Central Powers

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Central Powers

Mittelmächte  (German)
Központi hatalmak  (Hungarian)
İttifak Devletleri  (Turkish)
Централни сили (Bulgarian)
1914–1918
World War I on 1 August 1914.png
Central Powers on 1 August 1914:
  Countries of the Central Powers
  Colonies, protectorates, and territories of the Central Powers
World War I on 11 November 1918.png
Central Powers on 11 November 1918:
  Countries, condominiums, and non-state actors of the Central Powers
  Colonies, occupations, protectorates, and territories of the Central Powers

Quadruple Alliance:


Status Military alliance
Historical era World War I
  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 1918
Preceded by
Blank.png Dual Alliance (1879)
Blank.png Triple Alliance (1882)
Blank.png Ottoman–German 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. Leaders of the Central Powers - Vierbund.jpg
Wilhelm II, German Emperor German Emperor and King of Prussia

Wilhelm II was the last German Emperor (Kaiser) and King of Prussia, reigning from 15 June 1888 until his abdication on 9 November 1918 shortly before Germany's defeat in World War I. Son of Prussian prince Frederick Wilhelm and Victoria, Princess Royal, his first cousins included King George V of the United Kingdom and many princesses who, along with Wilhelm's sister Sophia, became European queens consort.

Franz Joseph I of Austria Emperor of Austria and King of Hungary

Franz Joseph I or Francis Joseph I was Emperor of Austria, King of Hungary, King of Bohemia, and monarch of many other states of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, from 2 December 1848 to his death. From 1 May 1850 to 24 August 1866 he was also President of the German Confederation. He was the longest-reigning Emperor of Austria and King of Hungary, as well as the third-longest-reigning monarch of any country in European history, after Louis XIV of France and Johann II of Liechtenstein.

Mehmed V Ottoman Sultan

Mehmed V Reşâd was the 35th and penultimate Ottoman Sultan. He was the son of Sultan Abdulmejid I. He was succeeded by his half-brother Mehmed VI. His nine-year reign was marked by the cession of the Empire's North African territories and the Dodecanese Islands, including Rhodes, in the Italo-Turkish War, the traumatic loss of almost all of the Empire's European territories west of Constantinople in the First Balkan War, and the entry of the Empire into World War I, which would ultimately lead to the end of the Ottoman Empire.

The Central Powers (German : Mittelmächte; Hungarian : Központi hatalmak; Turkish : İttifak Devletleri / Bağlaşma Devletleri; Bulgarian : Централни сили, romanized: Tsentralni sili), consisting of Germany, Austria-Hungary , the Ottoman Empire and Bulgaria—hence also known as the Quadruple Alliance [1] (German : Vierbund)—was one of the two main coalitions that fought World War I (1914–18).

German language West Germanic language

German is a West Germanic language that is mainly spoken in Central Europe. It is the most widely spoken and official or co-official language in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, South Tyrol in Italy, the German-speaking Community of Belgium, and Liechtenstein. It is also one of the three official languages of Luxembourg and a co-official language in the Opole Voivodeship in Poland. The languages which are most similar to German are the other members of the West Germanic language branch: Afrikaans, Dutch, English, the Frisian languages, Low German/Low Saxon, Luxembourgish, and Yiddish. There are also strong similarities in vocabulary with Danish, Norwegian and Swedish, although those belong to the North Germanic group. German is the second most widely spoken Germanic language, after English.

Hungarian language language spoken in and around Hungary

Hungarian is a Finno-Ugric language spoken in Hungary and parts of several neighbouring countries. It is the official language of Hungary and one of the 24 official languages of the European Union. Outside Hungary it is also spoken by communities of Hungarians in the countries that today make up Slovakia, western Ukraine (Subcarpathia), central and western Romania (Transylvania), northern Serbia (Vojvodina), northern Croatia and northern Slovenia. It is also spoken by Hungarian diaspora communities worldwide, especially in North America and Israel. Like Finnish and Estonian, Hungarian belongs to the Uralic language family. With 13 million speakers, it is the family's largest member by number of speakers.

