The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 54
General Plan for the Defence of Turkey in Asia and Persia
General Plan for the Defence of Turkey in Asia and Persia.
The forces advantageously subdivided into three or four armies.
Their various râles and bases.
The Eastern and Western armies, operating in the offensive zone, would be based upon the lines Mardin to the Black Sea and Mardin to the Mediterranean Sea, and the southern or defensive army would be based on the line Mardin-Baghdád. The Persian army would be based on the lines Karmanshah, Baghdad and Burújírd, Shústar, Muhammerah.
Eastern or advanced army.
A mountainous district when properly held in a military sense (see Afghanistan as a theatre-of-war, page 2) is the best defensive barrier, if held by good troops and supported by a well-trained and disciplined field army, the place of which is supplied by the western army to be formed along the base, Samsún to Kharput.
Western or reinforcing army.
Southern or defensive army.
Inhabitants of the defensive zone.
The possibility of these tribes and of the discontented Armenians falling a prey to Russian intrigue is a contingency to be foreseen and carefully guarded against; distasteful neighbours as they are, they hold a belt of hills of great importance to the defence of the Persian Gulf and the coasts of Syria, and are bound to us by ties of common interest.
This force would be connected with its base, the Persian Gulf, by the lines given on page 19.
Co-operation between the four armies presents no difficulties; the bases from which they operate, being joined by railway, are practically one.
Importance of the area Kar-mansháh, Sahná, Burújírd, Ramadán in the defence of Turkey in Asia and Persia.
The area in question besides protecting the Eastern outlets of the pasess across the Kurdistán hills to Van, also protects the whole of South-West Persia from the line Hamadán, Isfahán to the Gulf, and prevents all passage through the Lur, Bakhtíári and Kashgai hills.
Defence of the route and of Persia.
Even supposing that the Turks, in a fit of madness caused by irritation consequent on our forcing upon them a better rule, turn against us, the subject Armenians, Kurds and Arabs, bordering on the line of railway, would be with us, and even should they (the Turks) join with Russia for a time, it would be but for a time, until their fit of madness passed and the power of self-interest and love of national existence re-asserted .themselves with a double fervour, and in the meantime the Naval Power holding South-West Persia and the adjoining portion of Kurdistan, based on the sea and acting on the defensive, would occupy an impregnable position.
South-West Persia surrounded by the sea, lofty mountains and desert tracks, combines the advantages of a continental situation with practically those of an island. It is based on the sea, the best of Britain's bases, stocked with the most rapid and cheapest of all carriage, England's mercantile marine.
The military reasons for the railway taking the line Karmansháh, Isfahán, are now apparent; the commercial reasous have already been given (see pages 10, 11).