SOUTH PERSIA RIFLES

(SPR), a locally recruited militia, commanded by British officers, and operating in the provinces of Fārs and Kermān from 1916 to 1921.

 

SOUTH PERSIA RIFLES (SPR), a locally recruited militia, commanded by British officers, and operating in the provinces of Fārs and Kermān from 1916 to 1921. At its peak the SPR totalled approximately 8,000 men, mostly recruits from “friendly” and ethnically mixed local tribes. The remainder consisted of sedentary elements, rural and urban, and some remnants of the ex-gendarmerie force, risen through the ranks without either deserting or being dismissed by then, backed by Indian troops and British officers from the army of British India. Responsibility for its maintenance rested with the administration in India, the Government of India (GOI) but it operated under the control of the Foreign Office (FO) in London through the British minister in Tehran. Disputes over the control, the aims, and ultimate fate of the force continued between London and Delhi both during and after the war, fuelled by the vagaries surrounding the aims and the objectives of the force, and the dilemma of serving, or appearing to serve, the interests of both the British and the Persian governments. These dilemmas were reflected in the choice of the name itself: after some initial debate, the force was named and referred to in official correspondence as “South Persian Rifles” in order to avoid any implicit reference to the division of Persia into the two spheres of influence (see ANGLO-RUSSIAN CONVENTION OF 1907) but the more common if unofficial “South Persia Rifles” ultimately won the day and has become the usual designation while in Persian it is referred to as “Polis-e jonub-e Irān.”)

The force began as a mission to southern Persia, headed by Brigadier-General Percy Molesworth Sykes, who arrived in Bandar ʿAbbās on 16 March 1916. According to Sykes, The official objective of the mission was “to create a force [of local recruits] for the restoration of law and order in the interests of the Persian and the British Governments.” (Sykes, II, pp. 452-53). Its more immediate purpose was to assist pro-British notables such as Mirzā ḤOabib-Allāh Khan Qawām-al-Molk, the acting governor-general of Fārs, to round up German and Austrian agents and their Persian associates.

Southern Persia was in the British sphere under the terms of the Anglo-Russian Convention of 1907 (Hurewitz, I, pp. 538-41; Sepehr, pp. 363-64; Skrine, pp. 25-26; Olson, pp. 14-20). British officials were increasingly concerned about the security of the trade routes from the Persian Gulf to the hinterland because of the value of the trade to the Indian government and the strategic importance of maintaining Britain’s ascendancy over the Persian Gulf. In the years leading up to World War I, banditry, armed robbery on the roads, and attacks on foreign residents increased in proportion to the government’s loss of control over the provinces. By the time Sykes’ mission was launched, the need for a British-controlled force had become more pressing, given the interest in the nascent Anglo-Persian Oil Company. Besides, although Persia had declared her neutrality at the outset of the war, this had not prevented active foreign interventions within the country. German and Turkish successes in Persia created havoc for the allies in the south. Between March and November 1915, British and Russian residents were driven out of the central and southern regions. The German agent, Wilhelm Wassmuss, later dubbed “the German Lawrence,” was active in fomenting agitations and organizing attacks against the Allies from 1915 to 1918 (Christopher Sykes, pp. 114-42; Gehrke, I, pp 57-59; 95-139, II, pp 221-26; Lancelot Oliphant, memorandum “Attacks on British Consular Officers in Persia,” 31 Oct. 1915, FO 371/2437/163657; O’Connor, pp 134-44; Sepehr, pp. 85-88).

The sphere of British influence had widened after a secret agreement signed with Russia in 1915, giving the British a free hand in the so-called “neutral zone” of the country (Fromkin, pp. 137-40). After protracted negotiations, Russia, with the agreement of the Persian and British governments, was about to increase the size of the Cossack Brigade to a division in Russia’s zone of influence in northern Persia (Cronin, pp 65-68). At the same time, British prestige was dented when its forces in Mesopotamia were besieged by the Turks at Kut-al-ʿAmāra and capitulated on 29 April 1916 (Olson, pp. 146-47).

