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Central Powers
Military alliance
1914–1918
Participants in World War I The Central Powers and their colonies in orange, the Allies and their colonies in green, and neutral countries in gray.
Capital Not applicable
Political structure Military alliance
Historical era World War I
 - Established 28 June 1914
 - German and Austria-Hungarian Treaty 7 October 1879
 - Ottoman Empire Joins 2 August 1914
 - Bulgaria Joins October, 1915
 - Dissolved 11 November 1918

The Central Powers (German: "Mittelmächte"; Hungarian: "Központi hatalmak"; Turkish: "İttifak Devletleri"; Bulgarian: "Централни сили") was one of the two sides that participated in World War I, the other being the Entente (Allied) Powers.

Contents

Member states

The Central Powers consisted of the German Empire, the Austro-Hungarian Empire, the Ottoman Empire and the Kingdom of Bulgaria. The name "Central Powers" is derived from the location of these countries.

All four were located between the Russian Empire in the east and the French Third Republic and the United Kingdom in the west. The alliances made between these four nations were a result of Germany's inability to gain power on the "world stage". The Germans then decided to focus on creating an alliance of Mitteleuropa, i.e., Central Europe. The Balkans were originally desired as members of this alliance, but as the Balkans formed separate, autonomous states this was deemed impossible.

Allies and Central Powers in the First World War
     Allies
     Allied colonies, dominions, territories or occupied territory
     Central powers
     Central powers colonies or occupied territory
     Neutral countries

The Central Powers were composed of these nations:

Statistics of the Central Powers[1]
Population Land GDP
German Empire (plus colonies), 1914 67.0m (77.7m) 0.5m km2 (3.5m km2) $244.3b ($250.7b)
Austro-Hungarian Empire, 1914 50.6m 0.6m km2 $100.5b
Ottoman Empire, 1914 23.0m 1.8m km2 $25.3b
Kingdom of Bulgaria, 1915 4.8m 0.1m km2 $7.4b
Central Powers Total in 1914 151.3m 5.9m km2 $376.6b

Italy

On 7 October 1879, Germany and Austria-Hungary became allies and formed the Dual Alliance. On 20 May 1882, they were joined by the Kingdom of Italy in what was known as the Triple Alliance. This alliance was intended to be limited to defensive purposes only.[2][3]

When World War I began, the petition made by Germany and Austria-Hungary for Italian intervention was rejected by the Italian Government on the grounds of these two countries declaring war on the Kingdom of Serbia, rather than taking defensive action against it.

Italy eventually entered World War I on May 23, 1915, but it fought against Germany and Austria-Hungary rather than with them, because of the land promised them in the Treaty of London made with France and Britain. This treaty promised Italy the Italian lands of the Habsburg Empire and territories in Asia Minor, Africa and the Balkans.[4]

Ottoman Empire joins

Following the outbreak of war in Europe during August 1914, the Ottoman Empire intervened at the end of October by taking action against Russia, resulting in declarations of war by the Triple Entente.

Bulgaria joins

Bulgaria, still resentful after its defeat in July 1913 at the hands of Serbia, Greece, Romania and the Ottoman Empire, was the last nation to enter the war against the Entente, invading Serbia in conjunction with German and Austro-Hungarian forces in October 1915.

Other movements

Other movements supported the efforts of the Central Powers for their own reasons, such as the Irish Nationalists who launched the Easter Rising in Dublin in April 1916; they referred to their "gallant allies in Europe". In 1914 Józef Piłsudski was permitted by the Austrians 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. During the years 1917 and 1918, the Finns under C.G.E. Mannerheim and the Ukrainian and Lithuanian nationalists fought Russia for a common cause. 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.

Military deaths of the Central Powers.

Armistice

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; Germany signed the armistice ending the war on the morning of 11 November 1918 after the Allied Hundred Days Offensive, a succession of advances by New Zealand, Australian, Canadian, Belgian, British, French and US forces in north-eastern France and Belgium.

Central Powers by date of Armistice
Flag Name Armistice
Bulgaria Bulgaria 01918-09-29 29 September 1918
Ottoman Empire Ottoman Empire 01918-10-30 30 October 1918
Austria–Hungary Austria-Hungary 01918-11-04 4 November 1918
German Empire German Empire 01918-11-11 11 November 1918

Military leaders

Kaiser Wilhelm II, Mehmed V, Franz Joseph: The three emperors of the Central Powers.
Kaiser Wilhelm II, Franz Joseph, Mehmed V, Czar Ferdinand: The leaders of the Quadruple Alliance.
Austria-Hungary
German Empire
Ottoman Empire
Bulgaria

See also

References

  1. ^ S.N. Broadberry, Mark Harrison. The Economics of World War I. illustrated ed. Cambridge University Press, 2005, pgs. 9-10.
  2. ^ The Triple Alliance (First 8 Articles) The World War I Document Archive, Brigham Young University Library, accessed 2008-04-21
  3. ^ Triple Alliance, 1882 Dickinson College, Carlisle, Pennsylvania, accessed 2008-04-21
  4. ^ Hunt, Lynn. The Making of the West: Peoples and Cultures. 3. Boston: Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2009.


Wiktionary

Up to date as of January 15, 2010

Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary

English

Proper noun

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Wikipedia

Central Powers

  1. the countries of Germany, Austria-Hungary, Turkey (or the Ottoman Empire) and Bulgaria who fought against the Allies in World War I

Simple English


The Central Powers was a group of nations fighting against the Allies during World War I; the members included Germany, Austria-Hungary, Italy, Bulgaria, the Ottoman Empire, and their territories. They had a great deal of troubles.

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