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).
By the end of the first decade of the 20th century, the major European powers were divided between the Triple Entente and the Triple Alliance. The Entente was made up of France, the United Kingdom and Russia. The Triple Alliance was originally composed of Germany, Austria-Hungary and Italy, which remained neutral in 1914.
As the war progressed, each coalition added new members. Japan joined the Entente in 1914. After proclaiming its neutrality at the beginning of the war, Italy also joined the Entente in 1915. The United States joined as an "associated power" rather than an official ally. 'Associated members' included Belgium, Serbia, Greece, Montenegro and Romania.
Allies / Entente Powers
|Historical era||World War I|
Fighting commenced when Austria invaded Serbia on 28 July 1914, purportedly in response to the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand, heir to Emperor Franz Joseph; this brought Serbia's ally Montenegro into the war on 8 August and it attacked the Austrian naval base at Cattaro, modern Kotor. At the same time, German troops entered neutral Belgium and Luxembourg as dictated by the Schlieffen Plan; over 95% of Belgium was occupied but the Belgian Army held their lines on the Yser Front throughout the war. This allowed Belgium to be treated as an Ally, in contrast to Luxembourg which retained control over domestic affairs but was occupied by the German military.
In the East, between 7–9 August the Russians entered German East Prussia on 7 August, Austrian Eastern Galicia. Japan joined the Entente by declaring war on Germany on 23 August, then Austria on 25 August. On 2 September, Japanese forces surrounded the German Treaty Port of Tsingtao (now Qingdao) in China and occupied German colonies in the Pacific, including the Mariana, Caroline, and Marshall Islands.
Despite its membership of the Triple Alliance, Italy remained neutral until 23 May 1915 when it joined the Entente, declaring war on Austria but not Germany. On 17 January 1916, Montenegro capitulated and left the Entente; this was offset when Germany declared war on Portugal in March 1916, while Romania commenced hostilities against Austria on 27 August.
On 6 April 1917, the United States entered the war as a co-belligerent, along with the associated allies of Liberia, Siam and Greece. After the 1917 October Revolution, Russia left the Entente and agreed to a separate peace with the Central Powers with the signing of the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk on 3 March 1918. Romania was forced to do the same in the May 1918 Treaty of Bucharest but on 10 November, it repudiated the Treaty and once more declared war on the Central Powers.
These changes meant the Allies who negotiated the Treaty of Versailles in 1919 included France, Britain, Italy, Japan and the US; Part One of the Treaty agreed to the establishment of the League of Nations on 25 January 1919. This came into being on 16 January 1920 with Britain, France, Italy and Japan as permanent members of the Executive Council; the US Senate voted against ratification of the Treaty of Versailles on 19 March, thus preventing American participation.
|First Wave: 1914|
|Russian Empire||Russia (inc. Poland)||173.2||21.7||257.7||12,000,0003|
|British Empire||United Kingdom||46.0||0.3||226.4||6,211,9222|
|Empire of Japan||Japan||55.1||0.4||76.5||800,0003|
|Second Wave (1915–16)|
|Kingdom of Italy||Italy||35.6||0.3||91.3||5,615,0003|
|Kingdom of Romania||7.7||0.1||11.7||750,0003|
|Third Wave (1917–18)|
|United States of America||United States||96.5||7.8||511.6||4,355,0003|
|Central American states||9.0||0.6||10.6|
|Republic of the United States of Brazil||25.0||8.5||20.3||1,71312|
|Kingdom of Greece||4.8||0.1||7.7||230,0003|
|Kingdom of Siam||8.4||0.5||7.0||1,2842|
|Republic of China||441.0||11.1||243.7|
|Republic of Liberia||1.5||0.1||0.9|
|UK, France and Russia only||259.0||22.6||622.8|
|UK, France and Russia only||259.0||22.6||622.8|
|Percentage of world||70%||61%||64%|
|UK, France and US only||182.3||8.7||876.6|
|Percentage of world||10%||7%||32%|
For much of the 19th century, Britain sought to maintain the European balance of power without formal alliances, a policy known as splendid isolation. This left it dangerously exposed as Europe divided into opposing power blocs and the 1895-1905 Conservative government negotiated first the 1902 Anglo-Japanese Alliance, then the 1904 Entente Cordiale with France. The first tangible result of this shift was British support for France against Germany in the 1905 Moroccan Crisis.
The 1905-1915 Liberal government continued this re-alignment with the 1907 Anglo-Russian Convention. Like the Anglo-Japanese and Entente agreements, it focused on settling colonial disputes but by doing so paved the way for wider co-operation and allowed Britain to refocus resources in response to German naval expansion.
Since control of Belgium allowed an opponent to threaten invasion or blockade British trade, preventing it was a long-standing British strategic interest.[a] Under Article VII of the 1839 Treaty of London, Britain guaranteed Belgian neutrality against aggression by any other state, by force if required. Chancellor Bethmann Hollweg later dismissed this as a 'scrap of paper,' but British law officers routinely confirmed it as a binding legal obligation and its importance was well understood by Germany.
The 1911 Agadir Crisis led to secret discussions between France and Britain in case of war with Germany. These agreed that within two weeks of its outbreak, a British Expeditionary Force of 100,000 men would be landed in France; in addition, the Royal Navy would be responsible for the North Sea, the Channel and protecting Northern France, with the French navy concentrated in the Mediterranean. Britain was committed to support France in a war against Germany but this was not widely understood outside government or the upper ranks of the military.
As late as 1 August, a clear majority of the Liberal government and its supporters wanted to stay out of the war. While Liberal leaders Herbert Asquith and Edward Grey considered Britain legally and morally committed to support France regardless, waiting until Germany triggered the 1839 Treaty provided the best chance of preserving Liberal party unity.
