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Old March 6th, 2014, 06:06 PM   #41

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Originally Posted by minjaewolfjoy View Post
First off, unrestricted submarine warfare threatened US trade and its allies like Britain. Second, the Zimmermann Telegraph didn't help either. The US would have joined the war even if the above didn't happen because they were always supportive of Britain.
If U.S. Cargo ships were not attacked by German U-Boats and the Zimmermann telegraph never happened then the U.S. would have stayed out of World War 1. We would not have had a reason to declare war on Germany, Ottoman Empire, Austria-Hungary and Bulgaria. The United States would have remained with the isolationism policy.
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Old March 6th, 2014, 06:37 PM   #42

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Originally Posted by Emperor Trajan View Post
If U.S. Cargo ships were not attacked by German U-Boats and the Zimmermann telegraph never happened then the U.S. would have stayed out of World War 1. We would not have had a reason to declare war on Germany, Ottoman Empire, Austria-Hungary and Bulgaria. The United States would have remained with the isolationism policy.
Pedantic interruption follows:

I am pretty sure that America never was legally at war with Bulgaria. According to Churchill's history of the war, during 1918 the American consulate in Sofia was actively involved in the politics which ultimately resulted in the abdication of the Bulgarian King.

End of nit pick.
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Old March 7th, 2014, 03:30 PM   #43
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I don't agree about the stated reasons the US went to war being the main reasons. However, Germany certainly could have tried harder to avoid war, given it was catastrophic for it if the US joined the Entente side.

It seems like they were looking to start war with everyone. It is possible that France and Britain would join the war in 1914, but there was no need to attack France while fighting Russia at the same time, and do it in a way that made it more likely Britain would join the war.
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Old March 8th, 2014, 04:17 AM   #44

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I don't agree about the stated reasons the US went to war being the main reasons.
What are your reasons then?
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Old March 22nd, 2014, 03:03 PM   #45

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Originally Posted by Meniken View Post
Hello there, since my thread here did not seem to attract a lot of attention I am gonna try here by creating a debate, if that is alright.

Should the United States of America have joined the first world war on the side of the entente, or should it have stayed passive?
The US was right to come in for the sake of itself, the allies and the Free World
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Old March 22nd, 2014, 04:06 PM   #46

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The US was a huge supplier of weapons and other goods to the Entente which were also financed by US banks...
I don't think that is correct. I'm going strictly on memory here, but I believe American industry wasn't properly tooled up until the war was over, forcing Britain and France to supply many of her logistical needs during the conflict.

In addition, as late as 1916, US firms were also contracting with the Germans. When the Deutschland blockade runner was in Baltimore, she was visited by an American industrialist who signed a contract with representatives of Lloyd to construct more German cargo submarines in the US. None were ultimately built however.
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Old March 24th, 2014, 01:29 AM   #47
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Originally Posted by Tercios Espanoles View Post
I don't think that is correct. I'm going strictly on memory here, but I believe American industry wasn't properly tooled up until the war was over, forcing Britain and France to supply many of her logistical needs during the conflict.

In addition, as late as 1916, US firms were also contracting with the Germans. When the Deutschland blockade runner was in Baltimore, she was visited by an American industrialist who signed a contract with representatives of Lloyd to construct more German cargo submarines in the US. None were ultimately built however.
From U.S. ENTRY INTO WORLD WAR I: INTERNAL FACTORS

Value of U.S. Exports:
1914 - $ 824.8 million to Allies
1914 - $ 169.3 million to C. Powers

1916 - $ 3,200.0 million to Allies
1916 - $ 1.2 million to C. Powers


Value of U.S. loans by 1917:
$ 2,500 million to Allies
$ 27 million to Central Powers
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Old March 24th, 2014, 04:13 AM   #48
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hans321 View Post
From U.S. ENTRY INTO WORLD WAR I: INTERNAL FACTORS

Value of U.S. Exports:
1914 - $ 824.8 million to Allies
1914 - $ 169.3 million to C. Powers

1916 - $ 3,200.0 million to Allies
1916 - $ 1.2 million to C. Powers


Value of U.S. loans by 1917:
$ 2,500 million to Allies
$ 27 million to Central Powers
That's food, manufactured goods and ammunition, but not weapons. The US could ship millions of troops to Europe, but these had to be primarly armed by France, using the produce of French arms industries.
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Old March 24th, 2014, 04:21 AM   #49

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I don't agree with using the American dislike of German submarines as a motive for war. Here's a paper I wrote on the topic:

