The sending of American soldiers to the European military theater began only in June 1917 of the year, and in October 1917 of the year only one American division took up positions at the front. By this time, about 1 million people were called up for the US Army. In the summer of 1918, the US Congress several times expanded the military contingent. According to the law of 31 August 1918, all men between the ages of 18 and 45 were subject to registration. The number of registered people reached 24 million, which was up to 44% of the male population of the country.
The human resources of the United States were determined at that time 2,5 times more than the human resources of Great Britain and France combined. However, during the entire war, the Americans actually called on about 4 million people, of which 2 million were transferred to Europe, and about 1,3 million American soldiers took part in the battles. The command of the American armed forces planned by the end of 1919 to increase the number of American soldiers in France by 2,5 times. In general, the US military machine should not be fully operational until the beginning of 1920. In particular, in July 1917, the United States allocated to Aviation 640 million dollars and planned to create an air force of 100 thousand people and 22 thousand aircraft. In the spring of 1918, the military department planned to build 16 large artillery plants and was planning to spend $ 2 billion on guns alone. However, these planes and guns did not reach the front, the war ended before this production was fully operational.
Thus, the United States managed to enter the war quite on time. The American soldiers escaped the most large-scale "meat grinders" 1914-1917, when hundreds of thousands of people were killed and injured on both sides. American troops avoided fighting with the German army when it was in full force. The American military escaped maximum deployment, when in the fall of 1918, it turned out that there was no longer a need for extensive military measures that were widely deployed in the United States.
Until the spring of 1918, the role of American troops in the European theater was so minimal that it could be overlooked. But in March of 1918, on critical days for the British army in Flanders and France, Lloyd George turned to Wilson with a request to strengthen the formation and transfer of American troops to Europe. The Allied Command believed that the United States should urgently prepare and ship 120 divisions across the Atlantic 40 thousand divisions each (immediately with recruits, reserves), which would have amounted to an army of 5 million people. Due to the lack of transport, the plan to transfer the American army had to be reduced by one third, but the reduced plan was a difficult task. The millionth army across the ocean has not yet been transferred. In addition, when the USA entered the war, the German submarine forces could attack the sea route from America to Europe. In 1917, the German submarine fleet caused serious damage to the Entente. The newly built ships have not yet compensated for the sunken ones. Meanwhile, it was necessary to transfer not only soldiers, but various military cargoes across the ocean. Each American soldier deployed to Europe accounted for an average of 25 kg of cargo per day.
Therefore, the Americans took fundamental measures to ensure the safety of maritime communications. As they said in the USA - “they built a bridge to France”. The American fleet did not participate in the battles and blockade of Germany, it was involved in the protection of transports that went to Europe. The United States and England have made significant progress in developing anti-submarine defense. In particular, on the initiative of American military circles, including Assistant Secretary of the Sea Franklin Roosevelt (future US President), an exit from the North Sea to the ocean was mined from the coast of Norway to the northeastern capes of Scotland. 70 thousand mines blocked the path at a distance of over 400 km. More than 80% of mines were produced in America and laid in the North Sea from American ships fleet. At the end of 1917, the transportation of troops from America to France amounted to 50 thousand soldiers a month, in May 1918 it was 245 thousand people, in July - more than 305 thousand people. Since that time, an average of about 10 thousand soldiers were sent overseas daily from the United States for several months. By July 1918, there were 1 million American soldiers in France and 2 million in October. The transports carried by American troops to Europe were virtually unaffected by the attacks of German submarines. Only one steamer with American soldiers suffered from a torpedo attack off the coast of Ireland. Of the thousands of American soldiers who were on board, 100 people died.
The Allies found an effective method against the German submarine fleet - the convoys. Transports went to France by caravans that guarded warships. The United States launched a gigantic maritime program on 1 thousand ships, of which 500 ships were ready before the end of the war. In addition, 1600 merchant ships were mobilized, which were turned into auxiliary vessels of the military fleet. In the 12 months alone — from 1 in July, 1917 of the year to 1, in July of 1918, Congress appropriated 3250 million dollars for the construction of the navy. By the end of world war, the US Navy had 2 thousand ships of various classes, in the fleet itself there were more than 600 thousand men. The US shipbuilding industry was so developed that, by the time of the truce, its productive capacity was twice as high as the productivity of shipbuilding plants in all the rest of the world. England finally lost the status of "mistress of the seas", the United States became the leading maritime power.
