Most painful territorial losses


Ad Honoris
May 2014
Got that, but I don`t know if overpopulation in Palestine was an issue at the time.
It probably wasn't. For that matter, the risk of overpopulation in Israel only became real once it became clear that Israel's TFR stopped declining and began increasing--primarily among Israeli Jews.

About South Tyrol, some years ago, in Austria the right leaning political forces wanted to write in the Austrian constitution that Tyrol is all Austrian. To write it in the constitution would have been really near to a declaration of war to Italy ... Anyway the matter is till well alive : the last move was to suggest to offer Austrian passports to the citizens of South Tyrol [Italy and Austria at odds over South Tyrol dual-citizenship].
Is dual citizenship for South Tyroleans really that objectionable, though? I mean, hasn't Hungary's Viktor Orban done something similar in regards to the Hungarian diaspora?

Absolutely true. Italy was a particular case:

on a side at Washington there was a bit of concern about the not irrelevant Communist presence in the country [after the scission from the Socialist Party, the Communist Party run the resistence against the Nazi occupation after the armistice gaining an enormous popular support: there was how waited for Stalin and USSR Red Army ...], but on an other side Italians, after 1943, fought with the allies and then the Italian American lobby played a great role in persuading the American establishment to help Italians to rebuild their country.
Yeah, that makes sense. Also, in spite of the Communists' noble resistance efforts during WWII, if I was Italian, I could not in good conscience vote for them due to the fact that they would likely seize absolute and totalitarian power if/after they won elections.

About Japan, I don't think Americans treated it so better than Germany. A part the military occupation, also Japan knew its own trial for war crimes [International Military Tribunal for the Far East - Wikipedia].
Japan did get to keep all of its core territory other than the four southernmost Kuril Islands, though. That's a pretty generous peace settlement if you ask me. As for war crimes trials, Yes, Japan had to endure them--and rightfully so! That said, though, Italy might not have had war crimes trials because its own behavior during WWII was much milder than that of Germany and Japan. Of course, Italy did engage in war crimes in Ethiopia, but no one seemed to care much about that. :(

The Carthaginian loss of Sicily in 241 BC and Sardinia in 237 BC. Carthage had held hegemony over parts of Sicily and Sardinia since the sixth century BC, and had fought numerous wars in the interests of those territorial holdings. But in the space of a few years they lost both territories to the Romans. In the process, they lost two essential parts of their mercantile empire, territories that had allowed Carthage to dominate key sections of the east-west and Tyrrhenian trade routes. The loss of Sicily ultimately led to a substantial change in policy whereby, under the leadership of the Barcids, Carthage would not rebuild their maritime dominance and instead focus on a land-based expansionist empire in Spain. The loss of Sardinia made the expansion into Spain all the more justified and rubbed salt in the wound, since Rome seized Sardinia outside the context of war, in defiance of the Treaty of Lutatius and with weak justification. These losses and the Carthaginian responses eventually led to the Hannibalic War.
Very interesting! BTW, what was Rome's problem with Carthage's expansion into Spain? Did Rome want Spain for itself?


Forum Staff
Oct 2011
Italy, Lago Maggiore
Ancient Roman civilization [the "Civitas"] was expansive in its own nature. Rome grew and incorporated all, "romanizing" what it conquered. That was Rome [Republic or Empire it was the same].

