Part 1
Hello, everyone. I’m new to the AH community and this is my first post. The scenario will reach from 1908 to present, a large project for me. The end result will be a Hashemite-led Arab state, an independent Kurdistan, and a Megali Greece. The Second World War and Cold War section of this scenario are going to be really fun to write. I try to stay as "realistic" as possible, as far as that can be done for AH! Because I'm not big on dialogue these posts will read more like a history books, I hope that's okay. Now, without further ado, let's get started!

Part 1 – The Rashids and Hashemites (1908-1910)

In 1903 Ibn Saud launched a war against the Rashids for the Arabian region of Qassim. Despite having superior numbers and Ottoman military support the Rashids were defeated in battle after battle. In 1906 the Rashidi emir, Ibn Rashid, was seriously wounded during the battle of Rawdat Muhanna. In OTL Ibn Rashid was killed, which triggered a series of dynastic disputes and weakened the Rashids. In 1907 an uneasy peace was struck. When Ibn Rashid recovered he was faced with a difficult situation. Most of his territory had been seized, Saudi raiding continued to chip away at his holdings, and the Ottomans, in the grips of the Young Turk Revolution, refused to send any more help. Embittered by what he saw as the Ottoman’s abandonment of his tribe, Ibn Rashid felt pressured to look elsewhere for support against his Saudi enemies.

In November, 1908, Sharif Hussein bin Ali became the new Emir of Mecca. Hussein was no friend of the Young Turks, who had opposed his appointment by the Sultan. Hussein resented Young Turk encroachments which sought to curb his power. His worry about a Young Turk-backed coup drove him to seek his own allies. In 1909 Ibn Rashid sent a messenger to Mecca with a proposition for an alliance against the Saudis. Hussein saw this as an opportunity to not only to strengthen his position against the Turks and Saudis, but to expand his territory as well.

Abdullah, Hussein’s second son, negotiated the treaty in the Rashidi capital of Ha’il. Hussein made three demands. First, the Rashids of Ha’il would no longer swear loyalty to the Sultan, but to the Emir of Mecca. To this Ibn Rashid agreed easily enough, professing to Abdullah that he had no love for the Ottomans, whom he felt had abandoned him to the Saudis. Second, the Rashids would agree to come to Hussein’s defense in case of hostilities and in return the Hashemites would do the same. Ibn Rashid again happily agreed. He would finally have the allies he needed to destroy the Saudis once and for all. The final demand, however, gave the excited Rashidi ruler pause. The Hashemites demanded that Rashid lands be incorporated into Hussein’s possessions, under Hashemite rule. At first Ibn Rashid refused out of hand. Abdullah retorted that if one demand was not met then the others would be withdrawn. Abdullah suggested that the Rashids would be left to govern themselves under this final provision and that no significant change to the status quo would be made. Ibn Rashid again refused, fearing that such a concession would lead to a rift in his clan. But a decision had to be made. Without Hashemite support the Rashids ran the serious risk of being annihilated by the Saudis. Ibn Rashid proffered the idea that he would allow Rashidi lands to be incorporated into the Hashemite possessions only upon his death, by which time he hoped the Saudis would be defeated and he would be in a position to resist such a provision.

Ibn Rashid finally agreed to the Hashemite terms, securing himself an ally to protect himself against the Saudis. Hussein was elated to have strengthened his position. The provision of mutual defense was vague enough to be invoked in case of hostilities with the Turks and Hussein felt confident it could be honored due to Ibn Rashid's growing anti-Turkish sentiment. The treaty was a diplomatic coup for the Hashemite ruler. The young alliance would soon receive its first test.

In 1910 Hussein found himself in a quarrel with the Saudis. The Utaybah, a tribe on the frontier between the two Arabian powers, was claimed by Ibn Saud and was forced to pay him tribute. Hussein called on Ibn Rashid and the two hegemons launched a campaign against the Saudis. The Utaybah were brought under Hashemite control and the Rashids were able to regain some of the oases they had previously lost to their Saudi rivals. After these quick gains the conflict came to an end, with the Hashemites and Rashids confident that they could now counter the Saudi threat. With this round of victories, the balance of power equalized in the Arabian Peninsula.