The German high command was aware entering Belgium would lead to British intervention but decided the risk was acceptable; they expected a short war while their ambassador in London claimed troubles in Ireland would prevent Britain from assisting France. On 3 August, Germany demanded unimpeded progress through any part of Belgium and when this was refused, invaded early on the morning of 4 August.
This changed the situation; the invasion of Belgium consolidated political and public support for the war by presenting what appeared to be a simple moral and strategic choice. The Belgians asked for assistance under the 1839 Treaty and in response, Britain declared war on Germany on 4 August 1914. Although Germany's violation of Belgium neutrality was not the only cause of British entry into the war, it was used extensively in government propaganda at home and abroad to make the case for British intervention. This confusion arguably persists today.
The declaration of war automatically involved all dominions and colonies and protectorates of the British Empire, many of whom made significant contributions to the Allied war effort, both in the provision of troops and civilian labourers. It was split into Crown Colonies administered by the Colonial Office in London, such as Nigeria, [b] and the self-governing Dominions of Canada, Newfoundland, New Zealand, Australia and South Africa. These controlled their own domestic policies and military expenditure but not foreign policy.
In terms of population, the largest component (after Britain herself) was the British Raj or British India, which included modern India, Pakistan, Myanmar and Bangladesh. Unlike other colonies which came under the Colonial Office, it was governed directly by the India Office or by princes loyal to the British; it also controlled British interests in the Persian Gulf, such as the Trucial States and Oman. Over one million soldiers of the British Indian Army served in different theatres of the war, primarily France and the Middle East.
From 1914-1916, overall Imperial diplomatic, political and military strategy was controlled by the British War Cabinet in London; in 1917 it was superseded by the Imperial War Cabinet, which included representatives from the Dominions. Under the War Cabinet were the Chief of the Imperial General Staff or CIGS, responsible for all Imperial ground forces, and the Admiralty that did the same for the Royal Navy. Theatre commanders like Douglas Haig on the Western Front or Edmund Allenby in Palestine then reported to the CIGS.
After the Indian Army, the largest individual units were the Australian Corps and Canadian Corps in France, which by 1918 were commanded by their own generals, John Monash and Arthur Currie. Contingents from South Africa, New Zealand and Newfoundland served in theatres including France, Gallipoli, German East Africa and the Middle East. Australian troops separately occupied German New Guinea, with the South Africans doing the same in German South West Africa; this resulted in the Maritz rebellion by former Boers, which was quickly suppressed. After the war, New Guinea and South-West Africa became Protectorates, held until 1975 and 1990 respectively.
Between 1873-1887, Russia was allied with Germany and Austria-Hungary in the League of the Three Emperors, then with Germany in the 1887-1890 Reinsurance Treaty; both collapsed due to the competing interests of Austria and Russia in the Balkans. While France took advantage of this to agree the 1894 Franco-Russian Alliance, Britain viewed Russia with deep suspicion; in 1800, over 3,000 kilometres separated the Russian Empire and British India, by 1902, it was 30 km in some areas. This threatened to bring the two into direct conflict, as did the long-held Russian objective of gaining control of the Bosporus Straits and with it access to the British-dominated Mediterranean Sea.
Defeat in the 1905 Russo-Japanese War and Britain's isolation during the 1899-1902 Second Boer War led both parties to seek allies. The Anglo-Russian Convention of 1907 settled disputes in Asia and allowed the establishment of the Triple Entente with France, which at this stage was largely informal. In 1908, Austria annexed the former Ottoman province of Bosnia and Herzegovina; Russia responded by creating the Balkan League in order to prevent further Austrian expansion. In the 1912-1913 First Balkan War, Serbia, Bulgaria and Greece captured most of the remaining Ottoman possessions in Europe; disputes over the division of these resulted in the Second Balkan War, in which Bulgaria was comprehensively defeated by its former allies.
Russia's industrial base and railway network had significantly improved since 1905, although from a relatively low base; in 1913, Tsar Nicholas approved an increase in the Russian Army of over 500,000 men. Although there was no formal alliance between Russia and Serbia, their close bilateral links provided Russia with a route into the crumbling Ottoman Empire, where Germany also had significant interests. Combined with the increase in Russian military strength, both Austria and Germany felt threatened by Serbian expansion; when Austria invaded Serbia on 28 July 1914, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Sazonov viewed it as an Austro-German conspiracy to end Russian influence in the Balkans.
In addition to its own territory, Russia viewed itself as the defender of its fellow Slavs and on 30 July, mobilised in support of Serbia. In response, Germany declared war on Russia on 1 August, followed by Austria-Hungary on 6th; after Ottoman warships bombarded Odessa in late October, the Entente declared war on the Ottoman Empire in November 1914.
French defeat in the 1870-1871 Franco-Prussian War led to the loss of the two provinces of Alsace-Lorraine and the establishment of the Third Republic. The suppression of the Paris Commune by the new regime caused deep political divisions and led to a series of bitter political struggles, such as the Dreyfus affair. As a result, aggressive nationalism or Revanchism was one of the few areas to unite the French.
The loss of Alsace-Lorraine deprived France of its natural defence line on the Rhine, while it was weaker demographically than Germany, whose 1911 population was 64.9 million to 39.6 in France, which had the lowest birthrate in Europe. This meant that despite their very different political systems, when Germany allowed the Reinsurance Treaty to lapse, France seized the opportunity to agree the 1894 Franco-Russian Alliance. It also replaced Germany as the primary source of financing for Russian industry and the expansion of its railway network, particularly in border areas with Germany and Austria-Hungary.
