The Arab Revolt 1916-18: Lawrence sets Arabia ablaze

  • ISBN13: 9781846033391
  • Condition: NEW
  • Notes: Brand New from Publisher. No Remainder Mark.

Product Description
The Arab Revolt of 1916-18 was one of the most dramatic events of the First World War. It resulted in the birth of the modern Middle East and also created one of the most enduring myths of the war, the story of “Lawrence of Arabia”. In fact, it could be argued that the wider importance of the Arab Revolt has been forgotten in the rush to focus on Lawrence myth and that later generations have lost sight of the immense changes that this rebellion represented in Arab affairs.

This book examines the revolt without this prejudice, describing and analyzing the background and events of the revolt. Breaking the process into several broad phases, the author examines the initial capture of coastal towns like Jeddah, which secured and this allowed for the re-supply and support of the Arab Army by the Royal Navy. Then, the main focus of the revolt became the Hijaz Railway. The raids on this vital route are described in detail, as is the seizure of Aqaba in 1917 and the northward push of the Arab Army at Gaza, Jerusalem, Megiddo and Damascas. Finally, this book describes how a local Arab rebellion grew to form a major part of Allied operations in the Middle East, as Arab tribesman developed from being troublesome raiders into a force which could oppose brigade-sized Turkish columns by 1918.

The Arab Revolt 1916-18: Lawrence sets Arabia ablaze

3 comments - What do you think?   Posted by admin - March 26, 2010 at 11:53 pm

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The Arab Revolt 1916-18: Lawrence sets Arabia ablaze

  • ISBN13: 9781846033391
  • Condition: NEW
  • Notes: Brand New from Publisher. No Remainder Mark.

Product Description
The Arab Revolt of 1916-18 was one of the most dramatic events of the First World War. It resulted in the birth of the modern Middle East and also created one of the most enduring myths of the war, the story of “Lawrence of Arabia”. In fact, it could be argued that the wider importance of the Arab Revolt has been forgotten in the rush to focus on Lawrence myth and that later generations have lost sight of the immense changes that this rebellion represented in Arab affairs.

This book examines the revolt without this prejudice, describing and analyzing the background and events of the revolt. Breaking the process into several broad phases, the author examines the initial capture of coastal towns like Jeddah, which secured and this allowed for the re-supply and support of the Arab Army by the Royal Navy. Then, the main focus of the revolt became the Hijaz Railway. The raids on this vital route are described in detail, as is the seizure of Aqaba in 1917 and the northward push of the Arab Army at Gaza, Jerusalem, Megiddo and Damascas. Finally, this book describes how a local Arab rebellion grew to form a major part of Allied operations in the Middle East, as Arab tribesman developed from being troublesome raiders into a force which could oppose brigade-sized Turkish columns by 1918.

The Arab Revolt 1916-18: Lawrence sets Arabia ablaze

3 comments - What do you think?   Posted by admin - at 11:53 pm

Categories: Dubai Books  Tags: , , , ,

3 Responses to “The Arab Revolt 1916-18: Lawrence sets Arabia ablaze”

  1. It’s only recently that I’ve discovered the amazing and seemingly endless series of military books by Osprey Publishing of the United Kingdom. I happened upon the title in question by accident while looking up a different book.

    I hadn’t seen anything new on this subject for a while, and was delighted to find a totally new Lawrence related title. Author David Murphy and illustrator Peter Dennis have produced a worthy addition to the vast amount of literature on the subject.

    I wish to respond to a criticism by a previous reader, who felt that it was unnecessary to include a poster for the David Lean movie Lawrence of Arabia, and a photo of actor Alec Guinness in the role of Prince Faisal.These were included in a section entitled ” The Lawrence Legend”, along with the bust of Lawrence by Eric Kennington, and the portrait by James McBey, both classic representations of T.E.Lawrence. The Guinness photo shows the continuity of popular re-creations of Lawrence, describing how Guinness had played Lawrence on stage before taking the role of Faisal in the Lean film. The caption for the movie poster correctly states that the movie is responsible for bringing Lawrence back into public awareness, and is still the primary vehicle for introducing Lawrence to people, who might then go on to read about him. This was certainly true in my case.

    This book is well worth the time for the knowledgeable reader and the first timer to the subject.
    Rating: 5 / 5

  2. R. A Forczyk says:

    While many readers are familiar with the basic outline of the British-supported Arab Revolt against the Turks in 1916-1918 thanks to David Lean’s award-winning film, Lawrence of Arabia, few are aware of the actual military details of the campaign. In Osprey’s Campaign No. 202, The Arab Revolt 1916-18, author David Murphy sets out to provide a detailed military description of the campaign, without getting sidetracked by the 300 pound gorilla in the room – T. E. Lawrence. As Murphy notes, Lawrence did play an important role in the campaign, but so did other British and French soldiers. Furthermore, the Arab Revolt included both irregular forces like the Bedouin cavalry but also the Arab regular army, which had infantry and artillery. Indeed, one of the best aspects of this well written volume is to cut Lawrence down to his proper historical size and to highlight the role of individuals and formations which have been excluded from the normal `Seven Pillars of Wisdom’ version of this campaign. This volume belongs in any serious collection on the First World War.

