Why did soldiers fight in the First World War?
Entente and Central Powers - the balance of power
The Entente - France, Great Britain and Russia
The word "entente" is French and means "agreement". The Entente was initially the amalgamation of France, Great Britain and Russia. It was founded in St. Petersburg in 1907.
Even at the beginning of the war, the Entente, with a population of 262 million, was numerically far superior to the Central Powers with around 118 million people, and this superiority was to increase in the course of the war. So the number of soldiers of the Entente was also far higher.
Even at the beginning of the war, 5.7 million Entente soldiers faced around 3.8 million of the Central Powers, and the ratio of numbers changed further to the detriment of the Central Powers as the war progressed.
The Entente sent a total of around 41 million soldiers to the First War, the Central Powers around 24 million. The Entente joined Italy in May 1915, and during the First World War many states joined the Entente as allies, including Belgium, Serbia, Greece, Japan and China.
The USA, which entered the First World War in April 1917, never viewed itself as a member of the Entente, but merely as "associated". In fact, however, they were the final factor in the victory of the Entente over the Central Powers.
The Central Powers - the German Reich and its allies
The German Reich and the states allied with it were referred to as the "Central Powers". The term is derived from the geographical location in the middle of Europe. At the beginning of the war, the Central Powers included the German Empire, Austria-Hungary and Italy.
Italy did not enter the war at first and then fought from May 1915 on the side of the Entente against the Central Powers. In October 1914, the Ottoman Empire, the core of which was today's Turkey, allied itself with the Central Powers. It hoped that the alliance would expand into the Balkans, the Caucasus and Central Asia.
The entry into the war of the Ottoman Empire brought a military advantage - among other things by the fact that the Dardanelles Strait was now closed and thus the access from the Mediterranean to the Black Sea.
So the war opponents of the Central Powers, the Entente, could not support Russia in this way. Due to the simultaneous blockade of the route through the Baltic Sea by the German fleet, Russia was largely cut off from aid supplies by its allies. In September 1915 Bulgaria also joined the Central Powers. Bulgaria's goal was to expand its dominion in the Balkans.
Status: 10/22/2019, 5:30 p.m.
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