Central Powers

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Central Powers
WW1 Central Powers 6 Sept 1915.svg
The Central Powers of Europe on 15 October 1915
Principal Central Powers:

Status Military alliance
Historical era World War I
Preceded by
Blank.png Dual Alliance (1879)
Blank.png German–Ottoman alliance
Blank.png Bulgaria–Germany treaty (1915)

The Central Powers, also known as the Central Empires, [1] [notes 1] were one of the two main coalitions that fought in World War I (1914–1918). It consisted of the German Empire, Austria-Hungary, the Ottoman Empire, and Bulgaria; this was also known as the Quadruple Alliance. [2] [notes 2]


Leaders of the Central Powers (left to right):
Kaiser Wilhelm II of Germany;
Kaiser and King Franz Joseph of Austria-Hungary;
Sultan Mehmed V of the Ottoman Empire;
Tsar Ferdinand I of Bulgaria
The caption reads:
"Vereinte Krafte fuhren zum Ziel"
"United Powers Lead to the Goal" Leaders of the Central Powers - Vierbund.jpg
  • Leaders of the Central Powers (left to right):
  • Kaiser Wilhelm II of Germany;
  • Kaiser and King Franz Joseph of Austria-Hungary;
  • Sultan Mehmed V of the Ottoman Empire;
  • Tsar Ferdinand I of Bulgaria
  • The caption reads:
  • "Vereinte Kräfte führen zum Ziel"
  • "United Powers Lead to the Goal"

The Central Powers' origin was the alliance of Germany and Austria-Hungary in 1879. Despite having nominally joined the Triple Alliance before, Italy did not take part in World War I on the side of the Central Powers. The Ottoman Empire and Bulgaria did not join until after World War I had begun. The Central Powers faced, and were defeated by, the Allied Powers, which themselves had formed around the Triple Entente.

Member states

At the start of the war, the Central Powers consisted of the German Empire and the Austro-Hungarian Empire. The Ottoman Empire joined later in 1914, followed by the Kingdom of Bulgaria in 1915. The name "Central Powers" is derived from the location of these countries; all four were located between the Russian Empire in the east and France and the United Kingdom in the west.

Allied and Central Powers during World War I
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Allied Powers
Allied colonies, dominions, territories or occupations
Central Powers
Central Powers' colonies or occupations
Neutral countries World War 1.gif
  • Allied and Central Powers during World War I
  •   Allied Powers
  •   Allied colonies, dominions, territories or occupations
  •   Central Powers
  •   Central Powers' colonies or occupations
  •   Neutral countries
Europe in 1914 FR-WW1-1914.png
Europe in 1914
Principal NationsEntered WWI
Flag of Austria-Hungary (1867-1918).svg Austro-Hungarian Empire 28 July 1914
Flag of the German Empire.svg  German Empire 1 August 1914
Flag of the Ottoman Empire (1844-1922).svg  Ottoman Empire 2 August 1914 (secretly)
29 October 1914 (publicly)
Flag of Bulgaria.svg  Kingdom of Bulgaria 14 October 1915

Major Combatants

German Empire

War justifications

German soldiers on the battlefield in August 1914 on the Western Front, shortly after the outbreak of war German infantry 1914 HD-SN-99-02296.JPEG
German soldiers on the battlefield in August 1914 on the Western Front, shortly after the outbreak of war
German cavalry entering Warsaw in 1915 Bundesarchiv Bild 183-R42025, Warschau, Einmarsch deutscher Kavallerie.jpg
German cavalry entering Warsaw in 1915
German battlecruiser SMS Seydlitz heavily damaged after the Battle of Jutland SMS Seydlitz damage.jpg
German battlecruiser SMS Seydlitz heavily damaged after the Battle of Jutland
German Fokker Dr.I fighter aircraft of Jasta 26 at Erchin in German-occupied France Fordi-2.jpg
German Fokker Dr.I fighter aircraft of Jasta 26 at Erchin in German-occupied France

