Triple Entente

In 1882 Germany, Austria-Hungary and Italy formed the Triple Alliance. The three countries agreed to support each other if attacked by either France or Russia. France felt threatened by this alliance. Britain was also concerned by the growth in the German Navy and in 1904 the two countries signed the Entente Cordiale (friendly understanding). The objective of the alliance was to encourage co-operation against the perceived threat of Germany.

Three years later, Russia, who feared the growth in the German Army, joined Britain and France to form the Triple Entente. In contrast to the Triple Alliance, the terms of the Entente did not require each country to go to war on behalf of the others, but stated that they had a "moral obligation" to support each other. The Russian government was also concerned about the possibility of Austria-Hungary increasing the size of its empire. It therefore made promises to help Serbia if it was attacked by members of the Triple Alliance.

Illustration from Neil Demarco's The Great WarTriple Entente Resources in 1914
Illustration from Neil Demarco's The Great War
Triple Entente Resources in 1914
Country

Population

Soldiers

Battleships

Foreign Trade (£)

Steel Production (tons)

Great Britain

46,407,037

711,000

57

1,223,152,000

6,903,000

France

39,601,509

3,500,000

19

424,000,000

4,333,000

Russia

167,000,000

4,423,000

4

190,247,000

4,416,000

© , September 1997 - April 2014