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Zweibund, defensive alliance concluded by Austria-Hungary and the German Reich on October 7, 1879 (published on February 3, 1888). The two powers promised to support each other in case of Russian aggression or if Russia assisted any other attacking power (e.g. France versus Germany). Austria-Hungary had to look for an ally since it was facing the possibility of a conflict with Russia on the Balkans and had to take into account the outcome of the Franco-Prussian War of 1870/1871. The Zweibund was expanded by Italy in 1882 to form the Triple Alliance and played a decisive role in the development of political constellations in Europe prior to World War I.P>