My continual work-in-progress; more is missing than is included, and will forever be the case!
This update includes relevant dates from the book “The Western Front” by Hunt Tooley; “The Russian Origins of the First World War” by Sean McMeekin.
Items in parenthesis refer to (book:page); book references can be found at the end of the post. Where helpful, I have added hyperlinks in addition to page references. I have also added specificity to several previously unspecific dates.
i. East India Company Act passed in Britain, fundamental in the increase of the illegal (in Chinese law) British opium trade to China.
1. Britain gained access to the trade following the Battle of Plassey in 1757, when Britain annexed the Bengal Presidency to its empire.
2. The British people wanted tea from China, paid for in silver; the Chinese didn’t want much of anything from the Empire. As the British were running low on silver, opium was the vehicle through which they remedied the trade imbalance.
a. Three partitions of Poland, the division of land between Russia, Prussia, and Austria. (1:424)
i. 1772: Pomerelia and Ermland to Prussia; Galicia to Austria (1:427)
ii. 1793, 1795: heart of Poland is fully divided (1:427)
a. 20 November
i. Prussian-French Peace Treaty negotiated. (1:565)
1. Following the defeat and second abdication of Napoleon Bonaparte.
i. Samuel Russell (cousin of William Huntington Russell who was co-founder of the Skull and Bones Secret Society at Yale University) of Connecticut founds Russell and Company, quickly becoming America’s biggest smuggler of Turkish opium into China. (10:19)
i. Warren Delano (Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s grandfather) joins Russell and Company in China (10:19), becoming number two partner in 1839 at 30 years old (10:23) and head partner within ten years. (10:26)
i. Beginning of First Anglo-Afghan War, fought between British imperial India and the Emirate of Afghanistan from 1839 to 1842.
b. 3 November
i. Beginning of First Opium War, fought between Britain and China over their conflicting viewpoints on diplomatic relations, trade, and the administration of justice for foreign nationals.
1. And to protect Britain’s opium trade in China.
i. US Commodore Lawrence Kearny was sent to China to protect American interests during the First Opium War. (10:26)
a. 29 August
i. Signing of the Treaty of Nanking between Britain and China, ending the First Opium War. Britain gets Honk Kong.
a. 3 July
i. Treaty of Wangxia between United States and China, allowing the United States five “New Chinas,” districts of extraterritoriality – in other words, American districts governed by American law. (10:28)
1. In the treaty, the US agreed that the opium trade would be illegal, a meaningless provision given that Americans could not be tried in Chinese courts. (10:28)
i. Revolutions of 1848, affecting dozens of countries throughout Europe.
1. The revolutions were essentially democratic in nature, with the aim of removing the old feudal structures and creating independent national states.
a. 16 June
i. Commodore Perry goes ashore at Chichi Jima (in the far western Pacific), purchasing land on behalf of the US Navy from an American living on the island. (10:53)
b. 8 July
i. Commodore Perry sails into Tokyo Bay. (9:178)
i. Chinese seize British cargo ship, Arrow, on suspicion of piracy, marking the beginning of the Second Opium War.
a. 29 July
i. US – Japan sign Treaty of Amity and Commerce. (9:179)
a. 18 October
i. Convention of Peking finally brings to an end the Second Opium War.
a. 13 March
i. Russia invades island of Tsushima in the Sea of Japan, between Japan and Korea. Japans rebuffs Russians, but many die. (9:179)
a. 23 August
i. Prussian-Austrian Peace Treaty (Peace of Prague) negotiated. (1:565)
1. Ended the Austro-Prussian War. The treaty was lenient toward the Austrian Empire because Otto von Bismarck had persuaded Wilhelm I that maintaining Austria's place in Europe would be better in the future for Prussia than harsh terms, as Bismarck realized that without Austria, Prussia would be weakened in a relatively hostile Europe.
a. 18 January
i. During the Siege of Paris, William was formally proclaimed German Emperor in the Hall of Mirrors at the Palace of Versailles.
b. 10 May
i. German-French Peace Treaty (Treaty of Frankfurt) negotiated. (1:565)
1. The end of the Franco-Prussian War.
a. 12 March
i. US General Le Gendre boards (now allied) Japanese warship in Yokohama harbor, intending to take Japanese diplomatic delegation to China regarding Taiwan. (9:189)
a. 22 May
i. Japan invades Taiwan.
i. Japanese forces withdraw from Taiwan after the Qing government agreed to an indemnity of 500,000 Kuping taels, or about 18.7 tonnes (600,000 ozt) silver.
a. 26 February
i. Japan-Korea Treaty of Amity negotiated.
1. Japan employed gunboat diplomacy to press Korea to sign this unequal treaty. The pact opened up Korea, as Commodore Matthew Perry's fleet of Black Ships had opened up Japan in 1853.
a. 24 April
i. Beginning of Russo-Turkish War: The Russian-led coalition won the war. As a result, Russia succeeded in claiming several provinces in the Caucasus, namely Kars and Batum, and also annexed the Budjak region. The principalities of Romania, Serbia, and Montenegro, each of whom had had de facto sovereignty for some time, formally proclaimed independence from the Ottoman Empire. After almost five centuries of Ottoman domination (1396–1878), the Bulgarian state was re-established as the Principality of Bulgaria
a. 3 March
i. Treaty of San Stefano, ending the Russo-Turkish War. The treaty was never implemented, replaced by the Treaty of Berlin.
b. 13 July
i. Treaty of Berlin, overriding the Treaty of San Stefano.
c. 21 November
i. Beginning of Second Anglo-Afghan War, fought between the British Raj and the Emirate of Afghanistan from 1878 to 1880.
a. 7 October
i. The Dual Alliance, a defensive alliance, between Germany and Austria-Hungary was created.
i. Beginning of construction of Trans-Caspian railway
i. Absalom Sydenstricker, father of Pearl S. Buck, goes to China as a missionary.
i. Final draft of Treaty of Peace, Amity, Commerce and Navigation between the US and Korea is accepted.
1. Article 1 provides: “There shall be perpetual peace and friendship between the President of the United States and the King of Chosen and the citizens and subjects of their respective Governments. If other powers deal unjustly or oppressively with either Government, the other will exert their good offices on being informed of the case to bring about an amicable arrangement, thus showing their friendly feelings.”
b. 6 May
i. The Chinese Exclusion Act signed by President Chester A. Arthur. It was one of the most significant restrictions on free immigration in US history, prohibiting all immigration of Chinese laborers.
1. Repealed by the Magnuson Act on December 17, 1943.
c. 20 May
i. The Triple Alliance, also known as the Triplice, was a secret agreement between Germany, Austria-Hungary, and Italy formed on 20 May 1882 and renewed periodically until it expired in 1915….
a. 18 June
i. Reinsurance Treaty signed between Germany and Russia.
1. The treaty provided that each party would remain neutral if the other became involved in a war with a third great power, though this would not apply if Germany attacked France or if Russia attacked Austria.
a. 15 June
i. Wilhelm II becomes German Emperor and King of Prussia, serving until the end of the Great War.
a. 14 February
i. White “Hawaiians” sign annexation treaty of Hawaii, less than one month after US Marines capture Iolani Palace. The next day, President Harrison submits treaty to Senate for ratification. (9:159)
b. 17 February
i. Paul Neumann, Queen Lili’uokalani’s personal attorney throws a wrench into the ratification of the treaty – native Hawaiians are not in favor of this treaty. (9:159)
c. 8 March
i. Newly elected President Grover Cleveland withdraws support for the annexation treaty. (9:160)
d. 1 April
i. American flag in Honolulu is lowered, ending Hawaii’s status as US protectorate. (9:160)
e. 23 December
i. The Franco-Russian Alliance, or Russo-French Rapprochement was finalized.
a. 1 August
i. First Sino-Japanese War begins, primarily regarding Korea.
1. America supports Japan in this war. (9:197)
i. “China can never be reformed from within. The manifold needs of China…will be met permanently, completely, only by Christian civilization.” Reverend Arthur Henderson Smith, American missionary in China, from his book “Chinese Characteristics.” (10:13)
1. Into the 1920s it was still the most widely read book on China among foreign residents there.
a. 17 April
i. First Sino-Japanese War ends: China recognized the total independence of Korea and ceded the Liaodong Peninsula (in the south of the present day Liaoning Province), Taiwan and the Penghu Islands to Japan "in perpetuity".
b. 23 April
i. At the behest of the Chinese (betting on a “barbarian vs. barbarian” strategy), ministers of Russia, France and Germany call on Japanese Foreign Ministry, opposing Japanese ownership of Liaodong Peninsula. (9:201)
1. Unable to militarily resist the three European powers, Japan cedes the peninsula – Russia claimed the peninsula and the coveted Port Arthur. (9:202)
a. 29 January
i. Filipino freedom fighters appeal to US State Department for assistance to expel the Spanish by force. The US did not assist. (9:76)
b. 14 December
i. Philippines and Spanish sign a truce. (9:76)
i. Reverend Henry W. Luce (father of publisher Henry Luce), departs to China as a missionary.
a. 15 February
i. USS Maine explodes in Havana harbor, killing more than 200 American sailors. (9:76) There was no evidence of foul play by the Spanish. (9:77)
b. 18 February
i. William Randolph Hearst’s Journal runs headline: “DESTRUCTION OF THE WARSHIP MAINE WAS THE WORK OF AN ENEMY: Assistant Secretary [Theodore] Roosevelt Convinced the Explosion of the War Ship Was Not and Accident.” (9:78) President McKinley confides to an aide: “I have been through one war [US Civil War]; I have seen the dead pile up, and I do not want to see another.” (9:79)
c. 10 April
i. First of several German Naval Laws, intended to significantly increase Germany’s naval capabilities. Seen by Britain as a direct challenge.
d. 20 April
i. McKinley signs war resolution against Spain. (9:79)
e. 1 May
i. “Battle of Manila Bay” between the steel ships of the US Navy and the wooden ships of Spain. It was a short battle. (9:87)
f. 12 June
i. Philippines’ celebrates first Independence Day. They would not get to celebrate a second for sixty-four years. (9:91)
g. 14 June
i. American troops sail from Tampa to Havana to “free” Cuba. (9:80)
h. 30 June
i. Philippine President Aguinaldo allows 2500 armed American soldiers to come ashore to help prosecute the war with Spain. “I have studied attentively the Constitution of the United States, and I find in it no authority for colonies, and I have no fear.” (9:92)
i. 7 July
i. US President McKinley signs Newlands Resolution, annexing Hawaii.
j. 17 July
i. Spanish and American troops gather in Santiago, Cuba for the surrender ceremony. (9:81)
k. 12 August
i. “Hawaii Annexation Ceremony” is held in Honolulu. (9:164)
l. 13 August
i. Americans and Spanish fight sham “Battle of Manila”; Americans disallow Filipinos to join the fight, thereby keeping them out of the walled city. (9:94)
1. The battle was jointly planned by the opposing Spanish and American forces to keep the city from falling to the Philippine Revolutionary Army under President General Emilio Aguinaldo.
a. 4 February
i. First fighting of US – Philippine War
i. Beginning of Boxer Rebellion, an anti-imperialist uprising in China.
