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PA-AA: Politisches Archiv des Auswärtigen Amtes, Berlin:
Weltkrieg No. 11g, Unternehmungen und Aufwiegelungen gegen unsere Feinde, Syrien und Arabien: R 21138, 21139, 21141, 21142
Türkei No.165, Arabien und das Litorale am Persischen Golf: R 13877, 13878, 13879, 13881
TNA: The National Archives, Kew
FO 882/7: GENERAL STAFF, WAR OFFICE (ed.): Summary of the Hejaz Revolt. With a preface by D.G. Hogarth. 1918
SAD: Sudan Archive Durham (Durham University Library), Wingate collection:
SAD 160/1/99 (Hogarth to Wingate 27 July 1916)
SAD 140/4/38-39, McMahon to Sirdar [Wingate], 17 September 1916
SAD 140/3/157-166: 26 Sept. 1916
Bidwell, R. (ed.), The Arab Bulletin. Bulletin of the Arab Bureau in Cairo, 1916-1919, Vols I-IV, London, Archive Editions, 1986.
Aaronsohn, A., With the Turks in Palestine. Boston and New York, Houghton Mifflin, 1916.
Aksakal, M., “ ‘Holy War Made in Germany‘? Ottoman origins of the 1914 Jihad”, War in History 18/2, 2011, p. 184-199.
Antonius, G., The Arab Awakening. The Story of the Arab national movement, 7th impression, New York, Capricorn, 1965.
Baker, R., King Husain and the Kingdom of Hejaz, Cambridge and New York, Oleander Press, 1979.
Brémond, Ed., Le Hedjaz dans la Guerre Mondiale, Paris, Payot, 1931.
Bury, G.W., The Land of Uz, London, Macmillan, 1911.
Bury, G.W., Arabia Infelix or the Turks in Yamen, London, Macmillan, 1915.
Bury, W., Pan-Islam, London, Macmillan, 1919.
Da Riva, R., “Lawrence of Arabia’s forerunner. The bizarre enterprise of Leo Frobenius, aka Abdul Kerim Pasha, in Arabia and Eritrea (1914–1915) ”, Wiener Zeitschrift für die Kunde des Morgenlandes 99, 2009, p. 29-111.
Epkenhans, T., “Geld darf keine Rolle spielen”, Archivum Ottomanicum 19, 2001, p. 120-163.
Feldmann, W., Reise zur Suesfront. Weimar, Kiepenheuer 1917 (Deutsche Orient-Bücherei 25).
Grobba, F., Männer und Mächte im Orient. 25 Jahre diplomatischer Tätigkeit im Orient. Göttingen, Musterschmidt, 1967.
Hanisch, M., “Curt Prüfer. Orientalist, Dragoman und Oppenheims ‘man on the spot’”, in: Loth, W. and Hanisch, M. (eds.), Erster Weltkrieg und Dschihad. Die Deutschen und die Revolutionierung des Orients, München, Oldenbourg, 2014, p. 167-191.
Heine, P., “Sālih ash-Sharīf at-Tūnisī, a North African nationalist in Berlin during the first world war”, Revue de l’Occident musulman et de la Méditerranée 33, 1982, p. 89-95.
Helmensdorfer, E., Hartöstlich von Suez. Die feudale Halbinsel, München und Percha, Schulz, 1972.
Hogarth, D.G., Hejaz before World War I, Cambridge, Oleander, 1978.
Hogarth, D.G., “Mecca’s revolt against the Turks”, Journal of the T.E. Lawrence Society I/1 (Spring 1991), 43-56, electronic version: http://www.telsociety.org.uk/telsociety/journals/journ1-1.htm, retrieved February 9, 2014 [originally in The Century, July 1920].
Holzhausen, R., “Die Mission Stotzingen und der Beginn des Arabischen Aufstandes (1916). Eine Kriegserinnerung aus der alten Türkei”, Süddeutsche Monathefte 33, 1935-1936, p. 560-568.
Holzhausen, R., “Die deutsch-türkischen Operationen gegen den Suez-Kanal und im Sinai-Gebiet während des Ersten Weltkrieges”, Wehrwissenschaftliche Rundschau 3, 1957, p. 156-163.
Hurgronje, S., The Holy War ‘Made in Germany’, New York and London, Putnam’s Sons, 1915.
Kandemir, F., Peygamberimizin gölgesinde son Türkler, Medine müdafaası, Istanbul, Yağmur, 1974.
Lawrence, T.E., Secret Despatches from Arabia. London, Golden Cockerel, 1939.