An impressive show of strength was required. When the Foreign Office applied to the War Office for troops to land at Bušehr, the need for a force in south Persia was justified, not only to assist the pro-British tribal heads in their pacification of the region, but also to avert “the danger which would inevitably be created by continued inactivity on the part of HMG in the British sphere in Persia, both in regard to their prestige in the East and also the immediate military situation in Mesopotamia.” (M. De Bunsen to secretary, Army Council, letter W. 20472, 4 Feb. 1916, India office Library and Records, L/P and S/10/579, 160/1916). The safety of the Anglo-Persian oilfields was also deemed to be important as was the need to counter-balance Russian influence in the country.

When Sykes arrived, only a semi-official settlement had been reached with the Persian government. Not until August 1916 did the British minister, Charles Marling and the Russian minister, M. de Etter, sign an agreement with prime minister Sepahdār-e Tonekāboni (Moḥammad-Wali Khan Tonekāboni, Sepahdār and later Sepahsālār-e Aʿẓam), in the form of an exchange of notes on 3 and 5 August 1916. It provided for an increase in the strength of the Cossack Brigade to 11,000 in the north and the formation of an 11,000-strong British force in the south. Both forces would operate during the war as Persian forces, nominally under the orders of the Persian Ministry of War, and the two powers agreed to give the Persian government a loan of 200,000 tomans for their maintenance (text enclosed in de Etter’s despatch to Woṯuq-al-Dawla, no. 135, 12 Sept 1916, Iranian Foreign Ministry Archives (IFOA), 26/16, 1916/1334; Olson, pp. 143 ff). The Cabinet had indicated that these measures would be submitted for approval to the Majles, but this never took place. This lack of confirmation created many problems for the British both in Fārs and in Tehran in the ensuing years. The choice of the title “South Persian Rifles,” emphasising the word Persian, was intended to suggest the idea of unity rather than partition and to stress that it was a Persian and not a British force (Viceroy to Secretary of State for India, telegram no 348, 7 Aug, 1916, L/P & S/10/579, 160/1916; Major Steel to Hirtzel, letter no. 33514, same file).

Recruitment and early operations. A month after his arrival, Sykes reported that the number of men enlisted exceeded 300 (Sykes to Grant, letter no 2045-46, 17 April 1916, Sykes Papers; Sykes, II, p. 453). Recruits were brought in through guarantors, who were men of standing and wealth, ranging from the governor himself to his deputy and associates, landowners, headmen, and tribal leaders such as Shaikh Ḵazʿal, the Arab chieftain of Moḥammara (Ḵorramšahr). Conditions of service for the SPR did not entail pensions, but in the case of death or injury a gratuity was payable. The first regiment was mainly composed of factions and sub-factions of the Ḵamsa tribal confederacy in the Lārestān district and altogether a mixture of Persian, Baluch, and Arab inhabitants from around Bandar ʿAbbās. Sykes set out on May 17 for Shiraz in stages, via Kermān, Yazd, and Isfahan, with a nucleus of recruits reinforced by British and Indian troops (27 British, 611 Indian; Sykes, II, pp. 459 ff.).

Word spread quickly that Sykes was recruiting and in no time the size of the force was rumored to have reached 30,000 men armed with some 20,000 rifles. Arriving in Kermān in June, Sykes began to recruit the first SPR brigade. The force installed itself in the headquarters and barracks of the gendarmerie and, after a short stay, Sykes set out for Yazd in late July with some 500 men, leaving Major G. L. Farran in charge of recruiting, training, and organization (Sykes, II, p. 459).

Recruitment of the Kermān brigade was still in progress when it was called on to fight against a small force of Bočāqči tribesmen and a party of some twenty-five German and Persian runaway prisoners on September 28 in Saʿidābād. The tribesmen fled and were never caught while some of the runaway prisoners were later captured. This gave the British some knowledge of the attitudes and habits of local inhabitants, but they had great difficulty in obtaining accurate information (Sykes to Chief of General Staff, enclosing military reports on the SPR in Kermān area between Aug. and Oct. 1916, serial no 11, diary no 11796, Sykes Papers, Ds 315.5; Major Farran’s military report no. 405, Kermān, 25 Oct. 1916, War Office 106/938; Skrine, p. 19).

