Most Powerful Countries In 1914

Which powers were the most powerful in 1914, on the onset of WW1? Please only answer if you are knowledgeable in world affairs during this time period.

The Top Ten Most Powerful Countries In 1914

1 British Empire

The British Empire was without a doubt, the backbone of the First World War. The British navy and economy drove the Allies to success. Now many may point to American production, but it was British money and confidence in the Empire that drove Americans to invest in the British Empire. The British Army was smaller than most European armies, but the British Army was the best trained and best armed force in Europe. The British built their army off of technology and discipline. While small, the BEF successfully forced the Germans back at the First Battle of the Marne in 1914 and prevented the fall of France and led Germany to fight a two front war. The British in the meantime supplied Italy and despite some setbacks, forced the Ottoman Empire to collapse after winning a series of battles in the Middle East. The British Navy meanwhile, crippled the German economy by blockading the nation. German tried to break out in 1916, but the Royal Navy successfully (despite taking more losses, the ...more

The British had the largest empire by far in 1914, and the largest the world had ever seen then and now. Unlike Germany's, the British Empire was rewarding economically, India being the crown Jewel of the British Empire, also still having the large colonies of Canada and Australia. The British Empire's combined population was the largest in the world by far, London was seen as the centre of the world and the Royal Navy had defeated the Germans in the Naval Race.

The British Empire, the most powerful Empire to have ever existed.

The British empire was the biggest empire in the world and they were economically benefitting from the colonies too. As a result they had the biggest economy in the world. Also although they had a relatively small army, they had the strongest navy in the world and since the United Kingdom is an island it would be extremely hard to invade them. Their naval superiority is demonstrated when they won the naval arms race against Germany and imposed a naval blockade on Germany which led to extremely short food supplies in Germany.

2 German Empire

Surely the strongest of all, alone held off pretty well against France, Britain, and almost conquered Russia (but they made an armistice with the commies). And people still think UK is stronger, when, as I said Germany where at the gates of Paris while not only Britain, but France defended it, not to mention Russia...

In terms of military might, the German Empire was likely the strongest of its time. During the First World War they were outnumbered, outgunned and had fight off enemies on different fronts, yet still managed to put up a very strong fight. The Germans also had to deal with inept allies, who continuously got into trouble, causing the Germans to pull more forces from their own battles in order to help out. While Germany did have what was probably the best land force during the war, the British Empire had a much larger navy, able to keep the main force of German navy, and their international trade, at bay (although the U-boats proved to be a big help in attacking allied trade). It would probably be easy to say that the British and Germans were near to equal, but looking at how the Germans were able to fight off multiple nations at once, and in many cases succeed in their battles against them, I would rank them as the most powerful nation in the First World War (again, from a military ...more

Germany was landlocked and outgunned by opponents with superior numbers and positions. Yet Germany held on fighting 2 fronts one against the Russian Bear and another against France and Britain. Also the start of war didn't follow their war predictions. And if it wasn't bad enough Germany had allies with superior numbers but inferior tactics, economies, and technology. And yet Germany withstood and became a formidable opponent holding off the Russians, British, and French, while supporting inferior allies with no idea of what type of war they marched into, faced economic and technological challenges all at the same time. The only reason they lost was an influx of US troops. The war in perspective was a miracle for Germany to hold on so long and dispose of so many opponents

Germany fought a war against the next three most powerful countries in the world, (Britain, France, Russia) only had allies who diverted soldiers and resources from its own fronts, and still almost won several times. The only fields in which Germany was outclassed were in reliable allies, the navy, and resources.

3 United States The United States of America, or the U.S.A. for short, is a federal republic composed of 50 states, 48 of them are contiguous states. There are two other states, Alaska and Hawaii, which are north and south of the contiguous states, respectively. The United States declared its independence from the more.

This is a joke right? The United States was extremely weak before WWII. The army was made entirely up of around 10,000 unexperienced volunteers, the navy was a joke, and the economy was in shambles around this time. Where as the Germans, British, French, and Russians all had massive armies and navies and huge industrial bases to support them. A lot of people don't seem to understand that prior to WWII the USA had no say on the world stage and wasn't very powerful at all.