However, greater changes were on the horizon for the Emir of Mecca and his expansionist designs on the Arab world...

Stay tuned for Part 2: Hussein and the Nationalists where we'll explore an altered past where Hussein had greater influence among Arab nationalists sooner than 1915!
 
Part 2
Part II – Hussein’s Growing Nationalist Influence (1911-1913)

In 1909 Abdullah travelled to Syria with a group of Damascenes on their return from the Hajj. During his brief stay in Syria, Abdullah was exposed to Arab nationalist secret societies. These societies had begun to proliferate in the Ottoman Empire in response to the increasingly aggressive policies of Turkification, which reduced the status of Arabic and kept Arabs from assuming higher positions in the army and civil service. These societies encompassed military officers, local political elites, and Arab deputies in the Ottoman parliament. These societies had differing objectives. Some desired increased autonomy while others advocated for complete independence. As time went on these societies began to seek a leader to unite their disparate views behind.

In 1911 the region of Asir rose in rebellion and the Imam of Yemen began to agitate for more autonomy. The Ottomans requested that Hussein lead a detachment of Ottoman infantry and Arab irregulars to suppress the rebellion. In OTL Hussein agreed and helped suppress the revolt, which damaged his standing in the eyes of the Arab nationalist societies. In this TL Hussein instead offered to act as an intermediary between the Ottomans and emir of Asir. He used his influence with the Sultan of Lahej, in the Aden Protectorate, to pressure Imam Yahya of Yemen to remain quiescent, as in our TL. However, when Hussein arrived in Abha, in Asir, to negotiate he saw the brutality with which the Turks had suppressed the Arabs. The mangled corpses and burnt out houses convinced Hussein of the need to rid the Arabs of their Turkish overlords.

Hussein was able to mediate an end to the revolt, preventing further loss of life while leaving the emir of Asir, Sayyid Mohammad bin Ali al-Idrisi, in power. Unbeknownst to the Ottomans, Hussein concluded a treaty in secret with the emir of Asir. The terms were essentially the same as the treaty he had struck with Ibn Rashid, further strengthening Hussein’s position in Arabia.

During the course of the Asir Revolt, Sharif Hussein received a surprising letter. Arab deputies from the Ottoman parliament were imploring him to lead the Arabs in throwing off the Turkish yoke. In OTL Hussein never responded to this letter. However, Hussein, moved by the atrocities committed by the Turks in Asir, and motivated by his own ambitions on the rest of the Arab world, responded. He urged the deputies to remain calm, arguing that the time for struggle had not yet come. He instead urged the deputies to begin laying ground work by spreading pro-Arab independence propaganda among fellow Arab political elites as well as Arab units in the Ottoman army. Arab army officers, who were being ignored for promotion over their Turkish colleagues, represented a fertile recruiting ground. If they could be indoctrinated to Hussein’s would-be cause then the soldiers would be easily swayed.

The Arab deputies set about their task cautiously and in great secrecy. Many of the deputies were members of other Arab secret societies based in Syria, Lebanon, and Iraq. News of Hussein’s peaceful intervention in favor of the Arabs of Asir had endeared him to several of the societies, who now threw their support behind him. Propaganda slowly began circulating among Arab army units before bleeding into political centers such as Aleppo, Baghdad, Beirut, Damascus, and Jerusalem. The task was very risky. The Young Turks, learning from the Balkan Wars, were highly suspicious of nationalistic feelings in the Arab world. Two propaganda centers were raided in mid-1913, but luckily, due to Turkish incompetence, the other cells were never discovered.

During this time Hussein had been slowly but steadily building tribal alliances with not only the Ruwalla of Jawf in 1912, but also the Mutair of southern Iraq as well in early 1913, with the help of Ibn Rashid. All of these going-ons in the desert did not go unnoticed. The British Political Agent in Kuwait had grown increasingly interested in the affairs of Arabia from his listening post on the Persian Gulf.

