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The Entente Powers or Allies (French: Forces de l'Entente / Alliés; Italian: Alleati; Romanian: Puterile Antantei / Aliații; Russian: Союзники, Soyuzniki; Serbian: Савезници, Saveznici; Turkish: İttifak Devletleri) were the countries at war with the Central Powers during World War I. The members of the Triple Entente were the French Republic, the British Empire and the Russian Empire; Italy ended its alliance with the Central Powers and entered the war on the side of the Entente in 1915. Japan, Belgium, Serbia, Greece, Montenegro, Romania and the Czechoslovak legions were secondary members of the Entente.
The United States declared war on Germany in 1917 on the grounds that Germany violated U.S. neutrality by attacking international shipping and because of the Zimmermann Telegram sent to Mexico. The U.S. 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.
Although the Dominions and Crown Colonies of the British Empire made significant contributions to the Allied war effort, they did not have independent foreign policies during World War I. Operational control of British Empire forces was in the hands of the five-member British War Cabinet (BWC). However, the Dominion governments controlled recruiting, and did remove personnel from front-line duties as they saw fit.
From early 1917 the BWC was superseded by the Imperial War Cabinet, which had Dominion representation. The Australian Corps and Canadian Corps were placed for the first time under the command of Australian and Canadian Lieutenant Generals John Monash and Arthur Currie, respectively, who reported in turn to British generals. In April 1918, operational control of all Entente forces on the Western Front passed to the new supreme commander, Ferdinand Foch.
The war began with the Austrian attack invasion of Serbia on 28 July 1914, in response to the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand. The Austrian Empire followed with an attack on Serbian allies Montenegro on 8 August. On the Western Front, the two neutral States of Belgium and Luxembourg were immediately occupied by German troops as part of the German Schlieffen Plan.
Of the two Low Countries, Luxembourg chose to capitulate, and was viewed as a collaborationist State by the Entente Powers: Luxembourg never became part of the Allies, and only narrowly avoided Belgian efforts of annexation, at the conclusion of hostilities in 1919. On 23 August Japan joined the Entente, which then counted seven members.. The entrance of the British Empire brought Nepal into the war.
On 23 May 1915, Italy entered the war on the Entente side and declared war on Austria; previously, Italy had been a member of the Triple Alliance but had remained neutral since the beginning of the conflict. In 1916, Montenegro capitulated and left the Entente, and two nations joined, Portugal and Romania.
On 6 April 1917 the United States and its American allies entered the war. Liberia, Siam and Greece also became allies. After the October Revolution, Russia left the alliance and ended formal involvement in the war, by the signing of the treaty of Brest Litovsk in November effectively creating a separate peace with the Central Powers. This was followed by Romanian cessation of hostilities, however the Balkan State declared war on Central Powers again on 10 November 1918. The Russian withdrawal allowed for the final structure of the alliance, which was based on five Great Powers:
|Russian Empire (plus Poland and Finland)||173.2m (176.4m)||21.7m km2 (22.1m km2)||$257.7b ($264.3b)|
|French Third Republic||39.8m (88.1m)||0.5m km2 (11.2m km2)||$138.7b ($170.2b)|
|The British Empire||446.1m||33.3m km2||$561.2b|
|Empire of Japan (plus colonies)||55.1m (74.2m)||0.4m km2 (0.7m km2)||$76.5b ($92.8b)|
|Kingdom of Italy (plus colonies)||35.6m (37.6m)||0.3m km2 (2.3m 2 )||$91.3b ($92.6b)|
|United States (plus overseas dependencies),||96.5m (106.3m)||7.8m km2 (9.6m km2)||$511.6b ($522.2b)|
|Allied approximate total||928.7m||79.2m km2||$1,703.3b|
See main Article: Brazil during World War I
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. (See also: World War I casualties.)
|Allied power||Mobilized personnel||Killed in action||Wounded in action||Total casualties||Casualties as % of total mobilized|
The following table shows the timeline of the several declarations of war among the belligerent powers. Entries on a yellow background show severed diplomatic relations only, not actual declarations of war. Unless stated otherwise, declarations of war by and on the United Kingdom include de facto declarations by and on other members of the British Empire.
|12 August||United Kingdom||Austria-Hungary|
|1 November||Russia||Ottoman Empire|
|2 November||Serbia||Ottoman Empire|
|3 November||Montenegro||Ottoman Empire|
|5 November|| United Kingdom|
|3 June||San Marino||Austria-Hungary|
|21 August||Italy||Ottoman Empire|
|15 October|| United Kingdom|
|19 October|| Italy|
|30 August||Ottoman Empire||Romania|
|6 April||United States||Germany|
|10 April||Bulgaria||United States|
|20 April||Ottoman Empire||United States|
|2 July||Greece|| Germany|
|22 July||Siam|| Germany|
|14 August||China|| Germany|
|7 December||United States||Austria-Hungary|
|8 May||Nicaragua|| Germany|
|23 May||Costa Rica||Germany|
Four insurgent nationalities, 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: