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It is mentioned in multiple places (eg. in "With Lawrence in Arabia" by L.J. Thomas, in this article, and even in the Wikipedia page about him) that Fakhri Pasha (Fahreddin Paşa), the commander of the Ottoman Army and governor of Medina from 1916 to 1919, was nicknamed as "Tiger of the Desert" by the British, or even more specifically T.E. Lawrence (aka Lawrence of Arabia).

Is there any truth to this nickname?

  • Interestingly, a search of the British Newspaper Archive got no hits for the nickname. The nickname doesn't appear in Pillars of the Earth, and Professor Elie Kedourie's paper The Surrender f Medina, January 1919 drew extensively on Foreign Office documents and doesn't mention the nickname. – sempaiscuba May 15 at 1:29
  • S. Tanvir Wasti's paper, The defence of Medina, 1916–19, cited as a source by Wikipedia, seems to give the citation for the nickname as: 'Kiciman, Naci Kashif. 1971. “(properly Naci Kâşif Kiciman)”. In Medine Müdafaasi: Hicaz bizden nasil ayrildi 521Istanbul'. – sempaiscuba May 15 at 1:37
  • @sempaiscuba Hmm, interesting. There's a reference in Neil Faulkner's Lawrence of Arabia's War to 'Tiger of Medina' but no footnote for the source. Why all these variants but no apparent primary source? – Lars Bosteen May 15 at 4:02
  • @LarsBosteen Faulkner's book is pretty recent (2016), and it's an interesting choice of wording. "... would earn him the sobriquet ...", but not from whom he earned it, nor when. It is possible that Faulkner read in it S. Tanvir Wasti's paper while researching the book. I wonder if Kiciman's 1971 book in Turkish cited by Wasti has a further citation? Unfortunately, I can't find an online copy (and I don't read Turkish, which doesn't help!). – sempaiscuba May 15 at 9:56

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