Southern Asia 1924: Saudi Conquest of Hejaz

Political map of South & Southwest Asia on 13 Oct 1924 (Rising Nationalism: Saudi Conquest of Hejaz), showing the following events: Nepal-Britain Treaty; Abolition of the Ottoman Caliphate; Sharifian Caliphate; Anglo-Italian Convention; Ta’if massacre; Battle of Mecca.

In 1924 the new Republic of Turkey abolished the Ottoman Caliphate. Taking advantage of the situation, King Hussein of Hejaz, ruler of Mecca, immediately declared himself Caliph. This was not well received in much of the Muslim world, leading the British to end its support for the unpopular Hussein and encouraging the Saudis - already at loggerheads with Hejaz - to invade. Hussein fled before the advancing Saudis, and on 13 October they entered Mecca.


Changes to the map 24 July 1923–13 October 1924

Saudi unification: The Saudis have invaded Hejaz, capturing Mecca and besieging Jeddah.

Yemen: Yemen is continuing its incursions into the Aden protectorates.

Iraq: The British have crushed the Kurdish Kingdom.

Turkey: The British have withdrawn from Constantinople.

Nepal: The British protectorate over Nepal has ended with the Treaty of 1923.

Somalia: British Kenya has ceded Jubaland (Trans-Juba) to Italy, active as of June 1925.

British Protectorates in the Persian Gulf

The British Residency of the Persian Gulf maintained British India's influence in a number of Gulf states from the 19th Century until 1947. These states were nominally independent - and shown as such in most atlases from the period - but all signed treaties guaranteeing British control over their foreign affairs.

The Sultanate of Muscat and Oman was the only one of these states with significant international relations, having obtained trade agreements with the US and France before it signed its treaty with Britain. Maps of the time often show Trucial Oman and even Qatar as regions of Oman.

Trucial Oman was the region to the west of Oman which collectively signed treaties with Britain. The sheikhdoms of this region were often called the Trucial States, and later became the United Arab Emirates. However at this time they had little unity, with no regional council until 1952.

Indian Empire

The British Indian Empire, also known as the British Raj, was comprised of a complex of presidencies, provinces, protectorates, and agencies. Only the top level subdivisions are shown here.

The area under direct British rule was known as British India and made up of presidencies and provinces - a presidency simply being the name for an older province.

Outside British India, but often included within the sphere of the presidencies/provinces, were the hundreds of protectorates or 'princely states'. These were indirectly ruled states, the largest being Hyderabad, Kashmir, and Mysore. The others were either collected into agencies - which might in turn contain other smaller agencies - or fell under the sway of the provinces.

Main Events

21 Dec 1923 Nepal-Britain Treaty

Chandra Shamsher, Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Nepal, signs the Nepal-Britain Treaty with W.F.T. O’Connor, British Envoy at the Court of Nepal, recognizing Nepal as an independent and sovereign nation. The Treaty supersedes the Sugauli Treaty of 1816, which had effectively made Nepal a tributary of the British wikipedia

3 Mar 1924 Abolition of the Ottoman Caliphate

On the initiative of President Mustafa Kemal, the National Assembly of the Republic of Turkey abolishes the Ottoman Caliphate. The last Caliph, Abdülmecid II, is sent into exile along with the remaining members of the Ottoman wikipedia

5 Mar 1924 Sharifian Caliphate

In response to the Turkish abolition of the Ottoman Caliphate, Hussein bin Ali, Sharif of Mecca and King of Hejaz and the Arab lands, declares himself Caliph at his son Abdullah’s winter camp in Shunah, Transjordan. Although his claim is based on his prophetic ancestry and his control of Islam’s two holiest mosques, the Masjid al-Haram and Al-Masjid al-Nabawi, it has a mixed reception across the Muslim wikipedia

15 Jul 1924 Anglo-Italian Convention

At the Anglo-Italian Convention of 1924, the United Kingdom agreed to cede a portion of Jubaland, part of the Colony and Protectorate of Kenya, to the Kingdom of Italy. The agreement was ratified on 1 May 1925 and effective as of 29 June 1925. The Italians referred to the territory as wikipedia

29 Aug 1924 Ta’if massacre

Saudi-allied Ikhwan, under the leadership of Sultan bin Bajad and Khaled bin Luwai, attack Ta’if, Kingdom of Hejaz, in the first large-scale attack of the Saudi invasion of Hejaz. The defenders, including King Hussein bin Ali’s son—Ali bin Hussein, flee in panic and the city is quickly conquered by the Ikhwan, who massacre some 300-400 of Ta’if’s wikipedia

13 Oct 1924 Battle of Mecca

In the face of the Saudi Sultanate of Nejd’s invasion of the Hashemite Kingdom of Hejaz, King Hussein bin Ali abdicated in favor of his son Ali bin Hussein on 3 October 1924. Ten days later, the Saudi forces entered Mecca, which had been abandoned by the Hashemites as they fled for the port city of wikipedia