Farran proposed to cease enlisting and training the SPR and instead to devote money and energy to subsidizing tribesmen who would have some immediate fighting value and might later be trained along British lines. He began by subsidizing about 300 tribesmen to fight for the SPR, a practice that was resorted to periodically during the first two years of its existence. Simultaneously, the force was drawing on tribal levies with the ultimate objective of training regulars. Difficulties soon arose because the Persian recruits would not fight against people of their own locality (Sykes, to Chief of General Staff, serial no 11, diary no 11796, Sykes Papers, Ds 315.5). Many of these men had until recently been influenced by German propaganda and money, if not by the ideals of Persian nationalism. They were now asked to take up arms against those whom British officials described as the enemy, a term which covered not only Germans and their Persian, Austrian, Indian, Turkish, and Swedish collaborators, but also robber tribes, bandits, political agitators on the run and, at times, even Russophiles.

Sykes finally reached Shiraz on November 11 with his small column of Indian troops and joined Colonel Hugh Gough (the British Consul) and ʿAbd-al-ḤOosayn Mirzā Farmānfarmā, who had recently been appointed governor-general of Fārs. They immediately faced a dilemma. Some 3,000 men, many of them disaffected remnants of the government gendarmerie brigade of Fārs, were stationed along the road from Ābāda to Kāzerun through Shiraz. Sykes decided to incorporate these men into his force without receiving formal authorization from the central government. A majority accepted but many of the best officers refused to serve under British command (Sykes, II, pp. 471-72; Shiraz Kargozari, telegram no 86, 20 Nov. 1916/24 Moḥarram 1335, Iran Foreign Ministry Archive, 48/8). Sykes was criticized for this move as he was over other decisions concerning the SPR later (Gough to Hamilton-Grant, dispatch no 9, 22 July 1918, WO 106/55: Haig Papers, chap. IX, p 4; Wright, pp 226-28; C. Skrine, Papers; Wynn, pp. 270, 277, 286-89).

Nevertheless, Sykes went ahead with organizing the Fārs brigade, with the aim of controlling the route to Bušehr. Men of a “good type” began to offer their services to the force (Lt. Carr, Letters, Carr family private archives). The force reached a strength of just over 5,500 by August 1917 and over 6,000 by the spring of 1918 (Sykes to Marling no 100P, 9 Dec. 1916, FO 371/2981). It was composed of three broad categories of men, with about 50 percent drawn from local nomadic or quasi-nomadic tribes. A large proportion of the latter were trained as regulars while the rest were tribal levies, employed as irregular cavalry and infantry and shared between the Kermān and Fārs brigades. The second category of men were those who had at some point served other government military or police forces, including ex-gendarmes and local police force. These men were mostly non-locals and in the early stages formed the bulk of the commissioned ranks of the force. For the rest, the recruits were made up, by and large, of the unemployed or semi-employed population of the towns and the countryside, whom Gough described as “belonging to the low classes in the bazaars, bakers’ assistance and small shop-keepers’ hammals” (Oliphant, minute no 4098, 8 Jan. 1919, FO 371/3881).

On 17 December 1916, Nāṣer Divān, the local notable and headman (kalāntar) of Kāzerun, attacked the newly installed SPR post there and also seized and imprisoned the local governor. It was at first thought that Wasmuss was involved. Evidence, however, suggested that the underlying motivation was the personal enmity of Nāṣer Divān and the Qašqāʾi Il-ḵ-āni, Esmāʿil Khan Ṣawlatal-Dawla (q.v.), towards Farmānfarmā (Abdullah, Kargozari office, to the minister for Foreign Affairs, telegram no 186, 13 Dec, 1916/17 Ṣafar 1335, Iran Foreign Ministry Archive, Tehran, 48/6; same to same, no. 239, 26 Dec. 1916/30 Ṣafar 1335, Iran Foreign Ministry Archive, 48/16; Sykes, II, p. 474). Consequently, Ṣawlat-al-Dawla instigated Nāṣer Divān to attack the SPR post. The incident is significant in revealing how the SPR came to be used as a tool to further sectarian interests as well as becoming itself a target for attack by opposing camps.

Sykes sent a column out to Kāzerun, but the Persian troops were reluctant to face the tribesmen and many deserted. The SPR fell back to Shiraz with a total of ten casualties. Although Sykes played down the weaknesses of the operation, he had misjudged the fighting quality of the enemy. He did, however, admit to the fact that “politically, the result of the retirement was unfavorable” (Moberly, pp 217-21; Lt. Col. F. Frazer Hunter’s [31st Lancers, commanding SPR infantry], Report, 1 Jan. 1917, enclosed in Sykes dispatch number 1-C, Diary no. 11795, WO 106/931; Sykes, II, pp. 474-75).

