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US Effects on Allied Strategic Decision Making during the First World War

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Technical Report

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US Army Command and General Staff College Fort Leavenworth United States

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The US entrance into the First World War on April 6, 1917 began the American involvement in wartime coalitions. The US played a supporting role to the Allied war effort and was far from the dominant member in the coalition. Since the Second World War the US has played an increasingly important role in forming and maintaining wartime coalitions, in large contrast to its role as an associate to the Allied powers in 1917 and 1918. The lessons presented by the US experience fighting alongside the Allies in the First World War therefore offers a unique perspective on American involvement in wartime coalitions. This study examines the effects of the US entrance into the First World War on the Allied strategic decision making process. Allied actions prior to April 1917 are used as a basis for later comparison to judge the impact of the US declaration of war against Germany. Specific issues such as joint strategy making, balancing national interests within the alliance, and coordination of forces in the field demonstrate that the US presence largely continued the existing Allied strategic decision making.

Subject Categories:

  • Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics

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