1. Eight foreign powers joined together to put down the rebellion: the United Kingdom, Russia, Japan, France, United States, Germany, Italy, Austria-Hungary.
a. 3 June
i. The (William Howard) Taft Commission, formed and authorized by President McKinley to study conditions in the Philippines, arrives in Manila Bay. “The populace that we expected to welcome us was not there.” (9:115)
b. 28 August
i. T. Roosevelt to a friend: “I should like to see Japan have Korea. She will be a check upon Russia, and she deserves it for what she has done.” (9:208)
c. 29 October
i. “I wish to see the United States the dominant power on the shores of the Pacific Ocean,” Theodore Roosevelt. (9:1)
a. 23 March
i. US Army captures Philippine President Aguinaldo. (9:118)
b. 4 July
i. US ended “military government” of the Philippines and initiated “civil government.” MacArthur handed the reigns to Taft. (9:119)
c. 2 September
i. Vice President T. Roosevelt first says: “Speak softly and carry a big stick” at the Minnesota State Fair. (9:203)
d. 7 September
i. Boxer Protocol brings an end to the Boxer Rebellion. Provides for the execution of government officials who had supported the Boxers, provisions for foreign troops to be stationed in Beijing, and 450 million taels of silver—more than the government's annual tax revenue—to be paid as indemnity over the course of the next thirty-nine years to the eight nations involved.
e. 14 September
i. McKinley dies as a result of assassin’s bullet, shot on September 6. He had initially been viewed as recovering from the wound. Vice President Theodore Roosevelt took office.
a. 30 January
i. Anglo-Japanese Treaty between Great Britain and Japan.
1. Recognizing British spheres of influence in China, and Japanese spheres in China and Korea.
2. Promise of neutrality in case of conflict.
3. Promise to support the other in case of war.
4. Hence, Britain would support Japan against Russia, thereby also neutralizing Germany and France in such a conflict. “…a shaft aimed at Russia.” (9:210)
b. 1 July
i. The Philippine Organic Act enacted by the United States Congress.
c. 4 July
i. T. Roosevelt declares US war in Philippines over, except for Muslim areas. (9:6)
a. 12 August
i. Japanese minister in St. Petersburg presents document to serve as basis for negotiation.
1. Allow Japan free reign in Korea and Russia free reign in Manchuria. (9:211)
b. 3 October
i. Russia offers response to Japan
1. Japan concludes Russia merely buying time, with no interest to resolve dispute via diplomacy.
a. 21 January
i. American minister to Japan, Lloyd Griscom, warns from Tokyo that the Japanese nation is worked up “to a high pitch of excitement….” Only a complete back down by Russian government will satisfy the public. (9:211)
b. 25 January
i. Sir Halford Mackinder reads a paper at the Royal Geographical Society entitled “The Geographical Pivot of History.” In the paper, he clearly describes the stakes of “The Great Game” regarding the Eurasian landmass.
i. Beijing notifies Roosevelt that I will end the US-China Treaty, due for renewal in 1905; they call on Roosevelt to negotiate a fairer agreement. (9:288)
d. 4 February
i. Prime minister of Japan, Taro Katsura, assembles cabinet before Emperor Meiji; reports that reaching agreement with Russia regarding Korea was not possible as Russia would not negotiate seriously. (9:212)
e. 6 February
i. Japan breaks relations with Russia. (9:213)
ii. T. Roosevelt writes privately: “The sympathies of the United States are entirely on Japan’s side, but we will maintain the strictest neutrality.” (9:213)
f. 8 February
i. Beginning of Russo-Japanese War: Three hours before Japan's declaration of war was received by the Russian government, the Japanese Imperial Navy attacked the Russian Far East Fleet at Port Arthur.
1. President Theodore Roosevelt after Japan’s successful surprise attack: “I was thoroughly pleased with the Japanese victory for Japan is playing our game.” (9:201)
2. Roosevelt notifies France and Germany that if they assist Russia “I should promptly side with Japan and proceed to whatever length was necessary on her behalf.” (9:216)
g. 26 March
i. Ambassador Takahira introduces Baron Kentaro Kaneko (Harvard Law degree, born into a Samurai family) to the US State Department. Kaneko’s role is to influence US policy favorably toward Japan. Later taken to the White House; Roosevelt moves Kaneko to the front of the line. Roosevelt gushed. (9:222)
1. Roosevelt repeatedly meets with Kaneko over a period of nineteen months; talks kept secret from the State Department. (9:220/224)
h. 8 April
i. Series of agreements between France and England signed, known as Entente Cordiale.
i. 1 May
i. Battle of Yalu River ends. First major land clash of Russo-Japanese War, ending with a route of the Russians. (9:223)
a. 1 January
i. Russians surrender Port Arthur to Japan. (9:228)
b. 22 January
i. “Bloody Sunday” in St. Petersburg. While attempting to present a petition to Tsar Nicholas II, unarmed demonstrators led by Father Georgy Gapon were fired upon by soldiers of the Imperial Guard. Marked by some as a key event leading to the Revolution of 1917.
1. Among other demands, the petition called for an end to the Russo-Japanese War.
i. Korean Emperor Gojong sends Syngman Rhee to Washington to urge America to honor treaty obligations toward Korea. (9:230)
d. 10 March
i. End of Battle of Mukden between Japan and Russia, ending in victory for Japan; one of the largest land battles in history up to that time. Nearly one million combatants and almost 200,000 casualties. (9:234)
e. 28 May
i. Last battle of Russo-Japanese War: The Japanese engaged the Russians in the Tsushima Straits on 27–28 May 1905. The Russian fleet was virtually annihilated, losing eight battleships, numerous smaller vessels, and more than 5,000 men, while the Japanese lost three torpedo boats and 116 men. Only three Russian vessels escaped to Vladivostok. After the Battle of Tsushima, a combined Japanese Army and Navy operation occupied Sakhalin Island to force the Russians to sue for peace.
f. 31 May
i. Ambassador Takahira brings Roosevelt a secret telegram from foreign minister Komura, requesting that Roosevelt invite Japan and Russia to open direct negotiations. To the world, this was presented as Roosevelt’s initiative. (9:238)
1. China was not invited to talks meant to parcel out Chinese territory. (9:238)
g. 5 June
i. Russian Tsar agrees to talks, but “without intermediaries.” (9:239)
h. 1 July
i. Secretary of war, William Howard Taft, Alice Roosevelt (T. Roosevelt’s daughter), seven senators, and twenty-three congressmen – along with wives and aides, about 80 people altogether – boarded a transcontinental train in Washington, beginning their journey to the Far East. (9:11) At the time, it was the largest diplomatic delegation to Asia in US history. (9:1)
i. 2 July
i. Roosevelt announces that Russia and Japan have agreed to talks at Portsmouth, New Hampshire, beginning August 5. (9:241)
j. 7 July
i. Roosevelt invites Kaneko for discussions in preparation of negotiations with Russia. (9:241)
k. 8 July
i. The SS Manchuria, with the aforementioned US delegation, departs San Francisco for Asia. (9:59)
ii. T. Roosevelt to Baron Kaneko, proposes that Japan leads a “Monroe Doctrine” for Asia. (9:217)
1. Excluding, of course, the Philippines. (9:225)
l. 14 July
i. SS Manchuria steams into Honolulu. (9:145)
m. 25 July
i. Manchuria docks in Yokohama, Japan. (9:168)
n. 26 July
i. Roosevelt invites Ambassador Takahira to iron out last-minute details in preparation for talks with Russia. (9:244)
ii. Alice Roosevelt dines with Emperor Meiji in his palace in the center of Tokyo, showing Alice his private garden (never before shown to a White Christian). (9:244)
o. 28 July
i. Secretary Taft and Prime Minister Katsura meet secretly in Shiba Palace; the only other person present was the interpreter. No transcript was made of the discussion. (9:248)
1. Hands off the Philippines, uphold Open Door Policy for China, Korea for Japan. No formal alliance would be possible as the US Senate would not approve such a treaty. (9:248)
a. Taken from Taft’s secret summary to President Roosevelt, nineteen years later. (9:249)
p. 30 July
i. In Tokyo, Sun Yat-sen, looking for funds to support his revolution, meets with Charlie Soong, a wealthy Shanghai publisher. (10:87)
1. Charlie Soong was educated in the United States, taken under wing by Southern Methodists – hoping to build a Southern Methodist New China. (10:88)
2. Upon returning to China, Soong realized that few Chinese were interested in becoming Christian; he also found that many Americans would send a lot of money to him on the premise that China would be converted. (10:90)
3. Soong returns to America, raising funds for Dr. Sun’s revolution, proclaiming what would become a Christianized China. (10:91)
q. 4 August
i. Manchuria steams into Manila. Taft: “I did not come to give you your independence…” (9:252)
ii. Two emissaries of Korean Emperor Gojong meet Roosevelt to ask him to exercise his “good offices” to save Korea. (9:300)
r. 5 August
i. Commencement of negotiations to resolve the Russo-Japanese War. (9:300)
s. 11 August
i. At a banquet at the Hotel Metropole, Taft describes Filipinos as “sacred wards of the United States.” (9:259)
t. 31 August
i. Manchuria departs Manila for Hong Kong. (9:267)
u. 2 September
i. While in Hong Kong, Taft receives a telegram from Roosevelt, advising him to be tough on the Chinese: “Make them realize that we intend to do what is right and that we cannot submit to what is now being done by them” – referring to a rumor that the military was helping to enforce a boycott of US goods. (9:292)
v. 3 September
i. Secretary of War Taft steams west from British Hong Kong to the Chinese city of Canton. (9:269)
1. Not on the Manchuria, but on the US Navy gunboat Laliao; he was warned that he risked personally harm, as he was travelling to one of the most anti-American cities in China (the Cantonese, for example, had earlier boycotted all American goods). (9:271)
2. Taft delivers a tough message from President Roosevelt. (9:271) The agitation of boycott is thereafter increased not reduced. (9:294)
a. Estimates vary, with some concluding that the boycott cut US exports to China by more than half. (9:296)
w. 5 September
i. Peace Treaty of Portsmouth, hosted by Theodore Roosevelt, formally ends Russo-Japanese War.
