8/2/1919 to 20/2/1919 Reparations and racial equality trouble the Paris Conference while assassins strike and war continues to rage in the East

Unfortunately my commitments to science fiction have obliged me to neglect the First World War. Here are some fascinating events that occurred a hundred years ago since the last episodes I highlighted.

13/2/1919 At the Paris Conference, the Japanese delegation causes a sensation by proposing that the covenant of the League of Nations affirm the equality of all races. European colonial powers are unimpressed, Wilson embarrassed, and Australian & New Zealand leaders extremely hostile.

14/2/1919 Wilson temporarily leaves Paris, heading back to the United States for a short trip, leaving the peace conference deadlocked on the question of German reparations.

15/2/1919 Ukrainian nationalists evict Bolshevik supporters from the town of Proskurov and immediately massacre the town’s Jewish population.

16/2/1919 Austria votes in elections for a constituent assembly. The Social Democratic Workers Party wins the most seats, but not enough to govern alone.

19/2/1919 Consternation in Paris as Clemenceau is shot by an anarchist malcontent. Although injured, the French prime minister survives.

20/2/1919 King Habibullah Khan of Afghanistan is assassinated while on a hunting trip. His policy of neutrality had made him unpopular with the many people in his country who are hostile to the British Empire.

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The Japanese delegation

27/1/1919 to 7/2/1919 The Paris Conference prepares to reorder the world

I continue to apologise to all readers as science fiction commitments are keeping me away from my Great War blogging. These are some of the events that have transpired since the last post.

27/1/1919 At the Paris Conference, the Japanese delegation formally states their claim to the territories Japan seized from Germany in 1914: various Pacific islands and the Shantung Peninsula (including the Tsingtao naval base) in China.

31/1/1919 Much to everyone’s relief, fighting between Poland and Czechoslovakia over disputed Teschen comes to an end.

3/2/1919 Jailbreak! Irish nationalist leader Éamon De Valera is sprung from Lincoln Jail, where he was being held since Sinn Féin leaders were rounded up last year. He now hopes to make his way back to Ireland to take charge of the struggle for Irish independence.

5/2/1919 The Ukrainian capital Kiev falls to the Red Army.

6/2/1919 The German assembly meets for the first time since the recent elections. As Berlin is still considered too dangerous in the aftermath of the Spartacist revolt, the assembly meets in Weimar.
6/2/1919 Assisted by British intelligence officer T.E. Lawrence, Emir Faisal of Mecca states Arab claims to the Paris Conference. Faisal is seeking an Arab kingdom, led by his father, stretching from Syria to the Arabian peninsula, in line with promises previously made by the British.

7/2/1919 The Italian delegation to the Paris Conference presents their claims to the Dalmatian coast. President Wilson chooses today to formally recognise Yugoslavia, suggesting that Italy’s ambitions are unlikely to be satisfied.

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Emir Faisal’s delegation. Lawrence is to his right (Wikipedia)

Events continue to unfold

I continue to be distracted from my First World War blogging endeavours. One day I will return to them, but in the mean time here is a list of things that happened since my last post. I am particularly sorry to have missed the anniversary of the Irish parliament’s first meeting, but it could not be helped.

8/1/1919 Expanding into territory abandoned by the Germans, the Red Army reoccupies Vilnius, which is separately disputed between Poland and Lithuania.

09/1/1919 Fearful of the Red Army, the Latvian government begins to recruit a mercenary force from demobilised German soldiers.

10/1/1919 Fahreddin Pasha surrenders Medina to the Arab followers of King Hussein of Mecca, more than two months after the Turkish armistice. The two and a half year siege is now over.

11/1/1919 Ebert‘s government sends the army and the Freikorps militia into Berlin against the uprising by the far left Spartacists.

11/1/1919 Russia’s Bolshevik government begins draconian grain seizures from peasants in the territories it controls.

12/1/1919 Elections in Bavaria see Kurt Eisner‘s socialist government routed.

12/1/1919 The peace conference in Paris begins with a meeting of Wilson, Lloyd George, Clemenceau and Orlando, together with their foreign ministers.

13/1/1919 Despite their country’s almost non-existent contribution to the Allied war effort, the Japanese delegation to the Paris Conference joins the American, British, French and Italian delegates on the conference’s supreme council.

13/1/1919 Amidst great bloodshed, the Germany army and the Freikorps crush the Spartacist uprising in Berlin.

15/1/1919 Karl Liebknecht and Rosa Luxemburg, leaders of the failed Spartacist uprising, are captured, tortured and murdered. Luxemburg’s body is dumped in a canal.

15/01/1919 21 people suffer a squamous death when Boston’s North End is flooded by molasses.

16/1/1919 Influenza claims a high profile victim, as President Alves of Brazil succumbs to the epidemic.

18/1/1919 The Paris Conference holds its first plenary session, on the anniversary of the 1871 proclamation of the German Empire in Versailles.

19/1/1919 Germans vote in elections to a constituent assembly, with women voting for the first time. The Social Democrats and the Centre Party win a majority for their brand of moderately reformist republicanism.

21/1/1919 Sinn Féin MPs elected to the British House of Commons assemble in Dublin and declare themselves to be Dáil Éireann, the national parliament of an independent Ireland. On the same day members of the Irish Volunteers coincidentally kill two policemen in an ambush in Soloheadbeg in County Tipperary.

23/1/1919 A border dispute between newly independent Czechoslovakia and Poland turns violent as Czechoslovak troops attack Polish forces in Silesia.

24/1/1919 At the Paris Conference, South Africa, New Zealand and Australia present their claims to German overseas territories they have occupied since early in the war.

26/1/1919 Independent Poland holds its first general election. The new parliament will draw up a constitution for the nation.

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Freikorps paramilitaries in Berlin (Wikipedia: Freikorps)

Inaugural plenary meeting of the Paris Conference (Guardian: The Paris peace conference begins – archive, January 1919)

Newspaper report of Dáil Éireann’s first meeting (Dáil100: The inaugural public meeting of Dáil Éireann)

Holding the line

I am a bit tied up with Important Things right now and so am falling a bit behind in this important Great War endeavour. These are some of the things that happened since the my last post, which I hope to return to shortly.

29/12/1918 The Independent Social Democrats leave Ebert‘s coalition in protest at the German Chancellor’s decision to send troops against the People’s Navy Division on Christmas Eve.

31/12/1918 In less than two months flu has claimed the lives of 20% of Western Samoa‘s population.

2/1/1919 Criminal investigations open into atrocities ordered by Turkey’s leaders during the war.

3/1/1919 Emir Faisal reaches an agreement with Zionist leader Chaim Weizman to support Jewish immigration into Palestine.

3/1/1919 The Red Army occupies Riga. In response to the Bolshevik invasion, Latvia’s government seeks to form an armed force of German volunteers.

4/1/1919 A bizarre and ultimately unsuccessful attempt by an American officer to kidnap the Kaiser.

5/1/1919 Demonstrations in Berlin by the far left Spartacists escalate into an armed uprising against Ebert’s government.

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Spartacists (Wikipedia: Spartacist uprising)