what they s a i d . nor would it p r o v e feasible f r o m the point of view of finance a n d administration. to exclusive F r e n c h influence. not knowing that Picot wanted to give i t ) . but they have got a sense of racial p r i d e . He h a d told the War C a b i n e t that A r a b s "have no national spirit in o u r sense of the w o r d . s u c h unity would not be in h a r m o n y with their national genius. S y k e s therefore asked Picot to agree to this ( a n d imagined that he h a d won Picot's consent. 1 1 Ill Sir M a r k S y k e s believed that he h a d won for the A r a b s what H u s s e i n and a l . a n d also that he h a d s e c u r e d precisely the concession f r o m F r a n c e that his friends in C a i r o h a d asked for. in practice. a d v a n c i n g b e hind an A r a b f a c a d e . " T h e y s h o u l d be content. but only as an ideal. just as they were asking for a state that w a s fully i n d e p e n d e n t rather than a E u r o p e a n protectorate. with a "confederation of A r a b i c s p e a k i n g states. " S y k e s failed to recognize that H u s s e i n a n d the secret societies were asking for a unified A r a b state. which is as g o o d . A l e p p o . S y k e s did not see that H u s s e i n ' s S y r i a n d o m a i n s w o u l d be any the . he s a i d . What S y k e s did not u n d e r s t a n d was that when Clayton a n d S t o r r s said they wanted inland S y r i a for the A r a b s .F a r u q i h a d d e m a n d e d . h a d told h i m that it was i m p o r t a n t to the Allied c a u s e t o p r o m i s e D a m a s c u s .P i c o t A g r e e ment p r o v i d e d that the four towns s h o u l d be excluded from the area of direct F r e n c h rule a n d instead s h o u l d fall within the s c o p e of an independent A r a b state or s t a t e s — t h o u g h subject. a n d therefore to regret the extensive c o n c e s s i o n s they h a d m a d e to F r a n c e in order to be free to deal with H u s s e i n . directly. and did not see that b e h i n d t h e m C a i r o was advancing c l a i m s of its own. of c o u r s e . a n d for themselves as Britain's representatives in the region.

s p e a k i n g peoples could a s pire. In C a i r o . and it was ironic that the A r a b B u r e a u which he had created b e c a m e the center of the plot to destroy it. often it s e e m e d to involve i m p o s i n g the F r e n c h l a n g u a g e a n d culture on a native society. Clayton a n d S t o r r s saw that S y k e s had foreclosed the p o s s i bility of their creating a new E g y p t i a n e m p i r e . N o t entirely without r e a s o n .194 THE MIDDLE EASTERN QUAGMIRE less independent for b e i n g a d v i s e d by F r e n c h rather than by British officials. as they d i d . this was the greatest degree of i n d e p e n d e n c e to which A r a b i c . As one of Clayton's colleagues told s t u d e n t s at a British Military Staff College a few years later. a F r e n c h presence with annexation a n d a British presence with i n d e p e n d e n c e . K i t c h e n e r ' s followers a s p i r e d to rule S y r i a themselves. e d u c a t e d A r a b s regarded British rule as "the only decent alternative" to O t t o m a n r u l e . however. What the F r e n c h termed their "civilizing mission" was seen as annexationism by the B r i t i s h . Clayton a n d his colleagues (though they did not tell S y k e s so) r e g a r d e d the Sykes-Picot A g r e e ment as a betrayal of the p l e d g e to g r a n t independence to the p r o p o s e d A r a b confederation. In the eyes of C l a y t o n a n d his colleagues. was instead s u r r e n d e r e d t o F r a n c e . T h e a g r e e m e n t allowed C a i r o a n d K h a r t o u m to e x p a n d their influence only in arid. after the war. Clayton a n d his colleagues believed F r e n c h colonial a d m i n i s t r a t o r s to be incapable of allowing a country to retain its own character. a n d believed that S y k e s had let them d o w n . He never s u s p e c t e d that C a i r o was g o i n g to try to u n d e r m i n e the S y k e s . kept to t h e m s e l v e s . inhospitable A r a b i a . while S y r i a . left the country a n d its people alone. but Clayton and S t o r r s were A r a b i s t s . dwelt in their own c l u b s and c o m p o u n d s . a n d . a p a r t from s u p e r v i s i n g the administration of the g o v e r n m e n t . on the other h a n d . in E g y p t a n d elsewhere. T h e British. K i t c h e n e r . F o r whatever it meant to them politically.P i c o t A g r e e m e n t . he did not realize that they thought he h a d lost it. so B a g h d a d a n d B a s r a — t h e principal British zone in the Sykes-Picot A g r e e m e n t — w o u l d be ruled by their a d v e r s a r y . could go out to I n d i a as Viceroy. he thought that he had done what they had a s k e d . S i m l a had already staked out a claim to the n e a r b y M e s o p o t a m i a n provinces. and p e r h a p s even personally. He was p r o u d of the agreement. 1 4 E q u a t i n g . the G o v e r n m e n t of I n d i a . T h e y could hardly help b u t b e d i s m a y e d b y what S y k e s had d o n e . B u t that is not the way they p u t it. a world of difference was seen between British and F r e n c h a d m i n i s t r a t i o n . He thought he had won inland S y r i a for the A r a b s . What they said w a s : S y k e s has let down the Arabs (as t h o u g h it were the A r a b s rather than themselves who desired Britain to rule S y r i a ) . tied emotionally a n d professionally to the fortunes of the C a i r o R e s i d e n c y . . S y k e s never u n d e r s t o o d that his friends in C a i r o held these views. which c o u l d have b e e n in Cairo's s p h e r e .

[ M a r k S y k e s ] b a d l y down. It is an awful pity both for the thing itself. It also led S y k e s to two meetings that p r o v e d i m p o r t a n t in his c l i m b up the political l a d d e r : one with L l o y d G e o r g e . at least. L o r d Milner.F a r u q i ' s p r o m ised A r a b Revolt. S . and d e m a n d i n g the establishment of a f o u r . F o r S y k e s .m e m b e r C a b i n e t c o m m i t t e e to run the war. a n d for M. A furious S y k e s delivered a s p e e c h in the H o u s e of C o m m o n s denouncing A s q u i t h ' s leadership as m u d d l e d . the speech attracted wide a n d favorable publicity. wanted to achieve: the containment of R u s s i a in the postwar M i d d l e E a s t . S y k e s seemed to believe that for the Allies to resolve their differences a n d . H e r b e r t cast the b l a m e on Picot. D e s p i t e his failure to win a p p r o v a l for an invasion of S y r i a .MAKING PROMISES TO THE EUROPEAN ALLIES 195 H i s old friend A u b r e y H e r b e r t worked with the A r a b B u r e a u in C a i r o a n d so H e r b e r t knew (while S y k e s did not) that Clayton bitterly believed that the Sykes-Picot A g r e e m e n t had r e d u c e d Cairo's A r a b policy to tatters. S o m e of the few officials in L o n d o n who knew of the agreement e x p r e s s e d reservations a b o u t it. B u t the P r i m e Minister. editor of The Times. T h e c o m m o n British c o m p l a i n t was that it g a v e away too m u c h to the F r e n c h . a n d also b e c a u s e it is one up to the old early Victorians who are in a position to say "We told you s o . a n d his influential coterie. I told h i m I thought it would h a p p e n . B u t its t e r m s and even its existence were kept secret. deferring to the generals who insisted on concentrating all forces on the western front in E u r o p e . " 15 IV T h e Sykes-Picot A g r e e m e n t was a p p r o v e d b y the British a n d F r e n c h C a b i n e t s at the b e g i n n i n g of F e b r u a r y 1916. S y k e s believed that it was important to c o n c l u d e the a r r a n g e m e n t s with F r a n c e o n the b a s i s that h a d been a g r e e d . and one with the former proconsul in S o u t h Africa. and letting A m a t e u r s have a shy at delicate and important n e g o t i a t i o n s . ruled out a new M i d d l e E a s t e r n c a m p a i g n b e c a u s e of the diversion of resources that it would entail. T h e Sykes-Picot A g r e e ment achieved what K i t c h e n e r . He wrote: I am afraid that swine M o n s i e u r Pficot] has let M . the very fact that the Allies had reached an agreement a b o u t the p o s t w a r M i d d l e E a s t was not revealed until almost two years later. Delivered at a time when the P r i m e Minister was faltering as a leader. including Geoffrey R o b i n s o n . S y k e s had wanted to win France's a p p r o v a l of Cairo's proposal to invade S y r i a a n d thereby s p a r k a l . M o r e o v e r . s o m e of the justification for giving way to the F r e n c h was soon d e s t r o y e d . T h i s is what c o m e s of disreg a r d i n g the A B C of D i p l o m a c y .

however. so the i m m e d i a t e assignment for S y k e s was to join Picot—who was already in P e t r o g r a d — t o help secure R u s s i a n approval of their a g r e e m e n t . 1 6 It will be r e m e m b e r e d that in their negotiations. the precise form of which would be determined after consultation with the other interested A l l i e s — R u s s i a a n d I t a l y — a n d with H u s s e i n of M e c c a . interest in the future of the country [original e m p h a s i s ] . Hall objected to the inducements b e i n g offered to H u s s e i n ' s A r a b s . h o p i n g to learn about Zionism. the head of intelligence at the A d m i r a l t y . who had "a strong material. Until then they had not figured in his calculations. S y k e s and Picot had c o m p r o m i s e d their differences a b o u t Palestine by agreeing that m o s t of it would be placed under an international regime. " S y k e s was struck by the mention of J e w s . a n d a very strong political. Britain. Before S y k e s e m b a r k e d for R u s s i a . " F o r c e is the best A r a b p r o p a g a n d a . C a p t a i n Hall's c o m m e n t s led S y k e s to worry. that the c o m p r o m i s e at which he a n d Picot had arrived had left a principal factor out of a c c o u n t : they had not taken into consideration the possibility that J e w s m i g h t be concerned in the political future of Palestine. J e w i s h resettlement of Palestine had g o n e on in the nineteenth a n d early twentieth centuries. R u s s i a n ratification was required. Evidently S y k e s was afraid that when he b r o u g h t this omission to the attention of Picot. who w a s J e w i s h . V T h e r e was a c u r i o u s o m i s s i o n in the a g r e e m e n t S y k e s a n d Picot were bringing to P e t r o g r a d .196 THE MIDDLE EASTERN QUAGMIRE arrive at a definite a g r e e m e n t was in itself a g o o d thing. " claimed Hall. the F r e n c h m a n would think that he was d o i n g so in o r d e r to back out of their agreement. As r e g a r d s Palestine. his attention w a s c a u g h t by an observation m a d e a b o u t this by C a p t a i n William R e g i n a l d Hall. the other Allies. but no reference was m a d e to the interests of the people of the Biblical Holy L a n d — t h e J e w s . for only then would the A r a b s c o m e over to the Allies. Before leaving for R u s s i a . the d o c u m e n t took a c count of the interests of F r a n c e . Accordingly. and b e s i d e s p r o m i s e s to the A r a b s might be o p p o s e d by J e w s . saying that the British should land troops in Palestine. on . the H o m e S e c r e t a r y . S y k e s therefore contacted H e r b e r t S a m u e l . and by 1916 there was a substantial J e w i s h population living and working there. Yet political Z i o n i s m — t h e organized J e w i s h m o v e m e n t a i m i n g at a national return of the J e w i s h people to P a l e s t i n e — h a d been an active force in the world for two or three d e c a d e s . a n d the M o s l e m A r a b leader H u s s e i n of M e c c a .

( E v i d e n t l y the F o r e i g n Office did not want S y k e s to m e d d l e in a matter a b o u t which-—it was c l e a r — h e knew n o t h i n g . " 17 T h e R u s s i a n s h a d n o s y m p a t h y for J e w s o r for J e w i s h claims. T h e r e a f t e r S y k e s was seized with the conviction that J e w s were a power in a great m a n y places a n d might s a b o t a g e the Allied c a u s e ." S y k e s then introduced G a s t e r to the F r e n c h negotiator. chief R a b b i o f the S e p h a r d i c J e w i s h c o m m u n i t y . H i s own notion was to offer the Zionists an incorporated land c o m p a n y in Palestine. 2 S y k e s b e g a n to worry. and when S y k e s arrived in P e t r o g r a d . Aristide B r i a n d .MAKING PROMISES TO THE EUROPEAN ALLIES 197 his arrival in P e t r o g r a d he was at p a i n s to establish his g o o d faith. a n d held fast to his territorial d e s i g n s . who introduced him to D r M o s e s G a s t e r . S y k e s believed in a t t e m p t i n g to win t h e m over. a n d e m b o d i e d a R u s s i a n p l e d g e to F r a n c e "to s u p p o r t in negotiations with the British g o v e r n m e n t the d e s i g n s of the g o v e r n ment of the R e p u b l i c [ F r a n c e ] on P a l e s t i n e . that J e w i s h forces w o u l d tilt the scales in favor of the G e r m a n s a n d T u r k s . the F r e n c h s e c u r e d R u s s i a n agreement that an international r e g i m e for Palestine-—the a r r a n g e m e n t S y k e s h a d a g r e e d u p o n with P i c o t — w o u l d be impractical a n d that instead a F r e n c h r e g i m e o u g h t to be installed. He reported to the F o r e i g n Office that he h a d told Picot that. G e o r g e s Picot. Picot was i m p r e s s e d neither by G a s t e r nor by S y k e s ' s p r o p o s a l . A secret F r a n c o . He a t t e m p t e d to p e r s u a d e * Jews whose ancestors in the Middle Ages lived in Spain and Portugal. his question to the F o r e i g n Office was "Is a land c o m p a n y e n o u g h ? " — t o which the b r u s q u e r e s p o n s e from the F o r e i g n Office was that he s h o u l d keep his t h o u g h t s to h i m s e l f . He again s a w S a m u e l . on 25 M a r c h 1916. a n d s u g g e s t e d to Picot that F r a n c e a n d Britain. S y k e s took further s t e p s to learn a b o u t Z i o n i s m .R u s s i a n e x c h a n g e of notes on 26 April 1916 outlined an a g r e e m e n t between the governm e n t s as to their respective s p h e r e s of influence in the O t t o m a n territories. B u t unlike the R u s s i a n s . a n d that they ought to be propitiated if the Allies were to have a chance of winning the war. ) 8 19 R e t u r n i n g to L o n d o n in April 1916. A c c o r d i n g to S y k e s . while Britain h a d no interest in taking possession of Palestine. In his innocence he did not know-—or even s u s p e c t — t h a t the F r e n c h g o v e r n m e n t h a d already g o n e b e h i n d his back to renege on the Palestine c o m p r o m i s e they had a g r e e d u p o n . . G a s t e r "opened my eyes to what Z i o n i s m meant. In secret negotiations with the R u s s i a n s initiated by the F r e n c h Premier. at a time when a decisive Allied victory s e e m e d at best a remote possibility. it was what the Z i o n i s t s wanted. s h o u l d work together as p a t r o n s of A r a b s a n d J e w s . his C z a r i s t hosts p e r s u a d e d him that Zionist J e w s were a great a n d potentially hostile power within R u s s i a . instead of o p e r a t i n g independently of one another in the M i d d l e E a s t .

At the A d m i r a l t y early in 1916. E d w a r d G r a n v i l l e B r o w n e . however.198 THE MIDDLE EASTERN QUAGMIRE Picot that if the Allies failed to offer J e w s a position in Palestine. d u r i n g . F i t z M a u r i c e hit u p o n the converse of that p r o p o s i t i o n : he inspired a F o r e i g n Office colleague—another O l d B o y of B e a u m o n t . of m u c h m o r e c o n s e q u e n c e to F r e n c h m e n than Palestine. who h a d known S y k e s as a pupil. He u r g e d Picot to tell his g o v e r n m e n t that s a v i n g Paris a n d V e r d u n a n d regaining A l s a c e were worth concessions in the Middle East. was far f r o m b e i n g the chief issue with which S y k e s dealt in wintry P e t r o g r a d in 1916. t h o u g h he h a d praise for him in other respects. cities a n d provinces in F r a n c e herself. the . L o n d o n believed in powerful. T h e b r o a d outlines of the M i d d l e E a s t e r n settlement were at i s s u e . L i k e F i t z M a u r i c e . m y s t e r i o u s A r a b societies that could overthrow the Y o u n g T u r k s . too. after all. n a m e d H u g h O ' B e i r n e — t o s u g g e s t that "if we could offer the J e w s an a r r a n g e m e n t as to Palestine which w o u l d strongly appeal to t h e m we might conceivably be able to strike a b a r g a i n with t h e m as to withdr a w i n g their s u p p o r t from the Y o u n g T u r k G o v e r n m e n t which would then automatically c o l l a p s e . A d a m s Professor o f A r a b i c at C a m b r i d g e University. w a s — i t will be r e m e m b e r e d — t h e principal s o u r c e within the British g o v e r n m e n t of the fallacy that the S u b l i m e Porte had fallen into the h a n d s of J e w s . While S y k e s was in the p r o c e s s of discovering the Zionist i s s u e — before. with it. " J u s t as C a i r o believed in powerful. m y s t e r i o u s J e w i s h societies that could do s o . " 22 VI Z i o n i s m . c o m m e n t e d that S y k e s "sees J e w s in e v e r y t h i n g . a n d when he arrived he found that the R u s s i a n leaders—like British officials in L o n d o n — claimed that F r a n c e was b e i n g p r o m i s e d too m u c h . but d i d not get the chance to do s o : he died in the s p r i n g of 1916. So it was. a n d after his P e t r o g r a d trip)—so was the F o r e i g n Office in L o n d o n . Britain's foremost a c a d e m i c authority on the M i d d l e E a s t . 21 O'Beirne evidently intended to p u r s u e the matter within the F o r e i g n Office himself. S y k e s retained his childhood belief in the existence of a cohesive world J e w i s h c o m m u n i t y that m o v e d in h i d d e n ways to control the world. who h a d attended the s a m e p u b l i c school ( B e a u m o n t ) a n d h a d a c q u i r e d m a n y o f the s a m e views a n d p r e j u d i c e s as h a d S y k e s . F r a n c e m i g h t lose the war a n d . p r o m p t e d by S y k e s ' s old friend G e r a l d F i t z M a u r i c e . In r e s p o n s e . F i t z M a u r i c e . left to S y k e s to raise the issue of Z i o n i s m within the British b u r e a u c r a c y . little t h o u g h he knew of J e w s or their affairs.

. h a d been m a d e by the A s q u i t h coalition g o v e r n m e n t .F a r u q i ' s hoax a n d believing fully in the potency of A r a b secret societies.P i c o t .MAKING PROMISES TO THE EUROPEAN ALLIES 199 F r e n c h a m b a s s a d o r . T h i s w a s perfectly t r u e . explained t o the R u s s i a n F o r e i g n Minister that the reason Britain h a d p u s h e d F r a n c e to extend her claims so far to the east was to p r o v i d e Britain with a buffer against R u s s i a . h a d p e r s u a d e d L o n d o n that H u s s e i n of M e c c a could tear d o w n the O t t o m a n E m p i r e that all of these c o m m i t m e n t s . taken in by a l . " 2 3 24 It was b e c a u s e C a i r o . Britain was to find out. but the F o r e i g n Office i n L o n d o n was furious a t b e i n g given away. F o r e i g n Office officials d e s c r i b e d Paleologue as "really i n c o r r i g i b l e . M a u r i c e Paleologue. W a s it worth the price? Within a few weeks of the S y k e s . Privately. a n d b o m b a r d e d P e t r o g r a d with official denials.S a z a n o v A g r e e m e n t . m o r t g a g i n g the future of the postwar M i d d l e E a s t .

several t h o u s a n d British troops occupied the M e s o p o t a m i a n city of B a s r a seventy-five miles upriver.25 T U R K E Y ' S TRIUMPH A T T H E TIGRIS i As the A r a b B u r e a u in C a i r o waited a n d hoped for an A r a b rebellion that would b r i n g d o w n the O t t o m a n E m p i r e . sent his officer in the field. the day after Britain declared war on T u r k e y . it was called u p o n to help British India liquidate yet another d i s a s t r o u s a n d m u d d l e . M a j o r . 1 T u r k i s h resistance was feeble. . m o v e d forward. by now a u g m e n t e d . Finally. this force. it did so to shield neighboring Persia f r o m attack. who had arrived in April 1915. A l t h o u g h the British Indian force had landed in M e s o p o t a m i a . the river sloop Odin. L o n d o n had o r d e r e d a s t a n d b y force to be sent from I n d i a to the Persian G u l f to protect Britain's oil s u p p l i e s from Persia in case they should be threatened. the waterway at the head of the Persian G u l f where the E u p h r a t e s a n d T i g r i s rivers meet. I t s initial objective in case of war was to protect the oil refinery at A b a d a n . S i r J o h n N i x o n . a Persian island in the Shatt al-'Arab. an a m b i t i o u s newly a p p o i n t e d British c o m m a n d i n g officer. for the B a s r a front was h u n d r e d s of miles from the main concentrations of O t t o m a n t r o o p s a n d s u p p l i e s near B a g h d a d . A m o n t h before the o u t b r e a k of the O t t o m a n war in the a u t u m n of 1914. D r a w n into the interior of m a r s h y lower M e s o p o t a m i a by the T u r k i s h retreat. it parried T u r k i s h counterattacks with ease. As the British Indian expeditionary force went a b o u t rounding out its position in B a s r a province. On 6 N o v e m b e r 1914. T h e T u r k i s h fort at F a o at the m o u t h of the S h a t t al-'Arab fell after a brief b o m b a r d m e n t by a British g u n b o a t . and a fortnight later. N i x o n ordered the t r o o p s — d e s p i t e T o w n s h e n d ' s m i s g i v i n g s — t o keep on m a r c h i n g all the way to B a g h d a d .G e n e r a l C h a r l e s Vere F e r r e r s T o w n s h e n d . further and further u p s t r e a m in q u e s t of new victories b u t with no great sense of direction or strategic p u r p o s e .h e a d e d enterprise in the war against T u r k e y : a smaller-scale b u t m o r e shameful Gallipoli by the shores of the T i g r i s river in M e s o p o t a m i a .

0 0 0 T u r k i s h t r o o p s were a b o u t to reinforce the 13. T h e troops were a d v a n c i n g into a country of s w a m p s and deserts. Sheltering within it a n d entrenching the fourth side. and h u n d r e d s of river miles from the b a s e of his s u p p l y line at B a s r a — w a s P y r r h i c : he lost half of his small force. w h o m he r e g a r d e d as one of the great strategists of his t i m e . Although he had s u p p l i e s sufficient to last until April 1916.000 that h a d o p p o s e d him at C t e s i p h o n . F o r this they needed flotillas of riverboats suited to the T i g r i s . He h a d learned. 5 0 0 . a n d they were short of a m m u nition a n d food. On the night of 25 N o v e m b e r he b e g a n his retreat. T o w n s h e n d ' s own fighting forces now n u m b e r e d 4 . too. and s u p p l i e s that British I n d i a d i d not make available to the expeditionary force. who had suffered a t h o u s a n d m o r e casualties. T h e full forces . in front of B a g h d a d T o w n s h e n d ' s forces w o u l d be at the e n d of t h e i r s — and would need to have b r o u g h t with t h e m a d e q u a t e s u p p l i e s of food and ammunition. if it can be so t e r m e d — a t C t e s i p h o n . treacherous T i g r i s river. without r o a d s or railroads. T o w n s h e n d i m p r i s o ne d himself in a fortress-like position. T o w n s h e n d . B u t his final t r i u m p h . but ruined his own chances. a n d were therefore obliged to follow the m e a n d e r i n g course of the shallow. river transport. whose talent for generalship was close to g e n i u s . a n d s u r r o u n d e d by water on three s i d e s . that 3 0 . he cabled that he c o u l d only hold out until J a n u a r y . T o w n s h e n d planned to be r e s c u e d .TURKEY'S TRIUMPH AT THE TIGRIS 201 A successful a d v a n c e from B a s r a to B a g h d a d w o u l d have r e q u i r e d a m a s t e r y of logistics a n d an a b u n d a n c e of troops. T o w n s h e n d . almost fought his way t h r o u g h to victory. p u n c t u a t e d b y battles with the p u r s u i n g T u r k s . In the event. It m a d e it difficult for the T u r k s to get in or for him to get out. a b o u t twenty-five miles southeast of B a g h d a d . von der Goltz's O t t o m a n a r m i e s left a sufficient force at K u t to g u a r d against a British breakout. After a p u n i s h i n g week-long retreat of nearly a h u n d r e d miles. Whereas in B a s r a the weakened T u r k s were at the end of their long s u p p l y line. sickening s w a r m s of flies a n d m o s q u i t o s — s o m o b i l e hospitals a n d medical s u p p l i e s w o u l d be r e q u i r e d . T h e country was pestilential—there were m a d d e n i n g . chose to s t o p and m a k e his stand a t K u t e l . had a s s u m e d overall c o m m a n d of O t t o m a n forces in M e s o p o t a m i a . artillery. a n d then m a r c h e d on to entrench themselves downriver so as to block any force Britain m i g h t send to the rescue.A m a r a . hospital e q u i p m e n t . but d e c i d e d — u n w i s e l y — t h a t his e x h a u s t e d t r o o p s could not go that distance. K u t was a m u d village caught in a loop in the T i g r i s river. T o w n s h e n d believed—with g o o d r e a s o n — t h a t the closest safe place for him to m a k e a s t a n d was s o m e 250 miles d o w n s t r e a m . T h o u g h his forces lacked these a p p a r e n t necessities. T o w n s h e n d h a d learned that F i e l d M a r s h a l C o l m a n von der G o l t z .

H e r b e r t a n d L a w r e n c e . were authorized by L o n d o n to offer even m o r e : a s h a m e d t h o u g h they were of doing s o . as s u p p l i e s p a r a c h u t e d to t h e m were blown offcourse into the river. E . they offered the T u r k s two million p o u n d s . T o w n s h e n d . T h e siege of K u t h a d by then lasted 146 d a y s . O n o r d e r s from E n v e r . s t a r v i n g t r o o p s . a n d sent by the T u r k s to live in c o m f o r t — a n d indeed l u x u r y — i n C o n s t a n t i n o p l e . a M e m b e r of Parliament. L a w r e n c e i n negotiating a s u r r e n d e r . the T u r k i s h c o m m a n d e r rejected the offer. the partial forces available launched one p r e m a t u r e attack after another a n d were beaten back. were sent on a death m a r c h — 1 0 0 miles to B a g h d a d .000 casualties between . F e w of t h e m s ur v i v e d . who went with h i m on 27—8 April to negotiate t e r m s . T o w n s h e n d ' s forces suffered m o r e than 10. a n d riverboats sent to their aid went a g r o u n d or were s t o p p e d by chains the T u r k s stretched a c r o s s the river. who h a d never quite recovered from a fever contracted in 125-degree heat the s u m m e r before. the g a r r i s o n at K u t having e x h a u s t e d its last rations of food. a n d H e r b e r t . H a d they waited until they could attack in force. exceeding the records previously set by the f a m o u s sieges of L a d y s m i t h (in the Boer War) a n d Plevna (in the R u s s o . H i s d i s e a s e d .202 THE MIDDLE EASTERN QUAGMIRE available to rescue him c o u l d not be a s s e m b l e d by t h e n — a few weeks m o r e were r e q u i r e d — b u t driven o n b y T o w n s h e n d ' s inconsistent a n d increasingly u n b a l a n c e d c a b l e s . starvation. however. had been a well-known friend of the O t t o m a n E m p i r e before the war. a n d f l o o d s — a n d of heartbreak. then 500 m o r e to A n a t o l i a — and then were p u t to work on railroad chain g a n g s . At s o m e point d u r i n g the siege he h a d d e c i d e d that the T u r k s m i g h t let him a n d his m e n go free on parole in return for a p a y m e n t of a million p o u n d s . the War Office in L o n d o n offered T o w n s h e n d the services o f C a p t a i n s A u b r e y H e r b e r t a n d T . they m i g h t have fought their way t h r o u g h . T h e British defenders o f K u t t h e r e u p o n destroyed their g u n s a n d unconditionally s u r r e n d e r e d . T o w n s h e n d was treated with courtesy.T u r k i s h war of 1877). II On 26 April 1916. It was an epic of h e r o i s m — a s the defenders faced disease. B o t h h a d just arrived in M e s o p o t a m i a . who apparently enjoyed Britain's humiliation in b e g g i n g to b u y the freed o m of her t r o o p s . had b e c o m e emotionally u n b a l a n c e d . B o t h were a s s o c i a t e d with the A r a b B u r e a u in C a i r o . a n d L a w r e n c e h a d already been stricken with the prevalent local fever.

TURKEY'S TRIUMPH AT THE TIGRIS 203 the start of their a d v a n c e on B a g h d a d a n d their s u r r e n d e r . It w a s another national humiliation inflicted u p o n Britain by an O t t o m a n foe British officials h a d always r e g a r d e d as ineffectual—and w h o m the A r a b B u r e a u p r o p o s e d t o b r i n g crashing down b y internal s u b v e r s i o n later in 1916. . T w e n t y three t h o u s a n d casualties were suffered by the British forces seeking to rescue t h e m f r o m K u t . yet the g a r r i s o n w a s carried off into captivity a n d f o u n d d e a t h along the w a y .

P A R T IV SUBVERSION .

Y e t the record as of m i d . a n d s u b v e r s i o n from within w o u l d a d d to the strain. was betting that T u r k e y w o u l d be the first to crack. His efforts were not entirely successful. B o t h E n v e r a n d T a l a a t e x p r e s s e d concern a b o u t the reach of G e r m a n influence in the a d m i n i s t r a t i o n of T u r k e y ' s wartime effort. 207 . In the western world it h a d been a s s u m e d for d e c a d e s that one day or another the r a m s h a c k l e O t t o m a n E m p i r e would collapse or disinteg r a t e .000 German officers and men serving in the Ottoman Empire. W o u l d H u s s e i n ' s revolt. F r a n c e . Y e t no serious w e d g e was driven between T u r k s a n d G e r m a n s . w o u l d collapse first u n d e r the e n o r m o u s strains i m p o s e d by the war? C a i r o . By s u c h reckoning. To demonstrate that Turkey had no need of them. the Y o u n g T u r k leaders were sensitive to any alien presence in their m i d s t — e v e n that of their allies. the strain of w a g i n g war against Britain. and should be withdrawn. by the end of the war. there were 25. Enver resumed his earlier campaign to curb German influence. always having r e g a r d e d the Sultan's regime as feeble.26 BEHIND ENEMY L I N E S i In 1916 the question s e e m e d to b e : which of the w a r r i n g coalitions.500 German troops then in the Ottoman Empire were too many. In early 1916 he indicated that even the 5. with its own special point of view. As nationalists who c a m p a i g n e d against foreign influence a n d to eradicate the vestiges of colonialism. s c h e d u l e d to occur in m i d .1 9 1 6 . he insisted on sending seven Ottoman divisions to southern Europe to fight alongside the armies of other of the Central Powers. G e r m a n y a n d her allies or Britain a n d her allies. A l t h o u g h m a n y G e r m a n s serving with the O t t o m a n forces exp r e s s e d frustration a n d d i s g u s t at the obstacles placed in the way of getting their o r d e r s executed. a n d R u s s i a would b r i n g it crashing d o w n . indeed. be able to s u b v e r t the loyalty of h u n d r e d s of t h o u s a n d s of O t t o m a n soldiers a n d millions of O t t o m a n s u b j e c t s ? B r i t i s h Intelligence thought it not i m p r o b a b l e . they d i d not allow their relationship * After Gallipoli.1 9 1 6 s u g g e s t e d otherwise.

the G e r m a n s i m p o s e d u p o n their allies. b u t . T h e i r mission was to s u b v e r t B r i t i s h control of that fierce I s l a m i c country—-a control exercised u n d e r the terms of the a g r e e m e n t of 1907 that ended the G r e a t G a m e between R u s s i a a n d Britain. - In Persia.* A f g h a n i s t a n was an e x c e p t i o n : where it was concerned. so that Djemal's Suez campaign brought expressions of concern from them that Germany might attempt to annex Egypt. T h e y could not do s o . distrusted their European partners.s t r o n g It was not easy. and in 1915 they s u c c e e d e d in i n d u c i n g the P r i m e Minister to sign a secret treaty of alliance. a sense that winning the war took priority over other objectives. a n d as a result she was best able to take a d v a n t a g e of o p p o r t u n i t i e s to stir up trouble behind enemy lines. where the G e r m a n s spent six m o n t h s vainly a t t e m p t ing to p e r s u a d e the E m i r to c o m e into the war against Britain. Harboring territorial designs of their own. 0 0 0 . had solidified their relations with leading Persian politicians. For centuries. She continued to dispute the Ottoman title to Albania. T h e G e r m a n s . T h e G e r m a n a m b a s s a d o r also s e c u r e d the s u p p o r t of the 7 . M o r e than any other G r e a t Power o n either s i d e . s u p p o r t e d by the 8 . G e r m a n y d e m o n s t r a t e d an ability to keep postwar a m b i t i o n s in A s i a from intruding into w a r t i m e d e c i s i o n s . on the whole. By the end of 1915 the Allies found the situation so m e n a c i n g that the R u s s i a n s . as well as of the G e r m a n s .208 SUBVERSION with the T u r k s to break d o w n .s t r o n g Swedish-officered g e n d a r m e r i e . so the E m i r quietly remained within the British fold. As the archives of Austria-Hungary show. as always. As a result of bickering between G e r m a n s a n d T u r k s a n d between G e r m a n s a n d other G e r m a n s . while his secret agents built up s u p port a m o n g the various tribes that constituted a b o u t 20 percent of the total p o p u l a t i o n . leaders. Habsburg officials suspected that Hohenzollern officials were thinking along similar lines. 0 0 0 . long before the war. Habsburg officials expressed deep distrust of the ambitions for expansion that they ascribed to the German and Turkish empires. which she occupied in the earlier part of the world war. T h e E m i r declined to act unless the Central Powers could place a r m i e s in the field to e n s u r e the s u c c e s s of his rebellion. Her annexation of Ottoman Bosnia had brought on the Balkan Wars and set the stage for Sarajevo. G e r m a n y exerted influence only with a view toward winning the war a n d m a d e no m o v e to s u b v e r t the independence of the O t t o m a n g o v e r n m e n t or the position of the C . while Ottoman officials. only one of the four overland expeditions to A f g h a n i s t a n sent out at the b e g i n n i n g of the war went on to reach K a b u l . P . officers in the field let their m u t u a l m i s t r u s t get the better of t h e m . U . the C e n t r a l Powers enjoyed a considerable s u c c e s s . in the first years of the war in A s i a . T h e H a b s b u r g a n d O t t o m a n g o v e r n m e n t s were s u s picious of each other. Austria-Hungary had been encroaching on Ottoman territories in Europe. 1 . however. a n d there was the inevitable bickering in the field between jealous officers.

the tattered r e m n a n t s of the g e n d a r m e r i e . In the north the province of A z e r b a i j a n had been a battlefield between T u r k e y a n d R u s s i a ever since E n v e r ' s attack on the C a u c a s u s at the outset of the war.m a n British-officered native force. In the wake of his raids in 1915 on the A r a b secret societies in S y r i a . initially to the holy city of Q u m . let alone one fully controlled by the Allied Powers. and a r g u e d that the convicted m e n were traitors. the S o u t h Persia Rifles. the Persian C o s s a c k s . P . the m o s t successful of the G e r m a n agents. which had been an Allied preserve. taking over the capital city of T e h e r a n a n d . where a G e r m a n p u p p e t g o v e r n m e n t was established. country. o c c u p i e d the north of the country. of the G o v e r n m e n t of I n d i a .BEHIND ENEMY LINES 209 Russian-officered Persian C o s s a c k s . and took c o m m a n d of the south with a b a s e of authority in S h i r a z . T h e S h a h had no effective forces at his disposal to u p h o l d Persia's neutrality. T h e m o s t p r o . By 1915 — 16 the country had. 0 0 0 . with it. A r a b soldiers d e m o n s t r a t e d loyalty not only to I s l a m but .G e r m a n o f the politicians fled. enforce her laws. B u t D j e m a l P a s h a .s p o n s o r e d tribal confederations were the only o r g a n i z e d a r m e d forces that r e m a i n e d in what had b e e n at one time a sovereign. d i s a p p e a r e d as a sovereign entity. stirred up a fierce tribal u p r i s i n g that was quelled only with the u t m o s t difficulty by B r i g a d i e r G e n e r a l S i r Percy S y k e s . a n d indeed considerable. Wilhelm W a s s m u s s . for all practical p u r p o s e s . he published in S t a m b o u l in 1916. In the b o o k he d i s c u s s e d the secret societies a n d their a i m s in s o m e detail. near the O t t o m a n frontier. In the s o u t h . the weak. T h e G e r m a n . Whether because or in spite of D j e m a l ' s crackdown. not nationalists. a n d the G e r m a n . the A r a b i c speaking p o p u l a t i o n did not waver in its loyalty. triumvir o p e r a t i n g out of D a m a s c u s . a n d as the war went on. took the subversion threat seriously e n o u g h to crack down on those he s u s pected of treason. into a contested battlefield. U . a n d later to K e r m a n s h a h . a book entitled La Verite sur la question syrienne. who" in 1916 created an 1 1 . the C . under the imprint of the O t t o m a n F o u r t h A r m y . T h e S o u t h Persia Rifles. or defend her territorial integrity. II Britain's efforts to s u b v e r t the A r a b i c . R u s s i a n a n d O t t o m a n t r o o p s s u r g e d back a n d forth. backed by O t t o m a n t r o o p s .s p e a k i n g population behind O t t o m a n lines had met with no c o m p a r a b l e s u c c e s s . M o r e i m p o r t a n t to the Porte.O t t o m a n allies converted Persia. recently crowned y o u n g S h a h . m o v i n g t h r o u g h a n d o c c u p y i n g Persian territory at will. setting forth the evidence that he claimed would justify his treatment of the alleged plotters.

b u t also of J e w s — e s p e c i a l l y the 6 0 . they b e g a n to build what is now T e l Aviv. D j e m a l P a s h a . who b e c a m e T u r k e y ' s ruler of S y r i a and Palestine. mostly d u r i n g the half century before 1914 a n d r e m a i n e d — i n t h e o r y — s u b j e c t s of the C z a r . Influenced by a bitterly anti-Zionist O t t o m a n official n a m e d B e h a . the U k r a i n e . on b a r r e n s a n d d u n e s by the sea. It d i s t u r b e d T a l a a t a n d his colleagues that at least half of the J e w s in Palestine were not O t t o m a n s u b j e c t s . not to e n g a g e in t h e m . T h e Y o u n g T u r k e y m o v e m e n t h a d n o reason t o m i s t r u s t t h e m .210 SUBVERSION also to the O t t o m a n g o v e r n m e n t . . " 2 IP In the eyes of the Y o u n g T u r k s . 0 0 0 or m o r e of t h e m in Palestine. cooperative society in selfsufficient agricultural settlements in a country distant from E u r o p e a n a n t i .M o s l e m inhabitants of the e m p i r e was o p e n to q u e s t i o n . others were inspired to re-create the J u d a e a n nationality that the R o m a n s had detroyed 2 . S o m e were d r a w n to the H o l y L a n d by religion. At the end of 1914. which w e l c o m e d i m m i g r a n t s . T h o s e who chose instead the h a r d s h i p s of pioneer life in barren Palestine were d r e a m e r s who asked only to be allowed to practice their religion or their ideals in peace. in 1909.s p e a k i n g officers in prisoner-of-war c a m p s r e p o r t e d that m o s t of the officers actually s u p p o r t e d the Y o u n g T u r k s . T h e Porte was s u s p i c i o u s . took violent action against the J e w i s h settlers. By the early part of the twentieth century their settlements had b e g u n to flourish. not only of C h r i s t i a n s . F l e e i n g the p o g r o m s of R u s s i a . 0 0 0 years b e f o r e . a n d Poland. O n c e arrived. A l m o s t all of those who were not O t t o m a n s u b j e c t s had c o m e f r o m the R u s s i a n E m p i r e . A B r i t i s h Intelligence m e m o r a n d u m b a s e d on interviews with c a p t u r e d A r a b i c . T h e y were e n c o u r a g e d a n d s u p p o r t e d from a b r o a d by the relatively small g r o u p of J e w s whose p r o g r a m called for a return to Z i o n : the Zionist movement.S e m i t i s m . b u t m o s t were socialist idealists who a i m e d at establishing an egalitarian. m o r e than forty of t h e m dotted the landscape of the H o l y L a n d . they c o u l d have f o u n d a new h o m e — a s m a n y J e w s d i d — i n lands of o p p o r t u n i t y s u c h as the U n i t e d S t a t e s . T h e y constructed towns as well. just after the O t t o m a n E m p i r e entered the F i r s t World War.d i n . restored the depleted soil. the loyalty of n o n . a n d cultivated self-reliance.e d . and that even the minority who did not were "unable to s q u a r e their consciences with a military revolt in the face of the e n e m y . they h a d left E u r o p e to e s c a p e f r o m politics and conspiracies. they revived the ancient H e b r e w l a n g u a g e .

too. the Porte was not always able to control the actions of D j e m a l . B e n . H e n r y M o r g e n t h a u . who frequently played a lone hand and looked u p o n the Palestinian J e w i s h c o m m u n i t y a s potentially seditious. most of J e w i s h Palestine. T h e e p i s o d e has been a subject of violent controversy ever since. b e g i n n i n g in 1915. As C h r i s t i a n s . T h e n . D j e m a l d e p o r t e d t h e m a n d other Zionist leaders in 1915.G u r i o n a n d Itzhak B e n Zvi. instead of accepting their offer.T u r k . B u t . 1896. IV A c c o r d i n g to the T u r k s .G u r i o n a n d B e n Zvi went to the U n i t e d S t a t e s . where they continued to c a m p a i g n for the creation of a p r o . adjacent to R u s s i a n A r m e n i a . T h e e x p u l s i o n s h a d already b e g u n before the G e r m a n g o v e r n m e n t — fearful of alienating J e w i s h opinion in neutral c o u n t r i e s — i n d u c e d T a l a a t a n d E n v e r t o intervene. T h o u g h the A m e r i c a n a n d G e r m a n g o v e r n m e n t s were a b l e t o influence the Porte. 1895. B u t early in 1918 they rallied to a J e w i s h a r m y formation that was to fight in Palestine on the British side against the O t t o m a n E m p i r e . m o r e will be said later. in 1914—15 R u s s i a n efforts at s u b v e r s i o n behind O t t o m a n lines were directed across the frontier at the A r m e n i a n s of northeastern Anatolia. T h e A m e r i c a n a m b a s s a d o r . T h e T u r k i s h m a s s a c r e s of A r m e n i a n s in 1894. D a v i d B e n . led by an agricultural scientist n a m e d A a r o n A a r o n s o h n . E n v e r h a d sent their blood enemies. m o s t J e w i s h settlers in Palestine did nothing to s u b v e r t the O t t o m a n E m p i r e . a n d only a tiny m i n o r i t y — a l b e i t a highly effective o n e — worked against it. N o t h i n g the w a r t i m e O t t o m a n g o v e r n m e n t h a d done h a d given t h e m c a u s e to remain p r o . acted together with von W a n g e n h e i m in the matter. a n d it was the initial objective of the R u s s i a n a r m i e s when. Of that tiny minority. the K u r d s . the A r m e n i a n s were inclined to prefer the R u s s i a n to the T u r k i s h c a u s e . N o t h i n g in the history of O t t o m a n rule p r e d i s p o s e d t h e m to r e m a i n loyal to C o n s t a n t i n o p l e . they s t r e a m e d down f r o m the C a u c a s u s to invade T u r k e y . into A r m e n i a in . T u r k i s h A r m e n i a w a s the s t a g i n g area for Enver's initial attack on the C a u c a s u s plateau. While m o s t Palestinian J e w s chose to avoid involvement in the world war. T o s o m e extent this p r o v e d to be a self-fulfilling p r o p h e c y . a n d 1909 were still fresh in their m i n d s . former law s t u d e n t s at the U n i v e r sity of C o n s t a n t i n o p l e who were leaders of the L a b o r Zionist m o v e ment. offered to organize a Palestinian J e w i s h a r m y in 1914 to defend O t t o m a n Palestine.O t t o m a n J e w i s h a r m y . Y e t despite D j e m a l ' s capricious and often cruel m e a s u r e s . in turn.BEHIND ENEMY LINES 211 D j e m a l m o v e d t o destroy the Zionist settlements a n d o r d e r e d the expulsion of all foreign J e w s — w h i c h is to s a y .

G e r m a n officers stationed there agreed that the area was quiet until the deportations began. are still r e m e m b e r e d as the A r m e n i a n M a s s a c r e s of 1915. claimed that the A r m e n i a n s were openly s u p p o r t i n g R u s s i a . " A r m e n i a n forces h a d already m a s sacred the M o s l e m p o p u l a t i o n of the city of Van a n d e n g a g e d in hita n d .T u r k r e p o r t e d that s u c h was not the case. or shelter.500. E n v e r . H u n d r e d s of t h o u s a n d s of A r m e n i a n s eventually s u c c u m b e d or were killed. T u r k i s h g o v e r n m e n t r e p resentatives even today insist that "At the instigation a n d with the s u p p o r t of C z a r i s t R u s s i a . A r m e n i a n s o u r c e s have put the figure as high as 1.000. a n d h a d s u g g e s t e d avoiding "persecution of women and children" b e c a u s e it would play into the h a n d s of Allied p r o p a g a n d i s t s . b u t did not want to know a b o u t t h e m . B u t o b s e r v e r s at the time who were by no m e a n s a n t i . On 24 M a y the Allied g o v e r n m e n t s d e n o u n c e d the Porte's policy of " m a s s m u r d e r " . as Minister of the Interior. 4 5 At the G e r m a n and A u s t r i a n e m b a s s i e s .212 SUBVERSION O t t o m a n military units. a n d T a l a a t . " 3 T h e deportations. there can b e n o d i s p u t i n g the result: T u r k i s h A r m e n i a was d e s t r o y e d . R a p e a n d beating were c o m m o n p l a c e . controversial i s s u e s . o r g a n i z e d by T a l a a t as Minister of the Interior. if s o . as Minister of War. (Whether there h a d been s u c h an insurrection. the first reports of the deportations were i g n o r e d : officials clearly believed that m a s s a c r e s of C h r i s t i a n s were a b o u t to take place. as noted earlier. a n d a b o u t half its p e o p l e p e r i s h e d . In reprisal they ordered the deportation of the entire A r m e n i a n p o p u l a t i o n from the northeastern provinces to locations outside of Anatolia. T h e r e are historians today who continue to s u p p o r t the claim of E n v e r and T a l a a t that the O t t o m a n rulers acted only after A r m e n i a h a d risen against t h e m . A r m e n i a n insurgents s o u g h t to establish an A r m e n i a n state in an area that was p r e d o m i n a n t l y T u r k i s h " a n d that. whether R u s s i a organized or merely encoura g e d it. drink. In early 1915. rekindling ancient f e u d s a n d giving rise to new ones. had u r g e d that the matter be handled carefully. ) 6 7 8 . By M a y 1915 m a s s a c r e reports were too persuasive to be ignored any longer. a n d h a d taken to m o b violence. r e m a i n . prior to the d e p o r t a t i o n s .r u n actions against the flanks of the T u r k i s h a r m y . He later reported that he h a d in fact s p o k e n with T a l a a t . and t h o u g h the figures are still the s u b j e c t of bitter d i s p u t e . a n d . to which the Porte replied that responsibility rested on the Allies for having organized the insurrection in A r m e n i a . T h e A u s t r i a n a m b a s s a d o r told his g o v e r n m e n t that he thought he ought to "alert the T u r k i s h statesmen in a friendly manner" to the possible a d v e r s e r e p e r c u s s i o n s of their p r o c e e d i n g s . T h e y accepted T a l a a t ' s r e a s s u r a n c e s eagerly. T h o s e who were not killed at once were driven through m o u n t a i n s a n d deserts without food.

11 1 2 1 3 T h e A r m e n i a n M a s s a c r e s provided useful a n d effective p r o p a g a n d a for the Allied Powers. especially in the U n i t e d S t a t e s . a pro-Armenian who headed a commission to investigate the 1915 — 16 Armenian Massacres during the war. the G e r m a n a m b a s s a d o r . government. When the Porte refused. P . but then backed d o w n for fear of d a m a g i n g the T u r k i s h alliance. Pallavicini. issued a report that was damning to the C . T h e i r public position was that they had foiled an a t t e m p t at s u b v e r s i o n . Certainly they h a d s u c c e e d e d in eliminating unrest. Other G e r m a n officials d i s a g r e e d .BEHIND ENEMY LINES 213 R e p o r t s p o u r e d in f r o m G e r m a n officials in the field with g r u e s o m e details of atrocities. In O c t o b e r it asked the Porte to issue a p u b l i c statement clearing G e r m a n y of complicity and stating that G e r m a n representatives in the O t t o m a n E m p i r e h a d tried to s a v e the A r m e n i a n s . but the Wilhelmstrasse accepted von Wangenheim's advice. for they reinforced the a r g u m e n t that the O t t o m a n E m p i r e could not be left in control of n o n . P e r h a p s the m a s s a c r e s also affected Allied thinking a b o u t the t e r m s of a future postwar settlement. as did the G e r m a n Pastor J o h a n n u s L e p s i u s . the Wilhelmstrasse threatened to issue such a statement on its own. he cabled Berlin that T a l a a t had a d m i t t e d that the m a s s deportations were not being carried out b e c a u s e of "military considerations a l o n e . especially when a c c o m p a n i e d by pillagings a n d m a s s a c r e s . 9 1 0 In J u l y . created a very b a d impression a b r o a d . that the report was intended to further Britain's propaganda and policy objectives.M o s l e m p o p u l a t i o n s . found it increasingly difficult to overlook what was g o i n g on. U . as the G e r m a n a n d A u s t r i a n a m b a s s a d o r s h a d feared. It was evident to neutral opinion that T a l a a t and E n v e r were h a p p y to have rid themselves of the A r m e n i a n s . a n d tried to interfere. " He a n d Pallavicini both c o n c l u d e d that a t t e m p t i n g to interfere did no g o o d . H i s reco m m e n d a t i o n to his g o v e r n m e n t was to build a record s h o w i n g that G e r m a n y was not responsible for what was h a p p e n i n g . 14 . and possibly not even of n o n . * T h e Liberal statesman. By the m i d d l e of J u n e . and cite the admission of Arnold Toynbee. In this it succeeded. historian. von W a n g e n h e i m reported to the G e r m a n Chancellor that there no longer was any d o u b t that the Porte was trying to "exterminate the A r m e n i a n race in the T u r k i s h e m p i r e . " T h o u g h they received no g u i d a n c e from their h o m e g o v e r n m e n t s . von W a n g e n h e i m a n d his A u s t r i a n counterpart. c o m m u n i c a t e d to the Porte their feelings that the indiscriminate m a s s d e p o r t a t i o n s . a n d that this adversely affected the interests that G e r m a n y a n d T u r k e y had i n c o m m o n . and jurist. James Bryce. A r m e n i a b e c a m e as quiet as death itself. one of Bryce's assistants. von W a n g e n h e i m .T u r k i s h speaking p o p u l a t i o n s . Turkish spokesmen still claim that the Bryce report was a one-sided and distorted work of wartime propaganda.

and in return he asked financial aid to help reconstruct his country after the war. F r a n c e rejected the p r o p o s a l a n d insisted on h a v i n g Cilicia (in the south of what is now T u r k e y ) a n d G r e a t e r S y r i a for herself. D j e m a l a p p e a r s to have acted on the mistaken a s s u m p t i o n that s a v i n g the A r m e n i a n s — a s distinct from merely exploiting their plight for p r o p a g a n d a p u r p o s e s — w a s an important Allied objective. the British F o r e i g n Secretary. D j e m a l agreed in a d v a n c e to the inevitable R u s s i a n d e m a n d to be given C o n s t a n t i n o p l e a n d the D a r d a n e l l e s . M a k i n g use of the representative of the d o m i n a n t A r m e n i a n political society. envisaged a free a n d i n d e p e n d e n t Asiatic T u r k e y (consisting of S y r i a . D j e m a l ' s t e r m s . a n d K u r d i s t a n a s a u t o n o m o u s provinces) whose s u p r e m e ruler w o u l d b e D j e m a l a s S u l t a n . the Allied I S . the R u s s i a n F o r e i g n Minister. At the end of 1915. in M a r c h 1916. a n d I s r a e l — a l m o s t a s his private fiefdom. M e s o p o t a m i a . while the A r m e n i a n M a s s a c r e s were taking place. B u t . T h e R u s s i a n s p r o p o s e d t o accept D j e m a l ' s proposal. S i r E d w a r d G r e y . Cilicia. It was offered to t h e m by Djemal Pasha.214 SUBVERSION V T h e Allies did have one clear o p p o r t u n i t y to subvert the O t t o m a n E m p i r e . with Allied help. Alone a m o n g the Y o u n g T u r k t r i u m v i r s . a Christian A r m e n i a . He p r o p o s e d . with Allied help. b u t they deliberately p a s s e d it u p . informed the R u s s i a n g o v e r n m e n t that D j e m a l was p r e p a r e d to overthrow the O t t o m a n g o v e r n m e n t . to seize the O t t o m a n throne for himself. D j e m a l h a d settled in D a m a s c u s a n d had c o m e to rule G r e a t e r S y r i a — t h e southwestern provinces that today c o m p r i s e S y r i a . a n d S a z a n o v seemed confident that his allies w o u l d agree to do s o . a s outlined b y S a z a n o v . to m a r c h on C o n s t a n t i n o p l e to d e p o s e the S u l t a n and his g o v e r n m e n t . to convey his p r o p o s a l s . T h i s w a s the m o n t h that the Allied evacuation from Gallipoli b e g a n . a D a s h n a k emissary to the Allies. he p r o p o s e d . He also offered to take i m m e d i a t e s t e p s to save the surviving A r m e n i a n s . In their p a s s i o n for booty. in the wake of that d i s a s t r o u s expedition it could have been expected that the Allies would be willing to pay a price to b r i n g hostilities with T u r k e y to an end. L e b a n o n . also showed himself to be unwilling to encourage revolt b e h i n d enemy lines if doing so meant foregoing the territorial g a i n s in Asiatic T u r k e y that Britain had p r o m i s e d to her allies. D j e m a l took s t e p s t o distance himself from the A r m e n i a n M a s s a c r e s . H i s a p p a r e n t a i m was to keep open his avenues to the Allied P o w e r s . J o r d a n . S i n c e his defeat at the S u e z C a n a l in early 1915. In D e c e m b e r 1915 Dr Zavriev. the D a s h n a k t s u t i u m ( A r m e n i a n Revolutionary F e d e r ation).

the O t t o m a n E m p i r e defeated Britain a n d F r a n c e in the west in 1915 — 16. F o r H u s s e i n ' s imminent revolt was Cairo's chance to win the war in the E a s t . D j e m a l ' s offer afforded the Allies their one great o p p o r t u n i t y to subvert the O t t o m a n E m p i r e from within. B e h i n d e n e m y lines. In striking contrast. and D j e m a l continued the fight against the Allies at their side. a n d R u s s i a ' s a p p e a l to the A r m e n i a n s had been followed only by their dreadful m a s s a c r e . E n g a g e d in a three-front war. a n d in the north held off the R u s s i a n invasion forces. Would H u s s e i n ' s i m m i n e n t revolt in J u n e 1916 turn the situation a r o u n d ? Would it p r o v e any m o r e successful than p r e v i o u s Allied efforts to stir up trouble behind O t t o m a n lines? On the basis of the record to m i d . c r u s h e d the a d v a n c i n g a r m i e s of British I n d i a in the east at the s a m e t i m e . VI T h e O t t o m a n E m p i r e benefited from the fact that it w a s not the principal theater of war for any of its o p p o n e n t s . the O t t o m a n p e r f o r m a n c e was equally outstanding. a n d to salvage the w a r t i m e reputation of its leader. a n d they let it g o . E v e n s o . but Clayton a n d his colleagues were hopeful. they did not see that there w a s a contest. T u r k i s h a n d G e r m a n s u b v e r s i o n had m a d e a s h a m b l e s of the Allied-controlled Persian E m p i r e .BEHIND ENEMY LINES 215 g o v e r n m e n t s lost sight of the condition u p o n which future g a i n s were p r e d i c a t e d : winning the war. a n d if they were right they stood to win a great prize. . its wartime p e r f o r m a n c e was surprisingly successful. as of mid-1916 Britain had failed in her efforts to win over the A r a b i c speaking p e o p l e s of the O t t o m a n E m p i r e .1 9 1 6 the chances would have had to be rated as low. B l i n d e d by the prize. E n v e r and T a l a a t never discovered D j e m a l ' s secret c o r r e s p o n d e n c e with the enemy. all of whose forces a n d energies were concentrated elsewhere. L o r d K i t c h e n e r .

and I don't know the British A r m y . 1 Shortly before noon on F r i d a y . " T h e y expect too m u c h of m e . 2 J u n e 1916. O n c e started. d a n g e r o u s voyage in arctic seas w a s m u c h to ask of the aging soldier f r o m the tropics. who believed it politically i m p o s s i b l e to let K i t c h e n e r resign a n d yet f o u n d it a w k w a r d to retain him in office. " H i s heart a n d m i n d r e m a i n e d with the colonial a r m i e s of E g y p t a n d I n d i a that he had reorganized and that were trained to do his b i d d i n g . A long. T h e train was a m i n u t e a n d a half late in starting. a n d he was seized with i m p a t i e n c e ." he is s u p p o s e d to have confided to a C a b i n e t c o l l e a g u e . B u t in 1916 he had b e c o m e the a g i n g veteran of a b y g o n e era who c o u l d not c o p e with the d e m a n d s placed u p o n him in c h a n g i n g times. these fellows.27 K I T C H E N E R ' S L A S T MISSION In L o n d o n direction of the war w a s now entrusted not to the War Minister. hit on the expedient of s e n d i n g the War Minister a w a y on another long m i s s i o n — a mission to R u s s i a . T h e C a b i n e t h a d reason to believe that K i t c h e n e r h a d lost his touch even in the area he was s u p p o s e d to know b e s t — t h e E a s t . T h e only British military operation he h a d o p p o s e d there until the e n d — t h e evacuation from G a l l i p o l i — w a s the only one to have p r o v e d a brilliant s u c c e s s . At S c a p a F l o w . H i s long run of luck h a d finally r u n out. A trip t h e r e — h e of course was obliged to travel by s h i p — w o u l d take m o s t of the last half of 1916. he hated delay. H a d he died in 1915 he w o u l d have been r e m e m b e r e d as the p r o p h e t who foretold the nature a n d duration of the F i r s t World War and as the organizer of Britain's m a s s a r m y . b u t he accepted his new a s s i g n m e n t and m a d e his p r e p a r a t i o n s to d e p a r t . "I don't know E u r o p e . b u t to the Chief of the I m p e r i a l G e n e r a l Staff. If he had died in 1914 he w o u l d have been r e m e m b e r e d as the greatest British general since Wellington. the h e a d q u a r t e r s of the G r a n d Fleet off the . the train s p e d him to his port of e m b a r k a t i o n . In m o d e r n E u r o p e he was lost. I don't know E n g l a n d . A s q u i t h . L o r d K i t c h e n e r went to the K i n g ' s C r o s s railroad station almost unattended a n d unnoticed.

they t u r n e d back. T h e d e p a r t u r e route of the Hampshire had already been plotted. T h e n L o r d K i t c h e n e r a n d his ship went down beneath the turbulent w a v e s . N a v a l Intelligence. It indicated that the s u b m a r i n e was to m i n e the p a s s a g e that the Hampshire intended to follow. ) 2 T h e seas were s t o r m y . and the field m a r s h a l m a d e no m o v e to a t t e m p t it. and they believed that it w o u l d a b a t e . At 4:45 p . but K i t c h e n e r refused to delay his d e p a r t u r e . s t a n d i n g on deck a n d waiting impassively for the ship t o s i n k . A d m i r a l Jellicoe's officers h a d m i s r e a d the weather charts. K i t c h e n e r a n d the faithful F i t z G e r a l d b o a r d e d the a r m o r e d cruiser Hampshire the afternoon of 5 J u n e 1916. A d m i r a l Jellicoe s u c c e e d e d in hiding the existence of these intelligence w a r n i n g s . which should have shown them that the s t o r m would intensify. T h e Hampshire s t e a m e d ahead alone. A p o p u l a r legend s p r a n g up in Britain soon afterward. A d m i r a l S i r J o h n Jellicoe. a n d his staff s o m e h o w failed to read or to u n d e r s t a n d the w a r n i n g s that N a v a l Intelligence sent to their flagship. T w o further intercepts confirmed the information. 3 4 F i t z G e r a l d ' s b o d y was washed a s h o r e . the British naval c o m m a n d e r . a c c o r d i n g to which L o r d K i t c h e n e r had e s c a p e d from death a n d w o u l d one day return. b o u n d for the R u s s i a n port of A r c h a n g e l . the Hampshire p u t out to sea into a r a g i n g g a l e . O n e survivor later recalled that the " C a p t a i n was calling to L o r d K to go to a boat b u t L o r d K apparently did not hear him or else took no notice. for a b o u t a q u a r t e r of an hour. K i t c h e n e r a n d F i t z G e r a l d c a m e out on the s t a r b o a r d q u a r t e r d e c k . He stood on deck. b u t should have been c h a n g e d . after two h o u r s . A s soon a s the m i n e e x p l o d e d . S o m e t i m e between 7:30 and 7:45 it struck one of the U 7 5 ' s m i n e s a n d went d o w n with almost all h a n d s . followed by officers of their staff. m . (At a court of inquiry that convened later in 1916 to look into the matter. which were revealed only i n 1985. calm a n d expressionless." E s c a p e f r o m the d o o m e d vessel s e e m e d out of the question.KITCHENER'S LAST MISSION 217 northern tip of S c o t l a n d . which earlier had broken the G e r m a n radio c o d e . T h e only survivor of the Hampshire who is still alive has never forgotten a last g l i m p s e of him. as did sightings of the s u b m a r i n e . b u t K i t c h e n e r d i s a p p e a r e d into the d e p t h s of the sea. In the confusion at British h e a d q u a r t e r s at S c a p a F l o w . T h e weather p r o v e d too m u c h for the destroyers a s s i g n e d to escort d u t y . . d r e s s e d in a greatcoat. intercepted a m e s s a g e to the G e r m a n minelaying s u b m a rine U 7 5 in late M a y .

