Southern Asia 1932: Formation of Saudi Arabia


Changes to the map 26 March 1931–22 September 1932

Saudi Arabia: Hejaz and Nejd have united to form the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

Xinjiang Wars: Kumul has revolted against Xinjiang, and Ma Zhongying has temporarily invaded in its support. Kyrgyz, in western Xinjiang after fleeing Soviet collectivization, have risen up against the provincial government.

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

4 Apr 1931 Outbreak of Kumul Rebellion

In 1930 Jin Shuren, governor of the semi-independent Chinese province of Xinjiang, annexes the Khanate of Kumul—a small Uyghur state with a long history of autonomy. Tensions over the annexation lead to rebellion in April the following year, when Uyghurs massacre a Chinese police chief and his troops after he attempts to seduce a Uyghur wikipedia

28 Jun–1 Nov 1931 First Ma intervention in Xinjiang

Ma Zhongying, a Muslim warlord of Gansu province and a member of the Ma clique, invades Xinjiang province to support the Kumul Rebellion in western China. Ma claims his intervention is on behalf of the National Government of China—which has indeed secretly agreed to recognize him if he captures Xinjiang from the reigning governor Jin Shuren. However, he fails to capture the city of Kumul and is forced to withdraw after he is wikipedia

18 Sep 1931–27 Feb 1932 Japanese invasion of Manchuria

Following the Mukden Incident, the Kwantung Army of the Empire of Japan invaded Manchuria—the semi-independent northeast provinces of the Republic of China under the governorship of Zhang Xueliang. After occupying the southern provinces of Liaoning and Kirin, the Japanese advanced north into Heilongjiang, completing its conquest in February wikipedia

? Mar 1932–? ?? 1933 Kirghiz Rebellion

In the mid-1920s and early 1930s Kyrgyz nomads flee Soviet collectivization, crossing the Pamir Mountains into Xinjiang in western China. In March 1932 they begin asserting themselves against the local government and conducting raids back into Soviet Union with the support of Chinese Kyrgyz. They are defeated by joint Xinjiang-Soviet wikipedia

22 Sep 1932 Establishment of Saudi Arabia

The government of the Kingdom of Hejaz and Nejd, under King Abdulaziz bin Abdul Rahman (‘Ibn Saud’), proclaimed the unification of the two kingdoms as the Kingdom of Saudi wikipedia