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An epic novel of an incendiary love that threatened to set the desert alight as war raged between the British and Ottoman Empires. Mesopotamia, 1914: in the Middle East tension is escalating between the British and the Arabs. Misfit Lieutenant Harry Downe is sent to negotiate a treaty with a renegade Bedouin Sheikh, Ibn Shalan, whose tribe is attacking enemy patrols in Iraq and cutting their oil pipelines. Greedy for arms, Shalan accepts British weapons but, in return, Harry must take his daughter Furja to be his bride. The secret marriage leads to a deep love, to the anger of Shalan and the disgust of Harry's fellow officers. But war is looming, and the horrors of the battlefield threaten to destroy Harry's newfound happiness, and change his life and that of his closest friends for ever. Long Road to Baghdad is a vivid, moving, historically accurate account of a conflict between East and Western Empires, based on the wartime exploits of war hero Lieutenant Colonel Gerard Leachman.
December 1915. Following heavy casualties, General Townsend withdraws his exhausted troops to the town of Kut Al Amara, Iraq. His orders - to engage as many Turkish troops as possible in a siege situation. A relief force is hastily assembled, among them Charles Reid, Tom Mason, and Michael Downe, for each of whom the advance is personal. Charles returns to the country where he lost the love of his life. Tom's brother John, an army surgeon, awaits execution. Michael's brother Harry, an army intelligence officer, is missing, having never returned from his last mission. Short of everything except the sick and wounded, reduced to eating their horses, the column is repeatedly thrown against the might of the Turkish guns as they wonder if they will ever see home and their wives again. For the women in their lives, the strain reaches breaking point as they wait for news from the front. As the death toll rises, the British War Office faces the unthinkable: defeat for Townsend and his 10,000 men.
The third novel in the Long Road to Baghdad series, a vivid, moving, historically accurate account of a conflict between Eastern and Western Empires. 1916, Mesopotamia. The Turks order prisoners from the siege of Kut to march the hundreds of miles to Baghdad. The men are weak from starvation after the five-month siege, with many suffering from dysentery and diseases. They have no medical supplies - and then the hot weather begins... Hundreds of men die on the march, the stragglers killed by Arab tribesmen; those too ill to move are left behind to die. Soon, though, the tide of war turns, and eventually the British march victorious into Baghdad. Having taken control of Mesopotamia, the British find they do not have the resources to govern it. What will be the country's fate? Meanwhile, the POWs who survived imprisonment re-enter an uncertain world - among them John Mason, his health ruined and future unsure. His old friend Charles Reid is more optimistic as love blossoms. But nothing is clear-cut anymore ...Harry Downe remains with his Bedouin wife's tribe: how much of his past does he truly remember? His journalist brother Michael seeks answers amidst the ruins of war as, for their friends and comrades, the struggle to survive goes on despite the conflict's end.