In early July 1914, in the aftermath of the assassination of Austro-Hungarian Archduke Franz Ferdinand and faced with the prospect of war between Austria-Hungary and Serbia, Kaiser Wilhelm II and the German government informed the Austro-Hungarian government that Germany would uphold its alliance with Austria-Hungary and defend it from possible Russian intervention if a war between Austria-Hungary and Serbia took place. [3] When Russia enacted a general mobilization, Germany viewed the act as provocative. [4] The Russian government promised Germany that its general mobilization did not mean preparation for war with Germany but was a reaction to the tensions between Austria-Hungary and Serbia. [4] The German government regarded the Russian promise of no war with Germany to be nonsense in light of its general mobilization, and Germany, in turn, mobilized for war. [4] On 1 August, Germany sent an ultimatum to Russia stating that since both Germany and Russia were in a state of military mobilization, an effective state of war existed between the two countries. [5] Later that day, France, an ally of Russia, declared a state of general mobilization. [5]

In August 1914, Germany attacked Russia, citing Russian aggression as demonstrated by the mobilization of the Russian army, which had resulted in Germany mobilizing in response. [6]

After Germany declared war on Russia, France, with its alliance with Russia, prepared a general mobilization in expectation of war. On 3 August 1914, Germany responded to this action by declaring war on France. [7] Germany, facing a two-front war, enacted what was known as the Schlieffen Plan, which involved German armed forces moving through Belgium and swinging south into France and towards the French capital of Paris. This plan was hoped to quickly gain victory against the French and allow German forces to concentrate on the Eastern Front. Belgium was a neutral country and would not accept German forces crossing its territory. Germany disregarded Belgian neutrality and invaded the country to launch an offensive towards Paris. This caused Great Britain to declare war against the German Empire, as the action violated the Treaty of London that both nations signed in 1839 guaranteeing Belgian neutrality.

Subsequently, several states declared war on Germany in late August 1914, with Italy declaring war on Germany in August 1916, the United States in April 1917, and Greece in July 1917.

Colonies and dependencies

In Europe

After successfully beating France in the Franco-Prussian War, the German Empire incorporated the province of Alsace-Lorraine upon its founding in 1871. However, the province was still claimed by French revanchists, [8] [9] leading to its recession to France at the Treaty of Versailles.


The German Empire was late to colonization, only beginning overseas expansion in the 1870s and 1880s. Support for colonization was opposed by much of the government, including chancellor Otto von Bismarck, but it became a colonial power after participating in the Berlin Conference. Then, private companies were founded and began settling parts of Africa, the Pacific, and China. Later these groups became German protectorates and colonies.

Cameroon was a German colony existing from 1884 until its complete occupation in 1915. It was ceded to France as a League of Nations Mandate at the war's end.

German East Africa was founded in 1885 and expanded to include modern-day Tanzania (except Zanzibar), Rwanda, Burundi, and parts of Mozambique. It was the only German colony to not be fully conquered during the war, with resistance by commander Paul von Lettow-Vorbeck lasting until November 1918. Later it was surrendered to the Allies in 1919 and split between the Belgian Congo, Portuguese Mozambique, and the newly founded colony of Tanganyika.

South West Africa, modern-day Namibia, became under German rule in 1885 and was absorbed into South Africa following its invasion in 1915. Members of the local German army and police fought with South Africans seeking independence in the Maritz Rebellion.

Togoland, now part of Ghana, was made a German protectorate in 1884. However, after a swift campaign, it was occupied by the Allies in 1915 and divided between French Togoland and British Togoland.


The Jiaozhou Bay Leased Territory was a German dependency in East Asia leased from China in 1898. Japanese forces occupied it following the Siege of Tsingtao.


German New Guinea was a German protectorate in the Pacific. It was occupied by Australian forces in 1914.

German Samoa was a German protectorate following the Tripartite Convention. It was occupied by the New Zealand Expeditionary Force in 1914.