    The introductory sections sketch out the origins of the Arab Revolt, the opposing commanders, opposing forces and opposing plans. Although the author consulted no Turkish sources, it is gratifying to see him make some effort to explain the Turkish position in Arabia. Too often, the Turks are just laughed off, but this author makes an effort to explain their forces and intentions. A two-page order of battle is provided.

    The campaign narrative itself is solid and details the outbreak of the revolt, the arrival of British and French military assistance, Turkish countermoves and the gradual spread of the campaign northward from the Hejaz toward Palestine and Syria. Political issues, such as the Sykes-Picot agreement and its implications for the Allied relationship with the Arab revolt are also addressed. Along the way, the author adds in the Arab regular army, French artillerymen, British aviators, Ghurka (!) camel troops and notes that this was one of the most cosmopolitan campaigns of the war. While the author does touch on the connection between Allenby’s advance on Damascus, readers would be advised to use this volume in conjunction with the earlier volume on the Meggido campaign in order to get the full picture.

    This volume is a bit light on maps compared to other Osprey campaign titles, with only four 2-D maps (strategic situation in the Hejaz, June 1916; Turkish countermoves on Yanbu, December 1916; the Arab capture of Aqaba, July 1917; Arab advance on Damascus and Aleppo, September-October 1918) and two 3-D maps (the Battle of Tafila, January 1918; the Arab regular army attack on Ma’an, April 1918). The battle scenes by Peter Dennis (Attacks on the Hejaz Railway, February 1917; the fall of Aqaba; the attack on Mudawwarah station, August 1918) are very good, but all from the Allied/Arab perspective and only one shows Turks. Readers should also note that Lawrence appears in only the Aqaba battle scene. Overall, a good volume.

    Rating: 4 / 5

  3. Graves says:

    I will admit that I opened David Murphy’s work on the Arab revolt half expecting it to be an anthem to romanticism, exploding the importance of the revolt and the capabilities of the `brave’ Arab and TE Lawrence of Arabia out of all proportion to their actual importance in the sphere of World War 1. I am very pleased to say I was very wrong.

    Murphy writes knowing that quite probably most of his readers only know of the Arab revolt from the film “Lawrence of Arabia” and asides from readings about the main British Army. He sets out to lay down a good explanation of the fact as well as the myth.

    To look at the work is one of Osprey’s better books. The illustrations are a nice mix of photographs that manage to avoid becoming too similar and the book also, thankfully, limits new artwork that often seems to detract from other Osprey books and take up too much of the too limited space.

    Early on Murphy admits that a lack of Turkish sources limited his information from the Turkish side but he still strives to point out the strong points and limitations of both sides with in the frame work of the book. He lists both sides’ plans and how reality and planning intersect and how they diverge. He covers the toughness of the Turks and their nightmarish supply system. He compares that to the fierceness of the Arab tribesman and the chronic unreliability brought on by the indiscipline AND their cultural mores.

    He also notes that acknowledging that the vast numbers of people, tribes and groups that were involved is beyond the limited scope of the Osprey series and so lets the reader know that there is indeed much more for the curious to look for. To the people of the region this was the great event in their history, but compared with the struggles in Europe, it was a side show. Without belittling or over inflating the event, Murphy keeps it in proprotion.

    For many people who thought the Arab revolt was Lawrence of Arabia and a bunch of near bandits on Camels this book is an education. Murphy lists and explains the contributions of the Europeans who trained and fought with the Arab armies, the invaluable contributions of European men and material and the actions of the regular Arab army. Men, who trained, drilled and marched to war as surely as the Tommy’s, Pilou and Dough Boys of Western Europe.

    Indeed if I am going to mention things I did not like about the book it will seem I am picking at straws but two things did stand out. A little too often Murphy comments on something “will be discussed later.” When I was in middle school this would have been marked off on an essay with the words, `don’t tell me about it, just do it.’ I myself would add this years later when grading college papers and the Editors of Osprey should have responded the same way.

    The other part I thought needless were several pictures from the Peter O’Toole film “Lawrence of Arabia.” The book has many excellent and authentic photos of the people and places involved with out needing to show a picture of Alec Guinness in costume as Prince Feisal, there are several pictures of the real prince in the book, or an entire page, in color, showing a poster for the Peter O’Toole movie. Having gone to such great lengths to explore the many almost forgotten real characters that were a part of the Arab revolt, this gush to Hollywood almost seems to cheapen the work.

    Ultimately though, this is an excellent work. Not just for people with an interest in the first World War but also in actors and events that led to the creation of the modern Arab world. Murphy writes knowing it is not the final word on the topic but that he has filled in a void in many people’s knowledge and for people interested in studying further he has set down a good ground work.

    Rating: 4 / 5

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