Political map of South & Southwest Asia 06 November 1914 (Outbreak of the Great War): The end of July saw the outbreak of World War I in Europe, pitting Russia, France, and Britain against Germany. At first the Ottoman Empire declared neutrality, but tensions with Britain and Russia soon rose (Ottoman entry into World War I). After the British requisitioned warships being built for them (Turkish battleship Sultan Osman I), the Ottomans signed a secret alliance with Germany (Ottoman-German Alliance), agreed to provide sanctuary to German cruisers (Pursuit of Goeben and Breslau), and closed the Turkish Straits. In October, they raided Russian bases in the Black Sea (Battle of Odessa (1914)), prompting Russia to declare war.