The Great War in the Middle East
Southern Asia 1916.0709
Middle Eastern Theatre of World War I (9 July 1916)
Historical Map of South & Southwest Asia
Britain's attempts to incite rebellion in its opponents' empires had been largely unsuccessful. Finally in 1916 they persuaded the Sharif of Mecca to revolt against his Ottoman overlords and declare the Kingdom of Hejaz. With British-supplied arms, the Sharif took control of the region, threatening to overthrow Ottoman rule in Arabia.
British Protectorates in the Persian Gulf
The British Residency of the Persian Gulf maintains British India influence in a number of Gulf states. These states are nominally independent - and shown as such in most atlases from the period - but have all signed treaties guaranteeing British control over their foreign affairs.
The Sultanate of Muscat and Oman is the only one of these states with significant international relations, having obtained trade agreements with the US and France before it signed its treaty with Britain. Maps of the time often show Trucial Oman and even Qatar as regions of Oman.
Trucial Oman is the region to the west of Oman which collectively signed treaties with Britain. The sheikhdoms of this region are often called the Trucial States, and will become the United Arab Emirates. However at this time they have little unity, with no regional council until 1952.
The British Indian Empire, also known as the British Raj, is comprised of a complex of presidencies, provinces, protectorates, and agencies. Only the top level subdivisions are shown here.
The area under direct British rule is known as British India and made up of presidencies and provinces - a presidency simply being the name for an older province.
Outside British India, but often included within the sphere of the presidencies/provinces, are the hundreds of protectorates or 'princely states'. These are indirectly ruled states, the largest being Hyderabad, Kashmir, and Mysore. The others are either collected into agencies - which may in turn contain other smaller agencies - or fall under the sway of the provinces.
Ottoman Persian Offensive
Ottoman forces led by Ali Ihsan Pasha expel the Russians from Mesopotamia and invade Persia near Khanaqin, capturing Kermanshah and Hamadan. The outnumbered Russian defenders under Baratov retreat through the Sultan-bulak Pass, but by this point the Ottoman troops are at the end of their supply lines and Ihsan is content to hold, viewing his orders to march on Afghanistan as unrealistic.
Death of Yuan Shikai
The Chinese President Yuan Shikai dies from uremia at the age of fifty-six. His last months have been marred by calls for his resignation, with rebellions erupting across China against his regime. Now, with his death, China has little remaining central authority and descends into warlordism.
Battle of Mecca
Hussein bin Ali, the Sharif of Mecca and leader of the Banu Hashim clan, declares independence from the Ottoman Empire and leads Mecca in revolt. Ottoman resistance in Mecca lasts until July 4, when Jirwal barracks capitulates to British-supplied artillery.
Central Asian Revolt
Kazakhs and other Central Asian peoples revolt in Russian Turkestan, responding to the Tsarist government of the Russian Empire ending its exemption of Muslims from military service. The revolt is ultimately crushed by the government.