At the end Carthage wasn't so different from this perspective: the conflict was unavoidable. Carthage lost because, in the long term, it hadn't the territorial background and the resources of Rome. The loss of Sicily and Sardinia actually reduced in a drastic way the available resources for the African power.
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Forum Staff
Oct 2011
Italy, Lago Maggiore
A note about Italian colonial war crimes: Italians used gas also in Libya, not only in Ethiopia. But I doubt that there were the conditions for a trial ... the General who became Prime Minister of the Southern Kingdom after the armistice and who leaded the Italian Army against the Nazis was Badoglio ... the same General who acted in Libya and who [this is documented] ordered the usage of the gas in Ethiopia even before of receiving a formal authorization by Mussolini [who was going to authorize it, anyway].
Oct 2018
Very interesting! BTW, what was Rome's problem with Carthage's expansion into Spain? Did Rome want Spain for itself?
For over a decade Rome seemingly didn't care about what was happening in Spain (237-226/5). They were busy with other things: war in Cisalpine Gaul, war in Illyria, and establishing their governance in Sicily and Sardinia. However, in 226/5 the Romans were anticipating a major Gallic invasion of central Italy (the invasion that culminated in the Battle of Telamon), and they didn't want the Carthaginians to ally with the Gauls. Thus, they sent legions into Sardinia and Sicily, and sent an embassy to the Carthaginian general Hasdrubal, asking that he agree to northernmost limit of expansion. Hasdrubal agreed to not cross the river Ebro in arms. This has been interpreted as a concession to Carthage, since the Ebro was far north from southern Spain, where the Carthaginians were campaigning. There is no evidence that the Carthaginians under Hasdrubal or his predecessor Hamilcar ever campaigned north of the Tagus, a river far south of the Ebro.

But in 221 Hasdrubal was assassinated by an Iberian, and his successor, young Hannibal, 'blitzkrieged' his way through northern Spain, fighting the Carpetani, the Vettones and the Vaccaei. What seemed like a concession for Hasdrubal in 226/5 now appeared like a constrictive barrier for Hannibal. Additionally, probably in the time between the Ebro Accord and Hasdrubal's assassination, the Romans established a friendship with the Spanish city of Saguntum on the eastern coast. The city was already allied to Rome's ally on the Gallic coast, Massilia, and Rome likely used Saguntum to keep an eye on affairs in Spain. However, the Saguntines were enemies of the city of Turis, an ally of Carthage. This meant that Rome and Carthage found themselves on opposite sides of a local dispute in Spain. The fact that Saguntum was south of the Ebro also meant that one could accuse the Romans of violating the spirit of the Ebro Accord. Moreover, the Romans violently intervened in Saguntum when a pro-Carthaginian faction took power, conducting executions of pro-Carthaginian members of the council of Saguntum. They had thus killed friends (or potential friends) of Carthage and had violently intervened south of the Ebro.

In 220, at the end of the campaigning season, the Romans sent an delegation to Hannibal in New Carthage to ask him to renew the Ebro Accord and to warn him not to attack Saguntum. Perhaps Hannibal had already threatened Saguntum, but he had spent the campaigning season far away in north-western Spain. Perhaps the Romans were aware of just how far north Hannibal's army had campaigned, and had received word from Saguntum about just how powerful the Carthaginian presence in Spain had become. Perhaps they simply wished to make Hasdrubal's recently-appointed successor agree to the same terms to which Hasdrubal had agreed. However, as Polybius records, the senators spoke to the young general in an unnecessarily arrogant and provocative manner, to which the brash young general responded with defiance. Hannibal denounced Roman actions in relation to Saguntum and accused Saguntum of aggression against her friends. He ignored mention of the Ebro Accord and promised to punish the Saguntines. He perhaps now understood that the Ebro Accord was a limit on his opportunities, and wished to find reason to break the agreement. Later, the Carthaginian senate would claim that the Ebro Accord was a personal agreement made by Hasdrubal and bound no-one else, since the Carthaginian senate had not ratified the agreement.

In 219 Hannibal besieged Saguntum, and after eight months captured and sacked the city. Rome failed to save her friend since her legions were busy dealing with Illyrian piracy. But when news reached the Romans of Saguntum's fall, the senate decided to send Carthage an ultimatum: hand over Hannibal and his accomplices, or face war. The Carthaginian senate was populated with Hannibal's supporters, and so they demanded that the Roman senators acting as envoys decide upon peace or war. The Romans chose war.

