Special Commissions (Dardanelles and Mesopotamia) Act 1916

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The Special Commissions (Dardanelles and Mesopotamia) Act 1916 (6 & 7 Geo. V) was set up to investigate the World War I operations in the Dardanelles Campaign and the Mesopotamian campaign.

Following the disasters in Mesopotamia and the Dardanelles in 1916, the recently ousted British Prime Minister, H. H. Asquith, demanded a select committee to inquire into the relevant military campaigns. Instead, the new Government appointed a statutory Special Commission, because '"a Government may… prefer to… appoint… an outside element... less likely to be influenced by party bias."[1]

The terms of the Act required that at least one naval and one military officer from the retired lists to serve on each Commission.

Mesopotamia 1916-17[edit]

The Commission of Inquiry's remit was to inquire into the origins, inception and conduct of operations of war in Mesopotamia.

The following were appointed:

The Commission summonded over 100 witnesses. It was highly critical of many individuals and the administrative arrangements.

  • William Babtie, responsible for medical provision on the Mesopotamia front, was heavily criticised.

Dardanelles 1916-19[edit]

See Dardanelles Commission

The following were appointed:

References[edit]

  1. ^ Anson, I, 400, op.cit