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
1 British Empire

The UNITED KINGDOM was worlds only superpower during that time thank to their powerful royal navy. And they went to colonial wars in Africa to gain more Territory.
And there were the worlds first nations have armored tanks. And their colonies had played a major role in the war effort.

Britain was in the sole position of having a worldwide dominance of naval transport and a navy no other nation could match. In a position where their position as a island nation allowed them to outproduce all other nations navaly, while still reaping the benefits of their huge colonial and dominion systems.

As for a army the British army was weak, but it was compensated by a massive manpower reserve. With a huge economy backing them, massive available manpower and a total dominance of sea lanes they could fight a war of attrition that few other nations could match.

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.

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

2 German Empire

Actually Germany was the world's most powerful nation, notably thanks to their major victory against The French. with a largest population, larger economy, and a large well trained army.

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

One of the leaders in culture, science, and economy at the time and had some of the most brilliant military minds of the day, it's amazing to think how just a few decades before, this country hadn't even existed. Their organization, advanced military weapons and their advance use of them changed the way the world fought wars, forever. While not as large as France or Russia, they were so much better equipped and trained that to say Germany wasn't the most powerful country at the time is rather insane. And that's just their land forces, their navy rivaled Britain's with their own dreadnought and the emergence of U-Boats.

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

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.

It wasn't just 10,000 men. It was 150,000 before WWII. Plus this is 1914 not 1941. World War I not World War II. Plus the army before we entered WWI was around 400,000 before president Woodrow Wilson ordered and increase in to 800,000 and allowed conscription in 1913 due to political tensions rising in Europe between Austria-Hungary and Serbia. And what's all this about us being weak before WWII anyway. Are economy had recovered from the Great Depression and was the best in the world. Our Navy was also the biggest with Great Britain just a little further ahead. Our country is several dozen times bigger than Germany or France even with their empires. We were smaller than the British Empire and the Soviet Union but most of Russia is a barren wasteland and oil around India, the Arabian Peninsula, and Africa hadn't even been discovered yet. Our entry into the war turned the tide in both WWI and WW2.

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.

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 United States was emerging as a superpower, its economy was growing fast, flocks of immigrants came to the 'Land of Opportunity', seeking land. The United States was the leading economic power of the world, although when taking the empires of the European powers in mind they weren't. They also wasn't as military-orientated as the European powers.

4 French Empire

They had a large, well trained, and well equipped army and navy with the industry and population to back it. They also had an extremely powerful airforce for the time. I don't get how they are not number 2, let alone behind the US, who was pathetically weak.

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.

At that time, France was much more powerful than the US. The army was both large and experienced. France also had a higher gdp.

5 Austro-Hungarian Empire

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.

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.

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...

The Austro Hungarian empire had the best military in terms of men power and training, it managed to face 4fronts in the war at once.

6 Japanese Empire

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.

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.

Japan is strong

7 Russian Empire

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.

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.

The Russian empire had the largest army at the begining of 1914, with 5 million men when fully mobilized. It also had a huge population for it's time so new recruits would never be a problem. It's economy was at the very least stronger than that of Austria- Hungary. I think it should at least take spot #4 if not #3.

Russia should be farther down the list, Russia military and economically was backwards compared to the rest of Europe at the time.

8 Ottoman Empire

Ottoman empire was pretty strong but its because of multiple fronts and internal revolts and foreign betrayals that hey couldn't win the war during WW1. The ottoman empire was actually winning on all fronts except for sarikamis when they got pushed back for not being prepared for the cold weather. The ottomans would have won in the caucuses if it wasn't for the Armenian rebellions occurring in east Anatolia. Basically, the ottoman empire would have done really well in WW1 if it wasn't for the revolts occurring within their empire. People say the germans had a lot to deal with on 2 fronts but look at the ottomans, they had to deal with 5 fronts such as sinai in Egypt, Hejaz in the red sea coasts, Mesopotamia where their supply lines kept on being interrupted, North-east turkey in the caucuses, and finally in the Gallipoli peninsula where they fought nearly all the western allies combined.

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.

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

It controls crucial geographical position for eastern and western trade, which makes it accumulate a lot of treasure

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.

The Romanian military overall was a force of havoc. It earned the name of "home of defense" by many soldiers from both side. Most notably the Russian soldiers called it like this the most

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.

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.

The Contenders
11 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.

12 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 kmĀ²). 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.

At one point, after World War II, Canada had the fourth largest military in the world. Sure our military is pathetically small for a country of our size but we still make a great impact on the world today.

Hmmm no way would Canada be in the top five, even by todays standard their military is tiny and their training is no were near as good as the most powerful countries, take Britain for example, they are tiny but probably have the best training in the world, the reason why they are much more powerful then Canada

Ahem. Stop complaining about Canada. Canada wouldn't do anything without British help. ''best''. Canada was never best in term of military.

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

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 had a pretty good industry, a large population for their size. They also had a pretty decent army that was pretty well equipped.

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.

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.

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

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

China is awesome!

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.

Just like that

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

Greece had a very good army that was well trained and one can argue was the best country in mountain warfare. It also had a great navy and it dominated the east of the Mediterranean.

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 unlike Polska didn't got annexed AND fought back Bulgaria and the Ottomans only with Serbia with her!

17 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.

The Serbians had bravery and were willing to fight to the end. That makes them a formidable force.

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.

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

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

This is a list about 1914. You didn't fight the Japanese in WWI. They were are allies in WWI. WW2 started in 1939.

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.

Spain had a decent army that was pretty average, but it had a very good navy.

Forgot this one

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

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 Netherlands

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.

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

They had a great navy and a global spanning empire. They certainly had the capability to win a war.

22 Sweden Sweden, officially the Kingdom of Sweden, is a Scandinavian country in Northern Europe. more.
23 Persia
24 Korean Empire
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.

Brazil, although having a small industry, can build it up very fast, and it has a huge population to train.

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