Central Powers Chanasei Ziemann

The Central Powers of WWI included Germany, Austria-Hungary, the Ottoman Empire, and Bulgaria. These nations also were known as the Quadruple Alliance. For four years, the Central Powers will fight against the Allies, and eventually will lose.

At the beginning of the Great War, the Central Powers was made of only two nations: Austria-Hungary and the German Empire. On July 28 1914, Austria-Hungary entered WWI, with Germany following three days after on August 1. The next day, the Ottoman Empire secretly joined forces with the Central Powers, and later publicly entered the war on October 29. The Ottoman Empire had unofficially been allying the Central Powers for two and a half months before declaring war. The Kingdom of Bulgaria was the last country to assist the Central Powers, thus completing the Quadruple Alliance. On October 14, 1915, almost an entire year after the Ottoman Empire officially entered WWI, Bulgaria committed alliance to the Central Powers. After the downfall of the Russian Empire, Lithuania, Azerbaijan, and Finland joined the Central Powers.

Germany

The German Empire was the main leader of the Central Powers. It had the largest army of the alliance also. When Archduke Franz Ferdinand was assassinated, Germany kept their alliance with Austria-Hungary and would assist them in war against Serbia, as war was looking very promising against the two nations.

German Leader

The leader of Germany at the time of WWI was Kaiser Wilhelm II. He was the last Kaiser of the German Empire. By the end of the war, he had little military support and not much power. He renounced the thrown and fled the country in 1918.

Kaiser Wilhelm II

Military Strategy

The Schlieffen Plan was Germany's strategy against the Allies. The Germans were facing both France and Russia, so they wanted to rid France of the war and focus on the Eastern Front. The purpose of the Schlieffen Plan was to gain victory on France by moving through Belgium towards Paris. Because Germany invaded Belgium, breaking the Treaty of London, Great Britain declared war on them.

Austria-Hungary

The Austria-Hungary Empire entered WWI after the assassination of their Archduke Franz Ferdinand. Serbia was blamed and Austria-Hungary declared war.

Archduke Franz Ferdinand

Austria-Hungary Leader

The leader of Austria-Hungary was Emperor Franz Joseph. His heir to the thrown, the Archduke, was assassinated by a Serbian, so he declared war. Joseph died during WWI and was succeeded by Charles I of Austria.

Ottoman Empire

The Ottoman Empire was a part of the Central Powers because of their German ties. Their 1914 military alliance with Germany called for them to aid the Germans. At the end of WWI, the empire fell and from it formed the nation of Turkey.

Ottoman Leader

The leader of the Ottoman Empire was Sultan Mehmed V. He also died before the end of the war.

Sultan Mehmed V

Bulgaria

Bulgaria was the fourth and last major country to enter WWI for the Central Powers (other countries fought in WWI for the Central Powers, but did not contribute as much). Serbia held land that Bulgaria claimed, so they were eager to go to war.

Bulgarian Leader

Ferdinand I was the Tsar of Bulgaria during WWI. After the war, he stepped down and gave the thrown to his son, Boris III.

Tsar Ferdinand I of Bulgaria

How present day is affected by WWI

The countries of the Central Powers still are affected today for their actions. Because the Central Powers lost the war, they had to pay for the expensive cost of war. Each country of the Central Powers made separate treaties with the Allies. Germany had to pay the Allies 132 billion gold marks (33 billion USD). The Germans could not afford to pay that much, and their price was reduced to 50 billion marks (12.5 billion USD). Eventually, Germany's economy collapsed and they paid less than 21 billion marks. This humiliated the Germans. Though other nations of the Central Powers made treaties with the Allies, Germany was the only country forced to pay reparations, as the others could not afford to.

Sources

http://www.ducksters.com/history/world_war_i/central_powers.php

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Central_Powers

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Central_Powers#Germany

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_War_I_reparations

http://factfile.org/10-facts-about-central-powers

Credits:

Created with images by Royal Opera House Covent Garden - "Kaiser Wilhelm II, 1905. By Eric Bieber"

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