Conventional principles of war were giving way to unconventional tactics and even strategy in the Arab Revolt. Before 1917, ill-fated campaigns in the east such as Gallipoli, Kut and Salonika had ended with the defeat of an ill-prepared British expeditionary force by an unexpectedly fierce defending force. There was certainly a case to be made that these peripheral eastern operations were, as Keegan notes, too often ‘a drain on resources instead of a threat to the enemy’.1