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US History - 19.2 - American Power Tips the Balance

USH 19.2


on 30 October 2013

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Transcript of US History - 19.2 - American Power Tips the Balance

American Power Tips the Balance
Raising an Army
Selective Service Act—men register, randomly chosen for service
African Americans in segregated units, excluded from navy, marines
Soldiers train for 8 months, often drill with fake weapons
Women in army, navy, marines as nurses secretaries, phone operators
Mass Production
To expand fleet to transport men, food, equipment to Europe, U.S.:
gives special status to shipyard workers
uses fabrication techniques
takes over commercial, private ships
U.S. Navy Contributions
Convoy system—destroyers escort merchant ships across Atlantic
losses drop dramatically
Navy helps lay mines across North Sea, keep U-boats out of Atlantic
1918, Germans have difficulty replacing boats, trained submariners
Fighting in Europe
After 2 1/2 years fighting, Allied forces are exhausted, demoralized
American troops bring numbers, freshness, enthusiasm
Doughboys in Europe
General John J. Pershing leads American Expeditionary Force
soldiers impressed by cities, shocked by battle
New Weapons
By 1917, British learn to use tanks to clear path for infantry
Early planes flimsy, only do scouting; later ones stronger, faster
carry machine gun, heavy bomb loads
American ace Eddie Rickenbacker, other pilots in dogfights
Observation balloons used extensively, prime target of ace pilots
New Problems of War
New weapons and tactics lead to horrific injuries, hazards
Troops amidst filth, pests, polluted water, poison gas, dead bodies
Constant bombardment, battle fatigue produce “shell shock”
Physical problems include dysentery, trench foot, trench mouth
Allies Stop German Advance
Russia pulls out of war 1917; Germans shift armies to western front
come within 50 miles of Paris
Americans help stop German advance, turn tide against Central Powers
American War Hero
Conscientious objector—person who opposes war on moral grounds
Originally a conscientious objector, Alvin York decides WWI is just
Alone kills 25 Germans; with 6 others, captures 132 prisoners
Promoted to sergeant; becomes U.S. celebrity
The Collapse of Germany
November 3, 1918, Austria-Hungary surrenders to Allies
German sailors, soldiers rebel; socialists establish German republic
kaiser gives up throne
Germans exhausted; armistice, or truce, signed November 11, 1918
The Final Toll
World War I bloodiest war in history to date
22 million total dead
11 million soldiers dead
11 million civilians dead
20 million more are wounded
10 million people become refugees
Estimated economic costs were over 338 billion dollars
Trench Foot
Standing in wet boots for long periods of time. Feet would start to rot. Only solution: amputation.
Trench Mouth
Painful infection of the gums and mouth.
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