Thomas Edward Lawrence Research Paper Examples

Type of paper: Research Paper

Topic: Middle East, England, Turkey, Muslim, Life, Time, Military, Armed Forces

Pages: 8

Words: 2200

Published: 2020/12/08

Biblical Archaeology

Thomas Edward Lawrence was born on August 15, 1888 in North Wales. The marriage of his parents was not consecrated by church, so a child was illegitimate. This "shameful" from the point of view of Victorian morality fact left the imprint throughout the life of Lawrence. Ironically, this boy born out of wedlock has become known all over the world, and glorified not aristocratic name of the father, but unremarkable mother's surname. His father has the means, not exceeding the income of craftsman. The first eight years of life, Lawrence lived wandering around Scotland and Britain. Wanderings casually brought his family to Oxford. Here Lawrence entered the school with the knowledge of the French language, which he acquired as a child, and with large margin of information gleaned from books. He had good abilities, and at the age of six he read newspapers and books. While still being a schoolboy, Lawrence spent vacations traveling through France, where diligently visited cathedrals and castles, traveling with light baggage and almost no money. For several years he toured through France, England and Wales and pursued all the castles of XII century. The study of military architecture awakened his interest in the study of siege operations, and then the military campaigns, which are part of those operations.
At age of fifteen, Lawrence interested in archeology, and together with friends shovels almost all the neighborhoods of Oxford in search of ancient copper seals. He read books about the excavation of Nineveh, the novels of the crusaders and the lives of the saints - especially after a fight in the schoolyard when he broke his leg, and he spent a long time in bed. According to his mother, because of this leg fracture he stopped growing, so he was never higher than 165 centimeters. In an effort to compensate this deficiency, he is almost obsessed with developing his muscles and endurance, mainly through long passages on foot and by bicycle.
In 1907, Lawrence entered the Jesus College, Oxford University and devoted himself to the study of archeology. Constantly improving himself, reading books, listening to lectures and regularly visiting the Museum of Art and Archeology Ashmolean in Oxford, Lawrence was particularly interested in medieval pottery. He likes this kind of life, he continues to experience his body strength (bathed in the hole, did not eat meat, trying to go without food and water, working for forty-five hours to test his stamina, wheels on a bicycle around the neighborhood). Reading Circle of Lawrence is mainly concerned with the Middle Ages, from the details of costumes to the poetry and novels of Richard the Lionheart, and especially - the strategy and military architecture. In the summer of 1908 he undertook a long cycling tour 2400 miles across France (he had traveled to France on a bicycle when expected results of the exam) to explore and photograph the medieval castles and fortifications. He visits the Chateau Gaillard, Pierrefonds, Kusi, Proven, Vezle, Tournon, Kryussol, Arles, Egmort, Nimes, Carcassonne, Toulouse, Cord, Cahors, Orleans, Chartreuse, and from each of these places sent home long descriptive letters - already knowing that they should form the basis of his diploma work, which will be called "The impact of the Crusades on European medieval military architecture before the end of the XII century." However, to complete his diploma is not enough castles left by the Crusaders in the Holy Land, and somehow in a conversation with the scientific supervisor emerges the idea to visit the East, at least in order to find out someone who has borrowed ideas, the Crusaders or the Arabs. Lawrence comes with this proposal to the keeper of the Oxford Ashmolean Museum, David George Hogarth. He was skeptical about the idea: too hot, not the season, money is needed, and many other things. Dr. Hogarth did not advise the student to go to such a perilous journey, but stubborn daredevil was unstoppable: Lawrence wanted to know what he can do, to try what it is - to be in extreme conditions, constantly putting your life in danger.
In June, Lawrence went on a journey, taking with him only a pistol, a camera and the necessary clothing. At first, he landed in Beirut, the capital of modern Lebanon, and from there went to the south - in Sidon, Banias and Safad. He then returned to Beirut to start the study of the northern part of the country. For four months in the Middle East Lawrence sent several letters to his mother. His first message was about a Syrian incredible heat, about wounds and diseases that he had at his journey and even that someone stole his camel. Despite all the difficulties, Lawrence pretty easily adapted to the life of the Arabs, and thanks to cordiality of the locals had no problems with either food or overnight. After about 1800 kilometers and after having examined during this time 36 castles and fortifications built during the Crusades at the territories of modern Lebanon and Syria, he was fascinated by the Arab world and decided to definitely go back here again.
In July 1914, after the assassination of Archduke Ferdinand of Austria, the First World War broke out, quickly enveloped the entire European continent. Lawrence, who was at that time in England, immediately tried to enroll as a volunteer in the army, but was rejected because of his frail physique and short stature - the fact that due to the large influx of wanting to serve the motherland, the rate of growth has been increased. Therefore, Lawrence, on the recommendation of Dr. Hogarth, was enrolled in a geographic division of the General Staff, where he was assigned on the basis of previously extracted information to map the location of Turkish troops in the Sinai Peninsula. Expedition with innocuous title "Survey of Sinai" led by Lord Herbert Kitchener, War Minister in Britain. In 1915, Lawrence prepared a report entitled "Desert of Sin," which was to serve as a "cover" of military intelligence objectives of the project. Such risky activity was more exciting for young adventurer. In December 1916, Lawrence, in recognition of his services, was transferred to Bureau for Arab Affairs in Cairo - it was a new unit within the British intelligence, headed by Hogarth. The tasks of the Bureau were to collect information and send them to headquarter. It should be noted that the work on compiling of topographic maps has been an essential part of the planning of large-scale military operations and required great skill. Lawrence went to Cairo, where he engaged in the preparation of "Handbook of the Turkish army." In addition, as a man, perfectly knowing the Arabic language, he conducted questioning of Turkish prisoners of war.
