The USA Responds Why, When, and How the United States joined the Allies in World War 1
The Somme, Ypres, Vimy Why was the US not involved? Somme Ypres Shell Shock Vimy Ridge
The War at Sea • Submarines: German U-Boat • The British navy was strong, but the Germans had a sneaky fleet of submarines that launched attacks on ships that approached Britain. They used torpedos. • Sinking of the Lusitania : May 2nd, 1915 • The Lusitania was a British passenger liner that was hit and sunk by a German U-Boat • Result = 1195 passengers were killed, including 198 American passengers. (All civilians) • The deaths of the American passengers outraged the American people • The Sussex Pledge: 1916 • The Sussex Pledge meant that German U-Boats had to warn ships before attacking them when they approached Britain • This pledge was demanded by US President Woodrow Wilson after the Germans attacked a French Passenger ship • US President Wilson demanded that Germany follow the Sussex Pledge, or else the USA would stop/cut trade with them
Why Did America Declare War on Germany? • Sussex Pledge Broken: February, 1917 • Germany broke the Sussex Pledge by resuming the unrestricted submarine warfare. • Germany declared they would attack and sink ANY ship that approached Britain (military, supply, passenger). • USA Declares War on Germany: April 6th, 1917 • USA broke diplomatic relations with Germany after they broke their promise regarding the Sussex Pledge • American passenger liner Housatonic sunk in February, 1917 & 4 American merchant ships were sunk in March, 1917 • April 2nd, 1917 President Woodrow Wilson delivers a pro war speech, that was favored by congress • April 6th, 1917 USA declares war on Germany
America Joins the War • When? • Declared war on April 6th, 1917, and arrived in Europe in the summer. • How Many? • 100, 000 men were ready when the US entered the war. • After President Wilson adopted conscription (draft), more than 2 million soldiers served on the battlefields of Western Europe. Death rate: over 50, 000. • The American Impact: • Mood: • American soldiers were fresh and not war weary • Economic: • Britain was spending millions on arms and supplies for the allies America entering the war stopped the allies from bankruptcy • Reinforcement: • US forces aided in holding back Germany’s “final push” on the Allies and the Western front • US presence was not only important on land in Europe, but also at sea in reinforcing Britain's naval blockade of Germany
British Naval Blockade • What Was it? • Between 1917 and 1918, the British navy blockaded German Sea ports, therefore ships could not enter or leave. • Effect • Result: supplies and food shortages to the point of severe rationing, both on the battlefield and at home. • Food: handouts of turnip, potatoes, and saw-dusty bread • Supplies: fuel shortages leading to power cuts, factories closing, transport no longer running • Germany was grinding to a halt, and the longer the war went on, the worse conditions became.
READ: • In your textbook, read: • Page 24, “War on the High Seas” • Page 36-37, “The Hundred Days, 1918”.