German territorial and resource losses as a result of the Treaty of Versailles

Parts II and III of the Treaty of Versailles dealt with Germany's territorial losses as a result of the First World War. In mainland Europe, Germany's borders shrank, reducing the country's size by approximately 65,000 square kilometers, and roughly 7 million people (13 and 12 percent of their respective totals).The loss of all of this territory also meant that Germany's industrial and agricultural output was drastically affected, particularly iron output, of which Germany lost 48%.

Loss of territory in Europe

In Europe, Germany seceded territory to seven countries in total, including Czechoslovakia, Lithuania and Poland, none of which existed as independent states before the First World War. Poland was given a "route to the sea" that separated Eastern Prussia from the rest of Germany, and this "route" also included Danzig (Gdańsk), which was made a "free city" under the League of Nations' administration. The area of Alsace-Lorraine was annexed by France, who Germany had taken it from in 1870, and the coal-rich area of the Saar (Saarland) was under a French-led League of Nations control. Smaller areas were also ceded to other neighboring nations, which meant that millions of ethnic Germans became minorities overnight. In addition to changing borders, five of Germany's major rivers were made international, and were regulated by international committees, of which German representatives never made a majority.

The end of the Second Reich

Part IV of the treaty stripped Germany of all overseas possessions, and distributed them primarily between Britain and France as League of Nations mandates (along with all former Ottoman territories). This meant that Germany lost vast amounts of land in Africa (over 4.5 million square kilometers; also linking several of Britain's colonies, which now stretched continuously from Egypt to South Africa), as well as all Asian and Pacific colonies (over 250,000 square kilometers), bringing an end to Germany's overseas empire.

Approximate German territorial losses, and related loss of resources, following the Treaty of Versailles, June 28, 1919

Approximate percentage lost
Overseas territories100%
Iron resources48%
Agricultural resources15%
European territory13%
European population12%
Coal resources10%
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Release date

January 2020



Survey time period

June 28, 1919

Supplementary notes

Release date is date of extraction.

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Statistics on "Treaty of Versailles June 28, 1919"

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