Yugoslavia during different periods (1918 - 1930s). Historical Maps and Plans

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Yugoslavia or more aptly the Kingdom of Yugoslavia also called the ‘first Yugoslavia’ was a nation formed during the interwar period and existed till the first half of World War II. The old maps of Yugoslavia in whole, maps and plans of its towns and provinces of this time period are found here. The land area of the contry was 98,610 square miles (255,400 square kilometers). The state was established in the year 1918 in Southeast Europe and Central Europe merging the provincial State of Slovenes, Croats and Serbs with the previously independent kingdom of Serbia.
Prior to the unification, Serbia was already united with the kingdom of Montenegro and the regions of Kosovo, Vojvodina and Vardar Macedonia. The newly formed state was called the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes for eleven initial years, as old historical maps show. The area controlled important land routes and regions from central and Western Europe to Aegean Sea and Turkish Straits. The regions occupied were also described to be the ‘’crossroads between East and West’’. Mountainous regions dominated the most part of Yugoslavia and separated the fertile plains from the rocky Adriatic coastlines.

The three prominent mountainous regions were the Julian Alps of Slovenia, extension of Italian and Austrian Alps and Yugoslavia’s highest peak Daravica. The topography is given on the map. The composition of these mountainous rocks varies but most of it is composed of limestone strata which results in the formation of natural oddities like the disappearing rivers, the magnificent caves and deep freshwater lakes. The erosion of the limestone causes the exposure of crystalline rocks like the rock outlaying the Rhodope Massif, the nucleus of the Balkan Peninsula. The areas of crystalline rocks are infused with alluvial sedimentary rocks. 28% of the land is considered arable.

The Pannonia Plains which consists of almost all the Serbian province of Vojvodina behold the history that led to the creation of fertile soil in the area that are over 160 meters deep in some areas. The geographical fault lines in the southern part of Yugoslavia have the area prone to earthquakes. The natural resources of the country includes coal, bauxite, copper, timber, antimony, iron ore, lead, zinc, chromium, mercury, asbestos, crude oil, nickel, natural gas and uranium. The trade and transport were carried out mostly on the Adriatic coastlines of Yugoslavia extending 2100 kilometers.

There were four easy inland passages - The Postojna Gate, the Neretva River, the Gulf of Kotor and the port of Bar. As seen on the map the country shared its borders with Austria, Albania, Bulgaria, Hungary, Greece, Italy and Romania. After the assassination of Alexander I, his 11 year-old-son Prince Peter II ascended the throne and the regency council was headed by his cousin Prince Paul. Financed by the foreign capital some industrial developments did take place but the central government spent fortune in the military and prioritized in intervening with agricultural produce and industries. Therefore the economy crippled along with the state and by the end of 1940 the country was reduced to a poor rural state.
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