Final resting place of 11 British soldiers whose boat sank during WW1 is discovered by divers

On April 6, 1917, the United States joined the First World War by sending troops, money and supplies overseas. It was already three years into the war that started on July 28, 1914.

The US had tried to stayed out of the conflict before that, but continued to trade with Britain. Germany damaged or sunk American trade ships going between the US and Britain, despite the fact that the US was neutral. 

By February 1915, Germany declared war against all ships that came into the war zone around Britain. In March of that year a German cruiser sank a private American vessel, though the country apologised and said it was a mistake.

Things got worse in May 1915 when the British ocean liner Lusitania was torpedoed, killing 1,198 passengers of the total 1,959. Of those killed, 128 passengers were American. 

The US demanded compensation and called for Germany to stop attacking passenger and merchant ships, which they agreed to until they sunk an Italian liner in November, killing 272 people, including 27 Americans.

By 1917, Germany formally resumed their unrestricted warfare on all ships within the war zone and one of their U-boats sunk an American liner. The US broke diplomatic ties with Germany hours after. The US Congress and President Woodrow Wilson had enough.

In February 1917, Congress passed a bill to prepare the American military for war and in March, Germany sunk four American merchant ships.

President Wilson called for a declaration of war against Germany to Congress on April 2, 1917, and four days later they granted his request. The first US soldiers arrived in France for training on June 26. 

There were 14,000 infantry troops and the arrival of fresh troops marked a turning point in the war for the benefit of the Allies. By the summer of 1918 about a million troops had arrived in France, half of whom would go on to see the front lines of battle.

Back in the US, Americans rallied together to help the Allies win the war by gathering food supplies, munitions and money, and enlisting soldiers. At first there was some confusion and disorganisation, that included a coal shortage and cargo delays because of traffic jams in the rail yards and a lack of strong leadership.

President Wilson got hold of the situation by early 1918 and the country worked together to help win the war. The US Food Administration taught Americans to economize on food and start victory gardens in their backyards to grow food for soldiers. Patriotism and support for the war became an important part of American culture.

Though the US was only involved for 20 months, by the end of the war on November 11, 1918, a total of 116,516 American soldiers died, 53,402 of those were killed in combat. 204,002 were wounded.


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