Incidentally, these are the interpretations found in Dexter Hoyos, Unplanned Wars: The Origins of the First and Second Punic Wars.
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Ad Honorem
Feb 2010
Canary Islands-Spain
@Kirialax and @DiocletianIsBetterThanYou previously said on another thread that the importance of these losses for the Byzantines was way overestimated due to the lack of importance of these areas in the second millennium.

And that opinion goes against every work on the subject.

Central and eastern Anatolia were relatively depopulated by that time, but the area was the main source of cavalry for the empire, as well as other military resources. Its geoestrategic importance was crucial, once the Turks conquered the central part of Anatolia, the peripheral area was undefendable in the long term. There's no way to overestimate the importance of this loss for the Byzs
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Ad Honorem
Oct 2015
Matosinhos Portugal
Portuguese territories occupied by Spain.
Olivença Portugal))) North Africa Ceuta Tangier Mazagão

Territorial dispute with Morocco

The Moroccan border in Benzú, with Jbel Musa in the background
Since the 1970s, the Moroccan government has called for the inclusion of Melilla and Ceuta in its territory, as well as the smaller Spanish possessions bordering Morocco, the so-called plazas of sovereignty. The Spanish government has never established negotiations of any kind, as part of its national territory. 88% of Spaniards also believe that Ceuta and Melilla are Spanish cities, according to a survey carried out in 2007.

The status of Ceuta and Melilla has sparked comparisons with the territorial claims of Spain over Gibraltar, an enclave under British administration on the north bank of the narrow homonym, by British and Moroccan media. These comparisons are rejected by the Spanish government and the inhabitants of Melilla and Ceuta based on the argument that those cities were already an integral part of Spain before the existence of the Moroccan kingdom, successor of the Sultanate of Morocco of the seventeenth century, while Gibraltar is a territory (colony) whose status was defined in the Treaty of Utrecht of 1713-1714, which placed Gibraltar under the tutelage of the United Kingdom without ever having been an integral part of that country. Unlike Spanish possessions in North Africa, Gibraltar is on the list of territories to be decolonized from the UN. [19] [20] However Morocco rejects these arguments, and the possession of Ceuta, Melilla and the plazas of sovereignty is one of the theses of the nationalist ideology of "Great Morocco.

The Islamic Conference (57 member states), the African Union (54 member states) and the Arab League (23 member states) consider Ceuta Moroccan territory.

ISO 3166-1 reserves the EA code as the country code for Ceuta and Melilla.

Do not forget Olivença is Portuguese territory, it is not Spanish territory
Portugal não esqueçe Olivença é território português ,não é território espanhol


Ad Honorem
Jan 2014
Santiago de Chile
Oh, absolutely! Technically speaking, it wasn't a loss for Lithuania since Lithuania never actually controlled Vilnius during the 20th century before 1940. However, Yes, it certainly poisoned Polish-Lithuanian relations in the interwar era.

For that matter, I think that Colombia's loss of Panama is pretty significant considering that Colombia didn't actually recognize Panama's independence until 1921.

Thanks for the correction!

Anyway, though, were Cuba, Puerto Rico, the Philippines, and Guam officially a part of Spain like northern Algeria was officially a part of France?

Swedes sure missed that Finnish food, eh? ;)

Yeah, that makes sense. Denmark eagerly demanded the return of northern Schleswig after the end of WWI.

Was Scania also a heavily populous region full of commerce?

BTW, fun fact: Swedish nationalists are currently the strongest in Scania.

How would Argentine entry into this war have affected it?

Also, I figure that I might as well ask this question while we're on this topic--what do you think would have happened during this war had US President Garfield survived? I know that he and his Secretary of State Blaine wanted to mediate an end to this war without any Chilean territorial annexations.

BTW, what natural resources does Patagonia have?

That makes sense. Bolivia was especially hurt by this war due to it losing its only access to the sea. :(
At least they got something back?

I did not know that, I only knew that Scania (I have to write it like this my keyboard isn't great) was viewed by other parts of Sweden as having a somewhat 'danish accent'.

