HSC Modern History Turning Points

Topics: Allies, World War I, Co-belligerence Pages: 8 (1628 words) Published: November 9, 2013
3. Turning points
Impacts of the entry of the USA and of the Russian withdrawal ENTRY OF USA
Traditionally, US had maintained a policy of isolationism to avoid involvement in Euro conflict Entered war on the side of the Allies 6th April 1917. Declared ‘Peace without Victory’ and tried to act as mediator earlier in war but rejected by both sides. Reason for Entering:

1. G U-boat warfare in January 1917 alienated public opinion a. Sinking of Sussex and Lusitania (May 7th 1915) – 1000+ people died 100+ of which were American b. 200+ US merchant ships were sunk by G vessels in April 1917 2. Public opinion had become anti-German

a. Fuelled by Allies propaganda
b. Germans vicious attacks on B, F and atrocities it has committed, i.e. developed use of gas 3. Zimmerman Telegram
a. Intervened by Britain
b. G promised Mexico they would help M reclaim lost US states of New Mexico, Arizona and Texas if M became G ally if US entered war against G. 4. US had financial and commercial interests within the Allies whilst trade and loans with G stopped. a. Munitions, steels, explosives

Impact on Entering:
Immediate impacts:
Immediately put Allies at an advantageous position
Morale significantly boosted
New human resources available
American Expeditionary force
Headed by John J. Pershing
Found under US command leaders
Cooperated with the Allied Forces
Human supplies of ½ million US troops for battle weary F and UK troops (did not display presence until 1918) 4 million Allied troops with joint US troops against 2.5 million G troops  Key role in Spring Offence and broke the Hindenburg Line Availability of extended loans

Impact was slow as US was not prepared for war for years prior to its involvement Its stockpile of weapons was limited and outdated
Supply of Naval Power
Naval policies had serious impact on G as it shifted balance of power in Atlantic Sea Cooperative and effective relations and cooperation between US and UK navies Convoy system
Organised the Mine barrage across the North Sea
US declares war on G
Another ½ m troops to fight against
U boat warfare would become redundant and a strain on G
Forces G to shift all military divisions to WF
Huge declines in morale
Offensive actions failed
Spring Offensive doesn’t succeed in goals
Hindenburg line is broken
Allies at an even more advantageous position that before
4m troops against 2.5m G troops
Reasons for Withdrawal:
Russia faced a Revolution
Romanov Dynasty fell  Tsar Nicholas abdicated 2nd March 1917 Complete social, economic and political chaos
Huge losses in the war
National famine
Public discontent, riots, mass demonstrations
Poor supply of food, ammo, boots
Troops and civilian population severely demoralised
Provisional government failed to put an end to the war immediately

New government led by Lenin, Bolshevik Party – strongly opposed a “capitalist war” and seized their power by ending the war and making peace with G Withdrew in 1917
Armistice with G 16 December 1917-
Treaty of Brest-Litovsk March 3, 1918
Lenin demanded “peace without annexations or indemnities” (based on right to self-determination) G made other demands, Very harsh on Russia: Historian Spencer Tucker says, "The German General Staff had formulated extraordinarily harsh terms that shocked even the German negotiator." Advanced on R 18th Feb 1918 forcing R to sign

Considered a national humiliation
Cost: 34% of population
89% of coal mines
32% of agriculture land
25% of European territory including Poland, Ukraine
Paid 300 million roubles for reparation of Russian prisoners “A peace which Russia grinding its teeth, is forced to accept” – Bolshevik Delegate Impact of Withdrawal:
Great despair amongst allies
They felt betrayed by R
Anxiously anticipated the future
G war on two fronts over, more pressure on allies
Revitalised G Spring offensive in 1918...
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