Presentation on theme: "World War I Part 3 “Over There”. After war was declared, the War Department asked the Senate for $3 billion in arms and other supplies. It took some time."— Presentation transcript:
World War I Part 3 “Over There”
After war was declared, the War Department asked the Senate for $3 billion in arms and other supplies. It took some time to also recruit and train the troops. More than 2 million American troops eventually made their way to France. As these fresh troops poured in, they gave a much-needed boost to the weary allies.
Hard Times for the Allies When the first Americans arrived in June, 1917, allied troops were ill and exhausted. Many civilians in both France and Great Britain were near starvation. A second Russian revolution led by Lenin brought the Communists to power. The communists wanted to create a classless society.
Communists led by Vladimir Lenin led a second revolution in Russia, and wanted to create a classless society.
The Communists felt the war was only helping those in the ruling class, so they signed a peace treaty with the Germans called the “Treaty of Brest- Litovsk”. The allies felt very betrayed by the Russians. German troops fighting in the east could now be moved west.
The Germans now decide to make a “peace offensive”, and push toward Paris to end the war before America can make a difference. Although the allies put up a fight, German forces smash through their lines, and by late May of 1918, are only 50 miles from Paris.
Americans in France By June of 1918, hundreds of thousands of Americans were reaching France. The allies wanted them to replace their weary troops, but John J. Pershing refused. He wanted the Americans to operate as a separate unit. This would let America have a role in peace negotiations after the war. Some troops did fight under other allies.
Harlem Hell Fighters in Action The United States allowed few blacks to train for combat. Most blacks served as laborers, cargo handlers, and waiters. The French were more willing to fight with blacks. The 369 th U.S. Infantry was made up of blacks, and was fired upon more than any other American unit.
Final Battles In June of 1918, as the Germans advanced, the French were ready to evacuate Paris. The first major battle the Americans took part in, “The Battle of Belleau Wood”, raged for 3 long weeks. However, the U.S. Marine Corps held its ground after refusing to dig trenches to fall back into.
In mid-July, the Germans launched another attack toward Paris. They were able to push the allies back until they hit the American forces. In three days, the tide of the war was turned in the allies favor. The allies now go on the offensive, and aim to push the Germans back toward Germany.
Battle of the Argonne Forest On September 26, more than a million U.S. forces pushed into the forest, which was covered with trenches, pocked with shell marks, and smelled of poison gas from previous fighting. The land was also covered with ravines and hills which was perfect for German defense.
At first, the Americans advanced despite heavy enemy fire. Heavy rains and thick woods slowed them for a time. Small units advanced to capture key German positions. Finally, after 47 days, the Americans defeated the Germans but at a high cost. Both sides suffered more than 100,000 casualties (dead and wounded).
Peace at Last! By October, the Germans sent a message to President Wilson asking for an armistice, which is an agreement to stop fighting. Wilson set two conditions: First, Germany must accept his peace plan, and second, the German kaiser (emperor) had to give up power.
Germany faced problems as sailors rebelled, and revolutions were simmering in German cities. German troops were losing ground. The German emperor was forced to resign, and he fled to Holland. The war ended at 11:00 on November 11, The 11 th hour of the 11 th day of the 11 th month.
The Costs of War Between million people died in battle. More than 20 million soldiers were wounded. Germany, alone, lost about 2 million men. Much of northern France was destroyed. More than 4 million allied soldiers died. Millions of Germans were near starvation. The United States lost over 50,000 men. An influenza epidemic hit millions worldwide.