However, Russian defeat in the 1904-1905 Russo-Japanese War damaged its credibility, while Britain's isolation during the Second Boer War meant both countries sought additional allies. This resulted in the 1904 Entente Cordiale with Britain; like the 1907 Anglo-Russian Convention, for domestic British consumption it focused on settling colonial disputes but led to informal co-operation in other areas. By 1914, both the British army and Royal Navy were committed to support France in the event of war with Germany but even in the British government, very few were aware of the extent of these commitments.
In response to Germany's declaration of war on Russia, France issued a general mobilization in expectation of war on 2 August and on 3 August, Germany also declared war on France. Germany's ultimatum to Belgium brought Britain into the war on 4 August, although France did not declare war on Austria-Hungary until 12 August.
As with Britain, France's colonies also became part of the war; pre-1914, French soldiers and politicians advocated using French African recruits to help compensate for France's demographic weakness. From August to December 1914, the French lost nearly 300,000 dead on the Western Front, more than Britain suffered in the whole of WWII and the gaps were partly filled by colonial troops, over 500,000 of whom served on the Western Front over the period 1914-1918. Colonial troops also fought at Gallipoli, occupied Togo and Kamerun in West Africa and had a minor role in the Middle East, where France was the traditional protector of Christians in the Ottoman provinces of Syria, Palestine and Lebanon.
Prior to the Meiji Restoration in 1868, Japan was a semi-feudal, largely agrarian state with few natural resources and limited technology. By 1914, it had transformed itself into a modern industrial state, with a powerful military; by defeating China in the First Sino-Japanese War in 1894-1895, it established itself as the primary power in East Asia and colonized the then-unified Korea and Formosa, now modern Taiwan.
Concerned by Russian expansion in Korea and Manchuria, Britain and Japan signed the Anglo-Japanese Alliance on 30 January 1902, agreeing if either were attacked by a third party, the other would remain neutral and if attacked by two or more opponents, the other would come to its aid. This meant Japan could rely on British support in a war with Russia, if either France or Germany, which also had interests in China, decided to join them. This gave Japan the reassurance needed to take on Russia in the 1905 Russo-Japanese War; victory established Japan in the Chinese province of Manchuria.
With Japan as an ally in the Far East, John Fisher, First Sea Lord from 1904-1910, was able to refocus British naval resources in the North Sea to counter the threat from the Imperial German Navy. The Alliance was renewed in 1911; in 1914, Japan joined the Entente in return for German territories in the Pacific, greatly annoying the Australian government which also wanted them.
On 7 August, Britain officially asked for assistance in destroying German naval units in China and Japan formally declared war on Germany on 23 August, followed by Austria-Hungary on 25th. On 2 September 1914, Japanese forces surrounded the German Treaty Port of Qingdao, then known as Tsingtao, which surrendered on 7 November. The Imperial Japanese Navy simultaneously occupied German colonies in the Mariana, Caroline, and Marshall Islands, while in 1917, a Japanese naval squadron was sent to support the Allies in the Mediterranean.
Japan's primary interest was in China and in January 1915, the Chinese government was presented with a secret ultimatum of Twenty-One Demands, demanding extensive economic and political concessions. While these were eventually modified, the result was a surge of anti-Japanese nationalism in China and an economic boycott of Japanese goods. In addition, the other Allies now saw Japan as a threat, rather than a partner, lead to tensions first with Russia, then the US after it entered the war in April 1917. Despite protests from the other Allies, after the war Japan refused to return Qingdao and the province of Shandong to China.
The 1882 Triple Alliance between Germany, Austria-Hungary and Italy was renewed at regular intervals, but was compromised by conflicting objectives between Italy and Austria in the Adriatic and Aegean seas. Italian nationalists referred to Austrian-held Trieste and South Tyrol as 'the lost territories,' making the Alliance so controversial that the terms were kept secret until it expired in 1915.
Alberto Pollio, the pro-Austrian Chief of Staff of the Italian Army died on 1 July 1914, taking many of the prospects for Italian support with him. The Italian Prime Minister Antonio Salandra argued that as the Alliance was defensive in nature, Austria's aggression against Serbia and Italy's exclusion from the decision-making process meant it was not obliged to join them.
His caution was understandable because France and Britain either supplied or controlled the import of most of Italy's raw materials, including 90% of its coal. Salandra described the process of choosing a side as 'sacred egoism,' but as the war was expected to end before mid-1915 at the latest, making this decision became increasingly urgent. In line with Italy's obligations under the Triple Alliance, the bulk of the army was concentrated on Italy's border with France; in October, Pollio's replacement, General Luigi Cadorna, was ordered to begin moving these troops to the North-Eastern one with Austria.
Under the April 1915 Treaty of London, Italy agreed to join the Entente in return for Italian-populated territories of Austria-Hungary and other concessions; in return, it declared war on Austria-Hungary in May 1915 as required, although not on Germany until 1916. Italian resentment at the difference between the promises of 1915 and the actual results of the 1919 Treaty of Versailles would be powerful factors in the rise of Mussolini.
In 1830, the southern provinces of the Netherlands broke away to form the Kingdom of Belgium and their independence was confirmed by the 1839 Treaty of London. Article VII of the Treaty required Belgium to remain perpetually neutral and committed Austria, France, Germany and Russia to guarantee that against aggression by any other state, including the signatories.
While the French and German militaries accepted Germany would almost certainly violate Belgian neutrality in the event of war, the extent of that was unclear. The original Schlieffen Plan only required a limited incursion into the Belgian Ardennes, rather than a full-scale invasion; in September 1911, the Belgian Foreign Minister told a British Embassy official they would not call for assistance if the Germans limited themselves to that. While neither Britain or France could allow Germany to occupy Belgium unopposed, a Belgian refusal to ask for help would complicate matters for the British Liberal government, which contained a significant isolationist element.
