Turtledove
Advertisement

The Central Powers were one of two factions of World War I. The Central Powers consisted of Germany, Austria-Hungary, the Ottoman Empire and Bulgaria. 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 presence of four members led to the alternative name the Quadruple Alliance.

The Central Powers were built on the alliance of Germany and Austria-Hungary in 1879. This gave rise to the Triple Alliance of 1882, wherein Italy joined Germany and Austria-Hungary. In response, various countries opposed to Germany, including France, Russia and the U.K., established their own various agreements with each other, culminating in the Triple Entente in 1907. When war broke out in 1914, the members of the Entente and certain associate powers went to war against Germany and Austria-Hungary. Italy remained neutral, and actually joined the Entente in 1915. The Ottoman Empire joined the Central Powers in late 1914, and Bulgaria joined the following year.

After four years of fighting, the various Central Powers surrendered throughout the fall of 1918, and the alliance was dissolved.

Central Powers in The Case of the Toxic Spell Dump[]

The coalition which included Alemania attempted to recruit Aztecia to join their side in the First Sorcerous War and attack the Confederated Provinces. This did not work, and the CP and its allies defeated Alemania's side.

Literary comment[]

The name of this alliance system is unrevealed. It is placed here for convenience.

Central Powers in Curious Notions[]

In the alternate designated as 3477 by Crosstime Traffic, Germany and its Central Powers allies won a brief war in 1914, beginning Germany's rise to becoming master of the world. As junior Central Powers members, the Austro-Hungarian and Ottoman Empires were allowed to continue existing through the 20th and 21st centuries under German sufferance.

Central Powers in "Last Flight of the Swan of the East"[]

The Central Powers were, along with the Entente, one of the two major alliance systems that opposed each other in the Great War. The German, Austro-Hungarian, and Japanese Empires served as the nucleus of the Central Powers when the war began in August, 1914.[1] The were joined by other countries, including the Ottoman Empire.

Central Powers in Southern Victory[]

The Central Powers indicated in orange during the Great War

The Quadruple Alliance, known informally as the Central Powers, were, along with the Quadruple Entente, one of two major alliance systems vying for world dominance in the early 20th century. By 1945, the two factions had fought two global wars; the Quadruple Alliance achieved victory each time, along with hegemony over most of the globe.

History[]

Origins[]

When Otto von Bismarck oversaw the unification of Germany in 1870, one of his main foreign policy goals was the isolation of France. To that end he approached the recently unified Italy, a rival of France, as well as Austria-Hungary; although the latter had been a one-time rival to Germany's ruling Hohenzollern dynasty, France's ally Russia was an even greater concern to the Hapsburgs.

After the Second Mexican War, Bismarck instructed Ambassador Kurd von Schlozer to approach United States President James G. Blaine to appeal to his country's desire for revenge against the Confederate States, another French ally and at whose hands the United States had been recently defeated. The US allied themselves with Germany, and by extension with the other two members. The alliance was greatly beneficial to the United States as German advisors gave recommendations on social, military, and economic reforms to gear the nation toward winning a major war. These reforms became hallmarks of the emerging revanchist, nationalist ideology of Remembrance. The alliance expanded as both Germany and the US entered into defensive alliances with other countries.

Great War[]

The Quadruple Alliance faced its first major crisis in 1914, when Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria-Hungary was assassinated by Serbian nationalists in Sarajevo. Austria-Hungary threatened war with Serbia if a number of ultimata were not met. Serbia, emboldened by Russia's promises of support, refused to meet these ultimata, and war between Austria-Hungary and Serbia began, which in turn caused war between Russia and Austria-Hungary. The United States and Germany supported Austria-Hungary, while Russia's was supported by their allies in the Entente, and hence as the labyrinthine system of European alliances geared into effect, the Great War began.

