Flag of Saar
The National Flag,
Official-languageGerman, French
GovernmentRepublic (Protectorate of France)
  - Declared
  - Dissolved

December 15, 1947

October 27, 1956

The Saar Protectorate was a German borderland territory twice temporarily made a protectorate state. Since rejoining Germany in 1957, it is the smallest Federal German Area State (Flächenland), the Saarland, in contrast to the city states Berlin, Hamburg and Bremen. It is named after the Saar River.

After World War I and World War II, the state was forcibly made a protectorate by the victorious allies as part of a policy of "industrial disarmament" and re-settlement of peoples mandated on the new German governments. The Saar protectorate was a short lived post-World War II protectorate (1947-1956) partitioned from defeated Nazi Germany; it was administered by France. The region about the Saar River and its tributary valleys is a geographically folded, mineral rich, strongly ethnically German, economically important, heavily industrialized area. It possesses a well developed transportation infrastructure that was one of the centres of the Industrial Revolution in Germany and which, like the Ruhr Area, fuelled the German war industries from during the early 1800s to the end of WWII. Like the nearby Ruhr valley, it was heavily bombed by the allies as part of the strategic bombing campaigns.

Territorially, the protectorate corresponds to the current German state of Saarland, which it became known after it was returned to West Germany in January 1, 1957. After World War II, a policy of industrial disarmament and dispersal of industrial workers was officially pursued by the allies until 1951 and the region was made a protectorate under French control in 1947. Cold War pressures for a stronger Germany allowed renewed industrialization, and the French returned control of the region to the government of Federal Republic of Germany in 1957.