Bureau for Arab Affairs issued a secret ballot, the so-called "Arab report." Lawrence as a member of the editorial board wrote an article in which actively supported the uprising of Sheriff Hussein of Mecca against the Ottoman Turks (the title of "Sheriff" - "noble" - is given only to people who are considered descendants of the Prophet Muhammad). Such actions of Lawrence, to put it mildly, did not arouse sympathy from his superiors. Soon, he was sent to negotiate with the Turkish army on the release of General Townsend, whose army was surrounded. However, Lawrence "failed" this task, as the Turks did not agree with the terms of the British. It even more aggravated attitude towards him in office, because he had other "sins", such as the wearing of civilian clothes instead of uniforms and mockery of senior officers. Of course, one must admit that there were people who truly prized the talent of Lawrence. Chief of British intelligence in the Middle East Gilbert Clayton, Dr. Hogarth, oriental secretary of the British High Commissioner in Egypt Ronald Storrs and many others strongly supported him.
In October 1916 he was sent to Arabia, where he met with the local leader sheriff Hussein and his sons. Lawrence became a military adviser of Faisal, the third son of Hussein. The task of Lawrence was the preparation and support of the uprising of the Arab people against the Ottoman Empire. Britain has provided the Arabs with arms and ammunition and assured that is an ally in the struggle against Turkish rule. In fact, this British "support" was a cover for subsequent expansion. Nevertheless Lawrence deeply sympathized to the Arabs and wanted to help them achieve independence. As a sign of respect and gratitude Faisal gave British spy Galaba, traditional Arab dress, and Lawrence wore it with pleasure. But Lawrence never forgot that he was a British spy, and all planned activities and events reported to central command in Egypt. Although Lawrence had no military training, during the Arab Revolt he discovered a wise strategy. It is known that Lawrence was very well read and erudite man. He read many books on strategy of warfare. Developed by him the original strategy of guerrilla warfare against the Turkish army has been successful. With his direct participation were made a successful attack on the position of the Turkish garrisons in Arabia, as well as the cut in some places Hejaz Railway that linked Damascus to Medina. During this time, the Arabs blew up 79 bridges and knocked out telegraph communications. Thus, these military operations have seriously undermined the message between the parts of the Ottoman army. Arabs could capture the necessary weapons, supplies and water.
After a difficult crossing of the desert Nefud Arab militias led by Lawrence attacked an important sea port of Aqaba, lapped by the Red Sea, from the land and immediately took the city. It was the finest hour of Lawrence. After the capture of Aqaba, he became widely known. All these victories instilled a lot of confidence in the Arab compounds, before not as combat capable. In December 1917, they captured Jerusalem, and in October 1918, Damascus. Lawrence, who quit by the time of his command of Arabic army, advised his close friend Faisal take Damascus in order to form his own government. Despite numerous victories over the Ottoman Empire by the Arabs, the dream of their own independent state could not come true. Britain and France have divided the Middle East into spheres of influence. Anyway, at the Paris Peace Conference, held in 1919 after the end of World War I, Lawrence actively defended the position of the Arabs and the claims of Faisal on reclaimed territory. He unsuccessfully supported the Arab demands to grant them independence, at the same time sympathizing to the desire to create a Jewish national state. Negotiations have failed because of the refusal of the Arabs to accept the British mandate over Iraq and Palestine and the French mandate over Syria.
After the completion of his mission in the Middle East Lawrence for some time worked in the Ministry for the Colonies, which at that time was headed by Winston Churchill. The duty of a scout was to develop a plan to resolve the situation in the Middle East. At the same time Lawrence plunged into work on an autobiography "The Seven Pillars of Wisdom", published in 1926. After retiring from the Ministry of the Colonies, Lawrence served in the Air Force. In February of 1935 he retired. In the last years of his life, Lawrence read a lot, traveled, found a new hobby in motorcycles. May 13, 1935, by dialing speed, Lawrence suddenly saw a group of guys in his way and tried to avoid them, but lost control and flew out of the saddle, hitting his head on the curb. 6 days he spent in a coma and then died in the hospital. Lawrence was not quite 47 years old. Certainly Lawrence of Arabia made a great contribution to the history. In honor of T.E. Lawrence was named award - Commemorative Medal of Lawrence of Arabia - which has been awarded since 1935 by the British Royal Society for Asian Affairs "in recognition of outstanding achievements in the field of exploration, research and literature."


Harold Orlans. T.E. Lawrence: Biography of a Broken Hero. (2002)
Jacob Rosen. The Legacy of Lawrence and the New Arab Awakening. (2011)
Michael Korda. Hero: The Life & Legend of Lawrence of Arabia. (2011)
Michael Asher. Lawrence: The Uncrowned King of Arabia. (1998)
Basil Henry Liddell Hart. Lawrence of Arabia. (1934)
Lawrence James. The Golden Warrior: The Life and Legend of Lawrence of Arabia. (2013)
James J. Schneider. T. E. Lawrence and the mind of an Insurgent. (2005)
John E. Mack. A Prince of Our Disorder: The Life of T. E. Lawrence. (1998)

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