Austro-Hungarian soldiers in a trench on the Italian front KuK Stosstruppen.jpg
Austro-Hungarian soldiers in a trench on the Italian front
Austro-Hungarian soldiers marching up Mount Zion in Jerusalem in the Ottoman Empire, during the Middle Eastern campaign Austrian troops marching up Mt. Zion, 1916.JPG
Austro-Hungarian soldiers marching up Mount Zion in Jerusalem in the Ottoman Empire, during the Middle Eastern campaign

War justifications

Austria-Hungary regarded the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand as having been orchestrated with the assistance of Serbia. [3] The country viewed the assassination as setting a dangerous precedent of encouraging the country's South Slav population to rebel and threaten to tear apart the multinational country. [4] Austria-Hungary sent a formal ultimatum to Serbia demanding a full-scale investigation of Serbian government complicity in the assassination and complete compliance by Serbia in agreeing to the terms demanded by Austria-Hungary. [3] Serbia submitted to accept most of the demands. However, Austria-Hungary viewed this as insufficient and used this lack of full compliance to justify military intervention. [10] These demands have been viewed as a diplomatic cover for an inevitable Austro-Hungarian declaration of war on Serbia. [10]

Russia had warned Austria-Hungary that the Russian government would not tolerate Austria-Hungary invading Serbia. [10] However, with Germany supporting Austria-Hungary's actions, the Austro-Hungarian government hoped that Russia would not intervene and that the conflict with Serbia would remain a regional conflict. [3]

Austria-Hungary's invasion of Serbia resulted in Russia declaring war on the country, and Germany, in turn, declared war on Russia, setting off the beginning of the clash of alliances that resulted in the World War.


Austria-Hungary was internally divided into two states with their own governments, joined through the Habsburg throne. Austria, also known as Cisleithania, contained various duchies and principalities but also the Kingdom of Bohemia, the Kingdom of Dalmatia, and the Kingdom of Galicia and Lodomeria. Hungary (Transleithania) comprised the Kingdom of Hungary and the Kingdom of Croatia-Slavonia. In Bosnia and Herzegovina, sovereign authority was shared by both Austria and Hungary.

Ottoman Empire

Ottoman soldiers in military preparations for an assault on the Suez Canal in 1914 Muster on the Plain of Esdraelon 1914.jpg
Ottoman soldiers in military preparations for an assault on the Suez Canal in 1914
Kaiser Wilhelm II visiting the Turkish cruiser Yavuz Sultan Selim during his stay in Istanbul in October 1917 as a guest of Sultan Mehmed V Bundesarchiv Bild 146-1981-137-08A, Konstantinopel, Besuch Kaiser Wilhelm II..jpg
Kaiser Wilhelm II visiting the Turkish cruiser Yavuz Sultan Selim during his stay in Istanbul in October 1917 as a guest of Sultan Mehmed V

War justifications

The Ottoman Empire joined the war on the side of the Central Powers in November 1914. The Ottoman Empire had gained strong economic connections with Germany through the Berlin-to-Baghdad railway project that was still incomplete at the time. [11] The Ottoman Empire made a formal alliance with Germany signed on 2 August 1914. [12] The alliance treaty expected that the Ottoman Empire would become involved in the conflict in a short amount of time. [12] However, for the first several months of the war, the Ottoman Empire maintained neutrality though it allowed a German naval squadron to enter and stay near the strait of Bosphorus. [13] Ottoman officials informed the German government that the country needed time to prepare for conflict. [13] Germany provided financial aid and weapons shipments to the Ottoman Empire. [12]

After pressure escalated from the German government demanding that the Ottoman Empire fulfill its treaty obligations, or else Germany would expel the country from the alliance and terminate economic and military assistance, the Ottoman government entered the war with the recently acquired cruisers from Germany, the Yavuz Sultan Selim (formerly SMS Goeben) and the Midilli (formerly SMS Breslau) launching a naval raid on the Russian port of Odesa, thus engaging in military action in accordance with its alliance obligations with Germany. Russia and the Triple Entente declared war on the Ottoman Empire. [14]


War justifications

Bulgarian soldiers firing at incoming aircraft Bulgaria southern front.jpg
Bulgarian soldiers firing at incoming aircraft

