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How Important Was The Entry Of The Usa To The Outcome Of The First World War?

1283 words - 6 pages

How important was the entry of the USA to the outcome of the First World War?
In 1918 over 1,600,000 American troops crossed the Atlantic over to Europe to help the Allies beat the Germans at the western front. The new fresh troops were well-fed and made a big difference at some of the last battles in the First World War. Many people would argue that the entry of the US was the most important factor to the end of the war. The Allies ‘outfought’ the Germans on the western front with help of the new soldiers to end the war of attrition. However, this traditional view might not have taken many other factors into account. Other factors such as Allied tactics and technology, Germany’s internal ...view middle of the document...

Russia had pulled out because of its civil war and had signed the treaty of Brest-Litovsk with the Germans. This not only gave Germany lots of land and resources, but also many battle-hardened troops that joined in the western front. This gave Germany a massive boost and a hope of victory. The Ludendorff Offensive was an attacking tactic to break up the British and the French and then to finish them off separately. If the Germans would reach Paris then they would have won the war. The Germans launched a massive attack and with the help of many storm troopers they advanced 64 km, within 40 km of Paris. This offensive was one last effort using all their supplies and energy. However, the supplies could not keep up and as a result the attack slowed down. The Allies just held on and the Germans were stopped. After the Ludendorff offensive the Germans were on the back foot until the end of the war. They had hardly any supplies and munitions left and this also made it easier for the allies. The failure of the Ludendorff offensive left the Germans in a very bad state and eventually leading into defeat.
However, Germany’s internal collapse had not just happened by chance. Throughout the war Germany and Britain had been trying to stop the food supply to each other with navy blockades. It was a race who could starve the other one first. This was easier for Britain as Germany did not have as many sea ports as Britain. The British started to ration first and this led to her beating Germany for food by six weeks. (ie If the war would have lasted another 6 weeks, Germany could have won.)Britain used her navy to attack German sea ports. They formed a blockade from Britain to Norway. This led to some battles and the eventual success when Germany’s food ran out. It seems as this is a large factor to the end of the war.
Germany used many U-boats. In the Atlantic they would torpedo any ship. This was risky as the chance of hitting an American cruiser was quite likely. America had been more likely to join Germany in the war as there were many Germans living in the US. However, Germany torpedoed an American ship, the Lusitania which aroused Americans. After more American lives were lost by German U-boats, America declared war on Germany.
Perhaps one of the biggest factors to the end of the war, was the Allied technology improvement from the start of the war. For the first time in 1918 Foch was able to co-ordinate all the British and the French forces on the western front. This unified command was a big step...

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