The Ottoman Empire at Total War, 1914–1916

Taught by Professor Kenneth Harl, Ph.D.

Though it entered the First World War enthusiastically, the Ottoman Empire was not prepared for total war.

In the West, we often overlook the fact that the achievements of the Ottoman Empire at the zenith of its power matched those of contemporary Western Europe – as well as the other great Islamic states of Safavid Iran and Mughal India.

It is by understanding the vast, dramatic story of the Ottoman Empire – from its early years as a collection of raiders and conquerors to its undeniable power in the 15th and 16th centuries to its catastrophic collapse in the wreckage of the First World War – that one can better grasp the current complexities of the Middle East.

In this lecture, Professor Ken Harl focuses on the empire’s offensives against the Russian Caucasus Army and the Suez Canal, as well as its struggle against an impending British invasion in the Dardanelles.

 From the Lecture Series: The Ottoman Empire
Taught by Professor Ken Harl, Ph.D.