AUGUST 5 1915 – THE ENTENTE GROWS A BIT STRONGER, BUT SO DO THE CENTRAL POWERS

The Alliance between France and Britain, even before the war, became known casually as the “Entente,” (French: a friendly agreement, understanding, accord, etc.). Thus during WWI, historians often refer to the forces of the larger alliances on this side (including Russia) simply as the Entente powers/forces. On this day, 100 years ago, the Entente powers gained a bit of strength from the tiny county of Montenegro, situated just to the west of Serbia. As an ally of Serbia, Montenegro felt obliged to assist in the war against Austria-Hungary, and also hoped, of course, to share in the spoils of war, if any.

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Montenegro’s forces, however, were tiny in comparison to some of the other 1914 participants of WWI. For example (all numbers are rough approximations):

Russia 5,971,000
Germany 4,500,000
France 4,017,000
Austria-Hungary 3,000,000
Great Britain 975,000
Serbia 200,000
Montenegro 50,000

Nevertheless, Serbia would appreciate the help when it was already greatly outnumbered by the forces of Austria-Hungary.

On the other hand were the Central powers, so called because they found themselves situated near the center of Europe, between the two largest members of the Entente: France and Russia. On August 5, the Central Powers too found themselves a bit stronger, for the Ottoman Empire closed all access through the Dardanelles, the gateway between the Mediterranean and both Istanbul and the Black Sea. Though the Ottomans would not yet declare their active participation in the war in accord with the Central powers, closing the Dardanelles affected the Entente by closing off that access point to and from Russia.

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#100years since WWI

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