Treaty of Versailles: coal reparations from Germany to Belgium, France and Italy

Part VIII of the Treaty of Versailles dealt with the reparations owed by Germany to the Allied powers of the First World War. Although the treaty did not specify the final numbers owed by the German government (which was left to the Reparations Commission), it did include the amount of coal that Germany was instructed to pay to Belgium, France, Italy and Luxembourg annually over a ten year period. Although Belgium was to receive eight million tons of German coal per year, the largest amount was to go to France. While France's fixed figure was just seven million tons per year, the German government was also required to give France the difference of how much coal was produced in the Nord and Pas de Calais region, and how much would have been there had much of the area not been destroyed in the war (although never in excess of twenty million tons). In addition to this, specifications were also made for benzol, coal tar and sulfate of ammonia reparations to be paid to France. Italy received an average of 7.7 million tons per year, (although the first five installments differed in quantity), while Germany was ordered to pay Luxembourg an equal amount to their annual pre-war consumption.

Annual coal reparations to be paid by Germany to Belgium, France and Italy over a ten year period, as specified in the Treaty of Versailles, June 28, 1919

Average fixed installment (millions of tons)
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Release date

January 2020


Belgium, France, Germany, Italy

Survey time period

June 28, 1919

Supplementary notes

Allied countries could demand metallurgical coke in place of coal, where 3 tons of coke was equal to 4 tons of coal.

Paragraph 5 also stated that Luxembourg were to receive an amount equal to their pre-war consumption of German coal.

* Quantities varied as follows (from July to June):
1919-1920 - 4.5 million tons
1920-1921 - 6 million tons
1921-1922 - 7.5 million tons
1922-1923 - 8 million tons
1923-1929 - 8.5 million tons per year

** France were also to receive an equal amount of coal to the difference between annual production of the mines in the Nord and Pas de Calais regions, but no more than 20 million tons per year in first five years, and 8 million tons per year in following 5 years.
Additionally, France were to receive three annual payments of the following resources:
Benzol - 35,000 tons
Coal tar - 50,000 tons (All or part of this sum could be replaced by corresponding quantities of products of distillation (such as light oils, heavy oils, anthracene, naphthalene or pitch))
Sulfate of ammonia - 30,000 tons

Release date is date of extraction.

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Statistics on "Treaty of Versailles June 28, 1919"

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