During the Second World War the British were fighting for their very survival, and as a result all the resources of the Empire were brought to bear. The British Empire was particularly keen on holding on to Persian Gulf oil.
Although only a footnote at best in most histories, this forgotten front saw intrigue, daring bluffs on the part of the British and strategic overeach on the part of the Axis. With manpower requirements running high, the last thing the British wanted to do was to get into a war in Iraq, but when a coup was staged that briefly brought in a pro-Axis government the British had no choice but to act decisively. Troops from India, armored vehicles from Palestine and RAF aircraft from North Africa rapidly took on the military clique known as the Golden Square and defeated them and the small contingent of Luftwaffe aircraft sent in to help them.
Britain had watched the USSR, anticipating a new front which would see the Soviets invading Iran and possibly Iraq at the behest of their Axis ally. That all turned around after Hitler launched his invasion of the USSR and as a result the Soviets and the British jointly invaded the country in order to open a supply line for the Red Army from the Persian Gulf to the Caucasus... and for the first time the United States became involved in the Middle East in a big way.
This book tells the whole story of the region during WWII and the steps taken to defeat the wavering countries of Iraq and Iran and to provide war material to the Soviets... not to mention how the Polish victims of Stalin's 1939 invasion were freed in Iran and allowed to fight on the side of the Western Allies. Not just are the politics of the war discussed but also the impact that it had on the British, Soviet, American and Polish soldiers who came there... not to mention the difficulties that Allied occupation brought on the Arabs and Persians who lived there.
Well-written; includes a map and many excellent black-and-white photographs.