Bulgaria was still resentful after its defeat in July 1913 at the hands of Serbia, Greece and Romania. It signed a treaty of defensive alliance with the Ottoman Empire on 19 August 1914. Bulgaria was the last country to join the Central Powers, which it did in October 1915 by declaring war on Serbia. It invaded Serbia in conjunction with German and Austro-Hungarian forces. Bulgaria held claims on the region of Vardar Macedonia then held by Serbia following the Balkan Wars of 1912–1913 and the Treaty of Bucharest (1913). [15] As a condition of entering the war on the side of the Central Powers, Bulgaria was granted the right to reclaim that territory. [16] [17]

Declarations of war

DateDeclared byDeclared against
14 OctoberFlag of Bulgaria.svg BulgariaState Flag of Serbia (1882-1918).svg Serbia
15 OctoberFlag of the United Kingdom.svg United Kingdom
Flag of Montenegro (1905-1918).svg Montenegro
Flag of Bulgaria.svg Bulgaria
16 OctoberFlag of France (1794-1958).svg FranceFlag of Bulgaria.svg Bulgaria
19 OctoberFlag of Italy (1861-1946) crowned.svg Italy
Flag of Russia.svg Russia
Flag of Bulgaria.svg Bulgaria
1 SeptemberFlag of Bulgaria.svg BulgariaFlag of Romania.svg Romania
2 JulyState Flag of Greece (1863-1924 and 1935-1973).svg GreeceFlag of Bulgaria.svg Bulgaria


Flag of the South African Republic Flag of Transvaal.svg
Flag of the South African Republic

South African Republic

In opposition to offensive operations by Union of South Africa, which had joined the war, Boer army officers of what is now known as the Maritz Rebellion "refounded" the South African Republic in September 1914. Germany assisted the rebels, some rebels operating in and out of the German colony of German South-West Africa. The rebels were all defeated or captured by South African government forces by 4 February 1915.

Senussi Order

Flag of the Senussi Flag of the Senussi Dynasty.svg
Flag of the Senussi

The Senussi Order was a Muslim political-religious tariqa (Sufi order) and clan in Libya, previously under Ottoman control, which had been lost to Italy in 1912. In 1915, they were courted by the Ottoman Empire and Germany, and Grand Senussi Ahmed Sharif as-Senussi declared jihad and attacked the Italians in Libya and British controlled Egypt in the Senussi Campaign.

Sultanate of Darfur

Flag of Darfur Flag of Darfur.svg
Flag of Darfur

In 1915 the Sultanate of Darfur renounced allegiance to the Sudan government and aligned with the Ottomans and were able to contact them via the Senussi. Prior to this the Sultanate of Darfur was a British Ally. The Anglo-Egyptian Darfur Expedition preemptively acted in March 1916 to prevent an attack on Sudan and took control of the Sultanate by November 1916.

Zaian Confederation

The Zaian Confederation began to fight against France in the Zaian War to prevent French expansion into Morocco. The fighting lasted from 1914 and continued after the First World War ended, to 1921. The Central Powers (mainly the Germans) began to attempt to incite unrest to hopefully divert French resources from Europe.

Dervish State

The Dervish State fought against the British Empire, Ethiopian Empire, Italian Empire, and the French Empire between 1896 and 1925. During World War I, the Dervish State received many supplies from the German Empire and the Ottoman Empire to carry on fighting the Allies. However, looting from other Somali tribes in the Korahe raid eventually led to its collapse in 1925.

Client states

With the Bolshevik attack of late 1917, the General Secretariat of Ukraine sought military protection first from the Central Powers and later from the armed forces of the Entente.

The Ottoman Empire also had its own allies in Azerbaijan and the Northern Caucasus. The three nations fought alongside each other under the Army of Islam in the Battle of Baku.

German client states


The Kingdom of Poland was a client state of Germany proclaimed in 1916 and established on 14 January 1917. [18] This government was recognized by the emperors of Germany and Austria-Hungary in November 1916, and it adopted a constitution in 1917. [19] The decision to create a Polish State was taken by Germany in order to attempt to legitimize its military occupation amongst the Polish inhabitants, following upon German propaganda sent to Polish inhabitants in 1915 that German soldiers were arriving as liberators to free Poland from subjugation by Russia. [20] The German government utilized the state alongside punitive threats to induce Polish landowners living in the German-occupied Baltic territories to move to the state and sell their Baltic property to Germans in exchange for moving to Poland. Efforts were made to induce similar emigration of Poles from Prussia to the state. [21]

Ober Ost

Ober Ost was a German client state created in October 1915. It was later turned into other client states in early 1918.


