If Feisal's diplomatic skills kept the Arab alliance together
it was the arrival of Captain Lawrence that cemented the crucial
Anglo-Arab alliance with gold and guns.
Initially it was Lawrence's money that kept the more mercenary
Arabs committed to the cause. Later, the thrill of victories and a sense
of Arab patriotism revitalised the Revolt and overcame earlier problems.
Lawrence's passes the test
Lawrence needed to prove himself to the Arabs as worthy of their trust.
From the outset he was open and flexible. He gathered
information about regional leaders and tribes and soon ingratiated
himself into the inner circle.
Like Feisal, Lawrence learned to respect the power balance
between Arab tribes and display the necessary patience, tact
and humility. He also avoided the spotlight and ensured others
shared the glory which heightened their prestige at the expense
of his own.
Lawrence proved himself through physical endurance, something he had excelled at since childhood. A colleague, Lt.Col.Stirling, wrote in 1918
of his "phenomenal powers of endurance".
"Few of even the most hard-bitten Arabs would ride with him
from choice. He never tired. Hunger, thirst and lack of sleep
appeared to have little effect on him. He had broken all the
records which had been sung (about) for centuries. On one
occasion he rode his camel 300 miles in three consecutive days.
His spiritual equipment overrode the ordinary needs of flesh
and blood," said Stirling.
Swayed by feats of endurance and his intelligent
approach, Lawrence was accepted and respected amongst the
Bedouin and treated as an equal.
Lawrence's Leadership Qualities
Lawrence did not lead from the front. He sat quietly by Feisal's
side as the Arabs discussed and quarreled over tactics.
He rarely spoke but studied the men and weighed up the options.
When the argument was exhausted he dictated his plan of action
which was most often uninversally accepted.
success can also be attributed to a wise selection of tribal
leaders and generous rewards when work had been done well.
The Arab Revolt succeeded due to several key tactics...