Interrogations. his policy had been to remain neutral a n d collect b r i b e s from both sides. In the following m o n t h s there were m o r e arrests a n d m o r e trials. a n d S t o r r s — a n d of their tactic of d a n g l i n g vague b u t g r a n d i o s e p r o s p e c t s of future glory in front of the E m i r ' s eyes. C l a y t o n . starting in the s u m m e r of 1915. A m o n g those u n d e r g o i n g torture a n d interrogation in jail were p e o p l e who could have revealed details of Feisal's conversations with the secret societies al-'Ahd a n d a l . W y n d h a m D e e d e s called it "a great t r i u m p h for C l a y t o n . T h e R e s i d e n c y h a d been working to generate the u p r i s i n g for almost nine m o n t h s . H a v i n g already discovered that they intended to d e p o s e him eventually. r e g a r d e d the rebellion as an a c c o m p l i s h m e n t of the school of K i t c h e n e r — o f Wingate. u n a w a r e of this. when D j e m a l P a s h a b e g a n to c r u s h dissent in the A r a b circles with which H u s s e i n ( t h r o u g h his son F e i s a l ) had been in contact in D a m a s c u s . B u t British officialdom in C a i r o a n d K h a r t o u m . When the news of the desert u p r i s i n g reached C a i r o . " F o r H u s s e i n . He m o v e d to the Allied side reluctantly.28 H U S S E I N ' S REVOLT i By a coincidence that often has been r e m a r k e d u p o n . A n u m b e r of those arrested were prominent figures in A r a b life. he f o u n d himself e x p o s e d to new risks. torture.F a t a t . forced to do so by the imminent d a n g e r that the Y o u n g T u r k s would overthrow h i m . D j e m a l acted on the basis of d o c u m e n t s o b tained from the F r e n c h consulates in Beirut a n d D a m a s c u s that betrayed the n a m e s of A r a b c o n s p i r a t o r s a n d of at least one key British agent. T h e E m i r could not be s u r e that they would r e m a i n silent. On 21 A u g u s t 1915 eleven p e r s o n s convicted of treason were e x e c u t e d . A r r e s t s were m a d e . a n d trials by military court took place. L o r d K i t c h e n e r was lost at sea just as the E m i r H u s s e i n of M e c c a p r o c l a i m e d his rebellion against the O t t o m a n E m p i r e . and o f H u s s e i n ' s p r o m i s e s t o K i t c h e n e r and M c M a h o n . H u s s e i n ordered it when he discovered that the Y o u n g T u r k s intended t o d e p o s e h i m . He sent pleas to 1 21S . it was s o m e t h i n g closer to an a d m i s s i o n of defeat.

the news was u n e x p e c t e d . in April 1916. 2 T h e A r a b B u r e a u believed that the u p r i s i n g would d r a w s u p p o r t throughout the M o s l e m a n d A r a b i c . No political or military figures of the O t t o m a n E m p i r e defected to him a n d the Allies.HUSSEIN'S REVOLT 219 D j e m a l a n d to the Porte a s k i n g that they show mercy to the p r i s o n e r s . T h e powerful secret military organization that a l . T h e news threw the E m i r into hasty and i m p r o v i s e d activity. T h e handful of nonHejazi officers who joined the E m i r ' s a r m e d forces were prisoners-ofwar or exiles who already resided in British-controlled territories. O u t s i d e the H e j a z and its tribal neighbors.s p e a k i n g worlds. T h e n . which deterred the G e r m a n T u r k i s h force f r o m a d v a n c i n g further. and to seek the protection of the Royal N a v y along his coast. A c c o r d i n g to other r e p o r t s . No A r a b i c units of the O t t o m a n a r m y c a m e over to H u s s e i n . T h e O t t o m a n force was sufficiently s t r o n g t o c r u s h H u s s e i n as it m a r c h e d t h r o u g h his d o m a i n . 5 0 0 m e n was a b o u t to m a r c h t h r o u g h the H e j a z to the tip of the A r a b i a n peninsula. T h e Royal N a v y immediately m o v e d along the H e j a z coastline. there w a s no visible s u p p o r t for the revolt in any part of the A r a b i c . H e h a d n o regular a r m y .s p e a k i n g world. 3 4 In the event. T h a t w o u l d have been about a third of the O t t o m a n a r m y ' s fighting strength. H u s s e i n expected to be joined by a b o u t 2 5 0 . H u s s e i n learned f r o m D j e m a l that a picked and specially trained O t t o m a n force of 3 . s u b s i d i z e d by British money. T h e revolt i n the H e j a z was p r o c l a i m e d s o m e t i m e between 5 a n d 10 J u n e 1916. H u s s e i n h a d already obtained m o r e than 5 0 . where an a c c o m p a n y i n g party of G e r m a n officers planned to establish a telegraph station. a s were their attacks on M e d i n a a n d on the port of J e d d a h . T h e i r attacks on the T u r k i s h g a r r i s o n s i n M e c c a and nearby T a i f were r e p u l s e d . A few t h o u s a n d t r i b e s m e n . M o s t important of all. An initial military p r o b l e m was that the E m i r ' s small b a n d of tribal followers were helpless against O t t o m a n artillery. or a l m o s t the whole of the T u r k i s h army's functional c o m b a t t r o o p s . On 6 M a y there were twenty-one new executions in Beirut a n d D a m a s c u s .F a r u q i h a d p r o m i s e d would rally to H u s s e i n failed to m a k e itself known. Prudently. a n d s p e e d e d u p Hussein's s c h e d u l e . British s h i p s a n d airplanes c a m e t o the r e s c u e b y attacking J e d d a h .s p e a k i n g O t t o m a n a r m y . 0 0 0 t r o o p s . To this he a d d e d the first installment of a substantial p a y m e n t from Britain with which to raise and e q u i p forces t o c o m b a t the T u r k s . the A r a b revolt for which H u s s e i n h o p e d never took place.000 A r a b t r o o p s . constituted H u s s e i n ' s t r o o p s . F e i s a l a n d H u s s e i n r e p o r t e d that they expected to be joined by a b o u t 100. it obliged h i m to strike first. it believed that the revolt w o u l d d r a w s u p p o r t from what the British believed to be a largely A r a b i c . 0 0 0 gold p o u n d s from the Porte with which to raise a n d e q u i p forces to c o m b a t the B r i t i s h . O n c e the port . T h e pleas only c o m p r o m i s e d h i m further.

In a land of intrigue.M a s r i a n d his colleagues believed that G e r m a n y would win the war. G i l b e r t Clayton had m i s r e a d the politics of the A r a b secret societies: they were profoundly o p p o s e d to British d e s i g n s in the M i d d l e E a s t .F a r u q i had purp o r t e d to represent when he d u p e d C l a y t o n and the others in C a i r o ) . was appointed Chief of Staff of the forces nominally c o m m a n d e d by the E m i r ' s son Ali. b u t if they could not. insofar as it was p o s s i b l e . to s u p p l y professional military assistance to the H e j a z from a m o n g M o s l e m officers a n d t r o o p s . He took up his position in late 1916. H u s s e i n would not allow Christian British military units to m o v e inland. they preferred to be ruled b y T u r k i s h M o s l e m s rather than b y C h r i s t i a n s . still refused to change sides. an A r a b general in the O t t o m a n a r m y w h o m the British h a d taken prisoner. T w o years later. a n d within a m o n t h was r e m o v e d f r o m c o m m a n d as a result of a m u r k y intrigue. continued-to .220 SUBVERSION was s e c u r e d the British landed M o s l e m t r o o p s from the E g y p t i a n a r m y . A c c o r d i n g to one account. T h e y preferred a u t o n o m y or i n d e p e n d e n c e if they could get it. as was the port of Y a n b o . 7 H u s s e i n himself. who m o v e d inland t o help H u s s e i n take M e c c a a n d T a i f . 6 It was not merely that a l .G e n e r a l o f the S u d a n . General Y a s i n a l . the one-time A r a b secret society c o m m a n d e r in D a m a s c u s ( w h o m a l . T h u s the British Royal N a v y won control of the R e d S e a coast of A r a b i a . B u t Wingate's s u p e r i o r s d i s a g r e e d with h i m .M o s l e m s were to enter the land that e m b r a c e d the H o l y Places. He s p o k e of c o m i n g to an a r r a n g e m e n t whereby the H e j a z forces w o u l d return to the O t t o m a n fold in return for an agreement by the Porte to grant local a u t o n o m y to A r a b i c .s p e a k i n g a r e a s . H i s e x p r e s s e d view. At the beginning of the war they h a d resolved to s u p p o r t the O t t o m a n E m p i r e against the threat o f E u r o p e a n c o n q u e s t . G o v e r n o r . from the o p e n i n g d a y s of his revolt. a l . T h e y r e m a i n e d faithful to their resolve.M a s r i . was that it w o u l d c o m p r o m i s e his position in the M o s l e m world and would be deeply resented if n o n . strongly r e c o m m e n d e d by the British authorities. He noted that he had been in favor of sending a British expeditionary force to the H e j a z all a l o n g . and it b e c a m e British policy. He was replaced by the able J a a f a r al-Askari. 5 M a j o r a l . when it h a d b e c o m e clear that it was the Allies who were g o i n g to win. was c a p t u r e d with ease. this policy was also beset with difficulties. which the British found parochial.M a s r i was plotting to take over control f r o m H u s s e i n in order to negotiate to change sides. T h e activist R e g i n a l d Wingate. T h e p r o b l e m was that H u s s e i n on his own was no match for the T u r k s . and established a British presence ashore in the p o r t s .H a s h i m i . wrote to C l a y t o n that Britain ought to s e n d in t r o o p s whether H u s s e i n wanted t h e m or not. T h e port of R a b e g h . defended by fewer than thirty T u r k s .

" 8 T h e E m i r insisted on p r o c l a i m i n g himself king of the A r a b s . "It is obvious that the K i n g r e g a r d s A r a b Unity as s y n o n y m o u s with his own K i n g s h i p . C a i r o . far from b e i n g the leader of a newly created A r a b nationalism. It was L a w r e n c e who s u g g e s t e d that the A r a b B u r e a u p u b l i s h an information bulletin. . . the Arab Bulletin was labeled " S e c r e t . a n d thus get the T u r k s to g r a n t him independence g u a r a n t e e d by Germany. 7 October 1916) q u o t e d the A r a b i a n warlord A b d u l Aziz I b n S a u d a s c h a r g i n g that "Sherif's original intention was to play off the British against the T u r k s . a j u n i o r m e m b e r of the A r a b B u r e a u ." yet felt that Britain was now obliged to s u p p o r t him as far as p o s s i b l e . issues were edited by L i e u t e n a n t . that its real views were recorded in convenient f o r m . 9 10 II It is d u e to T. As they c a m e to see it. A l t h o u g h the British were not yet aware of his c o r r e s p o n d e n c e with the enemy. the intelligence officer who headed the A r a b B u r e a u . S t o r r s found that "his pretensions b o r d e r e d on the tragicomic. H u s s e i n . 2 5 . I s s u e d from the A r a b B u r e a u offices in the S a v o y Hotel. T h e Arab Bulletin (no. Originally issued under the title Arab Bureau Summaries.C o m m a n d e r D a v i d H o g a r t h . At the end of the s u m m e r . F o r m o s t of the next three m o n t h s .HUSSEIN'S REVOLT 221 c o m m u n i c a t e with the Y o u n g T u r k s with a view to c h a n g i n g b a c k to the O t t o m a n side of the war. c o m mencing 6 J u n e 1916. T h e A r a b B u r e a u was deeply d i s a p p o i n t e d b y the failure of H u s s e i n ' s leadership to take hold. C a p t a i n K i n a h a n Cornwallis. they rapidly b e c a m e disenchanted with the E m i r for other r e a s o n s . a n d continuing until the end of 1918. was a ruler who took little interest in nationalism a n d whose only concern was for the acquisition of new p o w e r s a n d territories for himself. D a v i d H o g a r t h . took over as the regular editor. T h e first issue was edited by L a w r e n c e . It a p p e a r e d at irregular intervals. S t o r r s later wrote that "he knew better than we that he could lay no kind of genuine claim" to be the king of all the A r a b s . p r o v i d i n g an account of the c o n t e m p o r a r y o b s e r v a t i o n s and private t h o u g h t s of the small b a n d of Kitchener's followers who had organized Hussein's revolt a n d who had placed so m u c h h o p e in it. although R o n a l d S t o r r s on behalf of C a i r o had warned him not to do so. H o g a r t h ' s deputy. drily c o m m e n t e d that. it then b e c a m e the Arab Bulletin. E. In this respect." Hussein's basic p r o g r a m r e m a i n e d constant: he wanted m o r e power and a u t o n o m y as E m i r within the O t t o m a n E m p i r e . the O x f o r d archaeologist who served as D i r e c t o r of the A r a b B u r e a u . L a w r e n c e . a n d he wanted his position to be m a d e hereditary. " Only twenty-six copies were .

" H u s s e i n ' s t r o o p s were belittled as soldiers. is very far from being in a position to substantiate his pretension. 32 (26 N o v e m b e r 1916). I s s u e no. He wrote that whenever there were large tribal gatherings. T h e restricted distribution list included the Viceroy of I n d i a a n d the British commanders-in-chief in E g y p t and the S u d a n . T h e i r preference is for the showy side of warfare. the T u r k s were driven to s u r r e n d e r for lack of food and water. in the first issue (6 J u n e 1916). or fight in line. c o m m e n t e d icily that "the prince. a c c o r d i n g to the Arab Bulletin. " H u s s e i n ' s call to revolt fell on deaf ears throughout the A r a b and M o s l e m w o r l d s . and " T h e y are all u n trained." and that H i s Majesty's . T h e value of the tribes is defensive only. properly entrenched in open country. the T u r k s on the coast were c a u g h t between British s h i p s a n d seaplanes. I think. 6. " T h e y are p r e s u m a b l y t r i b e s m e n only". L a w r e n c e . a n d the A r a b s . S o u n d i n g s of opinion a r o u n d the g l o b e .222 SUBVERSION printed of each issue. as reported in issues t h r o u g h o u t 1916. E. T u r k i s h prisoners taken at J e d d a h were q u o t e d in the Arab Bulletin. 6. dissensions soon a r o s e . which a p p e a r e d just as the revolt in the H e j a z b e g a n . elicited r e s p o n s e s r a n g i n g from indifference to hostility. a n d that even this had been d u e to British forces. " T h e Arab Bulletin. A c c o r d i n g to issue no. for their wells were outside the walls. or help each other. knowing this. indicated that there were p r o b l e m s in holding A r a b s together even for the p u r p o s e s of revolt. reported the b e g i n n i n g of H u s s e i n ' s proclaimed revolt a week or two earlier. L a w r e n c e . 6 (23 J u n e 1916) indicate that H u s s e i n ' s military operations had achieved only m o d e s t s u c c e s s . S e e k i n g cover behind walls. and have no artillery or m a c h i n e g u n s . A c c o r d i n g to issue no. be i m p o s s i b l e to m a k e an organized force out of t h e m . T h i s issue a n d issue no. no. 29 (8 N o v e m b e r 1916). w a s in the s a m e vein: "I think one c o m p a n y of T u r k s ." A detailed analysis a n d description written by T." He wrote that they were "too individualistic to e n d u r e c o m m a n d s . the T u r k s held back a n d did nothing. T h e issues p r o v i d e d a wide range of confidential current and b a c k g r o u n d information a b o u t the A r a b a n d M o s l e m worlds. which reported Hussein's proclamation that he was a s s u m i n g the title of K i n g of the A r a b s . and it will be difficult to hold them together for any length of time. It would. no. T h e y delayed "in the s u r e expectation that tribal dissension w o u l d soon d i s m e m b e r their o p p o n e n t s . A copy each also went to the War Office a n d to the A d m i r a l t y in L o n d o n . which a p p e a r e d in issue no. 7 (30 J u n e 1916). claiming s u c h recognition. w o u l d defeat the Sherif's a r m i e s . 5 (18 J u n e 1916). a n d their real s p h e r e is guerilla warfare. a n d . unless the pay a n d rations are attractive. as saying that E n g l i s h "shells and b o m b s it was that really took the town.

" It was not m u c h of a return on the British investment. 11 1 2 Ill T h r e e weeks after H u s s e i n a n n o u n c e d his rebellion. but so far as is known. dislike of the T u r k is stronger. At the time this was a b o u t 44 million d o l l a r s . a c c o r d i n g to the m e m o r a n d u m . in today's currency it would be closer to 400 million dollars. H o g a r t h was p r e p a r e d to write it off as a failure. " T h e best that could be hoped for in the future from H u s s e i n ' s A r a b M o v e m e n t . wrote that " M o s l e m s in general have hitherto r e g a r d e d the H e j a z revolt. he is not s u p p o r t e d by any organization of A r a b s nearly general enough to secure . the British g o v e r n m e n t ought not to a s s u m e that a g r e e m e n t s reached with him w o u l d be honored by other A r a b leaders. H o g a r t h wrote that "the p r o s p e c t of A r a b i a united u n d e r either the K i n g of the H e j a z or anyone else s e e m s very r e m o t e ." N e a r l y a year after H u s s e i n p r o c l a i m e d the A r a b Revolt. as b e i n g the s p o k e s m a n of the A r a b nation. a n d it was never in d o u b t that they would not attack nor withstand T u r k i s h r e g u l a r s . a n d not of g o o d quality at that. in his c o r r e s p o n d e n c e with the H i g h C o m m i s s i o n e r . On 21 S e p t e m b e r 1918 R e g i n a l d Wingate. he c o n c l u d e d that it had not fulfilled the hopes placed in it nor did it justify further expectations: " T h a t the H e j a z B e d o u i n s were s i m p l y guerillas. 11 million p o u n d s sterling to s u b s i d i z e H u s s e i n ' s r e v o l t . a n d a desire to stand well with us is p e r h a p s stronger still. in all. In issue no. T h e 'Arab C a u s e ' is evidently a very weak cement in the p e n i n s u l a . no. a u t o m a t i c acceptance of the t e r m s agreed to by h i m . a n d that it was i m p o r t a n t to make H u s s e i n look as t h o u g h he had not been a failure in order to keep Britain from looking b a d . . even in the early sieges. " As a result.HUSSEIN'S REVOLT 223 G o v e r n m e n t was not g o i n g to sign a blank check on the future political organization of the A r a b p e o p l e s . with suspicion or dislike". a n d our share in it. had been a m p l y d e m o n s t r a t e d . the G e n e r a l Staff of the War Office reported that H u s s e i n "has always represented himself. the British War Office told the C a b i n e t in L o n d o n that the A r a b world was not following his lead. 13 . 41 (6 F e b r u a r y 1917). In a secret m e m o r a n d u m p r e p a r e d for the War C o m m i t t e e of the C a b i n e t on 1 J u l y 1916. he wrote. A c c o r d i n g to a later account by R o n a l d S t o r r s . Britain spent. who by then had s u c c e e d e d K i t c h e n e r a n d M c M a h o n as British proconsul in E g y p t . In reviewing what he called "A Y e a r of Revolt" in the H e j a z for the Arab Bulletin. 52 (31 M a y 1917). Britain's military a n d political investment in H u s s e i n ' s revolt was also c o n s i d e r a b l e . was that it would "just hold its own in p l a c e . .

"the M i d d l e E a s t . S i r M a r k S y k e s predicted that if British aid were not forthcoming. He had p u b l i s h e d an Arabian Report. w o u l d be taken over by her partner. one of their own.that S i r H e n r y M c M a h o n should be replaced as H i g h C o m m i s s i o n e r in E g y p t . refused to divert troops or efforts from the western front. S y k e s a d v o c a t e d s e n d i n g out military s u p p o r t to H u s s e i n i m m e d i a t e l y — a plan vigorously a d v a n c e d b y M c M a h o n a n d Wingate. Secretary of A s q u i t h ' s War C a b i n e t . When his friend G i l b e r t Clayton arrived f r o m E g y p t in the latter half of 1916. .* D u r i n g the s u m m e r of 1916. wrote S y k e s . and when the field m a r s h a l died. the Sherif H u s s e i n ' s m o v e ment would be c r u s h e d by early 1917. t h o u g h in retrospect Britain's naval control of the R e d S e a coastline p r o b a b l y e n s u r e d the survival of the E m i r ' s s u p p o r t e r s .224 SUBVERSION In a secret m e m o r a n d u m entitled " T h e P r o b l e m of the N e a r E a s t . Wingate was appointed High Commissioner. T u r k e y would be the most exhausted of the belligerent countries a n d . the two m e n went before the War C o m m i t t e e to u r g e s u p p o r t for H u s s e i n ' s revolt in the H e j a z . S y k e s spent a g o o d deal of time m a k i n g public s p e e c h e s . a n d he a d d e d to his public reputation as an expert on that area of the world. 14 S y k e s had b e c o m e an assistant to his friend M a u r i c e H a n k e y . as a result. In his new position S y k e s continued to concern himself with the E a s t . " p r e p a r e d at about the s a m e time. In S e p t e m b e r . T h e y also urged. S y k e s foresaw that by the close of the war. When S i r A r c h i b a l d M u r r a y . H i s u r g i n g s were in vain: R o b e r t s o n . as intelligence r e p o r t s from Cairo indicated that the revolt in the H e j a z was collapsing even m o r e rapidly than he had anticipated. K i t c h e n e r ' s followers wanted the j o b for R e g i n a l d Wingate. a L o n d o n forerunner of Cairo's Arab Bulletin. T h e O t t o m a n E m p i r e . but not until January 1917. " which the A m e r i c a n naval officer a n d historian Alfred T h a y e r M a h a n had invented in 1902 to designate the area between A r a b i a a n d I n d i a . reiterated that he could 1 5 * In the end. In his s p e e c h e s he gave currency to the new descriptive p h r a s e . c o m m a n d i n g general (since J a n u a r y 1916) of the British a r m y in E g y p t . for M c M a h o n had been a p p o i n t e d only to keep the position available for K i t c h e n e r . G l o o m i l y . w o u l d bec o m e little m o r e than a G e r m a n c o l o n y . H i s analysis in this respect foreshadowed the new views a b o u t the M i d d l e E a s t that were to b e c o m e current in British official circles the following year under the influence of L e o A m e r y and his colleagues. T h e late s u m m e r a n d a u t u m n of 1916 a p p e a r e d to be d e s p e r a t e times for H u s s e i n ' s c a u s e . they succeeded. the all-powerful new Chief of the Imperial G e n e r a l Staff. T h e British hit on the idea of s e n d i n g a few h u n d r e d A r a b prisoners-of-war f r o m India's M e s o p o t a m i a n front to join H u s s e i n . G e r m a n y .

H e also sent R o n a l d S t o r r s . whose British fleet controlled the R e d S e a p a s s a g e between E g y p t and the S u d a n and A r a b i a . took ship from E g y p t to the H e j a z with an alternative a p p r o a c h . B r e m o n d . 1 6 B r e m o n d ' s a s s i g n m e n t was to s h o r e up the H e j a z revolt by s u p p l y ing a cadre of professional military advisers from a m o n g the M o h a m m e d a n population of the F r e n c h E m p i r e who. IV At the end of the s u m m e r of 1916. H i s assistant. s u g g e s t e d asking for help from F r a n c e . the F r e n c h g o v e r n m e n t sent a mission to the H e j a z to attempt to s t o p the Sherif H u s s e i n ' s revolt from collapsing.M a s r i .C o l o n e l E d o u a r d B r e m o n d . h e a d i n g the F r e n c h mission.M a s r i was of the opinion that it would be a political disaster to allow Allied t r o o p s . on a m i s s i o n to A r a b i a to inquire as to what else could be done. T h e size of the F r e n c h mission p r o m p t e d the rival British to s e n d out a further c o m p l e m e n t of officers of their own to serve u n d e r Wilson. the son closest to the Sherif's thinking. Wilson. C a p t a i n H u b e r t Y o u n g . the H i g h C o m m i s s i o n e r . was at the British consulate in J e d d a h (which called itself the P i l g r i m a g e Office. to b e c o m e too visibly involved in the . even t h o u g h M o s l e m . A l . would be a c c e p t a b l e to the Sherif. which were d a n g e r o u s l y weak. arrived in Alexandria 1 S e p t e m b e r 1916. a n d whose brief tenure in c o m m a n d was d e s c r i b e d earlier (see p a g e 2 2 0 ) . B r e m o n d also met Vice-Admiral S i r R o s s l y n W e m y s s . as it dealt with the affairs of M o s l e m p i l g r i m s from British I n d i a a n d elsewhere) to greet B r e m o n d when he arrived. as M o s l e m s .HUSSEIN'S REVOLT 225 s p a r e no t r o o p s to s e n d to H u s s e i n ' s defense. who was soon to a s s u m e operational control of the British side of the H e j a z revolt. In the m i d d l e of O c t o b e r . T h e F r e n c h mission led by B r e m o n d c o m p r i s e d 42 officers a n d 983 m e n . a n d who ferried officers a n d m e n across it. S i r H e n r y M c M a h o n . He c a m e in s u p p o r t of M a j o r Aziz a l . the nationalist secret society leader. and from there took ship for A r a b i a . R o n a l d S t o r r s . contemplated increasing the size of his forces in order to strengthen the forces of the Sherif. arriving at the Hejazi port of J e d d a h on 20 S e p t e m b e r . I n d e e d . the senior British officer in the H e j a z and representative of the G o v e r n m e n t of the S u d a n — w h i c h is to say of Wingate. of the British R e s i d e n c y in C a i r o . w h o m C a i r o had nominated to take in h a n d the training a n d reorganization of the H e j a z forces. E . A b d u l l a h . was fearful that the O t t o m a n forces b a s e d in M e d i n a might attack a n d overrun the rebel positions on the road to M e c c a . in t u r n . his aide at the Residency. B r e m o n d ' s o p p o s i t e n u m b e r i n J e d d a h w a s Colonel C . L i e u t e n a n t .

T h o m a s E d w a r d L a w r e n c e was twenty-eight years old. A b d u l l a h p r o v e d an i m m e d i a t e disappointment to L a w r e n c e . H a r r o w . S t o r r s obtained p e r m i s s i o n for L a w r e n c e to c o m e along with h i m . Colonel Alfred Parker. " t h o u g h S t o r r s also called him " s u p e r . especially as he will do it as well or better than anyone. Feisal looked the p a r t . called h i m "little L a w r e n c e . a n d aristocrats. F r o m there he went out to the M i d d l e E a s t to do survey m a p s . like most others. who had been the first head of the A r a b B u r e a u a n d who served as h e a d of Military Intelligence in the H e j a z revolt.226 SUBVERSION Sherif's c a m p a i g n . but L a w r e n c e so i m p r e s s e d A b d u l l a h that he won coveted permission to go into the field to meet the E m i r of M e c c a ' s other sons. Don't think I g r u d g e him. L a w r e n c e . In A r a b B u r e a u circles he ranked low. L a w r e n c e had a c c u m u l a t e d a few weeks of leave time. t o c o m e along o n the s h i p t o J e d d a h . millionaires. H u b e r t Y o u n g called h i m "a quiet little m a n . When S t o r r s a n d L a w r e n c e arrived i n J e d d a h . " 1 7 18 19 2 0 In the field. H e was apparently of a poor family and of m o d e s t b a c k g r o u n d . " H i s personal c i r c u m s t a n c e s s e e m e d u n d i s t i n g u i s h e d . the junior intelligence officer T . A m o n g his other qualities. and had no military a c c o m p l i s h m e n t s to his credit. He stayed on in C a i r o to do other j o b s .c e r e b r a l . He had attended the City School at h o m e in O x f o r d rather than a public school (in the British s e n s e ) : E t o n . L a w r e n c e visited F e i s a l and the other leaders and found Feisal e n c h a n t i n g : "an a b s o l u t e r i p p e r . " R o n a l d S t o r r s . E . S t o r r s a r r a n g e d for his y o u n g friend. he stood only a few inches above five feet in height. that "Before L a w r e n c e arrived I had been p u s h i n g the idea of g o i n g up country and had h o p e d to go u p . L a w r e n c e had worked for the archaeologist D a v i d H o g a r t h at the A s h m o l e a n M u s e u m . in an A r a b B u r e a u g r o u p that included M e m b e r s of Parliament. L a w r e n c e decided that Feisal should b e c o m e the field c o m m a n d e r of the H e j a z revolt. " he later wrote to a c o l l e a g u e . wrote to Clayton on 24 O c t o b e r 1916. F o r L a w r e n c e this was a m a j o r coup. or the like. H i s view was that the forces of M e c c a could fight effectively on their own if trained in the techniques of guerrilla warfare. He had been turned down for a r m y service as too s m a l l . S i n c e he has been g o n e " the H e j a z g o v e r n m e n t "is not inclined to agree to other t r i p s . a n d H o g a r t h — w h o later b e c a m e head of the A r a b B u r e a u — h a d gotten him into the geographical section of the War Office in the a u t u m n of 1914 as a t e m p o r a r y second lieutenantt r a n s l a t o r . the E m i r H u s s e i n ' s son A b d u l l a h met t h e m . 21 . which he had never visited. and wanted to s p e n d t h e m in A r a b i a . t h o u g h h e looked closer to nineteen or twenty. so they arrived in J e d d a h together. Winchester.

Wingate t e n d e d to agree. L a w r e n c e p r o p o s e d to Wingate an alternative to B r e m o n d ' s project of e m p l o y i n g F r e n c h and other Allied regular a r m y units to do the bulk of H u s s e i n ' s fighting for h i m : Hussein's t r i b e s m e n s h o u l d be u s e d as irregulars in a British-led guerrilla warfare c a m p a i g n . intending t o exclude F r a n c e and Britain f r o m A r a b i a . a n d m a d e p o s s i b l e the Arab Movement.G e n e r a l of the S u d a n . a n d by early D e c e m b e r h a d taken up his position with F e i s a l . 2 2 L a w r e n c e ' s p r o p o s a l s were also congenial to the British military authorities in C a i r o .M a s r i h a d originally s u g g e s t e d the guerrilla warfare idea to L a w r e n c e . Wingate b e c a m e H i g h C o m m i s s i o n e r in J a n u a r y 1917. A l t h o u g h Wingate wanted Hussein's forces to be s a v e d from defeat a n d possible destruction. L a w r e n c e modified the plan so as to exclude only F r a n c e . s u p p o r t e d . a n d s u p p l i e d L a w r e n c e with increasingly large s u m s of gold with which to b u y s u p p o r t f r o m the A r a b tribes. instead of returning directly to C a i r o . he could not have wanted the rescue to be undertaken by F r e n c h m e n — for that would risk b r i n g i n g H u s s e i n ' s A r a b M o v e m e n t u n d e r longterm F r e n c h influence. . When L a w r e n c e left the H e j a z in N o v e m b e r . G o v e r n o r . L a w r e n c e sent a written report to R e g i n a l d Wingate. In a sense it w a s Wingate's own plan that L a w r e n c e was advocating. B a c k in 1914 he had been the first to u r g e that the A r a b i a n tribes s h o u l d be stirred up to m a k e trouble for T u r k e y . L a w r e n c e — t h r o u g h his friendship with G i l b e r t C l a y t o n . who was soon to be sent to E g y p t to replace M c M a h o n as H i g h C o m m i s s i o n e r . L a w r e n c e left C a i r o again on 25 N o v e m b e r 1916. he e m b a r k e d for the S u d a n to introduce himself to Wingate. Aziz a l . Wingate claimed that it w a s h e — a n d not "poor little L a w r e n c e " — w h o h a d launched. I n d e e d . Y e t the winter a n d s p r i n g of 1917 went by with no news of any significant military s u c c e s s that L a w r e n c e ' s t r i b e s m e n h a d won. writing to a fellow general s o m e two d e c a d e s later. L a w r e n c e a d d e d that F e i s a l s h o u l d be a p p o i n t e d to c o m m a n d the Sherifian striking forces.HUSSEIN'S REVOLT 227 On his own initiative. the S u d a n ' s representative in C a i r o — m u s t have been familiar with Wingate's outlook on the future of M i d d l e E a s t e r n politics. L a w r e n c e rose high in their estimation by not asking for any. He would have known that Wingate a i m e d at s e c u r i n g British domination of the postwar A r a b M i d d l e E a s t a n d (like himself) at preventing F r a n c e f r o m establishing a position in the region. T h e y did not expect his guerrilla warfare c a m paign to be a great s u c c e s s — q u i t e the c o n t r a r y — b u t they h a d no troops to s p a r e for the H e j a z a n d therefore were delighted to hear that none were n e e d e d . a n d claimed that he himself was the only liaison officer with w h o m Feisal would work.

d o m i n a t e d by towers a n d . by a castle m a n n e d by the O t t o m a n g a r r i s o n . A l t h o u g h the railroad track was repeatedly d y n a m i t e d d u r i n g the war by Allied-led B e d o u i n raiding parties. T h e rebellion that s t r e a m e d forth from M e c c a was visibly b r o u g h t to a halt by the centuries-old walls of M e d i n a . T h e O t t o m a n presence at M e d i n a . T h e structure of O t t o m a n authority held firm. It had not been in the state of a d v a n c e d decay that E u r o p e a n o b s e r v e r s had reported it to b e . s e e m e d to d e m o n s t r a t e that H u s s e i n w a s not g o i n g anywhere. N o r could they b y . and the Sherif's forces were u n a b l e to capture it d u r i n g the war. T h e terminal of the H e j a z railroad from D a m a s c u s was situated within its walls. M e d i n a was s u r r o u n d e d by a solid stone wall. a n d p r o v i d e d access to s u p p l i e s and reinforcements.228 SUBVERSION V T h e most c o n s p i c u o u s failure of the M e c c a revolt was its failure to carry with it M e d i n a .p a s s it and allow its large T u r k i s h garrison to attack them on the flank or from the rear. but were beaten off with e a s e . blocking the line of a d v a n c e that the Sherifian t r i b e s m e n w o u l d have to follow in order to participate in the main theater of operations of the M i d d l e E a s t e r n war. the other large holy city of the H e j a z . at the northwest. . M e d i n a lay s o m e 300 miles to the northeast of M e c c a . the O t t o m a n g a r r i s o n continued to repair it and keep it in u s e . F o l l o w e r s of the Sherif H u s s e i n attacked it in the first d a y s of the revolt. said to date from the twelfth century. blocking the route that continued northward toward S y r i a .

PART V THE ALLIES AT THE NADIR OF THEIR FORTUNES .

In taking the lead on this i s s u e he s h o w e d how m u c h his 231 . the O t t o m a n E m p i r e held firm while the g o v e r n m e n t s of its adversaries. G a l l i p o l i . the Allied P o w e r s . that " I n war it is n e c e s s a r y not only to be active but to s e e m a c t i v e . B o n a r L a w o n c e o b s e r v e d . i n d r a m a t i c contrast. a n d on the western front. another visit to the countryside. a n d of the F r e n c h g o v e r n m e n t in 1917. T h e overthrow of the British a n d R u s s i a n g o v e r n m e n t s . with his indolent patrician w a y s . the P r i m e Minister's m e t h o d of C a b i n e t g o v e r n m e n t by c o n s e n s u s s e e m e d indecisive. b u t it w a s an aspect of his special g e n i u s to m a k e his t r i u m p h s a p p e a r effortless.29 THE FALL OF THE ALLIED GOVERNMENTS: BRITAIN AND FRANCE i Between a u t u m n 1916 a n d a u t u m n 1917. L l o y d G e o r g e . m a d e the conscription issue his o w n . 1 A s military c a t a s t r o p h e s multiplied i n M e s o p o t a m i a . in a letter to A s q u i t h . T h e P r i m e Minister w h o h a d b r o u g h t Britain into the war w a s the first Allied leader to fall victim to it. b r o u g h t to power in the three Allied capitals new leaders who held s t r o n g views a b o u t the M i d d l e E a s t which were totally at variance with those of their p r e d e c e s s o r s . T h e O t t o m a n a r m y ' s s u c c e s s in h o l d i n g the D a r d a n e l l e s p l a y e d a direct role in the overthrow of P r i m e M i n i s t e r A s q u i t h ' s g o v e r n m e n t in Britain a n d that of C z a r N i c h o l a s in R u s s i a . In the transaction of political a n d g o v e r n mental b u s i n e s s he was u n h u r r i e d : he always s e e m e d to have time for another dinner party. while his unwillingness to call u p o n the nation for s u c h s t r o n g m e a s u r e s as c o m p u l s o r y military service s u g g e s t e d that he w a s less than completely d e d i c a t e d to winning the war. " A s q u i t h . s e e m e d the r e v e r s e . T h i s was very m u c h contrary t o what E u r o p e a n political and military leaders h a d e x p e c t e d . collapsed. or—all too often—another c o g n a c . He h a d achieved a towering position in British politics.

a n d military vent u r e s . C o m i n g after G a l l i p o l i and M e s o p o t a m i a . As he lost his old political friends. an o u t s t a n d i n g colonial administrator. A t the time L l o y d G e o r g e had attacked Milner bitterly. L l o y d G e o r g e . T r a ditional L i b e r a l s . T h e other was the c h a m p i o n of i m p e r i a l i s m . . L l o y d G e o r g e a c q u i r e d new ones. the rebel I r i s h T o r y who led the fight for c o n s c r i p tion in the H o u s e of C o m m o n s . the y o u n g W e l s h m a n h a d o p p o s e d imperial e x p a n s i o n . Alfred Milner. edited The Times. felt that L l o y d G e o r g e w a s g o i n g over t o the other c a m p . who led the fight for conscription in the H o u s e of L o r d s a n d .232 THE ALLIES AT THE NADIR OF THEIR FORTUNES political position had c h a n g e d . m a d e himself the center of imperialist thought. advocated a multiracial imperial union. e m e r g e d as a leader p r e p a r e d to sacrifice individual rights for the sake of victory. Another former secretary. the one-time R a d i c a l who until the last m o m e n t had o p p o s e d entry into the war. Geoffrey Robinson. It has been e s t i m a t e d that the total of military a n d civilian casualties in all of E u r o p e ' s d o m e s t i c a n d international conflicts in the 100 years between 1815 a n d 1915 was no greater than a single day's c o m b a t losses in any of the great battles of 1 9 1 6 . As a R a d i c a l . as c h a i r m a n of the National S e r v i c e L e a g u e . c o n t i n u e d to u p h o l d p e a c e t i m e civil liberties a n d L i b e r a l values. 2 II In 1916. the venture in S o u t h Africa at the turn of the century that L l o y d G e o r g e as a y o u n g idealist h a d vigorously o p p o s e d . T o g e t h e r with the y o u n g m e n a s s e m b l e d in S o u t h Africa u n d e r his l e a d e r s h i p — " M i l n e r ' s K i n d e r g a r t e n " — h e h a d s t i m u l a t e d the m o v e m e n t for integration of the far-flung e m p i r e into one o r g a n i c unit. who had b r o u g h t the country into the war. as a L i b e r a l U n i o n i s t who b e c a m e the inspiration of right-wing T o r i e s . Another graduate of the Kindergarten. O n e w a s S i r E d w a r d C a r s o n . a n d such 3 * Milner's ideal was a union of the white peoples of the British Empire. his former secretary. in 1910 helped to found the quarterly review the Round Table which advocated British imperial federalism. John Buchan. who h a d always o p p o s e d c o m p u l s i o n . two of w h o m p r o v e d to be especially i m p o r t a n t . in the country. h a d been largely r e s p o n s i b l e for launching the B o e r War. Other members of the Milner circle. H i s ideal w a s imperial u n i o n . Milner. L l o y d G e o r g e b e c a m e S e c r e t a r y of S t a t e for War when K i t c h e n e r d i e d . but found himself powerless to put an end to the sickening military d i s a s t e r s of that year. however. Milner was a s u p e r b a d m i n i s t r a t o r whose skills were later to prove invaluable to L l o y d G e o r g e in winning the war. While A s q u i t h . foreign involvement. Lionel George Curtis. was a fervent imperialist who won over a vast public by his popular adventure novels. while L o r d Milner.

000 British casualties suffered in just four days of fighting at A r r a s in F r a n c e . 6 Northcliffe's n e w s p a p e r s ranged themselves behind S i r E d w a r d C a r s o n . " Northcliffe u s e d his i m m e n s e power to d r a m a t i z e the case that A s q u i t h a n d his civilian colleagues were preventing the generals a n d a d m i r a l s from winning the war. dark. 0 0 0 .THE FALL OF THE ALLIED GOVERNMENTS 233 gory episodes as the 142. d e b a t i n g endlessly and deciding nothing. On 1 J u l y the British lost 6 0 . Britain's leading trial lawyer. Churchill. in the a u t u m n of 1916 L l o y d G e o r g e b e g a n working closely with C a r s o n . Nonetheless. controlled half the L o n d o n p r e s s . the political d a m a g e was done and the Gallipoli inquiry c o n t r i b u t e d to the collapse of the first coalition government. a n d unrelenting hostility to the G e r m a n s . with its prestige. d o m i n a t e d then. gave him both "the classes and the m a s s e s . 4 5 T h e story of A s q u i t h ' s overthrow has been told too often for it to need retelling here at any length. As a historian has written of him. the g o v e r n m e n t had sanctioned an official inquiry in J u n e into the D a r d a n e l l e s c a m p a i g n . " At a b o u t the s a m e time. r e m i n d i n g the political world how ineptly the A s q u i t h g o v e r n m e n t had w a g e d war. the heaviest casualties ever suffered in a single day by a British a r m y . devoted himself to d o c u m e n t i n g the case that his colleagues were to b l a m e for the Gallipoli disaster. U n w i s e l y . A principal role in his downfall was played by the British p r e s s . Viscount Northcliffe. " 7 A l t h o u g h he denied it. omitting the testimony a n d other evidence on which they were b a s e d . the terrible S o m m e offensive of J u l y 1916 a r o u s e d a climax of d e s p a i r . a n d of the Daily Mail. By the time the offensive was over. 0 0 0 m e n . As he lashed out against the g o v e r n m e n t . H i s ownership of The Times. T h e a l a r m e d P r i m e Minister m a n a g e d to have the report restricted to the C o m m i s s i o n of Inquiry's conclusions. now out of office. before radio or television. by one m a n . A m o n g them was R a y m o n d A s q u i t h . the lean. British casualties a t the S o m m e had m o u n t e d t o 4 2 0 . On 9 N o v e m b e r he told M a u r i c e H a n k e y that "We are g o i n g to lose this w a r . as it never has been before or since. a remorseless determination. with its p o p u l a r a p p e a l . and S i r M a x Aitken (later L o r d . " T h e notion b e c a m e current that he p o s s e s s e d a drive. when publications were the only media of m a s s c o m munication. who led the revolt against the g o v e r n m e n t in Parliament and in the country. and bitter I r i s h m a n s e e m e d to be everything the P r i m e Minister was not. at a time. the P r i m e Minister's son. Alfred H a r m s w o r t h . which contrasted strongly with the dismal procrastination attributed to A s q u i t h a n d his c o l l e a g u e s . the Gallipoli controversy was revived. C a r s o n on the attack was the m o s t d a n g e r o u s animal in the political j u n g l e . L l o y d G e o r g e d e s p a i r e d of victory as he o b s e r v e d the lengthy a n d inefficient m e e t i n g s of A s q u i t h ' s large War C a b i n e t .

but were beaten off with e a s e . blocking the route that continued northward toward S y r i a . T h e O t t o m a n presence at M e d i n a . It had not been in the state of a d v a n c e d decay that E u r o p e a n o b s e r v e r s had reported it to b e . and provided access to s u p p l i e s and reinforcements. s e e m e d to d e m o n s t r a t e that H u s s e i n was not g o i n g anywhere. Followers of the Sherif H u s s e i n attacked it in the first days of the revolt. M e d i n a was s u r r o u n d e d by a solid stone wall. T h e rebellion that s t r e a m e d forth from M e c c a was visibly b r o u g h t to a halt by the centuries-old walls of M e d i n a . the other large holy city of the H e j a z . Although the railroad track was repeatedly d y n a m i t e d d u r i n g the war by Allied-led B e d o u i n raiding parties.p a s s it and allow its large T u r k i s h garrison to attack them on the flank or from the rear. at the northwest. by a castle m a n n e d by the O t t o m a n g a r r i s o n . M e d i n a lay s o m e 300 miles to the northeast of M e c c a . said to date from the twelfth century. and the Sherif's forces were u n a b l e to c a p t u r e it d u r i n g the war. .228 SUBVERSION V T h e most c o n s p i c u o u s failure of the M e c c a revolt was its failure to carry with it M e d i n a . T h e terminal of the H e j a z railroad from D a m a s c u s was situated within its walls. d o m i n a t e d by towers a n d . T h e structure of O t t o m a n authority held firm. blocking the line of a d v a n c e that the Sherifian tribesmen would have to follow in order to participate in the main theater of o p e r a t i o n s of the M i d d l e Eastern war. N o r could they b y . the O t t o m a n garrison continued to repair it a n d keep it in u s e .

2 S i r M a r k S y k e s at his d e s k in 1916 .

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16 R u s s i a n o c c u p a t i o n of E r z e r u m 17 R u s s i a n t r o o p s in T r e b i z o n d .

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PART V THE ALLIES AT THE NADIR OF THEIR FORTUNES .

In taking the lead on this issue he s h o w e d how m u c h his 231 . a n d of the F r e n c h g o v e r n m e n t in 1917. o r — a l l too often—another c o g n a c . a n d on the western front. b u t it was an aspect of his special genius to m a k e his t r i u m p h s a p p e a r effortless. the O t t o m a n E m p i r e held firm while the g o v e r n m e n t s of its adversaries.29 THE FALL OF THE ALLIED GOVERNMENTS: BRITAIN AND FRANCE i Between a u t u m n 1916 a n d a u t u m n 1917. m a d e the conscription issue his own. T h e overthrow of the British a n d R u s s i a n g o v e r n m e n t s . with his indolent patrician ways. while his unwillingness to call u p o n the nation for s u c h s t r o n g m e a s u r e s as c o m p u l s o r y military service s u g g e s t e d that he was less than completely dedicated to winning the w a r . L l o y d G e o r g e . collapsed. b r o u g h t to power in the three Allied capitals new leaders who held s t r o n g views a b o u t the M i d d l e E a s t which were totally at variance with those of their p r e d e c e s s o r s . B o n a r L a w once o b s e r v e d . the P r i m e Minister's m e t h o d of C a b i n e t g o v e r n m e n t by c o n s e n s u s s e e m e d indecisive. T h i s was very m u c h contrary to what E u r o p e a n political and military leaders h a d e x p e c t e d . T h e O t t o m a n army's s u c c e s s in h o l d i n g the D a r d a n e l l e s played a direct role in the overthrow of P r i m e Minister A s q u i t h ' s g o v e r n m e n t in Britain a n d that of C z a r N i c h o l a s in R u s s i a . in a letter to A s q u i t h . T h e P r i m e Minister who h a d b r o u g h t Britain into the war was the first Allied leader to fall victim to it. the Allied Powers. s e e m e d the reverse. in d r a m a t i c contrast. He h a d achieved a towering position in British politics." A s q u i t h . 1 As military c a t a s t r o p h e s multiplied in M e s o p o t a m i a . that "In war it is necessary not only to be active but to s e e m active. In the transaction of political a n d g o v e r n mental b u s i n e s s he was u n h u r r i e d : he always s e e m e d to have time for another dinner p a r t y . another visit to the countryside. G a l l i p o l i .

advocated a multiracial imperial union. a n d military vent u r e s . h a d been largely r e s p o n s i b l e for l a u n c h i n g the B o e r War. was a fervent imperialist who won over a vast public by his popular adventure novels. C o m i n g after Gallipoli a n d M e s o p o t a m i a . John Buchan. who h a d always o p p o s e d c o m p u l s i o n . Another graduate of the Kindergarten. As a R a d i c a l . O n e w a s S i r E d w a r d C a r s o n . While A s q u i t h . A t the time L l o y d G e o r g e h a d attacked Milner bitterly. Another former secretary. continued to u p h o l d peacetime civil liberties and L i b e r a l values. T o g e t h e r with the y o u n g men a s s e m b l e d in S o u t h Africa u n d e r his l e a d e r s h i p — " M i l n e r ' s K i n d e r g a r t e n " — h e h a d s t i m u l a t e d the m o v e m e n t for integration of the far-flung e m p i r e into one organic unit. It has been estimated that the total of military a n d civilian casualties in all of E u r o p e ' s d o m e s t i c a n d international conflicts in the 100 years between 1815 a n d 1915 was no greater than a single day's c o m b a t losses in any of the great battles of 1 9 1 6 . in the country. e m e r g e d as a leader p r e p a r e d to sacrifice individual rights for the sake of victory. felt that L l o y d G e o r g e w a s g o i n g over t o the other c a m p . but found himself powerless to put an end to the sickening military d i s a s t e r s of that year. two of w h o m p r o v e d to be especially i m p o r t a n t . a n d such 3 * Milner's ideal was a union of the white peoples of the British Empire. T h e other was the c h a m p i o n of i m p e r i a l i s m . Alfred Milner. Geoffrey Robinson. L l o y d G e o r g e a c q u i r e d new ones. the venture in S o u t h Africa at the turn of the century that L l o y d G e o r g e as a y o u n g idealist h a d vigorously o p p o s e d . edited The Times.232 THE ALLIES AT THE NADIR OF THEIR FORTUNES political position had c h a n g e d . in 1910 helped to found the quarterly review the Round Table which advocated British imperial federalism. who led the fight for conscription in the H o u s e of L o r d s a n d . m a d e himself the center of imperialist thought. as c h a i r m a n of the National S e r v i c e L e a g u e . 2 II In 1916. the one-time R a d i c a l who until the last m o m e n t had o p p o s e d entry into the war. however. As he lost his old political friends. T r a ditional L i b e r a l s . as a L i b e r a l U n i o n i s t who b e c a m e the inspiration of right-wing T o r i e s . L l o y d G e o r g e b e c a m e S e c r e t a r y of S t a t e for War when K i t c h e n e r d i e d . L l o y d G e o r g e . Milner. Other members of the Milner circle. foreign involvement. while L o r d Milner. Lionel George Curtis. who h a d b r o u g h t the country into the war. . the y o u n g W e l s h m a n h a d o p p o s e d imperial e x p a n s i o n . an o u t s t a n d i n g colonial a d m i n i s t r a t o r . the rebel Irish T o r y who led the fight for c o n s c r i p tion in the H o u s e of C o m m o n s . H i s ideal w a s imperial union. Milner w a s a s u p e r b a d m i n i s t r a t o r w h o s e skills were later to prove invaluable to L l o y d G e o r g e in winning the war. his former secretary.

