The Fall of the Ottomans: The Great War in the Middle East, 1914-1920

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Professor Eugene RoganjpgA lecture by Professor Eugene Rogan, Director of the Middle East Centre, St Antony’s College, University of Oxford.

In his lecture, Professor Rogan will uncover the much overlooked story of the Middle East’s crucial role in the Great War. In alliance with Germany and Austria, the Ottomans took on the Russian, British and French forces. Unlike the static killing fields of the Western Front, the war in the Middle East was fast moving and unpredictable, with the Turks inflicting decisive defeats on the Entente Powers in Gallipoli, Mesopotamia and Gaza before the tide of battle turned in the Allies’ favour.

The great cities of Baghdad, Jerusalem and Damascus fell to invading armies before the Ottomans agreed to an armistice in 1918. Professor Rogan will discuss how the post-war settlement led to the partition of Ottoman lands between the victorious powers and laid the groundwork for the ongoing conflicts that continue to plague the modern Arab world.

Professor Eugene Rogan is Director of the Middle East Centre at St Antony’s College, University of Oxford. He took his BA in economics from Columbia, and his MA and PhD in Middle Eastern history from Harvard. He taught at Boston College and Sarah Lawrence College before taking up his post in Oxford in 1991, where he teaches the modern history of the Middle East. He is author of The Arabs: A History (Penguin: 2009), which has been translated in eleven languages and was named one of the best books of 2009 by The Economist, The Financial Times and The Atlantic Monthly.

Professor Rogan will be on hand to sign copies of his latest book, The Fall of the Ottomans: The Great War in the Middle East, 1914-1920 (Allen Lane: February 2015), which will be on sale.

An optional £10 sandwich lunch shall be available from 1215.

This event is open to all RUSI members. To become a member, please click here.

To attend this event, please register online using the "Book your place" button above. If you have any queries please contact Victoria Walker, Members’ Events Co-ordinator, at or call +44 (0)20 7747 2600.

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