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Why Was Germany Defeated in WW1?

Free essay example:

Helen Tiffney 10DM

Why was Germany Defeated?

“It was the entry of the USA into the war which brought about the surrender of Germany in 1918”. Use your own knowledge to explain if you agree with this view.

The USA entered the war due to unrestricted submarine warfare. A German U-boat attacked the British passenger liner, Lusitania, and over 120 American passengers drown. This built tension between the US and German governments and in April 1917 the USA declared war on Germany.  

  The Entry of the USA into the war was clearly a key factor in the surrender of Germany. When the USA entered British morale was greatly boosted because they felt that they had been backed up and become stronger. It gave the both the British troops and the British public more hope and confidence towards winning the war so spirits were higher in fighting and they therefore did better. Also the arrival of the USA meant the arrival of new materials and supplies. This was important because before Russia had left the war they had drained out all of the troops supplies. With new supplies and materials, the troops could do better in battle and again it gave them higher morale. One million German troops were moved to the Western Front due to the Russian defeat. They decided to take a gamble and this led to another reason for their defeat.

 The German leader, Luddendorff, decided that there was no other option and that he would have to risk everything with the Spring Offensive on 21st March 1918. The plan was to make an all out attack on the Western Front before the new US troops arrived. Luddendorff thought this would be easy due to Germany having a larger number of troops and he thought that by making this attack Germany would have the upper hand in the war. However, Luddendorff made his troops work very hard and it wasn’t long before they had become exhausted. They were then defeated in the second battle of the Marne due to US troops arriving before Luddendorff had expected. The battle exhausted the troops more so and also ran out all the German supplies. The Germans couldn’t receive any more supplies due to the British blockade going on at the ports.

  The control that the British had over the channel ports was causing a lot of problems for Germany and could definitely be another reason for the German defeat in 1918. The battle of Jutland meant that the Germans never sailed in the North Sea again and this gave Britain more control over the ports. Germany was receiving very little supplies and citizens were starving so morale was very low. Also because Germany weren’t receiving supplies, their technology couldn’t advance because they didn’t have the materials. Their technology wasn’t as good as the oppositions and they therefore couldn’t fight as well in battle. To make things worse, the German citizens were threatening to have a civil war and this put even more pressure on the German government to sort all these problems out. Germany had very little chance of regaining control over the ports and this was made even worse when the exhausted German troops were split and moved from the ports to advance straight to Paris. This was known as the Schlieffen Plan.

  Unfortunately the Schlieffen Plan also failed, and this also contributed to the German defeat. The plan was for German troops to go through Belgium and invade France by catching them off guard. However the plan was changed at the last minute and the troops were instead ordered to advance straight to Paris. This meant that the German troops were split and half of them were moved from guarding the ports to help take over Paris. But by doing this, the Germans made it easier fro Britain to keep sending British troops across through the ports and therefore Britain had more, healthy troops ready to fight Germany. Clearly this also contributed to the defeat of Germany.

  Over it is clear that the entry of the USA into the war was a main cause of the German defeat. Fresh troops and supplies boosted British morale and made battle a lot easier. Without the entry of the USA, British troops would not have had the supplies they needed to carry on and wouldn’t have had anywhere near enough soldiers to continue. Germanys attack on the Western Front would have worked if it wasn’t for the US troops being there and Germany may have even gone on to win the war if the allies hadn’t of had the support they got from the arrival of the US troops. Therefore the entry of the US was the main reason for the surrender or Germany in 1918.

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