In France itself, the Americans launched a large military construction. The US Army identified the far right flank of the French front line, which adjoined the border of Switzerland. It turned out that it was impossible to land the American millionth army in the canal ports and deliver it through the northern departments of France. The ports were overloaded by British ships, and the roads adjoining them were blocked by various means of transport — on the northern flank of the front in Picardy and in Flanders there was an English army, and Britain was in charge of providing it. Therefore, the Americans were given French ports in the Bay of Biscay in the Atlantic and Marseille in the Mediterranean. In the Atlantic ports, the Americans expanded the old and built new docks. From the landing point from the ships to the coast, new 1600 km long railways and all the necessary infrastructure (warehouses, hospitals, barracks, etc.) were built in the direction of the front. Americans spent twice as much money on military construction in France than on the construction of the Panama Canal. From the USA they transported to France: locomotives, wagons, rails, cars, wires for telegraph and telephone, equipment for ports, military supplies, supplies, etc., in general, millions of tons of freight.
The military significance of the American army in France began to affect only in the summer of 1918. The commander of the American forces in France, General John Pershing, until the spring of 1918 was engaged in training and forming a separate independent army of troops arriving from the United States. In the spring of 1918, German troops went to the last decisive on the French front. The German command hoped to defeat the enemy before the United States would transfer a large army to Europe. For several months there were heavy fighting. The Germans again went to the Marne, approaching Paris. London and Paris asked Washington to expedite the transfer of troops. However, the alarm was in vain. Germany has already run out of steam. But this offensive intensified the transfer of American troops to France and led to the fact that the Americans entered into a big battle. On March 28, 1918, Pershing provided the Allied Commander-in-Chief, General Foch, with all the American troops in France. At the end of May 1918, the Americans helped the French stop the Germans at the Chateau Thierry. In July, the American army again stopped the enemy in the Chateau-Thierry area. In mid-July, the Allies launched a counterattack. Pershing finally formed a separate American army, which was assigned a large independent sector of the front. At the end of September 1918, an offensive in the Argonne Forest already involved 1,2 million American soldiers, 2700 guns, 189 tanks and 821 aircraft. This was the last and largest battle of the American army. American troops conducted minor operations on the Italian front.
Lloyd George noted: “The actual number of troops participating in the battles did not exhaust the full significance of the American contribution to our business during the war. The presence of more than twenty American divisions gave us not only numerical superiority over Germany. The consciousness that 20 American divisions are being formed and trained beyond our lines, and that millions of people will be redeployed from America when it becomes necessary, allowed the French and the British to throw their last reserves into battle ... and deliver the “blow with an ax” to the Germans crash them. "
Some results of the war
US people lost relatively little - on the armistice day (11 November, 1918, Germany signed an armistice agreement), about 70 thousand American soldiers were killed and about thousand 200 thousand people died. England lost 10 times more, France lost 20 and 14 times more, respectively.
Federal government spending rose from 734 million in 1916 to 12 billion. 698 million in 1918 and to 18 billion. 523 million in 1919. The deficit was 853 million dollars in the 1916 year, more than 9 billion - in the 1918 year, 13,3 billion dollars - in the 1919 year. Over the years, the United States has provided loans to foreign countries for almost 10 billion dollars. To cover the budget deficit, 5 domestic loans worth more than 21 billion were made. The first four were called "loans of freedom", the fifth - "loan of victory." The loans were distributed formally voluntarily, in fact, there were strong mechanisms for influencing citizens who did not want to sign up for a loan (for example, the so-called “public court”). The United States retained the gold standard during the war, but there was in fact no free gold circulation. The USA in the 1917 year, despite the huge positive asset of the trading and payment balance, imposed a ban on the export of gold, which operated until the middle of the 1920 year. US spending on the war amounted, according to various experts, ranging from 22 to 41 billion dollars, not counting loans to the allies. In 1928, President Coolidge said that if we take into account all the direct and indirect costs of the United States associated with the world war, the total amount will reach 100 billion dollars. The smaller figure is approximately the sum of all expenses of the US federal government during the 125 years that preceded the First World War.