You are correct in a political and military sense, but it is necessary to point out that the US economy was vast - the US produced as much steel as all other countries combined, and more coal than the next two largest producers, Britain and France. It was isolationist foreign policy, and being late to the imperialist game, that resulted in the US army being weak - economically, the US was already nearly dominant. - TitanofWar

Had one of the best armies ever,economy was soaring AND had almost unlimited resources. without us Britain and France would have been toast!

Hey dummy this list is about 1914 not 1941. World War One not World War Two. Also the United States was pretty powerful before both wars. Before WWI in 1913 President Woodrow Wilson increased army numbers from 400,000 to 800,000 and allowed conscription because of rising tensions between Serbia and Austria-Hungary. Our navy was also pretty strong, ever heard of Theodore Roosevelt and the Great White Fleet. Also our economy had been pretty strong because of president Theodore as well.Get your facts right.

The us had almost unlimited man power and was one of the main reasons why Germany lost.
It was basically a large non-island version of Britain

4 French Empire

France took a great part of Africa out in 1914, although most of the land they claimed are dessert...

France didn't have a small weak army like the brits it was giant. They also where very well trained. They also did great in about the worst position in the world

We had a much larger army than any other nation at the time at 1.25 million and the Russians at 1 million, so how are we not at the top.

The Russian standing army was 2 million at this time, the French army a fraction of that - once mobilised, the Russians could field some 6 million troops, the French, a mere 2.8 million. - TitanofWar


5 Austro-Hungarian Empire

At the time, this country had a very modern and large army, but all generals were spoke German, so no one understood them, except Austrians, plus it had to fight on 4 fronts at some point...

I think that the Austria-Hungary was not a very shaky empire even though it has internal problems with its multi-national ethnic, it is still a great power because it have large army, it have many resources and it is the fastest growing economy of all the European powers.

The Austrian empire was a powerful nation of many ethnic groups and just lacked proper command of its huge and modern army.

Austria-Hungary was very unstable in 1914 due to its large numbers of ethnic groups. However it was a reasonably large country/empire, therefore had a large military.

6 Japanese Empire

The Japanese had taken Taiwan, Port Arthur and Korea during a war with China in 1894-1895 and also defeated Russia during the Russo-Japanese War (1904-1905). The Japanese were at this stage were a dominant force in the Pacific, military orientated and had a booming labour force.

Yes, Japan Lacked a lot to make them the best. But they had a great navy and Good force overall. Japan In 1890's captured some of china, taiwan, and korea. They Could Easily crush the Germans navy in pacific since they took down germanys colonies in the pacific. Japan was as well a navy super power.

Japan is strong

HIRE A SAMURAI - Nobody101

7 Russian Empire

They had a lot of problems and they had to drop out because of that.

That part about Russia being the largest country the world has ever seen is actually not right. The Mongol Empire had all the lands Russia had plus modern day Korea, China, Mongolia, Iran, Iraq, the Middle East, Turkey, Northern India, and parts of Greece. Plus the British Empire was larger too, even larger than the Mongol Empire in terms of landmass.

Even through Tsar II was overthrown
And Russia became democracy during 1917-1918

Some how the Communist took
over the Russia Democracy state (Not Monarchy a state actually)
Because Tsar wasn't there from his throne during the civil war

(its seems the empire state is stronger than democracy state when it comes to civil war. During the Feb Revolution)


The Russians had established the largest country the world had ever seen, dominating lands from north east Asia to Eastern Europe. Their economy was flourishing and their productivity was also, though it was very backward compared to other European powers after centuries of Tsarist rule.

8 Ottoman Empire

Needs to be 3.
They fought very well in Arabia and Gallipoli. But Arab revolt didn't end good for them.

The Ottoman Empire was regarded as the poor man of Europe at this stage, had suffered defeat in the First Balkan War from Balkan states which reclaimed nearly all Ottoman territory in Europe.