The Kingdom of Lithuania was a client state of Germany created on 16 February 1918.


The Belarusian Democratic Republic was a client state of Germany created on 9 March 1918.


The Ukrainian State was a client state of Germany led by Hetman Pavlo Skoropadskyi from 29 April 1918, after the government of the Ukrainian People's Republic was overthrown. [22]


The Crimean Regional Government was a client state of Germany created on 25 June 1918. It was officially part of the Ukrainian State but acted separate from the central government. The Kuban People's Republic eventually voted to join the Ukrainian State.

Courland and Semigallia

The Duchy of Courland and Semigallia was a client state of Germany created on 8 March 1918.

Baltic State

The Baltic State also known as the "United Baltic Duchy", was proclaimed on 22 September 1918 by the Baltic German ruling class. It was to encompass the former Estonian governorates and incorporate the recently established Courland and Semigallia into a unified state. An armed force in the form of the Baltische Landeswehr was created in November 1918, just before the surrender of Germany, which would participate in the Russian Civil War in the Baltics.


Finland had been an autonomous Grand Duchy within the Russian Empire since 1809, and the collapse of the Russian Empire in 1917 gave it its independence. Following the end of the Finnish Civil War, in which Germany supported the "Whites" against the Soviet-backed labour movement, in May 1918, there were moves to create a Kingdom of Finland. A German prince was elected. However, the Armistice intervened.


The Democratic Republic of Georgia declared independence in 1918 which then led to border conflicts between the newly formed republic and the Ottoman Empire. Soon after, the Ottoman Empire invaded the republic and quickly reached Borjomi. This forced Georgia to ask for help from Germany, which they were granted. Germany forced the Ottomans to withdraw from Georgian territories and recognize Georgian sovereignty. Germany, Georgia and the Ottomans signed a peace treaty, the Treaty of Batum which ended the conflict with the last two. In return, Georgia became a German "ally". This time period of Georgian-German friendship was known as German Caucasus expedition.


The Don Republic was founded on 18 May 1918. Their ataman Pyotr Krasnov portrayed himself as willing to serve as a pro-German warlord.

Ottoman client states

Jabal Shammar

Jabal Shammar was an Arab state in the Middle East that was closely associated with the Ottoman Empire. [23]


In 1918, the Azerbaijan Democratic Republic, facing Bolshevik revolution and opposition from the Muslim Musavat Party, was then occupied by the Ottoman Empire, which expelled the Bolsheviks while supporting the Musavat Party. [24] The Ottoman Empire maintained a presence in Azerbaijan until the end of the war in November 1918. [24]

Mountain Republic

The Mountainous Republic of the Northern Caucasus was associated with the Central Powers.


see also: Qatar in World War I  [ ru ]
Initially an Ottoman puppet, Qatar held an Ottoman garrison even following it's independence from the Ottomans in 1913. Following a treaty with Britain, it became a British puppet. It's Ottoman Garrison left prior to this on August 20th, 1915. [25]


Yemen Vilayet or Yemen was an autonomous region of the Ottoman Empire that stayed allied with the Sultan and fought against the Allies during the South Arabian campaign. [26]

Nations supported by the Central Powers

States listed in this section were not officially members of the Central Powers. Still, during the war, they cooperated with one or more Central Powers members on a level that makes their neutrality disputable.