Churchill."' A l t h o u g h he denied it. Nonetheless. as it never has been before or since. the Gallipoli controversy was revived. L l o y d G e o r g e d e s p a i r e d of victory as he o b s e r v e d the lengthy and inefficient meetings of A s q u i t h ' s large War C a b i n e t . now out of office. in the a u t u m n of 1916 L l o y d G e o r g e b e g a n working closely with C a r s o n . devoted himself to d o c u m e n t i n g the case that his colleagues were to b l a m e for the Gallipoli disaster. by one m a n . omitting the testimony a n d other evidence on which they were b a s e d . the terrible S o m m e offensive of J u l y 1916 a r o u s e d a climax of d e s p a i r . Viscount Northcliffe. As a historian has written of him. d e b a t i n g endlessly a n d deciding nothing. " At a b o u t the s a m e time. before radio or television. dark. at a time. " T h e notion b e c a m e current that he p o s s e s s e d a drive. the g o v e r n m e n t had sanctioned an official inquiry in J u n e into the D a r d a n e l l e s c a m p a i g n . a n d unrelenting hostility to the G e r m a n s . a r e m o r s e l e s s determination. Britain's leading trial lawyer. On 1 J u l y the British lost 6 0 . On 9 N o v e m b e r he told M a u r i c e H a n k e y that "We are g o i n g to lose this w a r . when publications were the only media of m a s s c o m munication. 4 5 T h e story of A s q u i t h ' s overthrow has been told too often for it to need retelling here at any length. As he lashed out against the g o v e r n m e n t . U n w i s e l y . 0 0 0 m e n .000 British casualties suffered in just four d a y s of fighting at A r r a s in F r a n c e . C a r s o n on the attack was the m o s t d a n g e r o u s animal in the political j u n g l e . A principal role in his downfall was played by the British p r e s s . By the time the offensive was over. which contrasted strongly with the dismal procrastination attributed to A s q u i t h a n d his colleagues. the heaviest casualties ever suffered in a single day by a British a r m y . British casualties a t the S o m m e had m o u n t e d t o 4 2 0 . with its prestige. d o m i n a t e d then. and bitter I r i s h m a n s e e m e d to be everything the P r i m e Minister was not. the political d a m a g e was done a n d the Gallipoli inquiry c o n t r i b u t e d to the collapse of the first coalition government. controlled half the L o n d o n p r e s s . 0 0 0 . Alfred H a r m s w o r t h . A m o n g them was R a y m o n d A s q u i t h . " Northcliffe u s e d his i m m e n s e power to d r a m a t i z e the case that A s q u i t h a n d his civilian colleagues were preventing the generals a n d a d m i r a l s from winning the war. T h e a l a r m e d P r i m e Minister m a n a g e d to have the report restricted to the C o m m i s s i o n of Inquiry's conclusions. who led the revolt against the g o v e r n m e n t in Parliament and in the country. r e m i n d i n g the political world how ineptly the A s q u i t h g o v e r n m e n t had w a g e d war. H i s ownership of The Times. the lean. with its p o p u l a r a p p e a l . the P r i m e Minister's son.THE FALL OF THE ALLIED GOVERNMENTS 233 gory e p i s o d e s as the 142. a n d S i r M a x Aitken (later L o r d . gave him both "the classes a n d the m a s s e s . 6 Northcliffe's n e w s p a p e r s ranged themselves behind S i r E d w a r d C a r s o n . a n d of the Daily Mail.

William E w a r t G l a d s t o n e . only a few days after L l o y d G e o r g e took office as P r i m e Minister. b e c a m e a m e m b e r . r e m a r k e d of L l o y d G e o r g e at the t i m e : "If he wants to be a dictator. h a d been driven from office. L . After intricate m a n e u v e r i n g s . a n d continued t o believe. " said L l o y d G e o r g e ) . T h e work of the War C a b i n e t was d o n e principally by its other two m e m b e r s . A s q u i t h resigned a n d went into O p p o s i t i o n . revolutionary c h a n g e in the way the country was g o v e r n e d . the nineteeth-century L i b e r a l . who h a d i m p o s e d his own M i d d l e E a s t e r n views on the C a b i n e t . H a n k e y recorded in his diary that "I lunched along with L I .C o n s e r v a t i v e Party behind L l o y d G e o r g e . o n w h o m L l o y d G e o r g e especially relied. the only two men in the g o v e r n m e n t who d o u b t e d the desirability of a c q u i r i n g new territories in the E a s t . the former P r i m e Minister who bec a m e F o r e i g n Minister in the new g o v e r n m e n t . T h e new P r i m e Minister headed it himself. L l o y d G e o r g e h a d believed. " 1 0 As for the future of the area. as did the tiny L a b o u r Party. a n d took c h a r g e of seeing that its decisions were carried out.234 THE ALLIES AT THE NADIR OF THEIR FORTUNES B e a v e r b r o o k ) b r o u g h t B o n a r L a w into a political combination with them. B o n a r L a w . A r t h u r B a l f o u r . . that the E a s t could be of great importance in winning the war. let him b e . who d i s c o u r s e d mainly on his plans for a b i g military coup in S y r i a . 9 Unlike K i t c h e n e r . D a v i d L l o y d G e o r g e b e c a m e P r i m e Minister of Britain as head of the s e c o n d coalition g o v e r n m e n t . D i r e c tion of the war was entrusted to a War C a b i n e t . ( A m a j o r condition i m p o s e d b y the Conservatives was that Churchill s h o u l d be excluded from the new g o v e r n m e n t . L o r d C u r z o n . B o n a r L a w threw the weight of the U n i o n i s t . " A chance effect of the c h a n g e in g o v e r n m e n t was that it c h a n g e d Britain's objectives in the M i d d l e E a s t . If he thinks that he can win the war. T y p i c a l l y . he was m o v e d in large part by his hatred of the T u r k i s h r e g i m e . as did L a b o u r ' s A r t h u r H e n d e r s o n . ) A substantial n u m b e r of b a c k b e n c h L i b e r a l s joined with t h e m . A s q u i t h and G r e y . G . F r o m his first political leader. On 7 D e c e m b e r 1916. and the new P r i m e Minister had been an o p ponent of K i t c h e n e r ' s views all along. L o r d K i t c h e n e r . I'm all for his having a t r y . who also b e c a m e L e a d e r of the H o u s e and Chancellor of the E x c h e q u e r . 8 L l o y d G e o r g e m o v e d quickly to i m p o s e a war dictatorship. M a u r i c e Hankey b e c a m e S e c retary to the War C a b i n e t . and to a lesser extent. he had inherited an abhorrence of the O t t o m a n E m p i r e for its cruelty toward its . c o m p o s e d initially of five m e m b e r s . L o r d Milner. It was a sweeping. taking half of his L i b e r a l P a r t y — a n d all of its leaders except L l o y d G e o r g e — w i t h h i m . P u s h e d by Aitken ("It was he who m a d e B . was d e a d . decide t o break u p the A s q u i t h g o v e r n m e n t .

H e was s y m p a t h e t i c t o G r e e c e . was methodical in action a n d systematic in thought.* b u t the other two were L e o A m e r y . except. He had the experience needed for the j o b : he had run the civilian side of the Boer War a n d now. s u c h as L i o n e l C u r t i s . whose aim was limited to excluding other E u r o p e a n p o w e r s from the region. however. with his G e r m a n b a c k g r o u n d . In the latter case he had m a d e clear. L l o y d G e o r g e m o v e d ever closer t o Milner a n d i m p e r i a l i s m . the magazine's editor. but as a prize worth seeking in itself. Hankey was able to retain S i r M a r k S y k e s . " 12 . 11 L l o y d G e o r g e ' s association with the Milner circle was intellectual as well as practical a n d b u r e a u c r a t i c . ran the civilian side of the F i r s t World War.THE FALL OF THE ALLIED GOVERNMENTS 235 Christian s u b j e c t s . s u p p l y i n g what the P r i m e Minister lacked. p e r h a p s B o n a r L a w — b u t h e was m o r e for political a d v i c e . which had territorial a m b i t i o n s in A s i a M i n o r . a n d e s p o u s e d Zionist aspirations in the Holy L a n d . Unlike British ministers of the nineteenth century. In 1918 Milner b e c a m e War Minister in n a m e as well as reality. intuitive opportunist who i m p r o v i s e d . Milner further strengthened his hold on the L l o y d G e o r g e government by p l a c i n g his own followers within Hankey's secretariat. Milner. a n d Philip K e r r . one of Milner's leading adherents. a n d only at noon would they meet with the other m e m b e r s of the War C a b i n e t . L l o y d G e o r g e therefore s o u g h t British h e g e m o n y in the M i d d l e E a s t . Milner's Parliamentary S e c r e t a r y . which e s p o u s e d imperial union. as one of his three assistants. not just as the road to I n d i a . along with H a n k e y a n d the Chief of the I m p e r i a l G e n e r a l Staff. What b e c a m e clear only after L l o y d G e o r g e had been in office for a year or two was that he envisioned the M i d d l e E a s t . When L l o y d G e o r g e . a founder of the m a g a z i n e Round Table. u n d e r L l o y d G e o r g e ." A sort of dictatorship of two e m e r g e d from the early days of the new P r i m e Minister's period of office: at 11:00 each m o r n i n g L l o y d G e o r g e w o u l d meet with Milner. " L l o y d G e o r g e was a p r a g m a t i c . T h e staff was set up in t e m p o r a r y buildings in the g a r d e n of 10 D o w n i n g Street and was d u b b e d the "Garden suburb.G o r e . A s P r i m e Minister. Milner had a h a n d in including s o m e of his own followers. set up his own informal staff. T h e P r i m e Minister c a m e to Hankey wrote to Lloyd George that Sykes was "mainly an expert on Arab affairs" but that he was "by no means a one-sided man" and that his breadth of vision could be "invaluable in fixing up the terms of p e a c e . H a n k e y later wrote that Milner "was L l o y d G e o r g e ' s m o s t t r u s t e d colleague. that he expected the J e w i s h National H o m e to develop within the context of British rule. after the fashion of an A m e r i c a n president in the White H o u s e . his personal choice. and William O r m s b y .

but he w a s the m o s t feared a n d detested m a n in p u b l i c life. L i k e L l o y d G e o r g e ." he h a d d e n o u n c e d p r o p o n e n t s of a c o m p r o m i s e p e a c e . " 13 1 4 Ill In F r a n c e . . Milner is the real leader in this g r o u p . ' s view . T h e Viviani. a n d indeed h a d b r o u g h t an end to d i s c u s s i o n s along those lines initiated by the G e r m a n s through Aristide B r i a n d in 1917. G . but the differences between one g o v e r n m e n t and another were not d r a m a t i c . 1 5 G e o r g e s C l e m e n c e a u w a s . . T h e m u t i n y of the F r e n c h a r m y in M a y 1917 b r o u g h t a b o u t the fall of the last of F r a n c e ' s w a r t i m e g o v e r n m e n t s with which her politicians felt c o m f o r t a b l e . " T h e influence was m u t u a l . . b u t the Paul Painleve government h a d not b e e n : in N o v e m b e r of 1917 the F r e n c h Parliament overthrew it. T h e traditional leadership w a s discredited. In 1917 that c h a n g e d . L l o y d G e o r g e s o m e t i m e s a t t e n d s their g a t h e r i n g s . He was the last survivor of the National A s s e m b l y that in 1871 h a d protested against the harsh peace t e r m s G e r m a n y h a d i m p o s e d u p o n a v a n q u i s h e d F r a n c e ." H e . and in all the world what he most hated w a s G e r m a n y . B r i a n d . T h e r e was only one potential p r e m i e r yet untried who might fight on to victory. a political "loner. several g o v e r n m e n t s h a d fallen d u r i n g the c o u r s e of the war. " T h e r e w a s only one m a n left. As L l o y d G e o r g e r e m a r k e d of h i m . a n d R i b o t g o v e r n m e n t s h a d been allowed to resign. too. a n d the President. " 1 6 17 C l e m e n c e a u w a s a b o v e all a hater. a n d if I did not call on him his legendary strength would m a k e any alternative cabinet w e a k . he was believed to have a b a n d o n e d the leftist tenets of his y o u t h . t h o u g h in F r a n c e the label h a d rather a different m e a n i n g . noted that this "devil of a m a n has all patriots on his side. . a n d it is not too m u c h to say that no one w a n t e d h i m . " He w a s the m a n who had e x p o s e d the c o r r u p t practices of his political c o l l e a g u e s — a n d they h a d never forgiven h i m . but he r e m a i n e d the fighter he h a d been all his life. who felt obliged to offer him the p r e m i e r s h i p . In the m i d d l e of 1917 H a n k e y o b s e r v e d that " A m o n g the m o s t influential at the present m o m e n t I would place the R o u n d T a b l e g r o u p . He was g r o w i n g deaf a n d fat a n d was seventy-six years old. T h e y dine every M o n d a y . a n d therefore that . It had always been his view that F r a n c e s h o u l d concentrate on b u i l d i n g up her strength against G e r m a n y . like L l o y d G e o r g e . H e h a d never given u p . .236 THE ALLIES AT THE NADIR OF THEIR FORTUNES social gatherings where the R o u n d T a b l e r s met to exchange views. that it is necessary to devote our main efforts against T u r k e y . the m a n of "the knock-out blow. S h o r t l y afterward H a n k e y noted that Milner had "come completely r o u n d to L I . L i k e L l o y d G e o r g e . w a s a R a d i c a l . .

La Justice's suggestion of sinister m a n i p u l a t i o n s in the T u n i s i a affair were not far off the m a r k : there were speculations in real estate. whatever their relation m i g h t have been to the formulation of g o v e r n m e n t policy. and his t o n g u e . p o i s o n o u s .i n s p i r e d m o v e that Berlin h o p e d would drive F r a n c e into quarrels with Britain. he was a feared duellist. of e x p o s u r e s . of personal ambitions a n d revenges. he e x p o s e d the financial corruption that a c c o m p a n i e d F r e n c h colonial politics. which find their m o d e r n parallel only in the underworld of C h i c a g o . a n d a clever G e r m a n . a n d s u b m a r i n e cable telegraph concessions. T h e y p r o d u c e d a forgery to prove that he had sold out to Britain. over C l e m e n c e a u ' s protests. s u p p o r t e d and indeed e n c o u r a g e d s u c h F r e n c h ventures. La Justice. p l a c i n g us in conflict with E n g l a n d . Between 1881 a n d 1885. he s h o w e d us T u n i s . Prince Otto von B i s m a r c k . F r a n c e had led the way in new colonial e x p a n s i o n . the G e r m a n leader. of perjuries.THE FALL OF THE ALLIED GOVERNMENTS 237 diverting strength into colonial a d v e n t u r e s was a mistake." Of F r e n c h parliamentary life at the time. the F r e n c h first invaded a n d c o n q u e r e d T u n i s i a in N o r t h Africa. with the result that Britain took E g y p t entirely for herself. Winston Churchill later wrote. C l e m e n c e a u told the F r e n c h C h a m b e r of D e p u t i e s that " B i s m a r c k is a d a n g e r o u s enemy. a distraction f r o m the p r o b l e m of the G e r m a n frontier. " T h e life of the F r e n c h C h a m b e r . A speaker in the C h a m b e r t a u n t e d the other m e m b e r s by saying of C l e m e n c e a u that "he has three things you fear: his s w o r d . H e b e c a m e known as "the wrecker" even before he b e c a m e known as "the tiger. hectic. H i s opposition to colonial expansion could easily be p o r t r a y e d — a n d was p o r t r a y e d — a s benefiting the British E m p i r e . of plottings a n d intriguings. In an age when it was still the c u s t o m to settle q u a r r e l s on the field of honor. " C l e m e n c e a u s t r o d e t h r o u g h it all in a m u r d e r o u s r a g e . a n d m u r d e r s . T h a t was the line his o p p o n e n t s took when he b e c a m e vulnerable to political attack. On 27 N o v e m b e r 1884. T h u s the senators a n d d e p u t i e s who a i m e d at a n n e x i n g S y r i a a n d Palestine to F r a n c e saw in him their chief e n e m y . " 1 8 In Parliament a n d in his journal. T h e financial corruption s u r r o u n d i n g the adventure in I n d o c h i n a was even m o r e lurid. fierce. railway concessions. of crooking and double-crossing. " 19 20 F o r fear of h i m the F r e n c h g o v e r n m e n t in 1882 hesitated to join in the occupation of E g y p t . In o p p o s i n g the policy. On a pretext. a n d then the states that b e c a m e I n d o c h i n a in A s i a . his pistol. Hecklers were hired to follow him a r o u n d shouting . flowed t h r o u g h a succession of s c a n d a l s and swindles. C l e m e n c e a u ' s accusations a n d e x p o s u r e s destroyed reputations a n d b r o u g h t d o w n g o v e r n m e n t s . C l e m e n c e a u denounced the acquisition of colonies as a financial and military b u r d e n . b u t even m o r e d a n g e r o u s p e r h a p s as a friend.

.238 THE ALLIES AT THE NADIR OF THEIR FORTUNES "Aoh yes. incarnating a driving determination to fight on until G e r m a n y was totally c r u s h e d . T h i s was the m a n w h o m a d e s p a i r i n g F r a n c e turned to in the darkest m o m e n t of 1917. too.P i c o t A g r e e m e n t . reflected in the S y k e s ." b u t that he himself attached no i m p o r t a n c e to i t . L i k e L l o y d G e o r g e . h e h a p p e n e d to b r i n g to office a special view a b o u t policy in the M i d d l e E a s t . It is to the effect that C l e m e n c e a u ' s p a p e r La Justice which is said to be losing money is financed f r o m E n g l a n d on behalf of G e r m a n y a n d E n g l a n d ." a n d free copies of a n e w s p a p e r were circulated containing a cartoon showing him j u g g l i n g with s a c k s of p o u n d s s t e r l i n g . Of the traditional F r e n c h claim to S y r i a . As premier. "as it would please s o m e reactionaries. T h e fortunes of war a n d politics had b r o u g h t into power in their respective countries the first British P r i m e Minister who wanted to acquire territory in the M i d d l e E a s t a n d the only F r e n c h politician who did not want to do s o . L i k e L l o y d G e o r g e . 21 2 2 2 3 . C l e m e n c e a u said that if L l o y d G e o r g e could get F r a n c e the right to install a protectorate r e g i m e there he would not refuse it. " In 1893 he was defeated for re-election a n d was driven out of p a r l i a m e n t a r y life for a d e c a d e . he b e c a m e a sort of war dictator. In 1892 one leading British politician wrote to another that "A F r e n c h m a n was here yesterday who told me an extraordinary cock a n d bull which is apparently believed in Paris where they will believe anything . he continued to have no territorial goals for F r a n c e outside of E u r o p e . a n d who s o o n i m p o s e d his will u p o n the government of his nation. .

p r o d u c e d less than the normal a m o u n t of food a n d so h a d less to export." 1 Y e t years later. 2 239 . it was that R u s s i a held the e d g e in the M i d d l e E a s t e r n war against T u r k e y . the Y o u n g T u r k m a s t e r s of C o n s t a n t i n o p l e h a d d e p r i v e d her of a r m a m e n t s a n d revenues. T h e G r a n d D u k e N i c h o l a s . If one thing s e e m e d clear by the b e g i n n i n g of 1917. B u t either observation points to the p a r a d o x i c a l truth that R u s s i a ' s military s u c c e s s e s on the C a u c a s u s front were in a s e n s e irrelevant: the real war had b e c o m e an economic a n d social survival contest. T h e R u s s i a n s h a d s t r e n g t h e n e d their strategic position by winning m a s t e r y of the Black S e a a n d by constructing railroad lines from the C a u c a s u s toward their new front line in eastern T u r k e y .30 T H E OVERTHROW OF T H E CZAR i It was an i m p r o b a b l e chain of c i r c u m s t a n c e s that led F r a n c e to rally behind a leader who w a s o p p o s e d to F r e n c h i m p e r i a l i s m in the M i d d l e E a s t . Enver's catastrophic defeat in early 1915 on the C a u c a s u s front was followed by a successful R u s s i a n invasion of eastern Anatolia in 1916. and her Allies had little a m m u n i t i o n to s e n d her. the R u s s i a n c o m m a n d e r . planned t o m o u n t a new offensive as soon as the railroad lines were c o m p l e t e d . L l o y d G e o r g e told the H o u s e of C o m m o n s that "the collapse of R u s s i a was almbst entirely d u e " to the O t t o m a n E m p i r e . a n d an even o d d e r chain of c i r c u m s t a n c e s that led R u s s i a in the s a m e m o n t h to fall u n d e r the sway of a leader who also claimed to o p p o s e R u s s i a n i m p e r i a l i s m in the region. T h e b a s i s o f L l o y d G e o r g e ' s opinion was that b y closing off m o s t of R u s s i a ' s i m p o r t s a n d e x p o r t s . the g r a n d duke's offensive w o u l d "have led to a c o m p l e t e victory a n d p e r h a p s driven T u r k e y out of the war in the s u m m e r of 1917. A c c o r d i n g to a G e r m a n staff officer attached to the O t t o m a n a r m e d forces. w a r t i m e R u s s i a . with her p e a s a n t f a r m e r s away in the a r m y . T h o s e who d i s a g r e e with L l o y d G e o r g e ' s a s s e s s m e n t are able to a r g u e that even if the C o n s t a n t i n o p l e trade route h a d remained o p e n .

When he started the Ministry of M u n i t i o n s in a requisitioned hotel. a n d t h o u g h there was a fall in the production of agricultural estates c a u s e d by the loss of labor to the a r m y . With the export trade cut off at C o n s t a n t i n o p l e . T h e r e were d i s p l a c e m e n t s in m o r a l s . T h e c o n s e q u e n c e s of the T u r k i s h stranglehold on the D a r d a n e l l e s u n d e r s c o r e d the lack of patriotism in s o m e elements of the g o v e r n i n g classes a n d the lack of c o m p e t e n c e in others. planning. b e c o m i n g a matter of financing. the violent a n d r a p i d social c h a n g e s that a c c o m p a n i e d this w a r t i m e industrial revolution t u g g e d at the s t r u c t u r e of society. a n d cereals alone constituted half of her e x p o r t s . Czarist R u s s i a p r o v e d the least a b l e to c o p e with these challenges for it was weak in the elements of i n f r a s t r u c t u r e — t r a n s p o r t a t i o n s y s t e m s . including large n u m b e r s of w o m e n . 4 In R u s s i a . m o r e than e n o u g h s . he h a d no staff at all. By the e n d of 1918 it was the largest unit in the m i n i s t r y . e m p l o y m e n t p a t t e r n s . it h a d s p r e a d over several blocks of b u i l d i n g s and almost o v e r s h a d o w e d the r e s t . N e w workers. straining pillars and s u p p o r t s never designed to carry a great weight. Of the principal E u r o p e a n belligerents in the F i r s t World War. as in G e r m a n y a n d Britain. a n d s u p p l y i n g on a gigantic scale. 0 0 0 e m p l o y e e s a n d it exercised control over three million w o r k e r s . c o m m u n i c a t i o n s y s t e m s . a n d control over the whole e c o n o m y . In Rathenau's prescient vision. family s t r u c t u r e . s u p p l i e s were requisitioned a n d allocated. He was given a secretary a n d one small r o o m at the back of the ministry. personal h a b i t s . a n d therefore r e q u i r e d central allocation. He b r o u g h t war socialism to the hitherto individualistic British e c o n o m y . engineering industries. politics. warfare was u n d e r g o i n g its industrial revolution. a n d capital m a r k e t s — t h a t m a k e a m o d e r n e c o n o m y resilient a n d a d a p t a b l e . a n d l a n g u a g e . all the food formerly sent out of the country w a s available to be c o n s u m e d at h o m e . m o v i n g . In 1914 he o r g a n i z e d a Division of R a w Materials for a skeptical Ministry of War in Berlin. the ministry had 6 5 . 3 L l o y d G e o r g e in his p r a g m a t i c way learned to see things m u c h the s a m e way. In industry after industry. T h e r e was no e x c u s e for the terrible s h o r t a g e s that d e v e l o p e d in 1916 a n d 1917. T h e British series alone ran to 24 v o l u m e s . R u s s i a was a country naturally rich in a g r i c u l t u r e : the peasantry m a d e up 80 percent of the p o p u l a t i o n . R u s s i a ' s failure was a failure of leadership. however.240 THE ALLIES AT THE NADIR OF THEIR FORTUNES T h e industrialist Walter R a t h e n a u in G e r m a n y was the pioneer in u n d e r s t a n d i n g this. By the end of the war. M o r e than anything else. S o m e idea of the m a g n i t u d e of the c h a n g e s m a y be s u g g e s t e d by the length of the C a r n e g i e E n d o w m e n t ' s postwar survey of the economic a n d social c h a n g e s that h a d occurred in twenty-one c ou n t r i e s : it ran to 150 v o l u m e s . investment patterns. were b r o u g h t into the labor force.

In 1915 the O t t o m a n E m p i r e a n d G e r m a n y had offered R u s s i a right of p a s s a g e t h r o u g h the D a r d a n e l l e s if she would a b a n d o n the Allies. H o w e v e r . to the c o n q u e s t of the long-sought-for D a r d a n e l l e s . a n d industry d e m o n s t r a t e d that their interests d i v e r g e d from those of the p o p u lation at l a r g e . W i d e s p r e a d industrial strikes a n d the onset of financial c h a o s failed to m o v e the g o v e r n m e n t to act. profiteering. which is still b e i n g written a n d which r e m a i n s timelessly relevant to the world's condition. falls o u t s i d e the s c o p e of the present s t u d y . On the field of battle the C z a r ' s h u n g r y a n d tattered soldiery were s t r u g g l i n g for survival. C o n s t a n t i n o p l e a n d the D a r d a n e l l e s . D u r i n g the war he lived. was the C z a r ' s unwillingness to relinquish his g r i p on P o l a n d . 7 6 An o b v i o u s way out of the crisis was to b r i n g the war to an e n d . so that prices d u r i n g w a r t i m e years rose by 1. b u t d u e also to deliberate m a n e u v e r s : speculation.000 p e r c e n t . is of concern here a n d will be p u r s u e d in the following p a g e s : the plot to p r o m o t e the fortunes of the then-unknown L e n i n that was hatched in the O t t o m a n E m p i r e . an o b s c u r e a n d isolated figure had said as m u c h — though for theoretical reasons of his o w n — f r o m the m o m e n t the war began. By 1917 current interest and sinking fund paym e n t s d u e on its p u b l i c d e b t were greater than the total revenues of the state in 1916. s o m e have s a i d . however. those in control of R u s s i a ' s g o v e r n m e n t . T h e s h o r t a g e s resulted instead f r o m disruption of t r a n s p o r t a t i o n a n d distribution. finance. s t u d i e d . At the leftward fringe of the outlawed revolutionary u n d e r g r o u n d . T h e C z a r ' s g o v e r n m e n t recklessly i g n o r e d the need to crack down on the profiteers who accentuated the c o n s e q u e n c e s of T u r k e y ' s stranglehold on R u s s i a ' s t r a d e route to the West. a n d h o a r d i n g . M a n y of the s o u n d i n g s took place i n neutral S w e d e n . a n d wrote in penniless exile . T h e s t u m b l i n g block. T h r o u g h o u t 1916 G e r m a n y continued to s o u n d out the possibility of c o n c l u d i n g a s e p a r a t e peace with R u s s i a . p e r h a p s .T H E OVERTHROW OF T H E CZAR 241 food was p r o d u c e d to feed the c o u n t r y . a national insolvency with which the g o v e r n m e n t dealt by printing p a p e r m o n e y . 8 9 II T h e history of the R u s s i a n revolutions of 1917. In the d i s a s t r o u s c o u r s e of R u s s i a ' s participation in the E u r o p e a n war. the R u s s i a n Minister to S w e d e n explained to the G e r m a n s that in his "personal opinion" R u s s i a would have to continue in the war on the Allied side until she received the "key to the Black S e a " : which is to say. O n e aspect of that history. d u e in part to bottlenecks a n d b r e a k d o w n s . but his r e s p o n s e to the G e r m a n overtures s h o w s that N i c h o l a s II continued to give priority to his imperial a m b i t i o n s — a b o v e all.

At the outset of the war he was shocked to see his socialist colleagues flock to the s u p p o r t of their respective countries. to aim at R u s s i a ' s defeat and at the d i s m e m b e r m e n t of the R u s s i a n E m p i r e . H e l p h a n d was positively enthusiastic about it. It set him a p a r t from the others." R e t u r n i n g to R u s s i a . L e n i n ' s theory led him to s t a n d alone in opposition to the war and therefore in opposition to his c o u n t r y . did not fully u n d e r s t a n d his views on the war. did suspiciously well for himself. who had a d o p t e d the u n d e r g r o u n d p s e u d o n y m of " P a r v u s . who had arrived at similar conclusions. was a former attorney who h a d devoted his life to M a r x i s t theory and factional d i s p u t e s . a n d in 1905 he had originated what was to b e c o m e T r o t s k y ' s theory of the "permanent revolution. a fellow leader of the Socialist S e c o n d International. he had m a d e his n a m e as a theorist a n d journalist fighting alongside the Polish-born G e r m a n J e w e s s R o s a L u x e m b u r g for a p u r e revolutionary position. the U k r a i n e . the lesser evil would be the defeat of the tsarist m o n a r c h y a n d its a r m y . " In his Theses he repeatedly d e n o u n c e d the e m p i r e exercised by the R u s s i a n s over the other peoples ruled by the C z a r . a n d a n u m b e r of other peoples of R u s s i a . as he saw it. with the hunched s h o u l d e r s of a fighter. Switzerland. he drafted his Seven Theses on the War. L e a v i n g R u s s i a for G e r m a n y in the early 1890s. In the early years of the twentieth century. 1 1 Of the s a m e generation as L e n i n ( H e l p h a n d was born in 1869. 1 0 In C o n s t a n t i n o p l e at the time there lived a former colleague of L e n i n ' s . from the point of view of his fellow-idealists. As it h a p p e n e d .. A l e x a n d e r Israel H e l p h a n d . he had b e c o m e the mentor of L e o n T r o t s k y . who in 1901 h a d a d o p t e d the p s e u d o n y m of L e n i n . but soon e s c a p e d to western E u r o p e . which showed itself only g r a d u a l l y : he was a s h a d y p r o m o t e r who. " was a R u s s i a n J e w whose professed political objective was the destruction of the C z a r i s t E m p i r e .G e r m a n inclinations. He . which o p p r e s s e s P o l a n d . Where L e n i n was merely indifferent to the prospect of a G e r m a n victory. He was in his mid-forties and was not yet f a m o u s b e y o n d police a n d revolutionary circles. the Bolsheviks. P a r v u s was b a n i s h e d to S i b e r i a . b u t it w a s his d u t y . He w a s a R u s s i a n . P a r v u s had been one of the other intellectually c o m m a n d i n g figures on the left w i n g of the revolutionary socialist m o v e m e n t .he was a brilliant but abrasive a n d intolerant m a n who fearlessly followed the j u g g e r n a u t of his logic wherever it m i g h t lead. S t o c k y .242 THE ALLIES AT THE NADIR OF THEIR FORTUNES in Z u r i c h . B u t there was another s i d e to H e l p h a n d / P a r v u s . Vladimir Ilyich U l y a n o v . in which he wrote that: " F r o m the point of view of the laboring class a n d the toiling m a s s e s of all the peoples of R u s s i a . At the b e g i n n i n g of S e p t e m b e r 1914. m u s c u l a r . L e n i n in 1870). H e l p h a n d p o s s e s s e d the money a n d political contacts that enabled him to p u r s u e his p r o . E v e n his own political faction.

t h o u g h of course at a profit to himself. reported that L e n i n a n d s o m e of his followers were in * There is some dispute about the exact figure. D e s t r o y i n g the g o v e r n m e n t of R u s s i a was his goal. 0 0 0 dollars) in literary royalties that the writer M a x i m G o r k y h a d contributed to the Social D e m o c r a t i c Party. T h r o u g h his contacts. m o v i n g on via Vienna to the Balkans a n d the O t t o m a n E m p i r e . L e n i n and his Bolshevik faction h a d g o o d reason for believing that in 1904 P a r v u s had embezzled p e r h a p s 130.THE OVERTHROW OF T H E CZAR 243 had set up p u b l i s h i n g ventures that were meant to serve the revolutionary c a u s e but s e e m e d to serve his personal interests even better. where he b e c a m e interested in the Y o u n g T u r k e y m o v e m e n t a n d b e g a n dealing in corn a n d other c o m m o d i t i e s . He m e t von W a n g e n h e i m on 7 J a n u a r y 1915. and his h o m e in C o n s t a n t i n o p l e b e c a m e a meeting place for plotters against the C z a r . . " H e l p h a n d p r o p o s e d that G e r m a n y s h o u l d help him unite the revolutionaries behind a p r o g r a m of s u b v e r t i n g the R u s s i a n E m p i r e . He also helped foment p r o .000 marks* (roughly 3 0 . in r e s p o n s e . with whose aid he obtained contracts to provide s u p p l i e s for the O t t o m a n a r m i e s in the Balkan W a r s . in which he reported that H e l p h a n d h a d told him "that the R u s s i a n D e m o c r a t s could achieve their a i m only by the total destruction of C z a r i s m a n d the division of R u s s i a into smaller s t a t e s . H e l p h a n d m a n a g e d to arrange an interview with the G e r m a n a m b a s s a d o r to the O t t o m a n E m p i r e . a n d told him that " T h e interests of the G e r m a n g o v e r n m e n t are identical with those of the R u s s i a n r e v o l u t i o n a r i e s . he s u b m i t t e d a m e m o r a n d u m to them e m b o d y i n g a vast plan for the subversion of C z a r i s t R u s s i a by e n c o u r a g i n g socialist revolutionaries and nationalists. he also advised the g o v e r n m e n t on various a s p e c t s of mobilizing its e c o n o m y for the war effort. 12 13 At a high level. T h e y asked h i m to recapitulate his p r o p o s a l in writing. A b a n d o n i n g p u b l i s h i n g a n d revolutionary activities. Helpharid p u b lished an article in the T u r k i s h p r e s s advising the O t t o m a n government that its interests would be served by a G e r m a n victory. By 1912 he h a d established close contact with Y o u n g T u r k g o v e r n m e n t officials. " V o n W a n g e n h e i m cabled a report of the meeting to the G e r m a n F o r e i g n Office two d a y s later. on 9 M a r c h . When the O t t o m a n E m p i r e entered the war. He told the G e r m a n s a b o u t L e n i n a n d his Bolshevik faction. the G e r m a n g o v e r n m e n t evinced interest in his p r o p o s a l . he helped the Porte obtain vital s u p p l i e s of grain a n d railroad p a r t s . he h a d turned full-time to a variety of b u s i n e s s e s .G e r m a n feeling in the Balkan countries. When the F i r s t World War b r o k e out in E u r o p e . At the end of F e b r u a r y 1915 H e l p h a n d went to Berlin to meet with officials at the F o r e i g n Ministry. T h e y confronted him with it a n d the explanations that he offered were unconvincing.

" a n d o r d e r e d him to leave a n d never c o m e b a c k . R o s a L u x e m b u r g d i d not even give him an o p p o r t u n i t y to s p e a k : she showed him to the d o o r . drinking a bottle of c h a m p a g n e each m o r n i n g at breakfast. T h e publication was not a great success. 0 0 0 dollars in U . whose activities in fact enriched him enormously. currency) to begin the work of a t t e m p t i n g to unify the various revolutionary groups. H e l p h a n d explained his m i s s i o n . In Berlin. Secretly he organized s u b v e r s i o n a n d p u b l i s h e d a revolutionary n e w s p a p e r .244 THE ALLIES AT THE NADIR OF THEIR FORTUNES Switzerland. " 14 15 In the s p r i n g he m a d e his m o s t i m p o r t a n t a p p r o a c h . went over to the table where L e n i n a n d his associates were lunching. L e v D a v i d o v i c h B r o n s t e i n . spoke to t h e m . M o r e o v e r . 1 8 T h e b u s i n e s s in which H e l p h a n d ostensibly e n g a g e d w a s a t r a d i n g firm. . L e n i n . L e n i n was able to learn of developm e n t s as they o c c u r r e d . a n d now a T u r k i s h agent a n d s p e c u l a t o r . a n d a c c o m p a n i e d t h e m b a c k t o L e n i n ' s a p a r t m e n t . L e n i n a n d the Bolshevik Party accepted m o n e y from H e l p h a n d via a Polish and a R u s s i a n Social D e m o c r a t . a scoundrel. It was a m u c h greater . T h r o u g h his friend. a n d s u r r o u n d i n g himself with showy w o m e n . S . a d m i t t e d that P a r v u s h a d once been an important figure. and singled t h e m out a s especially worth G e r m a n s u p port. 1 6 At the end of M a y he s o u g h t out L e n i n at the restaurant where the Bolshevik theorist usually was to be f o u n d . T h e r e he lived ostentatiously. . T h e i r b a s e of operation was to be S t o c k h o l m . H i s initial overtures to his former c o m r a d e s were r e b u f f e d . a confidence trickster. even without the aid of L e n i n a n d the others. s m o k i n g cigars of e n o r m o u s size. . a n d that h e was now "politically d e c e a s e d . He went to Zurich a n d set u p court a t the l u x u r i o u s B a u r a u L a c H o t e l . T h e G e r m a n leaders a g r e e d t o a d o p t H e l p h a n d ' s p r o p o s a l s a n d a t the end of M a r c h g a v e h i m an initial p a y m e n t of a million m a r k s (equal at that time to roughly 2 4 0 . who called himself T r o t s k y . a friend a n d teacher. a c c u s e d him of having turned into a G e r m a n "chauvinist. b u t c o n c l u d e d that in 1914 he had c h a n g e d . 1 7 Y e t a friend of L e n i n ' s left with H e l p h a n d to start p u t t i n g the plan of s u b v e r s i o n into effect. He a t t e m p t e d to organize a general strike in R u s s i a . L e n i n later denied this. " T h e attitude of P a r v u s ' s former socialist-revolutionary colleagues was described by one of t h e m who said they r e g a r d e d him as "a R u s s i a n informer. H e also b e g a n s p r e a d i n g mo n e y a r o u n d a m o n g the poorer exiles. having listened to his presentation. T h u s H e l p h a n d discovered a n d identified L e n i n for the Germans. which the G e r m a n g o v e r n m e n t financed. b u t his c o r r e s p o n d e n c e shows that his denials were u n t r u e . p e r s u a d i n g t h e m that he had b e c o m e the p a y m a s t e r of the revolution.

1 9 1 5 a n d F e b r u a r y 1917. joined the d e m o n s t r a t i o n . he did not achieve a general strike. 2 0 On 15 M a r c h C z a r N i c h o l a s II a b d i c a t e d . strengthening the d e m o n s t r a t o r s against the increasingly helpless police. Politicians of all s h a d e s of opinion were s u r p r i s e d to find that what the population of P e t r o g r a d had p u s h e d against was an o p e n door. L v o v a n d later b y Alexander K e r e n s k y . the C o n s t a n t i n o p l e . effective f r o m the following day. protesting against food shortages. a n d R u s s i a b e c a m e a republic g o v e r n e d by a Provisional G o v e r n m e n t originally led b y Prince G . had been called since 1914). b u t there was no glue to hold the p o s t e r s on the w a l l s . E . h a d b r o u g h t into play a s t r a n g e new w e a p o n with which T u r k e y ' s ally G e r m a n y could a t t e m p t to b r i n g their c o m m o n R u s s i a n foe c r a s h i n g d o w n . T h u s H e l p h a n d . which showed that the revolt against the r e g i m e had b e g u n to transcend the issue of s h o r t a g e s .b a s e d intimate o f the Y o u n g T u r k s .T H E OVERTHROW OF T H E CZAR 245 s u c c e s s . T w o d a y s later four regiments of soldiers joined the p o p u l a c e . so did m a n y of the roughly 9 0 . D u r i n g that time strikes a n d protests b e c a m e a way of life: including those inspired by H e l p h a n d . T h e a r m y mutiny p r o v e d decisive. . 0 0 0 workers then on strike in a b o u t fifty factories. T h e y did not expect it . the G e r m a n s a r r a n g e d to watch over the Bolshevik theorist a n d to lend h i m additional m o n e y when he needed it without his necessarily having to acknowledge the source of the f u n d s . 0 0 0 protesters into the streets of P e t r o g r a d (as St P e t e r s b u r g . Ill P e t r o g r a d was a long distance away from the g r a n a r y of the south.163 s t r i k e s . B u t H e l p h a n d h a d focused the G e r m a n government's attention on the particular i m p o r t a n c e of L e n i n as a disruptive force a n d . " Were the events in Petrograd instead the 2 1 . there were 1. but b r o u g h t as m a n y as 4 5 . a n d its population suffered f r o m food shortages a n d soaring food prices t h r o u g h o u t 1916 a n d 1917. " T h e revolutionary parties played no direct part in the m a k i n g of the revolution. T h e following day the G r a n d D u k e Michael declined to accept the throne. only b e c a u s e effective g o v e r n m e n t had long since vanished. the R u s s i a n capital. 0 0 0 on strike. in favor of his brother. T h e next day there were a b o u t 2 0 0 . t h r o u g h other agents. H o u s e w i v e s . a n d the day afterward the strike b e c a m e general. As a leading historian of these events has written. . T h e governor of the city o r d e r e d p r o c l a m a t i o n s of martial law to be put u p . between m i d . the G r a n d D u k e Michael. Over half of these were politically rather than economically motivated. 19 On 8 M a r c h 1917 a d e m o n s t r a t i o n took place in celebration of International Women's D a y .

H e l p h a n d went ahead to make a r r a n g e m e n t s with the G e r m a n G e n e r a l Staff to have a railroad train placed at L e n i n ' s disposal to take him a n d his closest political associate. did play a role in inciting R u s s i a n s to strike a n d to rebel. into error. t h r o u g h their agents a n d their g o l d . t h o u g h surely not to the extent s u s p e c t e d by British Intelligence. He was in Z u r i c h . were in favor of p r o s e c u t i n g the war. 2 2 F r o m the m o m e n t that he arrived at the F i n l a n d station in P e t r o g r a d .246 THE ALLIES AT THE NADIR OF THEIR FORTUNES fruition of the conspiracy conceived by P a r v u s . In his view. In the a u t u m n of 1917. He also p o s e d conditions: between twenty a n d sixty R u s s i a n exiles s h o u l d be allowed on the train. Without a s k i n g L e n i n . including the Bolsheviks. now that they no longer had a g o v e r n m e n t they detested. At the time all political parties. and the train s h o u l d enjoy extraterritorial rights. without r e g a r d to their views a b o u t the war. B u t . in this way. insured themselves against b e i n g c o m p r o mised in R u s s i a . especially in alliance with g o v e r n m e n t s s u c h as those of F r a n c e a n d Britain that o u g h t to be overthrown. T h e G e r m a n Minister in B e r n e cabled the G e r m a n F o r e i g n Office that L e n i n and Zinoviev "believed that they h a d . the latter warily refused a n d a t t e m p t e d instead to m a k e a r r a n g e m e n t s that did not involve H e l p h a n d . cut off from participation in the great events in R u s s i a . In April of 1917 L e n i n was sent in his sealed train on his way to Russia. which he r e g a r d e d as its final s t a g e . H i s followers h a d believed that they s h o u l d s u p p o r t their country now that it h a d a republican g o v e r n m e n t of the political left. b a c k to P e t r o g r a d . when L e n i n — w i t h the aid of additional financial s u b s i d i e s from G e r m a n y — s e i z e d power in P e t r o g r a d a n d m a d e himself dictator of what r e m a i n e d of the shattered R u s s i a n . it therefore was the right time for socialist parties throughout E u r o p e to launch revolutions. H e l p h a n d h a d anticipated the Bolshevik theorist's reaction. L e n i n set a b o u t positioning his Bolshevik f a c t i o n — a s H e l p h a n d h a d e x p e c t e d — a s the only political g r o u p in R u s s i a that a d v o c a t e d ending the war immediately. a c c o r d i n g to L e n i n . At first it was not even clear whether the overthrow of the C z a r could help t h e m to achieve their g o a l — w h i c h was to defeat R u s s i a . the G e r m a n s and T u r k s . G r e g o r i Zinoviev. It was not the time to w a g e international war. the associate of the Y o u n g T u r k s ? H e l p h a n d and the G e r m a n General Staff. a n d his followers in Petrograd m i s u n d e r s t o o d what he wanted t h e m to do. with typically acerbic greetings to those who m e t him. " T h e G e r m a n government understood and agreed. as H e l p h a n d alone u n d e r s t o o d . the war d e m o n s t r a t e d that capitalism had entered into its imperialist s t a g e . When he then i s s u e d the invitation to L e n i n . T h e y had fallen. L e n i n was of a different p e r s u a s i o n — a n d was beside himself with frustration. as R u s s i a n patriots they wanted to defeat their enemies.

It was a longs t a n d i n g British belief that J e w s a n d G e r m a n s were intimately related. . . but as enemy secret agents called into existence by G e r m a n s d o i n g the work of J e w s who were devoted to the vengeful destruction of R u s s i a . T h u s the Bolsheviks c a m e to be viewed. G e r m a n s . T h e aim of the whole conspiracy was to get R u s s i a and G e r m a n y at l o g g e r h e a d s . a n d J e w s . T h e Y o u n g T u r k s — a c c o r d i n g to the doctrine long held by British officials—were controlled by J e w i s h F r e e m a s o n s who had b r o u g h t the O t t o m a n E m p i r e into alliance with G e r m a n y . . why certain m e n d i s a p p e a r e d . IV British o b s e r v e r s of the R u s s i a n revolutions in 1917 were s t r u c k by the apparent conjunction of Bolsheviks. who had been Milner's Private Secretary in S o u t h Africa and who. not as R u s s i a n s or even as ideological extremists. . . So was H e l p h a n d . with an eye like a rattlesnake . [ H ] e is the m a n who is ruling the world just now. The Thirty-Nine Steps ( 1 9 1 5 ) : A w a y behind all the g o v e r n m e n t s and the armies there was a b i g s u b t e r r a n e a n m o v e m e n t g o i n g on. In 1917 and for m a n y years afterward British officials continued to believe that the Bolsheviks were not principals in their own right. why alliances were m a d e a n d broken. [ T ] h i s is the return match for the p o g r o m s . . b u t were m e r e e m p l o y e e s of the G e r m a n G e n e r a l Staff who took their o r d e r s from J e w s a n d P r u s s i a n s in Berlin. . how one state s u d d e n l y c a m e out on t o p . who had b r o u g h t them G e r m a n m o n e y a n d s u p p o r t — a n d who had c o m e from C o n s t a n t i n o p l e a n d was an intimate of the Y o u n g T u r k s . . [ T J h e J e w was behind it. . with their own a g e n d a a n d their own objectives. b a c k i n g L e n i n had helped to drive R u s s i a out of the war. on Milner's r e c o m m e n d a t i o n . . later b e c a m e director of information services for L l o y d G e o r g e ' s g o v e r n m e n t . [ T ] h a t explained a lot . e x p r e s s e d this view in the first chapter of his classic novel of s u s p e n s e . It all s e e m e d to fit.. J o h n B u c h a n . T h e J e w is everywhere . . as he had foretold. he m o v e d immediately to take his country out of the war. and the J e w hated R u s s i a worse than hell .T H E OVERTHROW OF T H E CZAR 247 state. and he has his knife in the e m p i r e of the T s a r .. M a n y of the Bolshevik leaders were of J e w i s h origin. things that h a p p e n e d in the Balkan War. a n d where the sinews of war c a m e from. It a p p e a r e d that H e l p h a n d had served his friends in C o n s t a n t i n o p l e a n d Berlin well. engineered by very d a n g e r o u s people . the p o p u l a r novelist of i m p e r i a l i s m . In M a r c h 1918 he accepted defeat by agreeing to a peace treaty that met G e r m a n y ' s t e r m s .

B u t their o p p o n e n t s were e x h a u s t e d too. T h i n k how it has d o m i n a t e d the E a s t . a n d at the end of 1917 they were m o r e powerful than ever within the S u b l i m e P o r t e . they h a d b r o u g h t it off. V D u r i n g the Gallipoli a d v e n t u r e . but without q u e s t i o n R u s s i a ' s leaving the war in 1917 was a severe blow to Britain a n d her allies. a n d p e r h a p s L l o y d G e o r g e . It is m o r e than L o n d o n . T h o u g h at first it h a d s e e m e d a m a d l y reckless act of E n v e r and T a l a a t to b r i n g the tottering O t t o m a n E m p i r e into the war. T h i n k what its fall will m e a n . believing the war was c o m i n g to an end. T h e g o v e r n m e n t s that h a d b r o u g h t the Allied G r e a t Powers into the war against T u r k e y — t h e A s q u i t h g o v e r n m e n t i n Britain. 2 3 By then the T u r k s were too e x h a u s t e d to exploit the situation by launching an attack of their own on the R u s s i a n s . S c h o l a r s still differ in their accounts of how it c a m e a b o u t . " Y e t its c a p t u r e — w h i c h h a d s e e m e d imminent to Churchill in M a r c h 1 9 1 5 — c o n t i n u e d to p r o v e elusive. T h e n c a m e the revolutions in P e t r o g r a d . In 1917 Milner.248 THE ALLIES AT THE NADIR OF THEIR FORTUNES T h e possibility that R u s s i a m i g h t collapse h a d been Britain's nightmare ever since S e p t e m b e r 1914. After the Allies' failure to win t h r o u g h to C o n s t a n t i n o p l e in 1915. " T h i s is one of the great c a m p a i g n s in history. it was the turn of the R u s s i a n s . they h a d lost s o m e territory b u t they also s e e m e d poised to gain s o m e . g a v e up all thought of launching an attack. T h e Bolshevik Revolution had t u r n e d the one's n i g h t m a r e a n d the other's d r e a m into reality. a n d Berlin all rolled into one are to the West. 24 A g a i n s t all o d d s . sufficiently so to consider giving up s u c h a m bitious g o a l s as winning C o n s t a n t i n o p l e . Paris. the R e n e Viviani g o v e r n m e n t in F r a n c e . flirted with the idea of c o m i n g to an u n d e r s t a n d i n g with G e r m a n y . who s c o r e d s u c c e s s e s in T u r k i s h A r m e n i a in 1916 a n d were poised to m a r c h toward C o n s t a n t i n o p l e in 1917. In s o m e m e a s u r e it was T u r k e y ' s successful defense of the D a r d a n e l l e s that was responsible for b r i n g i n g t h e m d o w n . Winston Churchill h a d s a i d . in which the R u s s i a n E m p i r e rather than the O t t o m a n E m p i r e could be partitioned as the spoils of v i c t o r y . a n d an e n o r m o u s victory not only for G e r m a n y b u t also for O t t o m a n T u r k e y . a n d the R u s s i a n armies on T u r k i s h soil. T h e y no longer felt the need to cloak themselves in the respectability of Prince S a i d . T h i n k what C o n s t a n t i n o p l e is to the E a s t . a n d the C z a r and his minister S a z a n o v in R u s s i a — h a d all been overthrown. just as it h a d been the d r e a m of E n v e r P a s h a — a d r e a m which inspired h i m to b r i n g the O t t o m a n E m p i r e into the war on the s i d e of the Central P o w e r s . the O t t o m a n E m p i r e h a d held its own.

the threat from Britain was renewed. T h e selfm a d e party b o s s T a l a a t B e y boldly took the title into his own unaristocratic h a n d s . the new P r i m e Minister of Britain. T h o u g h the threat from R u s s i a was r e m o v e d . was a d y n a m o a n d a war leader of g e n i u s . T h e i r enemy. he was a fighter—and his heart was in the fight to destroy T u r k e y ' s e m p i r e . Y e t for T a l a a t and E n v e r the road a h e a d was perilous.THE OVERTHROW OF THE CZAR 249 H a l i m a n d finally allowed him to resign as G r a n d Vizier. . T h o u g h L l o y d G e o r g e was willing to explore the possibility of a c o m p r o m i s e peace with the Y o u n g T u r k s .

PART VI NEW WORLDS AND PROMISED LANDS .

a n d finally President of the U n i t e d S t a t e s . w a r n e d the Cabinet that by the end of the year "the A m e r i c a n executive a n d the A m e r i c a n p u b l i c will be in a position to dictate to this c o u n t r y . In fact he was o p p o s e d to their imperialist a m b i t i o n s a n d intended to thwart t h e m . and the economist J o h n M a y n a r d K e y n e s . b e c a m e a professor.31 T H E NEW WORLD i In 1916—17. " E n g l a n d a n d F r a n c e have not the s a m e views with r e g a r d to peace that we h a v e . He a i m e d at converting or—failing t h a t — d e f e a t i n g rather than a p p e a s i n g . 4 253 . or a politician as he was. 3 As a p u b l i c figure. the s h a d o w of the U n i t e d S t a t e s first fell over L l o y d G e o r g e ' s imperial a m b i t i o n s in the M i d d l e E a s t . Wilson had s t u d i e d law a n d g o v e r n m e n t . s p e a k i n g for the British T r e a s u r y . M o r g a n financing for Britain in D e c e m b e r 1 9 1 6 — d e m o n s t r a t i n g that he c o u l d destroy the market for Allied loans in the U n i t e d S t a t e s a n d thereby drive Britain and F r a n c e into i n s o l v e n c y . T h e g r a n d s o n of a p a s t o r a n d the son of a Presbyterian minister. " President W o o d r o w Wilson underlined the point by interfering with a J. G o v e r n o r of N e w J e r s e y . By the last q u a r t e r of 1916. A politician takes professional p r i d e in achieving c o m p r o m i s e s . a n d he p r o p o s e d to "force t h e m to our way of thinking. a n d t e m p e r a m e n t . 1 2 T h e Allies were u n s u r e of Wilson's intentions. a t h e o l o g i a n . the Allies h a d b e c o m e d e p e n d e n t u p o n the U n i t e d S t a t e s not merely for s u p p l i e s b u t for financing. T h e entry of Wilson's A m e r i c a onto the world s t a g e therefore o p e n e d up d a n g e r s as well as opportunities for L l o y d G e o r g e . Wilson w a s not easy for t h e m to u n d e r s t a n d . but Wilson—who did not wish to a p p e a r a politician—prided himself on avoiding t h e m ." T h e conflict between his goals and t h e i r s — i n the M i d d l e E a s t as e l s e w h e r e — w a s to s h a p e the politics of the years that followed. thought. he was not so m u c h a lawyer. like his father a n d g r a n d f a t h e r . Y e t in character. then President of Princeton University. P. a scholar. " he noted. T h e y were r u n n i n g out of m o n e y .

who was pro-intervention. b u t Wilson went a h e a d to issue a peace note of his own on 18 D e c e m b e r . in fact was undercutting the President's peace policy by s u g g e s t i n g to the Allies the t e r m s of their reply. E r i c h L u d e n d o r f f . character. T h e new Chief of the G e n e r a l Staff. for reasons of d o m e s t i c politics. he frequently inspired others to share his vision. a n d still remains. a n d principles. T h e Allies at times misinterpreted the President's w o r d s and actions as a show put on for p u r p o s e s of domestic politics. It was contrary to what the President had s o u g h t . which has p r o v e d itself radically alien to Western civilization. believed that the war could be . B e t h m a n n . He was. a n d h e a n d the F r e n c h believed that Wilson was really asking for a p r o g r a m on the basis of which he could b r i n g the U n i t e d S t a t e s into the war—which is what S e c r e t a r y of S t a t e R o b e r t L a n s i n g allowed them to unders t a n d . a n d the expulsion from E u r o p e of the O t t o m a n E m p i r e . a controversial figure: p r i m a n d bespectacled. he often saw. T h e Allies o b l i g e d . 5 II B e t h m a n n lost all control of his g o v e r n m e n t in early 1917. whose features a p p e a r e d finely ascetic to his a d m i r e r s . the civilian Chancellor of G e r m a n y . B e t h m a n n Hollweg. a n d it is not clear how he would have p r o c e e d e d if G e r m a n y had not s u d d e n l y p u s h e d him into the a r m s of the Allies. who for m o n t h s had desired a negotiated settlement. T h u s they m i s u n d e r s t o o d Wilson's attempt to mediate an end to the w a r — a mission that he undertook at the request of the G e r m a n Chancellor at the end of 1916. they defined their goals in sweeping t e r m s . L a n s i n g . moral issues in a controversy when others d i d not. L l o y d G e o r g e had j u s t b e c o m e P r i m e Minister. He was a c o m p l e x a n d forb i d d i n g figure. forwarded a note to the U n i t e d S t a t e s on 12 D e c e m b e r 1916. clearly the O t t o m a n E m p i r e would not negotiate a c o m p r o mise peace on the basis of it." T h i s w a s not a peace p r o p o s a l b u t a war cry. asking the Allies to define their war goals in the hope of narrowing the differences between the two sides. a m o n g t h e m — " T h e liberation of the peoples who now live beneath the m u r d e r o u s tyranny of the T u r k s . a n d his animating military g e n i u s . the aloof and scholarly President. a p p e a r e d p r i g g i s h a n d self-righteous to others. e x p r e s s i n g a willingness to talk p e a c e .254 NEW W O R L D S A N D PROMISED LANDS A m a n of high m i n d . Paul von H i n d e n b u r g . a n d failed to a p p r e c i a t e the sincerity of his desire to keep the U n i t e d S t a t e s out of the world w a r — a n d to keep them out of the new colonies they planned to establish for themselves in s u c h areas as the M i d d l e E a s t . was u n a b l e to m a k e the note m o r e specific.