Ottoman empire was the strongest

Ottoman empire is 2

9 Italy Italy, in italian Repubblica Italiana, is a unitary parliamentary republic in Europe. more.

In 1914 Italy had already conquered Libya. In the four years 1914-1918 the belligerent nations produced a total of over 195,000 aircraft and flying boats of all kinds Italy alone produced over 12000 airplanes, most of Russia and Austria-Hungary combined.
Italy was the first nation in the world using airplanes during WWI.

Enough with this nonsense about Italy as a "new country". Germany was born in 1871, 10 years after the birth of the Kingdom of Italy. Italy is much more ancient than its official birth date reveals.

Italy was a relatively new country and lacked an empire. It's production was extremely low compared to Germany and France.

If Italy beat the Turks in a war why are they below them?

10 Romania Romania is a sovereign state located in Southeastern Europe It borders the Black Sea, Bulgaria, Ukraine, Hungary, Serbia, and Moldova. It has an area of 238,391 square kilometres and a temperate-continental climate. With over 19 million inhabitants, the country is the seventh-most-populous member state more.

Romania was able to hold off three armies as well as make huge advances. It easily beat back the Central Powers when it started to get cornered. Took three armies to do it and it didn't even fully work.

The Romanians beat the Hungarians in the Romanian-Hungarian war of 1919 and the USA was on Hungarys team and the Romanians were by them selfs

This is not true. The Austro-Hungarian Empire helped the Germany army. Romanians beat the Hunharians when the war was finished and they need to laid down their arms. Sorry but this is the true. Read over on History books.

I don't care about history.. this is present...forget the past


The Contenders

11 Canada Canada is a country in North America that is next to the United States, and it's the 2nd largest country in the world by area (size is 9.985 million km²). This country has 10 provinces, and 3 territories. Canada became a dominion on July 1, 1867. Its 10 provinces are: Ontario, British Columbia, Quebec, more.

The Canadians and some other conmen Wealth created all arms warfare and they were much feared.

Why are we fourteenth? Sure we had a small army, but we had the best

We were never defeated at battle we should be top 5 at least

If you research it some estimates say Canada had over 600,000 soldiers fight in World War 1 and the US had only 190,000

12 Bulgaria Bulgaria, officially the Republic of Bulgaria, was established in 681 ad. and since then it never changed it's name, which makes it one of the oldest countries in Europe. Located in the Balkan Peninsula between Greece, Turkey, Romania, Serbia, Macedonia and Black Sea. The Capital of Bulgaria is Sofia, more.

The Kingdom of Bulgaria participated in World War I on the side of the Central Powers from 14 October 1915, when the country declared war on Serbia, until 30 September 1918, when the Armistice of Thessalonica came into effect.

I think they fought very well against Serbia. - Votebotingsucks

Bulgaria greatest contree

Bulgaria is 2 kook 4 skool

13 Belgium Belgium, officially the Kingdom of Belgium, is a country in Western Europe bordered by France, the Netherlands, Germany and Luxembourg. A small and densely populated country, it covers an area of 30,528 square kilometers (11,787 square miles) and has a population of more than 11 million.

Belgium is actually severely underestimated during this period because they didn't stand up to Germany - however, they had a huge industrial capability for its size, notably in steel, a relatively large army, and large overseas possessions in the Congo - they were considered close enough to a great power to receive concessions in China after the Boxer Rebellion.

Belgium was the 6th (! ) strongest economical power at the start of WOI. Get your facts right here.

14 China China, officially the People's Republic of China, is a sovereign state in East Asia. It is the world's most populous state, with a population of over 1.388 billion. It was established in 1949 by Chairman Mao, the president of the communist party. Its capital is Beijing. The major cities are Shanghai, more.

This flag is actually wrong. China wasn't yet communist in 1914 it was still a monarchy with an emperor.

The Chinese had suffered after years of European dominance and were still very unstable. The Chinese did however have a considerable labour force.

China is awesome!

China has a highppp at that time. Top 5 then.

15 India India, officially the Republic of India, is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh-largest country by area, the second-most populous country (with over 1.2 billion people), and the most populous democracy in the world. Its capital is New Delhi. Some other major cities are Mumbai, Chennai, and Ahemdabad. more.