During the winter months, Nāṣer Divān governed Kāzerun while Ṣawlat-al-Dawla remained hostile. The grounds for reaching an understanding with Ṣawlat-al-Dawla were laid by the British authorities and on 24 May 1917, he signed an agreement with Gough and Sykes, agreeing to restrain his tribe and cooperate with the SPR to maintain security on the Shiraz-Kāzerun road. The thaw in relationships was brought about chiefly because of a telegram from the prime minister, Woṯuq-al-Dawla, in early January, thanking Sykes for his efforts. Sykes also mentions the official “recognition” of the SPR on March 21, which seems to have been a matter of dispute between the government and the British delegation in Tehran (Sykes, II, p. 476; see documents in Bayāni, pp. 43-50). This was not widely publicized, but much was made of it locally to boost the prestige of the SPR. The British position in Persia was also strengthened when Baghdad was occupied by British forces on 11 March 1917, and by the arrival of much needed reinforcements in April from India (Sykes, II, pp. 476-79).

The SPR was involved in at least eighteen minor operations between 1916 and 1917, when detachments from the Kermān brigade cooperated with those of Fārs. The brunt of the work, especially during 1917, fell on the Indian combatants (just over 1,000 in strength). As a rule, the SPR would try to retrieve stolen animals and foodstuff from tribes or villages through the channel of local officials. Information gained from these operations indicated that the robber bands were powerful, well-armed and brave, and carried reserve ammunition. The frequency of the raids and the size of the booty were quite alarming. Villagers were reluctant to cooperate with the SPR in the early years, their motto “Gendarmes come and go but the robbers are always with us” summed up their feelings (Safiri, pp 140-52).

By the spring of 1918, units of the SPR were being drilled and trained in squadrons, companies, and battalions. Desertions were frequent, despite the threat of the death penalty, and at one point the Fārs brigade was reduced to a third of its normal strength. The general policy was to weed out gradually the more unreliable and undesirable recruits. Thus between 1917 and 1918, 500 ex-gendarmes were dismissed and a completely new squadron of the 3rd cavalry was raised at the post of Ābāda.

Problems of recognition and the uprising in Fārs. Cabinet after cabinet following that of Sepahdār had tried to bargain their way out of formally recognizing the SPR while keeping the subsidy that went with it. Finally, after another request for recognition by Marling in March 1918, the cabinet of Ṣamṣām-al-Salṭana (Najafqoli Khan Baḵ-tiāri) denounced it as a foreign force (qowā-ye ḵ-āreji; see Sepehr, pp. 493-94). This had far reaching effects on the already explosive situation in Fārs. In May 1918, the Qašqāʾi, leading most of the tribes of Fārs, declared war on the British and the SPR. During the period of active hostility, which lasted until the autumn, the SPR fought for its survival against enemies both from within its own ranks and from without.

The highlights of the war were the mutiny of the SPR garrison at Ḵāna Zenyān in May, the near-encirclement of the force in the Shiraz garrison by the tribes in June and July, and the mutiny of the garrison at Ābāda. Little trouble occurred with the garrison in the city of Kermān and in that province generally, where affairs were always far less complicated than in Fārs (E. F. Orton: “Notes on South Persia and Proposals for the Reduction of Expenditure,” Shiraz, 14 Dec. 1918, Doc No. 1031, WO 106/55).

The troubles in Fārs were sparked off by a trivial incident at Ḵāna Zenyān. On May 10 some men of the Darrašuri tribe of the Qašqāʾi, who had encamped near Ḵāna Zenyān, were arrested by the SPR post commander and charged with stealing two donkeys belonging to the force. The Darrašuri chief opened fire on the post, which caused serious clashes between the SPR troops and the Qašqāʾi, Kāzerunis, and other tribal forces. Moreover, Shiraz was also gripped by extreme anti-British protests (Sykes, Notes from War Diaries, entry for 25 and 30 May 1918, serial no. 7/2093, WO 106/940). Shaikh ʿAbd-al-ḤOosayn Lāri declared holy war (jihad) against the British from Firuzābād. Other local tribes, including the Boir Aḥmadis, joined the Qašqāʾi in a full-scale military action after Ṣawlat-al-Dawla issued a proclamation on May 22. According to Sykes, Ṣawlat-al-Dawla’s forces numbered 7,000 to 8,000 fighting men. On May 23, Sykes mobilized 1,600 Anglo-Indian troops (Sykes, II pp. 502-6).

