Territorial disputes

Territorial disputes have been one - if not the most - common reason (and likely even more often excuse) for war. One could assume that in a time that values peace highly, foreign policy might be quite attentive to such issues and resolve them ASAP. Well, that impression would apparently be overly optimistic.

Wikipedia has an impressive compilation of territorial disputes:

I suggest to have a look at it, for it's really interesting. Even Germany is being mentioned in the Wikipedia list (with two quite unknown and rather irrelevant disputes).

Many (likely most) mentioned disputes are of marginal relevance or based on quite outlandish claims, but history knows enough examples of wars that were 'justified' (rather excused) with similarly weak or even completely fabricated claims. The Prussian invasion of Habsburg's Silesia in 1740 was such an example.

Sven Ortmann


  1. the Kuril Islands are an interesting case study

    Rockall is also a weird one!

    and I just can't in any way understand how Israel thinks it has any right to the Shebaa Farms!

  2. Interesting. Remember, governments will never give up a claim, even if it is irrelevant.

    What is worrying is the land China claims is thier own. They have disputes with just about every country they border, and we know they plan on one day taking it all "back".

  3. This map and Wiki article are misleading if we talk about Ivangorod and Petseri on the map. Estonia does not want those Russian territories (that belonged before II WW to Estonia according to Treaty of Tartu). Russians think that Estonians have some hidden agenda, but they are wrong.



  4. Well, the right place for a correction is wikipedia.

  5. Sven, but Russians do think that Estonias want those territories. Last high ranking official, who said so, was head of Presidential administration couple months ago. So, how is the logic, Russians say that Estonians do want (territories they already have) and Estonians say that they don't. Is there territorial dispute?

  6. It sounds a bit like the Polish invasion of Germany on 1939-09-01.