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With a Highland Regiment in Mesopotamia,…

With a Highland Regiment in Mesopotamia, 1916-1917 (1918)

by One of its officers

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This book covers the travails of the 2d Battalion of the Black Watch. The author, Capt Blampied, who served as a censor in the war. The narrative starts upon the mobilization of the battalion as part of the Indian Corps , which was destined for France. The division which the 2d Battalion was part of saw fighting early in October 1914. After seeing heavy fighting in France, the battalion, along with others from the Division were sent to Mesopotamia.
The unit was destined to be part of the relief effort for the besieged 6th Division, which was under siege at Kut. This battalion took part in some of the most horrific fighting in the Mesopotamian Campaign, fighting at Sheikh Saad, where a significant percentage of its officers, NCOs and men were either killed or wounded in the frontal assaults against the Turkish lines.
Despite the misery and human suffering inflicted upon the regiment, the upbeat remarks would not give you the sense of the horrors that mired the unit. While not discussed in any detail in the book, the lack of medical support, which had not yet caught up to the forces probably accounted for as many deaths as those taken immediately on the battlefield.
Nevertheless, a very focused narrative from the time of the siege of Kut, until the eventual capture of Baghdad is covered here. If you can work through the lack of detail on anything negative, a good accounting from this period. Great statistics in the appendices, to include rolls of the dead and wounded, and where the casualties took place. ( )
  pjlambert | Mar 20, 2009 |
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