1. No cash indemnity to the Japanese – one of the key expectations of the Japanese population. (9:303)
a. Osaka Newspaper draws picture of weeping skeleton of a Japanese soldier holding the treaty with the words “We are ashamed to report this.”
b. Riots broke out in cities that so recently cheered Roosevelt’s daughter. (9:304)
i. Tsar Nicolas and family are prepared to flee abroad, with St. Petersburg in turmoil and defenses undermanned. To avoid this fate, the Tsar grants civil liberties and a constitutional order. The lesson of war (in this case, the war with Japan) precipitating events leading to internal revolution were thought to be understood. (13:49)
i. One month before his appointment as new Foreign Secretary, Sir Edward Grey offered:
1. In a bold statement given to The Times just a month before his appointment at the end of 1905, he made it clear that there would be much to gain if an understanding could be reached about “our Asiatic possessions.” No British government, he said, would “make it its business to thwart or obstruct Russia’s policy in Europe.” It was “urgently desirable,” therefore, “that Russia’s position and influence” should be expanded in Europe – and diverted, in other words, from Asia.
z. 15 November
i. American Homer Hulbert, sent by Korean Emperor Gojong, arrives at State Department. Gojong believed that if Roosevelt knew the truth – that Japan held a knife to Korea’s throat – he would have Japan back down. (9:311)
1. No high official in the Roosevelt administration would see Hulbert, as the other shoe was going to drop for Korea shortly. (9:311)
aa. 17 November
i. Korea’s new dictator, Hirobumi Ito, travels from Tokyo to Seoul. Told Gojong’s ministers that they would now agree to a new treaty. (9:311)
1. The treaty begins with a statement that Japan’s Department of Foreign Affairs will control and direct the external relations of Korea; in foreign countries, Japan’s diplomatic and consular representatives will represent interests of Koreans. (9:312)
2. With Japanese bayonets outside, the ministers signed the treaty. (9:312)
3. Roosevelt does not act on Hulbert’s mission. (9:312) Thus ignoring the “good offices” clause of the 1882 US-Korea Treaty. (9:314)
bb. 24 November
i. US Secretary of State meets Hulbert, tells him now it is too late to do anything for Korea. (10:81)
cc. 28 November
i. US hand over the US legation building in Seoul to the Japanese, giving them a base from which to begin “civilizing” Asia. (9:313)
a. 31 January
i. Secret military negotiations begin between Britain and France, binding the British Expeditionary Force top the French Army. (13:89)
b. 7 April
i. The Algeciras Conference of 1906 took place in Algeciras, Spain, and lasted from 16 January to 7 April. The purpose of the conference was to find a solution to the First Moroccan Crisis of 1905 between France and Germany…
a. 31 August
i. Anglo-Russian Entente, dividing Persia, Afghanistan and Tibet into British and Russian spheres, ending Russian desires to drive to the coast. (13:51)
i. While it is unclear if Russian Foreign Minister Alexander Izlovski formally agreed or merely agreed to present the terms to the Tsar, in a meeting at the Austrian Foreign Minister’s office a trade was negotiated: Russia would look benignly on the annexation of Bosnia-Herzegovina by the Dual Monarchy and in exchange Austria would support Russian attempts to open the Turkish straights from the Black Sea to the Mediterranean. (13:52)
b. 6 October
i. The Dual Monarchy of Austria-Hungary announces its annexation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, dual provinces in the Balkan region of Europe formerly under the control of the Ottoman Empire.
i. Requested by the Ottoman Sultan for modernization of the navy, the British sent the first of three naval missions to the Porte, covering the period from January 1909 – September 1914. (15:36)
a. 21 February
i. US and Japan sign “Treaty of Commerce and Navigation”
i. The Agadir Crisis or Second Moroccan Crisis was a brief international crisis sparked by the deployment of a substantial force of French troops in the interior of Morocco in April 1911.
i. Germany dispatches a gunboat to the Moroccan port of Agadir, precipitating one more crisis with France regarding Morocco. (13:222)
i. While secretary of War under President Taft from 1911 – 1913, Henry Stimson develops contingency plans for war against Japan. It is felt that Japan could be blockaded with no risk to the United States of a long war. (10:122)
1. At the time, the US was Japan’s largest supplier of oil and steel. (10:123)
a. 8 October
i. Beginning of First Balkan War, pitting the Balkan League (Serbia, Greece, Montenegro and Bulgaria) against the Ottoman Empire.
b. 18 October
i. The Italo-Turkish or Turco-Italian War was fought between the Kingdom of Italy and the Ottoman Empire from September 29, 1911, to October 18, 1912.
1. Italy captured Ottoman Libya
c. 23 November
i. Tsar Nicholas informs his “incredulous” prime minister, Vladimir Kokovtsov, of his plan to rectify an imbalance of forces vis-à-vis Austria: he had ordered the mobilization of forces along the Austrian frontier, some 1.1 million men. Kokovtsov explained that in Europe, mobilization would be seen as war. Eventually, the mobilization was not undertaken. (13:58, 62)
i. Tsar Nicholas, disturbed by the signs of drunkenness in the villages, banned vodka. Vodka sales, monopolized by the state, provided one-third of state revenue. (13:76)
b. 20 May
i. End of First Balkan War, with the allies capturing and partitioning almost all remaining European territories of the Ottoman Empire.
c. 24 May
i. Princess Louise of Germany is married in Potsdam; the last great social event in Europe before the war, marking the last time that the three cousins – Kaiser Wilhelm, Tsar Nicholas II, and King George V – are together. (13:66)
d. 29 June
i. Beginning of Second Balkan War, a conflict which broke out when Bulgaria, dissatisfied with its share of the spoils of the First Balkan War, attacked its former allies, Serbia and Greece.
e. 10 August
i. End of Second Balkan War: The Ottoman Empire also took advantage of the situation to regain some lost territories from the previous war. When Romanian troops approached the capital Sofia, Bulgaria asked for an armistice, resulting in the Treaty of Bucharest, in which Bulgaria had to cede portions of its First Balkan War gains to Serbia, Greece and Romania. In the Treaty of Constantinople, it lost Edirne to the Ottomans.
f. 28 October
i. Treating Alsatians like enemies and not Germans, Twenty-year-old Second Lieutenant Günter Freiherr von Forstner speaks insultingly about the occupants of Zabern in German Alsace. Tempers cooled, for a time.
g. 14 November
i. Forstner again speak critically of the Zabern occupants. (13:22)
h. 27 November
i. Sazonov is informed by Girs that the two British built dreadnought-class battleships will be delivered to the Ottoman Black Sea fleet by March or April 2014; these would make obsolete Russia’s entire Black Sea fleet. (15:30)
i. 30 November
i. Colonel von Reuter surrounds the square of Zabern with sixty soldiers and two machine guns, threatening the population if they continue to disrespect the German military. Men were arrested for laughing. Twenty-seven people were arrested and spent the night in jail. (13:24)
i. Rumors about the imminent appointment of Limon von Sanders of Germany to command the defenses of the Ottoman Straits reach Russia. (15:30)
k. 2 December
i. Karl Blank, a journeyman shoemaker, was caught laughing at the German troops. He received a saber to the head from Forstner, suffering severe injury. Forstner’s conviction was later overturned. (13:26, 34)
l. 6 December
i. Sazonov warns the tsar of the threats to the Straits. (15:31)
m. 14 December
i. Germany sends General Limon von Sanders to command Turkish army corps in Constantinople. Whereas Russian and German antagonisms were previously indirect (via Austria), this brought Russian and German interested in direct conflict. (13:63, 68)
a. 6 January
i. Sazonov writes a memo to Tsar Nicholas II, proposing the idea of provoking a European war over the question of the Straits, and the subsequent carving up of Turkey by the Triple Entente powers. (15:31)
b. 13 January
i. In a meeting with members of his cabinet, it was proposed to Tsar Nicholas that Russia occupy a city on the Black Sea Coast of Turkey, in an effort to force Turkey to expel von Sanders and the Germans. Kokovtsov continued to press that war meant internal revolutionary unrest, opposed this plan. The cabinet supported Kokovtsov. Two weeks later, the Tsar removed him from office. (13:71-72)
c. 21 February
i. The Russian Duma approves the appropriation of 102 million rubles to accelerate the develop of the Black Sea fleet. (15:33)
i. Pyotr Durnovo sent a memorandum to Tsar Nicholas, warning that if Russia enters a coming war, it would unleash internal revolution. It is unclear if the Tsar ever read the memo. (13:45)
e. 14 March
i. Churchill delivers speech regarding rebellion in Ulster, rebellion against the Catholic southern Ireland and Home Rule, with the Protestants in minority. He offers friendship and concessions; the alternative is a fight – he threatens the Irish. (13:106)
f. 16 March
i. Many British officers in Ireland and also in the Navy chose to resign if ordered to march. (13:108)
ii. Henriette Caillaux shoots Gaston Calmette, editor of Le Figaro, ultimately costing her husband Joseph the position of France’s premier. Joseph was likely to diffuse any crisis with Germany and also was not in favor of alliance with Russia. (13:204, 208)
i. German rifles are delivered to Ulster, with the commander of the Royal Navy ships ordered to blockade having “turned a blind eye.” (13:114)
h. 29 May
i. “It is militarism run stark mad…Whenever England consents, France and Russia will close in on Germany and Austria.” Colonel House (15:41)
i. The Russian ambassador to London asks the British government why they are supporting the Turkish navy and, hence, destroying Russia’s entire strategic position. (15:38)
j. 12 June
i. Grey and Churchill reply to the Russian protest – as they are a laissez-faire economy, it is not up to the government to obstruct a private enterprise! (15:39)
k. 28 June
l. 29 June
i. Disaster in Ireland is now a few days away, proclaimed the Times; this in the same edition reporting the assassination of the Archduke. For months, Ireland (and not the tensions in Europe) occupied Britain’s press. (13:116)
m. 4 July
i. Military warns British Cabinet that 200,000 armed men were in Ireland, suppressing revolts. If civil war broke out in Ireland (Protestant North vs. Catholic remainder), the entire Expeditionary Force, the Special Reserve and the Territorial Army would be required to restore order – preventing Britain from meeting “obligations abroad.” (13:90)
n. 5 July
i. Kaiser Wilhelm II promises that Germany will stand by Austria if she attacks Serbia. (15:43)
o. 16 July
i. The Russian ambassador in Vienna reports to Petersburg that Austria will soon make certain demands on Belgrade. (15:51)
p. 20 July
i. Beginning of a four-day French presidential summit with the tsar and his foreign minister in Petersburg. Apparently, no information has been published on the discussions. (15:45) The French delegation witnesses a military environment, including a review of 60,000 men. (15:54)
q. 22 July
i. Enver Pasha of Ottoman Turkey approaches Germany with a request for an alliance. The proposal is rejected. (11:49) In Berlin, the German government almost immediately begins to have second thoughts regarding this rejection. (11:58)
ii. Sazonov reports to his ambassador in Vienna that France will not tolerate a humiliation of Serbia. (15:53)
r. 23 July
i. Austrian Francis Joseph approves the ultimatum to Serbia. (13:186) The ultimatum gives Serbia 48 hours to reply. (15: 43) Austria apparently waited to release it until the aforementioned Franco Russian summit beginning on 20 July had concluded. (15:51)
s. 24 July
i. 10 AM: Sazonov, regarding the Austrian ultimatum, declares that this means European war. (15:54)