In part 3 we'll look at early contacts between the Arabs and a young British political agent in Kuwait by the name of Captain William Shakespear (yes, that's his real name)...
 
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Part 3
Hi there! This is the longest entry to date and the first containing dialogue, a new venture for me. I hope you enjoy!

Part III – Shakespear in the Desert? (1910 – 1914)

It was during this fragile time in the Arabian Peninsula that the Rashids and Hashemites were first making contact with the British. In 1909 a new Political Agent was assigned to the sheikdom of Kuwait, Captain William Shakespear. In OTL this young political officer is the one responsible for Britain entering into the Treaty of Darin, establishing the Saudis as British clients under their protection. In this world things occur differently.

In March of 1910 Shakespear met Ibn Saud for the first time in Kuwait, gaining an immediate appreciation of the young king’s qualities. Shortly after this first meeting Shakespear was witness to a battle between Ibn Saud and the Rashids near Kuwait, resulting in the routing of Ibn Saud. Shakespear was intrigued by the force that could stand up to the famously martial Wahhabi, but did not venture into the interior to find them. Shortly thereafter the political officer received an interesting letter from the interior. Another British political officer, Gerald Leachman, had travelled into the interior without official sanction and was with the Rashids in their capital of Ha’il. During his stay Leachman had been asked by the Rashids for arms and funds to fight the Saudis. Since Leachman was present only in a civilian status he recommended that Ibn Rashid reach out to the nearest political agent, that being Shakespear in Kuwait.

Leachmen only mentioned that Ibn Rashid wished to meet the intrepid young agent, who had become renowned among the Bedouin for his riding, hunting, and language skills. Shakespear accepted the invitation and set of for the Rashidi capital in April of 1910. Ibn Rashid and Shakespear took an immediate liking to one another, much in the way that he and Ibn Saud had. They spent long stretches of time talking over coffee and sweet tea, discussing culture, swapping stories from the desert, before finally turning to politics.

“What is your intention?” Shakespear asked probingly

“I and several sheikhs and emirs seek to curb Ibn Saud…he is a plague on our lands and our people. He may be friends with the Sheik of Kuwait now but he has designs on the sheikhdoms of the Gulf.” Ibn Rashid replied cooly.

Shakespear nodded, he had seen loyalties shift among the tribes before. The shifting of alliances had seemed to pick up as of late, according to both his informants and his own observations of the Bedu.

“These sheikhs and emirs…who are they?” He asked, taking Ibn Rashid’s bait.

“I pledged myself and the tribe of Shammar to the Emir of Mecca – ”

“Not to the Sultan?” Shakespear interrupted, quietly astonished

“No. The Sultan and the Young Turks left me to the mercy of Ibn Saud, and I have not forgotten that, nor will I forgive it.” Ibn Rashid seethed before continuing “The Emir and I have concluded an agreement to end the Saudi threat. Soon the Mutair and Ruwalla will join us.”

“And why is that?” Shakespear countered

“They see the threat that Ibn Saud and his fanatics are to their futures, and they wish to see their futures secured.” Ibn Rashid retorted matter-of-factly

“So why am I here? You seemed rather eager to meet with a foreigner.” Shakespear asked

“We desire British funds and weapons to fight the Saudis. It is with the Emir’s blessing that I am seeking such assistance from you. With this support we can end the Saudi threat to your interests in the Gulf and to us in the interior.” Ibn Rashid replied, leaning back and sipping his coffee.

Such a request placed Shakespear in an uncomfortable situation. He was forced to deny Ibn Rashid’s request. At that time the British policy was to leave matters of the interior of ‘Turkish Arabia’ to the Turks. Britain could provide no such arms or funds to foreign subjects of a power that Britain was friendly with. Ibn Rashid politely said he understood and the evening carried on with little development. Upon Shakespear’s return to Kuwait he wired Sir Percy Cox, the Resident in Persia and his superior, of the bombshell development he had stumbled upon in Arabia. Cox reiterated that Britain must stay neutral in the wars of the interior, lest they arouse the jealousy of the Turks or the Foreign Office.