Central Powers forces battled the Entente on the continents of Europe, North America, South America, and Africa, and across the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. Germany introduced poison gas and the United States introduced barrels, both of which revolutionized warfare and in the latter's case paved the way to the their victory. The Central Powers also supported the Red Rebellion in the CS, the pro-independence uprising in Ireland and the Russia Revolution, which forced Russia to withdraw from the war in mid-1917. The Central Powers created the Kingdom of Poland and the Republics of Ireland and Quebec.

Diplomats from the Central Powers continued to recruit new members, including Chile and Paraguay in 1915, but their greatest success came in 1917 near the end of the war, when they convinced the Empire of Brazil to join the alliance. This allowed an American-led fleet with Brazilian and Chilean elements to cut the food supply lines between Britain and Argentina, forcing Britain to surrender.

By the end of 1917, the Central Powers had won the war after all four major Entente nations were forced to withdraw from combat and seek peace on the terms of the Central Powers.

Interwar Years[]

After the war, the victorious Central Powers imposed harsh peace treaties upon their defeated enemies but soon lost the will to continue enforcing them. At the same time, relations between the United States and Germany cooled. In the United States, the Socialist Party ended a period of dominance by the Democratic Party, and maintaining a strong military was not a top priority for the new incumbents. In Germany, political turmoil as Kaiser Wilhelm II aged and ailed had a similar effect. During this time, several members of the alliance withdrew. The United States supported an anti-Habsburg rebellion in the Mexican Civil War during the 1920s, and Germany supported the reign of Alfonso XIII in the Spanish Civil War of the 1930s. Both were defeated by their Entente-backed opponents.

Second Great War[]

In 1941, upon the death of Kaiser Wilhelm II and his succession by Wilhelm III, the Entente launched assaults on Germany and the United States, commencing the Second Great War. Both countries lost territory early in the war before their frontlines stabilized, then reversing their fortunes in 1943. Repeating their successes with the three countries in the Great War, the Central Powers created allied governments in Finland and Ukraine by supporting anti-Russian rebels in those areas. They also supported rebels against Entente governments whenever and wherever possible.

In the Great War there was substantial cooperation between the U.S. and Germany, but this was not repeated in the Second. Nonetheless, the Central Powers prevailed in the Second Great War, as Germany destroyed the capital cities of Russia, France, and Britain with superbombs, and the United States, using their superior military resources, brought the Confederacy to heel, completely overwhelming their arch-nemesis, and put an end to its existence after 83 years of independence.

In the aftermath of the war, Germany and the United States completely dominated their respective continents, though Japan controlled the western Pacific rim in the same manner, while Russia and the British Empire remained strong enough to avoid total subjugation.

Membership[]

Founding Members[]

The following countries were among the founding members of the Central Powers and remained its major members throughout the early twentieth century.

Italy[]

  • Flag of Italy (1861-1946).svg.png
    Italy, which like Germany was unified in the mid-late 19th century, was courted by Otto von Bismarck in his attempt to build an anti-French coalition, and it became a founding member of the Central Powers but remained neutral in the Great War. Nonetheless, Italy extended recognition to the Republics of Quebec and Ireland and the Kingdom of Poland during the war, before most other neutral and Entente countries did the same.

Italy also remained neutral in the Second Great War.

Later Members[]

Joined before the Great War[]

Joined during the Great War[]

Joined during the Second Great War[]

Governments created by the Central Powers or their members[]

Nations which belonged at one time but later withdrew[]

  • Brazilflag.jpg Brazil (after 1917)
  • Flag of Italy (1861-1946).svg.png Italy (c. 1914)
  • Quebec.jpg Quebec (de facto U.S. ally during the Second Great War)

Central Powers in "Uncle Alf"[]

The Central Powers won the Great War in 1914, primarily due to General Alfred von Schlieffen's skillful leadership of German forces.

References[]

  1. Leviathans: Armored Skies, pgs. 292-299, loc. 4174-4290, ebook.
  2. See Inconsistencies (Southern Victory).
  3. See Inconsistencies (Southern Victory).
Advertisement