|Political structure||Military alliance|
|Historical era||World War I|
|-||This started in the late 1600's||28 June 1914|
|-||German and Austro-Hungarian Treaty||7 October 1879|
|-||Ottoman Empire joins||2 August 1914|
|-||Bulgaria joins||14 October 1915|
|-||Dissolved||11 November 1918|
|Warning: Value specified for "continent" does not comply|
The Central Powers (German: Mittelmächte; Russian: Центральные силы; Hungarian: Központi hatalmak; Turkish: İttifak Devletleri or Bağlaşma Devletleri; Bulgarian: Централни сили, Tsentralni sili) were one of the two warring factions in World War I (1914–18), composed of the German Empire, the Austro-Hungarian Empire, the Ottoman Empire, and the Kingdom of Bulgaria. This alignment originated in the Triple Alliance, and fought against the Allied Powers that had formed around the Triple Entente.
Member states 
The Central Powers consisted of the German Empire, the Austro-Hungarian Empire,and the Ottoman Empire.The name "Central Powers" is derived from the location of these countries; all four were located between the Russian Empire in the east and France and the United Kingdom in the west.
The Central Powers were composed of the following nations:
- Austro-Hungarian Empire: entered the war on 28 July 1914
- German Empire (including German colonial forces): 1 August 1914
- Ottoman Empire: secretly 2 August 1914; openly 29 October 1914
- Kingdom of Bulgaria: 14 October 1915
|German Empire (plus colonies), 1914||67.0m (77.7m)||0.5m km2 (3.5m km2)||$244.3b ($250.7b)|
|Austro-Hungarian Empire, 1914||50.6m||0.6m km2||$100.5b|
|Ottoman Empire, 1914||23.0m||1.8m km2||$25.3b|
|Kingdom of Bulgaria, 1915||4.8m||0.1m km2||$7.4b|
|Central Powers total in 1914||151.3m||6.0m km2||$376.6b|
|Mobilized||Killed in Action||Wounded||Missing in Action||Total casualties||Percent of casualties|
|Kingdom of Bulgaria||1,200,000||75,844||153,390||27,029||255,263||21%|
|Central Powers total||22,850,000||3,131,890||8,419,533||3,629,829||15,181,252||66%|
On 7 October 1879, Germany and Austria-Hungary became allies and formed the Dual Alliance. On 20 May 1882, they were joined by the Kingdom of Italy in what was known as the Triple Alliance. This alliance was intended to be limited to defensive purposes only.
When World War I began, the petition made by Germany and Austria-Hungary for Italian intervention was rejected by the Italian Government on the grounds of these two countries declaring war on the Kingdom of Serbia, rather than taking defensive action against it.
Italy eventually entered World War I on 23 May 1915, but it fought against Germany and Austria-Hungary rather than with them, because of the land promised them in the Treaty of London made with France and Britain. This treaty promised Italy the Italian-speaking lands of Austria-Hungary and territories in Asia Minor, Africa and the Balkans.
Ottoman Empire and Bulgaria 
Following the outbreak of war in Europe during August 1914, the Ottoman Empire intervened at the end of October by taking action against Russia, resulting in declarations of war by the Triple Entente.
Bulgaria, still resentful after its defeat in July 1913 at the hands of Serbia, Greece, Romania and the Ottoman Empire, was the last nation to enter the war against the Entente, invading Serbia in conjunction with German and Austro-Hungarian forces in October 1915.
Other movements 
Other movements supported the efforts of the Central Powers for their own reasons, such as the Irish Nationalists who launched the Easter Rising in Dublin in April 1916; they referred to their "gallant allies in Europe". In 1914, Józef Piłsudski was permitted by Germany and Austria-Hungary to form independent Polish legions. Piłsudski wanted his legions to help the Central Powers defeat Russia and then side with France and the UK and win the war with them. During the years 1917 and 1918, the Finns under C.G.E. Mannerheim and Lithuanian nationalists fought Russia for a common cause. With the Soviet Russia aggression in the late 1917, the government of Ukraine sought a military protection first from the Central powers and later from the armed forces of the Entente. The Ottoman Empire also had its own allies in Azerbaijan and the Northern Caucasus. The three nations fought alongside each other under the Army of Islam in the Battle of Baku.
- Kaocen Revolt
- Zaian War
- Irish Republican Brotherhood
- Hindu–German Conspiracy
- Niedermayer-Hentig Expedition
- Senussi Campaign
- Polish Legions in World War I
- Kingdom of Finland (1918)
- Kingdom of Lithuania (1918)
- Protectorate of Ukraine (Ukrainian People's Republic and Ukrainian State)
- Duchy of Courland and Semigallia (1918)
- Azerbaijan Democratic Republic
- Mountainous Republic of the Northern Caucasus
- Emirate of Jabal Shammar
Armistice and treaties 
Bulgaria signed an armistice with the Allies on 29 September 1918, following a successful Allied advance in Macedonia. The Ottoman Empire followed suit on 30 October 1918 in the face of British and Arab gains in Palestine and Syria. Austria and Hungary concluded ceasefires separately during the first week of November following the disintegration of the Habsburg Empire and the Italian offensive at Vittorio Veneto; Germany signed the armistice ending the war on the morning of 11 November 1918 after the Hundred Days Offensive, and a succession of advances by New Zealand, Australian, Canadian, Belgian, British, French and US forces in north-eastern France and Belgium. There was no unified treaty ending the war; the Central Powers were dealt with in separate treaties.
