Why did Germany enter World War I, and who were Germany's allies?

Germany entered World War I because it was an official ally of Austria-Hungary, which had declared war on Serbia after a Serbian nationalist shot the heir to the throne of Austria-Hungary. Germany's allies were Austria-Hungary, the Ottoman Empire, and Bulgaria.

Expert Answers

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

Germany's allies during World War I were Austria-Hungary, the Ottoman Empire, and Bulgaria. These formed the Central Powers and were opposed by the Allies, or the Entente, composed principally of Great Britain, France, the Russian Empire, and (later) the United States.

Though the evaluation of World War I as an imperialist war can be criticized as simplistic, I believe it is the best way of understanding what the war was really about and the deeper causes of it. The immediate cause of hostilities was the assassination of the Archduke Franz Ferdinand, the heir to the Austro-Hungarian throne, by a Serbian nationalist in June of 1914 in Sarajevo, Bosnia-Herzegovina, which at that time was a territory of Austria-Hungary.

Serbian nationalists, allegedly backed by Russia as part of a pan-Slavic movement, regarded Bosnia as part of their homeland and wished to free it from Austrian control. The belief on the part of the Austrians that Russia was behind the assassination led to a declaration of war....

(The entire section contains 4 answers and 1286 words.)

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
Approved by eNotes Editorial Team