However, the key German objective was to avoid war on two fronts; France had to be defeated before Russia could fully mobilise and give time for German forces to be transferred to the East. The growth of the Russian railway network and increase in speed of mobilisation made rapid victory over France even more important; to accommodate the additional 170,000 troops approved by the 1913 Army Bill, the 'incursion' now became a full-scale invasion. The Germans accepted the risk of British intervention; in common with most of Europe, they expected it to be a short war while their London Ambassador claimed civil war in Ireland would prevent Britain from assisting its Entente partners.
On 3 August, a German ultimatum demanded unimpeded progress through any part of Belgium, which was refused. Early on the morning of 4 August, the Germans invaded and the Belgian government called for British assistance under the 1839 Treaty; by the end of 1914, over 95% of the country was occupied but the Belgian Army held their lines on the Yser Front throughout the war.
In the Belgian Congo, 25,000 Congolese troops plus an estimated 260,000 porters joined British forces in the 1916 East African Campaign. By 1917, they controlled the western part of German East Africa which would become the Belgian League of Nations Mandate of Ruanda-Urundi or modern-day Rwanda and Burundi.
Brazil entered the war in 1917 after the United States intervened on the basis of Germany's unrestricted submarine warfare sinking its merchant ships, which Brazil also cited as a reason to enter the war fighting against Germany and the Central Powers. The First Brazilian Republic sent the Naval Division in War Operations that joined the British fleet in Gibraltar and made the first Brazilian naval effort in international waters. In compliance with the commitments made at the Inter-American Conference, held in Paris from 20 November to 3 December 1917, the Brazilian Government sent a medical mission composed of civilian and military surgeons to work in field hospitals of the European theater, a contingent of sergeants and officers to serve with the French army; Airmen from the Army and Navy to join the Royal Air Force, and the employment of part of the Fleet, primarily in the anti-submarine war.
Greece almost doubled in size as a result of the Balkan Wars of 1912 and 1913, but success masked deep divisions within the political elite. In 1908, the island of Crete, formally part of the Ottoman Empire but administered by Greek officials, declared union with Greece, led by the charismatic nationalist Eleftherios Venizelos. A year later, young army officers formed the Military League to advocate for an aggressive and expansionist foreign policy; with their backing, Venizelos won a majority in the 1910 Parliamentary elections, followed by another in 1912. He had effectively broken the power of the pre-1910 political class and his position was then further strengthened by success in the Balkan Wars.
In 1913, the Greek monarch George I was assassinated; he was succeeded by his son Constantine who had attended Heidelberg University, served in a Prussian regiment and married Sophia of Prussia, sister of Emperor William II. These links and a belief the Central Powers would win the war combined to make Constantine pro-German. Venizelos himself favoured the Entente, partly due to their ability to block the maritime trade routes required for Greek imports.
Other issues adding complexity to this decision included disputes with Bulgaria and Serbia over the regions of Thrace and Macedonia as well as control of the Aegean Islands. Greece captured most of the islands during the Balkan Wars but Italy occupied the Dodecanese in 1912 and was in no hurry to give them back, while the Ottomans demanded the return of many others. In general, the Triple Entente favoured Greece, the Triple Alliance backed the Ottomans; Greece ultimately gained the vast majority but Italy did not cede the Dodecanese until 1947, while others remain disputed even today.
As a result, Greece initially remained neutral but in March 1915, the Entente offered concessions to join the Dardanelles campaign. Arguments over whether to accept led to the National Schism, with an Entente-backed administration under Venizelos in Crete, and a Royalist one led by Constantine in Athens that supported the Central Powers.
In September 1915, Bulgaria joined the Central Powers; in October, Venizelos allowed Entente forces to land at Thessaloniki or Salonica to support the Serbs, although they were too late to prevent their defeat. In August 1916, Bulgarian troops advanced into Greek-held Macedonia and Constantine ordered the army not to resist; anger at this led to a coup and he was eventually forced into exile in June 1917. A new national government under Venizelos joined the Entente, while the Greek National Defence Army Corps fought with the Allies on the Macedonian Front.
Unlike Serbia, with whom it shared close cultural and political connections, the Kingdom of Montenegro gained little from its participation in the 1912-1913 Balkan Wars. The main Montenegrin offensive was in Ottoman-controlled Albania, where it suffered heavy losses during the seven month Siege of Scutari. Austria-Hungary opposed Serb or Montenegrin control of Albania, since it provided access to the Adriatic Sea; despite Scutari's surrender, Montenegro was forced to relinquish it by the 1913 Treaty of London and it became capital of the short-lived Principality of Albania. This was largely an Austrian creation; the new ruler, William, Prince of Albania, was a German who was forced into exile in September, only seven months after taking up his new position and later served with the Austrian army.
In addition to the lack of substantive gains from the Balkan Wars, there were long-running internal divisions between those who like Nicholas I preferred an independent Montenegro and those who advocated union with Serbia. In July 1914, Montenegro was not only militarily and economically exhausted, but also faced a multitude of political, economic and social issues.
At meetings held in March 1914, Austria-Hungary and Germany agreed union with Serbia must be prevented; Montenegro could either remain independent or be divided, its coastal areas becoming part of Albania, while the rest could join Serbia.
Nicholas seriously considered neutrality as a way to preserve his dynasty and on 31 July notified the Russian Ambassador Montenegro would only respond to an Austrian attack. He also held discussions with Austria, proposing neutrality or even active support in return for territorial concessions in Albania.
However, close links between the Serbian and Montenegrin militaries as well as popular sentiment meant there was little support for remaining neutral, especially after Russia joined the war; on 1 August, the National Assembly declared war on Austria-Hungary in fulfilment of its obligations to Serbia. After some initial success, in January 1916, the Montenegrin Army was forced to surrender to an Austro-Hungarian force.
