When, in 1914, hostilities broke out in Europe, the Turks were allied with the Central Powers led by Germany and found themselves at war with Britain, which had been their major prop throughout most of the nineteenth century. With the help of the Germans, the Turks hoped to rouse Muslims to the cause and declared a jihād for that purpose. Initial military moves into areas of Turkish population in the Caucasus pitted them against the Russians and eventually failed. Early the next year, in February 1915, a Turkish army under Jemāl Pasha tried to cross the Suez Canal to move against the British force there but was driven back. By keeping large numbers of troops occupied, these moves helped Germany more than Turkey. More importantly, another part of the grand strategy also failed; the Turkish jihād did little to attract the masses of Muslims who were needed to win the war. After a year’s campaigning, the Turkish military was overextended and, even with German assistance, could not withstand the counterattack.