Turkish language Turkic language mainly spoken and used in Turkey

Turkish, also referred to as Istanbul Turkish, and sometimes known as Turkey Turkish, is the most widely spoken of the Turkic languages, with around ten to fifteen million native speakers in Southeast Europe and sixty to sixty-five million native speakers in Western Asia. Outside Turkey, significant smaller groups of speakers exist in Germany, Bulgaria, North Macedonia, Northern Cyprus, Greece, the Caucasus, and other parts of Europe and Central Asia. Cyprus has requested that the European Union add Turkish as an official language, even though Turkey is not a member state.

Contents

It faced and was defeated by the Allied Powers that had formed around the Triple Entente. The 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.

Allies of World War I group of countries that fought against the Central Powers in World War I

The Allies of World War I or Entente Powers is the term commonly used for the coalition that opposed the Central Powers of Germany, Austria-Hungary, the Ottoman Empire and Bulgaria during the First World War (1914–1918).

Triple Entente early 20th century alliance between France, Russia and the United Kingdom

The Triple Entente refers to the understanding linking the Russian Empire, the French Third Republic, and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland after the signing of the Anglo-Russian Entente on 31 August 1907. The understanding between the three powers, supplemented by agreements with Japan and Portugal, was a powerful counterweight to the Triple Alliance of Germany, Austria-Hungary, and Italy.

Dual Alliance (1879) alliance between Germany and Austria-Hungary

The Dual Alliance was a defensive alliance between Germany and Austria-Hungary, which was created by treaty on 7 October 1879 as part of Bismarck's system of alliances to prevent or limit war. The two powers promised each other support in case of attack by Russia. Also, each state promised benevolent neutrality to the other if one of them was attacked by another European power. Germany's Otto von Bismarck saw the alliance as a way to prevent the isolation of the German Empire, which had just been founded a few years before, and to preserve peace, as Russia would not wage war against both empires.

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 the Central Powers later in 1914. In 1915, the Kingdom of Bulgaria joined the alliance. 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, Azerbaijan, and Lithuania joined them in 1918 before the war ended and after the Russian Empire collapsed

German Empire empire in Central Europe between 1871–1918

The German Empire, also known as Imperial Germany, was the German nation state that existed from the unification of Germany in 1871 until the abdication of Kaiser Wilhelm II in 1918.

Austria-Hungary Constitutional monarchic union between 1867 and 1918

Austria-Hungary, often referred to as the Austro-Hungarian Empire or the Dual Monarchy, was a constitutional monarchy in Central and Eastern Europe between 1867 and 1918. It was formed when the Austrian Empire adopted a new constitution; as a result Austria (Cisleithania) and Hungary (Transleithania) were placed on equal footing. It dissolved into several new states at the end of the First World War.

Ottoman Empire Former empire in Southeast Europe, Western Asia and North Africa

The Ottoman Empire, historically known in Western Europe as the Turkish Empire or simply Turkey, was a state that controlled much of Southeast Europe, Western Asia and North Africa between the 14th and early 20th centuries. It was founded at the end of the 13th century in northwestern Anatolia in the town of Söğüt by the Oghuz Turkish tribal leader Osman I. After 1354, the Ottomans crossed into Europe, and with the conquest of the Balkans, the Ottoman beylik was transformed into a transcontinental empire. The Ottomans ended the Byzantine Empire with the 1453 conquest of Constantinople by Mehmed the Conqueror.