And so Shakespear found himself in an uneasy balance. He traveled into the interior frequently, meeting with Ibn Rashid and Ibn Saud on several occasions. Both leaders would restate their cases for British support against the other, and each time Shakespear had to rebuff their requests.

In September of 1910 tensions broke between the opposing sides. Hussein, who disputed suzerainty over the Utaybah tribe with Ibn Saud, launched and invasion of the Emirate of Nejd with Ibn Rashid. The battle between the two sides resulted in a route of Ibn Saud’s forces and the capture of his brother Saad, whereas in OTL this battle was a Hashemite-Rashid defeat (they still caught Saad). This conflict shook Shakespear when word reached him, for he had initially suspected that Ibn Rashid was inflating his position to secure British support. But now he saw that the anti-Saudi alliance was stronger than expected. Saad was returned to Ibn Saud, but only after paying a large ransom.

Shakespear continued to meet with both leaders through 1911 and 1912, though he could never get an audience with Hussein. As time passed his personal bond with Ibn Rashid grew stronger while his ties to Ibn Saud weakened. Ibn Saud, in a fit of exasperated rage, accused Shakespear of supporting the Rashids against him. Shakespear had to reiterate his government’s professed neutrality and after much argument he was allowed to go, though he was banned by Ibn Saud from re-entering his domains.

Anglo-Saudi tensions flared again in May of 1913 when Ibn Saud seized the Ottoman coastal province of al-Hasa. Turkish troops where ferried from Basra to al-Hasa aboard a British steamer, a move which infuriated Ibn Saud. The Turkish troops were easily rebuffed but when they took refuge on Bahrain, the British refused to release them to the Saudis. Ibn Saud vowed vengeance against the British for what he viewed as a breaking of their neutrality and the continued support of the forces working against him. To make matters worse the ailing Sheikh of Kuwait, Mubarak, died. The old Kuwaiti ruler had been close to Ibn Saud and had successfully kept the Nejdi ruler from rashly raiding the Trucial States under Britain’s care. With him gone the moderating influence on Ibn Saud, and the rest of Arabia for that matter, was gone.

Shakespear left this chaotic situation behind in early 1914 when his rotation as political agent in Kuwait terminated. He made his way across central Arabia to Cairo, mapping vast tracts of uncharted territory, before returning to London. After several months of restless inactivity Shakespear was sought out by Whitehall. Concerned about Germany bringing the Turks into the war, the government was concerned about finding a reliable ally in the Middle East. Shakespear soon found himself on a steamer bound for Cairo.

The next two parts will cover the First World War in two year chunks. Much of that war has been left unaltered up until 1918.
 
As someone with another Middle East timeline, I really like this one. I started with the end of WWI, but I find it really interesting that this one starts earlier, seeing how WWI is such a common start date for these types of TLs. Good work!
 
As someone with another Middle East timeline, I really like this one. I started with the end of WWI, but I find it really interesting that this one starts earlier, seeing how WWI is such a common start date for these types of TLs. Good work!

Thanks, I really appreciate it, I’m a fan of your TL! This is just the build up for now! We actually have a common PoD, with the reneging of the Sykes-Picot, but we’ll get to that soon enough.
 
Part 4
This next part might be a little underwhelming. I do not intend to change much of the history in this section. In fact, no major changes will occur at all. There will be several smaller changes which will snowball later on. As such, the changes here will only really be noted in a timeline fashion.

Part IV – The War Comes East, Pt. 1 (1914 – 1916)

1914

November – The French abandon their consulate in Beirut earlier than in OTL, burning their secret documents. This prevents the Ottomans from discovering the nationalist cells in Damascus and Beirut.

At the same time the Indian Expeditionary Force D (IEF-D) lands in Basra with William Shakespear and Gerald Leachmen attached as intelligence officers. They are directed to begin working with local tribes.

