Southern Asia 1922: Saudi Expansion

Political map of South & Southwest Asia on 05 May 1922 (Anglo-French Overreach: Saudi Expansion), showing the following events: End of the Persian Socialist Soviet Republic; Treaty of Ankara; Conquest of Ha’il; Chauri Chaura incident; Egyptian Independence; Ikhwan raids on Iraq; Federative Union of Socialist Soviet Republics of Transcaucasia.

Since its foundation in 1902, the Saudi state in Nejd had grown to cover much of the Arabian interior. In 1922, the Saudis conquered their long-time Rashidi rivals in Ha'il, leaving only British-backed states in their neighborhood. The fanatical Ikhwan militia, who had so far supported the Saudis, wanted to carry the war into these states, mounting raids on Kuwait, Iraq, and Transjordan, but were restrained by Ibn Saud, who was wary of provoking the British.


Changes to the map 27 August 1921–5 May 1922

Unification of Saudi Arabia: The Saudis have conquered the Emirate of Ha'il (Jebel Shammar). After Ikhwan raids against the British mandate of Iraq, the Ikhwan tribes have been divided between the Sultanate of Nejd and Iraq.

Egypt: Egypt has been granted independence by Britain, however it remains a veiled British protectorate.

Persia: The Persian government and disaffected tribes have allied to overthrow the State of Khorasan. Persia has also occupied the breakaway Soviet Republic in Gilan.

Franco-Turkish War: France has abandoned its claim to Cilicia and, at the Treaty of Ankara, ended its war with Turkey and agreed on a new Syria-Turkey border.

Transcaucasia: Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Georgia have united to form the Federative Union of Soviet Socialist Republics of Transcaucasia.

Russian Civil War: The rebel Emirate of Bukhara has united with the Basmachi in its war against the Soviets.

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

8 Sep–23 Oct 1921 End of the Persian Socialist Soviet Republic

Soviet forces withdraw from the Persian Socialist Soviet Republic in Gilan, allowing the Persian army of Reza Khan to occupy Rasht and crush Mirza Kuchik Khan’s independence movement. Mirza flees to the Khalkhal Mountains, where he dies of frostbite in early wikipedia

20 Oct 1921 Treaty of Ankara

France and the Grand National Assembly of Turkey signed the Franco-Turkish Agreement at Ankara, Turkey, bringing an end to the Franco-Turkish War. The treaty redefined the Syria-Turkey border, ceding large areas of the Aleppo and Adana vilayets to Turkey, and gave the sanjak of Alexandretta in Syria a special status to acknowledge its significant Turkish wikipedia

2 Nov 1921 Conquest of Ha’il

The last Al Rashid rulers of Ha’il, Emirate of Ha’il (Jebel Shammar), surrender to invading Saudi forces from the Sultanate of Nejd in the Second Saudi-Rashidi War. This brings an end to the Saudi-Rashidi conflict and leads to the incorporation of Jebel Shammar into the Sultanate of wikipedia

4 Feb 1922 Chauri Chaura incident

A large group of Non-Cooperation Movement protesters gathered at Chauri Chaura, in the United Provinces in British India, turn to violence, prompting the police to open fire. In retaliation, the protesters set fire to a police station, killing all its occupants. Some 22-23 policemen and 3 civilians die in total, prompting the Indian National Congress to halt the Non-Cooperation Movement 8 days wikipedia

28 Feb 1922 Egyptian Independence

The government of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland issued the Unilateral Declaration of Egyptian Independence, ending its protectorate over Egypt and granting the country nominal independence with the exception of four “reserved” areas: foreign relations, communications, the military, and the Anglo-Egyptian wikipedia

11 Mar–5 May 1922 Ikhwan raids on Iraq

Ikhwan Mutayr tribesmen from the Sultanate of Nejd raid Abu Ghar, in the Kingdom of Iraq—one of a number of raids they have made against the British dependencies of Iraq and Kuwait. The British respond with RAF strikes, prompting the Saudi rulers of Nejd to reign in the Ikhwan and negotiate the Treaty of Mohammera, dividing the tribal areas between Iraq and wikipedia

12 Mar 1922 Federative Union of Socialist Soviet Republics of Transcaucasia

Following the proposal of Soviet ruler, Vladimir Lenin, the Armenian, Azerbaijani and Georgian Soviet Socialist Republics were united into the Federative Union of Socialist Soviet Republics of wikipedia