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 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: [2]

NationEntered WWI
Flag of Austria-Hungary (1869-1918).svg  Austria-Hungary 28 July 1914
Flag of the German Empire.svg  German Empire 1 August 1914
Flag of the Ottoman Empire.svg  Ottoman Empire 2 August 1914 (secret)
29 October 1914 (public)
Flag of Bulgaria.svg  Kingdom of 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 1] [3]
Population
(millions)
Land
(million km2)
GDP
($ billion)
GDP per capita
($)
Flag of the German Empire.svg  German Empire (1914) Mainland 67.00.5244.33,648
Colonies 10.73.06.4601
Total77.73.5250.73,227
Flag of Austria-Hungary (1869-1918).svg  Austria–Hungary (1914)50.60.6100.51,986
Flag of the Ottoman Empire.svg  Ottoman Empire (1914)23.01.825.31,100
Flag of Bulgaria.svg  Kingdom of Bulgaria (1915)4.80.17.41,527
Total156.16.0383.92,459
Military statistics of the Central Powers  [4]
MobilizedKilled in actionWoundedMissing in actionTotal casualtiesPercentage casualties of total force mobilized
Flag of the German Empire.svg  German Empire 13,250,0001,808,546 (13.65%)4,247,1431,152,8007,208,48966%
Flag of Austria-Hungary (1869-1918).svg  Austria–Hungary 7,800,000922,500 (11.82%)3,620,0002,200,0006,742,50086%
Flag of the Ottoman Empire.svg  Ottoman Empire 2,998,321325,000 (10.84%)400,000250,000975,00034%
Flag of Bulgaria.svg  Kingdom of 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. [5] When Russia enacted a general mobilization, Germany viewed the act as provocative. [6] 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. [6] 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. [6] 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. [7] Later that day, France, an ally of Russia, declared a state of general mobilization. [7]

Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria Austrian archduke and crown prince

Archduke Franz Ferdinand, Archduke of Austria-Este was a member of the imperial Habsburg dynasty, and from 1896 until his death the heir presumptive (Thronfolger) to the Austro-Hungarian throne. His assassination in Sarajevo precipitated Austria-Hungary's declaration of war against Serbia, which in turn triggered a series of events that resulted in Austria-Hungary's allies and Serbia's declaring war on each other, starting World War I.

Serbia Republic in Southeastern Europe

Serbia, officially the Republic of Serbia, is a country situated at the crossroads of Central and Southeast Europe in the southern Pannonian Plain and the central Balkans. It borders Hungary to the north, Romania to the northeast, Bulgaria to the southeast, North Macedonia to the south, Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina to the west, and Montenegro to the southwest. The country claims a border with Albania through the disputed territory of Kosovo. Serbia's population numbers approximately seven million, most of whom are Orthodox Christians. Its capital, Belgrade, ranks among the oldest and largest citiеs in southeastern Europe.

<i>Kaiser</i> title of authority

Kaiser is the German word for "emperor". Like the Bulgarian, Serbian and Russian word Tsar, it is directly derived from the Roman emperors' title of Caesar, which in turn is derived from the personal name of a branch of the gens (clan) Julia, to which Gaius Julius Caesar, the forebear of the first imperial family, belonged. In general the German title was only used for rulers over kings (König). Although the British monarchs styled "Emperor of India" were also called Kaisar-i-Hind in Hindi and Urdu, this word, although ultimately sharing the same Latin origin, is derived from the Greek: Καῖσαρ (kaisar), not the German Kaiser.

In August 1914, Germany waged war on Russia, the German government justified military action against Russia as necessary because of Russian aggression as demonstrated by the mobilization of the Russian army that had resulted in Germany mobilizing in response. [8]

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. [9] Germany, facing a two-front war, enacted what was known as the Schlieffen Plan, that 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. All of Germany's African colonies were invaded and occupied by Allied forces during the war.

Cameroon, German East Africa, and German Southwest Africa were German colonies in Africa. Togoland was a German protectorate in Africa.

