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16 February 2015


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Margaret Steinfels

"His maternal grandfather was Sir Charles Townshend. the British general who surrendered to the Turks at Kut in the Mesopotamia Campaign of 1916. After the surrender Townshend lived comfortably in captivity in Istanbul while his men died by thousands in Ottoman prison camps."

Just reading about Sir Charles and the total mess and chaos of the British in Iraq during WWI. Wonder what others have made of the book, Lawrence in Arabia by Scott Anderson; subtitled: War, Deceit, Imperial Folly and the Making of the Modern Middle East. According to Anderson most of the troops were drawn from India.


Margaret Steinfels

The Indian Empire (British) was a separate state from the UK. It had separate institutions under the King-Emperor. One of those institutions was the Indian Army. This was a separate career service from the British Army. The British Army had units stationed in India but these were not part of the Indian Army although for tactical operations the British army units were "brigaded" with Indian army units, usually in the ratio of one British battalion to three Indian Army battalions. Townshend was a career Indian Army officer. In the Chitral Campaign of the late 19th Century he commanded a battalion of Sikh Pioneers who had relieved the siege of Chitral. The Mesopotamia Campaign of 1916 was an Indian Army operation and thus it was logical that Townshend, an Indian Army officer, would command and that most of the troops were Indian Army. All of these people were professionals and volunteers. pl

Charles I

Big respect.

O/T Louis Jordan just died at 93

Swami Bhut Jolokia

Sad news about de Borchgrave. May he rest in peace.

On Townshend, not so much. Another case of colonial masters living in comfort while the browns die. For King and country etc.

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