Who Won WW1

Which country won World War I?

The First World War was won not by any single country, but by an alliance including the British, French, and Japanese empires. Italy joined this alliance in 1915, and the United States of America joined in 1917. In the same year, Russia, which had been an ally, withdrew from the conflict. The principal victors in 1918, therefore, were Britain, France, Italy, Japan, and the United States.

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

The principal Allies when the fighting stopped—Great Britain, France, Italy, Japan, and the United States—won World War I. Russia had been part of the Allied alliance until the Russian Revolution in 1917, at which point the Bolsheviks pulled out of the highly unpopular war.

It is hard, however, to...

Unlock
This Answer Now

Start your 48-hour free trial to unlock this answer and thousands more. Enjoy eNotes ad-free and cancel anytime.

Start your 48-Hour Free Trial

The principal Allies when the fighting stopped—Great Britain, France, Italy, Japan, and the United States—won World War I. Russia had been part of the Allied alliance until the Russian Revolution in 1917, at which point the Bolsheviks pulled out of the highly unpopular war.

It is hard, however, to say that the allies "won." What they won, at least in terms of Great Britain and France, is what is known a Pyrrhic victory, one in which the cost of winning exceeds the benefits. If we focus on Great Britain, in particular, they entered the war the confident world superpower; they ended it broken and bedraggled, with unrest growing over the high casualties and high inflation the war brought. By 1920, the superpower mantle was ready to pass to the United States as Britain was exhausted and deeply in debt: however, the US retreated back into isolationism until World War II.

The win also led to the disastrous Versailles Treaty, which humiliated Germany and sowed the seeds of Hitler and World War II. The "win" of World War I also lead to widespread disillusionment in the victor nations, as ordinary people wondered how civilized countries could have fought such a barbaric and needless conflict.

Nevertheless, the Allies were the military victors. Not only did they wear down the Axis powers (helped by a near revolution in Germany), the entry of the US on their side in 1917, with all its wealth and resources, almost certainly ensured the Allies would eventually have won even had the Germans held on.

Last Updated by eNotes Editorial on
An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

The First World War is so called because it was the first conflict to take place on a truly global scale. It is therefore unsurprising that it was won not by any single country, but by an alliance of many countries. These are often called the Allied or Entente powers, and the four most important were initially the imperial powers of Britain, France, Russia, and Japan. The Allied Powers fought against the Central Powers, which also had four principal members: Germany, the Austro-Hungarian empire, the Ottoman empire, and Bulgaria.

Since the major powers were empires, the combatants included the large areas of the world which they ruled, such as British India, French Indochina, and Japanese Korea. Numerous other countries, such as Belgium, Serbia, and Montenegro, associated themselves with the Allied cause, and this list grew over the course of the war. The most important changes occurred when Italy joined the Allies in 1915, and the United States of America joined in 1917. In the same year, Russia left the war due to its internal conflicts. Therefore, when the war ended in 1918, the principal powers on the winning side were Britain, France, Italy, Japan, and the United States. These were the five great powers recognized as the victors at the Paris Peace Conference of 1919.

Last Updated by eNotes Editorial on
An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

The Allied Powers won the First World War. They included Great Britain, France, Italy, Russia, and from 1917, the United States. What was unusual about the Allied victory was that it didn't take place on enemy soil. The territory of the main Central Power, Germany, wasn't invaded or taken over by enemy forces as would normally have been the case.

This gave rise to a persistent myth, the so-called "Stab in the back" legend, that would later be ruthlessly exploited for political gain by the Nazis. According to its proponents, Germany hadn't really lose the war on the battlefield; her brave soldiers at the front had been betrayed—stabbed in the back—by malevolent forces at home such as liberals, Communists, and Jews.

In reality, however, it was the German generals who advocated surrender while the politicians in Berlin urged the army to keep on fighting. Nevertheless, in the aftermath of World War One, the myth took on a life of its own, with many subscribing to it as the only way of explaining Germany's shattering defeat.

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team
An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

World War I was not won by any single country.  The two sides in this war, the Central Powers and the Allied Powers, were each made up of multiple countries.  Therefore, we cannot identify one country as the winner of the war.

In World War I, the Allied Powers ended up as the winners.  The main countries that were part of the Allied Powers were the United Kingdom, France, and the United States.  Russia had been part of the Allied Powers at the start of the war but ended up surrendering after the Russian Revolution.  Italy was also a part of the Allied Powers, though it was not as important in the war.  There were also a number of other countries that were on the winning side. Among these were Japan, Serbia, and Belgium.  Again, these countries are not seen as major players in the war.

The best answer to this, then, is to say that the Allied Powers won the war.  If you need to identify specific countries, you could mention the UK, France, and the United States.  If you want to mention all of the countries on the winning side, follow this link for a list.

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team