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American intervention was the proverbial feather that broke Germany's back. Germany had actually fought well in WWI, fending off the Russian empire in the East and, though not winning in the West, was definitely holding its own against England and France. It was the 'scale tipper'

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8y ago
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8y ago

It provided the Allies with numerical and economic superiority that would have eventually broke the stalemate of trench warfare. Germany surrendered to avoid being invaded as a result.

Undoubtedly, yes. It's possible the Allies would have won without the US, but it would have taken longer, and it's far from a sure thing. All the countries involved were exhausted with fighting. Most of their young men were dead. France, for example, had 100% conscription. Every man between 18 and 40 was fighting, unless he was horribly deformed, even priests, and teachers. Everyone. And had been for three years.

Civilians on both sides were starving. Go to your local library and check out some books with pictures of the German children. They were terribly deformed from malnutrition. The soldiers were actually slightly better fed than civilians, but they were still hungrey all the time. Both sides were exhausted. I believe in 1917 the French and Germans had something like half a million casualties, and the total area won during the year was measured in yards. Let's not forget the Canadians, either, who fought early and well, suffering some terrible casualties during the war.

Both sides were low on ammunition from the very beginning (especially the Allies) and had to ration their rounds, so much per day. British politicians during the first few months actually suggested the men were intentionally wasting rounds! Of course, the truth was this war was unlike any previous war in history, and no one was prepared for the carnage of modern weapons -- or the cost to produce the weapons, and feed the armies.

The infusion of fresh, well fed fighting American fighting men was a teriffic boost, although at first they were untrained and the French had to equip them. The promise of ammunition, tanks, food and other supplies from the US (when they could get geared up for production) was a big boost, too. Overall, however, the biggest European reaction to US involvementwas, and remains, WHAT TOOK YOU SO LONG?

And why was there a war at all? The war was originally started as a result of a few events: Originally the war was between Serbia and Austria-Hungry. Germany (Ally of Austria-Hungry) and Russia (Ally of Serbia) later joined, bringing their allies into the war. This was sparked by the assassination of Franz Ferdinand.

The war would probably have been lost if the Americans hadn't been dragged in as the Ludendorff offense was extremely close to conquering Paris and was effective in breaking the stalemate of trench warefare. The Russians having left the war was another reason the American's were essential to the win. The fresh troops, money supply and the fresh moral they brought were all valuable resources.
The war had been going on for years and the soldiers were tired and wore out. In 1917, when the U. S. entered the war, the U. S. soldiers were full of energy to fight which tipped the scales allowing the Allies to win.


Both sides were exhausted and demoralized at the time of the US entry. The Americans were able to put a million fresh soldiers into the Allied armies in just a few months, which greatly improved the morale of the Allies and demoralized the Germans and Austrians further. In addition, Americans were supplying their own troops, relieving the burdens born by the British and French.

There were a number of other issues that helped end the war besides the American presence. One important tactical change was the introduction of tanks, which added greatly to Allied power, but did not help the Germans much, if at all. Other problems included loss of political will in Germany and to an even greater degree in Austria. Also, the German and Austrian economic situation was deteriorating so rapidly that inflation was out of control, to the point that towns had begun printing their own currency.

I think it is fair to say the Allies quite possibly would have won the war without an American presence, but it would have been a struggle, and it would have been long and hard. I doubt the Germans and Austrians could have won.

There is a link below to an article on the First World War, opening at its section on the American entry.

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15y ago

a very big effect. Germany was about at their end of men and supplies. when US forces entered the war, Germany knew their end was near as the US had an almost endless source of men and materials, whereas the Germans did not..........

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13y ago

American contribution to WWI forced Germany to go back to Germany. The U.S. were allies with Great Britain, The Ottoman Empire, and the Russian Empire. Germany blew up Great Britain's ship Lucitania. The US was hesitant to join the war, and wanted to stay out of it, because they didn't want to choose a side. After Great Britain intercepted a message from Germany to Mexico telling Mexico to join the war so they can gain land from the US, GB sent it to the US. This and the Lusitania forced the US to join the war. After Russia exited the war Germany finally had a chance to conquer France. Becuase we joined there were fresh forces and money allowing for the Allies to continue the war.

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Q: How did the US entry into World War 1 affect the outcome of the war?
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