1915

January – The Arab majority divisions are moved from around Damascus to the Sinai front. This initially causes panic among the nationalists, since the original plan was to start a rebellion with these units. However, during the course of the Sinai campaign the majority of the Ottoman army is captured, including these majority Arab units, whose officers and soldiers had been exposed to nationalist propaganda.

July – Hussein-McMahon correspondence begins as in OTL.

1916

March – The Hussein-McMahon correspondence ends as in OTL.

April – In order to end the siege of Kut, the British offer to buy the freedom of their men. On this negotiation team are T.E. Lawrence and William Shakespear. This was their first time meeting and although they were of incredibly similar backgrounds they took an immediate dislike to one another.

The Arab Bureau is founded in Cairo as a means of fusing Middle Eastern policy from the Foreign and India Offices. All officers involved in Arab affairs, be they from the Indian Government or otherwise, are ordered to be put under the command of the Arab Bureau in the Savoy Hotel in Cairo. This beefed up Arab Bureau, much different from the one in OTL, set about organizing its Arab policy in a more unified manner. Those officers who had come over from the Indian side of things, Cox, Shakespear, and Leachmen, were left to continue their duties, but now under the supervision of Gilbert Clayton and other Arab Bureau chiefs.

May – The Sykes-Picot agreement is struck, as in OTL.

June – The Arab Revolt begins as in OTL. The only major difference is that the Rashids and other major tribes of Northern Arabia join Hussein, bolstering his numbers. Shakespear and Leachmen are attached to the Arab Eastern Army, under Abdullah. Leachmen works with the Mutair of southern Iraq to support the British there. Shakespear is attached to Abdullah bin Hussein, and is tasked with fighting not only the Turks in Medina, but also countering Saudi raiding, which is supported by the Turks.

In Persia, the British establish a native force, known as the South Persia Rifles. This unit is to be the model which would later give birth to the Basra Rifles.

October - T.E. Lawrence arrives in Arabia to begin his involvement with the Arab Revolt.

November – The British begin to retrain and re-arm the Arab POWs captured during the failed Turkish Sinai campaign. 5,000 men and 112 officers agree to join the Arab Revolt.

December – Llyod George becomes Prime Minister of Britain, as in OTL. But he harbors a grand design on the Middle East, one which excludes the French entirely. He begins to shift British policy to usurp the Sykes-Picot Agreement, which is already wildly unpopular with the British government.



That concludes this segment. This isn't the style I prefer to write in but there was a lot of ground that needed to be covered. These timelines will only really pop-up when there’s a lot going on across multiple places, or when there’s a war. In this case it’s both!

In the next part we’ll see how an aggressive shift in Anglo-Arab policy will affect the post-war outcome and the Middle East as a whole. Stay tuned!
 
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Llyod George becomes Prime Minister of Britain, as in OTL. But he harbors a grand design on the Middle East, one which excludes the French entirely. He begins to shift British policy to usurp the Sykes-Picot Agreement, which is already wildly unpopular with the British government.

My bet is that Llyod George is envisioning a pro British Middle Eastern bloc.
 
My bet is that Llyod George is envisioning a pro British Middle Eastern bloc.

That was his original vision. There was a lot of resistance to the Sykes-Picot from the British government but a series of factors and imperial overreach prevented this. My TL seeks to help those circumstances along.
 
That was his original vision. There was a lot of resistance to the Sykes-Picot from the British government but a series of factors and imperial overreach prevented this. My TL seeks to help those circumstances along.

Though if it means anything, I still like the idea of Turkey retaining the mosul vilayet unlike OTL.
 
Part 5
Part V – The War Comes East Pt. 2 (1917 – 1918)

Much of 1917 won’t change, but 1918 sure will!

1917

February – Attacks begin on the Hejaz Railway. Saudi raiding against the Rashids is sporadic

March – British capture Baghdad. British begin to train an Arab force known as the Basra Rifles, based on the successful South Persian Rifles unit.

