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 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.

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 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.

2 German Empire

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

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

The German Empire had one of the biggest armies in Europe only surpassed by Russia there navy was going up the royal navy and winning they lost WW1 because there Allie's were either collapsing or so small they didn't make a difference they were also out numbered 16 to 1 .

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.

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 British Empire in 1776 with the Declaration of Independence. They won their independence in 1783 with the Treaty of Paris. Its capital, Washington D.C. (District of Columbia) is defined by imposing neoclassical monuments and buildings including the iconic ones that house the federal government's 3 branches: the Capitol, White House and Supreme Court. Though it has no official language, English and 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. Our 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.

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.

The United States should be rank #4 but following the Spanish American war it made the a colonial power and have the third powerful navy in the world behind Germany and United Kingdom. And the United States was a resource rich country and before they joined Woodrow Wilson increase the army to 140,000 men. And in 1917 - 18 they 12 million soldiers in the American army

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

France should be ranked number 3. And I can tell they had a well trained army and their generals have better strategies. And they were powerful at the time

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.

5 Austro-Hungarian Empire

The Austro-Hungarian Empire was Incredibly powerful. However due to literally all of its enemies having significantly better generals it had lead to many stalemates. Still though it proved itself nothing to mess with by Disintegrating russia's army in 1914 Winning (with some help) The battle at Caporetto, Repelled 11 different Italian attacks at the Isonzo river and made the enemy run away scared at the battle of the Ontronto Strait. There was much help needed on many fronst and Austria-Hungary's KD resembles that of a 3 year old playing GTA Austria-Hungary proved themselves as one of the most POWERFUL Empires

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 a great power but their military budget is very VERY small. Austria Hungary have many different ethnic groups in the army and they had great fire power.

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 should be ranked #5 cause we all know that Japan is not a resource rich country but they had a highly skilled army and there generals are smart. And they played a role in the war effort but they only fought one battle.

Japan is strong

7 Ottoman Empire

The Ottoman Empire was in a state of decay with basically no airforce, a navy that can't accomplish more than my paraplegic grandma, and the extreme loss of territory in recent decades. But Ottoman Empire proved to be a formidable opponent anyway, with superior generals, and superior armies. So after Standing unfazed from the Gallipolli campaign, and making fools of the British captors of Kut. It's easy to say the Ottoman empire being the weakest of the 3, pulled its weight. And so vote for Ottoman Empire for #6 spot they earned it.

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.

They where by far the only super power, and the biggest superpower of their time. Constantinople was considered the center of civilization. They Where the Eastern half of the Roman Empire so their influence has been present for thousands of years.

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.

8 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.

I don't think Russia wasn't a great power at all cause there still an agricultural but they had a largest army. We all know that Russia win significant battles against Austria Hungary but when they do that they can fight a shorter war against Austria Hungary. And Russia mobilized 15 million men.

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.

9 Italy Italy, (Italian: Repubblica Italiana), is a unitary parliamentary republic in Europe.

Italy covers an area of 301,338 km2. With almost 62 million inhabitants, it is the 3rd most populous EU member state. Located in the heart of the Mediterranean Sea, Italy shares open land borders with France, Switzerland, Austria, Slovenia, San Marino and Vatican City. The Capital and largest city is Rome. Other major cities are Milano, Naples, Turino, Venice, Florence. Italy's official language is Italian. 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 of the European Union. Its capital and largest city, Bucharest, is the sixth-largest city in the EU, with 1,883,425 inhabitants as of 2011. Romania derives from the Latin romanus, meaning "citizen of Rome". The first known use of the appellation was attested in the 16th century by Italian humanists travelling in Transylvania, Moldavia, and Wallachia

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 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

It was not in the war

The Contenders
11 Australia Australia, officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a sovereign country comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous smaller islands. With an area of 7,617,930 square kilometres (2,941,300 sq mi), Australia is the largest country by area in Oceania and more.

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.

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, found long before founding of Bulgaria, it has a lot of historical places to visit. Major Cities of Bulgaria are: Plovdiv, Varna, Bourgas, Pleven, Stara Zagora, Veliko Turnovo, Ruse. Every one of those cities has it's own unique history and culture. Official language is Bulgarian, but elders can speak Russian and younger population can speak English. Bulgaria is known by creating Cyrillic Script 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.

13 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, Alberta, Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, New Brunswick, and Prince Edward Island. Its 3 territories are: Yukon, Northwest territories, and Nunavut. Toronto, Quebec City, Montreal, Vancouver, Winnipeg, St. John's, and Fredericton are major cities in the country. Canada's capital city, Ottawa, is in the southeastern province of Ontario, near the city of Montreal 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.

