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Americans on the european front notes

Americans on the European Front Notes

Angela Brown

Chapter 10 Section 3



Preparing for action

Preparing for Action

  • Despite preparedness U.S. not ready to send troops to European front in April 1917.

  • Sent naval support, supplies, arms, $3 billion in loans, and a token force of 14,500 men led by General Pershing to boost allied morale.

  • Pershing recommended army should number 1 million by 1918 and 3 million by 1919.

Draftees and volunteers
Draftees and Volunteers

  • 1917 – U.S. 120,000 enlisted men and 80,000 national guardsmen

  • May 1917 Congress passed a Selective Service Act authorizing a draft of young men for military services

  • “War to end all Wars” resulted in wide acceptance of program

  • 11,000 women volunteered in uniform as nurses, drivers, and clerks

  • Another 14,000 women served abroad as civilians working for the government or for private agencies.

The convoy system
The Convoy System

  • U.S. troops were kept separate from allied troops and the more than 300,000 African American Soldiers

  • (4,000 African American troops killed/wounded most never saw combat)

  • Marines refused African Americans completely/navy minor tasks/ Army manual labor – frustrated African Americans

  • 369 infantry – Harlem Hell Fighters – officers agreed to loan to French Army who integrated regiment

  • Received highest combat medal –French Croix de Guerre

Turning the tide of war

Turning The Tide of War

  • Nov 1917, Bolsheviks, followers of Vladimir Lenin, violently overthrew Russia’s government.

  • Lenin promised peace with Germany if in control.

  • Germany aided his return from Switzerland

  • March 3, 1918 – Lenin made peace with Germany.

  • Freed Germany from two- front war

  • turned all energy toward French

  • British lines (broke through – 50 miles from Paris by June 3)

Americans save paris
Americans Save Paris

  • Brigadier General, James G. Harbord, stated “We dig no trenches to fall back on. The marines will hold where they stand.”

  • Blunted edge of German advance, began to turn the tide of war – lost ½ of troops

Allied counterattack
Allied Counterattack

  • Used new weapon… the tank

  • Aug. 8, Battle of Amiens, Allies stopped German advance once and for all.

  • Allies insisted on total surrender.

  • Allies used airplanes to drop bombs, aerial dogfights, “Aces”.

  • Bombing raids would become a devastating weapon in the future.


The red baron
The Red Baron

  • Rittmeister Manfred Albrecht Freiherr von Richthofen

  • In a time of wooden and fabric aircraft, when twenty air victories insured a pilot legendary status and the coveted Pour Le Mérite (the famous "Blue Max") , Richthofen had eighty victories, and is regarded to this day as the ace of aces.


Corporal alvin york

Corporal Alvin York

  • York, TN mountains, turkey hunter

  • Applied to be classified conscientious objector.

  • Someone who refuses to serve in the military because of religious beliefs, denied, drafted.

  • Took part in Meuse-Argonne offensive (final allied assault – 1 million AEF)

  • Patrol tried to destroy German machine gun nest.

  • lost ½ troops the remainder took cover

  • York continued on his own.

  • killed 25 and captured 132 German soldiers

  • (Congressional Medal of Honor – French Croix de Guerre)

Ending the war

Ending the War

  • Armistice, or ceasefire – Kaiser fled to Holland

  • Nov 11, 1918 guns fell silent

  • 500,000 Americans died in Battle

  • Many more of disease…Influenza

  • (Red Cross – nurses reduced # a great deal)