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The Sinking of Lusitania and Unrestricted Submarine Warfare
The Sussex Pledge and the Zimmerman Note
US Enters World War I
On May 7, 1915, a German U-boat torpedoed and sank the Lusitania, a British ocean liner where almost 1,100 perished including 120 Americans. The Germans responded with unrestricted submarine warfare in which submarines sinked vessels without warning.
The Sussex Pledge, written in 1916 by Germany to the US, let armed merchant ships, not passenger ships, to be torpedoed without warning. The Zimmerman Note, proposed a military alliance between Germany and Mexico if the US entered WWI against Germany.
On April 6, 1917, the U.S. joined its allies-Britain, France, and Russia-to fight in World War I.
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