#1 The Lusitania - In early 1915, Germany introduced a policy of unrestricted submarine warfare in the Atlantic. This meant U-Boats were hunting and sinking merchant shipping without warning. The RMS Lusitania left New York on 1st May 1915, bound for Liverpool. On 7th May it was spotted off the coast of Ireland by U-20 and torpedoed. Of 1,962 passengers, 1,198 lost their lives. Among the dead were 128 Americans, causing widespread outrage in the US. Click To Edit#1 The Lusitania - In early 1915, Germany introduced a policy of unrestricted submarine warfare in the Atlantic. This meant U-Boats were hunting and sinking merchant shipping without warning. The RMS Lusitania left New York on 1st May 1915, bound for Liverpool. On 7th May it was spotted off the coast of Ireland by U-20 and torpedoed. Of 1,962 passengers, 1,198 lost their lives. Among the dead were 128 Americans, causing widespread outrage in the US. Help Insert ParagraphUndoes the last commandRedoes the last commandTabUntabSet a bold styleSet a italic styleSet a underline styleSet a strikethrough styleClean a styleSet left alignSet center alignSet right alignSet full alignToggle unordered listToggle ordered listOutdent on current paragraphIndent on current paragraphChange current block's format as a paragraph(P tag)Change current block's format as H1Change current block's format as H2Change current block's format as H3Change current block's format as H4Change current block's format as H5Change current block's format as H6Insert horizontal rulelinkDialog.show Summernote 0.8.11 · Project · Issues
Germany’s U-Boat Submarine Warfare Resumes - In March 1916, a German U-boat torpedoed a French passenger ship. Sussex, kills dozens of people. Afterward, the U.S. threatened to cut diplomatic ties with Germany. In response, the Germans issued the Sussex pledge, promising to stop attacking merchant and passenger ships without warning. However, on January 31, 1917, the Germans reversed course, announcing they would resume unrestricted submarine warfare, reasoning it would help them win the war before America. They could join the fighting on behalf of the Allies. In response, the U.S. severed diplomatic ties with Germany.
Remember Belgium - Following Germany’s invasion of neutral Belgium in 1914, stories began to circulate about atrocities committed against Belgian civilians. These stories, both true and exaggerated, were seized upon for propaganda. So-called “atrocity propaganda” spread far and wide, painting the Germans as a barbaric nation bent on ruthless, indiscriminate destruction. This propaganda was soon sweeping the US, firing anti-German sentiment.
American Loans - The US had a vested financial interest in the outcome of the war in Europe. American businesses and banks made huge loans to the Allies. If they didn’t win then they were unlikely to get their money back.
Reintroduction of Unrestricted Submarine Warfare - Germany resumed unrestricted submarine warfare in 1917. Knowing they risked provoking the United States into joining the war, Germany gambled on defeating the British before the US had a chance to mobilize. During February and March, several US cargo vessels were Sunk without warning, resulting in the United States severing diplomatic ties with Berlin.
The Zimmerman Telegram - In January 1917, the German diplomatic representative in Mexico received a secret telegram penned by German Foreign Secretary Arthur Zimmerman. It proposed a secret alliance between Germany and Mexico, should the United States enter the war. If the Central Powers were to win, Mexico would be free to annex territory in New Mexico, Texas, and Arizona. Unfortunately for Germany, the telegram was intercepted by the British and decrypted by Room 40. The British passed the document to Washington and it appeared on the front page of American newspapers on 1st March.