Central Powers

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Central Powers
Mittelmächte (German)
Központi hatalmak (Hungarian)
İttifak Devletleri (Turkish)
Централни сили (Bulgarian)
1914–1919
WW1 Central Powers 6 Sept 1915.svg
The Central Powers as of 6 September 1915
Status Military alliance
Historical era The Great War
  Dual Alliance
(Germany /Austria-Hungary)
7 October 1879
 Established
28 June 1914
2 August 1914
  • 6 September 1915 (secret)
  • 14 October 1915 (public)
  Dissolved
11 November 1919
Preceded by
Blank.png Dual Alliance (1879)
Blank.png Triple Alliance (1882)
Blank.png German–Ottoman alliance
Blank.png Ottoman–Bulgarian alliance
Blank.png Bulgaria–Germany treaty (1915)
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, also known as the Central Empires, [1] [notes 1] was one of the two main coalitions that fought in World War I (1914–1919). It consisted of the German Empire, Austria-Hungary, the Ottoman Empire, and the Kingdom of Bulgaria and was also known as the Quadruple Alliance. [2] [notes 2] Colonies of these countries also fought on the Central Powers' side such as German New Guinea and German East Africa, until almost all of their colonies were occupied by the Allies.

Contents

The Central Powers faced and were defeated by the Allied Powers that had formed around the Triple Entente. 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, even though the Ottoman Empire had retained close relations with both Germany and Austria-Hungary since the beginning of the 20th century.

Member states

The Central Powers consisted of the German Empire and the Austro-Hungarian Empire at the beginning of the war. 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 (including the other groups that supported them except for Finland and Lithuania) were located between the Russian Empire in the east and France and the United Kingdom in the west. Finland,and Lithuania joined them in 1918 right before the war ended and after the Russian Empire collapsed.

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

The Central Powers were composed of the following nations: [3]

NationEntered WWI
Flag of Austria-Hungary (1867-1918).svg Austria-Hungary 28 July 1914
Flag of the German Empire.svg  Germany 1 August 1914
Flag of the Ottoman Empire (1844-1922).svg  Ottoman Empire 2 August 1914 (secret)
29 October 1914 (public)
Flag of Bulgaria.svg  Bulgaria 14 October 1915
Deaths of the Central powers WorldWarI-MilitaryDeaths-CentralPowers-Piechart.svg
Deaths of the Central powers
Economic statistics of the Central Powers  [notes 3] [4]
Population
(millions)
Land
(million km2)
GDP
($ billion)
GDP per capita
($)
Flag of the German Empire.svg  Germany (1914)Mainland67.00.5244.33,648
Colonies 10.73.06.4601
Total77.73.5250.73,227
Flag of Austria-Hungary (1867-1918).svg Austria-Hungary (1914)50.60.6100.51,986
Flag of the Ottoman Empire (1844-1922).svg  Ottoman Empire (1914)23.01.825.31,100
Flag of Bulgaria.svg  Bulgaria (1915)4.80.17.41,527
Total156.16.0383.92,459
Military statistics of the Central Powers  [5]
MobilizedKilled in actionWoundedMissing in actionTotal casualtiesPercentage casualties of total force mobilized
Flag of the German Empire.svg  Germany 13,250,0001,808,546 (13.65%)4,247,1431,152,8007,208,48966%
Flag of Austria-Hungary (1867-1918).svg Flag placeholder.svg Austria-Hungary 7,800,000922,500 (11.82%)3,620,0002,200,0006,742,50086%
Flag of the Ottoman Empire (1844-1922).svg  Ottoman Empire 2,998,321325,000 (10.84%)400,000250,000975,00034%
Flag of Bulgaria.svg  Bulgaria 1,200,00075,844 (6.32%)153,39027,029255,26321%
Total25,257,3213,131,8908,419,5333,629,82915,181,25266%

Combatants

Germany

War justifications

German soldiers in 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 in 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 territory of France Fordi-2.jpg
German Fokker Dr.I fighter aircraft of Jasta 26 at Erchin in German-occupied territory of France

In early July 1914, in the aftermath of the assassination of Austro-Hungarian Archduke Franz Ferdinand and the immediate likelihood 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. [6] When Russia enacted a general mobilization, Germany viewed the act as provocative. [7] The Russian government promised Germany that its general mobilization did not mean preparation for war with Germany but was a reaction to the events between Austria-Hungary and Serbia. [7] 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. [7] 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. [8] Later that day, France, an ally of Russia, declared a state of general mobilization. [8]

In August 1914, Germany waged war on Russia, citing Russian aggression as demonstrated by the mobilization of the Russian army, which had resulted in Germany mobilizing in response. [9]

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. [10] Germany, facing a two-front war, enacted what was known as the Schlieffen Plan, which involved German armed forces needing to move through Belgium and swing 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 and defense of the kingdom if a nation reneged.

