Mayfield Sussex: 23rd Sept. 1979.
Typescript published in: Into Battle. A Soldier's Diary of the Great War (Cassell, 1978). Ink on letterhead, 3 pp. Typescript carbon, 12 pp., with a small ink sketch map and occasional annotations. Photograph: copy of portrait, with studio stamp of Paul Laib. 1 vols. 4to. Fine (old fold to typescript). Item #316248
Nice late letter in a bold hand from Glubb Pasha, Sir John Bagot Glubb (1897-1986), who served with distinction in France in the first world war, and was thrice wounded. Glubb’s long career in the Middle East began with a posting to Mesopotamia in 1920, and in 1930 he joined the Arab Legion in Transjordan (now Jordan), where he organized a remarkable fighting force from Bedouin tribesmen. Glubb was appointed commander of the Arab Legion in 1939. “His contribution to the capture of Baghdad in 1941 and the subsequent capture of the desert fortress of Palmyra in Syria was decisive, for it denied the eastern flank of the Middle East to Hitler” (ODNB). In 1948 Glubb led the troops of the Arab Legion across the Jordan to occupy the West Bank, under the terms of the United Nations resolution for the partition of Palestine and in the face of military resistance. Glubb was dismissed by King Hussein in 1956 and “was not awarded a general's pension by either Britain or Jordan. He was appointed KCB (1956) on his arrival and thereafter the British government washed its hands of him” In his retirment, he wrote and lectured, chiefly on Middle Eastern subjects.
This letter conveys a portrait and typescript chapter from Into Battle (1978) to a Yugolsav correspondent; and writes (in part) “I am working on a book called The Rise and Decline of Nations. It is intended to give a very short summary of the rise and fall of eleven nations … the remarkable similarity between them all is discussed” Glubb names eleven political empires from ancient Egypt through the British Empire. The topic seems a reprise of his ideas in The Course of Empire. The Arabs and Their Successors (1965).
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