"it should be on an issue directly between us and t h e m . wrote to him that the opinion of the A m e r i c a n public. whatever their m e r i t s . 6 On 24 M a r c h J o s e p h Patrick T u m u l t y . T h e British government turned over an intercepted copy of Zimmerman's cable to President Wilson. e x a c e r b a t e d b y the notorious Z i m m e r m a n t e l e g r a m . T h e President's political p r o b l e m — w h i c h was about to play a role in s h a p i n g his g o a l s in the M i d d l e E a s t a n d elsewhere—was that he was the leader of a minority party. T o carry the country behind his c a n d i d a t e s a n d his p r o g r a m in future elections he would need to hold the s a m e s w i n g voting g r o u p s that had thrown the 1916 race to h i m : the big-city Irish Catholics who were anti-British a n d the mainly R e p u b l i c a n . G e r m a n s u b m a r i n e s sank three A m e r i c a n m e r c h a n t vessels. as revealed by editorials in n e w s p a p e r s all over the country.A m e r i c a n s ( m a n y of t h e m b o r n in G e r m a n y ) who were p r o . who published it. New Mexico. if it c a m e . would c o m e too late. with s o m e voting for William H o w a r d T a f t ' s R e g u l a r s a n d others for T h e o d o r e Roosevelt's P r o g r e s s i v e s . a n d that A m e r i c a n intervention in the war. In 1912 he h a d won the presidency only b e c a u s e the majority p a r t y — t h e R e p u b l i c a n s — h a d split in two.G e r m a n . " A m e r i c a should not be tied to Allied war g o a l s . and Arizona. the President's long-time private secretary. sent a secret cable instructing his Minister in Mexico to seek an alliance with Mexico against the United States. Arthur Zimmerman. O n 2 0 M a r c h the President m e t with his C a b i n e t to solicit advice. G e r m a n policy was dictated by the military leaders. 7 T h e German Foreign Secretary. He listened to the views of his C a b i n e t and said little. S w e p t against his will into the Allied c a m p . p u s h e d the U n i t e d S t a t e s toward a declaration of war. was that if the U n i t e d S t a t e s went to war against G e r m a n y . A m e r i c a n s s h o u l d not be asked to die for other people's c a u s e s . M i d d l e Western G e r m a n .b o a t s left him no choice: on 17 M a r c h 1917. H o w was he to b r i n g the U n i t e d S t a t e s into the Allied c a m p without alienating these groups? Yet the U . t h o u g h substantial n u m b e r s of A m e r i c a n s resisted the logic of events and remained a d a m a n t l y o p p o s e d to involvement in the war.T H E NEW W O R L D 255 won speedily and that c o m p r o m i s e was u n n e c e s s a r y . T h e G e r m a n s u b m a r i n e c a m p a i g n . He did not tell the C a b i n e t whether he h a d m a d e up his m i n d what to d o . Mexico was to be given Texas. a n d in 1916 he had been reelected only with the s u p p o r t of the P r o g r e s s i v e s in the normally R e p u b l i c a n M i d d l e a n d F a r West. . although he r e m a r k e d on the "apparent a p a t h y of the M i d d l e West" as a p r o b l e m to be o v e r c o m e . the President faced the challenge of uniting his country b e h i n d h i m . who a s s u r e d the K a i s e r in J a n u a r y 1917 that unrestricted s u b m a r i n e warfare c o u l d force the British into s u b m i s s i o n within six m o n t h s .

which h a d recently joined the Central P o w e r s . he asserted that " T h e world m u s t be m a d e safe for d e m o c r a c y . T h i s was an extraordinary decision: to fight a l o n g s i d e Britain. " Implicitly distinguishing A m e r i c a n policy from that of the Allied Powers. Italy. in a p h r a s e that b e c a m e f a m o u s . the U n i t e d S t a t e s did not declare war against the H a b s b u r g E m p i r e until the e n d of 1917. at least for the m o m e n t . It was an indication of a fundamental conflict between the E u r o p e a n belligerents a n d Wilson's A m e r i c a as to the p u r p o s e of the war a n d the s h a p e of the . Wilson p r o c l a i m e d that "We have no selfish e n d s to serve. In fact the U n i t e d S t a t e s never declared or m a d e war against t h e m . B u t he d e p a r t e d from the specific quarrel about the merchant vessels to challenge the G e r m a n g o v e r n m e n t — a n d the Allied governm e nt s t o o — o n m o r e general g r o u n d s . H e said that since A u s t r i a H u n g a r y h a d not m a d e war on the U n i t e d S t a t e s . We seek no indemnities for ourselves.256 NEW W O R L D S AND P R O M I S E D L A N D S When Wilson went before C o n g r e s s the evening of 2 April to ask for a declaration of war against the G e r m a n E m p i r e . for he devoted m u c h of his speech to the U n i t e d S t a t e s ' special g o a l s .) E m p h a s i z i n g even further that he p r o p o s e d to enter the war on political g r o u n d s of his own choosing. To e m p h a s i z e that the quarrel w a s a b o u t the sinking of A m e r i c a n s h i p s . a n d to fight against G e r m a n y . it b e c a m e evident that he was thinking along the s a m e lines. constituted "a war against all nations". T h e actions o f the K a i s e r ' s g o v e r n m e n t . although the P o r t e — a s a result of G e r m a n p r e s s u r e — b r o k e off d i p l o m a t i c relations with the U n i t e d States. no material c o m p e n s a t i o n for the sacrifices we shall freely m a k e . a n d . but to refuse to fight against G e r m a n y ' s allies. would not m a k e war on her. would fight "for the ultimate p e a c e of the world. A c t s of war were b e i n g c o m m i t t e d against the U n i t e d S t a t e s . a n d chose to be designated as an associate rather than as an ally. he told C o n g r e s s . a n d for the liberation of its p e o p l e s . the G e r m a n peoples included". b u t to refuse to be their ally. the President p o s t p o n e d consideration of relations with G e r m a n y ' s ally. F r a n c e . In explaining why he felt c o m p e l l e d to ask for a declaration of war. " 8 9 1 0 T h e point was later m a d e explicit when the U n i t e d S t a t e s — keeping her distance f r o m the E u r o p e a n s and their s u s p e c t political a m b i t i o n s — d e c l i n e d to b e c o m e one of the Allies. " T h e U n i t e d S t a t e s . to which she had no honorable choice b u t to r e s p o n d in kind. the U n i t e d S t a t e s . ( I n the event. a n d R u s s i a . the H a b s b u r g E m p i r e . he narrowed the focus of the quarrel with G e r m a n y to g r o u n d s on which it was difficult to fault h i m : the G e r m a n s h a d s u n k three A m e r i c a n merchant vessels a n d p r o p o s e d to sink m o r e . he said. a n d so " T h e challenge is to all m a n k i n d . the President did not mention the O t t o m a n E m p i r e at all. nor B u l g a r i a .

sent copies of the secret a g r e e m e n t s to Washington on 18 M a y 1917. that the Allied g o v e r n m e n t s h a d entered into secret agreem e n t s with one another to a g g r a n d i z e their e m p i r e s . T h e y pictured the war as a greedy s t r u g g l e for spoils. T h e y d e n o u n c e d his policy as aiding i m p e r i a l i s m . a n d feared that if these a g r e e m e n t s were m a d e known they might confirm the c h a r g e leveled against him that he h a d associated the U n i t e d S t a t e s with a war that served essentially imperialistic interests. H o u s e (who u s e d his honorary T e x a s title of colonel) was d i s m a y e d by their contents. Other a g r e e m e n t s p r o vided for R u s s i a a n d Italy to annex portions of what is now T u r k e y . A r t h u r Balfour. T h e intervention of the U n i t e d S t a t e s was to cast a long s h a d o w over the g a i n s with which the E n t e n t e Powers had p r o m i s e d to reward one another at the e n d of the war. correctly. they p u b l i s h e d the copies of the secret a g r e e m e nt s that they discovered in the R u s s i a n archives. a n d c l a i m e d the war was b e i n g fought in the service of major financial interests. for they represented voting blocs he could not i g n o r e . felt these were matters best not g o n e into until the war w a s won. p r o v i d e d for Britain a n d F r a n c e to divide u p the A r a b i c . E d w a r d M a n d e l l H o u s e . on principle. Y e t he knew that if news of the a g r e e m e n t s leaked out it would hurt t h e m all. for e x a m p l e . . T h e secret S y k e s Picot A g r e e m e n t . As an o p p o n e n t . " 11 T h e Allies would not renounce the claims that they h a d staked out for themselves in their secret a g r e e m e n t s .THE NEW WORLD 257 peace. Wilson i n q u i r e d into the details of the secret treaties—even t h o u g h his political confidant. Of the plan to partition the M i d d l e E a s t . Ill T h e President was concerned a b o u t the attacks on his war policy by P r o g r e s s i v e and Socialist leaders in the M i d d l e West.s p e a k i n g M i d d l e E a s t . T h e y attacked where the President felt vulnerable. of secret treaties. F e a r f u l of the effect on A m e r i c a n p u b l i c opinion. b u t he was not able to do s o . When the Bolsheviks seized power in P e t r o g r a d . he was p u s h e d into the paradoxical position of trying to keep the M i d d l e E a s t e r n a g r e e m e n t s a secret. Wilson t r i e d — b u t failed—to prevent the publication of the treaties in the U n i t e d S t a t e s . T h e President could not use coercion to m a k e t h e m do s o : while fighting a l o n g s i d e t h e m he could not hurt t h e m without hurting the U n i t e d S t a t e s . T h e y are m a k i n g it a b r e e d i n g place for future w a r . Colonel H o u s e presciently r e m a r k e d that "It is all b a d and I told Balfour s o . for he believed. especially in the M i d d l e East. In r e s p o n s e to the President's inquiry. the British F o r e i g n Secretary.

a n d . outlined A m e r i c a n objectives with respect to it: "12. on 11 F e b r u a r y 1918. freedom of the s e a s . of the balance of a n d provinces are not to be bartered a b o u t to sovereignty as if they were chattels or even the great g a m e . T h e T u r k i s h portions of the present O t t o m a n e m p i r e should be a s s u r e d a secure sovereignty. that peoples hitherto ruled by the T u r k s s h o u l d b e c o m e a u t o n o m o u s . Wilson had p r o p o s e d that T u r k e y be wiped off the m a p . his main interest in the M i d d l e E a s t was missionary a n d . Wilson took the offensive by redefining the goals for which the war was b e i n g fought. s o m e were of a general n a t u r e : no m o r e secret a g r e e m e n t s between countries. Wilson s p o k e to C o n g r e s s a n d defined in a general way the F o u r Principles u p o n which the peace settlement should b e m a d e . Wilson defined the new war goals in several ways a n d on a n u m b e r of occasions. " In an earlier draft. 12 1 3 Point T w e l v e e x p r e s s e d the view. Point T w e l v e . p o w e r . freedom of trade. although the U n i t e d S t a t e s was not at war with the O t t o m a n E m p i r e . he s e e m s to have kept in m i n d the T u r k i s h m a s s a c r e s of C h r i s t i a n s . Only a year before. was in line with the President's claim that the U n i t e d S t a t e s was fighting the g o v e r n m e n t s rather than the peoples of her a d v e r s a r i e s . like L l o y d G e o r g e . of these. s h a r e d by Wilson a n d H o u s e . general d i s a r m a m e n t . then an editor of the New Republic. however. T h e final version. which he outlined to a joint session of C o n g r e s s on 8 J a n u a r y 1918. T h a t peoples from sovereignty p a w n s in a g a m e . Others dealt with specific i s s u e s . however. in a way that he j u d g e d would purify the Allied c a u s e . M o s t f a m o u s were the F o u r t e e n Points. Of these. a n d the establishment of an association of nations to guarantee the independence and territorial integrity of all nations. drafted by his a d v i s e r s . T h e second and third principles were: 2. Wilson a n d H o u s e had a g r e e d that it would be unwise for the President to d i s c u s s in public his plans for d i s p l a c i n g the O t t o m a n regime b e c a u s e his w o r d s might endanger the A m e r i c a n missionary colleges in Beirut a n d outside Constantinople. but the other nationalities which are now u n d e r T u r k i s h rule s h o u l d be a s s u r e d an u n d o u b t e d security of life a n d an absolutely u n m o l e s t e d opportunity of a u t o n o m o u s d e v e l o p m e n t . now for ever discredited. that the M i d d l e E a s t should not be divided a m o n g the belligerent p o w e r s . d i p l o m a c y and negotiation always to take place in the public view. 1 4 15 A m o n t h later. but that .258 NEW W O R L D S AND PROMISED LANDS F a l l i n g back on a s u g g e s t i o n by his brilliant y o u n g journalist s u p p o r t e r Walter L i p p m a n n . in the hopes of b o o s t i n g public morale on his own side and of again a p p e a l i n g to the G e r m a n people over the heads of their leaders. a n d an end of tariff a n d other economic b a r r i e r s .

At the t i m e . not by the Allied g o v e r n m e n t s . Its chairman asked S e c r e t a r y of S t a t e L a n s i n g for a fuller explanation of the Administration's r e a s o n s for not d o i n g s o . . It also s e e m e d an anomaly that the U n i t e d S t a t e s should have declared war against G e r m a n y and later against A u s t r i a . a n d not as a part of any m e r e a d j u s t m e n t or c o m p r o m i s e of claims a m o n g s t rival states . Wilson's peace p r o p o s a l s were received with a r d e n t enthusia s m . T h e tactic failed. He h a d not. D e f e a t e d in his efforts to p e r s u a d e the Allies to r e p u d i a t e the secret treaties. or of political relationship. with which the U n i t e d S t a t e s was not at war.THE NEW WORLD 259 3. a n d not u p o n the basis of the material interest or a d v a n t a g e of any other nation or people which m a y desire a different settlement for the sake of its own exterior influence or m a s t e r y . 16 I n d e e d they represented a challenge to the Allied as well as to the enemy g o v e r n m e n t s . E v e r y territorial settlement involved in this war m u s t be m a d e in the interest and for the benefit of the p o p u l a t i o n s concerned. a n d for a g o o d r e a s o n : he knew they would turn it d o w n . for he had a s s u m e d that Wilson had coordinated his plan with the Allies before m a k i n g it p u b l i c . As Walter L i p p m a n n ' s b i o g r a p h e r has written. At first this p u z z l e d L i p p m a n n . In a speech on 4 J u l y 1918. . revealingly. the S e c r e t a r y of S t a t e cited a n u m b e r of r e a s o n s . of economic a r r a n g e m e n t . IV Point T w e l v e was not only unilateral b u t also a n o m a l o u s : the President was p r o p o s i n g to d i s m e m b e r the O t t o m a n E m p i r e . T h e S e n a t e F o r e i g n Relations C o m m i t t e e a p p e a r e d t o b e i n favor of i s s u i n g the additional declarations of war. the U n i t e d S t a t e s held no significant t r a d e .H u n g a r y without also declaring war against their allies. b u t . a n d as a result the F o u r t e e n Points were simply a unilateral A m e r i c a n p r o n o u n c e m e n t rather than a declaration of Allied p o l i c y . Wilson defined the F o u r E n d s for which the U n i t e d S t a t e s a n d its associates were fighting as including T h e settlement of every question. he h a d tried to induce the peoples of E u r o p e to p u t p r e s s u r e on their own g o v e r n m e n t s . u p o n the b a s i s of the free acceptance of that settlement by the people immediately concerned. whether of territory or sovereignty. In a lengthy m e m o r a n d u m s u b m i t t e d by L a n s i n g in reply. .

President Wilson personally chose . L a n s i n g pointed out to the President.s u p p o r t e d c o l l e g e s — R o b e r t College a n d the S y r i a n Protestant College—with which Wilson's friend a n d chief f i n a n c i a l s u p p o r t e r . D e s p i t e the m a n y reasons cited by L a n s i n g for the Administration's decision. b y . b e g i n n i n g with n a m e s r e c o m m e n d e d by the president of H a r v a r d University a n d by the editor of the New Republic. 1 8 V At the President's r e q u e s t . He also w a r n e d that. he agreed to s o u n d out the Allies as to whether they believed the additional declarations of war would help or hinder the war effort. C o n g r e s s r e m a i n e d unconvinced. a n d pointed out that T u r k e y had not attacked the U n i t e d S t a t e s . a n d that this aid w o u l d be cut off in the event of w a r . L a n s i n g reported to the President that the Allies were of the opinion that it w o u l d be helpful if the U n i t e d S t a t e s were to issue the additional declarations of war. b e g a n in early S e p t e m b e r 1917 to a s s e m b l e a g r o u p of assistants to help him formulate America's plans for the postwar world.260 NEW W O R L D S AND PROMISED LANDS economic. L a n s i n g said that the decision was essentially one for C o n g r e s s to m a k e . A t Wilson's suggestion.p a s s i n g the S t a t e D e p a r t m e n t . Colonel H o u s e . Christians and J e w s in the O t t o m a n E m p i r e might b e c o m e the victims of new m a s s a c r e s . At the request of the c o m m i t t e e . B u t L a n s i n g a r g u e d that s a f e g u a r d i n g these institutions in itself was of sufficient i m p o r t a n c e to justify the Administration's policy. was intimately concerned. T e s t i f y i n g before the S e n a t e F o r e i g n Relations C o m m i t t e e . Cleveland D o d g e . L a n s i n g saw no particular a d v a n t a g e to be gained by declaring war.n a m e d "the I n q u i r y . It was to be an independent g r o u p to which no publicity was to be g i v e n : it was c o d e . in the event of war. In M a y . T h u s the U n i t e d S t a t e s r e m a i n e d at peace with the O t t o m a n E m p i r e while the President continued to formulate his plans for breaking it u p . T h e S e n a t e F o r e i g n Relations C o m m i t t e e w a s s o informed a n d reluctantly accepted his decision. " It met at first in the N e w Y o r k Public L i b r a r y . T h e President reaffirmed his decision not to declare war. however. and a resolution was introduced in the S e n a t e in 1918 calling for the additional declarations of war. that m o r e than a million dollars a m o n t h was being sent to A m e r i c a n missionaries in the O t t o m a n E m p i r e to feed and care for S y r i a n s a n d A r m e n i a n s . H o u s e drew participants principally from the a c a d e m i c world. He indicated that these institutions were worth millions of dollars and m i g h t be confiscated in the event of war. or political stakes in the M i d d l e E a s t other than two Protestant m i s s i o n a r y .

also a m e m b e r . Britain's F o r e i g n Secretary. F e w of the reports h a d any b e a r i n g on the question of A m e r i c a n national i n t e r e s t s . the g r o u p a s s e m b l e d b y H o u s e n u m b e r e d 126. T h e vast majority of its m e m b e r s had received their final a c a d e m i c d e g r e e s from one of four elite u n i v e r s i t i e s — C h i c a g o . its c h a i r m a n was a student of the C r u s a d e s . c o m p o s e d of ten scholars o p e r a t i n g out of Princeton University. Y e t the I n q u i r y — a p a r t f r o m its professionally d r a w n m a p s — was c o n d u c t e d a m a t e u r i s h l y . in w a g i n g a twentieth-century war in which tanks a n d airplanes m a d e their a p p e a r a n c e .THE NEW W O R L D 261 Walter L i p p m a n n . A t its peak. H a r v a r d . T h e chairman's s o n . M a n y delved into q u e s t i o n s of literature a n d architecture that could have no conceivable b e a r i n g on the t e r m s of an eventual peace treaty. 22 It was typical that even in the e c o n o m i c section of the M i d d l e E a s t e r n g r o u p ' s report. C o l u m b i a . M a n y of the researchers d i d no m o r e than s u m m a r i z e the information that they found in an encyclopaedia. the I n q u i r y p r o ceeded to look t h e m u p . T h e M i d d l e E a s t e r n g r o u p . there was no mention of the possibility that significant d e p o s i t s of p e t r o l e u m m i g h t be found in that part of the world. 23 VI While the President's peace p r o g r a m w a s in s o m e r e s p e c t s quixotic. was a specialist in L a t i n A m e r i c a n s t u d i e s . B a l f o u r . d i d not include any specialists in the c o n t e m p o r a r y M i d d l e E a s t . beyond that. 19 2 0 21 T h e choice of the N e w Y o r k Public L i b r a r y as its first h e a d q u a r t e r s s y m b o l i z e d the a p p r o a c h a d o p t e d by the I n q u i r y : having raised all the political q u e s t i o n s that divide the h u m a n race. a n d two p r o f e s s o r s who specialized in ancient Persian l a n g u a g e s a n d l i t e r a t u r e . Y e t in 1918. his m i n d would not g o : " C o m i n g generations m i g h t find it possible to see the thing as it really existed. the U n i t e d S t a t e s discovered ( a s did F r a n c e that s a m e year. T h a t the Inquiry's reports o n the M i d d l e E a s t ignored the oil issue was an indication of the unworldliness of the President's m e n that b o d e d ill for the future Peace C o n f e r e n c e ." b u t he a n d his . a n d Y a l e — a n d m a n y were recruited directly from the faculties of those or similar i n s t i t u t i o n s . said that the war "was p e r h a p s the b i g g e s t event in history" b u t that. a n d as Winston Churchill h a d done in Britain before the war) that the vast quantities of petroleum r e q u i r e d in m o d e r n warfare had rendered the potential oil resources which were s u s p e c t e d to exist in the M i d d l e E a s t of considerable i m p o r t a n c e . A m o n g other m e m b e r s were an expert on the A m e r i c a n I n d i a n . the extraordinary r e s p o n s e that it evoked throughout the world showed that it e x p r e s s e d a w i d e s p r e a d yearning to u n d e r s t a n d why the war w a s b e i n g f o u g h t . an engineer.

could have lifted the inevitable horror of war into a deed so full of m e a n i n g . 26 . had g r o w n so m u c h larger than the events that c a u s e d it that its c a u s e s s e e m e d a l m o s t a b s u r d l y insignificant by c o m p a r i s o n . neither Wilson nor those who took part in his I n q u i r y had f o r m u l a t e d concrete p r o g r a m s that would translate p r o m i s e s into realities: the President's p r o g r a m was v a g u e a n d b o u n d to a r o u s e millennial expectations—which m a d e it practically certain that any agreement achieved by politicians w o u l d d i s a p p o i n t . . as he so often did. If it is any other sort of peace then I shall want to run away a n d hide . it will be swept away by the peoples of the world in less than a generation. T h e war. by 1917. had given the war a meaning. 25 Y e a r s later. . in off-the-record c o m m e n t s a b o a r d ship en route to the peace conferences in 1919. had found the word for it: the President. Wilson told his associates that "I am convinced that if this peace is not m a d e on the highest principles of justice. for there will follow not m e r e conflict b u t cataclysm. Walter L i p p m a n n wrote to h i m (in w o r d s that were to a p p e a r in the New Republic later in the w e e k ) : "Only a s t a t e s m a n who will be called great could have m a d e America's intervention m e a n so m u c h to the g e n e r o u s forces of the world. T h e day after W o o d r o w Wilson delivered his speech to C o n g r e s s asking for a declaration of war. by a d o p t i n g the g o a l s that he d i d . " L i p p m a n n ." H o w e v e r .262 NEW W O R L D S AND PROMISED LANDS generation could not.

L l o y d G e o r g e was d o i n g j u s t the opposite. L l o y d G e o r g e took the other view: the enormity of the war required indemnities a n d annexations on an e n o r m o u s scale. no two men could have been less alike than the austere A m e r i c a n President a n d the c h a r m i n g b u t morally lax British P r i m e Minister. L l o y d G e o r g e . to have overturned the A s q u i t h Cabinet's agreement with the Allies to e x p a n d their e m p i r e s — b u t he did not do s o . h a d found it difficult to keep their pacifist a n d anti-war s u p p o r t e r s in line. on b e c o m i n g P r i m e Minister. for while Wilson was m o v i n g in an ever m o r e progressive a n d idealistic direction.p a s s i n g the D e p a r t m e n t of S t a t e and the F o r e i g n Office. they were s i m i l a r : loners who h a d won power t h r o u g h the fluke of a party split. L l o y d G e o r g e felt m u c h the s a m e need to reformulate war goals that Wilson d i d . b y .32 L L O Y D GEORGE'S ZIONISM i As h u m a n b e i n g s . B o t h m e n were of the political left. B o t h Wilson a n d L l o y d G e o r g e p r o m i s e d the p e o p l e s of the O t t o m a n E m p i r e a better life. In this the P r i m e Minister's goals coincided with those of K i t c h e n e r ' s lieutenants who exercised day-today control of British Cairo's M i d d l e E a s t e r n policy. In his Radical youth he h a d o p p o s e d British i m p e r i a l i s m a n d it would have been in character for h i m . B o t h Wilson a n d L l o y d G e o r g e h a d been reluctant to let their countries enter the war a n d . E a c h carried on a personal foreign policy. t h o u g h . As politicians. Wilson p r o claimed that the enormity of the war required peace without annexations. . thus the chances that his policy would actually be carried out were i m p r o v e d . b u t there the similarities c a m e to an end. p r o p o s e d to give the M i d d l e E a s t better government than it c o u l d give itself. b u t where Wilson held out the h o p e of self-government. but arrived at different conclusions. L l o y d G e o r g e could have been e x p e c t e d t o s h a r e the U n i t e d S t a t e s ' aversion to imperialist d e s i g n s on the M i d d l e E a s t . after o p t i n g for war. while e m p l o y i n g the rhetoric of national liberation. H a d his political p a s t been a g u i d e to his future p e r f o r m a n c e .

In early J a n u a r y the p r e s s lord. T h e i r strategy. w h o m he installed at Milner's s u g g e s t i o n as D i r e c t o r of Information. " In G e r m a n y the G e n e r a l Staff was in the process of sweeping aside the civilian Chancellor. the P r i m e Minister could not be certain that the British I m p e r i a l G e n e r a l Staff would not attempt s o m e t h i n g similar. to launch a p r o p a g a n d a c a m p a i g n portraying the destruction of the O t t o m a n E m p i r e as a m a j o r p u r p o s e of the war. the leaders of his own L i b e r a l Party. s e e m e d possible. the War Office asked s o m e o n e close to L l o y d G e o r g e to warn h i m that the generals were going to fight him a n d that he "might not get the best of it [original e m p h a s i s ] . would "have p r o d u c e d a decisive effect on the fortunes of the W a r . even the previously u n i m a g i n a b l e . in a heated conversation threatened "to break" L l o y d G e o r g e unless he called off his eastern s t r a t e g y . T h e i r n e w s p a p e r friends on Fleet Street took up the c a u s e . It w a s one of those times in world politics when anything. a n d in this were s u p p o r t e d b y K i n g G e o r g e . a n d a p p e a r e d confident that he could b r i n g d o w n L l o y d G e o r g e in J a n u a r y if he chose. 4 5 . and the g e n e r a l s against him. a s always. L o n g afterward. " A c c o r d i n g to L l o y d G e o r g e . he s a i d : "the resolute facade the T u r k s presented to the Allies . the new P r i m e Minister b r o u g h t old-fashioned R a d i c a l fervor to s u c h e m e r g i n g war goals as the destruction of the reactionary O t t o m a n E m p i r e — g o a l s that harked back to the glorious d a y s of nineteenth-century L i b e r a l i s m . 3 Yet he stood as firm as he could on his eastern strategy. . Northcliffe g a v e himself the credit for having overthrown A s q u i t h in D e c e m b e r . L o r d Northcliffe. was t o concentrate all resources on the western front. T h e c a m p a i g n c a p t u r e d the imagination of the p u b l i c : " T h e T u r k M u s t G o ! " p r o v e d t o b e a n effective s l o g a n . he wrote that "nothing a n d n o b o d y could have saved the T u r k from complete collapse in 1915 and 1916 except our G e n e r a l S t a f f . " It would have been easy to beat T u r k e y at any time. O n e of L l o y d G e o r g e ' s first actions on b e c o m i n g P r i m e Minister was to order his armies in E g y p t onto the offensive. it also p r o v e d . had nothing behind it. they continued to d e m a n d s u p r e m e control over military decisions. O n e of the others was to order J o h n B u c h a n .264 NEW W O R L D S AND PROMISED LANDS T a k i n g office as 1916 turned into 1917. and they c o m p l a i n e d that their professional j u d g m e n t w a s b e i n g defied by the new P r i m e Minister. 1 L l o y d G e o r g e ' s p r o g r a m of s e n d i n g troops to fight in the E a s t b r o u g h t h i m into i m m e d i a t e conflict with his generals. . a victory over the O t t o m a n E m p i r e before the end of 1916. scornful of his military advisers. at least in the short run. the p r e s s . L i k e Wilson's proclaimed points a n d principles. It was part of the War Office g a m e to pretend that the T u r k s had f o r m i d a b l e forces with a m p l e reserves. g o o d politics. 2 At a b o u t the s a m e time. when B u l g a r i a entered the war. With the K i n g .

Churchill sent a private w a r n i n g to the P r i m e Minister that. . a n d . 1 0 As always. " S u c h m e n are too d a n g e r o u s for high office. either their information w a s defective. he a n d Britain's military leaders fought a war of m a n e u v e r a n d intrigue against each other. As L l o y d G e o r g e knew well. S o m e day history will p e r h a p s clear up this q u e s t i o n . . T h e m o s t d a n g e r o u s politician to attack the g o v e r n m e n t w a s his one-time p r o t e g e Winston Churchill. " L l o y d G e o r g e confided t o F r a n c e s S t e v e n s o n ." noted a friend of the two m e n . he w a s powerless to i m p o s e his own views on the Allied c o m m a n d e r s . "His tone w a s rather bitter in s p e a k i n g of L l o y d G e o r g e w h o m he h a d evidently c o m e to consider as his detested antagonist. it w a s here . it w a s a q u e s t i o n of whether it was a greater risk to leave Churchill out or to b r i n g h i m in. D e f e a t i n g T u r k e y would open up the B a l k a n s to s u c h an attack. he w a s able to s u p p o r t his position by q u o t i n g von H i n d e n b u r g . "He b r o u g h t T u r k e y into the W a r . On 10 M a y 1917 Churchill a n d L l o y d G e o r g e h a p p e n e d to meet after a session of the H o u s e of C o m m o n s . the chief of the G e r m a n G e n e r a l Staff: "If ever there w a s a p r o s p e c t of a brilliant strategic feat. he had no d e p t h of s u p p o r t in Parliament. . Writing long afterward. " the P r i m e M i n i s t e r s a i d . that he n e e d e d Churchill to cheer him up and e n c o u r a g e him at a time when he w a s s u r r o u n d e d by colleagues with g l o o m y faces. the d i s p a r a t e opposition g r o u p s in the C o m m o n s might unite to b r i n g him d o w n . but his p r o b l e m w a s that he lacked the political strength to face d o w n the g e n e r a l s a n d to c o m m a n d e e r troops a n d e q u i p m e n t in sufficient quantity to do the j o b . a n d the P r i m e Minister spoke of his desire to have Churchill in the C a b i n e t . L l o y d G e o r g e had e x c l u d e d him f r o m the C a b i n e t . T h r o u g h out 1917 a n d well into 1918. " 6 7 L l o y d G e o r g e wanted to do it. " F r o m the b e g i n n i n g of the war. Churchill b r o u g h t to b e a r his vast knowledge of military affairs a n d his g r a s p of detail in criticizing the c o n d u c t of the war. yet as P r i m e Minister he was responsible to Parliament for their continuing costly failures. his secretary and mistress. . . . L l o y d G e o r g e had a r g u e d that G e r m a n y c o u l d be beaten by an attack t h r o u g h the B a l k a n s .J u l y he a p p o i n t e d Churchill M i n i s t e r of M u n i t i o n s . or they were easily taken i n . there w a s m u c h to criticize. Why did E n g l a n d never m a k e use o f her o p p o r t u n i t y ? . In m i d ." 8 9 In s p e e c h e s a n d n e w s p a p e r articles. even t h o u g h the p o s t did not . dissatisfied with the c o n d u c t of the war. L l o y d G e o r g e ' s position w a s p r e c a r i o u s .LLOYD GEORGE'S ZIONISM 265 T h e y m a y have believed it. T h o u g h he still thought Churchill had "spoilt himself by reading a b o u t N a p o l e o n . Churchill had c a u s e to be bitter. b u t if s o . K e e p i n g his lines of c o m m u n i cation open. where he w a s s u s t a i n e d for the time b e i n g by former enemies and distrusted by former friends.

he had a p p r o a c h e d the S e c r e t a r y of the War C a b i n e t with a revived plan to invade the M i d d l e E a s t . T h e implied message was that a Lloyd George government. to bring Churchill back to power as First Lord of the Admiralty. who had risen from the underworld of S m y r n a to b e c o m e the world's m o s t notorious a r m s s a l e s m a n . E n v e r P a s h a . who held his angry Conservatives in line. was preferable. 15 Lloyd George was saved by Bonar Law. which were: A r a b i a to be independent. would have been d i s m a y e d b u t not s u r p r i s e d to learn that. " Churchill's family a n d friends. writing to c o n g r a t u l a t e him on b e c o m i n g Minister of M u n i t i o n s . Nonetheless. who were worried for the country. T h e W a r C a b i n e t ignored his p r o p o s a l . T h r o u g h his emissary. T h e P r i m e Minister's agent in the negotiations was Vincent C a i l l a r d . with Churchill confined to a relatively less important position.* Churchill's aunt. known in the p o p u l a r p r e s s as the "merchant of d e a t h . in turn.f a c e . 11 . at first through a go-between and then f a c e . if he came back as Prime Minister. " Zaharoff j o u r n e y e d to G e n e v a in 1917 a n d 1918 a n d reported that he was able to conduct negotiations there with E n v e r P a s h a . M e s o p o t a m i a a n d Palestine to b e c o m e de facto British protectorates. 12 13 1 4 II Within m o n t h s of taking office. A r m e n i a a n d S y r i a to enjoy local a u t o n o m y within the O t t o m a n E m p i r e . the P r i m e Minister offered b r i b e s — l a r g e bank a c c o u n t s — t o E n v e r a n d his associates to leave the war on Britain's terms. L l o y d G e o r g e was engaged in secret negotiations with the Y o u n g T u r k leader. Lloyd George cleverly told him that Asquith had pledged. who had spent m a n y years in C o n s t a n t i n o p l e as president of the council of administration of the O t t o m a n Public D e b t . he remained loyal to the Prime Minister. within a week of his a p p o i n t m e n t . Basil Zaharoff. the a p p o i n t m e n t immediately a r o u s e d s u c h o p p o s i t i o n that for a time it endangered the government's existence. a d d e d " M y advice is stick to munitions & don't try & run the g o v e r n m e n t ! " T h e new a p p o i n t m e n t p r o m p t e d The Times to warn that the country "is in no m o o d to tolerate even a forlorn attempt to resuscitate a m a t e u r s t r a t e g y . a n d i t c a m e to nothing. C a i l l a r d . financial director of the giant a r m a m e n t s firm Vickers.t o . who were worried for h i m .266 NEW W O R L D S AND P R O M I S E D L A N D S carry with it m e m b e r s h i p in the W a r C a b i n e t . Bonar Law disliked Churchill. acted t h r o u g h his close b u s i n e s s associate. He p r o p o s e d to land British a r m i e s at the port of A l e x a n d r e t t a to invade northern S y r i a a n d cut across the lines of transportation and c o m m u n i c a t i o n of the O t t o m a n E m p i r e . a n d his legions of enemies a n d detractors. and was bitter about not having been consulted in the matter.

a n d that T u r k e y would not be allowed to keep Palestine or M e s o p o t a m i a . Zaharoff's r e p o r t s — t h e veracity of which it is difficult to j u d g e — indicate that E n v e r . In return. Italy. though u n d e r formal O t t o m a n suzerainty. after mercurial c h a n g e s of m i n d a n d m o o d . he was b r o u g h t up on the B i b l e . that physical p o s s e s s i o n was all that m a t t e r e d . a n d that g e n e r o u s financial treatment would be given to T u r k e y t o aid her economic recovery. " 17 L l o y d G e o r g e was the only m a n in his g o v e r n m e n t who had always wanted to a c q u i r e Palestine for Britain. He was not. H i s colleagues failed to u n d e r s t a n d how strongly he held these views. Ill In a secret session of the H o u s e of C o m m o n s on 10 M a y 1917. few of his colleagues were aware of them. B u t the instructions that Zaharoff received reveal L l o y d G e o r g e ' s intentions with regard to the M i d d l e East. a n d R u s s i a were to get nothing. did not accept L l o y d G e o r g e ' s offer. a n d freedom of navigation t h r o u g h the D a r d a n e l l e s to be s e c u r e d . R e g a r d i n g Palestine. a n d Britain was to take Palestine as well as M e s o p o t a m i a . He also wanted to encourage the d e v e l o p m e n t of a J e w i s h homeland in Palestine. T h e r e was a b a c k g r o u n d to L l o y d G e o r g e ' s beliefs of which his colleagues were largely ignorant. educated in an exclusive public school that s t r e s s e d the G r e e k a n d L a t i n classics. T h o u g h L l o y d G e o r g e had definite ideas a b o u t the future of the liberated O t t o m a n lands.LLOYD GEORGE'S ZIONISM 267 like E g y p t before the war. T h e t e r m s offered b y L l o y d G e o r g e differed in two important ways f r o m those envisaged by the prior A s q u i t h g o v e r n m e n t : F r a n c e . the Prime Minister s u r p r i s e d even a close collaborator by saying u n equivocally that Britain was not g o i n g to give back the G e r m a n colonies in Africa c a p t u r e d d u r i n g the war. He avoided official channels a n d m a d e his ideas known in detail only in the c o u r s e of the secret negotiations with E n v e r P a s h a . R e p e a t e d l y he r e m a r k e d that the Biblical place n a m e s . 1 6 T h e P r i m e Minister intended to deny F r a n c e the position that S i r M a r k S y k e s had p r o m i s e d her in the postwar M i d d l e E a s t . It d o e s not s o u n d as t h o u g h he ever seriously intended to do s o . hence the importance of what they revealed. he told the British a m b a s s a d o r to F r a n c e in April 1917 that the F r e n c h would be obliged to accept a fait accompli: "We shall be there by conquest a n d shall r e m a i n . a n d took the view that the Sykes-Picot A g r e e m e n t was u n i m p o r t a n t . like A s q u i t h a n d the other m e m b e r s of the C a b i n e t . L l o y d G e o r g e offered to p l e d g e that the C a p i t u l a t i o n s (the treaties giving preferential treatment to E u r o p e a n s ) would remain abolished.

2 1 Palmerston acted from a m i x t u r e of idealistic and practical reasons not unlike those of L l o y d G e o r g e in the next century. m a r c h e d from E g y p t on S y r i a to threaten the territorial integrity of the e m p i r e . I s a a c . if recaptured. at a time in the 1830s and 1840s when the rebelling Viceroy of E g y p t . P r o m i s e d lands were still m u c h thought a b o u t in those d a y s . M e h e m e t Ali.268 NEW W O R L D S AND PROMISED LANDS were better known to him than were those of the battles a n d the d i s p u t e d frontiers that figured in the E u r o p e a n war. m u s t be one and indivisible to renew its g r e a t n e s s as a living e n t i t y . inspired a powerful evangelical m o v e m e n t within the C h u r c h of E n g l a n d that a i m e d at b r i n g i n g the J e w s back to Palestine. " G u i d e d by the S c r i p t u r e s . " 1 8 19 IV Unlike his colleagues he was keenly aware that there were centuriesold tendencies in British N o n c o n f o r m i s t and Evangelical thought toward taking the lead in restoring the J e w s to Zion. He was only the latest in a long line of Christian Zionists in Britain that stretched back to the Puritans a n d the era in which the Mayflower set sail for the N e w World. 20 T h e idea r e c u r r e d : in the mid-nineteenth century. a n d J a c o b for an everlasting Inherit a n c e . In the mid-seventeenth century. the Puritans believed that the advent of the M e s s i a h would occur once the people of J u d a e a were restored to their native land. " S h a f t e s b u r y noted in his d i a r y . two E n g l i s h Puritans residing in H o l l a n d — J o a n n a a n d E b e n e z e r C a r t w r i g h t — p e t i t i o n e d their government " T h a t this N a t i o n of E n g l a n d . whether in the U n i t e d S t a t e s or in Palestine. I n d e e d they formed the b a c k g r o u n d of his own N o n c o n f o r m i s t faith. who b e c a m e Earl of S h a f t e s b u r y . A b r a h a m . shall be the first a n d the readiest to transport Izraell's sons and d a u g h t e r s in their ships to the L a n d p r o m i s e d by their forefathers. with the inhabitants of the N e t h e r l a n d s . " He asserted that "Palestine. the F o r e i g n S e c r e t a r y and his relation by m a r riage. converting t h e m to Christianity. In his later m e m o i r s he wrote that he had objected to the division of Palestine in the Sykes-Picot A g r e e m e n t (most of it g o i n g to F r a n c e or into an international zone) on the g r o u n d s that it mutilated the country. He expressed himself a b o u t these places with fervor. He p r e s s e d a J e w i s h Palestine on the O t t o m a n E m p i r e in the context of the G r e a t G a m e rivalry with F r a n c e . to extend British consular protection to J e w s in Palestine: "Palmerston had already been chosen by G o d to be an instrument of g o o d to H i s ancient p e o p l e . He said it was not worth winning the H o l y L a n d only to "hew it in pieces before the L o r d . S h a f t e s b u r y also ins p i r e d P a l m e r s t o n . backed by F r a n c e . the social reformer A n t h o n y C o o p e r . and hastening the S e c o n d C o m i n g .

Palmerston u p h e l d the O t t o m a n c a u s e . with pervasive a n t i . Palmerston's notion of restoring the P r o m i s e d L a n d to the J e w i s h people also p r o v e d to be shrewd d o m e s t i c politics. a n d the F r e n c h . A similar thought occurred soon afterward to Sir H e r b e r t S a m u e l . as c h a m p i o n s of the important and strategically located M a r o n i t e ( R o m a n Catholic) c o m m u n i t y in L e b a n o n . claimed to represent significant M i d d l e E a s t e r n interests a n d c o m m u n i t i e s . It struck a responsive c h o r d in British public opinion that harked back to Puritan enthusiasm. Another was to provide Britain with a client in the M i d d l e E a s t . but born of a J e w i s h family). a n d the first person of the J e w i s h faith to sit in a British C a b i n e t . as defenders of the O r t h o d o x faith. Britain had to a d o p t s o m e other protege in order to be able to m a k e a similar claim. and therefore an excuse for intervention in O t t o m a n affairs. the nineteenth-century British leader (baptized a Christian. T h e P r i m e Minister had j u s t been reading Tancred— a novel by B e n j a m i n Disraeli. . T h e R u s s i a n s . 2 2 In 1914 the entry of the O t t o m a n E m p i r e into the war a p p e a r e d to have b r o u g h t a b o u t the political c i r c u m s t a n c e s in which the Zionist d r e a m at last could be realized. G. "What is to prevent the J e w s having Palestine a n d restoring a real J u d a e a ? " asked H. George Eliot. O n e of his p u r p o s e s in advocating a J e w i s h Palestine was to strengthen the O t t o m a n r e g i m e . Another was to foil the F r e n c h a n d their p r o t e g e M e h e m e t Ali by placing along their line of m a r c h a British-backed J e w i s h homeland which would block their a d v a n c e .S e m i t i s m . who advocated a J e w i s h return to P a l e s t i n e — a n d A s q u i t h confided that S a m u e l ' s m e m o r a n d u m "reads almost like a new edition of Tancred b r o u g h t up to d a t e . at least in Britain's u p p e r classes. proposed a Zionist program. Wells in an open newspaper letter p e n n e d the m o m e n t that T u r k e y c a m e into the war. never altogether lost in the nineteenth century. A c c o r d i n g to the leading authority on Palmerston's diplomacy.LLOYD GEORGE'S ZIONISM 269 and the throne of its S u l t a n . F o r the want of Protestants in the area. in her novel Daniel Deronda (1876). I confess I am not attracted by this p r o p o s e d addition It was a vision that inspired secular idealists as well. In J a n u a r y 1915 he sent a m e m o r a n d u m to P r i m e Minister A s q u i t h p r o p o s i n g that Palestine should b e c o m e a British p r o t e c t o r a t e — b e c a u s e it was of strategic importance to the British E m p i r e — a n d u r g i n g the a d v a n t a g e s of encouraging large-scale J e w i s h settlement there. " T h i s s o m e h o w coexisted. P o s t m a s t e r General in Asquith's C a b i n e t . one of the leaders of the L i b e r a l Party. his policy "became connected with" a mystical idea. As u s u a l . that Britain was to be the chosen instrument of G o d to b r i n g back the J e w s to the Holy L a n d . by providing it with J e w i s h s u p p o r t .

b u t L l o y d G e o r g e continued to disagree with K i t c h e n e r a b o u t the strategic importance of Palestine. the h o m e of Britain's largest J e w i s h c o m m u n i t y . a n d the h o m e of the Radical L i b e r a l tradition which he was to u p h o l d throughout m u c h of his political life. was converted to Z i o n i s m in 1914 by C h a i m W e i z m a n n . next to L o n d o n . It d i d not attract s u p p o r t . H e r b e r t S i d e b o t h a m . a n d Asquith's private c o m m e n t was that "Curiously enough the only other partisan of this proposal is L l o y d G e o r g e . S c o t t . T h e military correspondent of the Guardian. though of a Welsh family. S c o t t . was born in M a n c h e s t e r . a R u s s i a n J e w i s h chemist who had settled in Manchester. B u t it is a curious illustration of Dizzy's [Disraeli's] favourite m a x i m that 'race is everything' to find this almost lyrical o u t b u r s t p r o c e e d i n g f r o m the well-ordered a n d m e thodical brain o f H . I need not say. who told the C a b i n e t that it would be an outrage to let the Christian Holy Places in Palestine fall into the h a n d s of "Agnostic Atheistic F r a n c e . : C P . 2 7 V L l o y d G e o r g e . in the years to c o m e . aspect of the m a t t e r : a military a d v a n t a g e to Britain.270 NEW WORLDS AND PROMISED LANDS to our responsibilities. British officials traveling along m a n y different r o a d s h a p p e n e d to arrive at the s a m e conclusion: a distinctive characteristic of Britain's evolving Palestine policy was that there was no single reason for it. . took up the cause with all the force of his idealistic nature. does not care a d a m n for the J e w s o r their past o r their future . editor o f the great L i b e r a l newspaper the Manchester Guardian. . " In M a r c h 1915 a revised version of S a m u e l ' s m e m o r a n d u m was circulated to the C a b i n e t . a n d M e m b e r s of Parliament f r o m the area. saw a c o m plementary. were aware of the special concerns of their J e w i s h constituents. therefore. such as Balfour a n d Churchill. . he wrote that "the whole future of . . " T h e P r i m e Minister was unaware of the c o m p l e x of motives behind the position taken by L l o y d G e o r g e . . " A s q u i t h found it o d d that S a m u e l a n d L l o y d G e o r g e should a d v o c a t e a British protectorate for Palestine for s u c h different r e a s o n s : "Isn't it singular that the s a m e conclusion s h d . S a m u e l ' s p r o p o s a l . 2 3 2 4 2 5 2 6 K i t c h e n e r threw the great weight of his authority against S a m u e l ' s p r o p o s a l . was not a d o p t e d . In the issue of 26 N o v e m b e r 1915. He told the C a b i n e t that Palestine was of little value. Britain's s e c o n d l a r g e s t city. be c a p a b l e of being c o m e to by s u c h different r o a d s ? " It w a s a prescient remark for. who. a n d that it did not have even one decent h a r b o r . S . M a n c h e s t e r was also. strategic or otherwise. who was considered to be L l o y d G e o r g e ' s closest political confidant.

T h e Italian revolutionary G i u s e p p e Mazzini was the o u t s t a n d i n g p r o p o n e n t of this doctrine. according to which each nation s h o u l d be freed to realize its u n i q u e g e n i u s a n d to p u r s u e its particular mission in the service of m a n k i n d . with its distinctive laws a n d c u s t o m s . setting them apart f r o m the p e o p l e s a m o n g s t w h o m they lived a n d m o v e d . a n d in the service of this creed Mazzini's colleague G i u s e p p e G a r i b a l d i — I t a l y ' s greatest h e r o — f o u g h t for U r u g u a y a n d F r a n c e a s well as Italy. what constituted a nation was a n o p e n q u e s t i o n ) . N a t i o n a l i s m was taken a . " N e x t year in J e r u s a l e m ! " T h e future return to Zion r e m a i n e d a M e s s i a n i c vision until the ideology of nineteenth-century E u r o p e converted it into a c o n t e m p o rary political p r o g r a m . A representative idea of that t i m e — w h i c h had been planted everywhere by the a r m i e s of the F r e n c h Revolution a n d had flourished—was that every nation ought to have an independent country of its own ( t h o u g h . frequent m a s s a c r e s . persecutions. whose i n d e p e n d e n c e was u n d e r m i n e d a n d later c r u s h e d b y ancient R o m e . in connection with an issue that c a u s e d an agonizing split in Zionist r a n k s : whether a J e w i s h state necessarily had to be located in Palestine. he was in a position to u n d e r s t a n d the movement's d i l e m m a s . Dr T h e o d o r e Herzl. as they c a m e to be k n o w n — c l u n g to their own religion. T h e i r p r o g r a m was taken over f r o m the left by the r i g h t — I t a l y and G e r m a n y were f o r m e d into countries by C a v o u r a n d B i s m a r c k respectively—and b e c a m e a c o m mon theme of E u r o p e a n political d i s c o u r s e . As one who represented Herzl at the m o m e n t of decision. a n d in the course of their Passover ceremony each year they would repeat the ritual prayer. 2 8 T h e Zionist m o v e m e n t was new.LLOYD GEORGE'S ZIONISM 271 the British E m p i r e as a S e a E m p i r e " d e p e n d e d u p o n Palestine bec o m i n g a buffer state inhabited "by an intensely patriotic r a c e . of c o u r s e . In the e n d — a c c o r d i n g to their religious t e a c h i n g s — G o d would b r i n g them b a c k to Z i o n . T h u s the nationalism of each nation serves not merely its own interests b u t also those of its n e i g h b o r s . Inferior s t a t u s . a n d repeated e x p u l s i o n s f r o m one country after another further reinforced their s e n s e of s e p a r a t e identity a n d special destiny. b u t its roots were as old as J u d a e a . a n d m o s t of whose inhabitants were driven into foreign l a n d s in the s e c o n d century A D . " T h e Manchester Guardian's conversion was b r o u g h t a b o u t in the context of the F i r s t World War. A converse of this proposition was that a fundamental c a u s e of the world's ills was that s o m e nations were being kept f r o m achieving unity or i n d e p e n d e n c e — a situation that Mazzini and his followers p r o p o s e d to c h a n g e by war or revolution. b u t L l o y d G e o r g e h a d c o m e to Z i o n i s m — o r rather it had c o m e to h i m — m o r e than a d e c a d e before. E v e n in exile the J u d a e a n s — or J e w s . In 1903 he had been retained as the British attorney for the Zionist m o v e m e n t and for its founder.

but were victimized by the organized m a s s a c r e s called p o g r o m s . s o m e by special p e r m i s s i o n — l i v e d in St P e t e r s b u r g . it w a s inevitable that s o m e b o d y would p r o p o s e it as the answer to the J e w i s h p r o b l e m . if s o . and enjoy the rights of c i t i z e n s h i p — b u t they still encountered a wave of hostility f r o m their n e i g h b o r s who c o n s i d e r e d them alien. In the nationalist e n v i r o n m e n t of western E u r o p e . when seven confederated S w i s s c a n t o n s and eleven C o n f e d e r a t e d S t a t e s of A m e r i c a a t t e m p t e d to s e c e d e — a n d were c r u s h e d by the a r m i e s of their respective federal g o v e r n m e n t s . National unity a n d self-determination within an i n d e p e n d e n t J e w i s h c o m m o n w e a l t h were. a t ' a time when J e w i s h pioneers f r o m R u s s i a were b e g i n n i n g to colonize Palestine without waiting for the politics to be t h r a s h e d out. I n eastern E u r o p e — t h e R u s s i a n E m p i r e . or elsewhere o u t s i d e the Pale. * Among them were Moses Hess's Rome and Jerusalem (1862) and L e o Pinsker's Auto-Emancipation (1882). b u t he was the first to give it tangible political e x p r e s s i o n . In the last half of the nineteenth century a n d the first years of the twentieth century. T h e six million within the Pale were R u s s i a n J e w s who were not allowed t o b e J e w i s h R u s s i a n s . the J e w s of western E u r o p e h a d achieved legal e m a n c i p a t i o n f r o m m a n y of the restrictions that h a d confined t h e m for centuries: they could m o v e out of their ghettos. in fact. M o s t of the world's J e w s then lived within the section of the R u s s i a n E m p i r e to which they were confined so long as they lived within the C z a r ' s d o m a i n s : the P a l e . J e w s encountered this at once. like it or not. the J e w i s h question a s s u m e d new g u i s e s : were the J e w s o f G e r m a n y G e r m a n s ? were the J e w s of F r a n c e F r e n c h ? — a n d . Only a few of t h e m — s o m e illegally.272 NEW WORLDS AND PROMISED LANDS s t e p further in the S w i s s ( 1 8 4 7 ) a n d A m e r i c a n (1861—5) civil w a r s . p r o p o s e d in a n u m b e r of eloquent b o o k s whose a u t h o r s h a d arrived at their conclusions independently. T h e y were not only shackled by legal restrictions. T h i s s u g g e s t e d there m i g h t be a d a r k s i d e to the new n a t i o n a l i s m : intolerance of g r o u p s different from the majority. S i n c e nationalism w a s then c o n s i d e r e d the cure-all for political ills. what of their special identity? By the end of the nineteenth century. and the U k r a i n e — t h e J e w i s h situation w a s p e r i l o u s . the Baltic l a n d s . or enclosure (from the w o r d for a wooden stake u s e d in b u i l d i n g f e n c e s ) . including P o l a n d . T h u s peoples were to be unified into one nation. practice the t r a d e or profession of their choice. b u y land. these g r e w so terrible that J e w s in large n u m b e r fled the R u s s i a n E m p i r e in search of r e f u g e . M o s c o w . .* So T h e o d o r e Herzl was not the first to f o r m u l a t e s u c h a p r o g r a m .