Lawrence, T.E., Seven pillars of wisdom. A triumph, Harmondsworth, Penguin Repr., 1965 (Penguin Modern Classics 1696).
Lüdke, T., Jihad made in Germany. Ottoman and German propaganda and intelligence operations in the First World War, Münster, LIT, (Studien zur Zeitgeschichte des Nahen Ostens und Nordafrikas 12), 2005.
Macmunn, G. and Falls, C., History of the Great War. Military Operations. Egypt and Palestine. Vol. I, London, Macmillan, 1928.
Macro, E., “The Red Sea and Wyman Bury-the last seven years 1913–1920“, in: J.R. Smart and R. Smith (eds.), New Arabian Studies vol. 4, Exeter 1997, p. 168-180.
Malade, T., Von Amiens bis Aleppo, ein Beitrag zur Seelenkunde des grossen Krieges; aus dem Tagebuch eines Feldarztes. München, Lehmann, 1930.
Mckale, D. M., War by Revolution. Germany and Great Britain in the Middle East in the era of World War I. Kent, Ohio and London, Kent State University Press, 1998.
Mckale, D. M., “Germany and the Arab Question in the First World War”, Middle Eastern Studies 29/2, April 1993, p. 236-253.
Mckale, D. M., “German policy toward the Sharif of Mecca, 1914–1916”, The Historian 55, 1993, p. 303-314.
Mcmeekin, S., The Berlin-Baghdad Express. The Ottoman Empire and Germany’s bid for world power, Cambridge, Mass., Belknap, 2010.
Mohs, P. A., Military Intelligence and the Arab Revolt. The first modern intelligence war, London and New York, Routledge, 2008.
Morsey, K., T.E. Lawrence und der arabische Aufstand 1916/18, Osnabrück, Biblio, 1976 (Studien zur Militärgeschichte, Militärwissenschaft und Konfliktforschung 7).
Neulen, H.W., Feldgrau in Jerusalem. Das Levantekorps des kaiserlichen Deutschland, München, Universitas, 1991.
Oberhaus, S., “Zum wilden Aufstande entflammen”. Die deutsche Ägyptenpolitik 1914-1918. Ein Beitrag zur Propagandageschichte des Ersten Weltkrieges, Ph.D. diss. Universität Düsseldorf, 2006 (http://www.d-nb.info/98320537X/34), accessed May 15, 2013.
Oppenheim, M., Die Nachrichtensaal-Organisation und die wirtschaftliche Propaganda in der Türkei, ihre Übernahme durch den deutschen Überseedienst, Berlin, Reichsdruckerei, 1917.
Paris, T. J., Britain, the Hashemites and Arab Rule 1920-1925. The Sharifian solution, London, Frank Cass, 2003.
Peters, F.E., Mecca. A Literary History of the Muslim Holy Land, Princeton, Princeton University Press, 1994.
Satia, P., Spies in Arabia. The Great War and the Cultural Foundations of Britain’s Covert Empire in the Middle East, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2008.
Schwanitz, W.G., “Djihad ‘Made in Germany’. Der Streit um den Heiligen Krieg 1914–1915”, Sozial.Geschichte 18, 2003, p. 7-34.
Schwanitz, W.G., “ ‘The Jinnee and the Magic Bottle’. Fritz Grobba and the German Middle Eastern Policy, 1900–1945”, in: Schwanitz, W.G. (ed.), Germany and the Middle East, 1871–1945. Princeton, Marcus Wiener, 2004, p. 87-117.
Seidt, H.-U., Berlin, Kabul, Moskau. Oskar Ritter von Niedermayer und Deutschlands Geopolitik, München, Universitas, 2002.
Stewart, J., The Kaiser’s Mission to Kabul. A secret expedition to Afghanistan in World War I, London, I.B.Tauris, 2014.
Storrs, R., The Memoirs of Sir Ronald Storrs, New York, Putnam’s Sons, 1937.
Strohmeier, M., “Fakhri (Fahrettin) Paşa and the end of Ottoman rule in Medina (1916–1919)”, Turkish Historical Review 4, 2013, p. 192-223.
Stürmer, H., Zwei Kriegsjahre in Konstantinopel. Skizzen deutsch-jungtürkischer Moral und Politik. Lausanne, Payot, 1917.
Waugh, T., “The German Counter to Revolt in the Desert”, Journal of the Royal Central Asian Society 24, 1937, p. 313-317.
Will, A., Kein Griff nach der Weltmacht. Geheime Dienste und Propaganda im deutsch-österreichisch-türkischen Bündnis 1914–1918. Köln-Weimar-Wien, Böhlau, 2012.