April – The United States enters the war on the side of the Allies

July – T.E. Lawrence and Arab irregulars capture Aqaba as in OTL. Once the vital port is captured the retrained Arab POW units begin to arrive to support the Arab Revolt. The addition of these forces more than double the size of the Arab Northern Army.

November – George Clemenceau becomes Prime Minister of France. Balfour Declaration declares British support for a ‘Jewish homeland’. Sykes-Picot is revealed by the Bolshevik government. Operations stop in Iraq for the winter.

December – Jerusalem falls to the British. Due to impending German Spring Offensive much of Allenby’s army is sent off to France. The front becomes largely static as units are transferred to France and new units are trained up. Among these new units are a brigade of Palestinian volunteers and a brigade of Syrian refugees.

1918

January – Arab forces route Ottomans at Tafileh.

April – Thanks to a larger Arab regular force than in OTL Ma’an is successfully encircled and a series of stations along the Hejaz railroad are captured or destroyed. After a week, Ma’an falls to the Arabs, finally severing Medina from Damascus.

The successful capture of Ma’an allows the Arab regular army to support the rebellion of the Beni Sakhr tribe in support of the second British offensive toward es-Salt. Salt and Amman fall to combined force of Anzac cavalry, Arab guerrillas, and Arab regulars. The new British-trained Palestinian and Syrian units join the Arab regular army in Amman.

June – Permanently cut off from Damascus, Medina finally falls to the forces of Abdullah’s Eastern Arab Army. This frees up thousands of troops to move north. Captain Shakespear is promoted to Major and is given command of the Basra Rifles and begins expanding the unit.

September – The Battle of Meggido begins. British forces make major gains in Palestine and Lebanon while Arab forces advance further north into central Syria, taking Irbid and Deraa.

October – Instead of accidentally entering Damascus before the Arabs, the Anzac cavalry circumvents Damascus in pursuit of Ottoman units retreating north. Arab forces enter the city on 1 October, with Faisal following on October 3. Faisal declares an independent constitutional Arab government on October 5.

Arab regular and irregular forces continue to capture territory from the retreating Ottoman units. They capture Homs, Hama, and Aleppo in quick succession, and set up governmental posts in Lattakia, Alexandretta (which will be referred to as Iskenderun from now on), and Beirut, much to objection of the French. Facing increasingly combative relations between his Arab and French allies, General Allenby asks for directions from high command. Allenby receives instructions from Lloyd George personally to prevent the French from assuming any form of civil control and to defer to the Arabs.

The Armistice of Mudros is signed on October 30, temporarily ending hostilities between the Ottomans and the French, British, and Arabs. The French are excluded from the drafting of the armistice, as in OTL. Clemenceau protests to Lloyd George who simply says that the situation is fluid and does not allow for extended deliberation with everyone.

November – The Armistice of November 11 brings hostilities on the Western Front to a halt.


That’s going to conclude this piece. December 1918 is a really big point in the TL so I’ll dedicate an entire post to the events of that month. This’ll mark the most drastic shift in the TL so far. Stay tuned!
 
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Part 6
Part VI – The Moment of Truth


1 December 1918


When Lloyd George had come to power in 1916 he brought with him a different approach to the war. Instead of focusing all of Britain’s resources and manpower on the Western Front, he believed that knocking out the Ottomans would be the key to bringing down the Central Powers. This approach served two purposes. Firstly, a broken Ottoman Empire would allow the Allies to approach the southern flanks of Austria-Hungary and Germany, fronts which they could not effectively cover. Secondly, by occupying much of the Ottoman lands, Britain would be entitled to first claim, so to speak. This was the heart of Lloyd George’s plan.

Ever since Mark Sykes had negotiated the agreement with his French counterpart François Georges-Picot, the British government had been seeking a way out of it. The Eastern Committee felt Sykes had given away too much to France in an area considered by the British to be vital to the security of British India. The Arab Bureau felt it was a betrayal of their scheme for a series of smaller Arab kingdoms friendly to the British. The military high command opposed it because it interfered with their plans for a strategic British railway from Iskenderun to Basra. Even the Foreign Office was full of officials who objected to the agreement in one way or another. Lloyd George disagreed simply because he wanted what France wanted, and he wanted it more.

