Anderson, Scott. Lawrence in Arabia: War, Deceit, Imperial Folly and the Making of the Modern Middle East. New York: Doubleday, 2013.
Peake, Studies 58.1 (Mar. 2014), notes that the author "is mainly concerned with Lawrence's contribution to the Arab Revolt in the Arabian peninsula during WW I. But he includes important biographical data to help the reader understand the man and his eccentricities.... Lawrence in Arabia is a fine story, thoroughly documented, beautifully told." For Maslin, New York Times, 8 Sep. 2013, this is a "fine, sophisticated, richly detailed" book that "is filled with invaluably complex and fine-tuned information."
To Goulden, Washington Times, 11 Nov. 2013, finds that the author provides "vivid writing supported by a staggering amount of research." In the process "Anderson covers a wide range of spy tradecraft." Von Tunzelmann, New York Times, 11 Aug. 2013, calls the book "engrossing, thoughtful and intricate."
Barr, James. Setting the Desert On Fire: T. E. Lawrence and Britain's Secret War in Arabia, 19161918. London: Bloomsbury, 2006.
Peake, Studies 51.4 (2007), notes that the author "has taken a narrow approach, concentrating on Lawrence's role in the Arab Revolt. He describes Lawrence's development, application and impact of guerrilla warfare tactics, which had not been part of British military doctrine. He also emphasizes Lawrence's role in the political consequences of victory sorted out in London and Paris.... [U]nlike other accounts, Barr puts Lawrence's contribution in perspective by including the very significant role of other players, often overshadowed by the legend of Lawrence of Arabia."
For Goulden, Intelligencer 16.1 (Spring 2008), this is "a cold-eyed (and favorable...) appraisal," based on the author's "intrepid research." See also, T.E. Lawrence, Seven Pillars of Wisdom (London: Jonathan Cape, 1935).
Bidwell, Robin, ed. The Arab Bulletin: Bulletin of the Arab Bureau in Cairo, 1916-1919. Oxford: Archive Editions reprint, 1986.
The Arab Bulletin was an intelligence summary that served as "the organ for circulating intelligence about developments in the Arab territories and the Arab Revolt." Yigal Sheffy, "British Intelligence in the Middle East, 1900-1918," I&NS 17.1 (Spring 2002): 43.
Engle, Anita. The Nili Spies. London: Hogarth, 1959. Jerusalem: Phoenix Publications, 1989. Intro., Peter Calvocoressi. London: Frank Cass, 1997.
According to Constantinides, the Nili intelligence organization operated in Palestine in 1917. Organized by Zionists Aaron and Sarah Aaronson, it provided assistance to the British with the hope of support for Jewish aspirations after the war. The organization's work is not the focus of this sympathetic book. There is more to be done in assessing Nili's contributions. Commenting on the 1997 reprint, Tauber, I&NS 7.3, says that there is too little emphasis on the group's intelligence activities. However, the main faults of the book are a general lack of footnotes and the fact that it is based on Nili documents without reference to British or Ottoman sources.
Also on the Nili organization, see Verrier, Agents of Empire (1995); Tauber, "The Capture of the NILI Spies: The Turkish Version," I&NS 6.4 (Oct. 1991): 701-710; and Bloom, "Aaron Aaronsohn: Forgotten Man of History?" Jewish Historical Studies 40 (2005): 177-196.
1. Seven Pillars of Wisdom. London: Jonathan Cape, 1935. Garden City, NY: Doubleday, 1935.
Clark comment: A literary masterpiece (at least, to some) and a "spy" story (irregular or guerrilla warfare) at the same time. What more can one ask for? Constantinides reminds us that the "debate about the accuracy and even the truthfulness of Lawrence's account continues unresolved, and no significant new evidence has been uncovered on these crucial points of disagreement."
2. Ed., Malcolm Brown. Secret Dispatches from Arabia: And Other Writings by T.E. Lawreance. London: Golden Cockerel Press, 1939. [Reprint] London: Bellew, 1991.
Surveillant 4.2: This is a "collection of Lawrence's wartime reports during the Arab Revolt." It is "a good companion to Seven Pillars of Wisdom."
Mohs, Polly A. Military Intelligence and the Arab Revolt: The First Modern Intelligence War. New York: Routledge, 2007.
According to Peake, Studies 52.3 (Sep. 2008) and Intelligencer 16.2 (Fall 2008), this is a "precedent-setting," "extensively documented," and "valuable contribution to the study of military intelligence."
Presland, John. Deedes Bey: A Study of Sir Wyndham Deedes, 1883-1923. London: Macmillan, 1942.