In 1914, the most brutal war the world had yet seen raged through Europe. The Allies, led by Britain, France, and Russia, fought a brutal war against the Central Powers, headed by Kaiser Wilhelm’s Germany and the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Desperate, the Central Powers knew that they could only win the war by defeating Britain. However, like Napoleon I and Philip II before them, they ran into an insurmountable obstacle: the Royal Navy. Britain was blessed to be an island, mandating that any would-be invader would have to defeat the British in their element in order to have any chance of landing an army. The unquestioned ruler of the sea had already decisively defeated Germany at the Battle of Jutland, ending any hopes that the Kaiser had entertained of a direct invasion of Britain. Faced with this setback, Germany decided to turn the Crown’s greatest strength against her: her geography. As a small island, Britain had relatively few natural resources, certainly not enough to have maintained the sort of industrialized war effort that the Great War demanded. Britain ruled the waves, so the Kaiser struck under them. He unleashed a fleet of submarines in an effort to sink sufficient British imports that the Crown would be starved into submission. Submarines had never before been used on a large scale, so the British were utterly unprepared to confront this new threat. The effects were nothing short of devastating. In April 1917, the high tide of the submarine war, German submarines sunk 860,000 tons of British merchant shipping alone in a single month.
Desperate to save themselves, the British resorted to a number of tactics of questionable morality. They began to falsely fly the flags of other nations upon their transports and smuggled weapons and ammunition aboard passenger liners, ships traditionally viewed as outside the realm of legitimate military targets. By doing this, the British put the lives of genuine innocents at risk. One could not blame a starved dog for attacking a child who teased it with hamburger! Understandably, the German Naval Command decided to take steps to neutralize this treachery. If London could play dirty, so could Berlin. The submarines began sinking all vessels headed into British waters, not just those flying the Union Jack. In an attempt to lessen the moral indignation caused by photographs of German vessels firing upon neutral recreational ships, the various German embassies warned the citizens of neutral nations (including the United States) to refrain from sailing aboard ships headed into British waters. Unfortunately, many Americans dismissed these warnings as empty bluster from a nation that knew it was losing. On May 7th, 1915, the Lusitania, a British passenger liner, was sunk in fifteen minutes by a single German torpedo. 128 Americans died alongside 1,050 citizens of other nations. Despite the fact that the Lusitania had carried a cargo of weapons and gold, America was outraged. With many calling for war with Germany, the Kaiser reluctantly ordered a cessation to the “sink-on-sight” campaign, preferring to target only ships flying the British flag. The benefits that came with the reduction of British shipping were far outweighed by the threat of war with America. As soon as the Kaiser announced this, the Lord of the Admiralty commanded that over thirty percent of all British military shipping be conducted under neutral flags.
Almost a year later, a German submarine torpedoed the Sussex, a French vessel. Two Americans were injured aboard, but both survived. Despite the fact that France and Germany were openly at war (and so Sussex was a legitimate target), President Wilson openly threatened war with Germany unless the Germans stopped sinking all non-warships. Again, the Kaiser caved. He signed the Sussex pledge, promising an end to attacks on civilian vessels. However, Germany was unable to keep this promise. The Kaiser knew that Germany would lose the war unless Britain could be starved into submission, so he decided to risk the wrath of America and resume attacks on all vessels sailing into British waters. Hearing this, President Wilson ordered the arming of U.S. merchant ships headed for Britain. In March of 1917, submarines sank five armed U.S. merchant ships in British waters. Making good on his threat, Wilson declared war.
America’s intervention in World War One was a tragedy of her own making. President Wilson preached neutrality out of one side of his mouth and at the same time threatened the Germans for sinking legitimate targets that Americans had willing chosen to sail aboard. The Germans had taken the unprecedented step of warning the citizens of an allegedly neutral nation that they risked coming under fire by sailing aboard British vessels, and yet Wilson condemned them for violating the laws of war. According to the laws of war, a neutral government is under no obligation to protect those of its citizens who voluntarily put themselves in the path of danger. Under normal circumstances, Wilson would have been right to protest the Kaiser’s actions, but he knew full well that the Crown had deliberately attempted to use civilians as shields for its weapons. Today, we blame the Taliban for doing this, so why should we treat the British differently? Instead of preaching a noble crusade for the “freedom of the seas”, Wilson should have asked himself which side really represented that ideal. If he had, 126,000 Americans might have lived.
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Old March 24th, 2014, 06:17 AM   #50
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Read the rules about naval warfare at the time.
[ame="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prize_rules"]Prize rules - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia[/ame]

Merchant ships even british, even carrying arms still were required to subject to the Prize Rules. German was willfully trampling on them. Britian was not.

Most navies in a similar position might well have pursed similar policies to the German Submarine campaign in ww1 (Jackie Fisher would have no qualms about pursuing a similar campaign if he thought it necessary)

But amongst most of the Politicians and certainly the public the advent of unrestricted submarine was a brutal shock.

Germany had signed treaties in 1857, 1900 and 1908 the stipulated that submarines were subject to prize rules.

Britian was certainly contravening the rules by it's own interpretation of the blockade rules, and the US did seriously complain about the blockade. But the German violations were killing civilians, the British were not.

The US has also demanded special treatment of it's citizens abroad, the Germans were sinking ships illegally by the conventions of War as they applied at the time. That the US demanded that German cease these actions is not something out of character when general US behavior at the time.
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