Asia

The Kiautschou Bay concession was a German dependency in East Asia leased from China in 1898. It was occupied by Japanese forces 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 trench on the Italian front during World War I. KuK Stosstruppen.jpg
Austro-Hungarian soldiers in trench on the Italian front during World War I.
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. [5] 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. [6] 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. [5] 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 what was going to be an inevitable Austro-Hungarian declaration of war on Serbia. [10]

Austria-Hungary had been warned by Russia that the Russian government would not tolerate Austria-Hungary crushing 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 be a regional conflict. [5]

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. [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 Odessa, thus engaging in a military action in accordance with its alliance obligations with Germany. Russia and the Triple Entente declared war on the Ottoman Empire. [14]

Bulgaria

War justifications

Bulgarian soldiers firing at an incoming aircraft. Bulgaria southern front.jpg
Bulgarian soldiers firing at an 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 (from the Bulgarian point of view), the costly Treaty of Bucharest (1913). [15] As a condition of entering WW1 on the side of the Central Powers, Bulgaria was granted the right to reclaim that territory. [16] [17]

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 The Russian Empire 1883.svg Russia
Flag of Bulgaria.svg Bulgaria
1916
1 SeptemberFlag of Bulgaria.svg BulgariaFlag of Romania.svg Romania
1917
2 JulyFlag of Greece (1822-1978).svg GreeceFlag of Bulgaria.svg Bulgaria

Co-belligerents

Flag of Transvaal.svg South African Republic

In opposition to the Union of South Africa, which had joined the war, Boer rebels refounded the South African Republic in 1914 and engaged in the Maritz Rebellion. Germany assisted the rebels, and the rebels operated in and out of the German colony of German South-West Africa. The rebels were eventually defeated by British imperial forces.

Flag of Cyrenaica.svg 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 so called Senussi Campaign.

Flag of Darfur.svg Sultanate of Darfur

The Sultanate of Darfur forces aligned themselves with the Central Powers and fought against British forces in Anglo-Egyptian Sudan in the Anglo-Egyptian Darfur Expedition of 1916.

Client states

During 1917 and 1918, the Finns under Carl Gustaf Emil Mannerheim and Lithuanian nationalists fought Russia for a common cause. 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

Flag of Belarus (1918, 1991-1995).svg Belarus (Belarusian People's Republic)

The Belarusian People's Republic was a client state of Germany created in 1918.

Flag of Courland (state).svg Courland and Semigallia

The Duchy of Courland and Semigallia was a client state of Germany created in 1918.

Flag of Crimea 1918.png Crim (Crimean Regional Government)

The Crimean Regional Government was a client state of Germany created in 1918.

Flag of Don Cossacks.svg Don (Don Republic)

The Don Republic was closely associated with the German Empire and fought against the Bolsheviks.

Flag of Finland (1918-1920).svg Finland (Kingdom of Finland)

The Kingdom of Finland was a client state of Germany created in 1918. Prior to the declaration of the kingdom, Finland existed as an autonomous Grand Duchy of Russia since 1809.

Flag of Kuban People's Republic.svg Kuban (Kuban People's Republic)

The Kuban People's Republic was a client state of Germany created in 1918.

Flag of Lithuania.svg Lithuania (Kingdom of Lithuania)

The Kingdom of Lithuania was a client state of Germany created in 1918.

Gorskaia Respublika.png Northern Caucasus (Mountainous Republic of the Northern Caucasus)

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

Flag of Georgia (1918-1921).svg Georgia (Democratic Republic of Georgia)

The Democratic Republic of Georgia declared independence in 1918 which then to led border conflicts between 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 become a German "ally". This time period of Georgian-German friendship was known as German Caucasus expedition.

Flag of Poland.svg Poland (Kingdom of Poland)

The Kingdom of Poland was a client state of Germany created in 1916. [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 state was utilized by the German government 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, and efforts were made to induce similar emigration of Poles from Prussia to the state. [21]

Flag of the Ukranian State.svg Ukraine (Ukrainian State)

The Ukrainian State was a client state of Germany led by Hetman Pavlo Skoropadskyi, who overthrew the government of the Ukrainian People's Republic. [22]

United Baltic Duchy flag.svg United Baltic Duchy

The United Baltic Duchy was a proposed client state of Germany created in 1918.