In 1817, the Principality of Serbia became an autonomous province within the Ottoman Empire; with Russian support, it gained full independence after the 1877-1878 Russo-Turkish War. Many Serbs viewed Russia as protector of the South Slavs in general but also specifically against Bulgaria, where Russian objectives increasingly collided with Bulgarian nationalism.
When Austria annexed Bosnia and Herzegovina in 1908, Russia responded by creating the Balkan League to prevent further Austrian expansion. Austria viewed Serbia with hostility partly due to its links with Russia, whose claim to be the protector of South Slavs extended to those within the Austro-Hungarian empire, such as the Czechs and Slovaks. Serbia also potentially gave Russia the ability to achieve their long-held objective of capturing Constantinople and the Dardanelles.
Austria backed the Albanian revolt of 1910 and the idea of a Greater Albania, since this would prevent Serbian access to the Austrian-controlled Adriatic Sea. Another Albanian revolt in 1912 exposed the weakness of the Ottoman Empire and led to the 1912-1913 First Balkan War, with Serbia, Montenegro, Bulgaria and Greece capturing most of the remaining Ottoman possessions in Europe. Disputes over the division of these resulted in the Second Balkan War, in which Bulgaria was comprehensively defeated by its former allies.
As a result of the 1913 Treaty of Bucharest, Serbia increased its territory by 100% and its population by 64%. However, it now faced a hostile Austria-Hungary, a resentful Bulgaria and opposition by Albanian nationalists. Germany too had ambitions in the Ottoman Empire, the centrepiece being the planned Berlin–Baghdad railway, with Serbia the only section not controlled by a pro-German state.
The exact role played by Serbian officials in the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand is still debated but despite complying with most of their demands, Austria-Hungary invaded on 28 July 1914. While Serbia successfully repulsed the Austro-Hungarian army in 1914, it was exhausted by the two Balkan Wars and unable to replace its losses of men and equipment. In 1915, Bulgaria joined the Central Powers and by the end of the year, a combined Bulgar-Austrian-German army occupied most of Serbia. Between 1914-1918, Serbia suffered the greatest proportional losses of any combatant, with over 25% of all those mobilised becoming casualties; including civilians and deaths from disease, over 1.2 million died, nearly 30% of the entire population.
Equal status with the main Allied Powers was one of the primary conditions for Romania's entry into the War. The Powers officially recognized this status through the 1916 Treaty of Bucharest. Romania fought on 3 of the 4 European Fronts: Eastern, Balkan and Italian, fielding in total over 1,200,000 troops.
Romanian military industry was mainly focused on converting various fortification guns into field and anti-aircraft artillery. Up to 334 German 53 mm Fahrpanzer guns, 93 French 57 mm Hotchkiss guns, 66 Krupp 150 mm guns and dozens more 210 mm guns were mounted on Romanian-built carriages and transformed into mobile field artillery, with 45 Krupp 75 mm guns and 132 Hotchkiss 57 mm guns being transformed into anti-aircraft artillery. The Romanians also upgraded 120 German Krupp 105 mm howitzers, the result being the most effective field howitzer in Europe at that time. Romania even managed to design and build from scratch its own model of mortar, the 250 mm Negrei Model 1916.
Other Romanian technological assets include the building of Vlaicu III, the world's first aircraft made of metal. The Romanian Navy possessed the largest warships on the Danube. They were a class of 4 river monitors, built locally at the Galați shipyard using parts manufactured in Austria-Hungary, and the first one launched was Lascăr Catargiu, in 1907. The Romanian monitors displaced almost 700 tons, were armed with three 120 mm naval guns in 3 turrets, two 120 mm naval howitzers, four 47 mm anti-aircraft guns and two 6.5 machine guns. The monitors took part in the Battle of Turtucaia and the First Battle of Cobadin. The Romanian-designed Schneider 150 mm Model 1912 howitzer was considered one of the most modern field guns on the Western Front.
Romania's entry into the War in August 1916 provoked major changes for the Germans. General Erich von Falkenhayn was dismissed and sent to command the Central Powers forces in Romania, which enabled Hindenburg's subsequent ascension to power. Due to having to fight against all of the Central Powers on the longest front in Europe (1,600 km) and with little foreign help (only 50,000 Russians aided 650,000 Romanians in 1916), the Romanian capital was conquered that December. Vlaicu III was also captured and shipped to Germany, being last seen in 1942. The Romanian administration established a new capital at Iași and continued to fight on the Allied side in 1917. Despite being relatively short, the Romanian campaign of 1916 provided considerable respite for the Western Allies, as the Germans ceased all their other offensive operations in order to deal with Romania. After suffering a tactical defeat against the Romanians (aided by Russians) in July 1917 at Mărăști, the Central Powers launched two counterattacks, at Mărășești and Oituz. The German offensive at Mărășești was soundly defeated, with German prisoners later telling their Romanian captors that German casualties were extremely heavy, and that they "had not encountered such stiff resistance since the battles of Somme and Verdun". The Austro-Hungarian offensive at Oituz also failed. On 22 September, the Austro-Hungarian Enns-class river monitor SMS Inn was sunk by a Romanian mine near Brăila. After Russia signed the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk and dropped out of the War, Romania was left surrounded by the Central Powers and eventually signed a similar treaty on 7 May 1918. Despite being forced to cede land to Austria-Hungary and Bulgaria, Romania ended up with a net gain in territory due to the Union with Bessarabia. On 10 November, Romania re-entered the War and fought a war with Hungary that lasted until August 1919.
