Peace Treaties with Germany's Allies (1919-23)

Refer to the map showing the land losses of Germany’s Allies.


After peace had been made with Germany at Versailles (28th June 1919), ‘The Big Three’ turned their attention to Germany’s allies. Their intention was to have one treaty with the Habsburg Empire, but two separate treaties were signed with Austria and Hungary. There had been a Communist uprising in Budapest and this delayed signing the treaty with Hungary. Both of these treaties were diktats, as were those signed with Bulgaria and Turkey. However, a second negotiated treaty was signed with Turkey in 1923.

The Treaty of St. Germain (10th September, 1919 – With Austria)

The principle of NSD was used in the treaty with Austria.

  1. Italy gained the Tyrol and Trentino in the North, and Istria and Trieste in the Northeast. (She did not get Fiume.)
  2. Czechoslovakia gained the Sudetenland (German speaking), the Czech provinces and Slovakia.
  3. Serbia was given various states in the Balkans: Bosnia, Herzegovina, Croatia and Dalmatia, to form the Kingdom of Yugoslavia (Yugoslavia = The Southern Slavs)
  4. Poland gained Galicia.
  5. Austria could not unite with Germany (no Anschluss)
  6. Austria was disarmed to 30,000 men plus three Danubian police boats.
  7. Austria was supposed to pay reparations, but as she was bankrupt in 1920, none were paid.

The Treaty of Trianon (4th June, 1920 – With Hungary)

  1. Hungary lost some border districts to Czechoslovakia and Yugoslavia.
  2. Transylvania was given to Rumania, which doubled Rumania’s size.

Comments on the Treaties of St. Germain and Trianon

  1. Austria complained because she was disarmed and unable to defend herself against the hostile neighbours that encircled her. See diagrams. Both states were land-locked and surrounded by weak or hostile neighbours.

    Austria Diagram (Encirclement)

    1. Switzerland (Neutral)
    2. Germany (Weak, Union forbidden)
    3. Czechoslovakia (Hostile)
    4. Hungary (Hostile and covetous of Austria)
    5. Yugoslavia (Hostile)
    6. Italy (Hostile)

    Hungary Diagram (Encirclement)

    1. Austria (Weak)
    2. Czechoslovakia (Hostile)
    3. Rumania (Hostile)
    4. Yugoslavia (Hostile)

    Many of Austria and Hungary’s neighbours were hostile because they wanted to keep their new-found independence, and they resented the former control of the Habsburgs.

  2. Both treaties were diktats.
  3. NSD was applied and denied. E.g. 3 million Austrians lived in the Sudetenland under foreign rules. 3 million Magyars lived under Rumanian rule in Transylvania. No Anschluss for Germany and Austria. The Czechs and the Slovaks resented being in one country.
  4. Austria was disarmed.
  5. Austria lost its monarchy (loss of Prestige and National identity)
  6. Both Austria and Hungary lost out economically, e.g. they were both landlocked, this damaged trade. Though Austria and Hungary enjoyed free trade before the war, they did not afterwards. Hungary lost valuable agricultural land, Transylvania. Both countries suffered from a drop in population (Workforce). Austria’s population dropped from 22 million to 6.5 million and Hungary’s population dropped from 21 million to 7.5 million.

Treaty of Neuilly (27th November, 1919 – with Bulgaria)

Bulgaria lost Western Thrace to Greece, which meant that Bulgaria lost the coastline that lead more directly into the Mediterranean.

Settlement with Turkey

Treaty of Sevres (August, 1920 – a diktat)

The Turks agreed to lose their Middle-Eastern empire. Saudi Arabia became independent; Britain gained Palestine, Trans-Jordan and Iraq as mandates. (Mandate = a lease. Britain and France only looked after these lands for 30 years). France was given Lebanon and Syria as mandates.

In Europe Turkey lost other lands. Greece gained Eastern Thrace (not Constantinople) and Smyrna on the Turkish mainland. Italy gained Rhodes (Dodecanese Islands). The Dordanelle Strait was demilitarised (League of Nations). An Army officer Mustapha Kemal, objected to these losses, and led a revolution against the Sultan (Mohammed VI). Kemal drove the Greeks out of Turkey (1922) and the Greeks were easily defeated, because their King (Alexander) had been killed in October 1920, as a result of a bite from his pet monkey. The British stepped in to make peace between Greece and Turkey.

Treaty of Lausanne (1923 – Negotiated)

Turkey regained all the land she had lost to Greece. The Straits remained demilitarised and Italy kept Rhodes. Kemal became the first president of republican Turkey with his new capital at Ankara. Constantinople was renamed Istanbul.

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