Lij Iyasu, ruler of Ethiopia until 1916 pictured in his Ottoman-style turban Iyasu in a Muslim Turban.png
Lij Iyasu, ruler of Ethiopia until 1916 pictured in his Ottoman-style turban

The Ethiopian Empire was officially neutral throughout World War I but widely suspected of sympathy for the Central Powers between 1915 and 1916. At the time, Ethiopia was one of only two fully independent states in Africa (the other being Liberia) and a major power in the Horn of Africa. Its ruler, Lij Iyasu, was widely suspected of harbouring pro-Islamic sentiments and being sympathetic to the Ottoman Empire. The German Empire also attempted to reach out to Iyasu, dispatching several unsuccessful expeditions to the region to attempt to encourage it to collaborate in an Arab Revolt-style uprising in East Africa. One of the unsuccessful expeditions was led by Leo Frobenius, a celebrated ethnographer and personal friend of Kaiser Wilhelm II. Under Iyasu's directions, Ethiopia probably supplied weapons to the Muslim Dervish rebels during the Somaliland Campaign of 1915 to 1916, indirectly helping the Central Powers' cause. [27]

Fearing the rising influence of Iyasu and the Ottoman Empire, the Christian nobles of Ethiopia conspired against Iyasu over 1915. Iyasu was first excommunicated by the Ethiopian Orthodox Patriarch and eventually deposed in a coup d'état on 27 September 1916. A less pro-Ottoman regent, Ras Tafari Makonnen, was installed on the throne. [27]


Leopold Freiherr von Imhof, Governor of Liechtenstein from 1914 to 1918 Imhof Leopold.jpg
Leopold Freiherr von Imhof, Governor of Liechtenstein from 1914 to 1918

Liechtenstein was officially neutral throughout World War I, though the general population and government was supportive of the Central Powers, particularly Austria-Hungary, of which the two countries had been in a customs union since 1852. However, from September 1914 food deliveries from Austria-Hungary began to decrease, which quickly soured the initial war support. [28] By 1916 all food deliveries from Austria-Hungary had ceased, which forced Liechtenstein to seek closer ties with Switzerland in order to ensure food deliveries continued. [28] [29] From 1916 Liechtenstein was embargoed by the Entente countries due to their connections to the Central Powers, which caused mass unemployment in the country. [30] The government remained sympathetic to the Central Powers until 7 November 1918, when the November 1918 Liechtenstein putsch took place and a new government took power. [31]

Upper Asir

Upper Asir revolted away from Asir in 1916 and fought against them. They were Ottoman-aligned but received support from Hejaz. [32]

Kingdom of Greece

The Kingdom of Greece was in a political dispute with Venizelists. The Central Powers supported the nation until King Constantine's abdication in 1917. [33]


Following their armistice with the Central Powers, Romania was involved in the Russian Civil War against both the Whites and the Reds. Romania fought alongside the Central Powers until the country rejoined the war against them on November 10th 1918. [34]

Non-state combatants

Other movements supported the efforts of the Central Powers for their own reasons, such as the radical Irish Nationalists who launched the Easter Rising in Dublin in April 1916; they referred to their "gallant allies in Europe". However, most Irish Nationalists supported the British and allied war effort up until 1916, when the Irish political landscape was changing. In 1914, Józef Piłsudski was permitted by Germany and Austria-Hungary to form independent Polish legions. Piłsudski wanted his legions to help the Central Powers defeat Russia and then side with France and the UK and win the war with them.

Armistice and treaties

Bulgaria signed an armistice with the Allies on 29 September 1918, following a successful Allied advance in Macedonia. The Ottoman Empire followed suit on 30 October 1918 in the face of British and Arab gains in Palestine and Syria. Austria and Hungary concluded ceasefires separately during the first week of November following the disintegration of the Habsburg Empire and the Italian offensive at Vittorio Veneto; Germany signed the armistice ending the war on the morning of 11 November 1918 after the Hundred Days Offensive, and a succession of advances by New Zealand, Australian, Canadian, Belgian, British, French and US forces in north-eastern France and Belgium. There was no unified treaty ending the war; the Central Powers were dealt with in separate treaties. [35]

