24 December 2018, The Tablet

Speed reading


The “war to end all wars” was nothing of the kind – as Europe would discover. For the Armenians, moreover, November 1918 brought only fresh suffering. Convinced that France would sponsor a homeland in Cilicia, now south-east Turkey, thousands of them joined a would-be army, the Légion d’Orient, which fought its way into Cilicia only to be abandoned by its French sponsors. The Turks reconquered Cilicia, slaughtering those Armenians who had not fled. In The Armenian Legionnaires: Sacrifice and Betrayal in World War I (I. B. Tauris, £25; Tablet price £22.50) Susan Paul Pattie retells a tale of naivety, heroism and imperial perfidy.

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