Central Powers

The Central Powers, also known as the Central Empires,[1][notes 1] was one of the two main coalitions that fought in World War I (1914–18). It consisted of the German Empire, Austria-Hungary, the Ottoman Empire and the Kingdom of Bulgaria and was also known as the Quadruple Alliance.[2][notes 2] Colonies of these countries also fought on the Central Powers' side such as German New Guinea and German East Africa, until almost all of their colonies were occupied by the Allies.

Central Powers
Mittelmächte  (German)
Központi hatalmak  (Hungarian)
İttifak Devletleri  (Turkish)
Централни сили (Bulgarian)
1914–1918
The Central Powers as of 6 September 1915
StatusMilitary alliance
Historical eraWorld War I
 Dual Alliance
(Germany / Austria-Hungary)
7 October 1879
 Established
28 June 1914
2 August 1914
  • 6 September 1915 (secret)
  • 14 October 1915 (public)
 Dissolved
11 November 1918
Preceded by
Dual Alliance (1879)
Triple Alliance (1882)
German–Ottoman alliance
Ottoman–Bulgarian alliance
Bulgaria–Germany treaty (1915)
  • Leaders of the Central Powers (left to right):
  • Kaiser Wilhelm II of Germany;
  • Kaiser and King Franz Joseph of Austria-Hungary;
  • Sultan Mehmed V of the Ottoman Empire;
  • Tsar Ferdinand I of Bulgaria
  • The caption reads:
  • "Vereinte Kräfte führen zum Ziel"
  • "United Powers Lead to the Goal"

The Central Powers faced and were defeated by the Allied Powers that had formed around the Triple Entente. The Central Powers' origin was the alliance of Germany and Austria-Hungary in 1879. Despite having nominally joined the Triple Alliance before, Italy did not take part in World War I on the side of the Central Powers. The Ottoman Empire and Bulgaria did not join until after World War I had begun, even though the Ottoman Empire had retained close relations with both Germany and Austria-Hungary since the beginning of the 20th century.


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