Ottoman client states

Flag of the Democratic Republic of Azerbaijan (1918).svg 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. [23] The Ottoman Empire maintained a presence in Azerbaijan until the end of the war in November 1918. [23]

Flag of the Emirate of Ha'il.svg Jabal Shammar

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

Controversial cases

States listed in this section were not officially members of the Central Powers, but at some point during the war engaged in cooperation with one or more Central Powers members on a level that makes their neutrality disputable.

Flag of Ethiopia (1897-1936; 1941-1974).svg 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 the few independent states in Africa 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. . [25]

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. [25]

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, the majority of 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. [26]

Central Powers by date of armistice
FlagNameDate
Flag of Bulgaria.svg Bulgaria 29 September 1918
Flag of the Ottoman Empire.svg Ottoman Empire 30 October 1918
Flag of Austria-Hungary (1869-1918).svg Austria-Hungary 4 November 1918
Flag of the German Empire.svg German Empire 11 November 1918
Central Powers treaties
FlagNameTreaty of
Flag of Austria.svg Austria Saint-Germain
Flag of Bulgaria.svg Bulgaria Neuilly
Flag of Germany (3-2 aspect ratio).svg Germany Versailles
Flag of Hungary (1915-1918, 1919-1946).svg Hungary Trianon
Flag of the Ottoman Empire.svg
Flag of Turkey.svg
Ottoman Empire
Turkey
Sèvres
Lausanne

Leaders

See also

Footnotes

  1. All figures presented are for the year 1913.

Related Research Articles

Balkan Wars Two wars on Balkan Peninsula 1912-1913, leading to the Balkan Crisis of 1914 and start of WWI

The Balkan Wars consisted of two conflicts that took place in the Balkan Peninsula in 1912 and 1913. Four Balkan states defeated the Ottoman Empire in the first war. The main victor of the four, Bulgaria, fought and pushed back all four original combatants of the first war along with halting a surprise attack from Romania from the north in the second war. The conflicts ended catastrophically for the Ottoman Empire, which lost the bulk of its territory in Europe. Austria-Hungary, although not a combatant, became relatively weaker as a much enlarged Serbia pushed for union of the South Slavic peoples. The war set the stage for the Balkan crisis of 1914 and thus served as a "prelude to the First World War".

Quadruple Alliance may refer to:

Triple Alliance (1882) 1882 alliance between Germany, Austria–Hungary, Italy, and Romania

The Triple Alliance was an agreement between Germany, Austria-Hungary, and Italy. It was formed on 20 May 1882 and renewed periodically until it expired in 1915 during World War I. Germany and Austria-Hungary had been closely allied since 1879. Italy sought support against France shortly after it lost North African ambitions to the French. Each member promised mutual support in the event of an attack by any other great power. The treaty provided that Germany and Austria-Hungary were to assist Italy if it was attacked by France without provocation. In turn, Italy would assist Germany if attacked by France. In the event of a war between Austria-Hungary and Russia, Italy promised to remain neutral. The existence and membership of the treaty were well known, but its exact provisions were kept secret until 1919.

The history of Serbia covers the historical development of Serbia and of its predecessor states, from the early Stone Age to the present state, as well as that of the Serbian people and of the areas they ruled historically. The scope of Serbian habitation and rule has varied much through the ages, and, as a result, the history of Serbia is similarly elastic in what it includes.

Balkan League military alliance

The Balkan League was a quadruple alliance formed by a series of bilateral treaties concluded in 1912 between the Eastern Orthodox kingdoms of Greece, Bulgaria, Serbia and Montenegro, and directed against the Ottoman Empire, which at the time still controlled much of the Southeastern Europe.