We probably would have lost we already had a confederation of two countries against us a third one with whom we share a roughly 4,000 km border would have been disastrous for us. (The Peruvian-Bolivian Confederation was larger in terms of size and man power at the time, to add Argentina unless Britain came all out would have doomed our war effort at least in my opinion).

I think there might have been an earlier peace or led to a serious diplomatic row between the US and Britain who had somewhat differing views on this war. Chile would have at least demanded a territorial freeze and large economic indemnities (the cause of the war for us). Might also have called the Americans out on the similarities between this war and the Mexican-american war and told them to perhaps look the other way.

Patagonia had or has some quantities of oil and natural gas (we had no idea at the time and it was more of a disputed area were our claim was worse than theirs). I'm sure there are other resources. We have virtually zero of these (Oil and gas) which puts us at a huge energetic disadvantage locally.

Bolivia is still trying to sue Chile in international courts to agree to cede some territory (the whole affair is very complicated due to the treaties we wrote up after the war with both countries), although in the last court case the international justice tribunal told them to can it basically. Their whole narrative is Bolivia is poor because we have no access to the pacific ocean and you stole it from us. Chile disagrees...
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Jan 2016
Victoria, Canada
The thread mentioned is here, for context.

And that opinion goes against every work on the subject.
Except for Laiou et al''s The Economic History of Byzantium, Magdalino's The Empire of Manuel Komnenos, Angold's A Byzantine Government in Exile, Korobeinikov's Byzantium and the Turks in the Thirteenth Century, etc., and, if we're appealing to authority, Kirialax is a scholar of Middle Byzantine history, if you're not aware -- he's one of the ones writing the works on the subject, never mind keeping up with them.

Central and eastern Anatolia were relatively depopulated by that time, but the area was the main source of cavalry for the empire, as well as other military resources.
That's only conjecture, at least by the 11th-12th centuries -- we simply don't have any relevant sources, as far as proportions and specifics are concerned, and large swathes of Komnenian Anatolia were suited perfectly fine to horse-rearing; noted units of Paphlagonian cavalry continued to see service as far afield as Macedonia into the 1270's, for instance, and at points the Emperors of Trebizond sent 400 horses yearly to the Sultanate of Rum as part of a tribute arrangement. In any case, neither the Komnenians nor even Nicaeans/Palaiologians suffered from any notable lack of cavalry -- particularly after the introduction and spread of the Pronoia system -- and if any military resources had been exclusive to the plateau that was no longer the case by the mid-12th century.

Additionally of note is that even in the early-10th century, the accounting lists for Leo VI's Cretan expedition include 3000 cavalry from the Thrakesian Theme and 1000 in total from Priene and Platanion (cities along the black sea) -- in fact making up the majority of the expedition's cavalrymen -- all of which were fully included within the boundaries of Komnenian Anatolia.

Its geoestrategic importance was crucial, once the Turks conquered the central part of Anatolia, the peripheral area was undefendable in the long term.
I would argue quite the opposite -- Roman control in central-eastern Anatolia collapsed after only three decades or so of Turkoman pressure, while the Roman lowlands, as reconquered by Alexios Komnenos, endured for two centuries under comparable circumstances, and through far worse calamities elsewhere in Romania at that. This is discussed in more detail in the above thread, but the upshot is that the terrain and climate of central-eastern Asia Minor, though a great barrier to sedentary or desert-sprung attacks from the south, greatly facilitated attacks and invasions by steppe nomads from the east, causing its geostrategic value for the Roman state to drop through the floor in the nomad-dominated middle east of the high-late medieval period.


Ad Honorem
Aug 2015
Chalfont, Pennsylvania
USA -South Carolina, Georgia, Florida , Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Texas, Arkansas, Tennessee, North Carolina, & Virginia. The rebellion of those states in 1860-61 made the rest of the USA very angry - fighting mad in fact.

Teton Sioux - the Black Hills in 1877.
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