In an engagement near Deh Šayḵ- on May 25 the tribes were pushed back, but news then arrived of the mutiny at Ḵāna Zenyān and the killing of two British officers. A 700-strong SPR detachment arrived too late from Deh Šayḵ-. The tribes withdrew from the area and the SPR column returned to Shiraz. This constituted the first phase of the Qašqāʾi war against the SPR (Sykes, II, pp. 505-8; Sepehr, pp. 82-83; Etteḥādiya, II, pp. 395-99).

The second phase of the war with Ṣawlat-al-Dawla was the encirclement of the SPR brigade in Shiraz in 1918. The uncertain loyalty of the Persian recruits in many ways paralyzed the SPR’s striking force. Throughout the summer, skirmishes occurred with the tribes (Sykes, dispatch. No 9, 27 July 1918, Diary No. 66188, WO 106/941; Sykes to CGS, no 179-95-G, 11 May 1918, IOLR, LP and S/10727 and no 45884 of 13 May 1918; Sykes, II, pp. 508-10).

The city suffered a great deal. Food was very scarce and cholera had broken out, taking a great toll on the inhabitants and hitting the SPR troops in small numbers. During the night of June 17, on the suggestion of Farmānfarmā and with his assistance, the SPR and the Indian troops occupied three key points in the city. By the first week of July, despite news that the SPR garrisons at Zarqun and Qawāmābād (to the north of Shiraz) had largely deserted, the tide was beginning to turn against Ṣawlat-al-Dawla. SPR confidence in its strength and position in Shiraz may be judged by the decision to execute, on July 6, 14 SPR men found guilty of taking part in the murder and mutiny at Ḵāna Zenyān. At this point the second stage of the war against the tribes may be said to have ended.

Several factors accounted for the weakening of Ṣawlat-al-Dawla’s forces and his defeat. Among the most important were the steps taken by the British authorities in Shiraz with their Persian friends (including Farmānfarmā and Qawām-al-Molk) to create dissention among tribal chiefs by means of negotiations, pressure, bribes and intrigue. Other factors were the debilitating impact of cholera and influenza in the province, which took a particularly heavy toll on Ṣawlat-al-Dawla’s men; rumors that the SPR was being reinforced in large numbers with troops from Bandar ʿAbbās; and the start of military operations in August from the direction of Bušehr. Another important factor was the fall of anti-British Ṣamṣām-al-Salṭana’s cabinet in July; and last but not the least, news of victories by the Allies in the West and the end of World War I.

The third stage of the war was the siege of the SPR garrison at Ābāda by the Qašqāʾis and the mutiny by some troops, news of which was received in Shiraz on July 8. As a precaution, Colonel W. A. Fraser had offered all the ranks their discharge and about twenty men had accepted, followed soon after by about twenty-six desertions. The SPR men here were mostly agricultural laborers drawn from surrounding villages. The mutineers murdered three of their Persian officers and there were more desertions to the “enemy.” The siege of the garrison was finally broken with the aid of a column from Shiraz that reached Ābāda on July 17. About 100 Qašqāʾi and 50 rebel SPR were reported to have been killed in the clashes (Fraser, Report of the Action at Ābāda in Sykes Dispatch no 179-240, 6 Sept. 1918, P 30241, FO 371/3858 and War Office 106/941; Sykes, II, pp. 512-13; Etteḥādiya, II, pp. 397-98).

The last phases of the war were fought mainly around Firuzābād a township south of Shiraz. On 23 July 1918, with about 500 men remaining, Ṣawlat-al-Dawla engaged in a long fight with Persian forces and lost. He fled towards the west and his home was looted. The SPR sent reinforcements to Firuzābād, but Ṣawlat-al-Dawla was not finally defeated until October. Together with his men he made his way to southern Fārs to join his tribe (Sykes, II, pp. 514-15; Sepehr, pp. 82-83; Etteḥādiya, II, p. 397).