Central Powers by date of armistice
Flag of Bulgaria.svg Bulgaria 29 September 1918
Flag of the Ottoman Empire (1844-1922).svg Ottoman Empire 30 October 1918
Flag of Austria-Hungary (1867-1918).svg Austria-Hungary 4 November 1918
Flag of the German Empire.svg Germany 11 November 1918
Central Powers treaties
CountryTreaty ofResults
Flag of Germany (3-2 aspect ratio).svg Germany Versailles Germany was required to demilitarize the Rhineland, to reduce their army to 100,000 men, and the navy to 15,000 sailors, and to pay 132 billion gold marks (US$33 billion). Tanks, submarines, and an air force were all forbidden.
Flag of Austria (1230-1934).svg Austria Saint-Germain
Flag of Bulgaria.svg Bulgaria Neuilly
Flag of Hungary (1915-1918, 1919-1946).svg Hungary Trianon
Flag of the Ottoman Empire (1844-1922).svg Ottoman Empire/
Sèvres/Lausanne The Treaty of Sèvres caused resentment among the Turkish populace of the Ottoman Empire and resulted in the outbreak of the Turkish War of Independence, after which the Treaty of Lausanne was signed.



Proportions of Central Powers' fatalities WorldWarI-MilitaryDeaths-CentralPowers-Piechart.svg
Proportions of Central Powers' fatalities
Economic statistics of the Central Powers  [notes 3] [36]
(million km2)
($ billion)
GDP per capita
Flag of the German Empire.svg  Germany (1914)Mainland67.00.5244.33,648
Flag of Austria-Hungary (1867-1918).svg Austria-Hungary (1914)50.60.6100.51,980
Flag of the Ottoman Empire (1844-1922).svg  Ottoman Empire (1914)23.01.825.31,100
Flag of Bulgaria.svg  Bulgaria (1915),527
Military statistics of the Central Powers  [37]
CountryMobilizedKilled in actionWoundedMissing
in action
Percentage casualties
of total force
Flag of the German Empire.svg  Germany 13,250,0002,037,000 (13.65%)6,267,1431,152,8009,456,94371%
Flag of Austria-Hungary (1867-1918).svg  Austria-Hungary 7,800,0001,494,200 (11.82%)3,620,0002,200,0007,314,20094%
Flag of the Ottoman Empire (1844-1922).svg  Ottoman Empire 3,056,000771,884 (10.84%)763,163250,0001,785,00060%
Flag of Bulgaria.svg  Bulgaria 1,200,00075,844 (6.32%)153,39027,029255,26321%

See also


  1. German : Mittelmächte; Hungarian : Központi hatalmak; Ottoman Turkish : اتفاق دولتري, romanized: İttıfâq Devletleri, Bağlaşma Devletleri; Bulgarian : Централни сили, romanized: Centralni sili
  2. German : Vierbund, Ottoman Turkish : دورتلى اِتَّفَاق, romanized: Dörtlü İttıfâq, Hungarian : Központi hatalmak, Bulgarian : Четворен съюз, romanized: Četvoren sūjuz
  3. All figures presented are for the year 1913.

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The Balkans theatre or Balkan campaign was a theatre of World War I fought between the Central Powers and the Allies.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">World War I</span> 1914–1918 global conflict

World War I or the First World War was a global conflict between two coalitions: the Allies and the Central Powers. Fighting took place throughout Europe, the Middle East, Africa, the Pacific, and parts of Asia. One of the deadliest wars in history, it resulted in an estimated 9 million soldiers dead and 23 million wounded, plus up to 8 million civilian deaths from numerous causes including genocide. The movement of large numbers of troops and civilians during the war was a major factor in spreading the 1918 Spanish flu pandemic.

The German–Ottoman alliance was ratified by the German Empire and the Ottoman Empire on August 2, 1914, shortly after the outbreak of World War I. It was created as part of a joint effort to strengthen and modernize the weak Ottoman military and to provide Germany with safe passage into the neighbouring British colonies.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Macedonian front</span> World War I military theatre

The Macedonian front, also known as the Salonica front, was a military theatre of World War I formed as a result of an attempt by the Allied Powers to aid Serbia, in the autumn of 1915, against the combined attack of Germany, Austria-Hungary and Bulgaria. The expedition came too late and with insufficient force to prevent the fall of Serbia and was complicated by the internal political crisis in Greece. Eventually, a stable front was established, running from the Albanian Adriatic coast to the Struma River, pitting a multinational Allied force against the Bulgarian army, which was at various times bolstered with smaller units from the other Central Powers. The Macedonian front remained stable, despite local actions, until the Allied offensive in September 1918 resulted in Bulgaria capitulating and the liberation of Serbia.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Bulgaria during World War I</span> Review of the topic

The Kingdom of Bulgaria participated in World War I on the side of the Central Powers from 14 October 1915, when the country declared war on Serbia, until 30 September 1918, when the Armistice of Salonica came into effect.

