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Mons, Anzac and Kut by Aubrey Herbert

Mons, Anzac and Kut

by Aubrey Herbert

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Herbert had a somewhat unique experience during WWI. First served at Mons where he was injured and sent out of theater. Following his recovery, he was sent to the Dardanelles where he served as an interpreter and de facto intelligence officer, based on his knowledge of Turkish. Lastly he served in Mesopotamia, arriving on the eve of the capitulation of Kut, where he (along with Lawrence and others) served in the negotiating party looking to secure the beleagured British division's release.
The book is unique in many aspects. While the prose leaves something to be desired, his diary covers a lot of the horror(s) of each front, particularly with his coverage of the Dardanelles campaign, where his peers, and fellow soldiers were shot all around him, and he lived to tell the tale.
What I found most interesting, and others (such as Lengel did not), was his albeit brief narrative of his time in Mesopotamia. He served along with T.E. Lawrence and Col Beach as the negotiators with the Turks over Gen Townshend's division, holed up at Kut. There is very little that has been written about the negotiations surrounding the ultimate unconditiional surrender of British forces at Kut, and Herbert has given us a unique perspective.
Some of the people that Herbert ran across during his brief time in Mesopotamia read like a whos who of the campaign: aside from all of the senior military officers of that time, he met Lt Col Leachman and Gertrude Bell, both who played an important behind the scenes role in the Mesopotamian Campaign. Additionally, he spent a great deal of time with CAPT Nunn, who headed British Naval forces in Mesopotamia.
A great quick read; and like many of the other books written at the time in Mesopotamia, ending quite abruptly. ( )
1 vote pjlambert | Aug 4, 2012 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Aubrey Herbertprimary authorall editionscalculated
MacCarthy, DesmondIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Melotte, EdwardEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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