Territorial Changes

While the December 1917 ceasefire agreed earlier at Brest-Litovsk had largely held, the new permanent closure of the Eastern Front was a catastrophe for the Entente Powers.  Now that a full peace treaty had been signed, the Central Powers could transfer their Eastern Front troops, in the hundreds of thousands, to other fronts.

The Times initiated a weekly chronicle of the war’s progress in 1914, initially under the title History of the War and later History and Encyclopaedia of the War.  The publication’s 250+ parts could then be bound into 22 volumes.  Here we see the front cover of part 196, the first issue of volume 16.  The map gives an idea of the Brest-Litovsk treaty’s effect on the European territory of the former Russian Empire – Baltic and Polish territories were ceded to Germany, and the Soviets forced to recognise areas described on the map as “self-determined”.  Not shown on the map is the large Transcaucasian area suddenly added as a territory to be ceded less than a fortnight before the 3 March signing.  The Bolshevik diplomats knew that the March Brest-Litovsk terms were harsh – but they also realised that their position could grow weaker still.

The Times History and Encyclopaedia of the War (volume 16; 1918) WRB.2.36