10 Military Invasions That Changed Global Map In The 20th Century

The Soviet Invasion of Finland. Metal Sucks

The lines on the map have constantly changed since the earliest days of history, and the 20th century was no different. As countries changed, split apart, fought wars, and gained their independence, the lines on the map moved. In some cases, the map changed due to the aggression of another state, one that felt they had the rights to the land occupied by another country or a state that thought it would be easy to annex a country in turmoil. While the 20th century saw two world wars that were rife with invasions and drastically changed the map, there were plenty of other invasions that affected how the world saw itself as well.

Current borders and areas of conflict between Pakistan, India and China with the areas divided in 1949. Wikipedia

1947 Invasion of Jammu and Kashmir

In 1947 there was a territorial dispute between Pakistan and India over the Kasmir and Jammu region. Both India and Pakistan were made independent on August 151947. Britain decided that the princely states would have to become part of Pakistan or India. The decision for whether a state would become part of Pakistan or part of India was based upon their location and their demographics. Most of the states were easy to determine whether or not they would be part of Pakistan or India. However, there were a few states that were not sure as to which country they would join, namely Kashmir.

Kashmir at the time was led by a Hindu Maharaja despite the fact that most of the population was Muslim. This made it hard for the Maharaja to decide which state to join, and the indecision became a source of frustration for pro-Pakistani groups in Kashmir. In October 1947, tribal rebellion broke out and by October 10, the Pakistani Army entered Kashmir to provide support to the rebellion.

Kashmir government forces fought against the rebellion and the struggle went back and forth and Pakistani forces also entered into the Jammu region. The Maharaja knew that he faced impossible odds and therefore he asked India for help.

India agreed but on the condition that the Maharaja would accede Kashmir to India. The Maharaja agreed and on October 26, the Instrument of Accession was signed. The Indian military entered Kasmir and began the first Indo-Pakistani war. The war lasted until January 1, 1949 when a ceasefire was signed. The ceasefire turned over the states of Jammu and Kasmir to India, but Pakistan was given a third of the state to control, the areas of Azad Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan. The territory still remains under dispute and other conflicts have been fough over Kashmir since the end of the first Indo-Pakistan war.

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  • Stan Caldwell

    Missed the most important one of all: the 1908 annexation of Bosnia by Austria-Hungary. Led directly to the assassination of the Austrian archduke in 1914, which, in turn, led the World War I. I’d say that rewrote the world map just a bit.

  • Mike Richardson

    Also Germany was reduced to Poland in the post WW2 era.