Winstone, H.V.F., The illicit adventure. The story of political and military intelligence in the Middle East from 1898 to 1926, London, Jonathan Cape, 1982.
Hurgronje, 1915; Schwanitz, 2003; Lüdke, 2005; Aksakal, 2011.
Epkenhans, 2001, p. 121-125, 135; Cf. the studies of Oberhaus, Lüdke, Mckale and others.
In October/November 1914 Bernhard Moritz, an Arabist, made it to Jidda where he managed to distribute propaganda material. Perhaps the most important result was that he identified the Sharifians as “friends of England”, in contrast to the judgements of Oppenheim and German diplomats about the rulers in the Hijāz. See Will, 2012, p. 232-235; Mcmeekin, 2010, p. 146-147; Mckale 1998, p. 170-172; Epkenhans, 2001, p. 124. Although it is true that the writer Max Roloff, at the same time as Moritz, was entrusted with a mission to Mecca disguised as a Muslim, it is highly probable that he never travelled to the Hijāz and that his report was a fabrication. See Lüdke, 2005, p. 149-152, who takes Roloff’s claims at face value. Mckale, 1998, p. 62; Will, 2012, p. 235-236 and Mcmeekin, 2010, p. 97, express grave doubts regarding the authenticity of Roloff’s travels. While the well-known Africa specialist Leo Frobenius with his numerous travelling companions managed to cross the Red Sea, he came only as far as Eritrea and did not reach his target destination, Abyssinia, where he was to persuade the emperor to enter the war on the side of the central powers. The most thorough treatment of Frobenius’ mission is by Da Riva, 2009, and her contribution in this issue. Cf. also Will, 2012, p. 236-240; Mckale, 1998, p. 64-65; Mcmeekin, 2010, p. 245-253.
Will, 2012, p. 230.
Seidt, 2002, p. 56-57.
Will, 2012, p. 303.
Lawrence, 1939, p. 159, cited by Morsey, 1976, p. 73.
Will, 2012, p. 246.
Oberhaus’ assertion that the mission has been thoroughly described on the basis of German archival records, is more or less correct. However, the German files provide an important, yet limited approach to the subject. Apart from the German files, the earliest reference to the mission, i.e. simultaneously with the unfolding of the mission, is to be found in the reports of the Arab Bureau and other British records. The mission was then mentioned in an article of Hogarth (1920), the official British account of WWI (Macmunn/Falls, 1928) and in Lawrence’s book (1965, p. 94 and 157). The chief of the French military mission in the Hijāz, Général Brémond, erroneously referred to Stotzingen as the leader of the Ottoman detachment (Yemen müfrezesi) with the destination Ḥudayda (Brémond, 1931, p. 30). Storrs (1937) mentioned the mission in his memoirs. Holzhausen (1935–36) most probably had his knowledge of the expedition from a participant. Antonius referred to it in 1938 (1965, p. 191, 194, and 208-210). Helmensdorfer (1972, p. 59-66, p. 70-71 and 75-77), in a non-scholarly book, had the privilege of using Stotzingen’s unpublished recollections. The first scholarly treatment is in Morsey’s book (1976, p. 84-86, on the basis of several German and British records) which remains till today the most succinct characterization of the expedition. The remarks in Winstone’s book (1982, p. 269-278) have to be taken with a pinch of salt because he fills gaps in the documentation with conjectures. Neulen (1991, p. 177-179) relied exclusively on Holzhausen’s article. Peters (1994, p. 360) has a few lines on the expedition, mainly based on the speculative remarks made by Winstone. Mckale (1998, p. 172-175, and 177-178) is to date the most balanced account due to the use of both British and German sources and because he puts it in a larger context. Lüdke (2005, p. 177-185) deserves recognition for providing the most complete account of the mission so far, but only on the basis of the German Foreign Office records. Mohs (2008, p. 41-42, and 182-183) gives a rather incomplete picture because she bases her hypothesis solely on the reports in Arab Bulletin. Mcmeekin (2010, p. 296, 298, 308-309, and 312) used two files from the German Foreign Office, but relied otherwise on Mckale. Finally, Will (2012, p. 246-249) offers a concise summary of the fate of Stotzingen’s mission on the basis of a limited number of documents from the British and German Foreign Offices.
