By James Barr
In 1916, in the midst of the 1st global warfare, males secretly agreed to divide the center East among them. Sir Mark Sykes used to be a visionary baby-kisser; Francois Georges-Picot a diplomat with a grudge. The deal they struck, which was once designed to alleviate tensions that threatened to engulf the Entente Cordiale, drew a line within the sand from the Mediterranean to the Persian frontier. Territory north of that stark line could visit France; land south of it, to Britain. opposed to the chances their pact survived the struggle to shape the root for the post-war department of the quarter into 5 new international locations Britain and France could rule. The construction of Britain's 'mandates' of Palestine, Transjordan and Iraq, and France's in Lebanon and Syria, made the 2 powers uneasy neighbours for the subsequent thirty years. via a stellar solid of politicians, diplomats, spies and squaddies, together with T. E. Lawrence, Winston Churchill and Charles de Gaulle, A Line within the Sand vividly tells the tale of the quick yet the most important period whilst Britain and France governed the center East. It explains precisely how the previous antagonism among those powers infected the extra frequent smooth competition among the Arabs and the Jews, and eventually ended in warfare among the British and the French in 1941 and among the Arabs and the Jews in 1948. In 1946, after decades of intrigue and espionage, Britain eventually succeeded in ousting France from Lebanon and Syria, and was hoping that, having performed so, it'd be capable of grasp directly to Palestine. utilizing newly declassified papers from the British and French data, James Barr brings this missed clandestine fight again to existence, and divulges, for the 1st time, the lovely manner during which the French ultimately acquired their revenge.
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Additional resources for A Line in the Sand: Britain, France and the Struggle for the Mastery of the Middle East
But he too failed to move Delcassé, although his accusation of inactivity did in due course sting. Meanwhile in Britain the government formed a committee to decide which bits of Ottoman territory it wanted; Sykes found himself the youngest member of this taskforce. More familiar with the subject matter and less burdened with responsibility than the other members, he did most of its work. But his initial proposal, which was to divide the Ottoman Empire into northern Russian, central French and southern British sections, did not find favour with his colleagues.
Storrs, who frequently haggled for antiques and carpets in the Cairo bazaar, regarded Husein as a salesman whose opening price he could in due course barter down. But when the British high commissioner tried to postpone discussion of the demand, Husein reacted sharply. ’⁹ Husein’s expansive claim to represent the Arab world would have sounded preposterous had it not been corroborated by another source. In an uncanny coincidence, just as his letter arrived in Cairo a young Arab officer in the Ottoman army named Muhammad al-Faruqi deserted to the British at Gallipoli.
We have always regarded this 90 or 100 miles of desert upon her eastern side as a stronghold of Egypt; now you propose still further east of that to give us a bit of inhabited and cultivated country for which we should be responsible. ’ Kitchener came to Sykes’s defence. ‘I think that what Sir Mark Sykes means is that the line will commence at the sea-coast at Haifa. ’ pressed Balfour, referring to the French. Sykes sliced his finger across the map that lay before them on the table. ‘I should like to draw a line from the “e” in Acre to the last “k” in Kirkuk,’ he said.
A Line in the Sand: Britain, France and the Struggle for the Mastery of the Middle East by James Barr