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Prologue On June 28,1914, in the Bosnian capital of Sarajevo, an assassin's bullet precipitated a chain of events with unforeseen and dramatic results for the destinies of the United States and Great Britain. The great war unleashed by this event accelerated an important trend in international affairs: the replacement of Great Britain by the United States as the world's greatest power. Britain declared war on Germany on August 4. No British soldiers had fought in Western Europe since Waterloo, but Britain committed its small, elite fighting force to the Continental war. At the center of this decision was the fear of what German domination of Europe would mean, not only for the British Isles but for the British Empire as well. A fundamental issue was whether Britain would survive as a great imperial power. The British Continental commitment was made easier by the widely held belief that the war would be short. Whatever the duration of the conflict, however, Britain's leaders anticipated with few exceptions that their country's primary role would be in finance, as an arsenal for the Allies, and as the world's premier naval power. It seemed unimaginable that direct involvement in the land war would eventually lead to the deployment of the greatest armed force in one theater in the country's history. Nevertheless, by the summer and fall of 1917, British and Dominion forces constituted the mainstay of the land war against the Imperial Germany Army. America's part in the war was even more surprising. Forced to abandon its neutrality and its tradition of noninvolvement in European affairs, the United States was drawn into a collective military effort against Berlin. When the war ended, General John J. Pershing commanded the largest force in American history. The two Englishspeaking democracies, fighting on foreign soil, possessed the two best armies and fleets on the globe. At a frightful cost to their economy and manpower, the British had kept the western front intact in 1917, absorbed the initial blows of the 1918 Germany offensives, and played the leading role in the Allied counterattacks that began in August. For its part, the United States, having achieved global economic ascen- 2 Prologue dancy during the war, was on the verge of dominating the battlefields of Western Europe. The battle-initiated yet still fresh American Expeditionary Force in November was destined to become the army of the future if the war continued into 1919. The Armistice represented a great triumph for democracy and liberal values in international affairs. The United States and Great Britain appeared to have the opportunity to make and enforce a peace based on their shared liberalism and faith in parliamentary government. Yet though they were joined by their common sacrifices and their essential agreement on many war objectives, the tension between the American and British political and military leadership over the development and manner of employment of an American expeditionary force in Western Europe boded ill for any Anglo-American world order. The impact of America's military role on British war policy and imperial defense strategy has been largely ignored by British historians . As for U.S. employment of armed force in Western Europe, most American historians have followed the lead of Foster Rhea Dulles, who moves immediately from the end of American neutrality to peacemaking in his volume in the New American Nation Series, America's Rise to World Power, 1898-1954.1 Scholars who have written on AngloAmerican relations during the period of cobelligerency have examined subjects secondary to the war against the Imperial Germany Army. Anglo-American war aims, Britain's growing financial dependency upon the United States, commercial and maritime rivalry, and the Anglo-American reaction to the emergence of Communism in Russia have been thoroughly scrutinized.2 Anglo-American relations in the context of military operations, however, have not received the attention they deserve. Only David F. Trask, who has examined President Woodrow Wilson's efforts to harmonize political and military objectives in the European war, as well as Anglo-American naval relations, 1917-18, has analyzed the power and political aspects of America's extra-Continental activity.3 It is not my intention to duplicate Trask's account of the maritime front or to parallel his pioneer examination of the American role in the Supreme War Council. Nor is this binational study written from either a British or an American point of view. Rather, it attempts to address Anglo-American relations in the collective...

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Additional Information

ISBN
9780813158457
Related ISBN
9780813118338
MARC Record
OCLC
654772526
Pages
286
Launched on MUSE
2016-01-01
Language
English
Open Access
No
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