Of J e w s a n d J u d a i s m Herzl knew next to nothing. in the hope that Palestine w o u l d eventually b e c o m e available. both areas nominally p a r t s of the O t t o m a n E m p i r e but in fact o c c u p i e d by Britain. R o b e r t s & C o . the powerful Colonial Secretary in the S a l i s b u r y and Balfour C a b i n e t s a n d the father of m o d e r n British i m p e r i a l i s m . a n d listened sympathetically to Herzl's fall-back p r o p o s a l that a J e w i s h political c o m m u n i t y should initially be established across the frontier f r o m Palestine. he knew how political b u s i n e s s was transacted in the E u r o p e of his time a n d b e g a n by establishing a Zionist organization. an assimilated J e w . the Paris c o r r e s p o n d e n t of a Viennese newsp a p e r who h a d forgotten his J e w i s h origins until the shock of F r e n c h a n t i . Herzl. Herzl's negotiations with the O t t o m a n E m p i r e h a d convinced h i m that the S u l t a n w o u l d not agree to the Zionist p r o p o s a l s — a t least for the time b e i n g . C h a m b e r l a i n then s u g g e s t e d that he could offer an area for J e w i s h settlement within the jurisdiction of his own d e p a r t m e n t a n d offered the p r o s p e c t of settlement in U g a n d a in British E a s t Africa. He was a fashionable journalist. C h a m b e r l a i n ruled out C y p r u s b u t offered to help Herzl obtain the consent of the British officials in c h a r g e of S i n a i . t h r o u g h his British representative. In 1902 Herzl held an important meeting with J o s e p h C h a m b e r l a i n . L l o y d G e o r g e . next to Palestine. too. C h a m b e r l a i n . conceived the idea of political Z i o n i s m . He then c o m m e n c e d negotiations on its behalf with officials of v a r i o u s g o v e r n m e n t s . d e c i d e d to retain the services of a politically knowledgeable lawyer. a n d with J e w i s h organizations that for years had been fostering settlements in the H o l y L a n d . L e o p o l d G r e e n b e r g . s o m e h o w or other. his notion h a d been that J e w s needed to have a national state of their o w n — b u t that its location was not of p r i m a r y i m p o r tance.LLOYD GEORGE'S ZIONISM 273 When H e r z l . So he looked elsewhere. As a m a n of the world. believed in a national solution to the J e w i s h p r o b l e m . did he c o m e to recognize the u n i q u e a p p e a l of the country that the world called P a l e s t i n e — t h e L a n d of the P h i l i s t i n e s — b u t that J e w s called the L a n d of I s r a e l . Only after he h a d c o m e into working contact with other J e w s . who p e r s o n ally h a n d l e d the matter on behalf of his L o n d o n firm.S e m i t i s m in the D r e y f u s case convinced him of the need to r e s c u e the world's J e w s from their historical plight. T h e p r o p o s a l f o u n d e r e d as a result of o p p o s i t i o n from the British a d m i n i s t r a t i o n in E g y p t a n d the F o r e i g n Office sent letters to Dr Herzl on 19 J u n e a n d 16 J u l y 1903 informing him that his p r o p o s a l was not practical. T h e . Herzl was talking in t e r m s of either C y p r u s or the El A r i s h strip at the e d g e of the Sinai peninsula. a n d chose D a v i d L l o y d G e o r g e . T o a p p l y for this consent. By the b e g i n n i n g of the twentieth century.

at the instigation of L e o p o l d G r e e n b e r g . leaving behind a fragmented and deeply divided l e a d e r s h i p . It was the first official declaration by a g o v e r n m e n t to the Zionist m o v e m e n t a n d the first official s t a t e m e n t implying national s t a t u s for the J e w i s h p e o p l e . D a v i d L l o y d G e o r g e h a d r e p resented the Zionist m o v e m e n t as it s o u g h t to define itself. m o s t delegates were not interested in any land other than that of their ancestors. It was no m o r e than one of his m a n y c l i e n t s — a n d not a major one at that—yet. B u t . In the s u m m e r of 1904 Herzl died. s u p p o r t e d C h a m b e r l a i n ' s p r o p o s a l . and s u b m i t t e d it formally to the British g o v e r n m e n t for a p p r o v a l . whose concern in the M i d d l e E a s t was for A m e r i c a n Protestant schools a n d m i s s i o n s . a n d L l o y d G e o r g e accordingly drafted a C h a r t e r for the J e w i s h Settlement. a n d S i r E d w a r d G r e y wrote on 20 M a r c h 1906 to say that the F o r e i g n Office position had not c h a n g e d . L l o y d G e o r g e had followed his own intellectual path to the conclusion that Britain s h o u l d s p o n s o r J e w i s h nationalism in the postwar M i d d l e E a s t . where Herzl p r e s e n t e d the U g a n d a p r o p o s a l . as a result of his professional representation of it. with a new L i b e r a l g o v e r n m e n t in Britain. n o b o d y had a clearer idea than he of what to do with it once it w a s his. A r t h u r J a m e s B a l f o u r . 2 9 A meeting of the World Zionist C o n g r e s s convened shortly thereafter. A n u m b e r of his colleagues within the British government arrived at the s a m e conclusion in 1917. D u r i n g its formative years. L l o y d G e o r g e wanted his country to carry out what he r e g a r d e d as the L o r d ' s work in the region. T h o u g h they let their leader win the vote on the issue. H i s Majesty's G o v e r n m e n t would consider favorably p r o p o s a l s for the creation of a J e w i s h colony. no other British political leader was in a better position than he to u n d e r s t a n d its character a n d its g o a l s . As he c o n t e m p l a t e d the c o n q u e s t of Palestine in 1917 a n d 1918.e n d : Herzl d i d not know how to lead it to Palestine but it would not follow him anywhere else. the P r i m e Minister planned to a g g r a n d i z e his country's e m p i r e by d o i n g so. In the s u m m e r of 1903 the F o r e i g n Office replied in a g u a r d e d b u t affirmative way that if s t u d i e s a n d talks over the c o u r s e of the next year were successful. It was the first B a l f o u r Declaration. 3 0 L i k e W o o d r o w Wilson. then. Herzl's a r g u m e n t s swayed h e a d s but not hearts. T h e Zionist m o v e m e n t w a s at a d e a d . unlike the President. A g a i n the British g o v e r n m e n t rejected it. In 1906. u r g i n g the settlement of E a s t Africa as a way-station a n d refuge along the road to the P r o m i s e d L a n d . Herzl a g r e e d . where the J e w s o f the C z a r i s t E m p i r e could escape the terrors of the p o g r o m s . L l o y d G e o r g e again s u b m i t t e d the S i n a i p r o p o s a l for consideration. t h o u g h by different . who had also thought deeply a b o u t the J e w i s h q u e s t i o n a n d h a d c o n c l u d e d that it required a national solution.274 NEW W O R L D S AND PROMISED LANDS P r i m e Minister.

T h e o d d thing was that. j u s t as they had s u p p o r t e d the E m i r H u s s e i n b e c a u s e of mistaken notions a b o u t A r a b s a n d M o s l e m s .LLOYD GEORGE'S ZIONISM 275 p a t h s — m a n y r o a d s led to Zion. they were now a b o u t to s u p p o r t Z i o n i s m b e c a u s e of mistaken notions a b o u t J e w s . .

a r r a n g e m e n t s had been m a d e with the local rulers who h a d a s s e r t e d their i n d e p e n d e n c e : they were s u b s i d i z e d a n d could be relied u p o n to remain p r o . worried that in the p o s t w a r world the O t t o m a n E m p i r e might fall completely into the clutches of G e r m a n y . it threatened the S u e z C a n a l and hence the sea r o a d as well. E v e n after the U n i t e d S t a t e s entered the war in the s p r i n g . L l o y d G e o r g e p e r s u a d e d L o r d M i l n e r a n d his associates o f the strategic i m p o r t a n c e of the war in the E a s t in the winter of 1917. T h e assistant secretaries o f the War C a b i n e t . T h e r e were also those who were worried about allowing the G e r m a n s a n d T u r k s to retain control of an area whose vital i m p o r t a n c e h a d been u n d e r s c o r e d by the P r i m e Minister. 276 . as vital imperial interests. h a d thought of annexing M e s o p o t a m i a . from the beginning. when it w a s by no m e a n s clear that the Allies would be able to win a decisive victory there or anywhere else. it blocked the land road f r o m E g y p t to I n d i a a n d . who c a m e to view the M i d d l e E a s t in general. As for A r a b i a . Were that to h a p p e n . a n d taking into British h a n d s the southern perimeter of the O t t o m a n d o m a i n s . by its proximity. a n d Palestine in particular. T h e C a b i n e t . L e o A m e r y a n d M a r k S y k e s . a n d who arrived independently and by various p a t h s at the conclusion that an alliance with Z i o n i s m would serve Britain's needs in war a n d p e a c e .33 TOWARD T H E BALFOUR DECLARATION i L l o y d G e o r g e — a n " E a s t e r n e r " both in his war strategy a n d in his war g o a l s — s u c c e e d e d in winning s u p p o r t for his views from important civilian m e m b e r s of the g o v e r n m e n t . the road to I n d i a would be in enemy h a n d s — a threat that the British E m p i r e could avert only by ejecting the T u r k s a n d G e r m a n s . T h a t left Palestine as the only point of vulnerability.B r i t i s h . As the b r i d g e between Africa a n d A s i a . it s e e m e d entirely p o s s i b l e that the A m e r i c a n s might not arrive in time to stave off a negotiated peace agreement that would leave the belligerent countries m o r e or less in their existing positions.

the M i d d l e E a s t fell outside A m e r y ' s s p h e r e a n d within that of S y k e s . the leading figure a m o n g Milner's associates in the g o v e r n m e n t .C o l o n e l J o h n Henry Patterson. t h o u g h at o d d s with the British J e w i s h c o m m u n i t y in m o s t other m a t t e r s .G o r e . When J a b o t i n s k y raised the issue for the first time in 1915. known for his best-selling book The Man-eaters of Tsavo and for his b u c c a n e e r i n g spirit. Patterson was enthusiastic. the J e w i s h c o r p s he had c o m m a n d e d at Gallipoli had been created in large part t h r o u g h the efforts of J a b o t i n s k y ' s associate. In the division of responsibilities within the secretariat. had c o m m a n d e d a J e w i s h c o r p s in the Gallipoli c a m p a i g n .b o d i e d R u s s i a n J e w s who were not yet British s u b j e c t s a n d who did not u n d e r t a k e military service. W a r n i n g against allowing G e r m a n y to strike again at Britain t h r o u g h domination of E u r o p e or the M i d d l e E a s t after the war. " 1 A m e r y . A M e m b e r of Parliament a n d an army officer who had been serving in the War Office. a n d Patterson had enjoyed c o m m a n d i n g i t . A m e r y had b e c o m e o n e of the inner b a n d directing the war effort. C a p t a i n J o s e p h T r u m p e l d o r .TOWARD THE BALFOUR DECLARATION 277 A m e r y . William O r m s b y . Patterson was an Irish Protestant. and asked A m e r y to help get permission from the War Office to create a regiment of non-British J e w s to fight u n d e r British c o m m a n d . While he did not at first say s o . a student of the Bible. he a r g u e d that " G e r m a n control of Palestine" was one of "the greatest of all d a n g e r s which can confront the British E m p i r e in the f u t u r e . An a r m y officer w h o m A m e r y had known in S o u t h Africa. later. A u s t r o . had been a p p o i n t e d assistant to M a u r i c e H a n k e y in h e a d i n g the secretariat of the War C a b i n e t .H u n g a r i a n . Official J e w i s h c o m m u n i t y leaders o p p o s e d the project bitterly. and O t t o m a n e m p i r e s b y s u g g e s t i n g that J e w s . a fiery R u s s i a n J e w i s h journalist who believed that E n g l i s h m e n resented the presence in Britain of a large i m m i g r a n t p o p u l a t i o n of a b l e . a professional a r m y officer a n d a m a t e u r lion hunter. b u t it was not an easy undertaking. 2 3 A m e r y a g r e e d to help Patterson. J a b o t i n s k y was inspired by the thought that a J e w i s h military unit helping to liberate Palestine w o u l d go far toward m a k i n g the Zionist d r e a m a r e a l i t y . in their view it e n d a n g e r e d J e w s who lived in the G e r m a n . L i e u t e n a n t . T h e idea of a J e w i s h regiment had c o m e from V l a d i m i r J a b o t i n s k y . were on the Allied side. T h e Zionist leadership. along with M a r k S y k e s a n d . joined in d e p l o r i n g the identification of the Zionist c a u s e with one or the other of the warring E u r o p e a n coalitions. T h i s regiment would then be sent to fight in Palestine if a n d when Britain invaded the O t t o m a n E m p i r e from E g y p t a n d the S i n a i . the British authorities also saw . a s such. d i s c u s s e d the matter in a m e m o r a n d u m to the C a b i n e t dated 11 April 1917. Y e t A m e r y had already involved himself in a m a t t e r affecting M i d d l e E a s t e r n policy by lending a h a n d to an old friend.

C o l o n e l Patterson. L i k e J a b o t i n s k y . A m e r y h a d not put his strategic c o n c e r n s a b o u t Palestine a n d his s u p p o r t of the J e w i s h L e g i o n into a unified focus. 4 5 Until his colleague M a r k S y k e s s p o k e to him about Z i o n i s m . Aaronsohn's information a b o u t T u r k i s h defenses a n d military dispositions p r o v e d to be of great value to the British military c o m m a n d in E g y p t . "and L o r d K i t c h e n e r says n e v e r . A J e w i s h national entity had behind it the authority of his political mentor. Another aspect of A a r o n s o h n ' s life that fascinated O r m s b y ." said one high official. R u s s i a n J e w s living in Britain could join the British a r m y . the late J o s e p h C h a m b e r l a i n . even t h o u g h his general leanings were toward Z i o n i s m . "Bible r e a d i n g a n d Bible thinking E n g l a n d was the only country where the desire of the J e w s to return to their ancient homeland has always been r e g a r d e d as a natural aspiration which ought not to be d e n i e d .G o r e w a s his agricultural exploration a n d e x p e r i m e n t a t i o n — t h e career in which he had b e c o m e f a m o u s . who had a c q u i r e d a s y m p a t h y for Z i o n i s m early in life. apart from the U n i t e d S t a t e s . " B u t n o b o d y knows yet when we shall go to Palestine. O r m s b y . L o r d Milner. he later wrote that. which D j e m a l P a s h a w a s t e m p t e d to treat as his colleagues h a d treated the A r m e n i a n s . " 6 When William O r m s b y .G o r e . A d e c a d e earlier. leader of a highly effective. intelligence-gathering g r o u p operation working behind O t t o m a n lines in J e w i s h Palestine to p r o v i d e information a b o u t T u r k i s h troop m o v e m e n t s . " A m e r y persisted throughout 1916 a n d 1917 a n d s u c c e e d e d in laying J a b o t i n s k y ' s petition before the War C a b i n e t . a n d was viewed favorably by his leader. a n d was appreciated by O r m s b y . A a r o n s o h n had . L l o y d G e o r g e was enthusiastic: " T h e J e w s might b e able t o render u s m o r e a s s i s tance than the A r a b s " in the Palestine c a m p a i g n . however. in other w o r d s . allowing each country to take into military service the resident nationals of the o t h e r s . Parliament authorized the convention. A a r o n s o h n was attacked by fellow J e w s for identifying Zionist interests with those of the A l l i e s — a n d thus e n d a n g e r i n g the Palestinian J e w i s h c o m m u n i t y .G o r e . he b r o u g h t with him a m o r e concrete interest in the i m m e d i a t e p r o s p e c t s of the Zionist idea. he s a i d . A m e r y himself felt a similar s y m p a t h y . a n d in the s u m m e r of 1917 the J e w i s h unit (later called the J e w i s h L e g i o n ) was f o r m e d within the British a r m y under the c o m m a n d of L i e u t e n a n t . a M e m b e r of Parliament a n d secretary to L o r d Milner. h a d g o n e out to the M i d d l e E a s t to work with the A r a b B u r e a u .G o r e joined A m e r y a n d S y k e s as one of the three assistant secretaries of the War C a b i n e t .278 NEW W O R L D S AND PROMISED LANDS little merit in his proposal that the J e w i s h unit should help to liberate Palestine. T h e British g o v e r n m e n t then went forward to negotiate a convention with the other Allied g o v e r n m e n t s . U n d e r his personal c o m m a n d was A a r o n A a r o n s o h n .

T h e war h a d created a need for s u c h a b o d y : the e m p i r e had contributed so m u c h m a n p o w e r to the war effort that t r o o p s from outside Britain constituted a substantial part of the British a r m e d forces. an eloquent A r a b s p o k e s m a n . H i s work had wider a p p l i c a t i o n s : O r m s b y . which was m a d e in the C a b i n e t by L o r d C u r z o n ." as G e o r g e A n t o n i u s . 7 II A s soon a s L l o y d G e o r g e b e c a m e P r i m e Minister. while the I n d i a n E m p i r e contributed at least a half million fighting m e n a n d h u n d r e d s of t h o u s a n d s of s u p p o r t t r o o p s . At the end of 1916 A m e r y p r o p o s e d creating an I m p e r i a l War C a b i n e t . fairhaired A a r o n A a r o n s o h n . was that "no r o o m can be m a d e in Palestine for a s e c o n d nation. "except by dislodging or exterminating the nation in p o s s e s s i o n . T h e a r g u m e n t m a d e later b y A r a b g r o u p s .235.G o r e b r o u g h t b a c k with him to L o n d o n the idea that Zionist J e w s could help the A r a b i c . millions m o r e could be settled on land m a d e rich a n d fertile by scientific agriculture. O r m s b y . T h e D o m i n i o n s alone c o n t r i b u t e d m o r e than a million m e n to the a r m e d forces.TOWARD THE BALFOUR DECLARATION 279 joined in the search for the original strain of wild wheat that h a d flourished t h o u s a n d s of years a g o . L e o A m e r y initiated a m o v e that placed Palestine within the context of the future of the British E m p i r e .000 and that of the West Bank was 1. * H i s work tended to show that. 0 0 0 or so inhabitants of western Palestine. wrote long afterward. To save the planet's basic grain food by finding nature's original plant was a r o m a n t i c q u e s t for the blue-eyed. T h e case against Z i o n i s m . S i n c e that time the plant had deteriorated as a result of intensive inbreeding.G o r e was struck by the work A a r o n s o h n h a d done at his station for agricultural research in Palestine.535.000 people now living in about 25 percent of the territory of Palestine as defined by the British Mandate. near the J e w i s h settlement of R o s h Pina. 8 * At the end of 1984 the population of Israel was 4. b e c o m i n g increasingly vulnerable to d i s e a s e . for it went to the heart o f the a r g u m e n t a b o u t Z i o n i s m . .000—a total of 5. who c l a i m e d there was no r o o m in the country for additional settlers. " A a r o n s o h n ' s experiments rebutted that a r g u m e n t . a n d sent a note on the subject to L o r d Milner. without d i s p l a c i n g any of the 6 0 0 . was that Palestine was too barren a land to s u p p o r t the millions of J e w s who h o p e d to settle there. who a r r a n g e d for L l o y d G e o r g e to put the idea in m o t i o n .300.s p e a k i n g a n d other p e o p l e s of the M i d d l e E a s t to regenerate their region of the g l o b e so that the desert could once m o r e b l o o m . In the s p r i n g of 1906 he m a d e the find of a lifetime: wild wheat blowing in the breezes at the foot of M o u n t H e r m o n .

Until the t i m e of D i s r a e l i . an a b s e n t . He arrived in L o n d o n for the conference on 12 M a r c h 1917. G e o r g e V h a d declared war. it was s a i d . and by the end of 1916. closed to o u t s i d e r s by tariffs. a lawyerturned-general who h a d fought against the British in the Boer War. A c c o r d i n g l y . acting on A m e r y ' s s u g g e s t i o n . confusingly also called the I m p e r i a l War C a b i n e t . g i v i n g rise to an imperial C a b i n e t which w o u l d rule the e m p i r e as a whole. he had no desire to be ruled f r o m L o n d o n . L i o n e l C u r t i s . advocated closer political association. O t h e r s . who had worked in concert with Cecil R h o d e s a n d J o s e p h C h a m b e r l a i n . J a n Christian S m u t s . with an imperial parliament elected from the D o m i n i o n s as well as from Britain. N o b o d y was m o r e s u s p i c i o u s of the government's intentions than the delegate f r o m S o u t h Africa. M a n y a m o n g them advocated the creation of an e m p i r e . to meet in L o n d o n three m o n t h s later. Neither the p a r l i a m e n t s nor the g o v e r n m e n t s of the D o m i n i o n s had been involved in those decisions. C o m i n g afterward. claimed that the British E m p i r e had no choice but federation or disintegration. as were L o r d Milner's other friends.w i d e economic s y s t e m . He s p o k e for those in the Milner circle whose p r o g r a m was o r g a n i c . political union of the e m p i r e . he convoked an Imperial War Conference. I n d i a . Australia. the creation of the e m p i r e had been a h a p h a z a r d a n d . L l o y d G e o r g e told the H o u s e of C o m m o n s that "We feel that the t i m e has c o m e when the D o m i n i o n s o u g h t to be m o r e formally consulted" on the issues of war a n d p e a c e . the i m p o r t a n c e of these partners by giving them representation in a central b o d y in L o n d o n dealing with the overall direction of the war. On 19 D e c e m b e r 1916. A m e r y ' s p r o p o s a l was to recognize. that the structure of the British E m p i r e had to be changed fundamentally. and party a n d other divisions were breaking down. who recognized that various p a r t s of the e m p i r e often a p p e a r e d to o c c u p y economic positions in conflict with one another. a n d his governor-generals in his D o m i n i o n s overseas h a d p r o m u l g a t e d declarations on their behalf. the Round Table. A m e r y a n d his friends in the Milner circle. were a m o n g the f i r s t conscious a n d systematic p r o p o n e n t s of e m p i r e . as the political situation in L o n d o n b e c a m e fluid. a founder of their publication.m i n d e d affair. D i s r a e l i g a v e it g l a m o r a n d focused attention on it. b u t the b r e a k d o w n of world political s t r u c t u r e s d u r i n g the F i r s t World War s e e m e d to offer a second c h a n c e . A m e r y was convinced. a n d his suspicions were d e e p e n e d 9 . a n d Britain's other p a r t n e r s in the fighting had never been consulted a b o u t whether to go to war. T h e p r o g r a m had been rejected at an imperial conference in 1911. m u c h s e e m e d p o s s i b l e that w o u l d not h a v e s e e m e d so before. however belatedly. N e w Z e a l a n d .280 NEW W O R L D S AND PROMISED LANDS Y e t C a n a d a . while their associates R u d y a r d K i p l i n g a n d J o h n B u c h a n were a m o n g its deliberate glorifiers.

he received an invitation to dine at Brooks's with L o r d Milner. A m e r y . S u e z . " L l o y d G e o r g e later w r o t e . L l o y d G e o r g e prevailed u p o n S m u t s to stay on in L o n d o n a n d serve in the War C a b i n e t "on loan" from his own country's C a b i n e t . in particular. He was the only C a b i n e t minister in m o d e r n British history to have no connection with either H o u s e of P a r l i a m e n t . and N e w Z e a l a n d . issue was joined at once and S m u t s won a lasting victory.TOWARD THE BALFOUR DECLARATION 281 when. " and b e c a m e immediately involved with the i s s u e . L l o y d G e o r g e m a y have been less d i s a p p o i n t e d at this o u t c o m e than were his colleagues in Milner's circle. on the other. As a successful general in his B o e r War days a n d m o r e recently in E a s t Africa. T h e P r i m e Minister had p u r p o s e s of his own. on the one h a n d . T h e c a p t u r e of G e r m a n E a s t Africa by B o t h a a n d S m u t s had already created a continuous stretch of British-controlled territories between. As of 1917. S m u t s a n d A m e r y m o v e d at the s a m e time to cement the geographical links of the entities c o m p r i s i n g the British s y s t e m . the s a m e day. a n d in conjunction with M e s o p o t a m i a . could serve t h e m . P e r h a p s b e c a u s e it had been d e c i d e d that the political links of the empire were not to be tightened. With the addition of Palestine a n d M e s o p o t a m i a . On 16 M a r c h 1917 he p u s h e d through a resolution that p o s t p o n e d consideration of the details of how the British E m p i r e should be reorganized until the end of the war. M a l a y a . he could also help L l o y d G e o r g e by throwing his weight against the British generals. b u t c o m m i t t e d the participants in a d v a n c e to the proposition that the b a s i s of the reorganization w o u l d be the independence of S o u t h Africa. the C a p e T o w n t o S u e z stretch could b e linked up with the stretch of territory that ran t h r o u g h Britishcontrolled Persia a n d the I n d i a n E m p i r e to B u r m a . a n d both m e n concentrated on the i m p o r t a n c e of Palestine. his former a d v e r s a r y . a n d H a n k e y . which b r i d g e d the Mediterranean a n d the R e d S e a at the continent's northeastern tip. a n d saw ways in which S m u t s . living in a hotel r o o m at the S a v o y . T h u s he served not only as a m e m b e r of the British C a b i n e t . C a n a d a . a n d c o u l d help them to run the war effort. Palestine g a v e Britain the land road from E g y p t to India and b r o u g h t together the e m p i r e s of Africa and A s i a . C a p e T o w n . and a representative of the D o m i n i o n s . When the conference o p e n e d . Palestine was the key m i s s i n g link that could join together . a n d the two great D o m i n i o n s in the Pacific—Australia a n d N e w Z e a l a n d . a n d spent the rest of the war away from h o m e . If b r o a d l y defined. 1 0 "General S m u t s had e x p r e s s e d very decided views as to the strategical i m p o r t a n c e of Palestine to the British E m p i r e . b u t also as the S o u t h African representative in the Imperial War C a b i n e t (or I m p e r i a l War C o n f e r e n c e ) . a n d . S m u t s was a s u p e r b administrator of the calibre of Milner. the Atlantic Ocean port at the southern tip of Africa. Australia.

was not one that he would be able to keep. reasoned that "Position on the other fronts m o s t difficult a n d Palestine is only one where p e r h a p s with great p u s h it is p o s s i b l e to achieve considerable s u c c e s s . G e n e r a l L o u i s B o t h a . As he wrote later. believed. Chief of the Imperial G e n e r a l Staff. 1 3 L l o y d G e o r g e offered the c o m m a n d t o S m u t s . . He and A m e r y later went out together to the M i d d l e E a s t to s t u d y the situation a n d r e p o r t . T h u s S m u t s turned d o w n the offer of the Palestine c o m m a n d . feeling that the c a m p a i g n in the E a s t would be s a b o t a g e d by R o b e r t s o n a n d his colleagues. 16 S m u t s continued. b u t also s h a r e d their i m m e d i a t e strategic a n d b r o a d e r geopolitical g o a l s . M a l a y a . A m e r y wrote to him that T h e one thing. and d i s m i s s e d the M i d d l e E a s t as a private obsession of the P r i m e Minister's. 12 On 15 M a r c h 1917. who was a b o u t to advise the C a b i n e t that continued O t t o m a n (and thus G e r m a n ) control of Palestine was a future d a n g e r to the British E m p i r e . T h e T u r k i s h E m p i r e lay right across the track by land or water to our great p o s s e s s i o n s in the E a s t — I n d i a . a n d at best "only a s i d e s h o w . that is essential if we are g o i n g to do a b i g thing quickly in the Palestine direction. " L l o y d G e o r g e h a d been in office only a few m o n t h s a n d his position was t e n u o u s . who m a d e clear that he was not g o i n g to release the necessary t r o o p s a n d s u p p l i e s from the western front. however. of c o u r s e . that Palestine ought to be invaded i m m e d i a t e l y — a n d that S m u t s was the general to do it. .. " 14 1 5 S m u t s then conferred with S i r William R o b e r t s o n . S m u t s . the fight with T u r k e y h a d a special i m p o r t a n c e of its own . the day that S m u t s won his victory at the Imperial C o n f e r e n c e .282 NEW W O R L D S AND PROMISED LANDS the parts of the British E m p i r e so that they would form a continuous chain from the Atlantic to the m i d d l e of the Pacific. and his p r o m i s e of full s u p p o r t . B o t h a a n d S m u t s decided that the offer s h o u l d be accepted if the c a m p a i g n were to be m o u n t e d "on a large scale. " A m e r y . is a m o r e d a s h i n g general . " After consultation. H o n g K o n g . to take a keen interest in Palestine. with the P r i m e Minister. a n d the D o m i n i o n s o f A u s t r a l i a and N e w Z e a l a n d . saw it the s a m e way. B u r m a . . If I were dictator. his authority over the military was limited.. . who was in favor of accepting. a n d has not yet got trenches d u g deep in his m i n d ." "a first class c a m p a i g n in m e n and g u n s . t h o u g h . B o r n e o . S m u t s c o n c l u d e d . who hesitated and asked the advice of the S o u t h African P r i m e Minister. . a n d both of t h e m c a m e b a c k u r g i n g a s t r o n g Palestine offensive. T h e P r i m e Minister. F o r S m u t s was not only a brilliantly successful general. I s h o u l d ask you to do it as the only leading soldier who h a d h a d experience of mobile warfare . " F o r the British E m p i r e .

a n d not terminate when the m a n d a t e s d i d . h e had g r o w n u p believing that "the day will c o m e when the w o r d s of the p r o p h e t s will b e c o m e true. S m u t s was r e s p o n s i b l e for finding the f o r m u l a — acceptable to W o o d r o w W i l s o n — u n d e r which countries like Britain would a s s u m e responsibility for the administration of territories s u c h as Palestine a n d M e s o p o t a m i a : they would govern p u r s u a n t to a "mandate" from the future L e a g u e of N a t i o n s . they s h o u l d remain within the British imperial s y s t e m . p r o . He also saw no reason why either British or J e w i s h aspirations s h o u l d not be in h a r m o n y with A r a b a s p i r a t i o n s . when he wrote to S m u t s that Britain's hold on the M i d d l e E a s t s h o u l d be p e r m a n e n t . T h e Old T e s t a m e n t . " L i k e L l o y d G e o r g e . M e s o p o t a m i a . Woodrow Wilson's overall L e a g u e of N a t i o n s would therefore have relatively few m e m b e r s : there would be one representative from the British s y s t e m . as he saw it. " a n d he fully agreed with L l o y d G e o r g e that the J e w i s h h o me la n d s h o u l d be established in Palestine u n d e r British a u s p i c e s . would be like a smaller L e a g u e of N a t i o n s . like M a r k S y k e s . a n d Israel will return to its own l a n d . S m u t s strongly s u p p o r t e d the Zionist idea when it was raised in the C a b i n e t . T h e territories would be held in trust for their p e o p l e s — a f o r m u l a designed to be c o m p a t ible with A m e r i c a n anti-imperialist notions.s y s t e m s .TOWARD THE BALFOUR DECLARATION 283 As a Boer. s t e e p e d in the B i b l e . Whether or not he originated the idea. Without spelling out the details. D e c a d e s later. . 17 18 A m e r y put together the pieces of this new imperial vision at the end of 1918. 1 9 T h u s A m e r y saw no incompatibility between a British Palestine a n d a J e w i s h Palestine. he wrote that even when Palestine. has been the very marrow of D u t c h culture here i n S o u t h A f r i c a . the "people of S o u t h Africa a n d especially the older D u t c h population has been b r o u g h t up almost entirely on J e w i s h tradition. " 20 .Z i o n i s t .A r a b as well as p r o . a n d saw no essential incompatibility between the two i d e a l s . he wrote of the p r o p o n e n t s of the Zionist d r e a m in 1917—18 that " M o s t of us younger m e n who s h a r e d this hope were. and one from each of the several other s u b . and other s u c h minileagues w o u l d e m e r g e elsewhere in the world. a n d an A r a b i a n state b e c a m e independent of British t r u s t e e s h i p . . T h e British E m p i r e of the future. As he later pointed out.

S y k e s h a d been acting without any real direction f r o m a b o v e . at another. a n d since the deaths of K i t c h e n e r a n d F i t z G e r a l d . a b o u t establishing a n independent A r m e n i a n national state. might be vital to the Allies. Y e t he h a d been m a d e aware in the course of his negotiations with F r a n c e a n d R u s s i a in 1916 that the Holy L a n d held a p a s s i o n a t e interest for m a n y J e w s whose s u p p o r t . As he held d i s c u s s i o n s with F r e n c h m e n a n d R u s s i a n s . a n A r m e n i a n b u s i n e s s m a n . held no s t r o n g views a b o u t the M i d d l e E a s t . M a u r i c e H a n k e y . Britain's Palestine policy continued to be s h a p e d by m a n y h a n d s : C a b i n e t ministers at one level. b u r e a u c r a t s . He did not know that the new P r i m e Minister held d e c i d e d views a b o u t a M i d d l e E a s t e r n settlement which were considerably different from his o w n . On his own. h e was h a u n t e d by a f e a r — g r o u n d l e s s . as it had d o n e since shortly after the outset of the war. the M i d d l e E a s t fell within the d o m a i n of K i t c h e n e r ' s protege S i r M a r k S y k e s . nor was he involved in the secret negotiations t h r o u g h Zaharoff in which the P r i m e Minister's t e r m s for peace in the M i d d l e E a s t were revealed. a n d those instructions h a d never been cancelled. A r m e n i a n s a n d A r a b s . and u n g u i d e d . little known b e y o n d official circles a n d little known today. At the b e g i n n i n g of 1917 S y k e s was e n g a g e d in a dialogue with J a m e s M a l c o l m . S y k e s continued to circle uncertainly a r o u n d the q u e s t i o n of Palestine. S y k e s felt. H i s instructions f r o m K i t c h e n e r a n d F i t z G e r a l d h a d been to regard it as of no strategic i m p o r t a n c e to Britain.34 T H E PROMISED LAND i As the eventful year 1917 ran its c o u r s e . then. b u t real to h i m nonetheless—that each of his transactions risked r u n n i n g afoul of J e w i s h opposition. Y e t J e w i s h opinion m i g h t be alienated by s o m e of the a r r a n g e m e n t s for the postwar M i d d l e E a s t that he was negotiating with Britain's allies a n d potential s u p p o r t e r s . T h e y c o n s i d e r e d inviting R u s s i a into the postwar M i d d l e E a s t as the protecting power for a 284 . his superior. Within the powerful secretariat of the War C a b i n e t .

despite his war work a n d his increasing a c q u a i n t a n c e with the circle of high-ranking officials who were directing the war effort. Lloyd George—in writing his memoirs—invented the story that he had given the Balfour Declaration in gratitude for Weizmann's invention. a n d p a s s e d on the information he received in reply to S y k e s . h a d also served as T h e o d o r e Herzl's British representative. Since he held no official position in the international Zionist movement. jealously kept the information to himself. R a b b i G a s t e r . . M a l c o l m wrote to ask h i m who were the leaders of the Zionist organization. Years after the war. he m a d e a significant contribution to the war effort by d o n a t i n g to the g o v e r n m e n t his discovery of a p r o c e s s to extract acetone f r o m m a i z e — a c e t o n e b e i n g a vital ingredient in the m a n u f a c t u r e of explosives. as S y k e s believed J e w i s h opinion to be violently a n t i . on 28 J a n u a r y 1917. knew S y k e s — a n d knew that S y k e s held that j o b — b u t . but as an official of the British Zionist Federation. an official of the British Zionist F e d e r a t i o n . Weizmann's important invention was real. introduced W e i z m a n n to S y k e s . a n d Dr C h a i m W e i z m a n n . As a chemist. B u t . T h u s Weizmann learned of S y k e s only by a c c i d e n t — i n early 1917 when S y k e s m e n t i o n e d his j o b to J a m e s de R o t h s c h i l d in the c o u r s e of a chance conversation a b o u t their respective h o r s e . he was free to depart from its neutrality. editor and co-owner of the Jewish Chronicle who. he d i d not know that Britain h a d an official whose brief was to negotiate the design of the p o s t w a r M i d d l e E a s t . M a l c o l m had met L e o p o l d G r e e n b e r g . but Lloyd George's story was a work of fiction. seeing W e i z m a n n as a rival. T w o n a m e s a p p e a r e d to be of especial i m p o r t a n c e : N a h u m S o k o l o w . Another British Zionist leader. an official of the international Zionist m o v e m e n t .THE PROMISED LAND 285 united A r m e n i a . as it h a p p e n e d . a n d W e i z m a n n was a b o u t to a r r a n g e to meet S y k e s when J a m e s M a l c o l m a r r a n g e d for S y k e s to meet Weizmann. he was passionately pro-Allied and believed that only the western democracies were compatible with Jewish ideals. b u t . he could nonetheless speak in a representative capacity. M a l c o l m introduced himself to W e i z m a n n and shortly afterward. S y k e s a s k e d M a l c o l m to find out for him who the leaders of Z i o n i s m were so that he could a p p r o a c h t h e m about this.b r e e d i n g stables.R u s s i a n . Rothschild p a s s e d on the information to W e i z m a n n . who was o p p o s e d to the decision of the Zionist m o v e m e n t to remain neutral in the world war. he s u g g e s t e d that s o m e t h i n g o u g h t to be done in a d vance to d i s a r m potential J e w i s h o p p o s i t i o n to a s c h e m e that allowed imperial R u s s i a to e x p a n d . W e i z m a n n — a l t h o u g h he did not know that the Allies were already m a k i n g plans for the postwar M i d d l e E a s t — w a n t e d to secure a c o m m i t m e n t f r o m Britain a b o u t Palestine while the war was still in p r o g r e s s . * Born in Russia and naturalized a British subject.

having seen the results of J e w i s h colonization in Palestine. S y k e s met with W e i z m a n n a n d other British Zionists who told h i m that they were o p p o s e d to the c o n d o m i n i u m idea a n d wanted Palestine to be ruled by Britain. he explained. F r o m the start. which were not slow in c o m i n g . on 7 F e b r u a r y 1917.286 NEW W O R L D S AND PROMISED LANDS E a c h wanted to do what the other wanted d o n e . S y k e s introduced the worldly Zionist leader N a h u m Sokolow to F r a n c o i s G e o r g e s Picot. S y k e s . of which W e i z m a n n knew nothing. a d v i s e d Weizmann to take the matter up with the P r i m e Minister.F r e n c h rule ( " c o n d o m i n i u m " ) — t h o u g h he could not reveal to Weizmann why he was m a k i n g the p r o p o s a l . T h e i r first meetings were on an unofficial b a s i s . T h o u g h S y k e s did not realize it. but W e i z m a n n decided to concentrate on c h a n g i n g Sykes's m i n d rather than g o i n g over his h e a d . refused to recognize that concessions to Z i o n i s m might help win the w a r . 95 percent of the F r e n c h people wanted F r a n c e to annex P a l e s t i n e . Within two m o n t h s the C z a r was overthrown a n d the U n i t e d S t a t e s had entered the war. who told S o k o l o w that. I n d e e d . the Holy Places were to be placed u n d e r an international a d m i n i s t r a t i o n . " he said) b u t that rejection of the c o n d o m i n i u m a p p r o a c h b r o u g h t them up against a p r o b l e m for which he had no s u r e solution: F r a n c e . a n d Weizmann wanted to be that person. C. 2 3 T h e next day. but that in his view there was no possibility of his g o v e r n m e n t deciding to renounce its claim to Palestine. 1 In L o n d o n . " Picot replied that the question of suzerainty was one for the Allies to decide a m o n g themselves. In the agreement." F r a n c e . 4 5 All concerned a g r e e d to wait u p o n events. Sokolow told Picot that J e w s greatly a d m i r e d F r a n c e but "had long in m i n d the suzerainty of the British g o v e r n m e n t . he said. so S y k e s began by p r o p o s i n g that a J e w i s h entity in Palestine should be u n d e r joint A n g l o . as he always did. He said that he would do his best to m a k e the Zionists' a i m s known to his g o v e r n ment.S a z a n o v A g r e e ment. S y k e s quickly saw the implications of . P. S y k e s replied that all the other difficulties could be resolved ("the A r a b s could be m a n a g e d . S y k e s wanted to find s o m e o n e with w h o m he c o u l d negotiate an alliance between British and Zionist interests. tried to fit all M i d d l e E a s t e r n projects within the e x i s t i n g — b u t still s e c r e t — S y k e s . he s a i d . he believed the p r o g r a m of J e w i s h settlement was feasible. at his L o n d o n residence at 9 B u c k i n g h a m G a t e . and he confessed to the Zionist leaders that he could not u n d e r s t a n d F r e n c h policy in this respect. S c o t t . L l o y d G e o r g e — l i k e W e i z m a n n and his c o l l e a g u e s — w a n t e d Palestine to be British. he was out of step not only with the Zionist leaders but also with the P r i m e Minister.P i c o t . "What was their m o t i v e ? " he a s k e d . was "the serious difficulty. editor of the Manchester Guardian and L l o y d G e o r g e ' s confidant.

" A c c o r d i n g to notes of the conference. " 8 9 On the afternoon of 3 April 1917 S y k e s . " T h e P r i m e Minister laid s t r e s s on the i m p o r t a n c e . S y k e s p r o p o s e d t o try to raise an A r a b tribal rebellion b e h i n d enemy lines. 6 M e a n w h i l e his conversations with Picot were about to r e o p e n : L l o y d G e o r g e s u c c e e d e d in ordering the British a r m y in E g y p t to a t t e m p t an invasion of Palestine in 1917. " ' L l o y d G e o r g e . impatient with F r a n c e ' s pretensions in the M i d d l e E a s t . T h e r e he met with the P r i m e Minister. A r a b s . and M a u r i c e H a n k e y . to interpose between Picot a n d the British c o m m a n d i n g general. At the s a m e time. could help induce the new R u s s i a n g o v e r n m e n t to remain in the w a r . He reported that " L o n d o n now considers o u r a g r e e m e n t s a d e a d letter. and to bear in m i n d the "importance of not p r e j u d i c i n g the Zionist m o v e m e n t a n d the p o s s i bility of its d e v e l o p m e n t u n d e r British a u s p i c e s . if p o s s i b l e . and A r m e n i a n s . Picot viewed the p r o p o s e d British invasion as an attack on F r e n c h interests. told W e i z m a n n that the future of Palestine was a question that would b e resolved between B r i t o n s and J e w s . of securing the addition of Palestine to the British area i n the postwar M i d d l e E a s t . " 10 1 1 12 S y k e s s t o p p e d first in Paris. too. but L l o y d G e o r g e a n d C u r z o n i m p r e s s e d u p o n h i m the i m p o r t a n c e of not c o m mitting Britain to an a g r e e m e n t with the tribes that w o u l d be p r e j u dicial to British interests. where he stayed at the Hotel L o t t i on . their s u p p o r t . On both c o u n t s he felt he h a d new a r g u m e n t s with which to p e r s u a d e the F r e n c h g o v e r n m e n t to a d o p t a more s y m p a t h e t i c attitude toward Z i o n i s m . E n g l i s h troops will enter S y r i a from the s o u t h " — f r o m E g y p t a n d Palestine—"and d i s p e r s e our s u p p o r t e r s .C h i e f the E g y p t i a n E x p e d i t i o n a r y F o r c e . Specifically they told him not to do anything that would worsen the p r o b l e m with F r a n c e . newly a p p o i n t e d as h e a d of the political mission to the G e n e r a l Officer C o m m a n d i n g . s u c h as J e w s . went to 10 D o w n i n g Street to receive his p a r t i n g instructions. L o r d C u r z o n . " T h e P r i m e Minister warned S y k e s not to m a k e p l e d g e s to the A r a b s "and particularly none in r e g a r d to P a l e s t i n e .i n .THE PROMISED LAND 287 both events for his a r r a n g e m e n t s with Picot. the A m e r i c a n entry into the war strengthened his conviction that the E u r o p e a n Allies would have to validate their claims to a position in the postwar M i d d l e E a s t by s p o n s o r s h i p of o p p r e s s e d peoples. Millions of J e w s lived within the C z a r i s t E m p i r e . S y k e s a r g u e d after the R u s s i a n Revolution in M a r c h . H e professed t o b e unable to u n d e r s t a n d why S y k e s was so concerned a b o u t F r e n c h objections a n d told Weizmann that Palestine "was to him the one really interesting part of the w a r . leading the F r e n c h government to insist on s e n d i n g Picot to E g y p t to a c c o m p a n y the British invasion f o r c e s — t o which the B r i t i s h g o v e r n m e n t r e s p o n d e d by ordering S y k e s to go there.

Whatever inspiration he m a y have derived from these m e e t i n g s w a s c o u n t e r b a l a n c e d by the e m e r g e n c e of a new p r o b l e m : Italy's F o r e i g n Minister. at least in a general way. B a r o n S i d n e y S o n n i n o . S y k e s wrote on 8 April 1917 to the F o r e i g n S e c r e t a r y . While there. F l a n d i n claimed that "Picot was a fool who h a d betrayed F r a n c e " by c o m p r o m i s i n g with Britain in the S y k e s . s e e m e d willing to help in this respect. the t e r m s of the secret S y k e s . On 9 April S y k e s wrote to Balfour that " T h e situation now is therefore that Zionist aspirations are recognized as legitimate by the F r e n c h . a n d on 15 April wrote to the F o r e i g n Office that F l a n d i n continued to insist that F r a n c e m u s t have the whole sea-coast of S y r i a . H i s discussions with the F r e n c h officials went well. F r o m the H o t e f L o t t i . however. a n d later a r r a n g e d for Picot to c o m e with him on a journey to A r a b i a to meet with Sherif H u s s e i n to outline for him. S y k e s told Picot that F r a n c e would have to change her way of thinking a n d c o m e a r o u n d to a nonannexationist approach. A r t h u r B a l f o u r . if i n t r o d u c e d into the M i d d l e E a s t . now believed that R u s s i a ' s J e w s m i g h t help to keep R u s s i a in the war at a time when military disasters on the western front m a d e the eastern front especially crucial. N a h u m S o k o l o w . He was s u r p r i s e d that Picot a p p e a r e d disconcerted by what he s a i d . a n d Palestine d o w n to El A r i s h in the E g y p t i a n S i n a i . that the F r e n c h were hostile to the notion of b r i n g i n g the U n i t e d S t a t e s into Palestine as a patron of Z i o n i s m . S y k e s optimistically believed that he h a d got H u s s e i n to a d m i t that the F r e n c h c o u l d p r o v e helpful to the A r a b s in S y r i a . L e b a n o n . S y k e s b r o u g h t together his diverse allies to p e r s u a d e t h e m to work together. a n d that they cannot close their eyes to i t .S a z a n o v A g r e e m e n t . with its m o n u m e n t a l reminder of N a p o l e o n B o n a p a r t e a n d his c o n q u e s t s . and that this might involve American or British sponsorship of a reborn J u d a e a . S y k e s m e t with the leader of the F r e n c h colonialist bloc. only a few s t e p s away from the Place V e n d o m e . in maintaining her own claims in the M i d d l e E a s t . that he h a d pers u a d e d A r a b leaders to see that the A r a b s were too weak to a s s u m e .P i c o t .P i c o t A g r e e m e n t . "the F r e n c h are b e g i n n i n g to realize they are up against a big thing. "As r e g a r d s Z i o n i s m itself. S e n a t o r Pierre-Etienne F l a n d i n . " F r a n c e r e m a i n e d a d a m a n t . " T h e F r e n c h F o r e i g n Ministry. O n c e in C a i r o . w h o m S y k e s introduced to the Q u a i d'Orsay." he continued. where he a r r a n g e d for N a h u m S o k o l o w to p l e a d the Zionist case with the P o p e a n d other Vatican officials. He i n t r o d u c e d Picot to A r a b leaders in C a i r o . a n d F r e n c h s p o n s o r s h i p of a reborn A r m e n i a . like S y k e s . the U n i t e d S t a t e s might b e c o m e F r a n c e ' s c o m m e r c i a l rival there. 1 3 14 1 5 1 6 F r o m P a r i s . S y k e s went on to R o m e . strongly asserted Italian claims to a s h a r e in the postwar M i d d l e E a s t . they feared that.288 NEW W O R L D S AND P R O M I S E D LANDS the R u e C a s t i g l i o n e .

. Whether b e c a u s e L o n d o n kept issuing a n d then c o u n t e r m a n d i n g instructions. " 17 1 8 19 2 0 II In the first half of 1917. suffered only half as m a n y casualties as the B r i t i s h . a n d K r e s s e n s t e i n defeated him even m o r e decisively: the ratio of British to T u r k i s h casualties was three to one. the brilliant G e r m a n c o m m a n d e r . cooperative relationships with the new A r a b rulers of the p o s t w a r M i d d l e E a s t . Weary a n d d i s c o u r a g e d . G e n e r a l S i r A r c h i b a l d M u r r a y .h e a r t e d as ever. K r e s s von K r e s s e n s t e i n . B u t S y k e s . the British a r m i e s withdrew. S y k e s w a s w a r n e d by C l a y t o n a n d his friends at the A r a b B u r e a u that a F r e n c h presence in the M i d d l e E a s t would c a u s e t r o u b l e . a n d within weeks S i r A r c h i b a l d M u r r a y w a s relieved of his c o m m a n d . L l o y d G e o r g e w a s determined to renew the battle for Palestine in the a u t u m n b u t . M u r r a y allowed the G e r m a n c o m m a n d e r s a n d their T u r k i s h t r o o p s time t o r e g r o u p . M u r r a y launched a second attack on fortified G a z a on 29 A p r i l .THE PROMISED LAND 289 responsibility for an area of s u c h c o m p l e x interests as Palestine. * T h e reference was to "millet" a term used in the Ottoman Empire to designate a community entitled to a certain amount of autonomy in administering the affairs of its members. constructive. for the m o m e n t . as K i t c h e n e r had d o n e at F a s h o d a — a n d that they ought to show m o r e loyalty to their ally. . faithful a n d g o o d . L o n d o n w a s unwilling to c o m m i t fresh t r o o p s to the c a m p a i g n . a n d w a s b e a t e n . On 12 M a y he c a b l e d L o n d o n that "Picot h a s c o m e to t e r m s with the A r a b r e p r e s e n t a t i v e s .o p e r a t e with us in a c o m m o n policy t o w a r d s the A r a b s p e a k i n g p e o p l e . " A few weeks later he wrote to a colleague: "I think F r e n c h will be ready to c o . a n d that he h a d reached an u n d e r s t a n d i n g that Palestinian A r a b s w o u l d agree to a national status* for the J e w i s h c o m m u n i t y in Palestine if the A r a b c o m m u n i t y received the s a m e d e s i g n a t i o n . C a l l i n g up reinforcements f r o m E g y p t . In C a i r o . c o m m a n d e r o f the British a r m y i n E g y p t — t h e E g y p t i a n E x p e d i t i o n a r y F o r c e — sent his t r o o p s lurching in fits a n d starts toward Palestine. which d o m i n a t e d the coastal road to Palestine—in the early m o r n i n g fog on 26 M a r c h . B u t then h e hastily a t t a c k e d — a t G a z a . He continued to a t t e m p t to convert Picot into a g e n u i n e partner. a n d s u g g e s t e d that the F r e n c h representative work out a c o m m o n policy with Hussein's sons so that Britain and F r a n c e could p u r s u e parallel. who h a d fortified G a z a effectively. continued to maintain that his friends had fallen victim to " F a s h o d i s m " — a desire to best the F r e n c h . . or a c o m b i n a t i o n of both. or b e c a u s e he himself w a s inept.

c o n t r o l l e d T u r k e y that would make full use of the S u l t a n ' s leadership of I s l a m . and is merely B a r o n Sonnino's concession to a chauvinist g r o u p who only think in b a l d t e r m s of g r a b .M i n o r A g r e e m e n t " he wrote that T h e idea of annexation definitely m u s t be d i s m i s s e d . . would deal with her areas of influence in the M i d d l e E a s t as Britain planned to deal with h e r s : in S y r i a a n d the L e b a n o n F r a n c e s h o u l d s p o n s o r A r a b i n d e p e n d e n c e . that m a d e the annexationist claims of p r e . their victory might be an inconclusive one. S y k e s wrote that "I want to see a p e r m a n e n t A n g l o . A r a b .F r e n c h entente allied to the J e w s . a n d A m e r y later wrote that "the J e w s alone can build up a s t r o n g civilisation in Palestine which could help that country to hold its own against G e r m a n . after 22 . It would be a fatal thing if. a n d M u r r a y ' s failure to invade P a l e s t i n e — S y k e s attached even greater i m p o r t a n c e to winning the s u p p o r t of the peoples of the M i d d l e E a s t .I s l a m i s m innocuous a n d protect I n d i a and Africa from the T u r c o . as it did to L e o A m e r y a n d his colleagues. the mutiny of F r e n c h a r m y units there. a n d A r m e n i a n s which will render p a n . In a " M e m o r a n d u m on the A s i a . which I believe m a y well survive H o h e n z o l l e r n s . if she were wise. a n d that such positions as they might win for themselves in the M i d d l e E a s t could be subject to continual p r e s s u r e by a G e r m a n . a n d A r m e n i a n projects so long as they e x p o s e d these peoples to j e o p a r d y .s i g h t e d . and A r m e n i a n populations whose s u p p o r t he h a d been enlisting on behalf of the Allies. a n d if at any m o m e n t the R u s s i a n extremists got hold of a copy they could m a k e m u c h capital against the whole E n t e n t e . If she did not do s o . wrote S y k e s .C l e m e n c e a u F r a n c e and of B a r o n Sonnino's Italy all the m o r e s h o r t . A r a b . He cabled the F o r e i g n Office s u g g e s t i n g that Britain should not go forward with Zionist. He went on to say that F r a n c e . a n d c o m m o n sense.G e r m a n c o m b i n e . that even if the Allies were to win the war.T u r k i s h o p p r e s s i o n . this is especially so with the Italian claim which runs counter to nationality. g e o g r a p h y . Outlining his own vision of the future. the disintegration of R u s s i a . . In his view. To him it s e e m e d . H i s suggestion met with no response.290 NEW W O R L D S AND PROMISED LANDS M u r r a y ' s two defeats led Sir M a r k S y k e s to worry that the T u r k s — i n the breathing s p a c e before Britain r e s u m e d the attack in the a u t u m n — m i g h t retaliate against the J e w i s h . " S y k e s h a d won over A m e r y to this point of view. 2 1 D i s c o u r a g e d by the war n e w s — t h e failure of the F r e n c h offensive in C h a m p a g n e . A r a b s . Britain s h o u l d do nothing to help F r a n c e deal with the t r o u b l e s she would have brought on her own head. it is contrary to the spirit of the time.

that Z i o n i s m was weakened by its exclusive attachment to Britain. A c o n t e m p o r a r y essayist wrote in wonder that "He took the cross in an o d d international c r u s a d e for p e a c e . " 2 3 Ill C h a i m W e i z m a n n was elected President of the British Zionist F e d e r a t i o n in F e b r u a r y 1917. a n A r a b i s t who h a d c o m e back to the F o r e i g n Office after m o r e than a d e c a d e of service in E g y p t . where he h a d been the first British official to d i s c u s s with Vladimir J a b o t i n s k y the creation of a J e w i s h unit within the British a r m y . While the notion of c o m mitting Britain to Z i o n i s m was inspired by G e r a l d F i t z M a u r i c e a n d M a r k S y k e s . 2 4 23 A n o t h e r s y m p a t h i z e r was S i r R o n a l d G r a h a m . b e c a m e a devoted convert. e n a b l i n g h i m to p r o p o s e officially that the British g o v e r n m e n t s h o u l d make a p u b l i c c o m m i t m e n t to s u p p o r t a J e w i s h h o m e l a n d in Palestine. F i v e y o u n g Cecils were killed in the F i r s t World War. a n d the third son of L o r d S a l i s b u r y . as h a d S y k e s . " In a similar c r u s a d i n g spirit he took up the cause of a J e w i s h Palestine. N o w . G r a h a m c o n c l u d e d . G r a h a m was p r o b a b l y m o r e responsible than anyone else in the g o v e r n m e n t for actually e m b o d y i n g the c o m m i t m e n t in an official d o c u m e n t . H i s ideas of self-determination disconcerted his political colleagues. L o r d R o b e r t Cecil. who pointed out that logically his plan w o u l d lead to the dissolution of the British E m p i r e . He worried that the Zionists were g a m b l i n g everything on the p r o s p e c t that Britain w o u l d g o v e r n Palestine—in ignorance of the secret S y k e s . After his meetings with S y k e s he continued to meet with p u b l i c officials who e x p r e s s e d s y m p a t h y with his ideas. he u r g e d the F o r e i g n Office to m a k e its s u p p o r t of Z i o n i s m p u b l i c .P i c o t A g r e e m e n t in which Britain had p l e d g e d not to . the interests of the J e w s t h r o u g h o u t the world were enlisted on the side of the G e r m a n s . a n d he f o u n d his allies in places where Cecils normally look for their e n e m i e s . and L o r d R o b e r t was m o v e d to draft a m e m o r a n d u m outlining a plan for perpetual p e a c e : the first draft of what later b e c a m e the C o v e n a n t of the L e a g u e of N a t i o n s . having returned to L o n d o n .S e c r e t a r y of S t a t e for F o r e i g n Affairs. Victoria's last P r i m e Minister. G r a h a m and other officials of the F o r e i g n Office were keenly aware that F r a n c e w a s the obstacle in the way of giving C h a i m W e i z ma n n the p u b l i c c o m m i t m e n t h e r e q u e s t e d . t h o u g h his role tends to be p a s s e d over by h i s t o r i a n s — p o s s i b l y b e c a u s e he failed to leave a significant archive of private p a p e r s b e h i n d h i m .THE PROMISED LAND 291 the war. Parliamentary U n d e r .