ii. 11 AM: Sazonov instructs the chief of Russia’s General Staff to make “all arrangements for putting the army on a war footing.” A partial mobilization plan was to be reviewed by the Council of Ministers at 3 PM. (15:54/55)
iii. Sazonov considers war unavoidable. (15:56) This is stated before the meeting of the Council of Ministers. (15:57)
iv. Russian council of ministers meets to decide the response to Austria’s ultimatum to Serbia. Kokovtsov’s cool head is no longer in the council. (13:79) It is also concluded that war would not bring internal revolution. (13:80)
v. The mobilization was not limited to safeguarding Serbia’s independence, but a wide-scale mobilization. (15:59)
vi. The mobilization would not be publicly announced until 28 July. (15:59)
t. 25 July
i. Full Russian mobilization will occur once Austrian troops cross the Serbian border. (15:60)
ii. French consul reports to Paris regarding Russia’s mobilization decision, but that it wouldn’t be publicly announced until Austria-Hungary declares war on Serbia. (15:68)
u. 26 July
i. Russian Poland (Warsaw) was placed under martial law. (15:60)
ii. Six Russian military districts entered the “Period Preparatory to War.” (15:60) It is mobilization by another name. (15:62)
v. 27 July
i. The Russian districts in the south (Tiflis) entered the “Period Preparatory to War.” (15:60) The Russian Caucasian Army is (secretly) mobilized on the Ottoman frontier (15:101)
ii. Hapsburg consuls in various Russian cities notify Vienna of the Russian mobilization. German consul in Warsaw report of significant Russian troop movements. (15:62)
iii. Altogether the German Foreign Office received 28 separate reports of Russian mobilization between 26 – 30 July (15:64)
w. 28 July
i. Shortly before declaring war, Austrian emperor falsely told that Serbian troops had invaded Bosnia and Hungary. (13:183)
ii. Beginning of the Great War / World War One
iii. Austria declares war on Belgrade (15:43)
iv. The Times still leads with new of trouble in Ireland. (13:118)
x. 29 July
i. Austrian Emperor Francis Joseph uses the word “I” twenty six times in his war manifesto; for him, the war is personal. (13:179)
ii. Germany’s consul in Warsaw reports that “Russia is already fully in a state of preparation for war….” (15:68)
iii. Russia formally informs Britain of its mobilization. (15:70)
y. 30 July
i. Nicholas orders general mobilization. (13:80) This is the official public announcement of the previously approved decision. (15:73)
ii. Sazonov explains that reversing the mobilization order is now impossible, and it was brought on by the Austrians. (15:41)
iii. Sazonov wires his ambassador in London: “it is a matter of the highest importance” that Turkey not receive the two dreadnoughts being built for her in England. (15:102)
z. 31 July
i. Ottoman Turkey secretly learns Britain plans to seize two warships built in British shipyards, the Reshadieh and the larger Sultan Osman I. (11:58)
aa. 1 August
i. Ottoman Turkey and Germany agree to a treaty of alliance, with Germany obligating itself to defend Ottoman territory in case it should be threatened. (11:59) The Ottoman government enticed Berlin to sign the treaty by agreeing to turn over the Sultan Osman I – a warship that the Ottoman government already secretly knew was not going to be delivered by the British! (11:60) Germany never learned that the Turks knew of the coming confiscation before the treaty was signed. (11:69)
ii. The Turks and the Germans discuss allowing the German warships Goeben and Breslau to come to Constantinople and on to the Black Sea. (11:62) The Germans believe the Turks have agreed; the Turks went back and forth. (11:64)
iii. Von Moltke explains to the Kaiser that the mobilization cannot be improvised – the plans took one year to develop and cannot be altered. (15:41)
bb. 2 August
i. France and then Germany declare mobilization. (14:38)
ii. Germany declares war on Russia. (14:38)
iii. Germany presents ultimatum to Belgium (14:45)
iv. Turkey mobilizes (15:103)
v. The Porte (Turkey) publicly maintains a position of neutrality, while secretly signs an alliance treaty with Berlin (15:103)
cc. 3 August
i. Britain formally notifies the Ottoman government that it will not deliver the two Ottoman commissioned warships. (11:58)
ii. Germany declares war on France. (14:59)
iii. Germany enters Belgium. (14:38)
iv. Turkey closes and mines the southern end of the Dardanelles. (15:103)
dd. 4 August
i. Britain declares war on Germany. (13:199) Britain gives Germany twelve hours to withdraw from Belgium (13:122)
ii. Woodrow Wilson offers the good offices of the United States to bring an end to the war. The American Ambassador to Berlin, James W. Gerard, secretly proffered generous terms to the Germans. The Germans refused, finding the terms insufficient. (13:320)
iii. Turkey warns Russia: any Russian naval provocation on the Black Sea would be met by complete closure of the Straits to Russian ships. (15:103)
ee. 5 August
i. Enver Pasha tells Russians that he will pull back the now fully mobilized IX and XI Corps of the Ottoman Third Army from the Caucasian front, so that Russia can send its Caucasian army against Germany and Austria. (15:106)
ff. 8 August
i. Germans dropped leaflets in Poland, promising to free the Poles from the “Muscovite yoke.” (15:88)
ii. Tsar Nicholas II proclaims before the State Council that Russia is fighting not just for defense or honor, but on behalf of “our bother Slavs.” (15:89)
gg. 9 August
i. Russians reject Enver’s offer of 5 August. (15:107)
ii. In anticipation of the arrival of the two German warships, Russia authorizes Black Sea commander to use any means to annihilate the two ships, even if it means entering Turkey’s territorial waters. (15:104)
hh. 10 August
i. The Ottoman government issued a press release that it had acquired the two German warships for eighty million marks. There was no such agreement with the Germans, but the Germans conceded knowing that to protest would result in Ottoman public opinion turning strongly against the German cause. (11:65)
ii. The two German warships (SMS Goeben and Breslau) arrive at the mouth of the Dardanelles. (15:103)
ii. 16 August
i. The two German warships enter the Sea of Marmara (15:104)
ii. Russia publishes in Poland the objective of a reunited, self-governing Poland – which would include Austrian Galicia. It was not clear what was meant by self-governing. (15:87)
jj. 17 August
i. Contrary to German expectations, Russia mounted an invasion of East Prussia (14:53)
kk. 23 August
i. Sazanov is told by his ambassador in Turkey that there is a general feeling, especially among the officers, that war is being prepared against Russia. (15:108)
ll. 25 August
i. First aerial bombardment, by Germany against Antwerp. (14:50)
mm. 8 September
i. The Turks abrogate the Capitulations (15:112)
nn. 26 September
i. Believing that Germany is about to secure a quick victory over the Russians, Enver personally orders the closing of the Dardanelles to all foreign ships (meaning all Allied ships). (11:70)
oo. 27 September
i. The Dardanelles are fully mined and closed, effectively cutting off Russia’s only tear-round warm-water access. (15:110)
pp. 2 October
i. The Russians learn that it is anticipated that the Germans – in command of the Turkish naval fleet – would “annihilate” the Russian Black Sea fleet. (15:113)
qq. 3 October
i. It is reported that Turkey is being flooded by German officers. (15:110)
rr. 31 October
i. Churchill, without referring the matter to the Cabinet, orders the forces in the Mediterranean to commence hostilities at once against Turkey. (11:72)
ss. 2 November
i. After a sneak attack by the Ottoman navy on Russia’s Black Sea fleet, Russia declares war against the Ottoman Empire. (15:112)
tt. 3 November
i. British warships bombard the outer forts of the Dardanelles. (11:73)
uu. 5 November
i. The British government formally modifies the proclamation of war to include war against the Ottoman Empire. (11:73)
vv. 21 November
i. Tsar Nicholas II speaks openly to the French ambassador of annexing the Straits, European Thrace, and Turkish Armenia. (15:121)
i. German General von Falkenhayn, seeing enough of trench warfare, concludes that Germany cannot win a two-front war. (13:322)
xx. 21 December
i. Enver Pasha takes command of the Ottoman Third Army, with the intent to attack the Russians in the eastern plateau. (11:120) The attack was a disaster for the Turks, losing perhaps 86% of its 100,000 men. (11:121)
a. 2 January
i. Lord Kitchener directs Churchill to investigate the possibility of mounting a naval assault on the Dardanelles without army support. (15:126)
b. 7 January
i. Alexander Israel Helphand (aka Parvus), a Russian communist revolutionary, meets with German ambassador to the Ottoman Empire, Baron von Wangenheim in Constantinople. (11:243)
1. Parvus tells the German ambassador, “The interests of the German government are identical with those of the Russian revolutionaries.”
c. 20 January
i. Churchill informs Russian military command that the decision has been made to force a passageway through the Dardanelles. (15:126) Churchill expects the Russian navy to mount a similar assault on the north entrance, from the Black Sea (15:131)
d. 18 February
i. Germany declares that any enemy merchant ship found in the waters of Great Britain will be destroyed. (14:81)
e. 19 February
i. British warships fire opening shots in the Dardanelles campaign. (11:134)
f. 1 March
i. The formal Allied request for Russia to shell the northern end of the Straits is finally passed on to Stavka (Russian military command). (15:133)
g. 10 March
i. An intercepted cable depicts the remaining Ottoman forts in the Dardanelles to be running low on ammunition. (11:135) Morale in Constantinople disintegrated. (11:152)
h. 18 March
i. Admiral de Robeck, despondent from the destruction of a single line of mines in the straights (yet perhaps only hours away from victory), called off further naval operations in the Dardanelles. (11:152)
ii. Command of the Ottoman forces in the Dardanelles was turned over to the German Liman von Sanders. (11:155)
i. Germans release 150 metric-tons of chlorine gas along a seven mile front near Ypres. (13:262)
1. First use in the war. (14:84)
j. 25 April
i. British, Dominion and Allied armies wade ashore the Gallipoli peninsula. (11:157) Eight months later, they withdrew in defeat. (11:166)
k. 3 May
i. Russian naval forces finally assault the northern end of the Straits. No soldiers came on shore. (15:138)
l. 7 May
i. German sinking of the British passenger liner, Lusitania. (14:81)
i. After warnings by Woodrow Wilson, Germany agrees to end practice of unlimited submarine warfare. (14:81)
n. 25 October
i. Sun Yat-sen abandons his wife and marries the much younger Chingling Soong, Charlie’s daughter. Charlie Soong breaks relations with Dr. Sun. (10:94)
a. 1 July
i. Sixty thousand British soldiers killed or wounded on the first day of the Somme. (13:273)
b. 23 July
i. The tsar sacks Sazonov in favor of the reputed Germanophile Boris Stürmer. This is reportedly done under pressure from the tsarina, on the advice of Rasputin. (15:217)
i. Germany introduces the Hindenburg Programme, virtually militarizing the entire German economy and population. (14:140)
i. Austria and Germany, out of their parts of the previously partitioned Poland, found a new Kingdom of Poland. (1:424)
e. 30 November
i. Russia’s Black Sea fleet launches its first dreadnought, the Empress Catherine II. (15:221)
f. 2 December
i. It is first announced in the Russian Duma that Britain and France has promised Constantinople and the Straits to Russia. Alexander Kerensky leads a mob of hecklers during the session. (15:220)
g. 12 December
i. Germany and its Allies offer possibility of peace negotiations
1. “…prompted by the desire to avoid further bloodshed and make an end to the atrocities of war, the four allied powers propose to enter forthwith into peace negotiations.”
h. 18 December
i. Wilson offers an avenue toward peace
1. “The President is not proposing peace; he is not even offering mediation. He is merely proposing that soundings be taken in order that we may learn, the neutral nations with the belligerent, how near the haven of peace may be for which all mankind longs with an intense and increasing longing.”
