American Operations on the Western Front
America entered the war in April 1917 with a small professional army of 100,000 men. To intervene decisively in the conflict she would have to draft an army on a continental scale, and deploy it to the western front before her allies were defeated. It was expected, by both allies and enemies, to be the decisive factor in the war of attrition. America’s allies saw an unlimited pool of manpower. Fresh US recruits, they hoped, would be shipped over to fill up the ranks of depleted British and French divisions. This went against US policy. Only by committing her forces as a separate national army could she intervene decisively to bring about a just peace. She was, however, willing to accept British and French training and equipment to speed the deployment and combat-readiness of her army. For Germany, it was a race against time. Could she defeat the Entente at sea or on land before American manpower tipped the military balance decisively against her?