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America Enters WW1
Transcript of America Enters WW1
Was a major new invention that the Germans used very
effectively during WWI. They used their U-Boats in an
attempt to blockade, or prevent, ships delivering goods to
the British Isles.
The British were also trying to prevent ships full of supplies
from reaching Germany. Germany knew that they did not
have enough ships to fight the British face to face. Their
decision was to begin unrestricted submarine warfare. They
(1) The waters around Great Britain and Ireland, including the whole of the English Channel, are hereby declared to be a War Zone. From February 18 onwards every enemy merchant vessel encountered in this zone will be destroyed, nor will it always be possible to avert the danger thereby threatened to the crew and passengers. (2) Neutral vessels also will run a risk in the War Zone, because in view of the hazards of sea warfare and the British authorization of January 31 of the misuse of neutral flags, it may not always be possible to prevent attacks on enemy ships from harming neutral ships.
The Germans have warned they will sink any
ship they see in these areas without warning.
Some Germans felt that this approach would anger neutral countries like the US.
That is because there was no guarantee that their citizens would be safe if traveling
through the "war zone" by ship.
The Lusitania was a British passenger ship carrying people from New York to Britian.
Passengers getting on the ship were given this notice from the German Embassy.
The ship was believed to also be carrying war materials as well as people.
Travellers intending to embark on the Atlantic voyage are reminded that a state of war exists between Germany and her allies and Great Britain and her allies; that the zone of war includes the waters adjacent to the British Isles; that, in accordance with formal notice given by the Imperial German Government, vessels flying the flag of Great Britain, or any of her allies, are liable to destruction in those waters and that travellers sailing in the war zone on the ships of Great Britain or her allies do so at their own risk.
Imperial German Embassy
Washington, D.C. 22nd April 1915
On May 6, 1915 while sailing near Ireland, the Lusitania
was struck by torpedoes from a German U-Boat. The ship
quickly sunk killing 1,195 people, including 128 Americans.
The sinking of a passenger ship caused outrage around the
Prresident Wilson issued a warning to Germany saying they
would face "strict accountability" if they sank anymore US
passenger ships.Germany quickly realized the problems with
unrestricted submarine warfare. They told the world they
would no longer attack passenger ships or ships from neutral
Americans had also heard about how awfully the Germans
had treated the Belgian people. This angred Americans
because the Belgians had attempted to remain neutral.
Also American press had been telling a fairly pro-Allies side
to the war. This led to Americans developing a hatred of
Germany and German ideas.
Another huge problem was the Zimmerman Note....
By 1917, Germany realized they needed restart
unrestricting submarine warfare. But by doing this they
knew they would anger the US. So they sent a secret coded
message to Mexico. The Message said this....
The British intercepted the note and decoded it. They then
turned it over the the US. The note caused even more hatred
of the Germans in the US. The note also increased tension
with Mexico. Mexico and US were already angry with each
other at the time.
Mexico actually looked into accepting the proposal, but did
not because they said....
Zimmerman Note Cont.
1. This would mean war with a much stronger US.
2. The Germans promise of "generous financial backing" was an empty
promise. Mexico could not afford to buy new weapons.
3. Even if Mexico got the land back, it would be next to impossible to control
and subdue the large American populations living there.
Mexico would eventually formally decline the proposal after
the US declared war on the Germans.
Germany resumed attacking every ship it ran into near
Britian. Quickly they had sunk 5 American merchant ships.
Finally, the American people and government had enough.
US Declares War
On April 2, 1917, the US declared war on Germany. Wilson
said that the US was "going to make the world safe for
democracy" and it would be the "war to end all wars."