However, it must be remembered that this burden fell on the American people, if the number of unemployed grew and the farm went bankrupt, then the financial and industrial elite of the USA received huge profits. In some cases, these profits grew faster than US spending on the war. According to the Federal Trade Commission, the average annual earnings of corporations in 1916-1918. were on 4 billion 800 million dollars more than the average annual income for the three years 1912-1914. For example, the common stock of the American wool company brought 1915% in 6, and 1917% in revenue in 55; profits per tonne of coal from owners of southwestern coal mines increased in a single 1917 year by 7 times compared to 1916 a year; the income generated by the common stock of the Bethlehem Steel Corporation in 1916 reached 286%; The powder breeder DuPont de Nemours paid out 1915 dollars in ordinary shares in 30, and 1916 dollars in 100 years. In several war years, the number of millionaires in America has tripled. There was even a new concept - "military millionaires."
Within a few years, the United States turned from a debtor into a creditor. From its inception to the outbreak of war, the United States brought in capital from Europe. In 1914, foreign investment in US securities exceeded 5,5 billion dollars. US debt totaled 2,5-3 billion. The war radically changed the financial position of the United States. Multibillion-dollar active trade balance in 1915-1920 allowed Washington not only to pay off its debts to Europe, but also to get a large amount of European gold and become the world's largest creditor. Active balance of US foreign trade in 1915-1920 amounted to 17,5 billion. This situation persisted after the war. By 1921, the European debt of the United States reached an enormous amount of money at that time - 15 billion dollars. In addition, the most important infrastructure in South America - rail and shipping communications, power plants, mines, etc., which previously belonged to the Europeans, were largely transferred to the Americans. The United States became a “financial octopus” that gradually entangled the whole world. This trend after the war persisted, and World War II only strengthened Europe’s dependence on the United States.
The old great powers that previously claimed world domination — Britain and France, the newly formed states like Czechoslovakia and Poland, all capitalist countries became indebted to the United States. The United States has become a world banker, the personification of greatness and wealth. Washington and New York are becoming the new "command posts" of the Western civilization (project), the old Western European elites are gradually moving to the position of "junior partners." However, only the Second World War will finally fix this position. New capitalist states will increasingly look to Washington, and not to Paris or London.
Woodrow Wilson believed that "his prophetic dreams came true" and was preparing for a peace conference, which was supposed to consolidate the new world order. True, create a unipolar world, the American world order is already following the First World War, the United States will not succeed. The League of Nations could not become a “world government” led by the United States. Russia, which, as envisioned by “financial international”, was supposed to ignite the fire of the “world revolution” leading to the creation of a global slave civilization based on Marxism (false communist ideology), and could become the resource base of this new world order. The Russian Communists, led by I. Stalin, rejected the false concept and returned Russia-USSR to their own path of development - “socialism in a single country”.
Russian civilization was able to make a qualitative leap in its development, to eradicate illiteracy, to create the best mass education system in the world, domestic science, to industrialize and collectivize, which led to autarky of Russia-USSR capable of producing almost the entire product line and not paying attention to problems and the crisis phenomena of the capitalist and western world. The Soviet Union gave all of humanity hope for a different path of development, more equitable, in the interests of the majority of the population. In the long run, this led to the victory of Russian socialism (civilization) on the entire planet and the historical defeat of the Western world. Therefore, the masters of the West set a course for a new world war, created fascism in Italy and Nazism in Germany, supported the dwarf European Nazis (Finland, Romania, Hungary, etc.) and the aggression of the Japanese militarists against China and the USSR. Thus, the First World War did not resolve the basic contradictions between civilizations and world powers and became the prologue of an even more bloody and difficult Second World War.