Correspondence and Telegrams as to Advance on Baghdad
This source is Part 5 of the Mesopotamian Commission titled ‘Correspondence and Telegrams as to Advance on Baghdad’. It linked the welfare of Indian troops and officers to the neglectful organisation of the advance on Baghdad. This included inadequate river crossing transportation, poorly enforced divisions, and a lack of consideration for the exhausted soldiers. The report expressed how popular the idea of scrutinising this advance was within the British Army; it was an opinion shared not only by high-ranking British officials, but also with the Viceroy of India, whose divisions provided the majority of the advance.
The report contrasts with officials' previous excitement about the advance on Baghdad. Unlike Maude’s speech which depicted a 'liberatory' British expedition, the Commission portrayed the advance as an unnecessary campaign that was at best risky, and at worst, wasteful. As was the case with Part 1(c), this part of the Commission report took into consideration the welfare of soldiers and divisions – specifically Indian divisions – while assessing the success of the campaign. Instead of celebrating the political and strategic value of the advance on Baghdad, the Commission weighed this value against the inadequacy of the planning process and the British leadership.