Although not independent, India was played a very important part in WWI. British Raj (or British India) was called "The Jewel in the Crown of the British Empire" for a very good reason. India was Britain's most populous colony. It helped fuel the empire economically. During the war it helped supply troops in Africa, the Middle East, and Europe with food and supplies. Thousands of Indians died in Africa and the Middle East fighting the Ottomans and Germans.

India helped British during war

Just like that

India had fought the british empire without weapons proud

16 Serbia Serbia, officially the Republic of Serbia, is a sovereign state situated at the crossroads between Central and Southeast Europe, covering the southern part of the Pannonian Plain and the central Balkans.

Serbia was fast growing after the first balkan war, even more so than Bulgaria. They were able to hold off one of Europe's greatest powers for years, despite their size.

Fought very hard against Germany and Austria-Hungary for 2 years

The Serbian empire was one of the most powerful empires in the world but during WW1 they lost huge amounts of soldiers

The most poweruful kingdom ever - strenger92

17 Greece Greece, officially the Hellenic Republic, also known since ancient times as Hellas is a country located in southeastern Europe.

Greece was one of the main causes of Ottoman defeat in the First Balkan War, and unlike Serbia, they were on the offensive in the Second Balkan War and was more successful than the Serbian Army. It was also the only Balkan military with a formidable navy (Greece had a navy comparable to that of the Ottomans), and was also technologically the most advanced Balkan military in WW1. It's only downside is its small size.

Greece Fought Ottomans And Axis Since Someone Took over there government and became king.

Greece had the best trained army in the Balkans although it had only 1 million soldiers

Greece during ww1 was a force alongside Britain and ended up gaining Turkish land

18 Australia Australia, officially known as the Commonwealth of Australia, is a country comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous smaller islands. Australia has a very warm climate and is very dry. The country's official language is English.

In Flanders Fields

If you think the Japanese were powerful, we were the first to send the back.

Monash - combined arms, fire and maneuver. One of the most important figures in modern combat history. Late war the Australians and Americans under his command showed how set defences could be defeated without hideous casualties figures

Umm dude that's not for another 20 years in ww2

19 Spain Spain, officially the Kingdom of Spain, is a sovereign state largely located on the Iberian Peninsula in southwestern Europe, with archipelagos in the Atlantic Ocean and Mediterranean Sea, and several small territories on and near the north African coast.

Forgot this one

20 Nepal Nepal, officially the Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal, is a sovereign state located in South Asia. more.

Beautiful country.. blessed by mother nature. Brave people

I think Nepal should be in top 5. At that time Nepalese people or Gurkha were so powerful that British people were afraid to go in war with Nepali. One time those English people did attacked Nepal but could not take away with them.

21 Sweden Sweden, officially the Kingdom of Sweden, is a Scandinavian country in Northern Europe. more.

We were never defeated/invaded by the brittish so that automatically makes us a superpower


22 Netherlands

Neutrality and not a large landmass in Europe made The Netherlands look less powerful than they actually were world wide.

Controlled the east india and had armed neutrality

T the time the Dutch Empire (other countries are also including colonies in the list) was way bigger than The Ottoman empire, Italy, Japan and Canada. It had approx 51M inhabitants.and a huge economic power. But as they remaind neutral, they are perhaps overlooked in this list.

23 Persia
24 Korean Empire

The korean empire had the power of kpop and bts on its side

25 Brazil Brazil, officially the Federative Republic of Brazil, is the largest country in both South America and the Latin American region.

Brazil had some amazing ships and was able to produce lots of building materials and sugar, coffee, etc, they also had a good military.

26 Albania Albania is a southeastern European country that is slightly larger than Maryland and near Montenegro, Kosovo, Republic of Macedonia, and Greece. The capital is a city called Tirana. Some other major cities in Albania are Durrës, Elbasan, Vlorë, and Shkodër. Albania gained its independence in 1912. more.

Albanians stopped the faschist Italy's first attack in the port of Vlora in 1933 by sea without any army or weapons, just with shovels and other farmer's equipments. Albanians also helped balkan after the second balkan war which was in poverty with food and supplies but Albania weakened during communism even though they had a strong army and then the civil waar in 1997. You can see a video by typing "Shqiperia 1997, Viti I mbrapshte".