- Franz Josef I: Emperor of Austria-Hungary
- Karl I: Emperor of Austria-Hungary
- Count Leopold Berchtold: Austrian Foreign Minister
- István Tisza: Prime Minister of Hungary
- Archduke Friedrich: Supreme Commander of the Austro-Hungarian Army
- Conrad von Hötzendorf: Chief of the Austro-Hungarian General Staff
- Arthur Arz von Straussenburg: Chief of the Austro-Hungarian General Staff
- Svetozar Boroevic: Austro-Hungarian field marshall regarded as one of the finest defensive strategists of the war.
- Anton Haus: Commander-in-Chief of the Austro-Hungarian Navy
- Maximilian Njegovan: Commander-in-Chief of the Austro-Hungarian Navy
- Miklos Horthy: Commander-in-Chief of the Austro-Hungarian Navy
German Empire 
- Wilhelm II: German Emperor
- Theobald von Bethmann-Hollweg: Chancellor of the German Empire
- Helmuth von Moltke: Chief of the German General Staff
- Erich von Falkenhayn: Chief of the German General Staff
- Paul von Hindenburg: Chief of the German General Staff
- Alfred von Tirpitz: Admiral in the German Navy
- Reinhard Scheer: Commander of the Imperial High Seas Fleet
- Erich Ludendorff: Quartermaster general of the German Army
- Leopold of Bavaria: Supreme Commander East
- Max Hoffmann: Chief of Staff in the East
- Wilhelm Souchon: German Naval Advisor to the Ottoman Empire
- Otto Liman von Sanders: German Army Advisor to the Ottoman Empire
- Paul von Lettow-Vorbeck: German Army Commander of East Africa Campaign
- Hermann von François: Germany Army General
- Georg von der Marwitz: Prussian cavalry general in the German armies
Ottoman Empire 
- Mehmed V: Sultan of the Ottoman Empire
- Mehmed VI: Sultan of the Ottoman Empire
- Said Halim Pasha: Ottoman Grand Vizier
- İsmail Enver: Commander-in-Chief of the Ottoman Army
- Fritz Bronsart von Schellendorf: Chief of the Ottoman General Staff
- Mustafa Kemal Atatürk: Commander of the Second Army
- Cemal Paşa: Commander of the 4th Army in Syria, Minister of the Navy
- Fevzi Çakmak: Commander of 7th Army in Palestine, II. Caucasian Corps
- Ferdinand I: Tsar of Bulgaria
- Vasil Radoslavov: Prime Minister of Bulgaria
- Nikola Zhekov: Commander-in-Chief of the Bulgarian Army
- Georgi Todorov: commander of the 2nd Army, deputy Commander-in-Chief
- Konstantin Zhostov: Chief of the Bulgarian General Staff
- Vladimir Vazov: Bulgarian Lieutenant General
- Fatali Khan Khoyski: Prime Minister of Azerbaijan from May 28, 1918-April 14, 1919
- Nasib Yusifbeyli: Prime Minister of Azerbaijan from April 14, 1919-April 1, 1920
- Samad bey Mehmandarov: Azerbaijani General of the Artillery in the Azerbaijani and Russian armies, as well as Minister of France of the Azerbaijan Democratic Republic.
- Ali-Agha Shikhlinski: Artillery general of Azerbaijan.
See also 
- Triple Entente
- Participants in World War I
- Axis powers (allies of Nazi Germany in WWII)
- Treaty of Versailles
- Meyer, G.J. (2007). A World Undone: The Story of the Great War, 1914 to 1918. Delta Trade Paperback. ISBN 0-553-38240-3.
- S.N. Broadberry, Mark Harrison. The Economics of World War I. illustrated ed. Cambridge University Press, 2005, pp. 9-10.
- Spencer Tucker. The European powers in the First World War: an encyclopedia. Taylor & Francis, 1996, pg. 173.
- The Triple Alliance (First 8 Articles) The World War I Document Archive, Brigham Young University Library, accessed 2008-04-21.
- Triple Alliance, 1882 Dickinson College, Carlisle, Pennsylvania, accessed 2008-04-21.
- Hunt, Lynn. The Making of the West: Peoples and Cultures. 3. Boston: Bedford/St. Martin’s in 2009.
- Davis, Robert T., ed. (2010). U.S. Foreign Policy and National Security: Chronology and Index for the 20th Century 1. Santa Barbara, California: Praeger Security International. p. 49. ISBN 978-0-313-38385-4.