Y o u consider that. cannot b u t . T h e y believed that those who held Zionist " d a y d r e a m s " might be won over by g r a n t i n g t h e m s o m e form of verbal e n c o u r a g e m e n t that did not constitute a real c o m m i t m e n t .G e r m a n . it would be a d e e d of justice a n d of reparation to assist. F r e n c h officials were not p r e p a r e d to s u p p o r t Z i o n i s m in a postwar P a l e s t i n e — a n d did not envisage allowing J e w s to achieve a separate national s t a t u s — b u t they saw no h a r m in offering the Zionists w o r d s of e n c o u r a g e ment so long as they were m e a n i n g l e s s . the Quai d'Orsay hesitated to bid for it. E v e n after events in R u s s i a m a d e it s e e m desirable to win Zionist s u p p o r t . D i r e c t o r . g a v e h i m a written formal a s s u r a n c e from the F r e n c h g o v e r n m e n t of its s y m p a t h y in the following t e r m s : 27 Y o u were g o o d e n o u g h to present the project to which you are devoting your efforts which has for its object the d e v e l o p m e n t of J e w i s h colonization in Palestine. fearing that an Allied c o m m i t ment to Z i o n i s m might a m o u n t to an a b a n d o n m e n t of F r a n c e ' s claim to Palestine. a n d the i n d e p e n d e n c e of the H o l y Places b e i n g s a f e g u a r d e d on the other hand. which was r e g a r d e d a s p r o . c i r c u m stances permitting. by the protection of the Allied Powers. and which continues the s t r u g g l e to a s s u r e the victory of right over m i g h t . a n d i m p o r t a n t s e g m e n t s of F r e n c h opinion had e x p r e s s e d hostility all along to the m o v e m e n t . On 19 April 1917 G r a h a m wrote to S y k e s that it was disquieting that the Zionist m o v e m e n t relied so completely on the prospect of Britain having P a l e s t i n e . 26 T h e p r o b l e m was solved by N a h u m Sokolow who. in the renaissance of the J e w i s h nationality in that land f r o m which the p e o p l e of Israel were exiled so m a n y centuries a g o . Officials at the Quai d'Orsay therefore were led to a s s u m e that Zionists would remain neutral on that issue. H o w e v e r it was difficult to see how the Zionist m o v e m e n t could turn to F r a n c e for s u p p o r t . Within the F r e n c h F o r e i g n Ministry Z i o n i s m w a s spoken of with scorn. the F r e n c h g o v e r n m e n t held a low opinion of its strength—until the revolution in R u s s i a m a d e J e w s seem m u c h m o r e politically i m p o r t a n t than they were. pointedly d i d not raise the question of which country s h o u l d be the protecting power for Palestine. in his negotiations with the F r e n c h F o r e i g n Ministry.G e n e r a l of the F r e n c h F o r e i g n Ministry. on 4 J u n e 1917 J u l e s C a m b o n . In return for Sokolow's agreement to go to R u s s i a to use his influence with the J e w s there. which entered this present war to defend a people wrongfully attacked. Z i o n i s m h a d attracted little s u p p o r t a m o n g F r a n c e ' s J e w s a n d .292 NEW W O R L D S A N D P R O M I S E D L A N D S do s o . T h e F r e n c h G o v e r n m e n t . as a result.

A r m e d with the written F r e n c h statement that S o k o l o w h a d b r o u g h t b a c k with h i m f r o m P a r i s . T h e p r o c e s s of drafting the a p p r o p r i a t e l a n g u a g e . . whose principal objective at that time was to s e c u r e a h o m e l a n d in Palestine for the J e w s . however defined. than to L e o A m e r y a n d his friends. the Zionist m o v e m e n t would have an important role in selecting its protector. the F r e n c h had o u t m a n e u v e r e d themselves. 2 8 It was subtly p h r a s e d . But. the t r i u m p h of which is b o u n d up with that of the Allies. h a d long s y m p a t h i z e d with Z i o n i s m a n d now believed that Britain s h o u l d go on record in its favor. fortified by O r m s b y . T h e i r formal a s s u r a n c e was too cautiously p h r a s e d to be meaningful. A l m o s t all the g o v e r n m e n t a l figures who m a t t e r e d were d i s p o s e d favorably toward the p r o p o s e d declaration. the Balfour Declaration (a) was published. when Milner a n d L e o A m e r y took charge of it. S y k e s . the Holy Places. If that definition were to a p p l y . had converted the War C a b i n e t secretariat to Z i o n i s m . F r e n c h s y m p a t h y for the J e w i s h nation in Palestine would be restricted to H a i f a . a n d within his own d e p a r t m e n t he was p u s h e d forward in this by Cecil a n d G r a h a m .J u n e 1917 that the time had c o m e to issue a written p u b l i c British c o m m i t m e n t to Z i o n i s m . O m i t t e d f r o m the p l e d g e was the c r u x of the Zionist i d e a : that the renaissance of the J e w i s h nation s h o u l d occur within the context of a political entity of its own. the F o r e i g n S e c r e t a r y . * It is sometimes pointed out that the Balfour Declaration was equally vague. T h i s was a matter of less concern to G r a h a m a n d S y k e s . as it was intended to b e . T h e C a m b o n letter w a s . and the N e g e v D e s e r t . went on through the s u m m e r until S e p t e m b e r . O n c e it b e c a m e c o m m o n g r o u n d that the Allies s u p p o r t e d J e w i s h aspirations in Palestine. (b) referred to the whole of Palestine. northern G a l i l e e . B a l f o u r . unlike the Cambon letter. and (c) referred to the creation of an entity that was to have a distinctly Jewish national identity—a National Home.G o r e . M o r e o v e r . a n d would choose Britain. had already been defined by the F r e n c h in the S y k e s Picot A g r e e m e n t as a large enclave that took in most of inhabited Palestine west of the J o r d a n river. a n d d e c i d i n g to w h o m it s h o u l d be a d d r e s s e d . but its existence licensed the British to issue an a s s u r a n c e of their own.THE PROMISED LAND 293 feel s y m p a t h y for your c a u s e . H e b r o n . B a l f o u r invited Weizmann to participate in the p r o c e s s of drafting an a p p r o p r i a t e d o c u m e n t . G r a h a m and Cecil advised a willing Balfour in m i d . which were to remain independent of the p l e d g e of s y m p a t h y . I am h a p p y to give you herewith s u c h a s s u r a n c e . to w h o m Z i o n i s m was attractive mainly b e c a u s e it e n s u r e d that Palestine would be B r i t i s h . N o n e t h e l e s s . n o n c o m m i t t a l . It was what W e i z m a n n a n d S y k e s h a d s o u g h t all along.

" T h e a p p o i n t m e n t of M o n t a g u . which represented British J e w r y in all m a t t e r s affecting J e w s a b r o a d . only a b o u t one percent of the world's J e w s h a d signified their adherence to Z i o n i s m . J u d a i s m . he a r g u e d . * Disraeli. a n d to say otherwise w a s to say that he was less than 100 percent British. he c o u l d not avoid b e i n g categorized as a J e w . . In d i s g u s t . a J e w . to the I n d i a Office has m a d e . despite his lack of religious faith. T h e opposition c a m e f r o m leading figures in the British J e w i s h c o m m u n i t y . a n d R u f u s I s a a c s ( L o r d R e a d i n g ) h a d broken new g r o u n d for their co-religionists: they h a d been the first J e w s to sit in a British C a b i n e t . b u t was driven to lament that "I have been striving all my life to e s c a p e from the G h e t t o . H e . Y e t a typical political c o m m e n t at the time ( f r o m L o r d D e r b y . the last d a t e for which there were figures.Z i o n i s m . was a religion. a n d while he did not e x p r e s s an interest in declaring Britain's intentions in a d v a n c e . a n d it was d e e m e d a political m a s t e r s t r o k e for the P r i m e Minister to have taken h i m and Churchill away from A s q u i t h . h a d been against Z i o n i s m from the start a n d r e m a i n e d s o . have a very high opinion of his capability a n d I expect he will do w e l l . Y e t the p r o p o s a l that B a l f o u r s h o u l d issue his pro-Zionist declaration s u d d e n l y encountered o p p o s i t i o n that b r o u g h t it to a halt. M o n t a g u saw Z i o n i s m as a threat to the position in British society that he a n d his family h a d so recently. T h e s e c o n d son of a successful financier who h a d been ennobled. though of Jewish ancestry. E d w i n M o n t a g u . British Intelligence reports indicated a s u r g e of Zionist feeling d u r i n g the war in the Pale of R u s s i a . t h o u g h D e r b y a d d e d that " I .Z i o n i s t . He was the millionaire son of an E n g l i s h lord. " It bothered M o n t a g u that. not a nationality. T h e P r i m e Minister h a d always p l a n n e d to carry t h r o u g h a Zionist p r o g r a m . as far as I can j u d g e . along with his cousin. S e c r e t a r y of S t a t e for I n d i a . personally. including Philip K e r r of the P r i m e Minister's secretariat. an uneasy feeling both in I n d i a a n d here". of course. I n Britain. M o n t a g u was r e g a r d e d as by far the m o s t c a p a b l e of the younger m e n in the L i b e r a l ranks. the War Minister) was. led the opposition g r o u p within the C a b i n e t . M i l n e r a n d his set. M o n t a g u was s p e a k i n g for a majority of J e w s . attained.294 NEW W O R L D S AND PROMISED LANDS S m u t s was deeply p r o . neither did he place any obstacle in the way of his government's d o i n g so once his colleagues thought it useful. was baptized a Christian. As of 1913. H e r b e r t S a m u e l . 3 1 3 2 3 3 M o n t a g u ' s opposition b r o u g h t all matters to a halt. the Conjoint C o m m i t t e e . " 29 3 0 T h e evidence s u g g e s t e d that in his n o n . h a d c o m e to view the establishment of a J e w i s h Palestine as a vital British imperial interest. b u t there were no figures either to substantiate or to quantify i t . and with so m u c h exertion.

he fought b a c k with a ferocity that b r o u g h t the Cabinet's deliberations on the matter to a standstill. M o n t a g u was a i d e d b y L o r d C u r z o n . " T h e s u b . it solicited the advice. M o r e i m p o r t a n t . of President Wilson. however. however. Philip K e r r (the former Milner aide who served as L l o y d G e o r g e ' s secretary) "saw in a J e w i s h Palestine a b r i d g e between Africa. President Wilson was s y m p a t h e t i c to Z i o n i s m . " It was not. As the British C a b i n e t considered i s s u i n g the Balfour D e c l a r a t i o n . " 3 6 T h i s was a fair interpretation of the views of the P r i m e Minister a n d of the Milner circle which a d v i s e d him. a fair interpretation of the views of the F o r e i g n Office. b u t s u s p i c i o u s of British m o t i v e s . explained the concept behind it to a C a b i n e t m e m b e r as not really b e i n g a d d r e s s e d to British s u b j e c t s of the J e w i s h faith. a n d L l o y d G e o r g e is not a b o v e u s i n g us to further this p l a n . "Apart f r o m those J e w s who have b e c o m e citizens of this or any other country in the fullest sense. . . who are still in a very real sense a separate nation . A s i a a n d E u r o p e on the r o a d to I n d i a . "who represents a certain section of the rich J e w s a n d who s e e m s to fear that he and his like will be expelled f r o m E n g l a n d a n d asked to cultivate f a r m s in P a l e s t i n e . which h a d been won over by the a r g u m e n t that a pro-Zionist declaration would 37 . he was aided by A n d r e w B o n a r L a w — l e a d e r of the dominant party in the Coalition g o v e r n m e n t a n d the P r i m e Minister's powerful political p a r t n e r — w h o u r g e d delay. who a r g u e d that Palestine was too m e a g r e in r e s o u r c e s to a c c o m m o d a t e the Zionist d r e a m . M o n t a g u was also aided by the U n i t e d S t a t e s . feeling threatened. translated this as follows: " T h e E n g l i s h naturally want the road to E g y p t a n d I n d i a blocked. A c c o r d i n g to C h a i m Weizmann. as t h o u g h it were motivated solely by concern for the plight of p e r s e c u t e d J e w s . b u t to J e w s who resided in countries that denied t h e m real citizenship. B o n a r L a w a r g u e d that the time was not yet ripe for a consideration of the Zionist i s s u e . took little interest in the position of J e w s in other countries. m o r e particularly of the J e w s in Poland and R u s s i a . they would be offered a chance to r e b u i l d their own h o m e l a n d in Palestine. . a n d by implication the s u p p o r t . A m e r y . " D e n i e d the right to b e c o m e R u s s i a n s . who w a s helping Milner redraft the p r o p o s e d D e c l a r a t i o n . . 34 3 5 M o n t a g u . there is also a large b o d y .C a b i n e t officials who were p u s h i n g for a pro-Zionist c o m m i t m e n t a t t e m p t e d to allay s u c h fears. he favored a J e w i s h Palestine b u t was less enthusiastic about a British Palestine. Wilson's foreign policy adviser. It was the position of J e w s in British society that concerned h i m . T h e p r o p o s e d D e c l a r a t i o n was d e s c r i b e d b y the C a b i n e t t o the A m e r i c a n g o v e r n m e n t as an e x p r e s s i o n of s y m p a t h y for Zionist aspirations. which. until m i d October 1917. Colonel H o u s e . cautiously counselled delay.THE PROMISED LAND 295 G r a h a m r e p o r t e d that the p r o p o s e d declaration was "hung u p " b y M o n t a g u .

In J u n e 1917 S i r R o n a l d G r a h a m received from C h a i m W e i z m a n n an issue of a Berlin n e w s p a p e r known for its close relationship to the g o v e r n m e n t . I n his m i n u t e . it w o u l d antagonize p u b l i c opinion in the U n i t e d S t a t e s . a n d p r o p o s i n g that G e r m a n y forestall the m a n e u v e r by e n d o r s i n g Z i o n i s m first. r e p o r t e d that Zionists could not affect the o u t c o m e of the s t r u g g l e for power in R u s s i a . it w a s the G e r m a n p r e s s that took an interest in T h a t s u m m e r G r a h a m c o m m u n i c a t e d his fears t o Balfour. H i s h o m e g o v e r n m e n t p e r s i s t e d in believing. G r a h a m wrote that he h a d heard there w a s to be another p o s t p o n e m e n t which he believed w o u l d "jeopardise the whole J e w i s h situation. the J e w s were all anti-Ally a n d . In G e r m a n y the p r e s s was a r o u s e d by r u m o r s of what the British F o r e i g n Office intended to d o . R u s s i a ." 38 G r a h a m attached to his m i n u t e a list of dates s h o w i n g how extensive the g o v e r n m e n t ' s delays h a d been in dealing with the Zionist matter. to a lesser extent. well aware that J e w s were a weak a n d p e r s e c u t e d minority in imperial R u s s i a and of no political c o n s e q u e n c e . that the J e w i s h c o m m u n i t y in R u s s i a c o u l d keep the g o v e r n m e n t that ruled t h e m in the Allied c a m p . W a r n i n g that Britain m u s t not "throw the Zionists into the a r m s of the G e r m a n s . a b o v e all. wielded great power. he a s s e r t e d . T h e British a m b a s s a d o r in P e t r o g r a d . ( T h o u g h the British did not know it. to which he a d d e d his own r e c o m m e n d a t i o n that the q u e s t i o n be taken up by the C a b i n e t a s soon a s p o s s i b l e ." T h i s e n d a n g e r e d the position in R u s s i a where.296 NEW W O R L D S AND P R O M I S E D L A N D S prove a crucial w e a p o n against G e r m a n y in the war a n d afterward. reporting that the British were flirting with the idea of e n d o r s i n g Z i o n i s m in o r d e r to a c q u i r e the Palestinian land b r i d g e on the road from E g y p t to I n d i a . IV F e a r begets fear. the F o r e i g n Office was seized by a s e n s e of urgency in seeking J e w i s h support. 3 9 . In O c t o b e r . " he a r g u e d that "We might at any m o m e n t be confronted by a G e r m a n m o v e on the Zionist q u e s t i o n a n d it m u s t be r e m e m b e r e d that Z i o n i s m w a s originally if not a G e r m a n J e w i s h at any rate an A u s t r i a n J e w i s h idea. along with the list of d a t e s which he said showed that the Zionists h a d reasonable c a u s e to c o m p l a i n . T h e F o r e i g n Office believed that the J e w i s h c o m m u n i t i e s in A m e r i c a a n d . As the crisis in R u s s i a d e e p e n e d . the G e r m a n g o v e r n m e n t took little interest in a d o p t i n g a pro-Zionist s t a n c e . B a l f o u r f o r w a r d e d the minute to the P r i m e Minister. however.

the publication date of the weekly Jewish . " H e pointed out that his g o v e r n m e n t had informed K i n g H u s s e i n a n d Prince Feisal of its plans to re-create a J e w i s h h o m e l a n d in the H o l y L a n d . the F o r e i g n Secretary's letter of 2 N o v e m b e r 1917 s t a t e d : 4 0 Dear L o r d Rothschild. W e i z m a n n . they h a d seen F r a n c e as their only p r o b l e m in this connection. On 31 O c t o b e r 1917 the C a b i n e t overrode the o p p o s i t i o n of M o n t a g u a n d C u r z o n a n d authorized the F o r e i g n S e c r e t a r y to issue a m u c h . Do our statesmen fail to see how valuable to the Allied c a u s e w o u l d be the hearty s y m p a t h y of the J e w s throughout the world which an unequivocal declaration of British policy might win? G e r m a n y has been q u i c k to perceive the d a n g e r to her s c h e m e s and to her p r o p a g a n d a that w o u l d be involved in the association of the Allies with J e w i s h national h o p e s . He caustically a d d e d that "We c o u l d not get in touch with the Palestinian A r a b s as they were fighting against u s . the following declaration of s y m p a t h y with J e w i s h Zionist aspirations which has been s u b m i t t e d to.THE PROMISED LAND 297 On 26 O c t o b e r 1917. considering a statement a b o u t Palestine.J e w i s h c o m m u n i t i e s in Palestine. a n d she has not been idle in a t t e m p t i n g to forestall u s . b u t the Zionist leader was u n h a p p y that the original l a n g u a g e had been so watered d o w n . " I should be grateful if you would b r i n g this declaration to the knowledge of the Zionist F e d e r a t i o n . it's a boy". the C a b i n e t : "His Majesty's G o v e r n m e n t view with favour the establishment in Palestine of a national h o m e for the J e w i s h people. The Times p u b l i s h e d a leading article attacking the continuing delay. a n d a p p r o v e d by. T h e P r i m e Minister later wrote of the A r a b leaders that "Palestine did not seem to give them m u c h a n x i e t y . a n d will use their best e n d e a v o u r s to facilitate the achievement of this object. The Times a r g u e d that the t i m e had c o m e to m a k e o n e . on behalf of H i s M a j e s t y ' s G o v e r n m e n t . " D r . and that had been resolved.d i l u t e d version of the a s s u r a n c e of s u p p o r t that W e i z m a n n had r e q u e s t e d . " 41 4 2 T h e public a n n o u n c e m e n t of the Balfour Declaration was delayed until the following F r i d a y . Britain's leaders anticipated no a d v e r s e reaction f r o m their A r a b allies. An ebullient S y k e s r u s h e d over with the news. S t a t i n g that it was no secret that British a n d Allied g o v e r n m e n t s had b e e n . I have m u c h pleasure in conveying to you. it b e i n g clearly u n d e r s t o o d that nothing shall be d o n e which m a y p r e j u d i c e the civil a n d religious rights of existing n o n . or the rights a n d political s t a t u s enjoyed by J e w s in any other c o u n t r y . A d d r e s s e d to the m o s t illustrious n a m e in British J e w r y .

a n d those B r i t o n s who s u p p o r t e d the Balfour D e c l a r a t i o n . S i r M a r k S y k e s . T h i s hope remained alive until the Bolsheviks decisively won the R u s s i a n Civil War in the early 1920s. as well as a Syrian Christian. and William O r m s b y . " 44 4 5 4 6 T h e P r i m e Minister u n d e r e s t i m a t e d the effect of the Balfour Declaration on the eventual peace settlement. a n d s p o k e s m e n for A r m e n i a . Its character as a . a n d later wrote that the peace treaty would have p r o v i d e d that Palestine s h o u l d be a h o m e l a n d for the J e w s "even had there been no previous pledge or p r o m i s e . was the need for J e w s . A r a b s .G o r e . eloquently p u r s u e d by m a n y of the s p e a k e r s . in the s o m e w h a t i n c o n g r u o u s setting of a L o n d o n theatre. T h e theme of the meeting. T h e grateful Zionist leaders had p r o m i s e d to work toward an Allied v i c t o r y — a n d had done s o . Writing two d e c a d e s later. s p e a k e r s included L o r d R o b e r t Cecil. T h e F o r e i g n Office had h o p e d the Balfour D e c l a r a t i o n would help to swing R u s s i a n J e w i s h s u p p o r t to the Allied side a n d against B o l s h e v i s m . " It was a p p r o p r i a t e that it should be s o : Biblical p r o p h e c y was the first a n d m o s t e n d u r i n g of the m a n y motives that led B r i t o n s to want to restore the J e w s to Z i o n . a n d A r m e n i a n s to help one another a n d to m o v e forward in h a r m o n y . a n d their a s s u r a n c e s of a g r e e m e n t a n d cooperation with the J e w s . an A r a b nationalist. was its contribution to the war effort. T h e c o m m e n t s followed u p o n a celebration at the L o n d o n O p e r a H o u s e on 2 D e c e m b e r organized by the British Zionist F e d e r a t i o n . b e c a u s e they mistakenly believed R u s s i a n J e w s were powerful a n d c o u l d be valuable allies. were driven to s u p p o r t it all the m o r e by the d r a m a t i c news f r o m P e t r o g r a d . By then the news was o v e r s h a d o w e d by reports from P e t r o g r a d that L e n i n a n d T r o t s k y had seized power. It was not until 9 N o v e m b e r that The Times was able to report the a n n o u n c e m e n t of the Balfour D e c l a r a t i o n . as the British g o v e r n m e n t was a b o u t to a b a n d o n the Balfour D e c l a r a t i o n . The Times wrote that "its o u t s t a n d i n g features were the O l d T e s t a m e n t spirit which p e r v a d e d it a n d the feeling that. In addition to the Zionist leaders. T h e P r i m e Minister planned to foster a J e w i s h h o m e in Palestine. In N o v e m b e r of 1917 the battle against B o l s h e v i s m in R u s s i a h a d just b e g u n . " T h e i m p o r t a n c e of the Balfour D e c l a r a t i o n . in any event. " 43 Of the meeting. the a p p r o a c h i n g fulfillment of ancient p r o p h e c y was b e i n g celebrated with faith a n d f e r v o u r . a n d the only question that remains now is whether we m e a n to h o n o u r o u r s . would alone have sufficed to m a k e the meeting m e m o r a b l e .298 NEW W O R L D S AND PROMISED LANDS Chronicle. a n d not until 3 D e c e m b e r that it p u b l i s h e d c o m m e n t s a p p r o v i n g it. He claimed that R u s s i a n J e w s had given invaluable s u p p o r t to the war against G e r m a n y b e c a u s e of it. T h e opinion of The Times was that " T h e presence a n d the words of influential representatives of the A r a b and A r m e n i a n peoples. he wrote. he said that the Zionists "kept their w o r d in the letter a n d the spirit.

As the intellectual giant of the P r o g r e s s i v e m o v e m e n t in A m e r i c a n politics. S u p r e m e C o u r t . only 12. As he saw it. a n o u t s t a n d i n g B o s t o n lawyer not previously identified with specifically J e w i s h c a u s e s . that B r a n d e i s set out to a d d r e s s .000 belonged to the often ephemeral g r o u p s loosely b o u n d together in the amateurishly led Zionist F e d e r a t i o n .A m e r i c a n s in this respect a n d for manifesting their opposition to continued British rule in I r e l a n d . too. Secretary of Commerce and L a b o r from 1906 to 1909. A m e r i c a n Z i o n i s m had been a tiny m o v e m e n t when the war b e g a n . its annual b u d g e t never e x c e e d e d 5. A r g u i n g that this kind of political concern and involvement is * Oscar Straus. S . T h e great waves of J e w i s h i m m i g r a t i o n into the U n i t e d S t a t e s were recent. Of the roughly three million J e w s who then lived in the U n i t e d S t a t e s . to s h e d their foreign accents a n d w a y s .000 d o l l a r s . had b e c o m e a Zionist in 1912 a n d took over leadership of the m o v e m e n t in 1914. a n d g r e e t e d with a p p r o v a l by the p u b l i c a n d the p r e s s t h r o u g h o u t the western w o r l d — m a d e it a c o m m i t m e n t that w a s difficult to ignore when the peace settlement was b e i n g negotiated. a b o v e all. . T h e largest single donation the F e d e r a t i o n ever received prior to 1914 was 2 0 0 d o l l a r s . a n d B r a n d e i s himself w a s to b e c o m e the first J e w i s h m e m b e r o f the U . and to b e c o m e A m e r i c a n . B r a n d e i s especially a d m i r e d I r i s h . 4 7 4 8 49 5 0 5 1 L o u i s D . O t h e r s could point to an ancestral h o m e l a n d a n d take p r i d e in it a n d in t h e m s e l v e s .200 d o l l a r s . wanted to distance themselves from any foreign taint a n d feared that a t t a c h m e n t to Z i o n i s m on their part might m a k e t h e m s e e m less than wholehearted in their loyalty to the United States. he was believed to exert great influence over President Wilson.THE PROMISED LAND 299 public d o c u m e n t — i s s u e d with the a p p r o v a l of the U n i t e d S t a t e s and F r a n c e and after consultation with Italy a n d the Vatican. B r a n d e i s w a s p e r h a p s the first J e w to play an i m p o r t a n t part in A m e r i c a n politics since the Civil War. In N e w Y o r k the m o v e m e n t h a d only 500 m e m b e r s . B r a n d e i s . It took on a life a n d m o m e n t u m of its own. Only one J e w h a d ever been a m e m b e r of a president's cabinet. A m e r i c a n .b o r n J e w s . It w a s this i s s u e . T h e m o v e m e n t ' s treasury contained 15. a n d m o s t i m m i g r a n t s were a n x i o u s to learn E n g l i s h . A m e r i c a n J e w s lacked s o m e t h i n g i m p o r t a n t that other A m e r i c a n s p o s s e s s e d : a national p a s t . V T h e Declaration also played a role in the d e v e l o p m e n t of the Zionist m o v e m e n t in the A m e r i c a n J e w i s h c o m m u n i t y .

S o o n afterward it also b e c a m e an officially s u p p o r t e d A m e r i c a n goal. s u p p o r t for Z i o n i s m within the J e w i s h c o m m u n i t y grew dramatically.000. Britain's m a i n objectives by now were not in E u r o p e . he wrote that one of his m a i n achievements in dealing with British g o v e r n m e n t colleagues had been "all the work on Peace terms which gradually drove into their heads the i m p o r t a n c e of E a s t Africa. On the occasion of the J e w i s h N e w Y e a r in S e p t e m b e r 1918. " As A m e r y indicated. T h e rival warring 54 .300 NEW W O R L D S AND P R O M I S E D L A N D S entirely consistent with A m e r i c a n p a t r i o t i s m .A m e r i c a n who contributed towards a d v a n c i n g h o m e rule was a better m a n and a better A m e r i c a n for the sacrifice he m a d e . E v e r y A m e r i c a n J e w who aids in a d v a n c i n g the J e w i s h settlement in Palestine . President Wilson e n d o r s e d the principles of the B a l f o u r D e c l a r a t i o n in a letter of holiday greetings to the American Jewish community. a n d indeed enhances it. Palestine. In t u r n . a n d M e s o p o t a m i a a n d the I m p e r i a l outlook g e n e r a l l y . 5 2 53 Whether b e c a u s e of the B a l f o u r D e c l a r a t i o n or b e c a u s e of Brandeis's effective a n d professional leadership. he p r o c l a i m e d that "Every I r i s h . the Balfour Declaration vindicated the a r g u m e n t s that B r a n d e i s had u s e d in his a p p e a l s to the A m e r i c a n J e w i s h c o m m u n i t y . T h e destruction wrought in the first three years of the war m a d e a meaningful victory in E u r o p e i m p o s s i b l e . In 1919 m e m b e r s h i p of the Zionist F e d e r a t i o n grew to m o r e than 175. L o o k i n g back a n d evaluating what he had been able to a c c o m p l i s h d u r i n g the year. and the B a l f o u r Declaration h a d helped him to do s o — e v e n though the F o r e i g n Office had issued the declaration in part b e c a u s e they s u p p o s e d s u c h a force was already in existence a n d needed to be a p p e a s e d . B u t B r a n d e i s h a d m a d e A m e r i c a n Z i o n i s m into a substantial organization along the lines pioneered by I r i s h . It s h o w e d that Z i o n i s m w a s in h a r m o n y with patriotism in wartime b e c a u s e a J e w i s h Palestine was an Allied war goal. . will likewise be a better m a n and a better A m e r i c a n for doing s o .A m e r i c a n s who s u p p o r t e d indep e n d e n c e for I r e l a n d . VI A m e a s u r e of how far British war g o a l s had m o v e d in the year since L l o y d G e o r g e replaced A s q u i t h i s p r o v i d e d b y L e o A m e r y ' s reflections in his diary at the end of 1917. t h o u g h Zionist s u p porters r e m a i n e d a minority g r o u p within A m e r i c a n J e w r y and still encountered fierce o p p o s i t i o n from the richer a n d m o r e established J e w s — o p p o s i t i o n that was not really o v e r c o m e until the 1940s. . " T h e ethical idealism of B r a n d e i s m a d e a powerful i m p r e s s i o n on A r t h u r Balfour when the B r i t i s h F o r e i g n S e c r e t a r y visited the U n i t e d S t a t e s in 1917 and d i s c u s s e d the future of Palestine.

a n d with his strategic vision he s a w — a s did Milner. . which h a d b e g u n as an accidental irrelevance. it offered a new lease on Britain's e m p i r e in Africa. N o w he was saying that his postwar objectives could be won there too. b y s u p p l y i n g the m i s s i n g section of the line that led from C a p e T o w n to I n d i a and on to A u s t r a l i a a n d N e w Z e a l a n d . E v e n the destruction of G e r m a n y would not meet Britain's needs. A m e r y . With his political instinct. the L l o y d G e o r g e g o v e r n m e n t c a m e to see it as territory that Britain needed. . it would have to be t h r o u g h imperial e x p a n s i o n . Asia. Where the A s q u i t h C a b i n e t eventually c a m e to see h e g e m o n y over portions of the M i d d l e E a s t as something that Britain merely wanted. s s T h i s shift in outlook b r o u g h t the O t t o m a n war. If that Britain c o u l d be revived. It was an o p e n q u e s t i o n as to whether the Britain that sailed onto the world ocean a n d a r o u n d the g l o b e u n d e r S i r F r a n c i s D r a k e had perished forever with the generation of 1914 on the western front. partly in Africa b u t principally in the M i d d l e E a s t — t h a t was the direction in which the P r i m e Minister and the Milner circle were looking.G o r e — t h a t . F r o m the beginning he had said that the G r e a t War c o u l d be won there.THE PROMISED LAND 301 E u r o p e a n coalitions were r u i n e d . It was not feasible to look for an annexation or acquisition in E u r o p e to m a k e up for what had been lost. f r o m the periphery to the very center of the P r i m e Minister's world policy. In a w a r t i m e s p e e c h S m u t s pointed out that G e r m a n y had to remain a substantial power in order to u p h o l d the E u r o p e a n balance of power. he felt that it was an area in which he c o u l d win tangible r e w a r d s for his c o u n t r y m e n . S m u t s . K e r r . a n d O r m s b y . a n d the Pacific. which it was in Britain's vital interest to m a i n t a i n .

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PART VII INVADING THE MIDDLE EAST .

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S y k e s w a r n e d the C a b i n e t that "if you work f r o m I n d i a you have all the old traditions of black a n d white. a n d in a methodical c a m p a i g n c a p t u r e d B a g h d a d on 11 M a r c h 1917. S i r Percy C o x .G e n e r a l Stanley M a u d e led his A n g l o . had envisaged all along that the M e s o p o t a m i a n provinces of B a s r a and B a g h d a d w o u l d fall within its s p h e r e if they were detached from the O t t o m a n E m p i r e . w h o u n d e r s t o o d its logistical r e q u i r e m e n t s . M a j o r . a new Viceroy.i n .A m a r a — h a d shocked L o n d o n into m a k i n g a clean sweep at the t o p . and a new c o m m a n d e r . T o S i r M a r k S y k e s a n d his A r a b B u r e a u friends. the c a p t u r e of the ancient capital. chief political 305 . British fortunes in the E a s t took a turn for the better. a n d inspired h i m to a i m at J e r u s a l e m for Britain's next great t r i u m p h .I n d i a n A r m y of the T i g r i s forward into the M e s o p o t a m i a n provinces in D e c e m b e r 1916.c h i e f of the I n d i a n A r m y . when D a v i d L l o y d G e o r g e took office as P r i m e Minister. It b r o u g h t h i m cheer at a time when it w a s b a d l y n e e d e d .o p e n e d the c a m p a i g n u n d e r a new S e c r e t a r y of S t a t e for I n d i a . T h e b l u n d e r i n g incompetence of the G o v e r n m e n t of I n d i a in c o n d u c t i n g the M e s o p o t a m i a n c a m p a i g n — t h e a d v a n c e on B a g h d a d late in 1915 that e n d e d in the s p r i n g of 1916 in the defeat a n d s u r r e n d e r of the British I n d i a n A r m y a t K u t e l . the notion that s u c h a r e a s s h o u l d be administered in what they r e g a r d e d as India's paternalistic way was a b h o r r e n t .35 J E R U S A L E M FOR CHRISTMAS i At the end of 1916. and you can not r u n the A r a b s on black a n d white lines." 1 T o m a r k the c a p t u r e o f B a g h d a d . c a u g h t the imagination of the new P r i m e Minister. although wary of c o m m i t t i n g itself. In a m e m o r a n d u m written in 1916. T h e s u c c e s s e s of the A r m y of the T i g r i s raised the question of what was to be d o n e with the O t t o m a n provinces that it had occupied. T h u s a new chief of the expeditionary a r m y . r e . g l a m o r o u s f r o m its association with the Arabian Nights. T h e G o v e r n m e n t of I n d i a . A l t h o u g h it had never been clear as to what p u r p o s e the B a g h d a d c a m p a i g n was meant to serve in the overall strategy of the world war.

a n d e x p r e s s e d the h o p e that the A r a b i c peoples m i g h t find unity north. and a thousand years before had become the seat of the exilarch—the head of the Jewish religion in the eastern diaspora— and thus the capital of oriental Judaism. M e a n w h i l e I n d i a n personnel s h o u l d b e w i t h d r a w n f r o m the o c c u p i e d p r o v i n c e s . . he o b s e r v e d that in offering a m e a s u r e of self-government to the A r a b s of B a g h d a d . toward an A r a b M i d d l e E a s t e r n confederation u n d e r the leadership o f K i n g H u s s e i n — a S u n n i M o s l e m . * T h e S y k e s draft nonetheless was i m p o s e d o n G e n e r a l M a u d e a n d S i r Percy C o x b y L o n d o n . A p p a r ently intended to assert that the o c c u p y i n g forces of British I n d i a were not g o i n g to rule the p r o v i n c e s of M e s o p o t a m i a . the proclam a t i o n did not m a k e clear who w a s g o i n g to rule in their p l a c e . G e n e r a l M a u d e o b j e c t e d to the S y k e s draft. As a military m a n . he d e e m e d it essential to install a British administration to maintain security while the war c o n t i n u e d . a n d the differences between S u n n i s and Shi'ites were p r o f o u n d a n d m o r e than a t h o u s a n d years old. Jews in large numbers had lived in the Mesopotamian provinces since the time of the Babylonian captivity—about 600 B C — a n d thus were settled in the country a thousand years before the coming of the Arabs in AD 634. s o u t h . but L o n d o n o r d e r e d h i m not to issue it. T h e c o m m i t t e e d e c i d e d that the p r o v i n c e of B a s r a s h o u l d b e c o m e B r i t i s h — n o t B r i t i s h . the p r o c l a m a t i o n took no note of the fact t h a t — a c c o r d i n g to h i m — a majority of the inhabitants of the city were not A r a b s b u t J e w s . along with Jerusalem. T h e p r o c l a m a t i o n invited the A r a b s ' l e a d e r s — t h o u g h it was unclear who they were to b e — t o participate in the g o v e r n m e n t in collaboration with the British authorities.I n d i a n — w h i l e the province of B a g h d a d s h o u l d join or s h o u l d b e c o m e an A r a b political entity subject to a British p r o t e c t o r a t e . of p a s t glory a n d future g r e a t n e s s . It s p o k e — a s was S y k e s ' s wont—in highflown p h r a s e s of liberation a n d f r e e d o m . although most o f the inhabitants of the provinces of B a s r a a n d B a g h d a d were Shi'ite. a n d west. was one of the two great Jewish cities of Asia. M o r e o v e r . drafted a proclamation to the p o p u l a c e that essentially limited itself to calling for cooperation with the provisional B r i t i s h . It pointed. On 16 M a r c h 1917 the War C a b i n e t created a M e s o p o t a m i a n A d m i n i s t r a t i o n C o m m i t t e e u n d e r the c h a i r m a n s h i p o f L o r d C u r z o n to d e t e r m i n e what form of g o v e r n m e n t s h o u l d be installed in the c a p t u r e d p r o v i n c e s . however vaguely. G e n e r a l M a u d e had cabled to his s u p e r i o r s that "local conditions Whether or not they constituted a majority in the city—and the then-current Encyclopaedia Britannica indicated that they did not—the Jews were economically preponderant. east. a n d c a u s e d w i d e s p r e a d confusion. a n d after d i s c u s s i o n the War C a b i n e t chose one written by S i r M a r k S y k e s as a b a s i s for the text that was finally a p p r o v e d .306 INVADING THE MIDDLE EAST officer of G e n e r a l M a u d e ' s e x p e d i t i o n a r y force. Baghdad.I n d i a n a d m i n i s t r a t i o n . S e v e r a l drafts were written in L o n d o n .

while u n d e r G e n e r a l M a u d e the court s y s t e m of I n d i a offered similar r i g h t s . the high court in C o n s t a n t i n o p l e . Public facilities a n d utilities had to be m a n a g e d . the historic and g e o g r a p h i c divisions of the provinces. G e n e r a l M a u d e . the rivalries of tribes and clans. a n d with a right of appeal to. 2 C o x raised other i m m e d i a t e a n d practical issues that obviously had not been thought t h r o u g h in L o n d o n . T h e antipathy between the minority of M o s l e m s who were S u n n i s a n d the majority who were Shi'ites. Whitehall's failure to think through in practical detail how to fulfill the p r o m i s e s g r a t u i tously m a d e to a section of the local inhabitants was revealing. what would h a p p e n to the administration of justice? T h e M e s o p o t a m i a n A d m i n i s t r a t i o n C o m m i t t e e had n o ready replies. a n d . if the C a b i n e t were serious in o r d e r i n g the I n d i a n s out of the M e s o p o t a m i a n provinces. the military and civil authorities of the o c c u p y i n g power then p r o c e e d e d to withhold it. a n d o r d e r s h a d to be given a n d administrative decisions taken daily. T h e laborers a n d other nonc o m b a t a n t s u p p o r t g r o u p s of the A r m y of the T i g r i s were I n d i a n . T h e c o m p r o m i s e f o r m u l a at which the British had arrived might have been expressly d e s i g n e d to arouse dissatisfaction a n d u n r e s t : h a v i n g volunteered what s o u n d e d like a p l e d g e of independence to an area that h a d not asked for it. or h a d given no thought to.JERUSALEM FOR CHRISTMAS 307 do not permit of e m p l o y i n g in r e s p o n s i b l e positions any b u t British officers c o m p e t e n t to deal with Military authorities a n d with p e o p l e of the country. and no b o d y of experienced officials other than those of British I n d i a existed in the provinces to replace it. b u t if the connection with I n d i a were to be broken. who would take their place? M o r e o v e r . the p o p u l a t i o n m i x of the M e s o p o t a m i a n provinces. in whose n a m e the S y k e s p r o c lamation h a d been i s s u e d . effective. the s y s t e m of law c o u r t s in the provinces had operated u n d e r . " S i r Percy C o x raised the s a m e issues in a different way when he asked w h o the A r a b leader of B a g h d a d was g o i n g to b e . It was evident that L o n d o n either was not aware of. for the O t t o m a n a d m i n i s t r a t i o n of M e s o p o t a m i a h a d been driven out. a n d to accept the administration of the G o v e r n m e n t of I n d i a so long as it w a s agreed that it s h o u l d not be p e r m a n e n t . Before any truly A r a b f a c a d e can be a p p l i e d to edifice it s e e m s essential that foundation of law a n d order s h o u l d be well a n d truly l a i d . a n d the c o m mercial p r e d o m i n a n c e of the J e w i s h c o m m u n i t y in the city of B a g h d a d m a d e it difficult to achieve a single unified g o v e r n m e n t that was at the s a m e time representative. Who was to do it? L o n d o n was driven to reconsider. u n d e r T u r k e y . was p u t in the position of p r e a c h i n g selfrule while d i s c o u r a g i n g its practice. T h e M e s o p o t a m i a n provinces were the first t o b e c a p t u r e d f r o m the O t t o m a n E m p i r e by Britain d u r i n g the war. a n d widely s u p p o r t e d . T h e war continued.

II T h e new c o m m a n d i n g officer sent out t o E g y p t w a s G e n e r a l Sir E d m u n d Allenby. Allenby's c o m m i s s i o n from the P r i m e Minister was to invade a n d o c c u p y Palestine a n d to take J e r u s a l e m before C h r i s t m a s . it was not clear where he meant t h e m to g o . for the local O t t o m a n administration was inclined to strike out against the J e w i s h c o m m u n i t y in any event. it was reasonable to s u p p o s e there w o u l d be even m o r e m u d d l e when British E g y p t m a r c h e d on an area of s u c h c o m p l e x international interests as Palestine. T h e plight of the refugees. whether British officers on the spot would actually allow t h e m to be i m p l e m e n t e d . Allenby b r o u g h t drive a n d discipline to the E g y p t i a n E x p e d i t i o n a r y F o r c e . S y r i a . without m e a n s or s u p p l i e s . If there was this m u c h m u d d l e when British India o c c u p i e d n e a r b y M e s o p o t a m i a . on the feast of Passover. and L e b a n o n . a n d . after S m u t s h a d definitely decided that he would not accept the a p p o i n t m e n t . M e i n e r t z h a g e n took c h a r g e of e s p i o n a g e operations b e h i n d e n e m y l i n e s — o p e r a t i o n s m e a n t to p a v e the way for Allenby to invade Palestine. B u t A a r o n s o h n paid a high price for winning the respect a n d friendship of British Military Intelligence: his s p y ring e x p o s e d the J e w i s h settlers in Palestine to p o s s i b l e T u r k i s h r e p r i s a l s — a t the worst of t i m e s . to serve u n d e r him in c h a r g e of the political section of the division. It was an inauspicious b e g i n n i n g a n d s u g g e s t e d the extent to which the British g o v e r n m e n t did not know what it was getting into when it d e c i d e d to s u p e r s e d e the O t t o m a n E m p i r e in A s i a . He w a s c h o s e n in J u n e 1917. Meinertzhagen chose W y n d h a m D e e d e s . if s o . As head of Military Intelligence he chose Colonel R i c h a r d M e i n e r t z h a g e n .308 INVADING THE MIDDLE EAST b o d e d ill for the provinces that were the next to be i n v a d e d : Palestine. who had distinguished himself in a similar capacity with S m u t s in E a s t Africa. M e i n e r t z h a g e n was m o v e d to c h a n g e his m i n d by A a r o n A a r o n s o h n . a cavalry officer who h a d served a n d c o m m a n d e d with distinction in F r a n c e . T h o u g h he had been strongly anti-Jewish. the expert on O t t o m a n affairs. w h o s e s p y network in J e w i s h Palestine he r e g a r d e d as invaluable. D j e m a l expelled the J e w s a n d A r a b s of J a f f a . a n d a new p r o f e s s i o n a l i s m . although he s p o k e vaguely of the S y r i a n hinterland. evoked m e m o r i e s of the A r m e n i a n s . I t s h o w e d that S i r M a r k S y k e s a n d his colleagues h a d a d o p t e d policies for the M i d d l e E a s t without first considering whether in existing conditions they could feasibly be i m p l e m e n t e d . In the s p r i n g of 1917. S o o n afterward D j e m a l .

situated at the head of a channel of the R e d S e a so narrow that the R o y a l N a v y d a r e d not enter it while its shore batteries were in enemy h a n d s .JERUSALEM FOR CHRISTMAS 309 indicated that he meant to d e p o r t the civil population of J e r u s a l e m . their liaison with Feisal's A r a b i a n guerrillas: a n d in the s p r i n g of 1917 he d i s a p p e a r e d into the desert. A u d a led his followers from the A r a b i a n coastline n o r t h w a r d into the desert. tortured a n d interrogated. m o s t of the rest h a d died of starvation or d i s e a s e . their c o m i n g was a total s u r p r i s e . L a w r e n c e . Only the firm intervention of the G e r m a n F o r e i g n M i n i s t r y kept the tragedy from o c c u r r i n g . s u c c e e d e d in c o m m i t t i n g s u i c i d e . after four d a y s of torture. As it was. b u t was less i m p r e s s e d by the effectiveness of Feisal's Arabs. only about a third of the J e w i s h p o p u l a t i o n r e m a i n e d in J e r u s a l e m by the e n d of 1917. having given up interest in the A r a b Revolt the p r e v i o u s year. * It was A u d a who led the expedition. so A u d a ' s b a n d planned to steal up from behind to take A q a b a by a s u r p r i s e a t t a c k . the Palestinian J e w i s h c o m m u n i t y faced catastrophe if the extent a n d effectiveness of A a r o n s o h n ' s activities were u n c o v e r e d — a s eventually they were. a sleepy. Its several h u n d r e d O t t o m a n defenders a n d their g u n positions faced out to sea. S a r a h A a r o n s o h n . With B e d o u i n c u n n i n g . T h e i r objective was A q a b a . . R e p r i s a l s against the J e w i s h population m i g h t have followed h a d not the G e r m a n s and T a l a a t intervened. where their m o v e m e n t s were lost from view. whose adherence L a w r e n c e h a d s e c u r e d by the p a y m e n t of 10. of which the majority was J e w i s h . T h e British military authorities in C a i r o showed little concern for whatever L a w r e n c e a n d Feisal might be d o i n g . Ill M e i n e r t z h a g e n was i m p r e s s e d by the effectiveness of A a r o n s o h n ' s J e w s in contributing to the p r e p a r a t i o n s for a British invasion of Palestine. T h e British civil authorities i n C a i r o had little contact with T . On 6 J u l y they o v e r w h e l m e d * It was probably Lawrence's idea. S o m e were h a n g e d . When they r e a p p e a r e d in southern Palestine two m o n t h s later.000 p o u n d s sterling. L a w r e n c e h a d g o n e off with A u d a a b u T a y i . tiny port at the southern tip of Palestine. though Auda and/or Feisal may have thought of it independently. In these c i r c u m s t a n c e s . Aaron's sister S a r a h a n d a n u m b e r of her associates were arrested by the T u r k s in O c t o b e r 1917. E . the fighting chief of the B e d o u i n tribal confederation of northern A r a b i a . though L a w r e n c e r o d e with him.

the p r o b l e m could be solved by recruiting S y r i a n deserters from the O t t o m a n a r m y to serve u n d e r F e i s a l . T h i s w o u l d "change the character of Sherif . A few m o n t h s before. Feisal accepted the plan. " 3 Whoever deserved credit. a n d his b r o t h e r s . as historians did later. A c c o r d i n g to the A r a b B u r e a u . the A r a b B u r e a u had considered the p r o b lems that would arise from any a t t e m p t to employ Feisal's forces in the Palestine a n d S y r i a c a m p a i g n s . A u d a a b u T a y i . in A r a b d r e s s . his father. he p a s s e d off his fantasies as the truth. He astonished everyone by unexpectedly e m e r g i n g f r o m the Sinai desert. A few m o n t h s earlier. N o w the Royal N a v y could transport A r a b i a n t r i b e s m e n to Palestine. as he allowed his listeners to u n d e r s t a n d that he h a d played the chief role in the A q a b a c a m p a i g n . L a w r e n c e immediately set off on an a r d u o u s a n d d a n g e r o u s trip across a wilderness of enemy-held territories to S u e z to report A u d a ' s c a p t u r e of A q a b a .310 INVADING THE MIDDLE EAST A q a b a ' s small and u n p r e p a r e d T u r k i s h g a r r i s o n . L a w r e n c e ' s arrival with the news f r o m A q a b a c o m p l e t e d his nine m o n t h s ' transformation into a military hero. the c a p t u r e of A q a b a t r a n s f o r m e d the H e j a z rebellion which h a d hitherto been bottled up in the A r a b i a n peninsula b y the T u r k i s h g a r r i s o n a t M e d i n a . T h e r e they could act as a diversionary force on the right flank of the British a r m y in the c o m i n g Palestine c a m p a i g n which Allenby p l a n n e d to launch in the a u t u m n . Hussein's forces could reach a battlefield on which the B r i t i s h . creating a sensation at h e a d q u a r t e r s just after G e n e r a l Allenby c a m e to take up his new c o m m a n d . T h e b u r e a u h a d reported t o Clayton on 16 M a y 1917 that Feisal's B e d o u i n s could not s t a n d up to regular t r o o p s . that " L a w r e n c e took A q a b a . he h a d sent a letter to G e n e r a l C l a y t o n that contained an almost certainly fictitious account of an expedition he claimed to have undertaken on his o w n . D e s p i t e his two p u n i s h i n g m o n t h s in the desert. N o w he had real personal exploits to announce a n d to e x a g g e r a t e . although it meant cutting himself off f r o m the H e j a z . and that an additional d i s a d v a n t a g e of e m p l o y i n g t h e m was that their g o i n g into settled districts w o u l d be u n w e l c o m e to town dwellers. I n s t e a d they said. who had in fact won the victory. did not have a n a m e that tripped easily off the t o n g u e s of British officers. he was deputized as a British general a n d c a m e u n d e r Allenby's c o m m a n d . for the first time. a n d t h u s . for L a w r e n c e pers u a d e d Allenby that A r a b irregulars could assist British forces in the c o m i n g Palestine and S y r i a c a m p a i g n s . L a w r e n c e p o s s e s s e d m a n y virtues but honesty was not a m o n g t h e m . Feisal still r e m a i n e d at h e a d q u a r t e r s in the H e j a z when Allenby a p p r o v e d L a w r e n c e ' s plan to transport h i m and a small striking force of his t r i b e s m e n by sea from the British-held coast of A r a b i a to A q a b a — a sea voyage of 250 miles.T u r k i s h war was actually to be fought. sheikh of the eastern Howeitat.

As liaison officer between the British a n d A r a b officers." 5 . and d r o p p e d a blood-stained sack that contained apparently confidential British d o c u m e n t s indicating that the m a i n attack would be at G a z a . General Harry Chauvel. Eventually the wealth t r a n s f o r m e d not merely the face of 7 * British officers put this program into effect when Feisal came to Aqaba. but its defenses a n d defenders were well p r e p a r e d and A l l e n b y merely feinted at it while. T h e T u r k s and their G e r m a n c o m m a n d e r s expected h i m to launch his attack on coastal G a z a . (Officer Commanding) Hejaz operations. T h e O t t o m a n forces were taken by s u r p r i s e . but it was m o r e than that: by the end of the war. "Meinertzhagen's device won the b a t t l e . " L l o y d G e o r g e a d d e d that " N e e d l e s s to say he never rose in the war a b o v e the rank of C o l o n e l . commander of the Australian army in the Palestine and Syria campaigns. L a w r e n c e enjoyed a colorful c a m p a i g n that later won him great p u b l i c i t y — b u t also m u c h envy. he was "One of the ablest a n d m o s t successful b r a i n s I had met in any a r m y . " 6 While Allenby's forces were rolling up the G a z a . his m a i n forces s w u n g a r o u n d t h r o u g h the desert to attack inland at B e e r s h e b a instead. Lieutenant-Colonel Pierce Charles Joyce. it was i m m e n s e in those d a y s — a n d m o r e so by desert B e d o u i n stand a r d s . T. the o b v i o u s gateway to Palestine. the A r a b Revolt had cost Britain m o r e than fifty times that a m o u n t . and served with him to provide professional advice and guidance. Feisal's forces h a r a s s e d the T u r k s on the British right flank. T h e tribes h a d never known s u c h wealth a s L a w r e n c e b r o u g h t t h e m . E. O n e reason for the T u r k s ' s u r p r i s e was a r u s e devised a n d executed by M e i n e r t z h a g e n .JERUSALEM FOR CHRISTMAS 311 Feisal's c a m p a i g n from a series of desultory raids against the railway to an organized a t t e m p t to free the c o u n t r y . first as a m a j o r and then as a colonel. later wrote that "Joyce was the organiser of the only fighting force of any real value in the whole of the Arab Army and I always thought that he had more to do with the success of the Hejaz operations than any other British officer. 0 0 0 p o u n d s s t e r l i n g . C . " D a v i d L l o y d G e o r g e later wrote. Whatever the s u m . Dawnay at the planning level and Joyce at the operations level were the principal British officers placed in charge of the Arab army corps. a n d fell back in disarray. was the senior British officer serving with Feisal's corps. stationed at Aqaba.t o . B r e m o n d .B e e r s h e b a line. On 10 O c t o b e r he r o d e into no man's l a n d . when an O t t o m a n cavalry patrol fired at him he pretended to be hit. later jealously o b s e r v e d that L a w r e n c e "represented" 2 0 0 . with stealth a n d s p e e d . " * 4 IV In the a u t u m n of 1917 Allenby invaded Palestine. as O . reporting to Colonel Alan Dawnay of Allenby's General Staff. the F r e n c h representative in the H e j a z .