i. 24 December
i. Tsar Nicholas II orders forming a “Black Sea division,” targeting Constantinople. (15:221)
a. 9 January
i. During a meeting of the Kaiser’s Privy Council, it is decided to unleash unrestricted submarine warfare. The admirals predicted within six months Britain would be starved into submission and American troop transporters would be stopped. (13:172)
b. 8 March
i. In Petrograd, Russia, a demonstration took place during a celebration of International Women’s Day. Housewives, protesting food shortages, joined the demonstration, as did workers already on strike. Two days later four regiments of soldiers joined the demonstrators. The numbers grew to the hundreds of thousands. (11:245)
c. 10 March
i. The renewed drive for the Straits is conceived by Russian leaders as a means to calm public opinion in Russia. (15:225)
d. 14 March
i. Order No. 1 is issued, abolishing most elements of officer control in the Russian armed forces, to be replaced by elected “soldier soviets.” (15:226)
e. 15 March
i. Czar Nicholas II abdicates, in favor of his brother. His brother declines the throne. (11:245)
f. 17 March
i. German U-boats sink three American merchant vessels. (11:255)
g. 2 April
i. Wilson: “The world must be made safe for democracy.” (5:92) This during his speech before Congress asking for a War Declaration (11:256)
h. 4 April
i. The policy of annexing Constantinople is publicly repudiated by the Petrograd Soviet. (15:225)
i. 6 April
i. United States declares war on Germany (14:175)
ii. In the midst of revolution, Russian forces continue planning for an advance to Constantinople. (15:223)
j. 16 April
i. Via German aid (the extent of German financial aid behind this is disputed; also by Semion Lyandres), Lenin arrives in Petrograd. (11:246)
i. Admiral Kolchak reestablishes “firm control” over the Black Sea fleet. (15:228)
l. 3 May
i. Bolshevik-manipulated street riots in Petrograd. (15:225)
m. 29 June
i. Disastrous Galician offensive launched by Russians; known as the “Kerensky offensive.” (15:228)
n. 1 August
i. Pope Benedict XV issues Peace Proposal to belligerent powers
1. “First of all, the fundamental point should be that for the material force of arms should be substituted the moral force of law…”
2. “With regard to territorial questions…there is ground for hope that…the conflicting parties will examine them in a conciliatory frame of mind, taking into account…the aspirations of the peoples…”
o. 27 August
i. Wilson, via Secretary of State Lansing, responds to Pope Benedict:
1. “It is manifest that no part of this program can be successfully carried out unless the restitution of the status quo ante furnishes a firm and satisfactory basis for it. The object of this war is to deliver the free peoples of the world from the menace and the actual power of a vast military establishment controlled by an irresponsible government which, having secretly planned to dominate the world…”
2. “…the enemy of four-fifths of the world. This power is not the German people. It is the ruthless master of the German people.”
i. British ask Russian Baratov to make a frontal assault on Mosul (15:227)
q. 2 November
i. Foreign Secretary Balfour issues a letter to Lord Rothschild, commonly known as the Balfour declaration; Britain is supportive of a national Jewish homeland in Palestine. (11:297)
r. 7 November
i. Lenin seizes power in Petrograd, benefiting from additional German financial subsidies. (11:246)
s. 25 November
i. Lenin sends unencrypted unilateral request to Berlin for a ceasefire, without preconditions. (15:235)
i. Trotsky leaks details of the “secret treaties,” including the Sykes-Picot agreement to the Manchester Guardian. (15:235)
a. 8 January
i. Wilson outlines his Fourteen Points in a speech before a joint session of Congress. (11:258)
ii. Point 13 of Wilson’s Fourteen Point Peace proposal is toward the establishment of a new state of Poland. (1:421)
b. 11 February
i. Wilson speaks before Congress and outlines the Four Principles upon which the peace settlement should be made. (11:258)
1. People and provinces not to be bartered between powers, territorial settlements taken in the interest and for the benefit of the population concerned.
i. Bolsheviks repudiate all tsarist era bonds and all binding contracts and agreements. The western allies respond in kind, repudiating tsarist bond holdings and freezing assets. (15:235)
d. 3 March
i. Russian Communists sign Brest-Litovsk Treaty with Germany, ceding about 1 MM square kilometers to the Germans. (2:3) British and French refuse to participate in negotiations and never recognize treaty. (15:235)
e. 21 March
i. The German Spring (or Ludendorff) Offensive begins along the Western Front; the hope is to make a major breakthrough before the Americans become fully engaged.
1. There were four German offensives, codenamed Michael, Georgette, Gneisenau and Blücher-Yorck.
2. By the third day of the battle, the Germans had opened a fifty-mile-wide gap and were pouring into open country: Ludendorff had broken the long trench stalemate–but he had not severed the connection between the Allied armies. Now heavy losses and fatigue took their toll; hungry soldiers stopped to loot British supply dumps. After a forty-mile advance, Ludendorff’s tactical masterpiece faded to strategic inconsequence.
f. 28 May
i. First engagement of American Expeditionary Force in Europe, the Battle of Cantigny.
i. Bolsheviks finally force Baratov to withdraw from Persia. (15:227)
h. 4 July
i. Wilson defines the Four Ends for which the US and its Allies are fighting. (11:259)
1. All arrangements to be made with the acceptance of those immediately concerned.
i. 17 July
i. Tsar Nicholas II and family executed. (15:236)
j. 27 August
i. War reparations agreement between Russia and Germany, with Russia obligated to pay 6 billion marks. (2:3)
k. 26 September
i. Bulgaria asks for armistice after the Allied force led by new French General Louis Franchet d'Espèrey launched an offensive into Bulgaria from Salonika, Greece. (11:363)
l. 29 September
i. Ludendorff, hearing of the Bulgarian Armistice, notified the German government that they must also sue for armistice, as Ludendorff had no troops with which he could make a stand on a new, southeastern front. (11:363)
m. 1 October
i. Both the Ottoman government and several prominent individual Turkish leaders begin to send feelers about suing for peace. (11:364)
1. The British War Cabinet was panicked that peace might come before British armed forces could occupy all Middle East areas it hoped to dominate. (11:364)
n. 3 October
i. Germany sends a note to President Wilson, inaugurating armistice negotiations while the war continued. (11:364)
o. 11 November
i. German surrender received in a rail car in the forest of Compiègne (13:267)
ii. Wilson offers that the war inflicted “an injury…to civilization…which can never be atoned for or repaired. (13:324)
p. 13 November
i. Lenin and Trotsky issue order for the Red Army to begin offensive operations against Europe, in an attempt to continue the war toward world revolution. (2:4)
q. 29 November
i. Communist government of Estonia formed. (2:4)
r. 4 December
i. Communist government of Latvia formed. (2:4)
s. 8 December
i. Communist government of Lithuania formed. (2:4)
t. 13 December
i. President Wilson and his many advisors arrive in Brest, France for the purpose of the Peace Conference. (11:390)
1. Wilson, being the highest-ranking politician from the Allies (while at the same time perhaps the least-knowledgeable of European and international intrigues), would lead the delegation.
u. 17 December
i. Manifesto published in Riga, naming Germany as imminent objective of Communist revolution. (2:4)
i. Poland claims a greater Poland – “Great Lithuania” – claimed based on union in 1569 (Union of Lublin). (1:426)
1. It replaced the personal union of the Crown of the Kingdom of Poland and the Grand Duchy of Lithuania with a real union and an elective monarchy…
ii. Polish army established from remnants of former German, Austrian, Hungarian, and Russian soldiers (now Polish nationals). Poland use army to attack in three directions at the expense of its neighbors. (1:424)
iii. Poland and Czechoslovakia each claim the Teschen region, with the Allies awarding a portion of it to Czechoslovakia. (1:433)
iv. Finnish army, immediately upon winning independence from the Russian Bolsheviks, begins building extensive defenses on the Karelian Isthmus. (2:136)
i. German Reichstag calls for elections. In Silesia, combined with a Polish boycott of elections, 75% vote for German political parties. (1:451)
ii. Soviet republic declared in Bremen, Germany. (2:5)
b. 18 January
i. Opening of Paris Peace Conference.
1. The Paris Peace Conference…was the meeting of the Allied victors, following the end of World War I to set the peace terms for the defeated Central Powers….
i. Hungarian Soviet Republic is formed. (2:5)
i. Bavarian Soviet Republic declared. (2:5)
i. Poland attacks Russia, weakened by the revolution, and independent Lithuania. (1:427)
i. Despite January election outcome, Allies demand surrender of Upper Silesia to Poland. It is the third industrial zone (after the Saar and German Lorraine) to be taken from Germany. (1:451)
ii. Churchill, before the Aldwych Club in London: “of all tyrannies in history the Bolshevik tyranny is the worst, the most destructive, the most degrading. It is sheer humbug to pretend that it is not far worse than German militarism.” (1:543)
g. 6 May
i. Beginning of Third Anglo-Afghan War, resulting in the Afghans winning independence from the British Empire.
i. Against French objections, Allies grant elections in Upper Silesia. (1:451)
ii. After German soldiers withdraw, but before the arrival of Allied soldiers, an uprising of Poles breaks out in order to prevent the referendum. (1:451)
i. June 28
i. Signing of Versailles Treaty (2:7)
1. It ended the state of war between Germany and the Allied Powers.
i. Poles blow up three railway and road bridges, sealing off the disputed territory from Germany. (1:452)
i. Allies set the borders between Poland and the White Russians / Ukraine – the Curzon Line – from Grodno south, then along the Bug River. (1:429)
ii. Poland refuses to leave conquered territory east of this line; Soviets deploy troops to the region; Poland attacks Russia without a war declaration. (1:430)
i. French soldiers, under Allied authority, take over political power in Upper Silesia. French General, Le Rond, makes no secret of his sympathy for Poland. (1:452)
i. Poland overruns Ukraine as far as Kiev. (1:430)
i. Soviets push Polish troops back to Warsaw. (1:430)
ii. Polish troops then turn the tables and drive Russians back to Minsk, essentially wiping out Russian army. (1:430)
d. 22 September
i. Lenin sets as objective Warsaw (desiring a common border with Germany from which to advance), seeing the Versailles Treaty as sowing the seeds for the necessary revolution in Germany. (2:9)
i. Poland occupies Vilnius, Lithuania and the surrounding area. (1432)
i. Germany must give up West Prussia, Posen, and East Upper Silesia to Poland as a consequence of Versailles. (1:436) No referendum is allowed. (1:441)
ii. “Free State of Danzig” placed under protection of the League of Nations. Neither Germany nor Poland is satisfied. (1:445)
iii. Every German government since 1920 is dissatisfied with the decisions of the Allies at Versailles (1:468)
g. 6 December
i. Lenin, in a keynote speech before the Moscow organization of the Communist Party of Russia regarding England and France on the one side and Germany on the other (both sides capitalist, and therefore the enemy), declares: “Until the final victory of socialism over the whole world,” the fundamental rule remains valid that “one must exploit the contradictions and conflicts between two groups of imperialist powers, between two groups of capitalist states, and one must set them on each other.” [It is] impossible to defeat both of them, “so one must understand how to group his forces so that the two come into conflict with each other….” (1:528)
1. Is this what Stalin is playing in 1939?
a. 19 February
i. France and Poland conclude an alliance treaty. The core of the treaty is a promise to stand by each other in the case of unprovoked attack by a third country. This treaty is supplemented on the same day by a secret military convention, stipulating the details of French support in the event of a German or Soviet attack against Poland. (1:479)
b. 18 March
i. Peace of Riga, Russia renounces its claim to “East Poland” on the east side of the Curzon line; losing 5 million Ukrainians, 1.2 million white Russians, and about 1 million Jews – along with 1.5 million Poles. (1:431) Only about 1.5 million are Poles. (1: 458)
1. The Soviet-Polish borders established by the treaty remained in force until the Second World War. They were later redrawn during the Yalta Conference and Potsdam Conference.
ii. This event is described by the French Slavic professor Martel: “There were shootings, hanging, torturing…. Many Ukrainian priests were executed.” (1:462)
c. 21 March
i. Referendum for Upper Silesia takes place, amidst bloody clashes; reportedly 1520 Germans meet there deaths while going to the polls. The results are 61% for annexation to Germany, 39% for Poland – with no clear ethnic boundaries. (1:453)
ii. As opposed to applying the election results to the region, the French prevail amongst the Allies, with a border drawn that includes 400,000 German in Poland. (1:453)
d. 22 March
i. General strike declared in industrial central Germany (2:11)
e. 24 March
i. Communists take control of government buildings in Hamburg. (2:11)
f. 1 May
i. The Poles disagree with the split proposed by France. (1:453)
g. 3 May
i. In a fourth uprising, Poles use weapons sent by France for the battle with Russia against the Germans. (1:453) General Le Rond allows the weapons and Polish infantry to come in unchecked. At the same time, Italian troops attempt to oppose the uprising. (1:454)
h. 5 May
i. Polish troops and insurgents capture East Upper Silesia as far as the upper reaches of the Oder. The Reich government protests these actions to the Allied governments. (1:455)
i. 13 May
i. British Prime Minister Lloyd George offered the following in the Lower House: “This step was a complete rupture of the Peace Treaty of Versailles…Poland is the last country that should go against the Treaty of Versailles…If Poland should get permission to overrun these German provinces, that would come to a bad end.” (1:455)
j. 21 May
i. Volunteers gather from Germany and Austria, and begin to recapture the lost and destroyed land: the critical battle is the battle in Annaberg. (1:455)
k. 24 May
i. Paris decrees that every German volunteer in the battle for Upper Silesia is subject to a fine of up to 100,000 marks. (1:455)
l. 5 July
i. German volunteer units have liberated most of Upper Silesia. (1:456)
m. 31 July
i. Founding of Communist Party of China, with twelve delegates present.
a. 16 April
i. Treaty of Rapallo signed between Soviet Russia and Germany
1. …each renounced all territorial and financial claims against the other following the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk and World War I.
