© MMXVIII V.1.0.1
by Morley Evans
This sets the record straight after decades of lies. This question and answers were posted on Quora.com.
Do Americans today actually believe that their military battles resulted in their winning the Great War, WWI?
Opinion | How ‘Hyphenated Americans’ Won World War I
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John Bard, Dabble, mainly in Anglo-Saxon and Roman history.
Answered 18h ago
Based upon the one other answer to this question, yes, Americans do seem to be under the impression that they contributed something substantial to the fighting in World War One.
Which is a typically lamentable misunderstanding of the situation.
The most significant American contribution was their factories. Their second greatest contribution was their shipyards.
Their third greatest contribution was morale; the arrival of new troops from a fresh new ally bolstered the resolve of the Entente armies - especially the French, who were exhausted by 1918 and had already suffered mutinies.
Their fourth greatest contribution was that by taking up position on quiet sectors of the front line, the American Expeditionary Forces freed up experienced and capable French divisions. This is the key contribution.
Why is it the key contribution?
Because when the Kaiserschlacht fell upon the British, French, and Belgian armies, it would likely have succeeded had their lines not been, so to speak, shortened, by the addition of the (to be perfectly frank) small but growing US presence. The following Hundred Days Offensive saw the AEF play a small peripheral role on the edge of the main French assaults, including a rightfully famous and praiseworthy defensive action in the Argonne.
But the majority of the offence in the Hundred Days was enacted by the British Army and by, to a somewhat lesser extent (and mainly due to the difficulty of the terrain), the French. It was the British and the French that smashed the armies of Imperial Germany. It was the British and the French that drove them back from all their gains. It was the British and the French that decisively penetrated Germany’s great bastion the Siegfried Line, and it was the advance of the British and the French that threw the German army into such a panic that it fled wholesale, forcing the Germans to sue for peace out of fear that the British and the French would mete out the same tender care to German civilians that the Germans had proffered to the French and Belgians who had the misfortune to be in occupied territory.
In these bloody matters the US played a peripheral and indirect role, and even then, thanks to the personality of their leadership under Pershing, they suffered more casualties than they needed to.
Canadians believe they won the War at Vimy Ridge because Canadian propaganda tells them so. Like Americans, Canadians believe lies. Thanks, Pierre Berton, you jackass.- ED