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This thesis discusses the role of airpower in the Mesopotamian Campaign of World War I. Britain conducted military operations against Ottoman forces in Mesopotamia to defend Britain’s oil interests and lines of communication, but also to open an additional front against the Turks. The battles conducted from the commencement of hostilities in November 1914 until the Turkish surrender in October 1918 were carried out with the use of a new technology on the battlefield—the aeroplane.
This thesis explores the roles of airpower in the Mesopotamian Campaign, and what affect airpower had on military operations. The thesis also looks at the missions of the Royal Flying Corps in Mesopotamia, how they evolved during the course of the conflict, and what impact they had on post-war Royal Air Force development. The study concludes by determining airpower in the Mesopotamian Campaign influenced the policy of air control in the post-war British Empire, and positively influenced the perception of ground commanders to the value of airpower to ground maneuver.