Asia Pacific 1918: Siberian Intervention

In the chaos of the Russian Revolution, Czechoslovak troops seized control of the Trans-Siberian Railway. The Allies swiftly moved to aid the Czechoslovaks and the anti-Communist regimes they brought to power, with Japan occupying stations along the Russian-owned Chinese Eastern Railway.


Treaty Ports

Treaty ports were towns opened to foreign trade by unequal treaties in China. Foreigners operating within treaty ports enjoyed extraterritoriality, being subject to their home country’s laws. Unlike concessions such as Hong Kong, these territories were not directly leased by the foreign powers and did not have sizable foreign garrisons.

Treaty ports are not shown in the maps after the 1911 Chinese Revolution in order to give a clearer picture of the chaos in China itself and as by that point their numbers had stabilized. After the revolution, some of the smaller ports were phased out while the others became less important as the situation in China meant that only the concessions could provide foreigners with security. Most, however, still continued on into the 1940s when the Japanese entry into World War II and foreign agreements with China brought them to an end.

See this map for treaty ports in 1907, when the system was at its peak.

Yangtze River

By the terms of the Treaty of Tientsin (1858), foreign vessels including warships had the right to free navigation on the Yangtze River. In practical terms, this right extended only as far as Yichang until 1900, when advances in steam navigation allowed access as far inland as Chongqing.

Main Events

27 Jan–23 Apr 1918 Invasion of Hunan

The Chinese government occupied northern wikipedia

? May 1918 Yu Youren’s return to Shaanxi

Yu Youren—former Deputy Minister of Transportation and Communication in Sun Yatsen’s Republic of China but an outlaw under the current regime—returned to his native Shaanxi Province to organize a nationalist army on behalf of Sun’s Chinese Revolutionary Party. Once there, he expanded the local forces to 30 thousand troops and established control in the province north of the River wikipedia

7 Jun–25 Jul 1918 Seizure of Trans-Siberian Railway

The Czechoslovak Legion seized control of much of the Trans-Siberian Railroad, capturing Omsk, Samara, Syzran, and Vladivostok in June 1918; followed by Ufa, Irkutsk, and Yekaterinburg in July. By 25 July, they had linked the entire central section from Yekaterinburg to Irkutsk. Wherever the Czechoslovaks gained power, they helped install White provisional wikipedia

6 Jul 1918 Prov. Gov. of Vladivostok

Allied protectorate over Provisional Government of Vladivostokin wikipedia

15 Aug 1918 Seizure of Chinese Eastern Railway

Japan moved from Liaoyang to occupy the Chinese Eastern Railway between Harbin and wikipedia