Southern Asia 1921: Greco-Turkish War

Political map of South & Southwest Asia on 27 Aug 1921 (Anglo-French Overreach: Greco-Turkish War), showing the following events: Baloch independence; Revocation of the Anglo-Persian Agreement; Italian evacuation from Adalia; Battle of Sakarya.

The most serious conflict in Turkey's war for independence was the Greco-Turkish War. In 1919 Greece had moved troops into western Anatolia to protect the sizeable local Greek population and assert its historical claim over the region. By August 1921 the Greeks were within 80km of Ankara, but proved unable to break through the Turkish defenses and were eventually forced to withdraw.


Changes to the map 5 April 1921–27 August 1921

Greco-Turkish War: The Greek army has reached the Sakarya River in the vicinity of Potatli and only 80km from Ankara, the Turkish capital.

Persia: Persia has revoked the Anglo-Persian Agreement, asserting its independence from Britain. In the southeast, Balochistan has effectively gained independence.

Armenia: The Soviets have suppressed the breakaway Republic of Mountainous Armenia.

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

? ?? 1921 Baloch independence

Dost Mohammad Khan of Bampur leads a Balochi revolt against the Persian government. For a time, he manages to maintain control of western Balochistan by forging alliances with the ruling families of the various principalities making up the wikipedia

22 Jun 1921 Revocation of the Anglo-Persian Agreement

The Persian Parliament (Majlis) formally denounces the unpopular Anglo-Persian Agreement of 1919, ending British hegemony in wikipedia

5 Jul 1921 Italian evacuation from Adalia

The last Italian forces withdrew from Antalya, southern Anatolia, avoiding clashing with the Turkish Nationalists and ending the Italian claim to the wikipedia

23 Aug–13 Sep 1921 Battle of Sakarya

The invading Greek army advanced on the Turkish Nationalist lines on the Sakarya River, 80km from the Nationalist capital of Ankara. By September 2, the Greeks had captured Mount Chal and in the ensuing 10 days, some units come within 50km of Ankara. However, the Greeks were overextended, and a Turkish counterattack on September 8 forced them to abandon the offensive and withdraw toward Eskişehir and Kara wikipedia