The following outline is provided as an overview of and topical guide to World War I:

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Bulgaria–Germany relations</span> Bilateral relations

Bulgaria–Germany relations are foreign relations between Bulgaria and Germany. Bulgaria has an embassy in Berlin, a general-consulate in Munich and an office in Bonn. Germany has an embassy in Sofia. As EU members, the Bulgarian government views Germany as its key strategic partner in the EU. Some Bulgarian government ministers and former President Plevneliev speak German. German experts have been and still are active in an advisory capacity in Bulgarian government ministries as part of continuing implementation measures connected with the country's EU accession. Both countries are full members of the Council of Europe, the European Union and NATO.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">World War I in Albania</span> Involvement of Albania in World War I

In World War I, Albania had been an independent state, having gained independence from the Ottoman Empire on 28 November 1912, during the First Balkan War. It was recognised by the Great Powers as the Principality of Albania, after Turkey officially renounced all its rights in May 1913. Being a fledgling new country, it quickly unravelled and just a few months after taking power, its German ruler, Prince Wilhelm, was forced to flee. After World War I broke out, anarchy took hold of the country as tribes and regions rebelled against central rule. To protect the Greek minority, Greek control was established in the southern districts replacing the Northern Epirote units beginning in October 1914. In response to this, Italy, although officially neutral at the time, also sent troops into the port of Vlorë, while Serbia and Montenegro took control of northern regions. In 1915 Serbia was overrun by combined German, Austro-Hungarian, and Bulgarian forces; the Serbian army retreated across the mountain passes of northern Albania, towards the Adriatic. Italian troops drove the Greeks from southern Albania and brought almost all Albanian territory under their control. Austrian forces invaded in June 1916; Austro-Hungarian forces remained in Albania until the end of the war when a multinational Allied force broke through and pushed them out in 1918.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">International relations (1814–1919)</span> Diplomacy and wars of six largest powers in the world

This article covers worldwide diplomacy and, more generally, the international relations of the great powers from 1814 to 1919. This era covers the period from the end of the Napoleonic Wars and the Congress of Vienna (1814–1815), to the end of the First World War and the Paris Peace Conference (1919–1920).

An Ottoman–Bulgarianalliance was signed in Sofia on 19 August (6 August O.S.) 1914 during the opening month of the First World War, although at the time both the signatories were neutral. The Minister of the Interior, Talaat Pasha, and President Halil Bey of the Chamber of Deputies signed the treaty on behalf of the Ottoman Empire (Turkey) and Prime Minister Vasil Radoslavov on behalf of the Kingdom of Bulgaria. The Ottoman–Bulgarian alliance was probably a prerequisite for Bulgaria's joining the Central Powers after Turkey entered the war in November.

The diplomatic history of World War I covers the non-military interactions among the major players during World War I. For the domestic histories of participants see home front during World War I. For a longer-term perspective see international relations (1814–1919) and causes of World War I. For the following (post-war) era see international relations (1919–1939). The major "Allies" grouping included Great Britain and its empire, France, Russia, Italy and the United States. Opposing the Allies, the major Central Powers included Germany, Austria-Hungary, the Ottoman Empire (Turkey) and Bulgaria. Other countries also joined the Allies. For a detailed chronology see timeline of World War I.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Boško Čolak-Antić</span> Serbian diplomat

Boško I. Čolak-Antić, also known as Boshko Tcholak-Antitch, was a Serbian diplomat, and Marshal of the Court of the Kingdom of Serbia and Kingdom of Yugoslavia, He served as ambassador in the Middle East as well as in several European capitals. From a prominent noble military family, he was a skilled diplomat who played a significant role during the critical era of the First World War.


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Further reading