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Nothing Less Than WarA New History of Americas Entry into World War I$
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Justus D. Doenecke

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780813130026

Published to Kentucky Scholarship Online: September 2011

DOI: 10.5810/kentucky/9780813130026.001.0001

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To End a Conflict

To End a Conflict

October 1916—January 1917

(p.217) 8 To End a Conflict
Nothing Less Than War

Justus D. Doenecke

University Press of Kentucky

Frustrated by failure to achieve a breakthrough on the western front and facing a crisis in domestic morale, Germany increasingly placed its hopes on U-boat warfare. In December 1916, it began contemplating engaging in all-out submarine warfare, thinking that the US would not risk losing the sources of its commercial prosperity and that its military was not that strong. Meanwhile, Wilson continued to push for “peace without victory,” believing that there was a middle ground between the belligerent nations because they shared similar goals. Some people, however, took Wilson's message to mean that the US was demanding the belligerents to state their terms in preparation for its entry into war. Despite the strong possibility that it would lead to war with the US, Germany began an “unlimited submarine warfare” on February 1917, with the firm belief that this was the key to victory.

Keywords:   World War I, Woodrow Wilson, Germany, Britain, peace negotiations, U-boat warfare

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