27 Bhutan Bhutan, officially the Kingdom of Bhutan, is a landlocked country in South Asia at the eastern end of the Himalayas.
28 Mexico Mexico, officially the United Mexican States, is a federal republic located in North America. The country is located between the U.S. and Central America, and is known for its Pacific and Gulf of Mexico beaches and its diverse landscape of mountains, deserts, and jungles.


29 Korea

Hi I'm Steve Irwin cricky cricky cricky
Aussie Disney

30 Argentina Argentina, officially the Argentine Republic, is a federal republic located in southeastern South America.

Vamos Argentina


31 Fiji Fiji, officially the Republic of Fiji, is an island country in Melanesia in the South Pacific Ocean about 1,100 nautical miles northeast of New Zealand's North Island.

Fair enough.

Your mom lmao

32 Vietnam Vietnam, officially the Socialist Republic of Vietnam, is the easternmost country on the Indochina Peninsula in Southeast Asia.

They are just beast

33 Portugal Portugal (est.1152), officially the Portuguese Republic, is a country located mostly on the Iberian Peninsula in southwestern Europe. It is the westernmost country of mainland Europe, bordered to the west and south by the Atlantic Ocean and to the north and east by Spain. Its territory also includes more.

Although its economy was a total disaster by 1914 and its foreign trade destroyed at least ten years earlier its army was reasonably strong and its colonies were hubs for important resources. It had a strong relation with Britain and a rapidly improving industry and navy
Although there was a problem after Brazil's independence it was WAY TOO dependent. On the colonies

34 Jamaica Jamaica is an island country situated in the Caribbean Sea, consisting of the third-largest island of the Greater Antilles.

Under British rule but did a really good job at both fronts

35 Poland Poland, officially the Republic of Poland, is a country in Central Europe, bordered by Germany to the west; the Czech Republic and Slovakia to the south; Ukraine and Belarus to the east; and the Baltic Sea, Kaliningrad Oblast (a Russian exclave) and Lithuania to the north. With a population of approximately more.

Poland best operators and soldiers + just best

36 Mongolia Mongolia is a landlocked unitary sovereign state in East Asia. Its area is roughly equivalent with the historical territory of Outer Mongolia, and that term is sometimes used to refer to the current state.

That's true

37 Ireland Formed in 1916 after the Easter uprising, Ireland is a small country with a population of roughly 5 million.

It was a country then!

38 Senegal Senegal (French: Sénégal), officially the Republic of Senegal (French: République du Sénéga), is a country in West Africa . Senegal is bordered by Mauritania in the north, Mali to the east, Guinea to the southeast, and Guinea-Bissau to the southwest . more.
39 Myanmar Myanmar (formerly Burma) is a Southeast Asian nation of more than 100 ethnic groups, bordering India, Bangladesh, China, Laos and Thailand. Yangon (formerly Rangoon), the country's largest city, is home to bustling markets, numerous parks and lakes, and the towering, gilded Shwedagon Pagoda, which contains more.


40 Pakistan Pakistan was established in 1947 and is located in South Asia. Islamabad is the capital city of Pakistan. Karachi, Lahore and Peshawar are other major cities of Pakistan. Urdu and English are official languages of Pakistan. World's second highest peak (K-2) and ninth highest peak (Nanga Parbat) are more.
41 Kingdom of Hungary
42 New Zealand New Zealand is an island country in the southwestern Pacific Ocean. more.
43 Germany Germany was formally united in 1871 under the initiative of Bismarck with King Wilhelm of Prussia as emperor. The previous 'Holy Roman Empire', basically a continuation of the empire of Charlemagne/Karl der Grosse was dissolved in 1806. more.

I read this and nobody had said Germany so...

They give jew gas

44 Cambodia Cambodia is a Southeast Asian nation whose landscape spans low-lying plains, the Mekong Delta, mountains and Gulf of Thailand coastline. Its busy capital, Phnom Penh, is home to the art deco Central Market, glittering Royal Palace and the National Museum's historical and archaeological exhibits. In more.
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