the Arctic 1920: Far Eastern Republic
The Great War ended in November 1918 with an armistice with Germany, encouraging most of the Allies to also end their intervention in Russia. However, Japan stayed on in the Russian Far East, supporting the numerous White factions there. Unwilling to confront the Japanese directly, the Soviets backed the creation of a Far Eastern Republic to act as a buffer state.
30 Sep 1918–? Aug 1921 Spanish Flu in the Arctic▲
At the end of September 1918 the influenza pandemic arrived in St. John’s harbour, Newfoundland, from where it spread rapidly across the island, killing just under 1% of the population. The next month the disease crossed to sparsely-populated Labrador, killing 10% of its people (30% among Inuit). At around the same time, two ships brought the flu to Iceland, where over 1% died. The flu did not enter the Arctic circle itself until the ice cleared in June/July 1919, when it devastated many parts of Alaska, northern Canada, Greenland, and the European Arctic, completing wiping out a number of indigenous settlements. Even so, through isolation and vigilance, others successfully evaded the disease until it petered off in 1921.
11 Nov 1918 Armistice of Compiègne▲
At 5am Paris time, Germany signed an armistice with the Allies in railway carriage No. 2419 D at Compiègne, France, to end its involvement in World War I. The armistice went into effect at 11am and, although not a formal surrender, demanded that the Germans withdraw their troops to behind their own borders, renounce the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk, release all prisoners, promise to pay reparations, and surrender their fleet and materials.
28 Jun 1919 Treaty of Versailles▲
Germany signed the Treaty of Versailles, officially ending its state of war with the Allied Powers. The treaty required Germany to accept War Guilt, disarm, cede 65,000 square km of territory containing 7 million people to its neighbors, and pay considerable reparations (assessed to be 132 billion Marks in 1921).
28 Jun 1919 Dominion representation at Versailles▲
Representatives of the Dominion of Canada, the Commonwealth of Australia, the Union of South Africa, and the Dominion of New Zealand signed the Treaty of Versailles separately from, but underneath, the King of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland and of the British Dominions beyond the Seas. This simple act—the first time the dominions had signed an international treaty as separate states—marked a step towards their control over their own foreign policies.
1–12 Oct 1919 Evacuation of Murmansk▲
After withdrawing from Archangel in late September 1919, the Allies evacuated Murmansk in October, ending the North Russia intervention.
9 Feb 1920 Svalbard Treaty▲
The Treaty between Norway, The United States of America, Denmark, France, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, Great Britain and Ireland and the British overseas Dominions and Sweden concerning Spitsbergen, was signed in Paris 9 February 1920. The treaty recognized Norwegian sovereignty over Spitsbergen/Svalbard but also demilitarized the archipelago. The treaty came into force on 14 August 1925, twelve days after being ratified by Japan (the last of the signatories to do so).
6 Apr 1920 Far Eastern Republic▲
A Constituent Assembly in Verkhneudinsk, far eastern Russia, proclaimed the establishment of the Far Eastern Republic. The new republic was supported and recognized by Soviet Russia as a convenient buffer state between itself and the Japanese forces in occupation of Vladivostok.