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Old March 1st, 2014, 11:26 PM   #21
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Had the Germans not done everything in its power to get us to jump in
The British stirred things up both with the Zimmermann telegram and submarine warfare, but the German handled it all really badly.

The Germans had awful diplomacy and intelligence in both world wars. They had a real arrogant attitude. They had the best military and were strong in industry and technology, but they didn't really know how to run an empire the way the British and other older imperial powers did.
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Old March 2nd, 2014, 07:08 AM   #22

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Quote:
Originally Posted by betgo View Post
The British stirred things up both with the Zimmermann telegram and submarine warfare, but the German handled it all really badly.

The Germans had awful diplomacy and intelligence in both world wars. They had a real arrogant attitude. They had the best military and were strong in industry and technology, but they didn't really know how to run an empire the way the British and other older imperial powers did.
I continue to be amazed at the American attitude that the German army, devil his due: the victors on the Eastern Front against a still-emerging military-industrial state of Russia, was the "best military" of the Great War. Consider the tactics of Spring 1916 Verdun offensive before accepting the myth.

Franco-Prussian War of 1870 was in fact NOT a past performance that made a good indicator of future effectiveness.

Well, there will certainly be more debate on the forum before November 2018 to speak to tactics. Regarding the question of the thread, the Central Powers forced America into the war. The Zimmerman cable in retrospect seems almost too bumbling to be believed if it were presented as fiction.
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Old March 2nd, 2014, 08:21 AM   #23
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The United States should have joined the war, but despite the provocations by the central power, they should have attempted to join in a more neutral role than they did. Now most people today do not realize the fierce streak of independance that America preserved in their national character, in fact when we did join it was not as an "ally" but as an associate of the entente.

France and Britain wanted american man power, it was our insistence that our troops would not be under the command of foreign powers that led us to a different status than what was wanted by the entente.

Perhaps if both sides actually wanted an end to the war, the entente and the central powers would have respected a US buffer zone between the two sides and Wilsons plan for plebiscites could have been instituted, this could have allowed for peace with honor.
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Old March 2nd, 2014, 11:45 AM   #24
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I continue to be amazed at the American attitude that the German army, devil his due: the victors on the Eastern Front against a still-emerging military-industrial state of Russia, was the "best military" of the Great War. Consider the tactics of Spring 1916 Verdun offensive before accepting the myth.
Well it was pretty much Germany alone against Britain and France on the western front. Germany defeated Russia while its allies were defeated by Russia. The Entente powers controlled a huge portion of the world at the time, and Germany fought them almost alone.
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Old March 2nd, 2014, 11:54 AM   #25

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Germany bled the allies white on the Western Front. Granted there was tremendous loss of life on both sides, but the Germans were more than holding their own against the British/French. If not for the insane Ludendorff Offensive the Germans would've had an even more impressive "kill ratio".
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Old March 2nd, 2014, 07:42 PM   #26

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Quote:
Originally Posted by betgo View Post
The British stirred things up both with the Zimmermann telegram and submarine warfare, but the German handled it all really badly.

The Germans had awful diplomacy and intelligence in both world wars. They had a real arrogant attitude. They had the best military and were strong in industry and technology, but they didn't really know how to run an empire the way the British and other older imperial powers did.
I've never understood what the Germans were thinking when they pestered the US to enter the war. They were doing pretty well in Europe, and could have had much of it, but Zimmerman and submarine warfare against American ships sealed their doom. Goading another country with industrial resources and a large population to enter a war on the other guy's side seems like a metaphor for grandiose idiocy.
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Old March 2nd, 2014, 08:17 PM   #27
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The Germans were getting desperate. The British had declared the North Sea a war zone and blockaded the Germans, starving them. The Germans had before stopped unrestricted submarine warfare, but as the war dragged on, the writing started being written. So they resumed unrestricted submarine warfare in an attempt to prevent the Americans from trading with Britain. The Zimmerman telegraph also didn't help. It just showed that Germany was really desperate.
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Old March 2nd, 2014, 08:52 PM   #28
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They undertook unrestricted submarine warfare because they were losing. There economy was suffering and they needed a way to win, they felt they would not win the land war in France and so decided to try to use submarine warfare to break the deadlock. They knew it could well bring the USA into the war, but believed it would take over a year for the USA to bring any effective force to France (which was more in less right) they just failed to bring Britain to its knees within their expected time frame.
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Old March 2nd, 2014, 08:55 PM   #29

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I thought another factor was that the Allies looked like they'd loose and as a result be unable to repay their massive war debt to the US.
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Old March 2nd, 2014, 10:37 PM   #30
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Can I just point out that Mexico was in the middle of a brutal civil war, the US had only a year before invaded the place (Pancho Villa Expedition), and Arthur Zimmermann was the civilian Foreign Secretary in a country where foreign policy was dominated by the military? Regardless of whether the telegram was genuine (I think it probably was), anyone who took it as anything more than the ramblings of a man who clearly had no grasp on the situation in North America at the time was, quite frankly, insane.
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