The United States declared war on Germany in April 1917 on the grounds that Germany violated US neutrality by attacking international shipping with its unrestricted submarine warfare campaign. The remotely connected Zimmermann Telegram of the same period, within which the Germans promised to help Mexico regain some of its territory lost to the U.S nearly seven decades before in the event of the United States entering the war, was also a contributing factor. The US entered the war as an "associated power", rather than a formal ally of France and the United Kingdom, in order to avoid "foreign entanglements". Although the Ottoman Empire and Bulgaria severed relations with the United States, neither declared war, as did Austria-Hungary. Eventually, however, the United States also declared war on Austria-Hungary in December 1917, predominantly to help hard-pressed Italy.
Three non-state combatants, which voluntarily fought with the Allies and seceded from the constituent states of the Central Powers at the end of the war, were allowed to participate as winning nations to the peace treaties:
These are estimates of the cumulative number of different personnel in uniform 1914–1918, including army, navy and auxiliary forces. At any one time, the various forces were much smaller. Only a fraction of them were frontline combat troops. The numbers do not reflect the length of time each country was involved.
|Allied power||Mobilized personnel||Military fatalities||Wounded in action||Total casualties||Casualties as % of total mobilised|
|New Zealand||128,5251||18,050 (14.04%)||41,317||59,367||46%|
|South Africa||136,0701||9,463 (6.95%)||12,029||21,492||16%|
|United Kingdom||6,211,9222||886,342 (14.26%)||1,665,749||2,552,091||41%|
|United States||4,355,0003||53,402 (1.23%)||205,690||259,092||5.9%|
The Act of 5th November of 1916 was a declaration of Emperors Wilhelm II of Germany and Franz Joseph of Austria. This act promised the creation of the Kingdom of Poland out of territory of Congress Poland, envisioned by its authors as a puppet state controlled by the Central Powers. The origin of that document was the dire need to draft new recruits from German-occupied Poland for the war with Russia. Even though the act itself expressed very little in concrete terms, its declaration is regarded as one of main factors in the Polish efforts to regain independence. Despite official statements, the German Empire really planned to annex up to 35,000 km² of prewar Congress Poland, with ethnic cleansing of between 2 and 3 million Poles and Jews out of these territories to make room for German settlers.Following the declaration, on December 6, 1916, the Provisional Council of State was created, with Waclaw Niemojowski as its president, and Jozef Pilsudski as chairman of its Military Commission. Units of the Polish Military Organisation were put under management of the Provisional Council of State, but the council itself had very limited authority and, after the oath crisis was disbanded in August 1917.
The Act of 5th November had a wide impact among the Allies of World War I. In December 1916, the Italian Parliament supported the independence of Poland, and in early 1917, Tsar Nicholas II of Russia returned to the idea of independent Poland, tied in a union with the Russian Empire that Russian officials proposed already in 1914. At the same time, US President Woodrow Wilson also publicly expressed his support of a free Polish state.Aerial victory standards of World War I
During World War I, the national air services involved developed their own methods of assessing and assigning credit for aerial victories.
The victory scores of the pilots represented at List of World War I flying aces (pilots with at least five victories to their credit) often cannot be definitive, but are based on itemized lists that are the best available sources of information. Loss of records (especially records of casualties and lost aircraft, which are at their best a very good guide to the degree of over-claiming), by mischance and the passage of time – and the detail to which such records were kept in the first place – often complicates the reconstruction of the actual count for a given ace. Additionally, the German victory confirmation system began to buckle in February 1918; after August 1918, such records as survived were unit records.World War I began the historical experience that has shown that approximately five percent of combat pilots account for the majority of air-to-air victories in warfare, thus showing the importance of flying aces.Airdrome Aeroplanes
Airdrome Aeroplanes is an American aircraft manufacturer, founded by Robert Baslee, that offers a large selection of kit aircraft for amateur construction. The company is based in Holden, Missouri.The company produces a range of kits specializing in replica aircraft from the pre-World War I pioneer period and from both the Central Powers and Allies of World War I.Alliance
An alliance is a relationship among people, groups, or states that have joined together for mutual benefit or to achieve some common purpose, whether or not explicit agreement has been worked out among them. Members of an alliance are called allies. Alliances form in many settings, including political alliances, military alliances, and business alliances. When the term is used in the context of war or armed struggle, such associations may also be called allied powers, especially when discussing World War I or World War II.
A formal military alliance is not required for being perceived as an ally—co-belligerence, fighting alongside someone, is enough. According to this usage, allies become so not when concluding an alliance treaty but when struck by war.
When spelled with a capital "A", "Allies" usually denotes the countries who fought together against the Central Powers in World War I (the Allies of World War I), or those who fought against the Axis Powers in World War II (the Allies of World War II). The term has also been used by the United States Army to describe the countries that gave assistance to South Vietnam during the Vietnam War.More recently, the term "Allied forces" has also been used to describe the coalition of the Gulf War, as opposed to forces the Multi-National Forces in Iraq which are commonly referred to as "Coalition forces" or, as by the George W. Bush administration, "the coalition of the willing".
The Allied Powers in World War I (also known as the Entente Powers) were initially the United Kingdom, France, the Russian Empire, Belgium, Serbia, Montenegro and Japan, joined later by Italy, Portugal, Romania, the United States, Greece and Brazil. Some, such as the Russian Empire, withdrew from the war before the armistice due to revolution or defeat.Allied Forces (disambiguation)
Allied forces are the military forces of an alliance.
Allied forces or Allied Force may also refer to:
Allies of World War I
Allies of World War II
NATO bombing of Yugoslavia, Operation Allied ForceAllied Nations
Allied Nations may refer to:
Allies, states allied in a common cause
Allies of World War I
Allies of World War IIIn fiction:
An international body in Mercenaries: Playground of Destruction
An international body in Street Fighter (1994 film)Allied Powers (disambiguation)
Allied Powers is an alternate term for allies, people, groups, or nations that have joined in an association for mutual benefit or to achieve some common purpose.