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

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

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

14 Spain Spain, or the Kingdom of Spain, is a country in southwestern Europe with parts of territory in the Atlantic Ocean and across the Mediterranean Sea. The largest part of Spain is situated on the Iberian Peninsula; its territory also includes the Canary Islands in the Atlantic Ocean, the Balearic Islands in the Mediterranean Sea, the autonomous cities of Ceuta and Melilla, and several minor overseas territories also scattered along the Moroccan coast of the Alboran Sea. The country's mainland is bordered to the south by Gibraltar; to the south and east by the Mediterranean Sea; to the north by France, Andorra and the Bay of Biscay; and to the west by Portugal and the Atlantic Ocean.

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

Forgot this one

15 Belgium Belgium, officially the Kingdom of Belgium, is a country in Northwestern Europe. The country is bordered by the Netherlands to the north, Germany to the east, Luxembourg to the southeast, France to the southwest, and the North Sea to the northwest. It covers an area of 30,689 km2 (11,849 sq mi) and more.

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

16 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. The most spoken languages are Hindi and English, but there are 22 official Indian languages.

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 provided a lot of troops and supplies during both World Wars.

Just like that

17 China China, officially the People's Republic of China, is a country in East Asia. It is the world's most populous country, with a population of more than 1.4 billion. China spans five geographical time zones and borders 14 countries, the second most of any country in the world after Russia. Covering an area of approximately 9.6 million square kilometers (3,700,000 sq mi), it is the world's third or fourth largest country. The country consists of 23 provinces, five autonomous regions, four municipalities, and two Special Administrative Regions (Hong Kong and Macau). The national capital is Beijing, and the most populous city and financial center is Shanghai. Chinese (Mandarin) is the only official 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!

18 Serbia Serbia, officially the Republic of Serbia, is a landlocked country in Southeastern and Central Europe, situated at the crossroads of the Pannonian Plain and the Balkans. It shares land borders with Hungary to the north, Romania to the northeast, Bulgaria to the southeast, North Macedonia to the south, Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina to the west, and Montenegro to the southwest, and claiming a border with Albania through the disputed territory of Kosovo. Serbia with Kosovo has about 8.6 million inhabitants. Its capital Belgrade is also the largest city.

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.

19 Greece Greece, officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country in Southeast Europe. It is situated on the southern tip of the Balkans, and is located at the crossroads of Europe, Asia, and Africa. Greece shares land borders with Albania to the northwest, North Macedonia and Bulgaria to the north, and Turkey to the northeast. The Aegean Sea lies to the east of the mainland, the Ionian Sea to the west, and the Sea of Crete and the Mediterranean Sea to the south. Greece has the longest coastline on the Mediterranean Basin, featuring thousands of islands. The country consists of nine traditional geographic regions, and has a population of approximately 10.7 million. Athens is the nation's capital and largest more.

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

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

20 Brazil Brazil, officially the Federative Republic of Brazil, is the largest country in both South America and Latin America. At 8.5 million square kilometers (3,300,000 sq mi) and with over 214 million people, Brazil is the world's fifth-largest country by area and the sixth most populous. Its capital is Brasília, more.

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.

21 Sweden Sweden, officially the Kingdom of Sweden, is a Scandinavian country in Northern Europe. It borders Norway to the west and Finland to the east, and is connected to Denmark in the southwest by a bridge-tunnel across the Öresund. At 450,295 square kilometers (173,860 sq mi), Sweden is the third-largest country in the European Union by area, with a total population of 10 million.

Sweden was so great we did not lose a single battle during the war

22 Netherlands The Netherlands, informally Holland, is a country located in north-western Europe with overseas territories in the Caribbean. It is the largest of four constituent countries of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. The Netherlands consists of twelve provinces, and borders Germany to the east, Belgium to the south, with a North Sea coast-line to the north and west. It shares maritime borders with the United Kingdom, Germany, and Belgium in the North Sea. The country's official language is Dutch, with West Frisian as a secondary official language in the province of Friesland. Dutch Low Saxon and Limburgish are recognised regional languages, while Dutch Sign Language, Sinte Romani, and Yiddish are recognised more.

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.

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

The Persian army in the Qajar era was quite strong. The main weapon in the army was an old rifle. They ride horses. They fought many wars and consumed a lot of their strength during the Qajar British wars, the Russian-Persian and Ottoman Persian wars. 2 million Persians died during the First World War. Against the Ottomans, Persia was against the Allies and the Axis in the war

24 Norway Norway, officially the Kingdom of Norway, is a sovereign and unitary monarchy in Northern Europe whose territory comprises the western portion of the Scandinavian Peninsula plus the island Jan Mayen and the archipelago of Svalbard. more.
25 Korean Empire
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