2. The two governments also agreed to normalise their diplomatic relations and to "co-operate in a spirit of mutual goodwill in meeting the economic needs of both countries".
3. Soviet Russia and Germany conclude the Treaty of Rapallo, as a means to break the isolation each country is experiencing. (1:527)
b. 17 June
i. East Upper Silesia is forced from the Germans in favor of Poland. (1:456)
c. 26 November
i. Soviets sign agreement with German aviation firm Junkers Flugzeugwerke toward the production of metal airplanes. (2:17)
d. 30 December
i. The Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) is born. (2:11)
i. Poland becomes party to the “Geneva Convention for the Protection of Minorities.” (1:458)
ii. Poland expels minorities who entered after 1908 if they do not “opt” for Poland. Initially, those deported are not compensated for property. Officials with Russian or German as their mother tongue are dismissed from their posts. Half of Russian, German, and Jewish schools are closed. Bilingual teaching is prohibited by Law. Many business and professional licenses held by minorities are revoked. (1:459)
a. 3 March
i. Henry Luce publishes the first issue of Time Magazine. (10:113)
1. Luce, born in China to a missionary, always advanced the cause of his father – the mirage of China as a Christianizing nation.
2. Time magazine gains a reputation for manufacturing facts. (10:114)
3. He often visited China as an adult, staying at one of the mansions of the Soong siblings. (10:114)
i. Soviet agreement with Germany regarding production of munitions and military agreement, and a second regarding construction of a chemical plant. (1:17)
c. 9 November
i. Date fixed by Stalin for a communist coup in Germany. (2:12)
ii. Munich “Beer Hall Putsch,” led by Hitler (Nov. 8-9)
i. The expanded Poland consists of 30 million people: 19 million speak Polish as their mother tongue, 5 million are Ukrainian, 2.5 million Jews, 2 million Germans, 1.2 million White Russians, and lessor amounts of Lithuanian, Czech, Hungarian, Kashubian, and Slozaken. (1:458)
ii. Polish were Roman Catholic; most of the minorities were Orthodox, Protestant, or Jewish. This created another dividing line and litmus test. (1:461)
iii. Advocating for development of strategic bombing capability, British Air Marshal Sir Hugh Trenchard: “The Army policy is to defeat the enemy army; our policy is to defeat the enemy nation.” (6:184)
iv. Comintern instructs Communist Party of China to sign a military treaty with Chiang’s Kuomintang.
i. In Mein Kampf, Hitler mentions Poland only twice, vaguely and in one case critical of the Germans and Austrians for attempting to Germanize their Polish minorities. (1:507)
a. 12 March
i. Sun Yat-sen. leader of Nationalist Party, dies. (10:100)
b. 15 April
i. Agreement signed between Soviets and Germans toward creation of a secret air force center near Russian city of Lipetsk for training German military pilots. (2:17)
i. In a letter, German Foreign Minister Stresemann (a Nobel Peace Prize winner and father of the Franco-German reconciliation) expresses that “no German administration, from the German Nationalists to the Communists, would ever recognize the boundary of the Versailles Treaty.” (1:468)
i. The Gazeta Gdansk writes: “Poland must insist that without Königsberg, without the whole of East Prussia, it cannot exist. We must now demand in Locarno that the whole of East Prussia be liquidated…. Should this not happen in a peaceful way, then there will be a second Tannenberg…” (1:472)
1. Referring to the battle of 1410 (Battle of Grunwald) in which the Polish-Lithuanian army defeated the army of the Teutonic Order, precipitating its political decline. (1:472)
ii. Germany recognizes France’s territorial gains from the Great War. Due to this, France weakens its treaty with Poland – no longer offering a guarantee against a Russian attack, and second, tying any assistance to a prior decision by the League of Nations. (1:480)
i. In a keynote speech at the Locarno negotiations (in which France’s borders and its possession of Alsace-Lorraine were confirmed), Stresemann added: “The League of Nations leaves open the right to make war if an agreement cannot be attained on Political issues… I seek indeed no military conflicts, but also do not exclude changes of borders in the East, if the impossible boundary drawing in the East should bring about conditions to make that necessary.” (1:468)
ii. Great Britain, in the same Locarno negotiations, explicitly refuses to make a guarantee in favor of Poland concerning the former German territories. (1:468, 482)
a. 24 April
i. Soviet Russia and Berlin conclude the Berlin Treaty, a neutrality Treaty for a period of five years.
i. Russian funded Chinese United Front – combining Chiang’s Nationalist forces and Mao’s Communists, combined 100,000 strong – launch the Northern Expedition. (10:101)
1. The purpose is to break out of southeastern China, conquer central China (including Shanghai) and gain control of the Yangtze River. (10:101)
i. Near the Soviet city of Kazan, a tank school is created for training of Germans. (1:18)
ii. Soviet Union begins construction of the “Stalin Line,” thirteen fortified regions along the western borders of the USSR; this effort continues through 1937. The line is built deep in Soviet territory, in order to provide a security pale – a region designed to bog down an aggressor, ensuring no chance at surprise attack. (2:171)
iii. Max Bauer of Germany is invited to China to survey investment possibilities, and soon becomes Chiang’s military and industrial advisor. He soon recruits 46 other German officers to advise and train nationalist forces, while he himself helped devise the strategy that allowed the nationalist to win its 1929 campaigns against the warlords.
i. Stalin armed and funded the Chinese nationalist government, in the hope of pacifying the Soviet Asian border regions. (7:70)
1. Stalin orders Communist Party of China to obey the KMT (nationalist) leadership.
b. January / February
i. Mao concludes that, unlike in Russia, the Chinese communist revolution will be one of the peasants, not the middle class. (10:137)
c. 19 March
i. Chiang Kai-shek formally agrees to the proposal by Ailing Soong (Soong Ai-ling), daughter of Charlie and oldest sister of the very wealthy Soong family, who is alarmed by Mao’s peasant uprisings. (10:102)
1. Appoint Ailing’s husband, HH Kung, as prime minister
2. Her younger brother, TV Soong would serve as Chiang’s finance minister
3. Her sister, Mayling, will marry Chiang.
a. This gives Chiang access to the Mandate of Heaven, as middle sister Chingling was married to Sun Yat-sen – more than nobility.
b. Chingling was appalled, considering Chiang a traitor to her late husband’s memory. (10:103) (Chingling would support the Communists, not Nationalists)
c. Chiang exiles his then-wife to America, allowing him to marry Mayling. (10:103)
d. 14 April
i. In betrayal, Chiang purges the Communist Party of China from the KMT-CPC alliance.
ii. With his Soviet-funded and trained armies, Chiang massacres Chinese Communists of Shanghai.
1. At least 20,000 in Shanghai and hundreds of thousands in the countryside. (10:105)
i. During a meeting of the League of Nations, Poland again asks Britain to guarantee its borders. Britain again refuses. (1:482)
f. 1 December
i. Chiang and Mayling are married. (10:105)
i. Stalin consolidates power in Soviet Union. (1:28)
a. 10 October
i. National government of China is declared by Chiang. (10:107)
i. Poland is party to the “Kellogg Pact,” renouncing war as a means to settle international disputes. (1:436) Additional parties include the United States, Belgium, France, Great Britain, and Germany. (1:506)
a. 29 February
i. The Soviets, Poland, Romania, and the Baltic states sign the “Litvinov Protocol,” according to which wars between these countries is to be excluded in the future as solutions to international disputes. (1:483)
i. Curtiss-Wright Corporation of Buffalo, New York, receives contract to develop commercial aviation in China. (10:110)
1. Chiang’s purpose, of course, was not for commercial use – Chinese peasants couldn’t afford to fly. (10:110)
i. The buildup of Finnish defenses in the Karelian Isthmus (known as the Mannerheim Line), increases significantly. The bulk of Finland’s military expenditures over the next ten years is spent in this buildup. The line is considered impenetrable by various military experts. (2:136)
i. Three years before Hitler’s rise to power, the Polish Foreign Minister Zaleski tells the President of the Danzig Senate that only a Polish army corps can solve the Danzig question. (1:473)
b. 24 October
i. Chiang is baptized a Christian; American newspapers flashed the headline. (10:110)
1. “I feel the need of a God such as Jesus Christ.” (10:111)
2. Pulpits across America sang the news – fruits of decades of missionary efforts.
a. Of course, it was only in fulfillment of one of Ailing’s conditions, but the Americans didn’t know anything of this.
c. 24 December
i. Two disassembled tanks, products of American George Walter Christie, were shipped to the Soviet Union, falsely labeled as tractors. Purpose was for Soviets to study design. (1:50)
i. Chiang mounts his “Bandit Extermination Campaign,” marching more than 100,000 troops into Mao’s territory. (10:143)
1. After two months of fighting, Chiang’s troops withdraw in defeat, leaving their German, French, British and American arms behind for Mao to retrieve. (10:144)
i. Archbishop Szeptyćkyj, Metropolitan of the Greek Catholic Church of Lemberg (the Latin for Lwów Voivodeship, Poland; now Lviv, Ukraine) writes to a friend: “We are living through terrible times. The punitive expeditions ruin our villages, our schools, our economic institutions. Thousands of villagers have been beaten…. There is a critical aggravation of a system of persecution that has not stopped since 1920.” (1:463)
ii. The newspaper linked to Pilsudski, Mocarstwowiec (The League of Great Power), writes: “We are aware that war between Poland and Germany cannot be avoided…we will see…a new victory at Tennenberg…. But we shall fight this Tannenberg in the suburbs of Berlin. Our ideal is to round Poland off with frontiers on the Oder in the West and the Neisse in Lausatia, and to incorporate Prussia, from the Pragel up to the Spree. In this war no prisoners will be taken, there will be no place for humanitarian feelings. We will surprise the whole world with our war against Germany.” (1:472)
i. Chiang launches his second Bandit Extermination Campaign, with 200,000 troops against 30,000 troops for Mao. (10:144)
1. In the very first battle, Mao captured large amounts of weapons and ammunition given to Chiang by various western powers.
