Most powerful country in Mainland Europe in 1914-1915?

Most powerful mainland European power in 1914?

  • France

    Votes: 4 8.9%
  • German Empire

    Votes: 39 86.7%
  • Russia

    Votes: 1 2.2%
  • Austria-Hungary

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Spain

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Ottoman-Empire

    Votes: 1 2.2%
  • Other

    Votes: 0 0.0%

  • Total voters
Oct 2014
Which country in mainland Europe, combining economic, military, and political power, would you consider the most powerful at the starting stages of the first world war?
Last edited:
Feb 2019
Which country in mainland Europe, combining economic, military, and political power, would you consider the most powerful at the starting stages of the second world war?
I'm confused, are you asking for 1914 or WW2? Considering the poll options I'm certain this is for 1914.

I vote Germany, they were probably the strongest naval power in mainland Europe with a large population, a great economy and high quality army.


Ad Honorem
Dec 2011
Iowa USA
I voted France, since we have the benefit of hindsight.

Had the "Schlieffen Plan" gone more smoothly, the answer would be Germany.
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Mar 2016
The German Empire. How is this even up for discussion? They almost defeated the French and captured Paris in a couple of weeks, and that was at the same time as they had mobilized massive amounts of troops on the other side of the continent to fight the enormous power of the Russian Empire (which they later actually defeated).


Ad Honorem
Dec 2011
Iowa USA
If we are measuring power as something that does not include the practice of diplomacy and "soft" persuasive ability to influence events, then, yes, the answer is Germany.

Persuasion is part of power for me, and the use of such abilities (by France) with the Tsar during roughly 1911-1914, is important to consider before assigning the "winner". My opinion of course!
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Jul 2017
In 1918, UK, the US and the resto of allies had left France in direct confrontation with almost surrendered Germany, and the French had been butchered

Not true.

The French army has the best army and the best equipment in 1918 (including the Renault FT tank), the American army in 1918 was equipped with French weapons (the british too, but less).

And later, in 1920, it also proved its effectiveness during the Battle of Warsaw by helping the Poles, and the Battle of the Rif by helping the Spaniards.

For the American, during the battle of st mihel the French gave them 144 FT renault tank, 3000 guns and 500 aircraft

In 1918 French equipment was superior in every aspect to German equipment, whether tanks, machine guns or others.

I do not deny that in 1914, 1915, 1916, 1917 the German army was superior (less after 1916), but with the French technological innovations of 1918 it was no longer so.

"The Renault FT tank was the best designed battle tank of the entire war, both efficient and economical and adapted to mass industrial production. He played a leading role in the offensives of 1918, when he received the popular name of "Victory Tank".

Char Renault FT — Wikipédia

The WWI tank that helped change warfare forever

Tanks in World War I - Wikipedia

Battle of Soissons (1918) - Wikipedia

"In July 1918, the French used 480 tanks (mostly FTs) at the Battle of Soissons, and there were even larger assaults planned for the next year. In Plan 1919, the Entente hoped to commit over 30,000 tanks to battle in that year."

Tanks were the most important weapons in 1918, and the Germans never understood it! the 1919 plan was largely based on tanks, because the British understood that it was the key to victory Plan 1919 - Wikipedia

The Germans have been badly manhandled by this tank, in 1918 France also has better aircraft, better artillery, and believe it or not, France has not only air superiority, but produces more planes than the Germans (in 1918). The Aircraft of World War I - Statistics

René Fonck - Wikipedia (the greatest WW1 ace)

In 1918 the germans don't have tanks, don't have good artillery (in 1914 yes, but with french innovation of 1918, the germans were backward), don't have good planes ect , in 1918 British and French have a total technological superiority over the germans.

I repeat, the German army was the best in 1914 and 1915 (and it was rather their equipment than their army that was better in 1914 and 1915, because the French repelled them at the Battle of the Marne despite the German technological superiority in 1914, and I am not even talking about the First Battle of Ypres where the Germans outnumbered the allies by nearly 1 million men and did not even manage to advance)

But certainly not in 1918, who can believe that the German army, totally technologically backward (in 1918) without tank, was the best in 1918.