America and World War I
World War I was a world conflict lasting from 1914 to 1919 (2006). Soon after the war began Britain, France, and their allies set up a naval blockade of Germany and Austria. The Wilson Administration complained bitterly that the blockade violated international law (2010). It was not the conventional surface vessels used by Britain and France to enforce its blockade that enraged Americans, but the German submarines used. When American ships were intercepted by the British, the crew treated well. German submarines attacked without warning, and passengers had little to no chance of surviving (2010).
While Wilson weighed his options regarding the submarine issue, ...view middle of the document...
On April 4, 1917, the U.S. Senate voted in support of the measure to declare war on Germany (2010). By the time the United States entered the war Americans knew that the price of victory would be high.
Defense during WWI was the use of trenches. Trenches were long and narrow ditches generally around two meters deep and two meters wide. Armies typically built three lines of trenches. The first trench was known as the front line. The front line was connected to communication trenches to move supplies, equipment, and men forward, without exposure. The second line was the support trench. The last trench was the reserve trench. Here, the reserve troops could amass for a counter-attack, if the first two trenches were occupied (2008).
The trenches of World War One were not hygienic. Men could not wash themselves in the trenches as their availability to running water was extremely limited. In the cramped trenches, many parasites thrived. The worst of these were rodents. Rats gorged themselves on human remains and grew to massive sizes. Rats were not the only parasites cohabitating the trenches. Lice were also an issue. Lice were hard to get rid of and they caused soldiers to itch.
Another severe aspect of the trenches were the weather conditions. Most trenches were cold, muddy and depressing. Many soldiers died from exposure to the cold temperatures in the winter as they often fell below zero.
Dead bodies littered the trenches as burials did not usually occur. Death was a constant companion of the soldiers, and they had no time to bury the multitudes of corpses.
The Second Battle of the Marne ran from 15 July to 4 August 1918, in the final year of the war. This was Germany’s final attempt at breakthrough on the Western Front prior to the arrival of ever-increasing U.S. troops on the battlefield (2009). Over...