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Why Germany Lost World War I

1205 words - 5 pages

Why Germany Lost World War I
Since the beginning of World War I, Germany fought through a great number of boundaries no one thought could be broken. With the help of their Allies, Austria-Hungary and the Ottoman Empire, Germany managed to gain the upper hand the year following the start of the war. Up until the Battle of the Somme on July 1st, 1916, Germany and the other central powers were hoping to quickly defeat the Allies. These hopes were soon to be discouraged as Germany starts to struggle on account of its insufficient Allies and the lack of supplies due in part to the British blockade. Being that Germany was geographically surrounded by foes, it was near impossible for the ...view middle of the document...

When the Schlieffen Plan was put into effect on August 2nd, 1914, Germany was surprised by the fact that the Belgium armies were putting up a decent fight, and that also Russia had mobilized their troops faster than expected. Germany feared the worst when Britain, protector of Belgium under the Treaty of London, declared war for invading Belgium. Germany's borders were then expanded despite being surrounded, and despite the country's military plan having flaws.
By 1915, Italy had withdrawed from the Triple Alliance (Alliance formed in 1882 by Germany, Austria-Hungary and Italy) and joined the war on the Allies' side (Levack 510, 515). Italy hoped that by abandoning their former alliance and joining the Triple Entente, they would gain new territories as promised by the Allies. Although the Italian military stood no chance against that of Germany or the Ottoman Empire, Italy contributed by effectively draining the supplies of both Austria-Hungary and Germany. This proved to be a major issue for the Central Powers. Since their entrance into the war, Italy managed to launch 11 huge offensives against the Central Powers. By 1917, Germany was forced to remove troops from the eastern front in order to aid the Austrians against the Italians. Though outnumbered, Italy acted as a diversion to Germany that cost them valuable time and resources. These actions on Italy's part proved to be significantly helpful for the Allies, especially when Germany began to lack allies, reinforcements and supplies nearing 1918. This eventually gave the Allies an advantage in the months prior to the defeat of Central Powers.
A key reason why Germany lost the First World War was America. On April 6th, 1917, the United States finally declared war on Germany. The U.S. already had resentment against Germany since the sinking of the Lusitania by a German U-boat, which killed 114 Americans on board. Their late entrance into the war was partially due to Germany continuing their U-boat policy, and greatly due to the Zimmermann Telegram (Levack 517). The Zimmermann Telegram was a coded message sent by Germany to Mexico, encouraging Mexico to declare war on the U.S. When Britain intercepted the telegram, they then informed the U.S. in hopes they would join the war on the side of the Allies. When the U.S. began to send soldiers to aid the Allies, the Germans weren't anticipating such a large number of fresh American troops fighting against them. This lead to unsteadiness within Germany by the end of 1917. Due to Germany's actions, the U.S. entered the war, causing...

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