Neufeld was born in Western Prussia and died in July 1918 near Berlin. He left the University of Leipzig without a degree and established himself first in Cairo in 1880 as entrepreneur and interpreter for the British army and in the mid-eighties in Aswān. On a business trip to Kurdufān (1887) he was taken prisoner by supporters of the Mahdiyya and carried off to Umm Durmān where he spent twelve years, mostly in chains; he is often mistakenly referred to as ‟prisoner of the Mahdi”, although the Mahdi was already two years dead when Neufeld was captured. He was liberated during the reconquest of the Sudan under Kitchener in 1898. Subsequently he wrote his memoirs of his years in imprisonment in Cairo and settled again in Aswān with his Abyssinian wife with whom he had two children (he had been married to a British nurse, Emma Neufeld née Netherton, in Cairo with whom he had one daughter). After the outbreak of WWI, Neufeld was expelled from Egypt by the British as a national of an enemy country. He then became involved in the German missions described here. By the time of his death in 1918, he seems to have been largely forgotten.
His “Tagebuch” (diary) about his journey and stay in Medina is included in file R 21141, L 368668-831, PA‑AA (Politisches Archiv des Auswärtigen Amtes, Berlin). Lüdke (2005), p. 170-177, offers a summary.
Mckale, 1993, p. 250, note 29.
His resistance was crushed by British troops until the end of 1916.
“Instruction for Herr Carl Neufeld”, PA‑AA R 21138, January 4, 1916.
PA‑AA, R 21138, L 368017, December 19, 1915.
Hanisch, 2014, p. 181-182.
PA‑AA, R 21138, January 4, 1916.
“Instruction for Herr Carl Neufeld”. Holzhausen, 1957, p. 160.
Armeezeitung Jildirim No 18, July 18, 1918. Helmensdorfer, 1972, p. 60. I found the reference to this book in the Internet-Forum www.Panzer-Archiv.de, in which several authors trace the German expeditions in Arabia and Africa. Of significance here are three chapters in his book, because Helmensdorfer had access to Stotzingen’s notes about his experiences on the mission. These notes reconstructed events from memory after he lost his diary in the battle at the Suez Canal.
PA‑AA, R 21138, January 4, 1916.
PA‑AA, R 21138, January 21, 1916.
“Instruction for Herr Carl Neufeld”, PA‑AA, R 21138, January 4, 1916.
PA‑AA, R 21138, January 21, 1916.
The term “Ottoman authorities” most probably refers to Enver Pasha’s War Ministry. However, Winstone’s assertion that Enver was the “instigator” (p. 271) of the undertaking, is not supported by the German sources.
This is the earliest mention of Stotzingen. He became the leader of the mission; for this reason, in most sources and studies the mission is named after him. It is only in several British reports that the expedition was called “Stotzingen-Neufeld Mission to Arabia”: Arab Bulletin No. 13, 1 August 1916. Stotzingen was the scion of a noble house long established in South-West Germany, west of Lake Constance. He was allegedly born April 15, 1867 and died in June 1923. He acted as leader (at the rank of Major) of the 1. Garde-Landwehr Eskadron at the eastern front in 1915 (forum.panzer-archiv, 28. und 31.10.2014; Arab Bulletin No. 13, p. 133) when he was called to the General Staff in Berlin at the end of February 1916. There he was told by captain (reserve) Rudolf Nadolny, later German ambassador in Ankara and Moscow, that he was to head a mission charged with establishing a wireless station in South-West Arabia. Cf. Holzhausen, 1935–36, p. 560.
Strohmeier, 2013, p. 197-201.
It was only in 1916 that the radio station in Nauen/Brandenburg ensured communication with Istanbul and Damascus, and it was of great importance to set up a station in South Arabia.
PA‑AA, R 21139, L 368102, March 7, 1916.
PA‑AA, R 21139, L 368107-9, March 9, 1916, and the attached memorandum.
“Newsrooms” were to convey a favourable picture of the war situation, to promote the goals of the German-Turkish alliance and to counteract the propaganda of the entente. The idea goes back to Oppenheim, 1917.
Heine, 1982, p. 89-95.
In the German archival records, he is referred to as “Menun”.
From the diary kept by a member of the Stotzingen-Neufeld mission, most probably Stotzingen himself (but ascribed to Grobba by the Arab Bulletin), it can be gleaned that there existed a basic knowledge about several aspects of the journey. It mentions several books about South Arabia (e.g. Bury, 1915), Abyssinia and Kordofan, has a German-Arabic vocabulary and a list of Italian words with their German equivalents. Other information regarding the sympathies of tribes and their shaykhs, telegraph stations and the number of Italian forces in Eritrea seem to have been jotted down en route.