Subsequently, several states declared war on Germany in late August 1914, with Italy declaring war on Austria-Hungary in 1915 and Germany on 27 August 1916, the United States declaring war on Germany on 6 April 1917 and Greece declaring war on Germany in July 1917.

Colonies and dependencies

Europe

Upon its founding in 1871, the German Empire controlled Alsace-Lorraine as an "imperial territory" incorporated from France after the Franco-Prussian War. It was held as part of Germany's sovereign territory.

Africa

Germany held multiple African colonies at the time of World War I. 3 of 4 Germany's African colonies were invaded and occupied by Allied forces during the war, only Paul von Lettow-Vorbeck's German force in German East Africa successfully held out against the Allies until they accepted an armistice.

Kamerun, German East Africa, Togoland, and German Southwest Africa were German colonies in Africa.

Asia

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

Pacific

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.

Austria-Hungary

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 being orchestrated with the assistance of Serbia. [6] 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. [7] Austria-Hungary formally sent an 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. [6] 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. [11] These demands have been viewed as a diplomatic cover for what was going to be an inevitable Austro-Hungarian declaration of war on Serbia. [11]

Russia had warned Austria-Hungary that the Russian government would not tolerate Austria-Hungary invading Serbia. [11] 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. [6]

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.

Territory

Austria-Hungary was internally divided into two states with their own governments, joined in communion through the Habsburg throne. Austrian Cisleithania contained various duchies and principalities but also the Kingdom of Bohemia, the Kingdom of Dalmatia, the Kingdom of Galicia and Lodomeria. Hungarian 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. [12] The Ottoman Empire made a formal alliance with Germany signed on 2 August 1914. [13] The alliance treaty expected that the Ottoman Empire would become involved in the conflict in a short amount of time. [13] 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. [14] Ottoman officials informed the German government that the country needed time to prepare for conflict. [14] Germany provided financial aid and weapons shipments to the Ottoman Empire. [13]

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 Odessa, thus engaging in military action in accordance with its alliance obligations with Germany. Russia and the Triple Entente declared war on the Ottoman Empire. [15]

Bulgaria

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. It was the last country to join the Central Powers, which Bulgaria 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). [16] As a condition of entering WW1 on the side of the Central Powers, Bulgaria was granted the right to reclaim that territory. [17] [18]

Declarations of war

DateDeclared byDeclared against
1915
14 OctoberFlag of Bulgaria.svg BulgariaState Flag of Serbia (1882-1918).svg Serbia
15 OctoberFlag of the United Kingdom.svg United Kingdom
Flag of the Kingdom of Montenegro.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
1916
1 SeptemberFlag of Bulgaria.svg BulgariaFlag of Romania.svg Romania
1917
2 JulyState Flag of Greece (1863-1924 and 1935-1973).svg GreeceFlag of Bulgaria.svg Bulgaria

Co-belligerents

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

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

In 1915 the Sultanate of Darfur renounced allegiance to the Sudan government and aligned with the Ottomans. 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 with 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.

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

Poland (Kingdom of Poland)

The Kingdom of Poland was a client state of Germany proclaimed in 1916 and established on 14 January 1917. [19] This government was recognized by the emperors of Germany and Austria-Hungary in November 1916, and it adopted a constitution in 1917. [20] 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. [21] 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. [22]

Lithuania (Kingdom of Lithuania)

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

Belarus (Belarusian People's Republic)

The Belarusian People's Republic was a client state of Germany created on 9 March 1918.

Ukraine (Ukrainian State)

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. [23]

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 (Kingdom of Finland)

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 "White" against the Soviet-backed labour movement, in May 1918, there were moves to create a Kingdom of Finland. A German prince was elected, but the Armistice intervened.

Crimea (Crimean Regional Government)

The Crimean Regional Government was a client state of Germany created on 25 June 1918.

Georgia (Democratic Republic of Georgia)

The Democratic Republic of Georgia declared independence in 1918 which then led to border conflicts between the newly formed republic and Ottoman Empire. Soon after 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.