Since nearly the entirety of his government opposed the agreement, Lloyd George felt empowered to begin making steps to undermine the agreement. First it came with not allowing new attachments of French soldiers to be attached to the Palestine/Syria front. Then came the move to limit existing French units to roles as glorified policemen, or supporting roles on the battlefield if absolutely necessary. The boldest step came in instructing Allenby to actively deny the French civil control in the sections of Syria allotted by the Sykes-Picot agreement. At the time France was unable to do more than protest diplomatically since she was consumed with holding the Western Front.

But now had come the time for the decisive move. George Clemenceau made his way to London to discuss the future of the Ottoman possessions then under Anglo-Arab administration. The French premier arrived on 1 December, 1918 for what was to become known simply as ‘The Shouting Match at 10 Downing Street’. Neither man kept detailed notes of the exchange but from second hand sources we know it was a fierce duel of words. Lloyd George’s secretary noted that ‘never had such noise come from the Prime Minister’s offices before. It sounded as though an angry bear and lion were sparring over a succulent kill.’ There was even a report hinting at dull thuds emanating from the office, ‘likely the throwing of a chair’ it claimed.

Lloyd George later recalled this encounter in his memoirs. ‘I claimed to Clemenceau rather abruptly that Sykes-Picot was dead. While France had won us the war in the West, we had won the war in the East. We spent the most blood and treasure there and so we had the greatest claim to the spoils.’ Lloyd George also adroitly used Arab success to claim his hands were somewhat tied. Because the Arabs had been so instrumental in supporting British victory, and the French hadn’t been, they were entitled to the gains for which they had fought and died more so than the French were. Clemenceau raged against what he viewed as an ‘outright betrayal of his country and himself’ Lloyd George claimed, but it got him nowhere. He offered the angry Frenchman the mandates of Armenia and Kurdistan instead, as a sort of consolation. Clemenceau, who had originally been against French involvement in Syria, did not reply. While on a personal level he couldn’t be bothered by these developments he had to think of his political base at home, most of whom were still staunchly imperialist. He replied only that they would discuss such matters at the peace conference.

The peace conference, to be held at Versailles, would be a difficult path to traverse for the ambitious Prime Minister. America’s Woodrow Wilson was bringing his idealistic, and anti-imperialist, Fourteen Points with him and would surely challenge the powers of Europe if they tried to make claims on former enemy lands. France would be adversarial on the point of Ottoman holdings, but still needed British support for her designs in Germany. Italy and Greece were chomping at the bit to gain territory in Anatolia. It would be a delicate balancing act.

Not several days later Emir Faisal appeared in London to discuss matters with Lloyd George. The Prime Minister relayed his conversation between himself and his French counterpart to a stunned Faisal. When the news of the Sykes-Picot had been revealed to Faisal he had expected the French and British to remain in lock-step and usurp the plans of his father, himself, and his brothers. Lloyd George said his government would fully support Arab claims at Versailles on several conditions. First, Britain would remain in control of Palestine and Southern Iraq. Faisal, fearing loss of British support if he pushed back, agreed. Second, Faisal would need to convince the United States that Britain was acting in good faith on behalf of the Arabs. Lloyd George believed that if he could gain American support for his ambitions then he could beat the French at the conference. In return Faisal would be recognized as king in Syria, and his family would receive British support.

The tides were beginning to shift towards the Hashemites. But in the deserts of Arabia challenges to their rule still remained.
 
The Saudis and Wahhabis are going to be a pain in the arrse for decades to come I suspect.

The Saudis will only be an issue into the early 20s, but the issue of Wahhabism, among other religious tensions, will be an issue up until present day in TTL. Stay tuned if you wanna see how it plays out!
 
Sure Wahabis are going to a problem. But what about the Rashids? Who have no British protection and has been seen as junior partner in the revolt. What's their cut of the pie?
 
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