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On the road to Kut, a soldier's story…
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On the road to Kut, a soldier's story of the Mesopotamian campaign… (1917)

by Black Tab

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Recently added byRailsplitter, Miro, pjlambert

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This is one of the more unusual first-hand accounts of service in Mesopotamia. "Black Tab", a pseudonym for an officer in the Transportation Corps?, provides an interesting account from the very beginning of the campaign. Black Tab arrived in Mesopotamia in 1914 as part of the Poona Division, specifically 16th Brigade. His accounting comes from the perspective of someone supporting the front-line forces, not actually participating in the combat of the same. His specialty was providing mules for the transportation of supplies to the forward operating area.
Since he was not on the front lines, his perspective of life in Mesopotamia at the time is less draconian than others who were occupying the trenches, or who found themselves besieged in Kut. Nevertheless, his accounting provides an rear-echelon perspective of these activities, and his perspective of how life was like in the rear, supporting the front.
Of interest, the author led a party to Persia to negotiate the purchase of pack-mules, which were in short supply in Mesopotamia. His accounting of his time in Persia is interesting, since many of the accounts of Persia at this time come somewhat later, in conjunction with the details of the Dunsterforce campaign.
An interesting read and great story. An outsider's view of the campaign leading up to the surrender of Kut by someone who was in the theater is uncommon. An important contribution to the coverage of the campaign from a different viewpoint. Based on the time it was published, one can see the heavy hand of the wartime censor, but this does not detract from the narrative. Highly recommended. ( )
1 vote pjlambert | Mar 4, 2009 |
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