Ottoman client states

Jabal Shammar

Jabal Shammar was an Arab state in the Middle East that was closely associated with the Ottoman Empire. [24]

Azerbaijan (Azerbaijan Democratic Republic)

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. [25] The Ottoman Empire maintained a presence in Azerbaijan until the end of the war in November 1918. [25]

Mountain Republic (Mountainous Republic of the Northern Caucasus)

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

Controversial cases

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.

Ethiopia

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. [26]

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. [26]

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

Poster for a 1916 charity bazaar raising funds for widows and orphans of the Central Power states. Weinold Reiss - WWI poster Charity Bazaar.jpg
Poster for a 1916 charity bazaar raising funds for widows and orphans of the Central Power states.

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. [27]

Central Powers by date of armistice
FlagNameDate
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 Flag placeholder.svg Austria-Hungary 4 November 1918
Flag of the German Empire.svg Germany 11 November 1918
Central Powers treaties
FlagNameTreaty of
Flag of Germany.svg Germany Versailles
Flag of Austria.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
Flag of Turkey.svg
Ottoman Empire
Turkey
Sèvres
Lausanne
The Treaty of Sevres 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.

Leaders

See also

Footnotes

  1. German : Mittelmächte; Hungarian : Központi hatalmak; Turkish : İttifak Devletleri / Bağlaşma Devletleri; Bulgarian : Централни сили, romanized: Tsentralni sili
  2. German : Vierbund, Turkish : Dörtlü İttifak, Hungarian : Központi hatalmak, Bulgarian : Четворен съюз, romanized: Chetvoren sūyuz
  3. All figures presented are for the year 1913.

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The Serbian campaign was the series of campaigns launched against Serbia at the beginning of the First World War. The first campaign began after Austria-Hungary declared war on Serbia on 28 July 1914. The campaign to "punish" Serbia, was under the command of Austrian Oskar Potiorek. It ended after three unsuccessful Austro-Hungarian invasion attempts were repelled by the Serbians and their Montenegrin allies. Serbia's defeat of the Austro-Hungarian invasion of 1914 ranks as one of the great upsets of modern military history.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">World War I</span> Global war, 1914–1918

World War I or the First World War, often abbreviated as WWI or WW1, and referred to by some Anglophone authors as the "Great War" or the "War to End All Wars", was a global conflict which lasted from 1914 to 1918, and is considered one of the deadliest conflicts in history. Belligerents included much of Europe, the Russian Empire, the United States, and the Ottoman Empire, with fighting occurring throughout Europe, the Middle East, Africa, the Pacific, and parts of Asia. An estimated 9 million soldiers were killed in combat, plus another 23 million wounded, while 5 million civilians died as a result of military action, hunger, and disease. Millions more died in genocides within the Ottoman Empire and in the 1918 influenza pandemic, which was exacerbated by the movement of combatants during the war.

The Germany-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">Bulgaria during World War I</span> Involvement of Bulgaria in the First World War

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">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).

<span class="mw-page-title-main">German entry into World War I</span> Aspect of history

Germany entered into World War I on August 1, 1914, when it declared war on Russia. In accordance with its war plan, it ignored Russia and moved first against France–declaring war on August 3 and sending its main armies through Belgium to capture Paris from the north. The German invasion of Belgium caused Britain to declare war on Germany on August 4. Most of the main parties were now at war. In October 1914, Turkey joined the war on Germany's side, becoming part of the Central Powers. Italy, which was allied with Germany and Austria-Hungary before World War I, was neutral in 1914 before switching to the Allied side in May 1915.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Russian entry into World War I</span>

The Russian Empire gradually entered World War I during the three days prior to July 28, 1914. This began with Austria-Hungary's declaration of war against Serbia, which was a Russian ally at the time. The Russian Empire sent an ultimatum, via St Petersburg, to Vienna, warning Austria-Hungary not to attack Serbia. Following the invasion of Serbia, Russia began to mobilize its reserve army near its border with Austria-Hungary. Consequently, on July 31, the German Empire in Berlin demanded Russian demobilization. There was no response, which resulted in the German declaration of war on Russia on the same day. In accordance with its war plan, Germany disregarded Russia and moved first against France, declaring war on August 3rd. Germany sent its main armies through Belgium to surround Paris. The threat to Belgium caused Britain to declare war on Germany on August 4. The Ottoman Empire soon after joined the Central Powers and fought Russia along their border.

