Abyssinia Crisis

Arrival of the New Order

Southern Asia 1935.0223

Abyssinia Crisis

Italo-Ethiopian War, Indian self-government, Xinjiang Wars, South Asia before World War II (23 February 1935)

Historical Map of South & Southwest Asia

In the 1920s, Mussolini's Fascists had risen to power in Italy, adopting an increasingly aggressive foreign policy. In 1934 their expanding claims in Somalia led to a clash with Ethiopia, which brought the dispute to the League of Nations. However Mussolini secretly wanted an excuse to conquer Ethiopia and continuously rejected the League's attempts at arbitration.

Notes

Changes to the map 16 March 1934 - 23 February 1935

Abyssinia Crisis: Ethiopia has advanced to secure much of its claim to the Ogaden, which had previously been largely uncontrolled. Italy has united Somalia and Eritrea into Italian East Africa and voiced its demands on Ethiopian territory. The Franco-Italian agreement has made small changes to the Eritrea-French Somaliland border and given Italy a free hand in Ethiopia. Italian troops are moving to Somalia and Eritrea to enforce Italy's claims.

Saudi-Yemeni War: Saudi Arabia has expelled Yemen from Najran and Jizan. At the Treaty of Taif, Yemen has recognized Saudi rule in Asir, Najran, and Jizan.

Xinjiang Wars: The Soviets have mostly departed from Xinjiang, leaving its reconquest to governor Sheng Shicai, but still provide air support and advisors. The Ma family have conquered the East Turkestan Republic, effectively creating their own 'Tunganistan'.

Central China: In the wake of Nationalist attacks, the Communists have largely fled their enclaves in the east and are consolidating in Shaanxi.

British Protectorates in the Persian Gulf

The British Residency of the Persian Gulf maintained British India's influence in a number of Gulf states from the 19th Century until 1947. These states were nominally independent - and shown as such in most atlases from the period - but all signed treaties guaranteeing British control over their foreign affairs.

The Sultanate of Muscat and Oman was the only one of these states with significant international relations, having obtained trade agreements with the US and France before it signed its treaty with Britain. Maps of the time often show Trucial Oman and even Qatar as regions of Oman.

Trucial Oman was the region to the west of Oman which collectively signed treaties with Britain. The sheikhdoms of this region were often called the Trucial States, and later became the United Arab Emirates. However at this time they had little unity, with no regional council until 1952.

Indian Empire

The British Indian Empire, also known as the British Raj, was comprised of a complex of presidencies, provinces, protectorates, and agencies. Only the top level subdivisions are shown here.

The area under direct British rule was known as British India and made up of presidencies and provinces - a presidency simply being the name for an older province.

Outside British India, but often included within the sphere of the presidencies/provinces, were the hundreds of protectorates or 'princely states'. These were indirectly ruled states, the largest being Hyderabad, Kashmir, and Mysore. The others were either collected into agencies - which might in turn contain other smaller agencies - or fell under the sway of the provinces.

Main Events

Saudi-Yemeni War

After a Saudi ultimatum to Yemen to withdraw from the disputed Tihama territories of Jizan and Najran expires, Saudi forces invade. In May, they continue their attacks and occupy Al Hudaydah. The war is resolved that month by the Treaty of Taif, whereby Yemen formally cedes Jizan and Najran and accepts the Saudi annexation of Asir.

Long March

Units of the Chinese Communist Party's Red Army, retreating from the Nationalist Government's Fourth Encirclement Campaign, travel from a number of Communist enclaves in the south - most notably in the their stronghold in Jiangxi province - deep into the northwest in a series of marches which will collectively become known as the Long March. As the marches progress, crossing mountains and gorges in a circuitous 9,000 km path, Mao Zedong and Zhou Enlai emerge as the Communist leaders. By the time Mao reaches Yan'an Shaanxi province in October 1935, only 40,000 of an intial 300,000 party members remain.

Abyssinia Crisis

Ethiopian and Italian Somali troops clash at Walwal, an Italian fortified post deep inside the Ethiopian-claimed Ogaden. The following day, Emperor Haile Selassie of Ethiopia protests Italian aggression but is countered when Duce Benito Mussolini's Italian government demands an apology and compensation. The dispute is brought before the League of Nations, but not only does Italy continuously reject arbitration measures, it also begins building up forces in East Africa.

Italian East Africa

The Italian colony of Eritrea and protectorate of Somalia are united to form the colony of Italian East Africa, with its capital at Mogadishu and Emilio de Bono as High Commissioner. Ethiopia will be added to the colony when it is conquered the following year.

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