Eastern Front (World War I) Theatre of World War I

The Eastern Front or Eastern Theater of World War I was a theater of operations that encompassed at its greatest extent the entire frontier between the Russian Empire and Romania on one side and the Austro-Hungarian Empire, Bulgaria, the Ottoman Empire and the German Empire on the other. It stretched from the Baltic Sea in the north to the Black Sea in the south, involved most of Eastern Europe and stretched deep into Central Europe as well. The term contrasts with "Western Front", which was being fought in Belgium and France.

In diplomatic history, the "Eastern Question" refers to the strategic competition and political considerations of the European Great Powers in light of the political and economic instability in the Ottoman Empire from the late 18th to early 20th centuries. Characterized as the "sick man of Europe", the relative weakening of the empire's military strength in the second half of the eighteenth century threatened to undermine the fragile balance of power system largely shaped by the Concert of Europe. The Eastern Question encompassed myriad interrelated elements: Ottoman military defeats, Ottoman institutional insolvency, the ongoing Ottoman political and economic modernization programme, the rise of ethno-religious nationalism in its provinces, and Great Power rivalries.

Bosnian crisis a crisis trigged by Austria-Hungarys annexation of Bosnia and Herzegovina in 1908

The Bosnian crisis of 1908–09, also known as the Annexation crisis or the First Balkan Crisis, erupted in early October 1908 when Austria-Hungary announced the annexation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, territories formerly within the sovereignty of the Ottoman Empire. This unilateral action—timed to coincide with Bulgaria's declaration of independence from the Ottoman Empire—sparked protestations from all the Great Powers and Austria-Hungary's Balkan neighbours, Serbia and Montenegro. In April 1909 the Treaty of Berlin was amended to reflect the fait accompli and bring the crisis to an end. The crisis permanently damaged relations between Austria-Hungary on one hand, and Italy, Serbia, and the Russian Empire on the other. It helped lay the grounds for World War I. Although the crisis ended with what appeared to be a total Austro-Hungarian diplomatic victory, Russia became determined not to back down again and hastened its military build-up. Austrian–Serbian relations became permanently stressed.

Powder keg of Europe Metaphor for the political situation of the Balkans in the early 20th century

The powder keg of Europe or Balkan powder keg was the Balkans in the early part of the 20th century preceding World War I. There were a number of overlapping claims to territories and spheres of influence between the major European powers such as the Russian Empire, the Austro-Hungarian Empire, the German Empire and, to a lesser degree, the Ottoman Empire, the United Kingdom and Kingdom of Italy.

Balkans campaign (World War I) part of World War I

The Balkans campaign, or Balkan theatre of World War I was fought between the Central Powers, represented by Austria-Hungary, Bulgaria, Germany and the Ottoman Empire on one side and the Allies, represented by France, Montenegro, Russia, Serbia, and the United Kingdom on the other side.

Serbian campaign of World War I military campaign

The Serbian campaign of World War I was fought from late July 1914, when Austria-Hungary invaded the Kingdom of Serbia at the outset of World War I, until the war's conclusion in November 1918. The front ranged from the Danube River to southern Macedonia and back north again, and it drew in forces from almost all the combatants of the war. After the disintegration of Austria-Hungary, the conflict ended with Allied and Serbian victory, and Serbian troops were able to re-enter Belgrade on 1 November 1918.

World War I 1914–1918 global war originating in Europe

World War I, also known as the First World War or the Great War, was a global war originating in Europe that lasted from 28 July 1914 to 11 November 1918. Contemporaneously described as "the war to end all wars", it led to the mobilisation of more than 70 million military personnel, including 60 million Europeans, making it one of the largest wars in history. It is also one of the deadliest conflicts in history, with an estimated nine million combatants and seven million civilian deaths as a direct result of the war, while resulting genocides and the 1918 influenza pandemic caused another 50 to 100 million deaths worldwide.

Bulgaria during World War I aspect of history

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 Thessalonica came into effect.

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

Bulgaria–Germany relations Diplomatic relations between the Republic of Bulgaria and the Federal Republic of Germany

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 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.

