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Before WWI Germany made the triple-alliance with Italy and Austria-Hungary.

Bulgaria and the Ottoman empire joined the alliance, against the Entente with UK, France and Russia. Other countries joined the Entente too.

When Italy swapped sides in 1915, the remainder of the war alliance was called the central powers.

In WWII the term "the allies" was used about those fighting with the UK against the Axis powers. The Axis was Germany, Italy and Japan, with their collaborators like Hungary, Romania, Soviet (until 1941), Bulgaria etc. Italy left the Axis when Mussolini's rule was overthrown. Non-occupied France got a nazi-friendly regime in Vichy and occupied states often had a collaborating government in Europe and Asia. Due to the war against Soviet Union and their switch to the allied side, made that Finland for some time fought on the Axis side, then against the Axis again driving out German troops from Finland.

Spain, Sweden and South American countries in particular, were officially neutral in WWII but acted in different ways that helped Germany, as large parts of the population had a friendly attitude, as it in fact was in most countries in the beginning.

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2011-12-15 08:20:18
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