Allies of World War I

Allies / Entente Powers

1914–1918
Allies / Entente Powers on 1 August 1914:   Countries of the Allies / Entente Powers   Colonies, occupations, protectorates, and territories of the Allies / Entente Powers
Allies / Entente Powers on 1 August 1914:
  Countries of the Allies / Entente Powers
  Colonies, occupations, protectorates, and territories of the Allies / Entente Powers
Allies / Entente Powers on 11 November 1918:   Countries and non-state actors of the Allies / Entente Powers   Colonies, condominiums, occupations, protectorates, and territories of the Allies / Entente Powers Principal Allied Powers: * France * British Empire * Russia[a] * Japan * Italy[b] * United States[c] Associated Allies and co-belligerents: 1914:  Serbia  Belgium  Montenegro 1915: Nejd and Hasa Asir 1916:  Portugal  Romania 1917:  Hejaz  Greece  China  Siam  Brazil 1918:  Armenia
Allies / Entente Powers on 11 November 1918:
  Countries and non-state actors of the Allies / Entente Powers
  Colonies, condominiums, occupations, protectorates, and territories of the Allies / Entente Powers


Associated Allies and co-belligerents:

StatusMilitary alliance
Historical eraWorld War I
• Established
1914
• Disestablished
1918
Preceded by
Succeeded by
Anglo-Portuguese Alliance
Triple Alliance (1882)
Franco-Russian Alliance
Anglo-Japanese Alliance
Entente Cordiale
Anglo-Russian Entente of 1907
Anglo-Portuguese Alliance
Anglo-Japanese Alliance
Entente Cordiale
European diplomatic alignments shortly before the war

The Allies of World War I or Entente Powers were 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 Serbia, Belgium, Greece, Montenegro, and Romania.[1]

Background

1914 Russian poster depicting the Triple Entente

When the war began in 1914, the Central Powers were opposed by the Triple Entente, formed in 1907 by the British Empire, the Russian Empire and the French Third Republic.

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.[2] 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.[3] 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;[4] this was offset when Germany declared war on Portugal in March 1916, while Romania commenced hostilities against Austria on 27 August.[5]

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.[6] 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.