2. Chiang retreated after eight weeks of fighting.
b. 24 June
i. Treaty of Berlin between Germany and Soviet Union extended
i. Chiang amasses 300,000 troops for his “final” Bandit Extermination Campaign. (10:145)
1. After three months, Chiang withdraws in defeat once again. (10:146)
2. By this time, Mao ruled a sizeable area with a population of over 5 million – beginning with only 1000 followers.
d. 18 September
i. Japanese military advances beyond Korean colony into Manchuria, shocking and angering Americans. (10:118)
1. Chiang prefers to fight Mao, and not the Japanese – despite American visions. (10:147)
e. 9 October
i. Henry Stimson, the First Wise Man, demands from President Hoover that the United States and the League of Nations jointly condemn Japan’s aggressive actions. Hoover would not, given the value of Japanese trade to America. (10:121)
f. 26 October
i. Luce’s Time features Chiang and Madame Chiang on the cover. (10:121)
1. No mention is ever made of Chiang’s admiration of fascist forms of government. (10:138)
i. Head of Warsaw government, Marshal Józef Piłsudski, to US President Hoover: “Poland must counter an imminent attack by irregular German troops and invade Germany in order to settle things once and for all.” (1:473)
h. 6 December
i. Stimson argues to Hoover that the risk of war with Japan must be weighed against Japan’s actions against the cause of peace. (10:123)
i. The Manchester Guardian describes the Polish policy towards minorities as “hell.” “The minorities in Poland are supposed to disappear…. This policy is recklessly pursued, without the slightest attention to public opinion in the world…” (1:461)
i. The Good Earth, by Pearl S. Buck, is published.
a. 7 January
i. With Hoover’s OK, Stimson announces America’s non-recognition of Japan’s conquests in Asia. (10:124)
b. 28 January
i. Japanese bomb Shanghai. (10:126)
1. Stimson again argues that a blockade will not risk war with Japan; Hoover describes that idea as “folly.”
c. 22 February
i. Robert Short, a US Army Air Corps-trained airman and now mercenary pilot, becomes the first such pilot to die flying for Chiang Kai-shek. (10:127)
i. Mao calls for a “no-war policy” with Chiang, and formally declares war on Japan. Chiang did not oblige. (10:147)
e. 23 March
i. Soviet Union becomes first country in the world to create a heavy bomber corps. (1:35)
f. 24 May
i. Chiang speaks with US ambassador to China, Nelson Johnson, speaking enthusiastically about a coming was between the US and Japan – pitting one barbarian against another; “in which the United States will figure as the champion and savior of China.” (10:127)
i. Unable to get State Department approval, TV Soong contacts the Commerce Department’s representative in Shanghai regarding the purchase of aircraft, spare parts, and expenses for American airmen. Commerce agrees (without State Department approval), for the jobs. (10:128)
i. Before the House of Lords, Lord Noel-Buxton reports on many of the issues and atrocities in Poland regarding the minorities. (1:459)
i. 18 June
i. Stalin privately admits that there is famine in Ukraine (7:17)
j. 25 July
i. Warsaw and Moscow conclude the Polish-Soviet Non-Aggression Pact: “…in the event of a Polish-German conflict, [the Soviet Union] will provide help and assistance to the German Reich neither directly nor indirectly.” (1:474)
k. 31 July
i. Hitler’s Nazi Party amasses 13.7 million votes, its highest total ever; represents only 37.3% of total votes. (1:39)
i. The first American flight instructors arrive in Shanghai. (10:130)
i. Polish fleet stationed in the port of Danzig, against protest of the senate of the Free State of Danzig (1:448)
n. 5 September
i. Luce publishes in Time, with Americans now weary of Japan’s aggressiveness and fond of China’s “Christian” leaders: leaders in Japan spoke of a “Japanese Monroe Doctrine claiming the right to protect all of Asia…and the originator to be cited for this idea was none other than the late great Theodore Roosevelt.” (10:117)
o. 6 November
i. Hitler’s Nazi party receives fewer votes, now 11.7 million. Goebbels writes in his diary: “All hope has disappeared….We are on our last breath.” (1:29)
ii. The communists come in third, but under orders from Stalin (and instead of forming a coalition with the Social Democrats and bringing an end to the Nazis) form a coalition government with the Nazis, propelling Hitler into power. (1:30)
p. 8 November
i. Stalin’s wife kills herself, with a bullet to the heart. (7:40)
q. 24 November
i. Churchill, at the time a conservative MP, in a speech to the Lower House: “If the British government really wishes to promote peace, then it should take the initiative and re-open the issues of Danzig and the Corridor while the victorious powers are as yet superior. If these matters are not resolved, there can be no hope for a lasting peace. (1:482)
r. November / December
i. Final significant acts toward Ukrainian famine ordered by Stalin (7:42-46)
s. 22 December
i. Felix Frankfurter, long-time associate of FDR, contacts Stimson; suggests Stimson reach out to FDR who would then invite Stimson for a talk. (10:136)
1. Stimson was still Hoover’s secretary of state, and Hoover was against the meeting. Stimson did not cross Hoover.
a. 9 January
i. Hoover relents and allows Stimson to meet with FDR. (10:136)
b. 16 January
i. Japan formally complains to the US State Department about the support the US is giving to Chiang to create an air force. (10:130)
ii. President-elect Roosevelt makes a public statement supportive of Stimson’s (and therefore Hoover’s) non-recognition doctrine regarding Japanese conquests in China. (10:137)
c. 27 February
i. Reichstag fire (7:60)
ii. Hitler claims it was an attack by communists.
d. February or March
i. The first of “Piłsudski’s Pre-emptive Plans” – in total, three attempts to enlist France in a pre-emptive war against Germany – is attempted. (1:475) These three attempts were considered relatively safe given the Russian-Polish Treaty, as Poland felt safe to attack Germany without threat from Russia. (1:476)
i. Roosevelt scuttles the World Economic Conference in London, shortly after he takes office. (5:93)
f. 5 March
i. Nazis defeat Social Democrats in election. (7:17)
g. 6 March
i. Marshal Piłsudski reinforces Polish troops in the Free State of Danzig. This is beyond the authority granted by the League of Nations; Poland withdraws the additional troops. (1:475)
h. 23 March
i. Enabling Act passes German Parliament, enabling Hitler to rule by decree (7:60)
i. The second of “Piłsudski’s Pre-emptive Plans” is attempted. This one comes to the attention of Hitler. (1:476)
ii. Both Hitler and Mussolini offer guidance to Chiang in his fourth Bandit Extermination Campaign. The result is another retreat. (10:138)
1. Chiang is referred to as Mao’s supply sergeant.
i. German Hans von Seeckt arrived in Shanghai and was offered the post of senior adviser to oversee economic and military development involving Germany in China.
1. Ultimately what came of this was German cooperation to build railroads in China and a Three-Year Plan in 1936.
a. The purpose of this plan was to create an industrial powerhouse capable of resisting Japan in the short run…
2. Germany also provided military training and hardware.
i. Illegal in Germany to belong to any party other than National Socialist (7:63)
l. 15 November
i. At the request of Polish Ambassador Lipski, German Ambassador von Moltke presents a draft “friendship and non-aggression” treaty. This is followed by silence, and Piłsudski’s third attempt to enlist France in a pre-emptive war against Germany. (1:476)
m. 16 November
i. United States extends diplomatic recognition to Soviet Union (7:57)
ii. Roosevelt pushes for recognition
i. From 1933 – 1938, 557,000 Jews leave Poland for Germany (or through Germany to other countries) due to the harsh anti-Semitic movement.
ii. TV Soong secures from Morgenthau and Roosevelt a $50 million credit in wheat and cotton for Chiang and the Nationalists. (10:156)
a. 9 January
i. The German-Polish Friendship and Non-Aggression Pact is concluded, and with it comes peace for four years (although terms in the treaty called for ten years). (1:466, 1:476, 487)
i. Prompted by American missionaries, Mayling Soong convinces Chiang to develop a New Deal for China, resulting in the “New Life Movement.” The name pleased the missionaries. Americans nodded in agreement; the handful of Chinese peasants who heard the term had no idea what it meant. (10:170)
1. The Movement was based upon Confucianism, mixed with Christianity, nationalism and authoritarianism that have some similarities to fascism, used the Confucian and Methodist notion of self-cultivation and correct living.
2. Chiang’s “Blue Shirts” enforced the edicts of the Movement by force. (10:171)
3. The Movement flopped. (10:171)
c. 17 April
i. Japan’s Foreign Office issues a statement objecting to Roosevelt’s “supplying China with war planes…” etc. Japan said such support had to be stopped. (10:163)
i. Comintern launches “Popular Front,” aimed at uniting those on the left against fascists. (7:66)
e. 5 May
i. The Polish-Soviet Non-Aggression Pact from 1932 is renewed, with a scheduled term of ten years. (1:475)
f. 14 July
i. Hitler announces to Parliament that 74 men were killed – Hitler’s rivals in the Nazi party, including Ernst Röhm, head of the SA (“Brownshirts”). (7:76)
1. Known as “Night of the Long Knives.”
i. Poland unilaterally renounces the Minority Protection Treaty which it had concluded in 1919 at the demand of the Allied powers. (1:466) This treaty is sometimes referred to as the “Little Versailles Treaty.” (1:479)
1. "Poland accepts... provisions... to protect the interests of inhabitants of Poland who differ from the majority of the population in race, language, or religion"
h. 16 October
i. The Twenty-Eight Bolsheviks (communist Chinese trained in Moscow; as opposed to Mao’s focus on the peasants, these look to communism to flower with the middle-class, just as did Stalin), after defeat to Chiang in the fifth Bandit Extermination Campaign, began what would later be called the Long March with about 90,000 troops. The 28, having no idea about the Chinese countryside (having spent years in education at Sun Yat-sen University in Moscow, managed to lose half of their numbers in skirmishes to Chiang in the first month. (10:159)
i. The Polish Academy of Sciences prints picture postcards show the Polish King Boleslaw Chrobry in front of a map of Poland – including East Prussia, Silesia, Pomerania, the Margraviate of Brandenberg and Lübeck are represented as the western part of Poland. (1:473)
i. The Twenty-Eight Bolsheviks, facing total failure and no support from the public, handed the reigns to Mao – who practiced a communism contrary to Marx’s theory and Stalin’s practice. (10:160)
1. Mao recasts the retreat, a march of over 6000 miles, as an advance – to face the Japanese in the north! (10:160)
i. Hitler publicly renounces Germany’s commitments under Versailles Treaty (7: 77)
c. 1 June
i. American Colonel Jouett’s contract with the Chinese expires without extension. Few Americans remained in China as instructors; Mussolini was providing much of the needed support. (10:164)
d. 3 October
i. Eight-thousand of the original 90,000 survive the Long March, settling in Yan’an in northern China. (10:164)
i. Mao takes over as Chairman of the military commission.