The fate of the khans of southern Fārs who supported the Qašqāʾis to the last man, was no better. The expedition to Kāzerun by the Bušehr expeditionary force ended their resistance. Kāzerun was entered on 24 Rabiʿ II 1337/27 January 1919. A column of the SPR was also moving there from Shiraz. By March the SPR assumed control of the road to Borāzjān, while the Persian Gulf garrison protected the remainder of the route to Bušehr. Nāṣer Divān and his family fled from Kāzerun (Viceroy to IO. no. 13272 30 Sept 1918, L/P & S/10/728; Douglas, pp 104-116; Sykes, II, pp. 515-16; Etteḥādiya, II, pp. 403-4, 408).

For the next two years the SPR directed its attention against bandits and robber bands in Fārs and Isfahan provinces. By 1921, when the force was being disbanded, the power of the more notorious ringleaders was practically eliminated. Ṣawlat-al-Dawla’s uprising had been brought about as much by complications in the balance of local power struggles, aggravated by the presence of the British and the SPR, as by the intensification of anti-British feeling.

The aftermath of World War I and the end of SPR. Woṯuq-al-Dawla was again in power in August 1918. He suggested that the British should withdraw their troops from the south and hand over the SPR to the Persian government. His views were supported by both Marling and Gough (Marling to Balfour, telegram. No. 512, secret, 7 June 1918, EC 497, Cab 27/27, and Marling to Balfour, no. 731, military, 22 Aug. 1918, L/P and S/10/728).

The point of contention was whether the SPR should be reduced in strength, handed over to the Persian government, or disbanded. This was integral to the wider issue of Britain’s future relations with Persia now that Tsarist Russia was out of the picture and the Germans had been defeated. The British government could withdraw its troops from Persia and revert to its traditional role of “peace-maker,” while reserving the right to maintain the status quo on the Persian Gulf; or, it could take on the task of rejuvenating and strengthening Persia under its own auspices (Viceroy, 7 March 1919, minute no 1485, L/P & S/10/728; Olson, pp. 206-13).

The first option was favored by the Indian government; but George Nathaniel Curzon, who now dominated the Foreign Office, strove to maximize British influence in Persia and finally won the day. British policy found expression in the Anglo-Persian Agreement of 9 August 1919, which was presented to the public at the same time. Britain tried to insist on the employment of British officers to the exclusion of other nationals in matters military, financial, and now administrative. Theoretically, the agreement set the seal on the future of the SPR, though it failed to secure he ratification of the Majles and was rejected altogether after the coup d’etat of February 1921.

A new cabinet was formed under Aḥmad Qawām-al-Salṭana on 4 June 1921, in which Reżā Khan Sardār Sepah (the future Reżā Shah) was minister of war. The Persian government proposed that the SPR be handed over to them and that British officers should leave within three to six months. There was not much that the Foreign Office could do other than prepare for the disbanding of the force or comply with Persian demands (Montague to Hirtzel, minute, 8896, 20 Dec. 1920 L/P and S/10/69 P2834/1920). Despite strong objections from the Admiralty, the Mesopotamian and Persian Gulf authorities, and the Anglo-Persian Oil Company, orders for the disbanding of one-third of the force were issued to Shiraz in July 1921.

The disbanding of the force was carried out in three stages and by December, most of the British officers had left for India, the headquarters at Bušehr was closed, and the remaining staff was ready to leave. Rumors were rife that the British government was setting impossible conditions for the surrender of the force so as to produce disorder in the south and establish a Federation of Southern Chieftains to maintain British dominance (Norman to Curzon, no. 490, 3 Sept. 1921 P. 43130, L/P and S/10/692 1921; Correspondence between Bushehr karguzarate to the Foreign Ministry, Tehran, Sept. and Nov. 1921, Iran Foreign Office Archive, serial no 10,308, 1722/1218, 51/5, 1300 Š./1921).