Lüdke, 2005, 179; it is doubtful if this person is identical with Muḥammad Yūsuf who was later hired in Istanbul.
Holzhausen, 1935–36, p. 560; Arab Bulletin No. 22, p. 271.
160,000 marks (after subtracting a sum of German marks) were made available in English, Ottoman or French currency and partially in Maria Theresa Thaler.
PA‑AA, R 21139, L 368158-62, undated (approx. March 12, 1916, MS). Cf. Nadolny’s instruction for Stotzingen PA‑AA, R 21139, L 368144-6.
PA‑AA, R 21139, L 368130, 368143, March 11, 1916.
Helmensdorfer, 1972, p. 62; Holzhausen, 1935–36, p. 561.
PA‑AA, R 21142, A 21227, August 10, 1916.
Arab Bulletin No. 13, p. 133; Holzhausen, 1935-1936, p. 561; Helmensdorfer, 1972, p. 62.
Helmensdorfer, 1972, p. 62; PA‑AA, R 21139, March 31, 1916; PA‑AA, R 21142, Stotzingen to Blankenburg, Section Policy of General Staff, April 4, 1916; PA‑AA, R 21142, Stotzingen’s sixth report, Damascus, July 16, 1916.
PA‑AA, R 21139, A 7306, Metternich to Foreign Office, March 19, 1916.
Holzhausen, 1935-1936, p. 561; Helmensdorfer, 1972, p. 62.
PA‑AA, R 21139, Embassy Constantinople to Bethmann Hollweg, March 31, 1916; Arab Bulletin, p. 133.
A major (binbaşı) hailing from Gharyān in North-Western Libya. He had been an advisor to King Ḥabībullāh in the reorganization of the Afghan army; it was he who welcomed Niedermayer and Hentig when they arrived in Kabul: Stewart, 2014, p. 70.
Arab Bulletin No. 22, 19 September 1916, p. 263; General Staff, War Office, 1918, p. 31, included in FO 882/7.
Arab Bulletin, No. 22, 19 September 1916, p. 263, 270, 272; Macmunn/Falls, 1928, p. 228-230.
PA‑AA, R 21142, A 13299, Stotzingen’s first report (Damascus April 11), May 15, 1916; Helmensdorfer, 1972, p. 63.
Arab Bulletin No. 22, 19 September 1916, p. 270.
Arab Bulletin No. 13, 1 August 1916, p. 133; Helmensdorfer, 1972, p. 63.
Holzhausen, 1935–36, p. 563.
PA‑AA, R 21139, L 368218, Lossow to Consulate Damascus, March 31, 1916.
That the expedition had objectives other than those put forth by the Embassy in Constantinople (to establish communication with German East Africa), emerges clearly from Stotzingen’s report: “I mentioned [to Ali Fuad] as purpose [of the journey] only [emphasis is mine] the establishment of a line of communication between East Africa and Germany”, Stotzingen’s first report.
Stotzingen, seventh report, PA‑AA, R 21142, Jerusalem, September 14, 1916; Cf. Holzhausen, 1935–36, p. 563-4.
PA‑AA, R 21142, A 13299, Stotzingen’s first report, Damascus, April 11, 1916.
PA‑AA, R 21142, A 13299, second report of Stotzingen, Damascus, April 15, 1916.
PA‑AA, R 21142, A 14705, Stotzingen’s fourth report, al-‘Ulā May 5.
PA‑AA, R 21142, A 13299, Stotzingen’s third report, Damascus, April 23, 1916.
Arab Bulletin No. 13, 1 August 1916, p. 133; Helmensdorfer, 1972, p. 63.
PA‑AA, R 13878, Loytved Hardegg to Ambassador von Wolff-Metternich, Damascus, August 6, 1916.
Fayṣal was told by Stotzingen “[…] that, from the Yemen, arms and ammunition were to be shipped across to Abyssinia, and an anti-foreign war begun in that country. He himself was going afterwards to German East Africa.” Arab Bulletin No. 42, 15 February 1917, p. 78; Antonius, 1965, p. 209; Holzhausen, 1935–36, p. 564: “Emir Feisal approached the German officer with well-played amiability. He provided him with a number of letters of recommendation, including one to his father, the Grand Sherif.” Stotzingen’s naive divulging of secrets seems to confirm the assessment found in the Arab Bulletin No. 22, 19 September 1916, p. 271: “It must be pointed out that Stotzingen seems to have been remarkably ignorant of Arab politics.” Stotzingen should have known, or to be more precise, had not been informed that Ḥusayn and his sons were “friends of England”, as Bernhard Moritz had stated in his report of his travels in the Hejaz at the end of 1914: Will, 2010, p. 234. It is not surprising that Stotzingen did not see through Fayṣal’s acting, since more prominent “oriental experts”, such as Oppenheim, had already been taken in by Fayṣal.
