As You Read Use this diagram to take notes on the significant events of the war. W orld w ar I 233

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Before You Read
In the last section, you read about the outbreak of World War I and how America eventually decided to join the conflict.
In this section, you will learn how US. forces helped the Allies win
World War I.
As You Read
Use this diagram to take notes on the significant events of the war.
Copyright © McDougal Littell Inc.
Section 2 (pages 686–690)
America Joins the Fight
Reading Study Guide
John J. Pershing Commander of
U.S. forces in Europe
American Expeditionary Force
U.S. troops in World War I
convoy system System of using battleships to escort merchant ships for protection
Second Battle of the Marne
Turning point of the war, in which
Allies halted Germany’s advance
Alvin York American war hero who killed 25 German soldiers and captured 132
armistice An end to fighting
Raising an Army and a Navy
(pages 686–687)
How did America raise an army?
When America declared war, the nation had fewer than 200,000 soldiers. To meet the need for more troops, Congress passed the Selective Service Act.
This act required all males between 21 and 30 to sign up for military service. About two million soldiers went to France. They served under General John J.
Pershing. They were known as the American
Expeditionary Force, or AEF.
About 25,000 American women served in World
War I. Many served in the military as clerical workers, interpreters, ambulance drivers, and nurses.
About 400,000 African Americans served in the armed forces. They faced discrimination from white
American soldiers.
1. How many women and African Americans
served in the war?
American Ships Make a Difference
(page 687)
How did the US. Navy aid the Allies?
The US. Navy helped the Allies on the Atlantic. To stop German U-boat attacks on supply ships, the navy developed the convoy system. Under this system,
destroyers sailed beside merchant ships as they went across the Atlantic. This system quickly reduced the loss rate of supply ships.
Americans used another tactic to stop U-boat attacks. In June 1918, the Allies laid a barrier of mines in the North Sea. The mile long minefield kept most U-boats out of the North
2. What steps did the Allies take to stop
U-boat attacks?
June 1917
First American troops arrive in France
September 1918
Summer 1918
November 1918

American Troops Enter the War;
Pushing the Germans Back
(pages 688–690)
Who won the Second Battle of the Marne?
In March 1918, the Germans launched an offensive to end the war before the Americans arrived in full force. Within two months, German troops had smashed through French lines. They reached the
Marne River outside Paris. However, by then the
Americans had begun to arrive. They helped to stop the German advance.
In the summer of 1918, German forces regrouped and launched another attack. During three days of heavy fighting, American troops helped stop the
Germans again. This battle was known as the Second
Battle of the Marne. It was the turning point of the war. From then on, the Allies advanced steadily.
The decisive blow came at the end of September.
Around one million US. soldiers took part in the
Meuse-Argonne offensive. It pushed back the
German line. The fighting left 26,000 Americans dead. But by November, the Germans were in retreat.
Many Americans were heroes on the battlefields of France. Sergeant Alvin York, for example, wiped out an entire crew of German machine gunners. He forced more than 100 enemy soldiers to surrender.
High above the trenches, pilot Eddie Rickenbacker won fame as the US. ace of aces He shot down a total of 26 enemy planes. Several African American combat units were honored for their battlefield valor.
3. Why was the Second Battle of Marne
considered the turning point of the war?
Germany Stops Fighting
(page 690)
What was the war’s human toll?
After the crushing defeat of the Meuse-Argonne,
one of Germany’s top generals advised the German government to seek peace. In early November,
Germany’s navy mutinied. Its other allies dropped out. On November 9, Germany’s ruler, Kaiser Wilhelm II,
stepped down. Two days later, Germany agreed to an
armistice, an end to fighting. World War I was over.
The war had caused much suffering and death.
About 8.5 million soldiers died in the war. About million were wounded. Millions of civilians in
Europe, Asia, and Africa also died during the war.
Many of them died from starvation and disease.
4. How many soldiers died in World War I?
1. About how many deaths did Germany
suffer in the war?
2. Which nation on the graph suffered the
fewest deaths?
24 S
Copyright © McDougal Littell Inc.
America Joins the Fight continued

Lives lost (in thousands)
Military Deaths in World War I *
War I
*Not all countries are listed. Source Over There, by Byron Farwell

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