The League and Disputes

Successfully Solved Disputes

Teschen Incident (1920)

A dispute between Poland and Czechoslovakia occured over the region of Teschen. The dispute was bad enough that the Czechoslovak-Polish War occurred between the two countries in 1919. In 1920, the League gave the northern part of the region to Poland, while Czechoslovakia received the coal mine rich southern part. This led to poor relations between both countries for the next twenty years.

Weimar Germany and Poland (1921)  

Both Poles and Germans lived in Upper Silesia as it is on the border, and there were many steel factories. The League oversaw a peaceful vote (1921)  and the region was divided between both countries.

Sweden and Finland (1921)

Both countries claimed that the Aaland lands were their territory. Sweden claimed it was theirs as 90% of the population was Swedish. Finland claimed it was theirs as it was geographically closer and belonged to Finland since independence in 1917. The League decided that the Aaland lands should belong to Finland and Sweden accepted the ruling.

The Yugoslavia-Albania Border Dispute 1921

Bulgaria and Greece (1925)

Bulgarian soldiers mistakenly killed some Greek soldiers and Greece invaded Bulgaria. The league demanded that both sides should stand down and Greek forces withdrew. Observers were sent to assess the situation and Greece was told to pay £45,000 in compensation. If the rulings were not followed, the League threatened to impose economic sanctions.

Also known as The Stray Dog Incident

Memel (1923)

The region and port of Memel were placed under the control of the LON. 

However, Lithuania claimed the region and invaded in 1923. 

The League decided that the area around the port should belong to Lithuania, but that Memel itself should remain an ‘international zone’. 

This can be considered a success as it prevented bloodshed, but also a failure because the Lithuanians gained the land by force.

Unsuccessfully Solved Disputes

Poland and Lithuania.

A private Polish army took control of Vilna, the capital city of Lithuania. The League decided that Poland was the aggressor and they were told to withdraw. However, Poland refused and the British and French did not send troops to enforce the League's decision.

Italy and Greece. 

While investigating a border dispute between Greece and Albania, an Italian General, Tellini, and his men were killed. Mussolini blamed the Greeks and ordered soldiers to occupy corfu until Greece apologised and paid compensation. The League condemned Italy as the aggressor and Mussolini refused to listen. Mussolini asked the Conference of Ambassadors to resolve the Corfu Crisis in 1923 and Britain and France gave into his demand to resolve the issue outside of the League.

The Treaty of Riga (1920-21)

In 1920, Poland invaded Russian territory. 

By 1921, the Russians had no choice but to sign the Treaty of Riga, and Poland gained around 80,000 square kilometres of land. 

The League of Nations took no action against Poland’s open aggression.