PA‑AA, R 21139, Lossow to Section Policy General Staff, April 23, 1916, L 368278.
Holzhausen, 1935–36, p. 564, considered Jamāl’s reservations legitimate in as much as they referred to the transit through Medina: “[…] the journey of the German mission (would have) ended most surely in a catastrophe. However, Djemal’s behaviour concerning the bypassing to the east of the forbidden territory was wrong and dictated by envy. By this route the mission would have reached the territory of the Shammar Bedouins, whose chief, Emir Ibn Reshid took a distinctly pro-Turkish stance […] The delay however, brought about by Djemal’s resistance and the time-consuming negotiations, doomed the enterprise.”
Arab Bulletin, No. 13, 1 August 1916, p. 134 and especially 139: “Enver acts independently of Jemal, but is unwilling or unable to coerce him in his proper province.”
Holzhausen, 1935–36, p. 564.
If Fritz Grobba belonged to the group, is controversial. Grobba is nowhere mentioned in the reports of the mission’s flight from Yanbu‘ where there are only Stotzingen, Neufeld and his wife on the one hand, and four other people (Arab Bulletin No. 13, 1 August 1916, p. 135) which might be Kolber, Diel, the servant and Jamāl’s watchdog. Studies on Grobba and his memoirs do not mention his participation. However, Winstone, 1982 (p. 272ff.) emphasizes Grobba’s involvement.
Helmensdorfer, 1972, p. 64, has as day of departure May 2.
The Arab Bulletin No. 13, 1 August 1916, p. 134.
PA‑AA, R 21142, Embassy Constantinople to Foreign Office, May 4, 1916; See also PA‑AA, R 21142, Stotzingen’s fourth report, al-‘Ulā May 5.
PA‑AA, R 21142, fifth report by Stotzingen, “Yambo el-bahr”, May 23, 1916. The camels were rented from the Billī (also called Balī) Bedouins, who were loyal to the government: Arab Bulletin No. 13, 1 August 1916, p. 134; Holzhausen, 1935–36, p. 565. The leader of the escort was Khalīl ‘Alī Efendi, commander of the gendarmerie in al-Wajh, who accompanied the group on the way back from al-Wajh to al-‘Ulā: PA‑AA, R 21442, A 21231. Stotzingen’s remark contradicts Holzhausen’s claim that the caravan was escorted by the Billī under Sulaymān from al-Wajh to al-‘Ulā. The center of the Billī was around al-Wajh, whereas famous warrior chief and British ally ‛Awda’s sphere of influence was further south between Rābigh and Jidda.
PA‑AA, R 21142, Stotzingen’s fifth report. The expedition was accompanied here by Riḍā Ḥusnī Efendi, the harbor master of al-Wajh. However, according to Helmensdorfer, 1972, p. 65, SAD 138/17/1-10 and (almost identical) Arab Bulletin No. 13, 1 August 1916, p. 134, they travelled from al-Wajh to Umm Lajj on Billī camels and from there to Yanbu‘ on Juhayna camels.
PA‑AA, R 21142, Stotzingen’s fifth report, May 23, 1916. According to Stotzingen the local authorities in the Hijāz knew nothing of a travel ban for non-Muslims in the coastal areas of the Hijāz, something upon which Jamāl had insisted. Holzhausen, 1935–36, p. 565.
Holzhausen, 1935–36, p. 565.
The latest date for Stotzingen’s arrival in Yanbu‘ is May 23, for his fifth report was sent on that day. Holzhausen, 1935–36, p. 565; PA‑AA, R 21142, A 17997, July 6, 1916.
PA‑AA, R 21142, A 15615, Loytved in Damascus to Embassy Constantinople, June 8, 1916. According to Stotzingen in a note from Yanbu‘ dated May 26, these men were von Möller and eight others.
Holzhausen, 1935–36, p. 565; Helmensdorfer, 1972, p. 75.
PA‑AA, R 21142, Lossow to Section Policy General Staff, July 6, 1916: “Lieutenant Commander v. Müller (sic, must be Möller, MS) and his comrades who were killed by Bedouins near Jidda, are victims of this conflict [between the Bedouins in the Hijāz and the Ottoman government, MS].”
Helmensdorfer, 1972, p. 75.