8 A p a r t f r o m the tribes. Allenby read out a p r o c l a m a t i o n placing the city u n d e r martial law. Another d i s a p p o i n t m e n t w a s the p e r f o r m a n c e of L a w r e n c e ' s raiding party when a s s i g n e d a specific operational task by A l l e n b y : they were to d y n a m i t e a high-arched viaduct to cut the railroad c o m m u n i c a t i o n s of the O t t o m a n forces h e a d q u a r t e r e d in J e r u s a l e m . at first. and his report u n d o u b t e d l y echoed official British opinion in C a i r o at the t i m e . whose role was s p o r a d i c . the c e r e m o n y of entrance into J e r u s a l e m . his A r a b w a r d r o b e grew to be even m o r e splendid than Feisal's. D e p a r t m e n t of S t a t e in C a i r o reported at the end of 1917 that Feisal's a r m y r e m a i n e d "incapable of c o p i n g with disciplined troops". b u t Allenby. Until then. Picot. then t h r u s t t h r o u g h the J u d a e a n hills. for not m a n y p e o p l e could be trusted with the p o s s e s s i o n of it. At the Citadel. said Allenby. Allenby did n o t — a n d s h o w e d it by inviting L a w r e n c e to attend. Allenby would decide how long the area would r e m a i n u n d e r an exclusively military a d m i n i s t r a t i o n . and c a p t u r e d J e r u s a l e m a n y w a y — e v e n earlier than C h r i s t m a s . w o u l d he allow civil a d m i n i s t r a t i o n to be instituted. on foot. As c o m m a n d i n g general. L a w r e n c e a n d his m e n failed in the task. when asked if he r e m e m b e r e d L a w r e n c e . 9 V On 11 D e c e m b e r 1917 G e n e r a l S i r E d m u n d Allenby a n d his officers entered the H o l y City of J e r u s a l e m at the J a f f a G a t e . the .312 INVADING THE MIDDLE EAST tribal allegiances b u t also the a p p e a r a n c e of the y o u n g E n g l i s h m a n who served as p a y m a s t e r . N e a r l y half a century later. A representative of the U . W y n d h a m D e e d e s u s e d t o s p e n d his S a t u r d a y afternoons personally p a c k i n g gold sovereigns into cartridge cases a n d watching them b e i n g loaded onto c a m e l s for the journey to L a w r e n c e in the desert. Allenby explained that the city fell within the military zone. British expectations that the exprisoners of war w o u l d t r a n s f o r m F e i s a l ' s forces into s o m e t h i n g akin to a regular army were. 5 0 0 O t t o m a n ex-prisoners of war. so that authority in the area was vested solely in the c o m m a n d i n g general. S . h a v i n g p u s h e d the T u r k i s h right flank north of J a f f a . a B e d o u i n sheikh replied "He was the m a n with the g o l d . " T h e sheer logistics of getting the g o l d safely to L a w r e n c e p o s e d a p r o b l e m .000 B e d o u i n s s u p p l e m e n t e d by a b o u t 2 . I n C a i r o . as staff officer of the day to G e n e r a l C l a y t o n . T o the F r e n c h representative. Only when he d e e m e d that the military situation p e r m i t t e d him to do s o . a d i s a p p o i n t m e n t . T h o u g h L a w r e n c e bitterly b l a m e d himself for his failure. Feisal's a r m y consisted of a b o u t 1.

G e r m a n t r o o p s launched a s u r p r i s e attack that s m a s h e d t h r o u g h Allied lines in northern F r a n c e and threatened to win the war before A m e r i c a n reinforcements could arrive. d i s p r o v e d the contention—frequently a d v a n c e d b y British intelligence officers in the p a s t — t h a t they could not stand up to the T u r k i s h a r m y . political battle lines were f o r m i n g within the British g o v e r n m e n t a n d the Allied c a m p as to the ultimate disposition of the l a n d s c o m p o s i n g the O t t o m a n E m p i r e . E n v e r ' s offensive. looks like having been a last d e s p e r a t e throw of the dice. M e a n w h i l e E n v e r P a s h a was starting on a sort of L u d e n d o r f f offensive of his own in the north. trained by J o y c e a n d t r a n s p o r t e d by his colleague H u b e r t Y o u n g . Meanwhile Allenby remained in Palestine. C h r i s t e n d o m had been able "to regain p o s s e s s i o n o f its s a c r e d s h r i n e s . On the first d a y of s p r i n g 1918. It w a s not until the s u m m e r that the fury of L u d e n d o r f f ' s offensive was s p e n t . Feisal's A r a b forces. m a d e p o s s i b l e b y R u s s i a ' s s u r r e n d e r . as Allenby awaited a chance to r e s u m e his offensive. but just a t that m o m e n t his h a n d w a s stayed. S u d d e n l y Allenby was obliged to s e n d b a c k to E u r o p e almost all of his British t r o o p s . u n d e r various A r a b a n d B r i t i s h officers.JERUSALEM FOR CHRISTMAS 313 question of the S y k e s . but also a material o n e .P i c o t A g r e e m e n t a n d the ultimate disposition of Palestine would be d e f e r r e d . In retrospect. F r o m C h r i s t m a s until s u m m e r ' s e n d . a n d I n d i a to destroy Britain's eastern e m p i r e while all of her British t r o o p s were away in E u r o p e . C a m p a i g n i n g in T r a n s j o r d a n . Allenby w a s now in a position to m a r c h on D a m a s c u s . T h e G e r m a n s were p r e p a r i n g a n offensive against western E u r o p e . " T h e calling of the T u r k i s h bluff was not only the beginning of the c r a c k i n g . " T h e c a p t u r e o f B a g h d a d a n d J e r u s a l e m h a d p r o d u c e d a t r e m e n d o u s psychological effect. s h o w e d their worth. B u t at the time the O t t o m a n . T h e liberation of what he called "the m o s t f a m o u s city in the world" was what the P r i m e Minister h a d wanted for C h r i s t m a s . it was itself a real contribution to ultimate v i c t o r y . rebuilding his forces for the future. which allowed L u d e n d o r f f to b r i n g b a c k G e r m a n y ' s a r m i e s from the eastern front. the raiding parties continued their hit-and-run attacks. with it.u p of that military i m p o s t e r s h i p which the incompetence of our war direction h a d p e r m i t t e d to intimidate us for y e a r s . he c l a i m e d . like L u d e n d o r f f ' s . A f g h a n i s t a n . while the r e g u l a r s . " 10 11 After the c a p t u r e of J e r u s a l e m . he later wrote. A significant role was planned for t h e m in the next p h a s e of the c a m p a i g n by Allenby. who intended t h e m to s p r e a d d i s o r d e r a m o n g the T u r k s on his right flank.s p e a k i n g l a n d s of the C z a r i s t E m p i r e — A z e r b a i j a n a n d T u r k e s t a n — a n d p e r h a p s then t o d e s c e n d on P e r s i a . d e s i g n e d to c a p t u r e the T u r k i s h . a n d then on C o n s t a n t i n o p l e to deliver the knock-out blow to the O t t o m a n E m p i r e .

314 INVADING THE MIDDLE EAST E m p i r e ' s capabilities a n d intentions were less easy to a s s e s s . into the spotlight of world war and politics. a n d the O t t o m a n offensive b r o u g h t vast a r e a s of the northern M i d d l e E a s t . Allenby was at last able to r e s u m e his attack on Enver's forces in the west. hitherto uncontested in the war. . While E n v e r was attacking north a n d east.

Moslems or Christians. M e a n w h i l e he trained his raw Indian t r o o p s for the coming campaign.d e s i g n e d . a n d r e d — w e r e meant to s y m b o l i z e the past glory of M o s l e m A r a b e m p i r e s a n d to s u g g e s t that H u s s e i n w a s their c o n t e m p o r a r y c h a m p i o n .s p e a k i n g O t t o m a n E m p i r e . D a m a s c u s was the next objective on his line of m a r c h . E v e n m o r e than B a g h d a d a n d J e r u s a l e m . it was an important city for all historical ages. Allenby w a s an Allied c o m m a n d e r . for she was acting on behalf of an array of associated p o w e r s and c a u s e s . its origins were lost in the mists of time.p r o d u c e d f l a g o f A r a b nationalism signaled a critical issue as Allenby's a r m i e s p r e p a r e d to m a r c h on 315 . A m o n g their b a n n e r s w a s one designed b y S i r M a r k S y k e s for H u s s e i n a n d the A r a b c a u s e . Its c o l o r s — b l a c k . D a m a s c u s was a flourishing oasis town before there were J e w s or Arabs. white. g r e e n . H u s s e i n ' s only modification of the design was to c h a n g e the hue of the r e d . 1 T h e B r i t i s h . Allenby laid the foundation for r e s u m i n g his c a m p a i g n against the T u r k s . Englishmen or G e r m a n s . B r i t i s h . a n d his a r m i e s were p r e p a r e d t o a d v a n c e under m a n y f l a g s . a n d then had them delivered to the H e j a z forces. T h e capture of D a m a s c u s w o u l d symbolically c o m p l e t e not merely the British occupation of the A r a b i c . Britain c l a i m e d to be s o m e t h i n g other than a traditional c o n q u e r o r . He r a i d e d enemy forces to keep t h e m off balance. Believed to be the oldest continuously inhabited u r b a n center in the world. S y k e s h a d o r d e r e d flags to be m a d e up by the British military s u p p l y offices in E g y p t . so as to relieve his army's d e p e n d e n c e u p o n pack a n i m a l s a n d ruined r o a d s . b u t also a s s u r e Britain's place in the line of legitimate succession from the ancient world c o n q u e r o r s who had sealed their t r i u m p h s by achieving m a s t e r y of the oases of S y r i a .36 T H E ROAD TO DAMASCUS i Between C h r i s t m a s of 1917 a n d the s u m m e r of 1918. In J a n u a r y a n d F e b r u a r y h e restored a n d extended J e r u s a l e m ' s railway connections to the coast.

At the beginning of 1918 S y k e s . a p p e a r e d to s u p p o r t S y k e s as he hailed the renaissance of A r a b i n d e p e n d e n c e . also an avowed a n t i . m o v e d into a F o r e i g n Office position in charge of the politics of the O t t o m a n theater of war. in L o n d o n .of war within the British b u r e a u c r a c y m i g h t decide it. T h o s e in charge of the politics of the O t t o m a n theater of war in the field—Clayton in Palestine.S e m i t e . He thus occupied a c o m m a n d i n g position in d e t e r m i n i n g the politics of both E g y p t a n d the S u d a n . the British H i g h C o m m i s s i o n e r in C a i r o . D a m a s c u s . he was the author. C l a y t o n a n d S t o r r s e n v i s a g e d a n A r a b k i n g d o m o r confederation g u i d e d by the British in a M i d d l e E a s t in which there was no r o o m . who before 1914 had a d m i r e d the T u r k s as a ruling p e o p l e . with w h o m he did not. B a g h d a d . C l a y t o n was a career a r m y officer whose professional caution often kept h i m f r o m e x p r e s s i n g his views freely when they contradicted those of his s u p e r i o r s . who had always maintained that A r a b i c . with w h o m he a g r e e d .316 INVADING THE MIDDLE EAST D a m a s c u s : the extent to which the particular British officials who mattered m o s t in s h a p i n g M i d d l e E a s t e r n policy were sincere or cynical in their espousal of the v a r i o u s causes to which they had s u p p o s e d l y been converted along the way. b u t g u a r d e d l y to S y k e s . in large part. a n d the G o v e r n m e n t of I n d i a in B a g h d a d — w e r e skeptical of the politics of idealism that S y k e s had c o m e to e s p o u s e . S i r M a r k S y k e s . t h o u g h they did not tell h i m so openly. a n d at times d e p r e c a t e d the c a u s e s in whose n a m e s they had been m a d e . awaited word of their eventual fate. N o t all of these conversions were genuine. b e y o n d Allied lines. II B r i g a d i e r G e n e r a l G i l b e r t C l a y t o n s e r v e d as chief political officer to G e n e r a l Allenby. had b e c o m e converted d u r i n g the war to the c a u s e of liberating the subject peoples from O t t o m a n tyranny. b u t r e m a i n e d the political alter ego of S i r R e g i n a l d Wingate. unaware that a tug. a n d .S e m i t e . At the other end were operational officers who d e p l o r e d the p l e d g e s . An o u t s p o k e n a n t i . At one end of the s p e c t r u m w a s S y k e s . who believed in honoring the pledges of which. J e r u s a l e m . he had c o m e to e x p r e s s his concern for the J e w s . Colonial officials s u c h as S t o r r s and Clayton. as did M e i n e r t z h a g e n . He therefore e x p r e s s e d his views candidly to Wingate. as well as those of the a r m y of occupation in Palestine. Beneath the surface civility of British g o v e r n m e n t interchanges in 1918 there ran a hidden line on which the F o r e i g n Office a n d officers in the field pulled in o p p o s i t e directions. Wingate in E g y p t .s p e a k i n g natives were inc a p a b l e of self-government.

he saw no need in any event to m a k e p l e d g e s in advance. and A r m e n i a n s " and therefore h a d t o p r e s s forward to c o m p l e t e v i c t o r y . a n d told S y k e s that the important thing w a s to establish a record s h o w i n g that it w a s not Britain's fault. and which I know you take an interest in. 2 T h o u g h d e n y i n g a n t i .F r e n c h . he e x p l a i n e d . 4 5 A m o n t h after the i s s u a n c e of the Balfour D e c l a r a t i o n . C l a y t o n and his colleague. w o u l d b u n g l e it. E v e n by the s t a n d a r d s of the time. It w a s rather that he feared Britain w o u l d be b l a m e d for F r a n c e ' s failure. and on returning to Cairo wrote Wingate that "One impression I gained which confirmed what I have always thought. " he wrote to S y k e s on 20 A u g u s t 1 9 1 7 .F r e n c h bias. . By nature c a u t i o u s .J e w i s h . he o p p o s e d entering into just s u c h c o m m i t m e n t s . when the Tory leader Lord Lansdowne privately argued in favor of a compromise peace. You hear pro-Turk talk and desires for a separate peace with Turkey—again the Jew (the mainspring of the C . As the Balfour D e c l a r a t i o n w a s b e i n g d r a f t e d . You hear peace talk and generally somewhere behind is the Jew. especially in A m e r i c a a n d R u s s i a . W i n g a t e . Clayton was in London. It is everywhere and always on the 'moderation' tack. a n d of the c o n s e q u e n t necessity of giving t h e m everything for which they may ask. German Jews.T H E ROAD TO DAMASCUS 317 for F r a n c e (except p e r h a p s in L e b a n o n ) .i s m on my p a r t . S y r i a n s . it w a s s i m p l y that he w a s p r e d i c t i n g it. he wrote. French Jews. ) [original emphasis]. B u t when the issue of a c o m p r o m i s e p e a c e with T u r k e y again c a m e to the fore in 1917. It w a s the fault of the F r e n c h t h e m s e l v e s : they were detested by the S y r i a n s a n d . Wingate h a d b l a m e d J e w s for inciting the o u t b r e a k of the O t t o m a n war. Clayton wrote to S y k e s s u g g e s t i n g that it might have been a m i s t a k e . were strongly d i s p o s e d to be a n t i . it was not. Politics.. C l a y t o n s a i d he would not connive at b r i n g i n g a b o u t that result. he wrote to S y k e s that it w o u l d be b e s t to keep A a r o n A a r o n s o h n a n d the J e w s "in play" without m a k i n g any statement of B r i t i s h i n t e n t i o n s . Clayton a r g u e d that Britain h a d no moral right to negotiate b e c a u s e "We are c o m m i t t e d to the s u p p o r t of A r a b s . h e d i d admit h a v i n g reservations about Britain's other M i d d l e E a s t e r n allies. I am not fully aware of the weight which Zionists carry. U . J e w s . There are English Jews." 3 . In 1916 C l a y t o n r e p o r t e d to W i n g a t e that J e w s were b e h i n d the m o v e m e n t to m a k e p e a c e with the O t t o m a n E m p i r e as well. if given a chance to rule S y r i a . P . including the c o m m i t m e n t to Z i o n i s m . as though he wanted to e x c l u d e the F r e n c h from S y r i a . Austrian Jews & Salonika Jews—but all are J E W S . At the s a m e time. was the widespread influence of the Jews. "You need not be afraid of any F a s h o d a . b u t I m u s t * In the summer of 1916. tended to distract J e w s a n d A r a b s from the war effort. The Jews do not want to see anyone 'downed'. C l a y t o n denied that he was a n t i .

Beautiful theories are all very nice. # * * . the secret society leader.T a l a a t government in C o n s t a n t i n o p l e . 6 Nonetheless. the officer who a d v i s e d Allenby a b o u t the policies t o b e p u r s u e d i n occupied Palestine.A r a b . a n d S y r i a . t h o u g h he claimed he w a s not an enemy of the F r e n c h . A l . in s u p p o r t of his own p r o p o s a l a n d against the officials in L o n d o n who had blocked it. On the contrary. by p u s h i n g them as hard as we a p p e a r to be doing. What C l a y t o n was p r o p o s i n g — a British protectorate for the A r a b M i d d l e E a s t — w a s what a l . a n d insisted he was a friend of both the Zionists a n d the A r a b s . b u t it did not s e e m to register on Clayton that it meant that those for w h o m a l . L e b a n o n . m a r k my w o r d s . 8 T h u s Clayton. and reported receiving a p r o p o s a l from him to organize the overthrow of the E n v e r . I know I am right.M a s r i s p o k e . a n d reconciling the reorganized e m p i r e with the Allied P o w e r s . this c a m e in early 1918 in the diplomatic p o u c h from M a d r i d . T h e y are not nearly ready for it and if you have a Palace. 7 A l t h o u g h Clayton had been the first to make m u c h of the A r a b secret societies. in the sense of favoring A r a b i n d e p e n d e n c e . Clayton was not p r o . we are risking the possibility of A r a b unity b e c o m i n g s o m e t h i n g like an a c c o m p l i s h e d fact a n d b e i n g ranged against us. Writing to S y k e s at the time. refused to be ruled by the British R e s i d e n c y . A reminder of. where the British a m b a s s a d o r had seen Aziz a l . T h e O t t o m a n E m p i r e would then b e reorganized along federal lines. T r a n s j o r d a n . All this c l a p t r a p about S u l t a n s & self g o v e r n m e n t for E g y p t is rot.M a s r i . even before the outbreak of the O t t o m a n war.M a s r i indicated he would never accept. offering local a u t o n o m y to A r a b s a n d others. t h o u g h willing to be ruled by the T u r k i s h Porte. he consistently ignored what they told h i m : they did not want to be ruled by C h r i s t i a n s or E u r o p e a n s — n o t even the British. Clayton claimed that It is s t r o n g a n d I know d e a d against their policy. b u t .M a s r i had often said m u c h the s a m e thing to Clayton in C a i r o at the beginning of the war. early in 1917 he and Wingate p r o p o s e d to abolish even the nominal independence of E g y p t and to move toward outright annexation-—a j u d g m e n t which the F o r e i g n Office successfully o p p o s e d . in practice o p p o s e d the a m b i t i o n s of all three. b u t hard facts remain. every ounce of power a n d self government which you think you are giving to the People will go straight into the h a n d s of the S u l t a n & his minister to be u s e d against you.318 INVADING THE MIDDLE EAST point out that.

p r o . unlike S y k e s .. By profession he spoke u p . R e t u r n i n g to L o n d o n in the s u m m e r of 1917. a m o n g others. it was his t r a d e to m a k e speeches. proJ e w . S y k e s was a H o u s e of C o m m o n s m a n . h a d a t t e m p t e d in his a b s e n c e to negotiate a s e p a r a t e peace with T u r k e y — a n a t t e m p t a b o r t e d by the p r o m p t opposition of C h a i m W e i z m a n n . J e w s . continued to labor in 1917—18 to keep his d i s p a r a t e coalition together. S y k e s . he was not d i s h o n e s t : he did not d i s s e m b l e . who believed in keeping the p r o m i s e s he h a d m a d e to A r a b s . he felt that he c o u l d e x p r e s s his views openly a n d fully. I n d e e d Sykes's principal p r o b l e m was to secure the s u p p o r t of his own colleagues. were d i s p o s e d not to show their h a n d s . and F r e n c h m e n . a n t i . In confidential conferences a n d c o r r e s p o n d e n c e with t r u s t e d British g o v e r n m e n t colleagues. a n t i . in c o m b i n a t i o n with the former A m e r i c a n a m b a s s a d o r in C o n s t a n t i n o p l e . b u t he was g e n e r o u s a n d w a r m h e a r t e d . I n d e e d I just arrived in the nick of . S t i m u l a t i n g antiEntente feelings [i.A r a b . Civil servants a n d career a r m y officers like C l a y t o n were cautious by profession a n d . 9 1 0 Part of Sykes's p r o b l e m was that he d i d not know which of his colleagues were in favor of what.J e w . a n d wrongly a s s u m e d that they felt the s a m e way.A r m e n i a n . it was a p p r o p r i a t e that the door to S y k e s ' s office was known to the Zionist leader N a h u m S o k o l o w as "the D o o r of H o p e . B u t t h o u g h inconsistent. naive. C h a i m W e i z m a n n d e s c r i b e d his o u t s t a n d i n g qualities by writing that "He was not very consistent or logical in his thinking. by profession. while. who were p u z z l e d by his v i e w s — p u z z l e d . he did not u n d e r s t a n d that s o m e of them kept their motives and p l a n s h i d d e n . " B e c a u s e of his role in helping to fulfill J e w i s h national aspirations.O t t o m a n m e m b e r s of the F o r e i g n Office. a n t i . S y k e s discovered that p r o . H e n r y M o r g e n t h a u . by their s t a n d a r d s . he knew no way b u t one to keep faith with his new friends—with a whole heart. S y k e s wrote to Clayton that "On my arrival I f o u n d that the F o r e i g n Office h a d been carefully destroying everything I h a d d o n e in the past 2 years. b e c a u s e it s e e m s not to have occurred to t h e m that he was. H a v i n g converted f r o m a n t i . " B u t within his own g o v e r n m e n t there were those who objected to this generosity to foreigners. m e n like Clayton kept their own counsel. A r m e n i a n s . he was q u i c k to take up a c a u s e or to p u t it d o w n . As r e m a r k e d earlier.F r e n c h feelings] a n d p u s h i n g s e p a r a t e negotiations with T u r k e y ideas.A r m e n i a n to p r o .e.T H E ROAD TO DAMASCUS 319 III S i r M a r k S y k e s was a novice in g o v e r n m e n t — i n 1917 he h a d held executive office for only two y e a r s — a n d was a mercurial personality who remained subject to s u d d e n e n t h u s i a s m s .A r a b .

acting as the F r e n c h representative at Allenby's h e a d q u a r t e r s . P o u r i n g cold water on the A r a b m o v e m e n t a n d g o i n g in for . asserted that S i r E d w a r d G r e y had p r o m i s e d it to h i m . director of the A r a b B u r e a u . . a n d A r m e n i a n s . Clayton e x p r e s s e d his views to S y k e s m o r e g u a r d e d l y .F r e n c h a d ministration would be introduced into the territories in the M i d d l e E a s t occupied d u r i n g the war. a n d the A r a b nation the child of the E n t e n t e . I have heard nothing of it.F r e n c h organization was Clayton's A r a b B u r e a u . " S y k e s gleefully r e p o r t e d : "He got trounced . " H e was right a b o u t Z i o n i s m . . a British M e c c a . 11 Clayton p r o v e d to be quite unwilling even to work with Picot a n d protested against c a r r y i n g out an a g r e e m e n t — r e a c h e d with the F r e n c h d u r i n g the A s q u i t h government—-whereby a joint A n g l o . nor did he suspect that Clayton h o p e d to keep F r a n c e out of the region altogether. . C o l o n i a l i s m is m a d n e s s a n d I believe P and I can p r o v e it to t h e m . "Get your E n g l i s h m e n to stand up to the A r a b s on this a n d never let t h e m accept flattery of the 'you very g o o d m a n him very b a d m a n ' kind. 12 With respect t o A r a b s . " T h e A r a b s .l e d A r a b confederation. S y k e s wrote to C l a y t o n that " H o g a r t h arrived a n d played hell by writing an a n t i . an exuberant S y k e s sent a cypher . which S y k e s himself had created. which. but C l a y t o n wrote to S y k e s that "If this is s o . too. D a v i d H o g a r t h .F r e n c h a n d anti A g r e e m e n t m e m o r a n d u m . b u t wrong a b o u t the F o r e i g n Office. " S y k e s a n n o u n c e d that he and Picot (referred to as P) were g o i n g to force both the F r e n c h a n d British g o v e r n m e n t s to be honest with one another and honest with the A r a b s : " . a n d had lobbied against the Sykes-Picot A g r e e m e n t . . . " R e p e a t i n g that " T h e m a i n thing is never to yield to F a s h o d a . which was not a n t i . . the E n t e n t e first and last.320 INVADING THE MIDDLE EAST time. " In any event. against a F r e n c h role in the M i d d l e E a s t . " S y k e s did not s e e m to s u s p e c t that Picot himself r e m a i n e d a colonialist. Picot. . In private G i l b e r t Clayton's views were almost identical to those e x p r e s s e d by the m o r e c a n d i d H o g a r t h . the a n t i . cancelled that particular agreement for the time being. J e w s . L u c k i l y Z i o n i s m held g o o d . In the week following the publication of the B a l f o u r D e c l a r a t i o n . a n d in favor of a British protectorate over a H u s s e i n .F r e n c h .i s m F r e n c h or B r i t i s h . h a d to be taken in hand and m a d e to see that they s h o u l d not try to split the A n g l o F r e n c h E n t e n t e . . had been in L o n d o n in 1917 just before S y k e s r e t u r n e d . there is only one p o s s i b l e policy. General A l l e n b y exercised his authority to p o s t p o n e consideration of s u c h m a t t e r s until the military situation was d e e m e d suitable by him. in effect. b u t S y k e s was unaware of that. who saw Britain as his country's rival in the M i d d l e E a s t . a n d I cannot protest too strongly against any s u c h unworkable a n d m i s c h i e v o u s a r r a n g e m e n t . I am g o i n g to s l a m into Paris to m a k e the F r e n c h play up to the A r a b c a u s e as their only hope.

. He thus implied that the Balfour D e c l a r a t i o n was i s s u e d in the A r a b as well as in the British interest. wrote to Allenby that " M a r k S y k e s is a bit carried away with 'the e x u b e r a n c e of his own verbosity' in regard to Z i o n i s m a n d unless he goes a bit slower he m a y quite unintentionally u p s e t the a p p l e c a r t .T H E ROAD TO DAMASCUS 321 cable to an unenthusiastic C l a y t o n i n f o r m i n g him that the Zionist m o v e m e n t was p r e p a r e d to work on behalf of A r a b s a n d A r m e n i a n s and that he. S y k e s also sent a letter to C l a y t o n telling him that the Zionist a n d A r m e n i a n leaders were in c o m p l e t e a c c o r d and that it was important that A r a b leaders s h o u l d also join "the combine. as S y k e s had a s k e d . the A r m e n i a n s . " He a d d e d that it w o u l d not be feasible to s e n d an A r a b delegation to L o n d o n to join the c o m m i t t e e . He asked Clayton to tell the S y r i a n A r a b g r o u p s in C a i r o that if the T u r k s a n d G e r m a n s c a p t u r e d Zionist s u p p o r t . the H i g h C o m m i s s i o n e r in E g y p t .A r m e n i a n c o m bine a n d the a d v a n t a g e s that would a c c r u e if it could be b r o u g h t off. it would be b a d for t h e m as well as everyone else whose h o p e s rode with the Allies." 17 18 T h e next day Clayton's closest associate. r e p o r t i n g that he had prevailed on the Zionist leadership to a d o p t a s t r o n g p r o . In any case an A r a b .J e w . for it would help A r a b s everywhere." C a u t i o n i n g especially against the J e w i s h aspect of the c o m b i n e . I h o p e . a n d a S y r i a n Christian a n d a n A r a b M o s l e m w o u l d jointly represent the A r a b s . m a y have an a n o d y n e e f f e c t .A r a b l i n e . S y k e s sent a m e s s a g e to Picot. C h a i m W e i z m a n n would represent the Z i o n i s t s . " 19 . . S y k e s . telling him that A r a b interests were b e i n g a m p l y s a f e g u a r d e d a n d that J e w s i n Palestine would pay s c r u p u l o u s attention to A r a b r i g h t s ." 14 1 5 16 P o u r i n g cold water. was in p r o c e s s of f o r m i n g a joint c o m m i t t e e to unify the three g r o u p s . a d d e d S y k e s . We will try it. b u t it m u s t be d o n e very cautiously a n d . to consider whether the situation d e m a n d s out a n d out s u p p o r t of Z i o n i s m at the risk of alienating the A r a b s at a critical moment. J a m e s M a l c o l m . However C l a y t o n has written h i m an excellent letter which. honestly. It is an a t t e m p t to c h a n g e in a few weeks the traditional sentiment of centuries. I t was important that m o r e A r a b s s h o u l d join.J e w i s h A r m e n i a n c o m b i n a t i o n is so foreign to any p r e v i o u s experience and to existing sentiment that we m u s t p r o c e e d with great c a u t i o n . while A r a b s of S y r i a and Palestine fear repetition of the story of J a c o b a n d E s a u . b e c a u s e the A r a b s were too d i v i d e d . Shortly after cabling C l a y t o n . I see no great chance of any real s u c c e s s . Clayton in reply cabled that "in spite of all a r g u m e n t s M e c c a dislikes J e w s a n d A r m e n i a n s and wishes t o have nothing to do with t h e m . he a d d e d that "We have . A few d a y s later he wrote to S y k e s in a m o r e conciliatory vein that "I quite see your a r g u m e n t s r e g a r d i n g an A r a b . 1 3 A few weeks later S y k e s cabled C l a y t o n again. S i r R e g i n a l d Wingate.

s t a n d a chance of winning. He told them that J e w s desired a h o m e in Palestine but had no intention of creating a J e w i s h state there.J e w i s h fraternity a n d unity as r e g a r d s P a l e s t i n e . C a i r o Intelligence told the F o r e i g n Office that applications by J e w s to proceed to settle in Palestine s h o u l d be denied until the military situation was resolved a n d until an organization h a d been created to deal with the various p r o b l e m s that might b e expected t o a r i s e . L a w r e n c e . one of the three assistant secretaries of the War C a b i net. S o m e observers noted. w h o m it was m o r e difficult to treat as s u c h . too. wrote to his colleague M a r k S y k e s from T e l Aviv in the s u m m e r of 1918 that the military occupation officers. He a s s u r e d me that the S y r i a n s quite u n d e r s t a n d the power and position of the J e w s and that they now wish to d i s s e m i n a t e p r o p a g a n d a to e m p h a s i z e S y r i a n . British officials m a d e no a t t e m p t to take a d v a n t a g e of this favorable d i s p o sition. were p e r s o n s "whose experience . " 21 Clayton reported to S y k e s that he believed J e w s a n d A r a b s were in fact c o m i n g together. 2 0 T h e S y r i a n A r a b s r e s p o n d e d favorably.G o r e . who declined to raise potentially d i s t u r b i n g issues while the war was b e i n g fought." to C h r i s t i a n s and J e w s . . In a d m i n i s t e r i n g the liberated a r e a s of Palestine. E . as S y k e s had a s k e d . as he had been instructed. the British military authorities refused to p u b l i s h it in J e r u s a l e m . H e also r e p o r t e d that h e h a d instructed T . that only if J e w i s h s u p p o r t for the Allied side were forthcoming would the A r a b c a u s e . who were treated as "natives. a n d a n A r a b B u r e a u report to C l a y t o n q u o t e d a s p o k e s m a n for the S y r i a n c o m m i t t e e as s a y i n g that its m e m b e r s "fully realized that their best and only policy was to co-operate with the J e w s on the lines you s u g g e s t e d . a n d a p p e a r s to have told t h e m . T h u s it did not enter into the policy of the provisional military a d m i n i s t r a t i o n established by Allenby under R o n a l d S t o r r s . drawn from service in E g y p t a n d the S u d a n . the British liaison officer with Feisal.322 INVADING THE MIDDLE EAST Nonetheless Clayton held a m e e t i n g with S y r i a n representatives in C a i r o . which was b o u n d up with that of the Allies. . to i m p r e s s u p o n Feisal his need to form an entente with the J e w s . 2 2 2 3 T h e r e was an evident tendency on the part of military a d m i n i s tration officials to believe that officials at h o m e in L o n d o n d i d not appreciate the very real difficulty of reconciling M o s l e m s in Palestine to the p r o s p e c t of an increase in J e w i s h settlement in the country. William O r m s b y . A l t h o u g h the B a l f o u r D e c l a r a t i o n was p u b l i s h e d in L o n d o n a m o n t h before Allenby entered J e r u s a l e m . T h e y therefore g a v e the i m p r e s s i o n of b e i n g unwilling to carry the Balfour D e c l a r a t i o n into effect. d o e s not m a k e for a r e a d y realisation of the very wide questions of world policy which affect Palestine. however. O n e can't help noticing the ineradicable tendency of the E n g l i s h m a n w h o has lived in India or the S u d a n to . a tendency to prefer M o s l e m s .

gentleness. the author and traveler in the E a s t who was serving in the British administration in B a g h d a d . s a y i n g that he felt it was somewhat m i s l e a d i n g . S t o r r s wrote that "it is one thing to see clearly enough the p r o b a b l e future of this country. who was a p p o i n t e d military governor of J e r u s a l e m . " He a d d e d that " T h e A r a b s in Palestine are. he wrote that "It will take m o n t h s . a n d another thing to fail to m a k e allowances for the position of the weaker a n d p r o b a b l y d i s a p p e a r i n g element. having eventually to take "a lower place in the land which the others are in the e n d absolutely certain to p o s s e s s .THE ROAD TO DAMASCUS 323 favour quite unconsciously the M o s l e m both against C h r i s t i a n a n d J e w . C o m p o s e d of representatives from British a n d other Zionist m o v e m e n t s . " Clayton forwarded the O r s m b y . IV In early 1918 S y k e s a n d his colleagues at the F o r e i g n Office took s t e p s to carry their Palestine policy into effect. leaving b e h i n d them an abiding r a n c o u r . " 2 4 2 5 26 R o n a l d S t o r r s . p o s s i b l y y e a r s . H e held n o high opinion of the local A r a b s a n d he wrote to G e r t r u d e Bell.G o r e letter to S y k e s with a covering letter of his own. that the "so-called A r a b s of Palestine are not to be c o m p a r e d with the real A r a b of the D e s e r t or even of other civilised districts i n S y r i a a n d M e s o p o t a m i a . it was headed by Dr C h a i m Weizmann a n d was to be p l a c e d in the c h a r g e . " 28 T h e q u e s t i o n this raised for S y k e s a n d his colleagues in L o n d o n was whether this policy advocated by the m a n on the s p o t was better calculated to achieve. wrote to S y k e s in the s u m m e r of 1918 that non-Jewish elements in the population. T h e results of the c h a n g e s will be m o r e satisfactory a n d m o r e lasting if they are b r o u g h t a b o u t g r a d u a l l y with patience. I gather. a n d the A r a b s that we are not b o u g h t by the J e w s . " U r g i n g a policy of g o i n g slowly. Clayton protested that he personally was in favor of Z i o n i s m . of patient work to show the J e w s that we are not run by the A r a b s . a n d that the o u t g o i n g g a r r i s o n s h o u l d be allowed something of the h o n o u r s of W a r . On 13 F e b r u a r y the F o r e i g n Office d i s p a t c h e d a cable to S i r R e g i n a l d Wingate at the R e s i d e n c y in C a i r o to inform him that a Zionist C o m m i s s i o n h a d been created a n d was b e i n g sent out to the M i d d l e E a s t . or to defeat. a n d tact. showing their old tendency to c o r r u p t m e t h o d s a n d b a c k s h e e s h a n d are end e a v o u r i n g to 'steal a m a r c h ' on the J e w s . the transaction s h o u l d be effected so far as p o s s i b l e with decency. a n d without violent e x p r e s s i o n s of illwill. " 2 7 In the s a m e letter. A p p a r e n t l y he h a d c o m e a r o u n d to the view that an agreement between A r a b s and J e w s c o u l d b e w o r k e d out. their objectives.

but only A r a b i c . . that " F r o m what I gathered of the Zionist a i m s . a n d wrote to L i e u t e n a n t .324 INVADING THE MIDDLE EAST of William O r m s b y . he told the Zionist Political C o m m i t t e e that the true A r a b m o v e m e n t really existed outside Palestine.C o l o n e l J o y c e . T h e west of the J o r d a n the people were not A r a b s . b u t now m o v i n g north. J o y c e . T h e m o v e m e n t led by Prince Feisal w a s not unlike the Zionist m o v e m e n t . " W e i z m a n n was introduced to Prince Feisal and was enthusiastic a b o u t h i m . and p a v e d the way for the p u b l i c s u p p o r t of Z i o n i s m offered by Feisal at the Peace Conference the following year. T h e m e e t i n g went well. Zionists should recognise in the A r a b m o v e m e n t . in rather a short conversation. a fellow m o v e ment with high i d e a l s . L i e u t e n a n t . A l a n D a w n a y . He is a leader! He's q u i t e intelligent and a very honest m a n . . Its object w a s to p r e p a r e the way to carry out the Balfour D e c l a r a t i o n . T h o u g h Feisal w a s u n a b l e to e x p r e s s definite views without receiving authorization from his father.C o l o n e l P.G o r e told a Zionist m e e t i n g in L o n d o n s o m e m o n t h s later. It contained real A r a b s who were real m e n . 3 2 Feisal's senior British military adviser. W e i z m a n n wrote to his wife that "He is the first real A r a b nationalist I have met. I n a u g u r a t i n g the work of the Zionist C o m m i s s i o n . . he would accept a J e w i s h Palestine if d o i n g so would influence the Allies to s u p p o r t his claim to S y r i a .F e i s a l meeting a n d reported his personal opinion that Feisal w e l c o m e d the p r o s p e c t of J e w i s h cooperation a n d in fact r e g a r d e d it as essential to the realization of A r a b a m b i t i o n s . C. Of F e i s a l . the senior British officer with F e i s a l . h a n d s o m e as a p i c t u r e ! He is not interested in Palestine. of Allenby's staff. He w a s * T h i s may have been the first indication that high-ranking British officials were thinking of restricting Zionism to those sections of Biblical Palestine that lay west of the Jordan river.J o r d a n i a were fine p e o p l e .s p e a k i n g . W e i z m a n n found his M o s l e m audiences less receptive. a r r a n g e d for W e i z m a n n to meet Prince Feisal. A c c o r d i n g to a s u m m a r y of his speech. a c c o r d i n g to J o y c e . 3 3 In J e r u s a l e m . originally centered in the H e j a z .G o r e . I think there should be no difficulty in establishing a friendly relationship between t h e m . but on the other hand he wants D a m a s c u s a n d the whole of northern S y r i a . T h e A r a b s in t r a n s . He is c o n t e m p t u o u s of the Palestinian A r a b s w h o m h e doesn't even regard a s A r a b s ! " 29 30 3 1 T h i s was in line with what O r m s b y . t h o u g h he a s s u r e d them that Palestine was large e n o u g h to a c c o m m o d a t e all its c o m m u n i t i e s a n d that J e w i s h settlement would not be undertaken at the e x p e n s e of M o s l e m s or C h r i s t i a n s . attended the W e i z m a n n .

A r a b s a n d J e w s in Palestine w o u l d ever learn to trust the British any m o r e than M o s l e m s in S y r i a a n d L e b a n o n trusted the F r e n c h . as Feisal also p r o p o s e d t o d o . " 35 Neither Clayton nor S t o r r s a d d r e s s e d the question of whether.. i.J e w i s h inhabitants of the country a n d to recognize how very m u c h r e a s s u r a n c e they w o u l d need. V In B a g h d a d a n d B a s r a . H i s strategy. C l a y t o n explained that "the two m o s t i m p o r t a n t points are not to m a k e too m u c h of a s p l a s h locally with Z i o n i s m until the A r a b s have got a slice of cake themselves. has fallen into the h a n d s of a Christian Power which on the eve of its c o n q u e s t a n n o u n c e s that a considerable portion of its land is to be h a n d e d over for colonisation p u r p o s e s to a nowhere very p o p u l a r p e o p l e . S i r Percy C o x was obliged to leave on a lengthy tour a n d eventually to return to Persia. S t o r r s took issue with Weizmann's contention that it was the b u s i n e s s of the military a d ministration to b r i n g h o m e to the M o s l e m population the s e r i o u s n e s s of Britain's pro-Zionist intentions. R o n a l d S t o r r s a n d his colleagues refused. up to now a M o s l e m country. his d e p u t y . a n d to get the F r e n c h to c o m e out clearly . T h a t h a d already been d o n e . As it was. " It w a s not lost on the u r b a n e R o n a l d S t o r r s that he was g o v e r n o r of J e r u s a l e m in line of succession from Pontius Pilate. by B a l f o u r in L o n d o n a n d by the world's n e w s p a p e r s . if they refused to a d m i t in J e r u s a l e m that their g o v e r n m e n t h a d issued the Balfour D e c l a r a t i o n in L o n d o n . . a n d as s u c h he w a s h e d his h a n d s of an issue for which he did not hold himself r e s p o n s i b l e . in his a b s e n c e . that he s p o k e "as a convinced Z i o n i s t . He insisted to the F o r e i g n Office. . and other officers on the s p o t .A r a b i n d e p e n d e n c e policies p r o c l a i m e d by S y k e s a n d the F o r e i g n Office. the Zionist leaders were given c a u s e to worry that the B a l f o u r D e c l a r a t i o n policy p r o c l a i m e d in L o n d o n might be u n d e r m i n e d in Palestine by C l a y t o n . S t o r r s . T o the strongly pro-Zionist L e o A m e r y . of which he g a v e an indication in early 1918.e.THE ROAD TO DAMASCUS 325 disquieted by the attitude of British administrative officials in Palestine: when W e i z m a n n u r g e d t h e m to avow their government's Balfour Declaration policy openly a n d to explain it to the M o s l e m c o m m u n i t y . In his c o m m e n t s to the F o r e i g n Office. not m u c h m o r e than lip service w a s p a i d to the p r o . C a p t a i n . was not merely to p o s t p o n e the Zionist issue b u t to link it to the issue of an A r a b S y r i a . D a m a s c u s . however. What was needed was for the Zionist C o m m i s s i o n to i m a g i n e itself in the position of n o n . "Palestine. d i s a v o w i n g any ideas of Colonial annexation a n d e m p h a s i z i n g their adherence to the idea of A r a b a u t o n o m y . he s a i d . " 34 G i l b e r t C l a y t o n also advocated delay.

at the time. . P e r m a n e n t U n d e r . A b d u l Aziz I b n S a u d . too. H u s s e i n had been surprisingly conciliatory in agreeing to cooperate with Britain in M e s o p o t a m i a a n d even with F r a n c e in S y r i a . gave birth to a warrior brotherhood: the fierce Ikhwan. . S h e at first employed her great prestige a n d extensive network of family a n d social friendships to back up his policy. w a s enthusiastic a b o u t Wilson's views. an officer in the Indian A r m y . Elsewhere.S e c r e t a r y of the F o r e i g n Office. show Lord Kitchener asking. such as has in the past occurred when the prestige of Islam has fallen low. N o t m u c h of a political thinker. . S y k e s had received a hint of this deterioration when he visited the H e j a z in the s p r i n g of 1917.326 INVADING THE MIDDLE EAST A r n o l d T. believed neither in independence for the provinces he governed nor in a role for K i n g H u s s e i n of the far-off H e j a z in their affairs. does that still exist?" and Sykes answering. acted in his place a n d then s u c c e e d e d him as civil c o m m i s s i o n e r . T h e r e ' s n o important element against u s . In F e b r u a r y 1918 she wrote to her old friend C h a r l e s H a r d i n g e . . . . While S y k e s continued to c h a m p i o n Hussein's c a u s e . 36 T h i s was a far cry from the proclamation drafted by S i r M a r k S y k e s on the liberation of B a g h d a d . This question is engaging our serious attention here . "Wahabism. in late 1912. had c o m e up to B a g h d a d with the A r m y of the T i g r i s and served as Wilson's assistant. a n d hinting that H u s s e i n would b e c o m e the leader of the A r a b nation." but conditions "conduce to fostering it. What they d r e a d is any half m e a s u r e . to hear testimony from Sir Mark Sykes on the Arab question. lord of the Arabian district of N e j d . T h e stronger the hold w e are able to keep here the better the inhabitants will be pleased.M c M a h o n c o r r e s p o n d e n c e . a d d i n g "but we do ask that G r e a t Britain will help us with I b n S a u d ." T w o years later—and a full five years after the Wahhabi warrior brotherhood began to form—Gilbert Clayton for the first time reported to Sykes that "we have indications of considerable revivalist movement on Wahhabi lines in Central Arabia. Sykes's alliance politics were modified as British officials m o v e d away f r o m their wartime enthusiasm for the ruler of M e c c a . T h e m o s t f a m o u s author of b o o k s a b o u t A r a b lands of her day. and. Wilson. " S h e c o n c l u d e d that no one in B a g h d a d or B a s r a could conceive of an independent A r a b g o v e r n m e n t . . she was given to e n t h u s i a s m s a n d . We are not yet in a position to appreciate the strength of this movement. calling for a renaissance of the A r a b nation. G e r t r u d e Bell. British officials noted the deterioration of the K i n g ' s position vis-d-vis his rival. " * 3 7 One of the great failures of Kitchener and his colleagues in the intelligence field had been their ignorance of the spectacular revival of the puritanical Wahhabi sect in Arabia which had begun under the sponsorship of Ibn Saud. such as was p r o p o s e d by the E m i r of M e c c a in the H u s s e i n . w h o m I n d i a had backed all along. Wilson. that "amazing strides have been m a d e t o w a r d s o r d e r e d government . it may modify the whole situation considerably. 38 . Minutes of a Cabinet War Committee meeting on 16 December 1915. . "I think it is a dying fire.

who employed Turkish troops to quell Arab discontent. T . M a j o r K i n a h a n C o r n w a l l i s . they w o u l d later ignore it in their b o o k s and edit it out of official d o c u m e n t s . a t t e m p t i n g to d i s c o u r a g e H u s s e i n . E . that H u s s e i n could c a p t u r e it for t h e m .* I n d e e d . the H i g h C o m m i s s i o n e r . S i r R e g i n a l d Wingate. in private they h a d a If their purpose had been to raise a nationalist revolt. that he w a s thinking of p r o c l a i m i n g himself C a l i p h . erasing it from their m i n d s . a n d that in the E a s t nationalism was nothing while religion w a s everything. On receipt of Cornwallis's news. portraying Feisal. b e g a n to e m e r g e as Cairo's preferred A r a b leader. to accept British counsel a n d g u i d a n c e . B y J a n u a r y 1918.THE ROAD TO DAMASCUS 327 I n J a n u a r y 1918 K i n g H u s s e i n told a n A r a b B u r e a u officer. pointed out to him that serious p r o b l e m s would arise if he a t t e m p t e d to a s s u m e the caliphate. the a r m i e s c o m m a n d e d by H u s s e i n ' s sons were reckoned by British s o u r c e s to total only a few t h o u s a n d trained troops. as such a leader. T h e y believed instead in the potency of the caliphate. That indeed is the way Lawrence later told the story in his book Seven Pillars of Wisdom. . the Turkish-appointed guardian of the Holy Places." 4 0 41 K i t c h e n e r ' s followers found it inconvenient to r e m e m b e r that once they a n d their chief had e n c o u r a g e d H u s s e i n to claim the c a l i p h a t e . which now held H u s s e i n in low e s t e e m . T h r e e years earlier this h a d b e e n L o r d K i t c h e n e r ' s plan. sent off a d i s p a t c h to the F o r e i g n Office saying that he h o p e d for an o p p o r t u n i t y of "checking p r e m a t u r e or ill-considered action" b y H u s s e i n . They would have sought out a nationalist warlord. had c o m e a r o u n d to the o p p o s i t e view. By the a u t u m n of 1918. lacking in his father. S i r R o n a l d S t o r r s deleted the caliphate section from K i t c h e n e r ' s historic c a b l e i n 1914 t o H u s s e i n . Cornwallis. however. the A r a b B u r e a u . for F e i s a l s h o w e d a disposition. In m e m o i r s p u b l i s h e d three d e c a d e s later. T h i s was the s a m e G e n e r a l Wingate who on 17 N o v e m b e r 1915 h a d i n d u c e d an A r a b religious leader to tell H u s s e i n that he w a s "the right m a n to take over his rightful heritage a n d verify the h o p e s of his people—the M o h a m m e d a n s and A r a b s to recover their stolen K h a l i f a t e " and calling u p o n the H a s h e m i t e leader to establish "the H a s h e m i t e Arabian Khalifate. p r o m p t e d b y m e m o r a n d a f r o m C l a y t o n and S t o r r s . not H u s s e i n . In p u b l i c the British c l a i m e d that vast n u m b e r s of A r a b s h a d flocked to the s t a n d a r d of the Hejazi p r i n c e s . in 1918 politics a n d the desire to rewrite history both dictated a shift in e m p h a s i s : F e i s a l . they would not have sought out Hussein. L a w r e n c e wrote that K i t c h e n e r a n d his followers h a d believed in A r a b nationalism from the b e g i n n i n g — w h e n in fact they did not believe in it at all. rather than his father. a n d had b e e n c h a m p i o n e d by the officers who later f o r m e d the A r a b B u r e a u (see Chapter 22).

by 1918 the H e j a z revolt was o c c u p y i n g the attention of 3 8 . " H e c o m p l a i n e d that " L i v i n g u n d e r the 4 8 . 2 . physically cut off f r o m the H e j a z a n d his family. s u g g e s t s that the A r a b forces in T r a n s j o r d a n s u c c e e d e d in s p r e a d i n g disorder in T u r k i s h held areas. 0 0 0 O t t o m a n t r o o p s . the question of how m u c h Feisal contributed to the Allied s u c c e s s remains u n r e s o l v e d . T h e tone of G i l b e r t Clayton's m e m o r a n d a show that he believed Feisal and L a w r e n c e were a c c o m p l i s h i n g important objectives on Allenby's right flank. Within the Sherifian c a m p there were strains.328 INVADING THE MIDDLE EAST different story to tell. " 44 4 5 B u t others d i s a g r e e d . a r g u e d that in A r a b i a a n d elsewhere. a n d their fighting qualities were rated as "poor. at the time it raised the q u e s t i o n of whether Britain should back H u s s e i n and Feisal against i n d i g e n o u s S y r i a n A r a b leadership. L i m a n von S a n d e r s . too. 4 6 4 7 M i r e d in politics then a n d ever since. a n d whether Britain should s u p p o r t F e i s a l against H u s s e i n .000 regulars. as F e i s a l . the extent of the Sherif's revolt d e p e n d s entirely on the ability of the British to a d v a n c e . m o v e d into the British orbit. . continuing to stand by the alliance with H u s s e i n a n d believing that F e i s a l a n d his brothers were m a k i n g a significant contribution to the war effort. A r a b s rose up against the T u r k s only when British forces had already arrived. S y k e s . " A report f r o m the British A g e n c y in J e d d a h in 1919 pictured K i n g H u s s e i n as militarily inconsequential: his following was estimated at only 1. At the s a m e time it m u s t be said that 9 0 % of the Sherif's t r o o p s are nothing m o r e than r o b b e r s . H u s s e i n c o m p l a i n e d that "they have turned my son against me to live u n d e r other countries. they found themselves painfully h a r a s s e d b y A r a b B e d o u i n s . . " A c c o r d i n g t o the report. 5 0 0 irregulars. a n d possibly several t h o u s a n d m o r e f r o m B e d o u i n tribes. " 42 43 An A r a b B u r e a u report on the H e j a z revolt in 1918 stated that " T h e real i m p o r t a n c e of this revolt has only m a d e itself felt in the c o u r s e of the last few m o n t h s a n d it is s p r e a d i n g from d a y to d a y . Secret British g o v e r n m e n t d o c u m e n t s filed in 1919 a d m i t that " T h e followings q u o t e d d u r i n g the war were grossly e x a g g e r a t e d . Other evidence. so that "In a w o r d . " but the withdrawal of British s u p p o r t would leave h i m "at the mercy of I b n S a u d a n d the rising wave of W A H H A B I S M . the head of Allenby's intelligence." A c c o r d i n g to the report. show that in 1918 when his a r m i e s turned to f l e e . " Colonel Meinertzhagen. who is rebellions & dishonest to his F a t h e r [original e m p h a s i s ] . In cables that the British military authorities secretly intercepted and read. K i n g H u s s e i n "indulged in wild d r e a m s of c o n q u e s t . T h e m e m o i r s o f the enemy c o m m a n d e r . wrote that "It is safe to say that L a w r e n c e ' s D e s e r t C a m p a i g n h a d not the slightest effect on the main theatre west of J o r d a n .

British officials b e g a n to worry a b o u t the local o p p o s i t i o n that they might encounter. He c l a i m e d he h a d s u c c e e d e d . T h e y h a d no civilisation of their own. 4 9 5 0 VI A l t h o u g h British leaders f r o m 1914 o n w a r d h a d p r o f e s s e d faith in the leadership of H u s s e i n within the A r a b world. b u t only in his own right. a n d they had a b s o r b e d all the vices of the L e v a n t . in 1917 a n d 1918 they felt driven to reassess the validity of that belief.M o s l e m s . Clayton's e n d e a v o r s .s p e a k i n g world of the M i d d l e E a s t . In 1917 he asked the A r a b B u r e a u to set up a meeting for h i m with Syrian A r a b s leaders in C a i r o . " T h e "precise geographical agreement" m u s t have 5 2 . to arrive at an u n d e r s t a n d i n g with separatist leaders from B a g h d a d and D a m a s c u s h a d f o u n d e r e d on their objection to being ruled by n o n . " He threatened that "If F e i s a l still persists in destroying his g o o d fortune his nation a n d his honour" it would be necessary to a p p o i n t a war council in his p l a c e . M e a n w h i l e . a n d not if he acted as d e p u t y or representative o f H u s s e i n . apparently in order to arrive at an agreement with t h e m that would be consistent with the secret a c c o r d s with F r a n c e a n d with the H e j a z — a c c o r d s whose existence. a c c o r d ing t o A r a b B u r e a u r e p o r t s f r o m C a i r o . In the s u m m e r of 1918 William O r m s b y . H i s concern was that S y r i a n s might not accept the S y k e s . in his own hand he noted that " T h e main difficulty was to m a n o e u v r e the delegates into a s k i n g for what we were p r e p a r e d to give them. beginning in 1914.T H E ROAD TO DAMASCUS 329 o r d e r s of a disobedient son a n d a traitor has b u r d e n e d my shoulder with this m i s e r y .P i c o t A g r e e m e n t and the terms outlined by S i r H e n r y M c M a h o n to the Sherif H u s s e i n . he could not reveal to t h e m .G o r e told the Zionist Political C o m m i t t e e in L o n d o n that " T h e S y r i a n 'Intelligentzia' lawyers a n d t r a d e r s constituted the m o s t difficult a n d thorny p r o b l e m of the N e a r E a s t . As Britain m o v e d to c o m p l e t e her c o n q u e s t of the A r a b i c . without letting t h e m know that any precise geographical a g r e e m e n t h a d been c om e t o . T h a t F e i s a l had a g r e e d t o the Allied p r o g r a m might carry no weight with t h e m . " 5 1 Sir M a r k S y k e s s e e m s to have started worrying a b o u t the S y r i a n p r o b l e m the year before in the context of p l e d g e s he intended Britain to keep to her a l l i e s — a n d her allies to keep to her. S y r i a n s p o k e s m e n indicated that they w o u l d be willing to accept F e i s a l as their constitutional m o n a r c h . N o w that D a m a s c u s was on Britain's line of m a r c h the q u e s t i o n was how D a m a s c e n e s could be w o n over to the Allied c a u s e a n d to the Allied s c h e m e for the future of the M i d d l e E a s t . however.

