America's Greatest Blunder
The Fateful Decision to Enter World War One
Burton Yale Pines
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Entering World War One against Germany was America’s greatest blunder of the 20th century. America had no reason to join the devastating and stalemated three-year-old European struggle. The two million doughboys, as they affectionately were called, whom America sent to the Western Front shattered the battlefield stalemate and won the war. This allowed Britain and France to impose a devastating peace on Germany, thus igniting toxic German cries for revenge.
Absent America’s entry into the war, the exhausted belligerents almost certainly would have been forced—by the mounting food and other shortages on their home fronts, by their looming economic bankruptcies, by the plunging morale and rising restlessness of their populations and by the fast-dwindling supply of fresh manpower for their armies—to drag themselves, however distastefully, to a negotiating table. There they would have ended the conflict as all of Europe’s continent-wide wars had been ended since the Thirty Years War of 1618-1648, by compromises and tradeoffs. There would have been no victor, no vanquished, no punishing Versailles Treaty, no reparations, no German demands for revenge – and thus no Hitler and surely no World War Two and even no Cold War.
The tale of how America stumbled into the war is told by America’s Greatest Blunder. It chronicles how America abandoned sensible neutrality, how British anti-German propaganda in America succeeded and German propaganda failed, how America mobilized an army of millions while igniting “white hot” fervor of patriotism at home to back the war, how America’s doughboys won the war, why the armistice and peace broke America’s promises to Germany and how the war could have ended differently had America not entered.
But, of course, America did enter and so doing helped launch the young century on its course of decades of unprecedented violence.
In the pages of America’s Greatest Blunder you’ll find… Why and how America and President Woodrow Wilson abandoned neutrality and slid into World War One Why Germany was not threatening America’s security How America and its two million Army and Marine Corps doughboys won the war Why, without America’s entry into the war, there would have been a negotiated, compromise peace. There would have been no victor, no vanquished, no punishing Versailles Treaty, no German demands for revenge and thus no Hitler and surely no World War Two and even no Cold War. How the doughboys were formed into the huge American Expeditionary Force – the AEF – and trained for combat on the Western Front, fighting what became the legendary battles of Cantigny, Belleau Wood, St. Mihiel and the brutal Meuse-Argonne How Britain and France tried to take away control of U.S. troops from American commander in chief General John J. Pershing How America mobilized its economy for the war Why the fighting may have ended too soon for America and General Pershing Why Germany launched submarine warfare Why the Armistice and Versailles Treaty broke America’s promises to Germany How British anti-German propaganda in America succeeded (deceiving and misleading Americans) while German propaganda failed How Woodrow Wilson at the Versailles Conference was outmaneuvered by Britain’s David Lloyd George and France’s Georges Clemenceau Why Germans trusted America and Woodrow Wilson Why Woodrow Wilson at times favored a battlefield deadlock rather than a British/French victory How America’s victory set the 20th century on its tragic course