The Persian demands to buy the arms and stores of the force were largely refused (Ghani, pp. 236-39). About two-thirds of the equipment was withdrawn to India and many items were destroyed. Equipment, stores, and animals not withdrawn or destroyed were auctioned locally. All officers and men received a gratuity equivalent to two months pay plus all pay and allowances due. While some men made their way to Bušehr and then to Mesopotamia, either to join the British forces or to find other employment, a large number returned home. Some were re-enlisted in other Persian forces (Harmsworth to Col Sir C. Yates, letter, E. 12154/25/34, 21 Jan. 1921, P. 349, L/P and S/10/692, 1921). By the end of 1921, the minister of war was making rapid progress in raising and organizing a new national force.

See also: GREAT BRITAIN iv; FARS iv. HISTORY IN THE 19TH AND 20TH CENTURIES.

 

Bibliography:

Archives.

A). Persia, Tehran, Archives of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, years 1331-38 Š. (1913-21), vols. 39-51.

B) Great Britain, India Office Library and Records, L/P and S/10 and L/P and S/18, various volumes (Political and Secret subject files, Persia and Central Asia, 1902-31), London; Great Britain, Public Records Office, Cabinet Papers, series 24/28-27/34; Foreign Office Papers, series FO 371/2981-3259 and FO 416/59-64 (consular correspondence); War Office Files, series WO 106/184-962 (Director of Military Operations and Intelligence Papers) and WO 106/52-57 (SPR and south Persia: War diaries, reports and correspondence etc.); WO 95/5009-1010 (Bushire Force: War Diaries).

C) Private Papers: Sir Clarmont Skrine, India Office Collection at the British Library (previously known as the India Office Library); W. K. Fraser, St. Antony’s College, Oxford, Middle East Centre, diaries, D.S. 255; Wolseley Haig, St. Antony’s College, Middle East Centre, diaries and reminiscences, MSS. D.S. 315.5; Lancelot Oliphant, Public Record Office, FO/800/252-255; Percy M. Sykes, St. Antony’s College, Middle East Centre, D.S. 315.5; Percy M. Sykes, printed reports and other works; Idem, Private Papers in possession of Mr. Frank Sykes.

Studies and published archival material.

Ishtiaq Ahmad, Anglo-Iranian Relations 1905-1919, Bombay, 1975.

Asnād-e maḥramāna-ye vezārat-e ḵ-āreja-ye Beritāniā dar bāra-ye qarārdād-e 1919-e Irān wa Engelis, tr. Javād Šayḵ--al-Eslāmi, 2 vols., Tehran, 1989-98.

Moḥammad-Taqi Bahār, Tāriḵ--e moḵ-taṣar-e aḥzāb-e siāsi-e Irān: enqerāż-e Qājāriya I, Tehran, 1978.

Fredrik Barth, Nomads of South Persia: The Basseri Tribe of the Khamseh Confederacy, Oslo, London, and New York, 1964.

Ḵānbābā Bayāni, “Polis-e janub (S.P.R.),” Barrasihā-ye tāriḵ-i 13/4, 1978, pp. 65-102, 13/5, pp. 41-76 (official correspondences).

Kāva Bayāt, “Asnād-e tāriḵ-i wa montašer našoda-ye il-e Qašqāʾi,” in Nāma-ye nur, nos. 4-5, Āḏar 1358/December 1979, pp. 119-72.

Idem, “Ketāb-šenāsi-e Qašqāʾi,” ibid., pp. 174-94.

Lois Beck, The Qashqa’i of Iran, New Haven, Conn., 1987, pp. 113-28.

Briton Cooper Busch, Britain, India and the Arabs, 1914-1921, Berkeley, Calif., 1971.

Stephanie Cronin, The Army and the Creation of the Pahlavi State in Iran, 1910-1926, London, 1997.

James A. Douglas, “The Bushire-Shiraz Road, 1918-1919,” Journal of the Central Asian Society 10, 1923, pp. 104-16.

Manṣura Etteḥādiya (Neẓām Māfi), ʿAbd-al-ḤOosayn Mirzā Farmānfarmā: zamāna wa kār-nāma-yesiāsi wa ejtemāʿi, 2 vols., Tehran, 2004.

Nasrollah Fatemi, Diplomatic History of Persia, 1917-1923: Anglo-Russian Power Politics in Iran, New York, 1952.

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(Floreeda Safiri)

Originally Published: April 7, 2008

Last Updated: April 7, 2008