Allied Powers can also refer to:
Allies of World War I, member nations of the World War I Alliance
Allies of World War II, member nations of the World War II Alliance
Allied Powers (Maritime Courts) Act 1941 (C.21) of the Parliament of the United Kingdom
The Allied Powers (professional wrestling), a short-lived professional wrestling tag team
Allied Powers (horse), Irish racing horseArmistice Day
Armistice Day is commemorated every year on 11 November to mark the armistice signed between the Allies of World War I and Germany at Compiègne, France at 5:45 am, for the cessation of hostilities on the Western Front of World War I, which took effect at eleven o'clock in the morning—the "eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month" of 1918. But, according to Thomas R. Gowenlock, an intelligence officer with the US First Division, shelling from both sides continued for the rest of the day, only ending at nightfall. The armistice initially expired after a period of 36 days and had to be extended several times. A formal peace agreement was only reached when the Treaty of Versailles was signed the following year.The date is a national holiday in France, and was declared a national holiday in many Allied nations.
During World War II, many countries changed the name of the holiday. Member states of the Commonwealth of Nations adopted Remembrance Day, while the US chose Veterans Day. In some countries Armistice Day coincides with other public holidays.On 11 November 2018, the centenary of the World War One Armistice, commemorations were held globally. In France, more than 60 heads of government and heads of state gathered at the Arc de Triomphe in Paris.Armistice of Mudros
The Armistice of Mudros (Turkish: Mondros Mütarekesi), concluded on 30 October 1918, ended the hostilities, at noon the next day, in the Middle Eastern theatre between the Ottoman Empire and the Allies of World War I. It was signed by the Ottoman Minister of Marine Affairs Rauf Bey and the British Admiral Somerset Arthur Gough-Calthorpe, on board HMS Agamemnon in Moudros harbor on the Greek island of Lemnos.As part of several conditions to the armistice, the Ottomans surrendered their remaining garrisons outside Anatolia, as well as granted the Allies the right to occupy forts controlling the Straits of the Dardanelles and the Bosporus; and the right to occupy the same "in case of disorder" any Ottoman territory in the event of a threat to their security. The Ottoman army including the Ottoman air force was demobilized, and all ports, railways, and other strategic points were made available for use by the Allies. In the Caucasus, the Ottomans had to retreat to within the pre-war borders between the Ottoman and the Russian Empires.
The armistice was followed by the occupation of Constantinople (Istanbul) and the subsequent partitioning of the Ottoman Empire. The Treaty of Sèvres (10 August 1920), which was signed in the aftermath of World War I, was never ratified by the Ottoman Parliament in Istanbul (the Ottoman Parliament was disbanded by the Allies on 11 April 1920 due to the overwhelming opposition of the Turkish MPs to the provisions discussed in Sèvres). It was later superseded by the Treaty of Lausanne (24 July 1923) following the Turkish victory at the Turkish War of Independence (1919–1923) which was conducted by the Grand National Assembly of Turkey in Ankara (established on 23 April 1920 by Mustafa Kemal Pasha and his followers, including his colleagues in the disbanded Ottoman military, and numerous former MPs of the closed Ottoman Parliament in Istanbul.)Boulevard of the Allies
The Boulevard of the Allies is a mostly four-lane road in the U.S. state of Pennsylvania, connecting Downtown Pittsburgh with the Oakland neighborhood of the city. Because of its lengthy name, locals often refer to it as simply "The Boulevard".
Some sections are part of Pennsylvania Route 885. The road begins in Downtown Pittsburgh at its intersection with Commonwealth Place and an offramp from Interstate 279. The road continues east through Downtown passing Point Park University and the Art Institute of Pittsburgh to Grant Street where it becomes elevated to transition from the flat plain of Downtown to the bluff that Oakland sits on. Before reaching Oakland, it passes by Duquesne University and Mercy Hospital along the edge of a cliff several hundred feet above the Monongahela River with views of the city's South Side neighborhood and includes partial interchanges with Interstate 579 and Interstate 376. Upon reaching Oakland, it cuts through the southern portion of the neighborhood and leads into Schenley Park just bypassing the University of Pittsburgh and Carnegie Mellon University. Upon entering the park across the Anderson Bridge, the road's name changes to Panther Hollow Road (named after Panther Hollow) and continues through the park to become Hobart Street in the Squirrel Hill neighborhood east of Schenley Park.
The road is named in honor of the Allies of World War I. The Boulevard of the Allies was rededicated on June 29, 2008 as part of the celebration of Pittsburgh's 250th anniversary. As part of the rededication, American flags have been added on both sides of the boulevard as it elevates toward the Liberty Bridge ramp and thirty temporary banners celebrating the Allies of World War I have been affixed, following the road to its end.Cercle de l'Union interalliée
The cercle de l'Union interalliée, also known as the Cercle interallié, is a private social and dining club established in 1917. The clubhouse is the Hôtel Perrinet de Jars at 33 rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré in Paris, France. It adjoins the British Embassy and an annex of the embassy of Japan.
The club's second president was Ferdinand Foch, Marshal of France, Marshal of the United Kingdom, Marshal of Poland and supreme commander of the Allies of World War I. The club includes royalty and political figures among its international members.Constantin Coandă
Constantin Coandă (4 March 1857, Craiova – 30 September 1932 Bucharest) was a Romanian soldier and politician. He reached the rank of general in the Romanian Army, and later became a mathematics professor at the National School of Bridges and Roads in Bucharest. Among his seven children was Henri Coandă, the discoverer of the Coandă effect.
