1883-1914 SHS 1918-1929

Dalmatia 1914-1920

During World War I, the Entente imposed a naval blockade on the Dalmatian coast (as well as coastal Croatia and Istria). Natives of Dalmatia fought in the Austro-Hungarian armies.
At the outbreak of World War I, Italy remained neutral. Allied propaganda promised Italy territorial gains, most notably territory in Dalmatia, in case she would enter the war and fight on the side of the Entente, which Italy did (1915). Yet the Serbs and Croats also claimed the area; a conflict seemed inherent.
In negotiations leading to the Treaty of London (April 1915), the Italian delegation demanded all of Dalmatia; the Treaty of London comceded the northern half of Dalmatia, with the cities of Zadar (Zara), Sibenik (Sebenico) and Knin, to Italy.
In October 1918 the representatives of the Croats, Slovenes and Serbs living in Austria-Hungary, i.e. in Croatia-Slavonia, Istria, Vojvodina and Dalmatia, formed a National Council. Italian troops landed in Dalmatia and not only occupied the territory allocated to her in the Treaty of London, but went beyond. Facing the Italian threat and lacking international recognition, the Zagreb-based National Council hurried the decision to unify with the Kingdom of Serbia. The situation was further complicated, when the city of Rijeka (Fiume), supposed to become a Free City, was occupied by Italian adventurer Gabriele d"Annunzio and his followers.
Negotiations with Italy resulted in the withdrawal of the Italian forces from most of Dalmatia; Italy only retained the city of Zara and a few islands in the Adriatic. However, within Italy this solution was widely resented; despite bilateral treaties, Fascist Italy (since 1922) regarded Dalmatia as a potential future acquisition.

Chronology of Dubrovnik, by Josip Lucic
Split, History of, from dalmacija.net
DOCUMENTS Article Dalmatia from Catholic Encyclopedia, 1908 edition
REFERENCE Fred Singleton, A Short History of the Yugoslav Peoples, Cambridge University Press (1985) 1999
Giuseppe Praga, History of Dalmatia, Pisa : Giardini 1993
Ivo Goldstein, Croatia - a History, (1999) McGill-Queen's UP 2001
Article : Dalmatia, in : New International Year Book 1918 p.166, 1919 p.190, 1920 pp.178-179, 1921 p.185, 1923 p.193, 1925 p.194, 1928 p.206 [G]

This page is part of World History at KMLA
First posted in 2000, last revised on March 9th 2007

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