1. Mao establishes his empire in the hills and caves, even establishing a university for military study. (10:164)
g. 21 November
i. Soviet pilot Vladimir Kokkinaki sets world altitude record of 14.575 meters with the I-15 fighter. (2:61)
i. The German armed forces surpass in strength those of Poland, with the Soviet army several times the size. (1:478)
i. As a reaction to various breaches by both Germany and Poland regarding access to East Prussia, Poland imposes the Corridor Blockade, significantly reducing rail transit traffic between East Prussia and Germany. (1:443)
b. 7 March
i. German troops march into the Rhineland; this action is not prevented by France. (1:480)
c. 9 April
i. Nationalist Marshall Zhang meets with Mao’s emissary Zhou Enlai, and agrees that all Chinese must unite to fight Japan. (10:172)
d. 18 July
i. Signal given by radio to begin the uprising against the Spanish Republic. (2:98)
i. Gamelin weakens the details of the exact nature of the French commitment to Poland in case of German attack. (1:480)
ii. Yezhov charges Stalin’s former political opponents with “fantastic offenses” in public show trials. (7:73)
i. Hitler let it be known to his cabinet that the main goal of his foreign policy was the destruction of the Soviet Union, suggesting that the main goal of Bolshevism was to replace those who have previously provided leadership with world Jewry. (7:106)
g. 9 November
i. Luce publishes in Time: Mayling was “the Christian Miss Soong; and Chiang was “Southern Methodist Chiang.” (10:115)
h. 25 November
i. Germany and Japan sign Anti-Comintern Pact, obliging the two states to consult with each other if either was attacked. (7:68)
i. 9 December
i. Ten thousand students demonstrate demanding that Chiang end the civil war and unite with Mao to fight Japan. (10:172)
j. 22 December
i. Madame Chiang convinced her husband to end the civil war; Mao, recently captured, was released. Chiang announced a new United Front against the Japanese. (10:173)
1. At this, the public was overjoyed. (10:174)
2. Privately, Chiang planned for the sixth Bandit Extermination Campaign. (10:174)
i. Stalin convinces Spanish Republic’s government to hide gold reserves in the Soviet Union for safekeeping and for payment for supply of weapons. Reserves were not seen again. (1:99)
a. 16 January
i. Yezhov presents to Stalin his theory of a grand Polish conspiracy within the Soviet Union. (7:92)
i. President of the Reichstag Hermann Göring to State Secretary of Poland’s Foreign Ministry Count Szembek: “The only thing that we are interested in is a corridor through the Corridor.” (1:445)
i. Yezhov purges the NKVD of Polish officers. (7:92)
d. 30 April
i. Claire Chennault resigns from the US Army air corps to work for Chiang. He was to study the Chinese air force and make recommendations; he leaves for China the next day. (10:222)
e. 1 May
i. Agreement between German and Japanese intelligence agencies to share information regarding USSR (7:68)
f. 13 June
i. HH Kung and two other Chinese KMT officials visited Germany and were received by Adolf Hitler.
1. Hitler, Göring and Dr. Schacht bestowed upon Kung an honorary degree, and attempted to open China's market to German exports; also they earmarked for Chinese students 100,000 Reichsmarks for studying in Germany…
g. 7 July
i. Second Sino-Japanese War begins
1. Mao wants to fight the Japanese in northern and central China; Chiang chooses Shanghai – for the publicity value in the US. (10:176)
2. Outbreak ends German cooperation with Chinese; Hitler chose Japan as his ally against the Soviet Union, because Japan was militarily far more capable to resist Bolshevism.
i. Soviet Order 00447, “On the Operations to Repress Former Kulaks, Criminals, and Other Anti-Soviet Elements.” By the end of 1938, almost 400,000 executed by the NKVD in fulfillment of this order. (7:81) In Leningrad, as one example, Poles were 34 times more likely to be arrested in 1937/1938 than their fellow Soviet citizens. (7:97) In Ukraine (home to about 70% of the Soviet Union’s Poles), for another, Poles were twelve times as likely to be arrested. (7:99)
i. 11 August
i. Yezhov issues order 00485, mandating that the NKVD carry out “the total liquidation of the network of spies of the Polish Military Organization.” (7:93) This was wholly invented; there was no Polish Military Organization in the 1930s in Soviet Ukraine or anywhere else, (7:90)
j. 7 October
i. Henry Stimson, now in private life as a Wall Street Lawyer, wrote, in a letter to the New York Times. In it, he denounced American exports to Japan and claimed these could be stopped “without serious danger to us.” (10:178)
k. 5 November
i. Germany and Poland consummate the Minority Protection Agreement, toward the improvement of the treatment of Germans in Poland. (1:466, 511)
ii. Hitler speaks for the first time in front of his generals and Foreign Minister von Neurath about war and his plans to incorporate Austria into Germany and annex Czechia. Poland is only peripherally mentioned – hoping that in any wars with third countries, Poland will remain neutral. (1:511)
l. 7 November
i. Stalin, regarding internal enemies, announces: “We will mercilessly destroy anyone who, by his deeds or his thoughts – yes, his thoughts! – threatens the unity of the socialist state. To the complete destruction of all enemies, themselves and their kin!” (7:72)
m. 19 November
i. British MP (and later Foreign Minister) Lord Halifax visits Hitler to explore possibilities of cooperation between Germany and England. Halifax speaks about a “change in the European order, which will probably occur sooner or later. Among things at issue are Danzig and Austria and Czechoslovakia. England is only interested in ensuring that these changes are brought about by way of peaceful developments. (1:511)
n. 8 December
i. After promising to defend Nanking to the end, Chiang fled the capital city with Mayling by airplane, leaving a defenseless population to what would become known as the Rape of Nanking. (10:180)
1. The Japanese murdered between 40,000 and 300,000, along with widespread rape and looting.
o. 12 December
i. Japanese attack the American gunboat USS Panay while it was anchored in the Yangtze River outside Nanking (now known as Nanjing), China; Japan claims it was not identified as a US vessel. Japan apologizes and pays an indemnity.
p. 13 December
i. Japan attacks warships of both Britain and China, in China. (8:166)
i. Rydz-Śmigły instructs the Inspector of the Polish Army, General Kutzreba, to design a war plan against Germany (this, while the German-Polish Treaty still has seven years to run). (1:478)
ii. Sara Delano Roosevelt (Franklin’s mother) named honorary chairwoman of the newly formed China Aid Council. (10:196)
i. Polish Foreign Minister Beck lets French Ambassador Noel in Warsaw know that “Czechoslovakia must disappear in the near future” and that in Poland one is preparing “to take part of the legacy for oneself.” (1:485)
ii. Warsaw rescinds passports of Jews who have left due to anti-Semitic actions in the previous five years, rendering them stateless.
iii. US government sells to Stalin the production license and the necessary equipment for the production of the Douglas DC-3 (PS-84) transport plane. (1:77)
iv. China establishes Universal Trade Corporation in New York’s Rockefeller Center; several Roosevelt suggestions were named to the board. UTC was formed in order to buy supplies in the United States. (10:193)
b. 26 January
i. General Kutzreba submits to Rydz-Śmigły the requested war plan. According to this plan, Poland will fight in 1939. The plan assumes that Poland can withstand Germany for eight weeks, by which time France will join and then Germany will be beaten. (1:478)
c. 6 February
i. Chiang sends Hollington Tong to America to “win sympathy from the American public and prompt the US government to put sanctions in place.” (10:182)
1. Out of this “China Lobby” mission came the American Committee for Non-Participation in Japanese Aggression. (10:184)
a. Earl Leaf was executive director; Mayling funded the committee. (10:184)
d. 12 March
i. The German army enters Austria (7:110)
e. 8 June
i. Congress passes a law requiring American organizations who receive money from overseas to register as foreign agents. Leaf, too closely associated with the Chinese, departed and was replaced by Harry Price.(10:184)
1. No reporting or change in status. (10:185)
i. China Lobby man Eliot Janeway wrote an article that appeared in Harper’s magazine. “We are helping [Japan] to conquer North China by selling her the vital raw materials she needs for armaments….The Japanese menace is made possible by American exports….” (10:185)
i. Poll indicates that Americans name Japan’s invasion of China more frightening than Germany’s invasion of Austria. (10:185)
i. Every US senator and representative in Washington and thousands of others, including governors, pastors, mayors, Rotary and Kiwanis, etc., received a booklet entitled “America’s Share in Japan’s War Guilt” from the American Committee for Non-Participation in Japanese Aggression. (10:187)
1. Booklet depicts Japanese planes dropping bombs on China, bombs labeled “Made in USA.” (10:187)
2. Advocated an American embargo, with little risk of reprisal from Japan’s military. (10:188)
i. 15 September
i. British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain meets with Adolf Hitler in Berchtesgaden and agrees to the cession of the Sudetenland (“Munich Agreement”)
j. 30 September
i. Munich Agreement signed.
1. The agreement was signed in the early hours of 30 September 1938 (but dated 29 September).
i. Poland uses Sudeten crisis to annex West Teschen against the wishes of Britain, France, and the Soviet Union. The British, French, and Soviets all reject this claim. The Soviets threaten to terminate the Polish-Soviet Non-Aggression Pact of July 1932. (1:434) London is very upset with Poland’s action. (1:483)
ii. Hitler does not object to Poland’s claim over West Teschen. (1:435, 488)
iii. Poland deploys an army corps near Teschen and threatens the Czech government with war. The Czech government yields. (1:435)
i. Poland occupies Teschen. (1:435)
ii. Soviets renounce the Non-Aggression Pact with Poland. (1:435, 484)
m. 24 October
i. Hitler, in a first for a Reich government, recognizes Polish gains in former German territories of Upper Silesia, West Prussia, and Posen in exchange for annexation of Danzig to the Reich and extra-territorial access (a corridor) to Danzig. (1:488) The proposal would allow Poland a free port in Danzig, along with transit rights; an extension of the German-Polish Treaty from 10 years to 25 years. This is the first of six attempts by Hitler (with ever-improving terms) over the next ten months to resolve this issue by negotiation. (1:489)
n. 11 November
i. Secret cooperation agreement between Soviet NKVD and German Gestapo was signed. (2:xxi)
o. 19 November
i. Polish Ambassador Lipski lets von Ribbentrop know that, due to domestic political reasons, Poland cannot comply with German wishes about Danzig. (1:490)
p. 25 November
i. Yezhov replaced as NKVD chief by Lavrenty Beria; Yezhov subsequently executed (reportedly because Yezhov was a Jew, and Hitler did not want to deal with Jews) (7:107)
ii. With Secretary Hull away at a conference in Lima, Peru, FDR and undersecretary Sumner Welles approve a $25 million loan pushed by Morgenthau to help save New China. (10:193)
q. 2 December
i. From Professor Burckhardt, the High Commissioner of the League of Nations for Danzig, regarding his impression of a conversation with Anthony Biddle, Roosevelt’s Ambassador in Paris: “He declared to me with a curious satisfaction: The Poles are ready to wage war over Danzig…. In April the new war will break out. Never since the torpedoing of the Lusitania has such a religious hatred of Germany existed in America like today. Chamberlain and Daladier will be blown away by the public opinion. It is about a holy war.” (1:524)
r. 5 December
i. US Department of State: “Any attempt by the United States, Great Britain and the Netherlands to cut off from Japan exports of oil would be met with Japan’s forcibly taking over the Netherlands East Indies.” (10:191)
s. 6 December
i. Agreement on a German-French Non-Aggression Pact (1:491)
1. “…no question of a territorial order remains in suspense and they solemnly recognize as definitive the frontier between their two countries as it is at present established.” (This more than two years after German troops entered the Rhineland.)
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