Sheffy, I&NS 17.1/39, comments that although Deedes served as head of Ib Branch in Allenby's EEF, this biography "only touches upon First World War intelligence."
Popplewell, Richard J. "British Intelligence in Mesopotamia 1914-16." Intelligence and National Security 5, no. 2 (Apr. 1990): 139-172. And in Intelligence and Military Operations, ed. Michael I. Handel, 139-172. London: Cass, 1990.
Schneider, James J. Guerrilla Leader: T. E. Lawrence and the Arab Revolt. New York: Bantam Books, 2011.
Peake, Studies 56.2 (Jun. 2012) and Intelligencer 19.2 (Summer-Fall 2012), notes that "[t]he only source notes in Guerrilla Leader refer to Lawrence's writings.... [T]he reader is left to wonder how [the author] knew of many of the details in the book."
1. "British Intelligence and the Middle East, 1900-1918: How Much Do We Know?" Intelligence and National Security 17, no. 1 (Spring 2002): 33-52.
Until World War I, "almost no institutionalized British intelligence agency functioned in the region on a permanent basis." The coming of the war "completely altered the picture." There are sufficient primary sources available to allow serious study within a broad context of the functioning of the British intelligence apparatus in the Middle East during the first two decades of the 20th century. However, "available evidence remains obscure and fragmentary with regard to the inner mechanism of the system."
2. British Intelligence in the Palestine Campaign, 1914-1918. London: Frank Cass, 1997.
Campbell, AFIO WIN 12-99 (24 Mar. 1999), says that Sheffy "has done a thorough job in integrating intelligence into operations in this study of an often overlooked conflict.... This is a scholarly work on the development and utilization of military intelligence during World War I, appropriate for serious students of intelligence." According to Kruh, Cryptologia 24.1, this "excellent" work "presents the development, operations and contribution of British Military Intelligence to the campaign against the Ottoman Empire on the Egyptian and Palestinian front..., placing it in regional context and historical perspective."
3. "Institutionalized Deception and Perception Reinforcement: Allenby's Campaigns in Palestine." Intelligence and National Security 5, no. 2 (Apr. 1990): 173-236.
The author compares Allenby's use of deception prior to the Battle of Gaza (to hide from where the attack would come) and in the Megiddo Campaign (to hide the very existence of the coming offensive). What is distinctive, in Sheffy's opinion, is that Allenby "regarded the planning of the deception and its implementation as an integral and institutionalized part of the staff work in the combat procedure phase as well as during the conduct of operations."
Travers, Timothy. "Liman von Sanders, the Capture of Lieutenant Palmer, and Ottoman Anticipation of the Allied Landings at Gallipoli on 25 April 1915." Journal of Military History 65, no. 4 (2001): 965-980.
German general Otto Liman von Sanders served as Ottoman Fifth Army commander in World War I. Reference is to Lt. Clarence E.S. Palmer.
Verrier, Anthony. Agents of Empire: Anglo-Zionist Intelligence Operations, 1915-1919; Brigadier Walter Gribbon, Aaron Aaronsohn and the NILI Ring. Washington, DC: Brassey's, 1995.
According to Surveillant 4.2, Verrier uses Brig. Walter Gribbon's private papers and Aaron Aaronsohn's diaries to tell the story of a collaboration that "set in motion an intelligence operation which greatly helped General Allenby defeat the Turkish Army in the Levant, giving Britain its 'moment' in the Middle East and lay[ing] the foundations for a Zionist state." Also on the Nili organization, see Engle, The Nili Spies (1997); Tauber, "The Capture of the NILI Spies: The Turkish Version," I&NS 6.4 (Oct. 1991): 701-710; and Bloom, "Aaron Aaronsohn: Forgotten Man of History?" Jewish Historical Studies 40 (2005): 177-196.
Weldon, L.B. Hard Lying: Eastern Mediterranean, 1914-1919. London: Herbert Jenkins, 1925.
Sheffy, I&NS 17.1/39, notes that Weldon was an Ib officer in Egypt.
Winstone, H.V.F. Gertrude Bell. London: Barzan, 2004.
According to Peake, Studies 50.3 (Sep. 2006) and Intelligencer 15.2 (Fall-Winter 2006-2007), the author tells the story of a "most remarkable upper-class, privileged, eccentric Victorian lady." She was "the first women officer in British military intelligence," serving in the Arab Bureau, headquartered in Cairo, during World War I. Bell "was subsequently transferred to Basra, where she remained until the British army took Baghdad."
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