Southern Asia 1918: Treaty of Brest-Litovsk

Political map of South & Southwest Asia on 03 Mar 1918 (The Fall of the Ottoman Empire: Treaty of Brest-Litovsk), showing the following events: Dunsterville’s Hamadan Expedition; Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic; Armistice of Erzincan Ends; Treaty of Brest-Litovsk; Treaty of Brest-Litovsk Article IV.

Transcaucasia's armistice with the Ottomans broke down in February 1918, by which point the Bolsheviks had largely secured their control of Russia and declared it a Soviet Republic. However the new Soviet state was still too weak to fight the Central Powers and in March was forced to the harsh Treaty of Brest-Litovsk, dramatically redrawing its border not only in the west but with the Ottoman Empire at the expense of Transcaucasia.


Changes to the map 18 December 1917–3 March 1918

The Bolsheviks have gained control over much of the former Russian Empire and declared the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic in January.

In the Caucasus, the Ottomans have renewed their offensive against Transcaucasia and retaken Erzincan and Trebizond. In addition the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk has extended their border to include Kars in Transcaucasia.

The Transcaucasian Commissariat is holding a parliament to discuss its impending declaration of independence, but is facing increasing internal problems - particularly with Baku. In the north, Terek Cossacks, Daghestanis, Chechens, and other mountain peoples are revolting against the Bolsheviks and Transcaucasia alike.

The British offensive in Palestine has stalled again, while in Mesopotamia the British are more concerned with securing northern Persia.

In Persia, a small British force under Dunsterville has entered Hamadan, traveling from there to Enzeli on the Caspian Sea by armored car. However Enzeli is dominated by a group known as the Revolutionary Committee, which forces them to withdraw. Nearby the Jangali movement threatens Qazvin. In eastern Persia the British are extending their East Persian Cordon to Mashhad and the Russian border.

British Protectorates in the Persian Gulf

The British Residency of the Persian Gulf maintains British India influence in a number of Gulf states. These states are nominally independent - and shown as such in most atlases from the period - but have all signed treaties guaranteeing British control over their foreign affairs.

The Sultanate of Muscat and Oman is 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 is the region to the west of Oman which collectively signed treaties with Britain. The sheikhdoms of this region are often called the Trucial States, and will become the United Arab Emirates. However at this time they have little unity, with no regional council until 1952.

Indian Empire

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

The area under direct British rule is 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, are the hundreds of protectorates or 'princely states'. These are indirectly ruled states, the largest being Hyderabad, Kashmir, and Mysore. The others are either collected into agencies - which may in turn contain other smaller agencies - or fall under the sway of the provinces.

Main Events

27 Jan–20 Feb 1918 Dunsterville’s Hamadan Expedition

British General Lionel Dunsterville in an advance expedition comprising some 64 men in Ford cars and vans, sets off from Baghdad across northern Persia. Passing through Kermanshah and Hamadan, he eventually reaches Enzeli on the Caspian Sea on February 17. He stays for only 3 days before being forced back to Qazvin by the Revolutionary Committee, which holds sway in wikipedia

28 Jan 1918 Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic

The Third All-Russian Congress of Soviets of Workers’, Soldiers’ and Peasants’ Deputies in Petrograd, Russia, dissolves the Constituent Assembly and agrees to establish the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic on the basis of a free union of the peoples of wikipedia

12 Feb 1918 Armistice of Erzincan Ends

The Ottomans resume their advance against the Transcaucasian Commissariat, defying the Armistice of Erzincan signed two months earlier and accusing the Armenians of persecuting wikipedia

3 Mar 1918 Treaty of Brest-Litovsk

In March 1918 Soviet Russia signed the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk with Germany, Austria-Hungary, Bulgaria, and the Ottoman Empire at Brest-Litovsk, Russia. The treaty ended Russia’s participation in World War I and forced it to cede the Baltic States to Germany, to cede Kars to the Ottoman Empire, and to recognize the independence of Ukraine and Finland. Russia was also obliged to pay six billion German gold marks in wikipedia

3 Mar 1918 Treaty of Brest-Litovsk Article IV

At the insistence of the Ottoman Grand Vizier, Talaat Pasha, the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk declares that the territory Russia took from the Ottoman Empire in the 1877-1878 Russo-Turkish War, specifically Ardahan, Kars, and Batumi, is to be returned to the Ottoman wikipedia