On June 4: Arab Bulletin No. 13, 1 August 1916, p. 133.
Hogarth, 1991, p. 5.
PA‑AA, R 21142, A 15615, Loytved to Embassy Constantinople, June 7, 1916.
PA‑AA, R 21142, sixth report. Stotzingen reported this to the embassy in Constantinople the same day. In a commentary by the consulate in Damascus it was said: “[…] the Hejaz Bedouins are in open conflict with the Turkish government, probably instigated by England […]”. In the German missions in Istanbul and Damascus they had been aware since June 7 (i.e. immediately after the beginning of the revolt) of Jamāl’s order that Stotzingen and his people should return from Yanbu‘ with an escort, if their continued journey south proved impossible. On June 8 it became known in Damascus that Stotzingen was stuck in Yanbu‘. See also Helmensdorfer, 1972, p. 76; Holzhausen, 1935–36, p. 566.
Only he himself, Neufeld and his wife, possibly also Diel and Kolber. Diel’s servant and Muḥammad Yūsuf followed later, see below. There is no mention of other members in the German Foreign Office files, Holzhausen and Helmensdorfer so that the alleged murder of two Germans to which the Arab Bulletin refers, is most probably incorrect.
As Stotzingen confided to his diary, Helmensdorfer, 1972, p. 76.
Arrival June 11 according to Arab Bulletin No. 13, 1 August 1916, p. 135.
Holzhausen, 1935–36, p. 566. For the loyalty of Sulaymān (Sulaymān Rifāḍa or Rufāḍa with full name: Hogarth, 1978, p. 57) vis-à-vis the Ottomans, see Lawrence, 1965, p. 119. In spite of his loyalty, he was snubbed by the government and was courted only after the Revolt, an example of the erratic policy of the government as criticized by Neufeld: PA‑AA, R 13879, Neufeld to Captain Blankenburg, Section Policy of General Staff, October 8, 1916; PA‑AA, R 21142, Stotzingen’s seventh report, Jerusalem, September 14, 1916 (also in R 13879). The Juhayna were close allies and relatives of the Billī: Hogarth, 1978, p. 37.
PA‑AA, R 21142, Embassy Constantinople to Foreign Office, June 28, 1916; Holzhausen, 1935–36, p. 566-567; Helmensdorfer, 1972, p. 77.
Arab Bulletin No. 13, 1 August 1916, p. 135; PA‑AA, R 21142, seventh report by Stotzingen; Hogarth, 1978, p. 7.
Holzhausen, 1935–36, p. 566: “Stotzingen at times no longer (believed) that the expedition would be able to escape in one piece from the inferNo.”
PA‑AA, R 21142, sixth report by Stotzingen; Holzhausen, 1935–36, p. 567 notes that “[…] [the mission] was prepared until autumn 1916 to attempt a new advance to South Arabia […]”. However, it remains a mystery, how such an advance could have succeeded after Arab rebels and British forces had taken control of large parts of the coastal stretch between Yanbu‘ and Jidda. Moreover, the eastern bypassing of the Hijāz had become more difficult.
PA‑AA, R 21142, seventh report.
PA‑AA, R 21142, sixth report.
Stotzingen assessed Neufeld in his sixth report (PA‑AA, R 21142, Damascus, July 16, 1916).
After the war Stotzingen emigrated to Brazil; he died June 2, 1923, at the ancestral seat of his family in Steisslingen near Lake Constance: Helmensdorfer, 1972, p. 77; Freiburger Zeitung digital June 5, 1923.
PA‑AA, R 13879, K 196936 ff.
Martin Hartmann did not rate Neufeld’s skills highly: “The reports by Mr. Neufeld which I have seen, suffer from the defect of empty talk”, PA‑AA, R 21142, Hartmann to Mittwoch, Berlin, December 23, 1916.
PA‑AA, R 13879, K 196938-196942, Neufeld to Captain Blankenburg, Section Policy General Staff, Damascus, October 8, 1916.
PA‑AA, R 13879, K 196959, “Impressions C. Neufeld about the revolt in the Hijāz, Jamāl Pasha and intelligence service during his stay in Damascus.”
PA‑AA, R 13879, K 196943-51.