History of Poland during World War I

While Poland did not exist as an independent state during World War I, its geographical position between the fighting powers meant that much fighting and terrific human and material losses occurred on the Polish lands between 1914 and 1918.

Albania during World War I was an independent state, having gained independence from the Ottoman Empire on November 28, 1912, recognized by the Great Powers in 1913. A new country with various ethnic groups, it quickly unraveled and just a few months after taking power, its leader William of Wied, 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. In response to this, Italy also landed troops, while Serbia and Montenegro took control of northern regions. In 1915 Serbia was overrun by the Austro-Hungarian Army and the Serbian army retreated through Albania, quickly followed by the Austro-Hungarian Army. As a result, the Austrians occupied most of the country, until a multinational Allied force broke through Austrian and German lines in 1918.

History of modern Serbia or modern history of Serbia covers the history of Serbia since national awakening in the early 19th century from the Ottoman Empire, then Yugoslavia, to the present day Republic of Serbia. The era follows the early modern history of Serbia.

German entry into World War I

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 attack 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.

References

  1. Hindenburg, Paul von (1920). Out of my life. Internet Archive. London : Cassell. p. 113.
  2. Meyer, G.J. (2007). A World Undone: The Story of the Great War, 1914 to 1918. Delta Trade Paperback. ISBN   978-0-553-38240-2.
  3. S.N. Broadberry, Mark Harrison. The Economics of World War I. illustrated ed. Cambridge University Press, 2005, pp. 9-10.
  4. Spencer Tucker (1996). The European Powers in the First World War. p. 173. ISBN   9780815303992.
  5. 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. P57
  6. 1 2 3 4 Meyer, G.J. A World Undone: The Story of the Great War, 1914 to 1918. Delta Book. 2006. P39.
  7. 1 2 Meyer, G.J. A World Undone: The Story of the Great War, 1914 to 1918. Delta Book. 2006. P95.
  8. Hagen, William W. German History in Modern Times: Four Lives of the Nation. P228.
  9. 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. P1556.
  10. 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. P61
  11. Hickey, Michael. The First World War: Volume 4 The Mediterranean Front 1914–1923. P31.
  12. 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.
  13. 1 2 Kent, Mary. The Great Powers and the End of the Ottoman Empire. end ed. Frank Cass. 1998. P119
  14. Afflerbach, Holger; David Stevenson, David. An Improbable War: The Outbreak of World War I and European Political Culture. Berghan Books. 2012. P. 293.
  15. Hall, Richard C. "Bulgaria in the First World War". Russia's Great War and Revolution. Retrieved 22 September 2017.
  16. 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   978-0-295-96413-3.
  17. Richard C. Hall, "Bulgaria in the First World War." Historian 73.2 (2011): 300-315.
  18. 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]").
  19. J. M. Roberts. Europe 1880–1945. P. 232.
  20. Aviel Roshwald. Ethnic Nationalism and the Fall of Empires: Central Europe, the Middle East and Russia, 1914–23. Routledge, 2002. P. 117.
  21. Annemarie Sammartino. The Impossible Border: Germany and the East, 1914–1922. Cornell University, 2010. P. 36-37.
  22. Kataryna Wolczuk. The Moulding of Ukraine: The Constitutional Politics of State Formation. P37.
  23. 1 2 Zvi Lerman, David Sedik. Rural Transition in Azerbaijan. P12.
  24. Hala Mundhir Fattah. The Politics of Regional Trade in Iraq, Arabia, and the Gulf, 1745–1900. P121.
  25. 1 2 "How Ethiopian prince scuppered Germany's WW1 plans". BBC News. 25 September 2016. Retrieved 22 October 2018.
  26. Davis, Robert T., ed. (2010). U.S. Foreign Policy and National Security: Chronology and Index for the 20th Century. 1. Santa Barbara, California: Praeger Security International. p.  49. ISBN   978-0-313-38385-4.

Further reading