Clayton continued. T h a t w o u l d leave Britain in the awkward position of s p o n s o r i n g the c l a i m s of K i n g H u s s e i n as against an indigenous A r a b i c leadership in D a m a s c u s that threatened to be far m o r e p o p u l a r in the S y r i a n p r o v i n c e s . B u t reports arrived f r o m various q u a r t e r s that the O t t o m a n government m i g h t b e p l a n n i n g t o p r e . if only reasonable concessions were m a d e all a r o u n d . Clayton m u s t have said it could not be d o n e . a n d with it a chance to regain A l s a c e a n d L o r r a i n e — p r o v i n c e s closer t o h o m e . role for his father. 5 4 . T h i s was c o m p o u n d e d . he hinted ( t h o u g h he did not put it in these w o r d s ) ." Q u ic k as always to invent a new expedient. by the p u b l i c p l e d g e just m a d e to Z i o n i s m . if the b a s i c p r o b l e m were not a d d r e s s e d . T o w a r d the end of 1917 S y k e s cabled C l a y t o n : "I am anxious a b o u t A r a b m o v e m e n t .H o m s .330 INVADING THE MIDDLE EAST meant the D a m a s c u s . As against the p r o b a b l e T u r k i s h maneuver of setting up an a u t o n o m o u s S y r i a n g o v e r n m e n t . pictured Britain's wartime c o m m i t m e n t s as e m b a r r a s s m e n t s to be shed. for S y k e s r e s p o n d e d : "Agree as to difficulty but military s u c c e s s s h o u l d m a k e this easier. T h e y realize that reactionary principles f r o m which Sherif of M e c c a cannot break loose are incompatible with p r o g r e s s on m o d e r n lines. L e t t e r s indicate difficulty of c o m b i n i n g M e c c a n Patriarchalism with S y r i a n U r b a n intelligensia. but only with a spiritual. S y k e s p r o p o s e d to create an A r a b executive c o m m i t t e e to p r o m o t e unity. however. a n d no c o m mittee or a n n o u n c e m e n t or p r o p a g a n d a would be of any effect. T h e only solution was to obtain from F r a n c e a clear public a n n o u n c e m e n t denying that she intended to annex any part of S y r i a . A n d that p r o b l e m . C l a y t o n . a n d replied to S y k e s that " T h e r e is no d o u b t a very real fear a m o n g s t S y r i a n s of finding themselves u n d e r a G o v e r n m e n t in which patriarchalism of M e c c a is p r e d o m i n a n t .F a r u q i in 1915 a n d with F r a n c e in 1916.H a m a . not a political. No s u c h plan.s p e a k i n g world that Britain planned to turn S y r i a over to F r a n c e . T h e s a m e a r g u m e n t s were to be u s e d on Picot on behalf of the A r a b s that h a d been u s e d on him on behalf of Z i o n i s m : that it was better to give up s o m e t h i n g in the far-off M i d d l e E a s t than to risk losing the war.A l e p p o line that was to be the westward frontier of A r a b i n d e p e n d e n c e in S y r i a u n d e r the agreement with a l . nothing would be of any avail. he a r g u e d . as always. he claimed. a n d acc o m m o d a t e the S y r i a n s as well." P r o p o s i n g to m o v e away from the alliance with H u s s e i n . was p o s e d by the p l e d g e s S y k e s h a d m a d e to the F r e n c h a n d to the Zionists. b e c a u s e of the general fear in the A r a b i c . 5 3 S y k e s was a r g u i n g that Britain c o u l d honor all p l e d g e s . he said that Feisal as an individual might be a c c e p t a b l e as head of a S y r i a n confederation.e m p t A r a b nationalism b y g r a n t i n g a u t o n o m y to S y r i a immediately." S y k e s said that Picot s h o u l d be p e r s u a d e d to r e a s s u r e the S y r i a n s that F r a n c e w a s in favor of their eventual i n d e p e n d e n c e .

O u t s i d e the A r a b i a n peninsula. for. like H u s s e i n . the A r a b world was to fall u n d e r v a r y i n g degrees of E u r o p e a n influence or control. Sykes's D e c l a r a t i o n to the S e v e n — l a t e r to be a subject of m u c h c o n t r o v e r s y — r e c o g n i z e d c o m p l e t e A r a b indep e n d e n c e only within the A r a b i a n peninsula.1 9 1 8 S i r M a r k S y k e s accordingly a d d r e s s e d a declaration of British intentions to Walrond's c o m m i t t e e of seven S y r i a n s in answer to q u e s t i o n s ostensibly raised by t h e m . T h e A n g l o . T h e y had elected a c o m m i t t e e of seven m e m b e r s . In the a u t u m n of 1918 the F r e n c h g o v e r n m e n t was finally p e r s u a d e d to join the British F o r e i g n Office in issuing a new statement of Allied intentions designed to allay A r a b f e a r s — a n d A m e r i c a n s u s p i c i o n s . but did not break new g r o u n d . L i k e so m u c h that c a m e from the pen of Sir M a r k S y k e s . " F r e n c h officials s e e m e d as unlikely as their British c o u n t e r p a r t s to follow the idealistic p a t h that S i r M a r k S y k e s — w i t h an eye t o w a r d a c c o m m o d a t i n g the views of Wilson a n d the A m e r i c a n s — h a d m a r k e d out for t h e m .T H E ROAD TO DAMASCUS 331 A n o t h e r a p p r o a c h was u r g e d by O s m o n d Walrond. on F r e n c h insistence. a n d a c c o r d ingly he set out to cultivate their s u p p o r t .F r e n c h declaration o f 8 N o v e m b e r 1918 was b r o a d l y p h r a s e d to s u g g e s t full s u p p o r t for the creation of i n d i g e n o u s g o v e r n m e n t s in the M i d d l e E a s t . b u t it was designed to m i s l e a d . He said that he h a d asked t h e m to elect a small c o m m i t t e e to represent t h e m so that he could deal with t h e m . it did not refer specifically to A r a b " i n d e p e n d e n c e . A p p a r e n t l y Walrond's intention was to repeat Sykes's m a n e u v e r of the year before with another g r o u p of C a i r o A r a b s s u s p i c i o u s of H u s s e i n : a r r a n g e for t h e m to accept a statement of Britain's plans for the M i d d l e E a s t so that they. As Walrond saw it. S y k e s could go no further in a s s u a g i n g A r a b s u s p i c i o n s of F r e n c h intentions in S y r i a a n d L e b a n o n without securing F r a n c e ' s cooperation in i s s u i n g a joint p l e d g e . it restated the s a m e intentions for the p o s t w a r M i d d l e E a s t b u t in different w o r d s . It was an official declaration. 5 5 In m i d . In effect. 56 . for it offered s u c h recognition only to areas that h a d been independent before the war or that h a d been liberated by the A r a b s by themselves as of the date of the declaration. w o u l d be tied into acceptance of those plans. a former m e m ber of L o r d Milner's staff who knew E g y p t f r o m before the war a n d who h a d c o m e out to serve in the A r a b B u r e a u in C a i r o . Britain was neglecting the A r a b secret societies. W a l r o n d wrote to Clayton in the s u m m e r of 1918 to d e s c r i b e his conversations with m e m b e r s of these societies. a p p r o v e d by Sykes's s u p e r i o r s at the F o r e i g n Office.

Allenby had feinted at the coast but lunged eastward to deliver his attack in the interior. he therefore did exactly the reverse: he feinted inland. raising great c l o u d s of d u s t which p e r s u a d e d the T u r k s that a vast a r m y was on the m a r c h to attack inland. A l t h o u g h he held an overall two-to-one a d v a n t a g e in effectives ( 6 9 . he relied on control of the air a n d on brilliantly effective intelligence o p e r a t i o n s to keep the e n e m y away from the g a p s in his own defensive line. In the J e r u s a l e m c a m p a i g n . 0 0 0 . British agents allowed it to be discovered that they were b a r g a i n i n g for large quantities of forage. 332 . L i m a n von S a n d e r s concentrated his forces inland in eastern Palestine. In attacking northern Palestine. where they were c a m o u f l a g e d and remained undetected. he boldly left m u c h of his roughly 65-mile-long line undefended in order to concentrate the m a x i m u m n u m b e r of t r o o p s on the coast.37 T H E B A T T L E FOR SYRIA i As the s u m m e r of 1918 drew to a close. too. a n d foresaw that L i m a n von S a n d e r s would expect him to repeat the strategy he had e m p l o y e d in southern Palestine. By day small units m a r c h e d east. small British units threw up what a p p e a r e d to be large c a m p s . E a s t of the J o r d a n . while launching his m a i n attack along the coast. 0 0 0 against 3 6 . So effective was Allenby's offensive that it was not until days after it had b e g u n that the O t t o m a n c o m m a n d e r s c a m e to appreciate the real situation. H i s p u r p o s e was to achieve o v e r w h e l m i n g local numerical superiority along the coast so as to break t h r o u g h the T u r k i s h lines at the m o s t favorable point for his A u s t r a l i a n a n d N e w Z e a l a n d ( A N Z A C ) cavalry. S i r E d m u n d Allenby g a v e the order to a d v a n c e on S y r i a . a n d when the attack c a m e his a r m i e s were caught off balance. stabled with what a p p e a r e d to be horses. In the east. D e c e i v e d . a c c o r d i n g to his e s t i m a t e s ) . a n d then returned to m a r c h east over a n d over again. By night the bulk of Allenby's forces silently m o v e d west to concentrate in the olive a n d citrus g r o v e s of the lightly defended coastal plain.

they found their lines of retreat blocked by British units which had raced before a n d behind t h e m t o s e c u r e control o f the key r o a d s . subject to his own s u p r e m e military authority. Feisal's C a m e l C o r p s d i s r u p t e d the railroad lines u p o n which the m a i n T u r k i s h forces d e p e n d e d . a b o v e A q a b a . British. In the p r e d a w n d a r k n e s s of 23 S e p t e m b e r battalions of the J e w i s h L e g i o n seized control of the crucial U m m esh S h e r t ford across the J o r d a n river. in the s o u t h of T r a n s j o r d a n . keeping G e r m a n reconnaissance planes on the g r o u n d .THE BATTLE FOR SYRIA 333 At 4:30 in the m o r n i n g of 19 S e p t e m b e r 1918 nearly 400 British cannon s u d d e n l y o p e n e d f i r e o n the s u r p r i s e d a n d o u t n u m b e r e d ( 4 5 . threatening to cut off the O t t o m a n line of retreat toward D a m a s c u s . F u r t h e r north. w a r p l a n e s g u a r d e d the skies over e n e m y a i r p o r t s . the T u r k i s h garrison which h a d been beseiged by Feisal's forces ever since their arrival f r o m A q a b a the year before. special b o m b e r s q u a d r o n s of the R o y a l Air F o r c e attacked telephone a n d telegraph e x c h a n g e s b e h i n d e n e m y lines. while the r e m n a n t of the O t t o m a n forces b r o k e a n d fled. and I n d i a n t r o o p s p u s h e d the o v e r w h e l m e d d e f e n d e r s a s i d e . F r e n c h . At d a w n . he would accept F r e n c h a d v i s e r s to deal with civil a d m i n i s t r a t i o n in areas of special interest to F r a n c e . Other R . a n d by evening the O t t o m a n forces east of the river found themselves enveloped in a giant pincer.000) O t t o m a n d e f e n d e r s of the coastal plain. As O t t o m a n units reeled b a c k w a r d . 1 II In the s u m m e r Allenby had told L o n d o n that. T h e r e is still controversy as to who m a d e t h e m a n d why. On 25 S e p t e m b e r Allenby o r d e r e d an a d v a n c e on D a m a s c u s . as the cavalry p o u r e d through the g a p i n g hole in the O t t o m a n lines to win the battle of M e g i d d o — t h e " A r m a g e d d o n " of the B i b l e . At M a ' a n . 0 0 0 against 8. L i m a n a n d his field c o m m a n d e r s were cut off from information a n d f r o m one another. effectively cutting off all c o m m u n i c a t i o n s . M e a n w h i l e the few units Allenby had d e p l o y e d in the east finally attacked inland. British military aircraft b o m b e d and strafed the retreating T u r k s . decisions a b o u t occupation policy were m a d e rapidly. T h e occupation of the principal towns of the S y r i a n provinces was i m m i n e n t . A . F . T h e S e c o n d A u s t r a l i a n L i g h t H o r s e B r i g a d e went a c r o s s it. b u t then cut inland. so long as L o n d o n would tell him what areas these were a n d whether . held out until A u s t r a l i a n cavalry arrived to accept their s u r r e n d e r a n d protect them against the m a s sacre threatened by the A r a b besiegers. T h e A N Z A C cavalry galloped northward for thirty miles along the coastal plain. Fifteen m i n u t e s later the infantry attack c o m m e n c e d .

* a n d it r e m i n d e d F r a n c e that inland S y r i a was designated for at least nominal A r a b i n d e p e n d e n c e . the F o r e i g n Office reaffirmed the agreem e n t by directing Allenby to follow its territorial outlines. A c c o r d i n g to the War Office cables. C h a u v e l . the person who m a d e or r e c o m m e n d e d the decision in the first instance. T h e raising of the flag constituted a symbolic affirmation of Feisal's military success that could pave the way for his political leadership. of the War C a b i n e t secretariat." 4 5 F l a g s were to indicate the d e s i g n a t e d a r e a s of t e m p o r a r y a d m i n i s tration. a c c o r d i n g to his later notes. H o w e v e r . it was too b i g to be h a n d e d over to a military governor a n d a m e r e handful of a s s i s t a n t s . 0 0 0 p e o p l e . L e o A m e r y . w a s the F o r e i g n Office official directly responsible for policy in S y r i a a n d . T h e t e r m s o f that instruction left o p e n the possibility that it might not fall within the s p h e r e of a E u r o p e a n p o w e r — t h a t Feisal m i g h t achieve his i n d e p e n d e n c e . that power w a s t o b e F r a n c e . raised the issue of occupation policy.P i c o t A g r e e m e n t . T h e f l a g was the black. nobody from Mecca would matter in Syrian politics. a n d s u p p l y them with whatever extra military police they m i g h t need to keep o r d e r . a n d indeed o r d e r e d . D a m a s c u s . however. C h a u v e l asked a b o u t r u m o r s that the A r a b m o v e m e n t w a s to have the g o v e r n m e n t of S y r i a . Allenby w a s instructed to e m p l o y F r e n c h officers for all areas of civil (as distinct f r o m military) a d m i n i s t r a t i o n . if Allenby were to take D a m a s c u s . green. 7 .334 INVADING THE MIDDLE EAST they were still defined by the S y k e s . S i r M a r k S y k e s . a n d red one that S y k e s h a d designed (see p a g e 315) a n d it served two political p u r p o s e s : it b o o s t e d H u s s e i n ' s claim to leadership in A r a b S y r i a . A l t h o u g h the C a b i n e t a n d its E a s t e r n C o m m i t t e e strongly favored d i s c a r d i n g the S y k e s . b y the F o r e i g n O f f i c e . T h e hoisting o f H u s s e i n ' s f l a g over D a m a s c u s a n d other i m p o r t a n t S y r i a n cities once they were c a p t u r e d was authorized. was a city of 3 0 0 . A l l e n b y replied that C h a u v e l should retain the O t t o m a n governor a n d a d m i n i s t r a t i o n . bitterly b l a m e d the political chiefs of the F o r e i g n O f f i c e — B a l f o u r a n d C e c i l — f o r t h i s . but Allenby replied that any decision would have to wait until * In early 1918 Gilbert Clayton had written to Sykes that "If Feisal makes good in a military sense he may well carry Syria with him" but that if he did not. A m e r y ' s colleague.P i c o t A g r e e m e n t . "it would be desirable that in conformity with A n g l o F r e n c h a g r e e m e n t of 1916 he s h o u l d if possible work t h r o u g h an A r a b administration by m e a n s of a F r e n c h liaison. 3 2 On 25 S e p t e m b e r the War Office instructed Wingate in C a i r o a n d Allenby at h e a d q u a r t e r s that if S y r i a were to fall within the s p h e r e of any E u r o p e a n power. white. he s a i d . Allenby a p p r o v e d the p l a n s of A u s t r a l i a n General H a r r y C h a u v e l — who was in charge of the o p e r a t i o n — f o r the a d v a n c e on D a m a s c u s . p r e s u m a b l y . 6 At a conference in the Palestinian town of J e n i n on 25 S e p t e m b e r .

as an a l l y . He a d d e d that. limiting the F r e n c h role c o r r e s p o n d i n g l y . deal with h i m t h r o u g h L a w r e n c e who will be your liaison officer. F r a n c e was to be given . the F o r e i g n Office had instructed Allenby to carry out the formal r e q u i r e m e n t s of the Sykes-Picot A g r e e m e n t . A l t h o u g h Allenby h a d told C h a u v e l to keep the Turkish administration in D a m a s c u s in place for the t i m e being. developing policy t h e m e s that had been hinted at before.d i s c u s s e d directive that "It would be desirable to m a r k the recognition a n d establishment of native A r a b rule by s o m e c o n s p i c u o u s or formal act s u c h as the hoisting a n d saluting of the A r a b flag at i m p o r t a n t c e n t r e s . but that it believed the S y k e s . T h e S y r i a n l a n d s that Allenby w a s in p r o c e s s of o c c u p y i n g were to be treated as "allied territory enjoying the s t a t u s of an i n d e p e n d e n t state" rather than as occupied e n e m y territory.P i c o t a r r a n g e m e n t s w o u l d not c o m e into play until then. a n d the M i d d l e E a s t . It w a s in this connection that the F o r e i g n Office issued its m u c h . T h e existing a g r e e m e n t with F r a n c e was that wherever in the S y r i a n provinces Britain established a military administration. Allenby was instructed to limit his area of military administration to the b a r e m i n i m u m . the F o r e i g n Office got the War Office to s e n d Allenby new a n d i m p o r t a n t instructions. so that the F r e n c h c o u l d not say that Britain's action in inland S y r i a was part of a plot to r e d u c e F r a n c e ' s role there—which of c o u r s e it w a s . T h e s e c o m munications between Britain a n d F r a n c e show that the F o r e i g n Office expected Allenby to replace the T u r k i s h administration in D a m a s c u s with an A r a b one sooner or later.THE BATTLE FOR SYRIA 335 he c a m e to D a m a s c u s himself. nor to Feisal or the A r a b B u r e a u . who wanted m o r e . T h i s was a solution satisfactory neither to the F r e n c h . " 11 S y k e s (if that is who it was) went on in the cable to outline a characteristically ingenious s c h e m e . Wingate. In the telegram of 1 O c t o b e r . P a r i s . "if Feisal gives you any t r o u b l e . In t u r n . " In effect. who wanted F r a n c e to have nothing at all. F r a n c e w a s entitled to have her officers exercise all civilian administration on behalf of the Ailies. who had read the c a b l e s . while (as a d v o c a t e d by M a r k S y k e s ) revising the spirit of the a g r e e m e n t . the F o r e i g n Office told the F r e n c h g o v e r n m e n t that Allenby w o u l d deal with a provisional Arab administration in D a m a s c u s — i n line with the S y k e s Picot A g r e e m e n t — t h r o u g h a F r e n c h liaison officer. 8 9 10 A r m e d with these a g r e e m e n t s ." T h e r e w a s a flurry of cables between L o n d o n . T h e F o r e i g n Office also told him to r e d u c e British military administration in T r a n s j o r d a n as well. the F r e n c h g o v e r n m e n t a g r e e d that the Allies s h o u l d recognize the A r a b s as a belligerent p o w e r — i n other w o r d s . 1 2 As required by the Sykes-Picot A g r e e m e n t . wrote to Allenby that "it will be very interesting to see how the Sherifian F l a g a n d the F r e n c h liaison is taken by all a n d s u n d r y .

and that perhaps the Abd el Kaders were about to reveal damaging information about Lawrence's personal life. so in the m e a n t i m e the A N Z A C cavalry units p u r s u i n g the f l e e i n g T u r k s were instructed t o ride a r o u n d . It has also been suggested that the quarrel was mainly or entirely personal. as. the E m i r A b d el K a d e r a n d his brother S a i d . L o c a l A r a b notables. T h e A b d el K a d e r b r o t h e r s . I n l a n d S y r i a was to be i n d e p e n d e n t — not independent in n a m e only. Syria's ruler. Clayton later reported to the Foreign Office that "Our permitting the occupation of Damascus by the Sherifians has allayed some of the suspicions of French intentions. while Lawrence may have considered them to be pan-Islam. indicated in the M c M a h o n c o r r e s p o n d e n c e . B u t in the confusion of a d v a n c e a n d retreat. a s s u p p o r t e r s of H u s s e i n a n d I s l a m rather than of Feisal and nationalism. Meanwhile on 29 S e p t e m b e r it was d e c i d e d at G e n e r a l Allenby's field h e a d q u a r t e r s that Feisal's A r a b s s h o u l d be the only Allied troops to enter a n d o c c u p y D a m a s c u s — p r e s u m a b l y to forestall resistance by a possibly hostile M o s l e m metropolis to a Christian occupation. leaving d i s o r d e r b e h i n d . a n d A l e p p o thus would s y m b o l i z e the weaving together of all the s t r a n d s of British M i d d l e E a s t e r n policy along the lines that S y k e s h a d always a d v o c a t e d . Clayton had expressed fears all along that Britain—by allowing herself to be associated with France—might excite the hostility of Syrian Arabs. H a m a ." Nobody knows for sure what the quarrel between Lawrence and the Abd el Kaders was about.•1 336 INVADING THE MIDDLE EAST direct control of the coastline. b u t F r a n c e would have her official liaison officer. though a number of possibilities have been suggested. He h a d said all along that he h a d s h a p e d Britain's c o m m i t m e n t s to be consistent with one another.* Feisal was three d a y s away. it fled with the retreating T u r k i s h a r m y at a b o u t noon on 30 S e p t e m b e r . General Gilbert Clayton. as r e q u i r e d . A report to the Foreign Office from Allenby's chief political officer. T h e O t t o m a n g o v e r n m e n t did not remain in the city. and that all would fit within the formal framework of the agreement that he h a d devised. would be a H a s h e m i t e . T h e hoisting of S y k e s ' s flag over D a m a s c u s a n d the towns o f H o r n s . a n d later w o u l d p r e s u m a b l y have her official adviser at Feisal's court. D a m a s c u s . as envisaged by the a g r e e m e n t — b u t substantively i n d e p e n d e n t . m o v e d at s o m e point into s o m e sort of control of the city. Or Lawrence may have believed them to be pro-French or pro-Turk. d e s c e n d a n t s of the Algerian warrior who h a d fought the F r e n c h a century before and h a d been s u b s i d i z e d to live in exile. anti-Christian chauvinists. presumably because Damascenes would guess that Britain intended to turn them over to France. the actors in the d r a m a of D a m a s c u s ' s liberation did not follow the script that Allenby a n d Clayton had written for t h e m . T h e Abd el Kaders may have feared that Hussein was being duped by the British or that Feisal was under Lawrence's influence. rather than t h r o u g h . suggests that Clayton must have feared there would be unrest in the city if the Australians occupied it. 13 . claimed * Evidence is scanty as to who made the decision and why. w h o m L a w r e n c e r e g a r d e d a s personal enemies a n d . p e r h a p s .

without p e r m i s s i o n a n d without informing anyone.F e i s a l candidate as governor. L a w r e n c e . E . who had been ordered not to lead his m e n into the city. T h u s the honor of b e i n g the first Allied t r o o p s to enter D a m a s c u s fell to the A u s t r a l i a n s .G e n e r a l S i r G e o r g e B a r r o w . L a w r e n c e presented Nuri's c a n d i d a t e . s u r r o u n d e d b y notables. E x e c u t i n g a swift coup d'etat. whereupon S a i d A b d el K a d e r . an e x . while the O t t o m a n governor would have been a T u r k . O . .R o y c e a r m o r e d car that m o r n i n g and—-with a fellow British officer. Feisal w a s still d a y s away. C h a u v e l called that nonsense. At first light on the m o r n i n g of 1 O c t o b e r . now followed them in instead. N u r i o r d e r e d the A b d el K a d e r s to withdraw and a p p o i n t e d his own p r o . a n d entered the city. claiming that he was the governor. the local divisional c o m m a n d e r . a n d that the people had elected N u r i ' s candidate to take his place (which was false). had taken his favorite battered old R o l l s . By now the Allenby-Clayton plan for Feisal to liberate the city was in tatters. contrary to plan. d e c i d e d to go t h r o u g h D a m a s c u s to reach the H o m s r o a d . When C h a u v e l then asked L a w r e n c e to b r i n g the governor to him. L a w r e n c e . a n d claimed that he had been on the verge of returning to tender his r e p o r t . L .O t t o m a n officer who was a chief F e i s a l loyalist—had driven to the city a n d found that s o m e of Feisal's tribal allies. pointing out that N u r i ' s candidate was obviously an A r a b . T h u s when the A r a b flag w a s finally hoisted. B u t L a w r e n c e replied that the O t t o m a n governor had fled (which was t r u e ) . Stirling. d e m a n d i n g explanations. C h a u v e l discovered that L a w r e n c e had s l i p p e d away early in the morning. officially welcomed t h e m . T h e n an irate G e n e r a l C h a u v e l arrived. E. D a m a s c e n e A r a b s did it on their own. L a w r e n c e was s u p p o s e d to be staying with B a r r o w . staff liaison officer. either trying to m o v e t h r o u g h the streets or h o p i n g to find out what was going on.THE BATTLE FOR SYRIA 337 to have raised the H e j a z flag on the afternoon of 30 S e p t e m b e r in the n a m e of H u s s e i n . W. while the British and Australians were in D a m a s c u s . and N u r i el-Sa'id. a few miles south of the city. To his chagrin. an Australian cavalry b r i g a d e that had been ordered to cut the O t t o m a n retreat a l o n g the Horns road north of D a m a s c u s . m a k i n g excuses. had accepted the A b d el K a d e r s as D a m a s c u s ' s g o v e r n o r s . said h e had a s s u m e d C h a u v e l wanted him to scout out the situation. it had nothing to do with the F o r e i g n Office's p l a n . Chauvel's A . W . to follow the F i f t h C a v a l r y D i v i s i o n into D a m a s c u s . C h a u v e l . who had arrived earlier. T . C h a u v e l borrowed a car a n d drove into D a m a s c u s himself to find out what was happening. An hour later G e n e r a l C h a u v e l and his staff joined M a j o r . and C h a u v e l wanted to see him in order to start m a k i n g a r r a n g e m e n t s for p r e s e r v i n g the existing civil administration of the city.

F e i s a l . Allenby did not b l a m e Chauvel. Christian t r o o p s defiling through the streets of a great M o s l e m city to restore order. H a d Allenby's original o r d e r s been carried o u t — t o retain a T u r k i s h governor for the time b e i n g — t h i s complication would have been p o s t p o n e d . faced with serious d i s o r d e r s . he m a r c h e d his British forces through the city on 2 O c t o b e r in an attempt to overawe opposition. L a w r e n c e acted as interpreter. C h a u v e l g r u m b l i n g l y wrote that " S e e i n g that he. as were officers of the British mission to the H e j a z . " It was arranged for 3:00 that afternoon. a n d Feisal's A r a b t r o o p s — w h o s e presence was meant to r e a s s u r e local opinion—still nowhere in sight. A n y hopes that L a w r e n c e m a y have entertained. However. F e i s a l . a n d that the population as a whole was d i s t u r b e d by the a p p o i n t m e n t . 14 Allenby.338 INVADING THE MIDDLE EAST T a k i n g L a w r e n c e ' s word for it. T h e t e r m s were exactly those that S i r M a r k S y k e s a n d the F o r e i g n Office had instructed h i m to u p h o l d . and a s s e r t e d his determination to enforce them until a n d unless they were modified at the Peace C o n f e r e n c e . It was not until the m o r n i n g of 3 O c t o b e r that L a w r e n c e a n n o u n c e d that F e i s a l a n d several h u n d r e d followers were a b o u t to arrive. the s u g g e s t e d triumphal entry did not appeal to me very m u c h but I thought it would not d o h a r m a n d g a v e p e r m i s s i o n a c c o r d i n g l y . a n d Feisal's chief c o m m a n d e r . a n d their respective chiefs of staff were present at the conference. L a t e r . had had very little to do with the 'conquest' of D a m a s c u s . a n d asked p e r m i s s i o n to stage a ' t r i u m p h a l entry into the city for t h e m . C h a u v e l . C h a u v e l confirmed the appointment of N u r i ' s p r o . he soon learned that N u r i ' s c a n d i d a t e was s u p p o r t e d by only a small p r o . activated the S y k e s Picot A g r e e m e n t a n d the inter-Allied a g r e e m e n t that Allenby would deal with an Arab administration in S y r i a through the F r e n c h . where he had established himself. T h i s was exactly what Allenby a n d C l a y t o n had hoped to avoid: the population a r o u s e d . an officer of the A r a b B u r e a u from C a i r o . Allenby's visit was p r o m p t e d by Chauvel's a p p o i n t m e n t of the p r o Feisal A r a b to the g o v e r n o r s h i p which. but indicated that what he had done had given rise to complications with the F r e n c h which required a meeting with Feisal immediately.F e i s a l c a n d i d a t e as governor. that C l a y t o n a n d Allenby would help them connive at s u b v e r t i n g the F o r e i g n Office's policy .F e i s a l clique. b u t G e n e r a l Allenby's schedule would not allow for it. but now it had to be faced. Allenby had only a few h o u r s to s p e n d that afternoon in D a m a s c u s . or inspired in F e i s a l . but C h a u v e l d i d not see how he could c h a n g e the a p p o i n t m e n t after having a n n o u n c e d it. At the meeting the British c o m m a n d e r spelled out in specific detail for the A r a b i a n prince the a r r a n g e m e n t s that had been a g r e e d u p o n by Britain a n d F r a n c e . a n d called on Feisal a n d L a w r e n c e to attend him at the Hotel Victoria. in turn. A c c o r d i n g to Chauvel's o w n account.

1 5 Neither Feisal nor L a w r e n c e had been candid with the plainspoken Allenby." T h e Chief then s a i d : " B u t you knew definitely that he. a n d that S y r i a was not to be free of F r e n c h control. T h a t he m u s t accept the situation until the whole matter w a s settled at the conclusion of the War. was to have the A d m i n i s t r a t i o n of S y r i a (less Palestine a n d the L e b a n o n Province) u n d e r F r e n c h g u i d a n c e a n d f i n a n c i a l backing. . What Feisal meant in denying knowledge of those t e r m s ( L a w r e n c e explained later in L o n d o n ) was that he had not been informed of . Feisal's bitter d i s a p p o i n t m e n t was not that the A r a b confederation w o u l d not include Palestine—he said he accepted t h a t — b u t that it did not include the L e b a n o n (that is to say. T h e Chief turned t o L a w r e n c e a n d s a i d : " B u t did you not tell him that the F r e n c h were to have the Protectorate over S y r i a ? " L a w r e n c e s a i d : " N o . except L a w r e n c e . a s representing his F a t h e r . Feisal accepted this decision a n d left with his ent o u r a g e . S i r . He said that he knew nothing of F r a n c e in the m a t t e r . that he u n d e r s t o o d f r o m the Adviser w h o m Allenby had sent h i m that the A r a b s were to have the whole of S y r i a including the L e b a n o n but e x c l u d i n g Palestine. who w o u l d be expected to give him every a s s i s t a n c e . A c c o r d i n g to C h a u v e l ' s m i n u t e s of the meeting. ( d ) T h a t he w a s to have a F r e n c h L i a i s o n Officer at once.i n . a n d that he declined to have a F r e n c h L i a i s o n Officer or to recognise F r e n c h g u i d a n c e in any way. ( b ) T h a t he.G e n e r a l u n d e r his c o m m a n d and that he would have to obey o r d e r s . who w o u l d work for the present with L a w r e n c e . I know nothing a b o u t it. was C o m m a n d e r . Feisal. w o u l d not have anything to do with the L e b a n o n . K i n g H u s s e i n . with which all of t h e m were well a c q u a i n t e d . Allenby (referred to as "the Chief") plainly told F e i s a l : (a) T h a t F r a n c e was to be the Protecting Power over S y r i a . I did not. S i r E d m u n d Allenby. the Chief told F e i s a l that he. that he was p r e p a r e d to have British A s s i s t a n c e . Feisal objected very strongly.THE BATTLE FOR SYRIA 339 were d a s h e d that afternoon. " L a w r e n c e s a i d : " N o . Feisal. that a C o u n t r y without a Port was no g o o d to h i m . the L e b a n o n . was to have nothing to do with the L e b a n o n . was at the m o m e n t a L i e u t . or "white. F e i s a l .C h i e f a n d that he." M o u n t a i n s ) . (c) T h a t the A r a b s p h e r e w o u l d include the hinterland of S y r i a only a n d that he. T h e t e r m s outlined to them were those of the Sykes-Picot A g r e e m e n t ." After s o m e further discussion. F e i s a l . S i r .

he w a s not at all a n g r y with L a w r e n c e . * T h e p l a n . T h e entire force has been described as "only 3. L a w r e n c e had not even that e x c u s e . On 8 O c t o b e r I n d i a n t r o o p s of Allenby's E g y p t i a n E x p e d i t i o n a r y F o r c e entered the city.340 INVADING THE MIDDLE EAST t h e m officially. Allenby took c o m m a n d of the situation by o r d e r i n g Feisal's force to lower the A r a b flag a n d withdraw. By all indications. P e r h a p s with encoura g e m e n t from L a w r e n c e (who later denied it). F e i s a l . . when they did so. the F r e n c h were left in control. F o r himself. . I h o p e that with a certain a m o u n t of give & take on both sides a m o d u s vivendi will be reached . he admitted that he had known of the agreement and that "Fortunately. he wrote to Wingate that "I have told Feisal . far from it. he h a d s i m p l y lied. Allenby a g r e e d . a n d F r e n c h a g e n t s therefore p u r s u e d a fall-back position to p r o v i d e for the possibility that their claim to the whole of S y r i a might fail. " 1 7 T h e F r e n c h a r m e d forces in Beirut in fact p r o v e d too weak to affect the full annexationist p r o g r a m that the colonialist p a r t y in F r a n c e desired. L a t e r F r a n c o i s G e o r g e s Picot arrived to act as F r a n c e ' s civil a n d political representative in the area.000 Armenians. I had earlier betrayed the treaty's existence to Feisal . subject to the s u p r e m e authority of Allenby as commander-in-chief. conceived by F r e n c h officers in the field. L a w r e n c e said that he h a d a c c u m u l a t e d s o m e leave time and would like to take it i m m e d i a t e l y and return to Britain. having withdrawn f r o m the meeting. .000 Africans 'and 800 Frenchmen who had been promised that they would not have to fight. for he e n c o u r a g e d L a w r e n c e to go to L o n d o n to a r g u e his c a s e to the F o r e i g n Office in p e r s o n . . which they entered u n o p p o s e d a n d where they raised the A r a b flag of the H e j a z on 5 O c t o b e r . . " ** Some of the French troops were Armenian refugees who had been conscripted. a n d which w a s to be ruled b y M a r o n i t e C h r i s t i a n s u n d e r F r e n c h s p o n s o r s h i p . . Activities 1 9 * In Chapter 101 of Seven Pillars of Wisdom. on 11 O c t o b e r . riding at the head of between 300 and 600 m o u n t e d m e n .* As Feisal left the meeting. that he will only p r e j u d i c e his case before the Peace Conference if he tries to g r a b . . returned to lead his tardy and c o m p r o m i s e d t r i u m p h a l entry into D a m a s c u s . T h e following day the a l a r m e d F r e n c h sent w a r s h i p s into B e i r u t harbor a n d l a n d e d a small contingent of t r o o p s . Others were native troops from North Africa. L a w r e n c e told Allenby that he was unwilling to serve alongside a F r e n c h adviser to F e i s a l . F e i s a l then sent a c o m m a n d o force of a h u n d r e d of his followers to B e i r u t . Clayton a d v i s e d F e i s a l to rein b a c k his followers in L e b a n o n . . It is not an easy p r o b l e m . was to carve out of S y r i a an independent state that would include not only the Christian areas of M o u n t L e b a n o n but also a large area of p r e d o m i n a n t l y M o s l e m territories.' " 18 . 3.

Ill A l l e n b y — f r o m his h e a d q u a r t e r s in the M i d d l e E a s t — a r r a n g e d a w a r m reception for Colonel L a w r e n c e in L o n d o n as he arrived to plead the case against F r a n c e . the d o c u m e n t in which S i r M a r k S y k e s outlined Allied intentions to anti-Feisal S y r i a n e m i g r e leaders in C a i r o . T h e natural environment was even m o r e out of control. b u t that Feisal claimed the right to choose whatever advisers he wanted. reportedly. s u p p o s e d l y while trying to e s c a p e when they c a m e to arrest him. I n Feisal's n a m e . he claimed to have an agreement with the British and F r e n c h a c c o r d ing to which the first one to arrive at any city won the right to g o v e r n it. f e u d s . he wanted either British o r — o d d l y .h e l d territories where sanitation had been neglected. ( I n context. M o r e o v e r . 2 1 L a w r e n c e b e g a n to maintain that Feisal's troops in fact had been the first to enter D a m a s c u s . In D a m a s c u s . the disease struck down whole r e g i m e n t s as the c o n q u e s t of the S y r i a n provinces was b e i n g c o m p l e t e d . claiming that it p r o m i s e d i n d e p e n d e n c e to the A r a b s in any area they liberated t h e m s e l v e s . L a w r e n c e m i s c o n s t r u e d the declaration. E m i r A b d e l K a d e r was shot and killed b y p r o . At the end of O c t o b e r . M a l a r i a was followed by influenza that p r o v e d to be not just debilitating but massively fatal.F e i s a l police. relied on the provisions of the D e c l a r a t i o n to the S e v e n . ) Feisal himself m i s c o n s t r u e d the declaration even further. O b s c u r e q u a r r e l s were settled in dark places. B e d o u i n s clashed with city dwellers. declaring that 4 . T h e British cavalry had been afflicted by malaria as it p a s s e d t h r o u g h T u r k i s h . Beneath the surface of Allenby's orderly a r r a n g e m e n t s of the chain of c o m m a n d . after a fortnight of incubation. L a w r e n c e a p p e a r e d before the E a s t e r n C o m m i t t e e of the C a b i n e t a n d reported that Picot p r o p o s e d to i m p o s e F r e n c h advisers on F e i s a l . areas in O t t o m a n h a n d s as of that date were placed in a s e p a r a t e c a t e g o r y . 2 0 F e i s a l .THE BATTLE FOR SYRIA 341 on behalf of this plan further contributed to the fragmentation of political life that h a d already b e g u n to c a u s e unrest behind Allied lines. it is clear that the declaration p r o m i s e d i n d e p e n d e n c e only in areas that had already been liberated by A r a b s as of the date of the declaration in J u n e 1918. in view of the enmities that developed l a t e r — A m e r i c a n Zionist J e w i s h a d v i s e r s . 0 0 0 tribesmen associated . intrigues. a c c o r d i n g to L a w r e n c e . F o r m e r enemies m o v e d to take over Feisal's m o v e m e n t from within. a n d factionalism seethed in the wake of the d i s a p p e a r a n c e of O t t o m a n authority.

In the 1920s.s p e a k i n g M i d d l e E a s t . 0 0 0 t r i b e s m e n were entirely imaginary. N o b o d y saw them there. a n d General Chauvel was q u i c k to have the error rectified. which almost all officials with w h o m he spoke wanted to disavow. T h e official "pool" news c o r r e s p o n d e n t of the L o n d o n n e w s p a p e r s with Allenby's E g y p t i a n E x p e d i t i o n a r y F o r c e wrote that "An article was printed in an official p a p e r circulated a m o n g the troops that the A r a b A r m y was first in D a m a s c u s . and n o b o d y saw them enter or leave—even t h o u g h they would have had to p a s s t h r o u g h British lines t o d o s o . T h e credit of winning D a m a s c u s and b e i n g the first in the city belongs to the Australian L i g h t H o r s e . G i l b e r t Clayton had written to L a w r e n c e in 1917 that t h o u g h Britain was b o u n d in honor to the a g r e e m e n t . In the E a s t e r n C o m m i t t e e and in the C a b i n e t .342 INVADING THE MIDDLE EAST with Feisal's cause had slipped into the city d u r i n g the night of 30 September— 1 October a n d thus had been the first Allied t r o o p s to arrive. written by L a w r e n c e . Y e t he m u s t have known that sooner or later his fraudulent claim would be e x p o s e d for what it w a s . and so great w a s his artistry that he s u c c e e d e d in insinuating at least s o m e of his version into the historical record. L a w r e n c e continued to maintain the pretense that Feisal's forces had liberated D a m a s c u s . this fact will . S . it would die of its o w n accord if i g n o r e d : "It is in fact d e a d a n d . p r o p o s e d to b a s e his account of the liberation of D a m a s c u s on that s u p p l i e d by L a w r e n c e in his Seven Pillars of Wisdom. B u t there was first-hand evidence that the 4 . if he is not careful. when the poet and novelist R o b e r t G r a v e s . L a w r e n c e cautioned h i m : "I was on thin ice when I wrote the D a m a s c u s chapter a n d anyone who copies me will be through it. L a w r e n c e ' s version of the facts b e g a n to be circulated in other periodicals as well. providing a m u c h e x a g g e r a t e d account of what had been a c c o m p l i s h e d by Feisal's forces a n d stating that the account c a m e from an eyewitness c o r r e s p o n d e n t . m u c h to the annoyance of the Australian t r o o p s in S y r i a . P . [Seven Pillars] is full of half-truth h e r e . if we wait quietly." 2 2 23 F o r personal as well as political r e a s o n s . a friend who was writing a b i o g r a p h y of L a w r e n c e . At the end of N o v e m b e r 1918. " 24 IV L a w r e n c e u s e d his version of the D a m a s c u s c a m p a i g n to attempt to p e r s u a d e his g o v e r n m e n t to jettison the Sykes-Picot A g r e e m e n t . He also f o u n d i m p o r t a n t allies in the p r e s s . The Times p u b l i s h e d several anonym o u s articles. L a w r e n c e nonetheless f o u n d a s y m p a t h e t i c audience for his plea that F r e n c h influence or control should not be introduced into the M o s l e m A r a b i c .

also took the pact seriously. " T h e E a s t e r n C o m m i t t e e hoped t o r e s c i n d — r a t h e r than merely i g n o r e — t h e S y k e s . a n d had thought that the F o r e i g n Office would arrange to modify or rescind it in the context of negotiations with respect to how the o c c u p i e d territories were to be a d m i n i s t e r e d . " 2 6 27 25 Sir M a r k S y k e s . "but our C o n g r e s s case will be g o o d if we can say we are helping to develop a race on nationalist lines under our protection. except for S i r M a r k S y k e s . who had worked out the terms of the administrative a r r a n g e m e n t s with the F r e n c h .d e t e r m i n a t i o n . chief political officer of the British administration in M e s o p o t a m i a . When L o r d C u r z o n . learned the terms that had been worked out with F r a n c e . he m a d e it clear that Britain would like the F r e n c h out of S y r i a a l t o g e t h e r . but it was not far from the truth. L o r d C u r z o n stated that the S y k e s . . B u t a War Office representative told the c o m m i t t e e that the only way to break the agreement was to operate behind "an A r a b facade" in a p p e a l i n g to the U n i t e d S t a t e s to s u p p o r t Wilson's theories of s e l f . no d o u b t . which was in charge of defining British desiderata for the postwar M i d d l e E a s t . but took the position that Britain was absolutely b o u n d by the agreement unless F r a n c e a g r e e d to change or cancel it.P i c o t A g r e e m e n t was drawn up it was. " he wrote. he o b s e r v e d with s o m e asperity that " T h e F o r e i g n Office a p p e a r e d now to be relying u p o n the Sykes-Picot A g r e e m e n t from which the C o m m i t t e e had hitherto been doing their best to e s c a p e . head of the A r a b B u r e a u . that one of its virtues was that it was f r a m e d in such a way as not to violate the principles that Woodrow Wilson's A m e r i c a a n d the new socialist R u s s i a e s p o u s e d with respect to national self-determination and nonannexation. intended by its authors . he continued. " In 1918 Clayton told Picot that the agreement no longer could be applied b e c a u s e it was "completely out of d a t e . wrote to G i l b e r t Clayton at that time that n o b o d y both took the Sykes-Picot A g r e e m e n t seriously a n d s u p p o r t e d it.P i c o t A g r e e m e n t was not only obsolete "but absolutely i m p r a c t i c a b l e .P i c o t A g r e e m e n t . " T h e idea of A r a b nationalism m a y be a b s u r d . p e r s i s t e d in believing that the Sykes-Picot A g r e e m e n t met current n e e d s . . a n d which it was 2 9 30 31 32 . C u r z o n said that "When the S y k e s . which S y k e s joined. b e c a u s e officials of the Foreign Office.THE BATTLE FOR SYRIA 343 soon be r e a l i z e d . b u t he gives moral help that F r a n c e ought to recognize. In the s p r i n g of 1917 he wrote to Percy C o x . " As chairman of the E a s t e r n C o m m i t t e e . and "I think F r e n c h will be ready to co-operate with us in a c o m m o n policy towards the A r a b speaking p e o p l e . as a sort of fancy sketch to suit a situation that had not then arisen. T h e F o r e i g n Office did no such thing." H u s s e i n m a y not give m u c h help in the war physically. the chairman of the E a s t e r n C o m m i t t e e . " 28 D a v i d H o g a r t h . T h i s was a slight exaggeration.

that 33 It is inexplicable that a m a n of S i r M a r k S y k e s ' fine intelligence s h o u l d ever have a p p e n d e d his s i g n a t u r e to s u c h an a r r a n g e ment. a n d he defended his action in agreeing to its t e r m s by e x p l a i n i n g that he w a s acting u n d e r definite instructions received f r o m the F o r e i g n Office. d e c a d e s later. He w a s always a s h a m e d of it. What w a s required now w a s s o m e m o d i fication of. W o o d r o w Wilson's F o u r t e e n Points. He has evolved a new a n d m o s t ingenious s c h e m e by which the F r e n c h are to clear out of the whole A r a b region except the L e b a n o n " and in return get all of K u r d i s t a n a n d A r m e n i a "from A d a n a to Persia and the C a u c a s u s . 4 In the opinion of L l o y d G e o r g e . or s u b s t i t u t e for. I s u p p o s e .344 INVADING THE MIDDLE EAST thought extremely unlikely would ever a r i s e .P i c o t A g r e e m e n t would be modified by transferring one coastal port f r o m the area of direct F r e n c h control to the area in 3 9 . He wrote. Picking up on Feisal's protest to Allenby "that a C o u n t r y without a Port w a s no g o o d to him" S y k e s explored a possible c o m p r o m i s e in which the S y k e s . and rewrote history to absolve h i m from b l a m e . however.P i c o t A g r e e m e n t . As w a s his wont with his favorites. but then. " E v e n S y k e s himself finally c a m e to a g r e e : on 3 M a r c h 1918 he wrote to Wingate and Clayton that the agreement h a d to be a b a n d o n e d b e c a u s e of s u c h events as the U n i t e d S t a t e s ' entry into the war. " B u t the F r e n c h did not agree. although the F r e n c h refused to a d m i t it. F o r that reason he hotly resented the constant a n d indelible reminder that his n a m e was a n d always w o u l d be associated with a pact with which he had only a nominal personal responsibility a n d of which he thoroughly d i s a p p r o v e d . a n d the publication by the Bolsheviks of the terms of the Sykes-Picot A g r e e m e n t to an apparently indignant w o r l d . A m o n t h later he told the c o m m i t t e e that " T h e A g r e e m e n t of 1916 was d e a d . On 18 J u n e 1918 he told the E a s t e r n C o m m i t t e e that. he h a d been against it from the start. that. the Sykes-Picot A g r e e m e n t "was a fatuous a r r a n g e m e n t j u d g e d from any a n d every point of v i e w . " When the F r e n c h refused to a g r e e to modify the a g r e e m e n t . he went ahead to negotiate t e r m s for the administration of o c c u p i e d territories on the b a s i s that the a g r e e m e n t therefore remained in force. while the Sherifians had no right to be indignant a b o u t the S y k e s . that A g r e e m e n t . Britain s h o u l d ask F r a n c e to agree that the a g r e e m e n t no longer a p p l i e d . " L l o y d G e o r g e also felt that the pact h a d been s u p e r s e d e d by events. for he had fully informed H u s s e i n of its t e r m s . the Bolshevik Revolution. 35 3 6 3 7 38 On 5 O c t o b e r 1918 L e o A m e r y noted in his d i a r y : " T a l k with S y k e s a b o u t what to do with the Sykes-Picot A g r e e m e n t . m u s t be the principal explanation of the g r o s s ignorance with which the b o u n d a r y lines in that a g r e e m e n t were d r a w n . he m a d e e x c u s e s for S y k e s .

" and that both of t h e m could be satisfied a n d would cooperate. had been a r g u i n g for s o m e time that the S y k e s . T .P i c o t A g r e e m e n t had to be annulled in the interests of J e w i s h . T h e y asserted that they wanted F r a n c e to relinquish her claims. b u t there was a c h o r u s of opinion f r o m British officers serving in the field to the effect that it would be d i s a s t r o u s to attempt to enforce its t e r m s . G e n e r a l Allenby s e e m e d hopeful a b o u t this a p p r o a c h . 4 0 R o n a l d S t o r r s . " 41 42 n a m 4 3 4 4 If the a g r e e m e n t were to be a b r o g a t e d with respect to Palestine. as they so often did. E .A r a b friendship in Palestine. L a w r e n c e told the E a s t e r n C o m m i t t e e that "there would be no difficulty in reconciling Zionists a n d A r a b s in Palestine and S y r i a . G i l b e r t C l a y t o n reported that the A r a b a n d Zionist c a u s e s were "interdependent.THE BATTLE FOR SYRIA 345 which Feisal w o u l d serve as ruler. but in favor of an independent A r a b nation led by F e i s a l . If F r a n c e 45 . for the A r a b B u r e a u officers did not believe that A r a b s were c a p a b l e of self-government. a n d British officers in the field m a d e the s a m e claim. but only under a British g o v e r n m e n t for P a l e s t i n e . saying the s a m e thing through m a n y voices. T h e F r e n c h refused to waive any of their rights u n d e r the agreement. not in favor of Britain. reported f r o m newly liberated D a m a s c u s that Feisal's A r a b administration was incompetent. On 15 D e c e m b e r he wrote to his wife that "Sykes is all for soothing the A r a b s & g i v i n g them a p o r t . reported that the A r a b s were ready to accept the Zionist p r o g r a m . whether his colleagues who raised the point shared his belief in it is doubtful. there was no reason why it s h o u l d not be a b r o g a t e d with respect to Syria as well—though P r i m e Minister L l o y d G e o r g e repeatedly asserted that Britain had no desire to take over S y r i a for herself. & Picot is less Chauvinist than he w a s . T h e followers of the late L o r d K i t c h e n e r . By an independent country ruled by F e i s a l they meant a country g u i d e d by themselves as agents of Britain. T h i s was sheer dishonesty. " B u t nothing c a m e of this a p p r o a c h either. governor of J e r u s a l e m . D a v i d H o g a r t h . and a d d e d that F r e n c h intrigues a i m e d at s e c u r i n g exclusive commercial concessions were o b s c u r i n g the c a u s e of self-determination for J e w s as well as for A r a b s . b u t only if the F r e n c h could be m a d e to agree that the S y k e s . the head of the A r a b B u r e a u who s u c c e e d e d Clayton as chief political officer in the field. J e w i s h . He wrote that a E u r o p e a n power must run t h i n g s . p r o v i d e d that the administration of Palestine r e m a i n e d in British h a n d s . " C i W e i z m a n n assisted i n the c a m p a i g n by writing to B a l f o u r a l o n g the s a m e lines.P i c o t A g r e e m e n t "is no longer a practical i n s t r u m e n t .A r a b friendship was a c a u s e in which S i r M a r k S y k e s sincerely believed.

V N e a r l y a fortnight after his interview with Feisal at the Hotel Victoria i n D a m a s c u s . b u t g o o d . S i r E d m u n d Allenby returned t o D a m a s c u s t o b e the dinner g u e s t of Prince F e i s a l . T h e F r e n c h did not believe that the B r i t i s h were s p o n s o r i n g J e w i s h a n d A r a b aspirations in g o o d faith. Neither Britain nor F r a n c e p l a n n e d to honor wartime c o m m i t m e n t s to Italy. highly s t r u n g m a n . He is a keen. but all g o o d . a n d straight in principle. often c h a n g i n g sides in A r a b i a even on the field of battle itself. T h e Entente P o w e r s did not even trust one another. not his. H e knew. He himself h a d c o r r e s p o n d e d with the T u r k s that year a b o u t his changing sides in the war. a n d Feisal h a d not kept faith with his father either. a n d his fingers are always m o v i n g nervously when he talks. when Washington was listening. to . B u t he is s t r o n g in will. if his star w a n e d . " 46 " T r u s t the E n t e n t e Powers": F e i s a l c o u l d not have thought that was a particularly firm foundation on which to b a s e his future p r o s p e c t s . a n d that they h a d revealed details of their a g r e e m e n t to h i m only when they were forced to do s o . cool water.1 346 INVADING THE MIDDLE EAST were to be excluded. fresh. slim." As to politics. too. rather than whether. who m i g h t as easily desert him. Neither of t h e m h a d kept faith with Britain. H i s only regular t r o o p s were d e s e r t e r s from the enemy c a m p . Neither Britain nor F r a n c e was d i s p o s e d to carry out the idealistic p r o g r a m of Woodrow Wilson with which. they p r e t e n d e d to be in s y m p a t h y . like a w o m a n ' s . T h e B e d o u i n tribes that were his allies were notoriously fickle. He has beautiful h a n d s . Feisal was aware that only the year before. served in the ordinary ways of civilization. H i s father h a d held similar c o r r e s p o n d e n c e with the T u r k s . and they were b o u n d to h i m principally by the g o l d that was L a w r e n c e ' s . not tepid barley water!" A l l e n b y a d d e d that " Y o u would like F e i s a l . in t u r n . to break their a g r e e m e n t s with F r a n c e . British leaders had c o n t e m p l a t e d behind his b a c k a c o m p r o m i s e peace in which the R u s s i a n rather than the O t t o m a n E m p i r e would have been p a r t i t i o n e d — t h u s a b a n d o n i n g h i m a n d his father to the mercies of the T u r k s . T r u s t was not a part of the a t m o s p h e r e in which Feisal lived. while the British d i s c u s s e d how. Water to drink. that Britain a n d F r a n c e had secretly agreed two years before to divide the A r a b world between t h e m . A r a b dishes. b u t I tell h i m he m u s t trust the E n t e n t e p o w e r s to treat him f a i r l y . it was evident which E u r o p e a n power (in his view) w o u l d be obliged to a s s u m e that responsibility. "He is n e r v o u s a b o u t the peace settlement. He r e p o r t e d to his wife that "He g a v e me an excellent dinner.

He was n e r v o u s — a n d h a d every reason to b e . they a c c e p t e d h i m only b e c a u s e he was placed over t h e m by the British a r m y .b e a d fingers g a v e him away.r T H E B A T T L E FOR SYRIA 347 d i s p e n s e . As for the S y r i a n s . . E v e n his own b o d y betrayed h i m . his w o r r y .

" — F .PART VIII THE SPOILS OF VICTORY " T h e victor b e l o n g s to the s p o i l s . Scott Fitzgerald .

T h e i r s t a g g e r i n g losses d r o v e the belligerent p o w e r s to try to c o m p e n s a t e by seeking new g a i n s . a n d oil b e c a m e a crucial issue in the battle for the Middle East. In the last half of 1918 T u r k e y a n d Britain were e n g a g e d in what a p p e a r e d to be not so m u c h one war as two parallel w a r s in which they p u r s u e d similar g o a l s : to e x c l u d e their allies f r o m a s h a r e in the winnings. was so captivated by the p r o s p e c t i v e spoils of victory that he could not bear to s h a r e t h e m with other countries. the O t t o m a n a n d British e m p i r e s launched themselves into far-off deserts a n d inland s e a s to fight a barely r e m e m b e r e d series of final c a m p a i g n s that p r o d u c e d no decisive result. like his near-dictatorial British c o u n t e r p a r t . therefore took the risk of e n d a n g e r i n g his a