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Germany's Covert War in the Middle East

Espionage, Propaganda and Diplomacy in World War I

Curt Prüfer Kevin Morrow

320 pages
I.B. Tauris & Co Ltd
On the brink of World War I, Germany was often depicted by Allied propagandists as an evil puppet master manipulating the Ottoman Empire. Behind closed doors, however, the Ottomans worked hard to exploit their alliance with Germany as a means of reviving the empire's former strength and glory. Ultimately, these cross purposes brought disaster, pulling a fatally weak and woefully unprepared Ottoman state into a global war, and unleashing vicious, internal, ethnic repression that brought it defeat and dismemberment. The diaries and official reports of German spy and propagandist Curt Prüfer—translated here into English in their entirety for the first time—chronicle the complexities of the fragile Ottoman–German alliance from the perspective of a participant. Much like fellow soldier-scholar, T.E. Lawrence, Prüfer and his colleagues tried to steal the loyalties of the Muslim subjects of the opposing sides. The book explores these episodes of sabotage, subversion, and subterfuge—from managing spies to preparing for the attack on the Suez Canal in 1915—and in the process sheds light onto the ways World War I played out across the Middle East. Complemented throughout by in-depth and meticulously researched footnotes, this primary source collection is an invaluable addition to the extant corpus of late Ottoman and World War I historical documents.
Author Bio
Curt Prüfer was one of Germany’s leading diplomats in the early twentieth century, serving under the Kaiser, the Weimar Republic, and the Nazis. During World War I he was stationed in the Middle East, where he attempted to orchestrate—by various means, both official and informal—Ottoman participation in the war on the side of the Germans.

Kevin Morrow is a researcher and translator with a wide range of experience amongst historical archives. He previously worked on the research team for Scott Anderson’s Lawrence in Arabia.