In his experience the Bedouins wished for a “Bedouin-Pasha”, and Sulaymān Pasha, the chief of the Billī, was the right man for such an office; the Sultan would be recognized as sovereign, but there would be no direct control by government officials. An amnesty would present the government in a favorable light. After his return to Damascus in late June 1916, Neufeld spoke with people who had fled Medina where Fakhrī Pasha now had the say. They complained about “Turkish soldiers”, and the excesses they had committed. Neufeld commented: “The Bedouins appreciate that the Ottoman commanders in the field are doing their utmost to stop these excesses, but their officers hardly support them in doing so”: PA‑AA, R 13879, K 196953-59. Loytved was less optimistic regarding the situation than Neufeld. He cabled to the Embassy that the “Bedouins taking the side of the government” would not help; what would be decisive was the military strength of the Turks and the “soldiers who were in the British’s pay” and generally the outcome of the war. On the other hand, in agreement with Neufeld, Loytved thinks that an attempt should be made to win over the Bedouins with “money, grain and propaganda”: PA‑AA, R 13878, Consulate Damascus to Embassy Constantinople, August 6, 1916.
PA‑AA, R 13879, K 196962-196964.
PA‑AA, R 13879, K 196968-70.
Mittwoch, the head of the “Nachrichtenstelle für den Orient”, and the Foreign Office advised against an assignment: PA‑AA, R 21142, A 35892, December 23 and 29, 1916. Between 1917 and 1918 Neufeld worked for the so-called “decommission committee” (“Niederlegungskommission”) of the German military administration in Belgium. He became seriously ill and was taken to the sanatorium in Beelitz southwest of Berlin. Two weeks before his death Neufeld proposed that he participate in a new mission to Arabia, demonstrating that even, as it were, on his death bed he had lost none of his adventurousness. He died of pneumonia on July 2, 1918, in Beelitz and was buried in an unnamed grave at the local Protestant cemetery. Neufeld’s curriculum vitae in Der Neue Orient III/8 (July 30, 1918), p. 391-392; PA‑AA, R 13881, K 197127-131, June 15, 1918.
SAD 160/1/99, Hogarth to Wingate, 27 July, 1916.
Thus, the authors of the Arab Bulletin could only speculate in No. 13, 1 August 1916, p. 135-137: “That so distinguished a Staff Officer as Von Stotzingen and so useful an agent as Neufeld should have been sent by a difficult and hazardous route towards the Yemen argues that there was more in contemplation than mere wireless telegraphy; though it is possible that an installation (perhaps in connection with submarines) was part of the mission of Von Stotzingen and his immediate subordinates. While the former was doubtless intended also to direct Ali Said Pasha’s efforts against Aden (sic), Neufeld, one cannot but suspect, was to have gone farther, either to the East Indies or to Somaliland or Abyssinia.”
Arab Bulletin No. 22, 19 September 1916, p. 272: “The discovery of Khairy Bey’s detachment changes for us the whole aspect and character of Von (sic) Stotzingen’s Mission. Instead of a handful of German adventurers trying to sneak past our patrols, and set up a wireless station in Southern Arabia, we have now an Ottoman Expeditionary Force bound for the Yemen and beyond, on a mixed military and political charter, with a senior German Staff Officer at the head of it, and a German wireless detachment to keep in touch with conditions at home and in Africa. The seriousness of their purpose is shown by the scale of the undertaking. There is no case on record hitherto of such a Turkish force marching the length of Arabia. They were going to reestablish Turkish domination in the Peninsula, and to be an object lesson to the Arabs of the undiminished might of Turkey.”
Morsey (1976, p. 84) most succinctly got to the heart of the matter when he wrote: “It is too much honour for Stotzingen’s small group to evaluate the Arab revolt as a ‘complete success’ and to justify the huge amounts of money which Britain paid in support of the Arabs […] since it crushed the mission.”
Hogarth, 1991, p. 5. It was not only the Stotzingen-Neufeld mission whose dangers were exaggerated; in general, enemy schemes were “[…] inserted retroactively into a narrative of narrowly averted apocalypse”, Satia, 2008, p. 352.
Macmunn/Falls, 1928, p. 228.
Brémond, 1931, p. 30.
“It was arrival of this force (which McMahon calls “Ottoman Expeditionary Force under Baron von Stotzingen and Kheiri Bey”, MS) that compelled the Sherif in self-defence to revolt sooner than he had intended and his action has undoubtedly saved us from trouble […]”, McMahon to Sirdar (Wingate, MS), SAD 140/4/38-39, September 17, 1916.
Bury, 1919, p. 75. Prüfer came to same assessment: “After the loss of Mecca, the already quite problematic Holy War became a complete farce, and may still turn against Constantinople”, PA‑AA, R 20099, Prüfer to Weber, August 18, 1916, cited by Hanisch, 2014, p. 189. Haut de page