Lawrence of Arabia on War

Lawrence of Arabia on War

The Campaign in the Desert 1916–18

General Military
  • Author: Robert Johnson
  • Short code: GNM
  • Publication Date: 30 Apr 2020
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About this Product

One hundred years ago, Captain Lawrence and an unlikely band of Arab irregulars captured the strategic port of Aqaba after an epic journey through waterless tracts of desert. Their attacks on railways during the Great War are well known and have become the stuff of legend, but while Lawrence himself has been the subject of fascinating biographies, as well as an award-winning film, the context of his war in the desert, and his ideas on war itself, are less well-known.
This new title offers a high-paced evaluation of T. E. Lawrence ‘of Arabia' and the British military operations in the Near East, revising and adding to conventional narratives in order to tell the full story of this influential figure, as well as the Ottoman-Turkish perspective, and the Arabs' position, within the context of the war. It is also a study of warfare and the manner in which Lawrence and others made their assessments of what was changing, what was distinctive, and what was unique to the desert environment. This book sets Lawrence in context, examines the peace settlement he participated in, and describes how Lawrence's legacy has informed and inspired those partnering and mentoring local forces to the present day.

Biographical Note

Robert Johnson is a lecturer at the University of Oxford and an associate professor of the Department of Politics and International Relations. He also advises military and government personnel on strategic issues, including the partnering and mentoring of local military forces, like T. E. Lawrence.He has written a number of books including The Great War and the Middle East (Oxford University Press, 2016); True to Their Salt (Hurst, 2017) and The Afghan Way of War (Hurst, 2011) and is the editor of At the End of Military Intervention (Oxford University Press, 2014). He is also the author of a number of academic articles.


List of Illustrations
1 T. E. Lawrence and Contemporary Ideas on War
2 Depth not Face: The Making of an Insurgency
3 Extending the Flank: The Manoeuvre to Wejh
4 Seizing the ‘Kingfisher Moment': The Learning Curve of Resistance
5 The Indirect Strategy and the Capture of Aqaba
6 Culminating Point at Aqaba
7 Railway Raids and Lawrence's Conception of Mature Guerrilla Warfare
8 Movement as the Law of Strategy: The Battle of Tafila
9 Fighting Alongside Local Forces
10 By, With and Through: Integrating Local Forces in Allenby's Campaign
11 Towards Armageddon: Operations Against Deraa
12 Hybrid Warfare: Air and Mobile Operations
13 The Deep Battle: Megiddo and the Final Phase of Guerrilla Operations
14 Lawrence on Strategy and Politics
15 Instrumentalizing Lawrence's Ideas in Other Wars
16 Rethinking Lawrence and His Ideas on War
List of Abbreviations
Select Bibliography