During World War I, for a short time (24 October – 29 November 1918), he was the Prime Minister of Romania and the Foreign Affairs Minister. He participated in the signing of the Treaty of Neuilly between the Allies of World War I and Bulgaria.
During his term as president of the Romanian Senate (representing Alexandru Averescu's People's Party), Coandă was badly wounded on December 8, 1920 by a bomb set up by the terrorist and anarchist Max Goldstein.Declaration to the Seven
The Declaration to the Seven was a document written by the British diplomat Sir Henry McMahon and released on June 16, 1918 in response to a memorandum issued anonymously by seven Syrian notables in Cairo who were members of the newly formed Party of Syrian Unity, established in the wake of the Balfour Declaration and the November 23, 1917 publication by the Bolsheviks of the secret May 1916 Sykes-Picot Agreement between Britain and France. The memorandum requested a "guarantee of the ultimate independence of Arabia". The Declaration stated the British policy that the future government of the regions of the Ottoman Empire occupied by Allies of World War I "should be based upon the principle of the consent of the governed".Gaziantep Province
Gaziantep Province (Turkish: Gaziantep ili) is a province in south-central Turkey. Its capital is the city of Gaziantep, which had a population of 1,931,836 in 2015. Its neighbours are Adıyaman to the north, Şanlıurfa to the east, Syria and Kilis to the south, Hatay to the southwest, Osmaniye to the west and Kahramanmaraş to the northwest.
An important trading center since ancient times, the province is also one of Turkey's major manufacturing zones, and its agriculture is dominated by the growing of pistachio nuts.
In ancient times, first under the power of Yamhad, then the Hittites and later the Assyrians controlled the region. It saw much fighting during the Crusades, and Saladin won a key battle there in 1183. After World War I and the Ottoman Empire's disintegration, it was invaded by the forces of the French Third Republic during the Turkish War of Independence. It was returned to Turkish control after the Treaty of Lausanne was signed, formally ending hostilities between Turkey and the Allies of World War I.
Originally known as Antep, the title gazi (meaning veteran in Turkish) was added to the province's and the provincial capital's name in 1921, due to its population's actions during the Turkish War of Independence.
Kilis Province was part of Gaziantep Province until it separated in 1994.Turks are majority in the province.Golf at the Inter-Allied Games
The golf competition at the Inter-Allied Games was held at La Boulie, the course of the Racing Club de Paris, Versailles, France from 2 to 12 July 1919. The event was open to all military personnel from countries that were among the Allies of World War I.The competition consisted of two men's events. The events were originally intended to start on 24 June and to finish on 4 July but were delayed to allow the British team to compete. A team event was held on 2 and 3 July with an individual tournament from 7 to 12 July, after the official end of the games on 6 July.For the team event, there were eight players in each team. Only three teams entered, France, Great Britain and the United States. Great Britain played United States on the first day with the winner playing France. There were four foursomes matches in the morning with eight singles in the afternoon. United States defeated Great Britain 7–5 but France won the final 8–4. The French team was: Baptiste Bomboudiac, Marius Cavallo, Maurice Daugé, Jean Gassiat, René Golias, Raymond Gommier, Eugène Lafitte and Arnaud Massy.The individual contest started with two rounds of stroke-play on 7 and 8 July. The leading 16 players qualified for the knock-out match-play stage. The knock-out matches were over 36 holes, played from 9 to 12 July. 27 players competed in the qualifying, 11 from France and the United States and 5 from Britain. Of the 16 qualifiers, 8 were French, 7 from the United States and 1 from Britain. Two British players, Percy and Aubrey Boomer were disqualified for arriving late for one of the qualifying rounds. All four semi-finalist were French. In the semi-finals Massy beat Gassiat by 2 holes and Daugé beat Gommier 10&9. In the final Massy beat Daugé 5&4.Les Alliés (woodcut)
Les Alliés (Allies) is a colour woodcut, in the form of a silk scarf, by Raoul Dufy created in 1914.It depicts six mounted soldiers, one from each of the Allies of World War I. The scene is cloudy but sunny, decorated by flowers, and is set within a square surround decorated with a pattern using the flags of the six ally nations: Japan, United Kingdom, Belgium, Russia, Serbia and France. The vivid colours, the ornaments, and the stylized characters reflect Dufy's taste for making vivid popular prints.It is a woodcut on a silk scarf sold by Charvet Place Vendôme in 1915. It is 45 x 45 centimeters. There is a copy in the collection of the Centre national d'art et de culture Georges-Pompidou.SS Main (1900)
SS Main was an ocean liner of the Rhein class of North German Lloyd. She was in service on the route from Bremen to Baltimore from her 1900 launch until seized by the Allies of World War I in 1914, and was involved in the 1900 Hoboken Docks Fire. Unlike her sister ships Neckar and Rhein, she never entered service for the United States Navy.Supreme Allied Commander
Supreme Allied Commander is the title held by the most senior commander within certain multinational military alliances. It originated as a term used by the Allies of World War I during World War I, and is currently used only within NATO. The current NATO Supreme Allied Commander Europe is U.S. General Curtis M. Scaparrotti.Treaty of Saint-Germain-en-Laye (1919)
The Treaty of Saint-Germain-en-Laye was signed on 10 September 1919 by the victorious Allies of World War I on the one hand and by the Republic of German-Austria on the other. Like the Treaty of Trianon with Hungary and the Treaty of Versailles with Germany, it contained the Covenant of the League of Nations and as a result was not ratified by the United States but was followed by the US–Austrian Peace Treaty of 1921.
The treaty signing ceremony took place at the Château de Saint-Germain-en-Laye.