References

  1. e.g. in Britain and the Olympic Games, 1908–1920 by Luke J. Harris p. 185
  2. Hindenburg, Paul von (1920). Out of my life. Internet Archive. London : Cassell. p. 113.
  3. Meyer, G.J. (2007). A World Undone: The Story of the Great War, 1914 to 1918. Delta Trade Paperback. ISBN   978-0553382402.
  4. S.N. Broadberry, Mark Harrison. The Economics of World War I. illustrated ed. Cambridge University Press, 2005, pp. 9–10.
  5. Spencer Tucker (1996). The European Powers in the First World War. p. 173. ISBN   978-0815303992.
  6. 1 2 3 4 Cashman, Greg; Robinson, Leonard C. An Introduction to the Causes of War: Patterns of Interstate Conflict from World War I to Iraq. Rowman & Littlefield. 2007. p. 57
  7. 1 2 3 4 Meyer, G.J. A World Undone: The Story of the Great War, 1914 to 1918. Delta Book. 2006. p. 39.
  8. 1 2 Meyer, G.J. A World Undone: The Story of the Great War, 1914 to 1918. Delta Book. 2006. p. 95.
  9. Hagen, William W. German History in Modern Times: Four Lives of the Nation. p. 228.
  10. Tucker, Spencer C. A Global Chronology of Conflict: From the Ancient World to the Modern Middle East: From the Ancient World to the Modern Middle East. ABC-CLIO. 2009. p. 1556.
  11. 1 2 3 Cashman, Greg; Robinson, Leonard C. An Introduction to the Causes of War: Patterns of Interstate Conflict from World War I to Iraq. Rowman & Littlefield. 2007. p. 61
  12. Hickey, Michael. The First World War: Volume 4 The Mediterranean Front 1914–1923. p. 31.
  13. 1 2 3 Afflerbach, Holger; David Stevenson, David. An Improbable War: The Outbreak of World War 1 and European Political Culture. Berghan Books. 2012. p. 292.
  14. 1 2 Kent, Mary. The Great Powers and the End of the Ottoman Empire. end ed. Frank Cass. 1998. p. 119
  15. Afflerbach, Holger; David Stevenson, David. An Improbable War: The Outbreak of World War I and European Political Culture. Berghan Books. 2012. p. 293.
  16. Hall, Richard C. "Bulgaria in the First World War". Russia's Great War and Revolution. Retrieved 22 September 2017.
  17. Jelavich, Charles; Jelavich, Barbara (1986). The establishment of the Balkan national states, 1804–1920 (1st pbk. ed.). Seattle: University of Washington Press. pp. 284–297. ISBN   978-0295964133.
  18. Richard C. Hall, "Bulgaria in the First World War." Historian 73.2 (2011): 300–315.
  19. The Regency Kingdom has been referred to as a puppet state by Norman Davies in Europe: A history (Google Print, p. 910); by Jerzy Lukowski and Hubert Zawadzki in A Concise History of Poland (Google Print, p. 218); by Piotr J. Wroblel in Chronology of Polish History and Nation and History (Google Print, p. 454); and by Raymond Leslie Buell in Poland: Key to Europe (Google Print, p. 68: "The Polish Kingdom... was merely a pawn [of Germany]").
  20. J. M. Roberts. Europe 1880–1945. p. 232.
  21. Aviel Roshwald. Ethnic Nationalism and the Fall of Empires: Central Europe, the Middle East and Russia, 1914–23. Routledge, 2002. p. 117.
  22. Annemarie Sammartino. The Impossible Border: Germany and the East, 1914–1922. Cornell University, 2010. pp. 36–37.
  23. Kataryna Wolczuk. The Moulding of Ukraine: The Constitutional Politics of State Formation. p. 37.
  24. Hala Mundhir Fattah. The Politics of Regional Trade in Iraq, Arabia, and the Gulf, 1745–1900. p. 121.
  25. 1 2 Zvi Lerman, David Sedik. Rural Transition in Azerbaijan. p. 12.
  26. 1 2 "How Ethiopian prince scuppered Germany's WW1 plans". BBC News. 25 September 2016. Retrieved 22 October 2018.
  27. Davis, Robert T., ed. (2010). U.S. Foreign Policy and National Security: Chronology and Index for the 20th Century. Vol. 1. Santa Barbara, California: Praeger Security International. p.  49. ISBN   978-0313383854.

Further reading