The Fall of the Ottomans, by Eugene Rogan

July 30, 2015

Eugene Rogan tells a fascinating story about a part of the Great War that many know little about: the conflict between Allied and Central Powers in the Middle East. Rogan, author of The Arabs: A History, reveals that side of the war from the perspective of the Turks and the Arabs. Allied with Germany, the Ottoman Empire had some early successes on the eastern front against the Russian Empire in the Caucasus and the British and the French in the Middle East, putting the outcome of that war in doubt longer than the Allied forces expected. Underestimating the power of the Otto­man forces, the Allied countries needed to divert more forces to the Middle East. In the end the Ottoman Empire collapsed as much from internal forces as it did from losses in the Great War. The consequences of that collapse are still with us in the way the Western powers carved up the Middle East. And the West continues to fear what Allied forces feared in the Great War—jihad by Muslims on a grand scale.