The Fall of the Ottomans
A review of The Fall of the Ottomans by Rob Mason
In The Fall of the Ottomans, award-winning historian Eugene Rogan brings the First World War and its immediate aftermath in the Middle East to vivid life, uncovering the often ignored story of the region’s crucial role in the conflict. Bolstered by German money, arms, and military advisors, the Ottomans took on the Russian, British, and French forces, and tried to provoke Jihad against the Allies in their Muslim colonies.
Two bullets fired on a Sarajevo street on a sunny June morning in 1914 set in motion a series of events that shaped the world we live in today. The victims, Archduke Franz Ferdinand - heir to the throne of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, and his wife Sophie, were in the Bosnian city in conjunction with Austrian troop exercises nearby. The couple was returning from an official visit to City Hall. The assassin, 19-year-old Gavrilo Princip burned with the fire of Slavic nationalism. He envisioned the death of the Archduke as the key that would unlock the shackles binding his people to the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Austria-Hungary was a multinational realm and one of the world's great powers at the time.
Field Marshal Viscount Allenby commanded T. E. Lawrence ("Lawrence of Arabia"), whose campaign with Faisal's Arab Sherifial Forces assisted the EEF's capture of Ottoman Empire territory and fought the Battle of Aleppo, five days before the Armistice of Mudros ended the campaign on 30 October 1918. He continued to serve in the region as High Commissioner for Egypt and the Sudan from 1919 until 1925.
A brilliant book both from an historical perspective and by way of its exuberant narrative.