americans in the german army

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stg 44
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americans in the german army

Post by stg 44 » 02 Jun 2003 02:07

Did any americans join the german army during the war? Also, why was their such anti-german sentiment in the world? Why was it okay for americans to join the french and british army and not be traitors, but for anyone to join the germans be evil? Was this only later in the war, or was the prussian arrogance the culprit?

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Peter H
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Post by Peter H » 02 Jun 2003 04:25

American sympathy for the German cause was actually high up to early 1915.This was mainly because of the German practise of allowing neutral war correspondents to operate with their forces.The Allied command refused such measures.

Theodore Roosevelt January 1915:

...The only real war news written by Americans who are known to and trusted by the American public comes from the German side;as a result of this the sympathizers with cause of the Allies can hear nothing whatever about the trials and achievements of the British and French armies...

Allied reform,by allowing American correspondents accreditation,and the sinking of the Lusitania,soon meant a shift towards the Allies by May 1915.

US War Correspondent in Belgium 1914.
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MadJim
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anti German

Post by MadJim » 02 Jun 2003 05:03

The Germans blew any real chance they had to keep the Americans out with brilliant moves like invading neutral belgium, wanton destruction of property to terrorize (they shouldnt have listened to Clausewitz), unrestricted submarine warfare - and the super blunder - overtures to Mexico.

Early on German/Austrian Americans and Irishmen (who love to see Britain kicked) were able to maintain a balance against Entente propaganda, but German misbehaviour and the strong pull of language finally turned the tide. What was it that Bismarck said:"That the Americans speak English is worth twenty divisions" (for the British and against Germany. It was uttered during an earlier diplomatic crisis I believe)

Anti German sentiment was so bad that some places outlawed the language, dachshunds were set on fire in the street, sauerkraut was renamed Liberty cabbage. Rioters even pulled the facade off of the Germania building in (Milwaukee?) Wisconsin!

James McBride
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Re: anti German

Post by James McBride » 02 Jun 2003 05:26

MadJim wrote:The Germans blew any real chance they had to keep the Americans out with brilliant moves like invading neutral belgium, wanton destruction of property to terrorize


On a side note, any sane enemy the size of Belgium should surrender to an invading force the size of Germany. It seems stupid looking back to have destroyed some of the towns and villages, but they hoped to cow the enemy into compliance. I still can't believe how long and well the Belgians fought.

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human177
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Post by human177 » 17 Jun 2003 09:10

Why thank you :D

note:
Caesar called the Belgians the bravest - and most stupid - of all because they could fight when they already lost and hardly had a strategy to back them up!

Gwynn Compton
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Post by Gwynn Compton » 17 Jun 2003 10:56

America, pre-1900 still envisaged Britain as it's "common foe", though that wasn't in a cold war sense at all, America was just defining itself as being different to Britain, but this changed rapidly after 1900 as they instead began to fear growing Japanese power and influence in China. And instead, America found itself more in tune with Britain. While there were plenty of settlers who were descended from Germans living in the U.S., the United States had a lot more in common with the British than they did with the Germans.

Gwynn

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human177
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Post by human177 » 20 Jun 2003 06:23

There were quite a few Americans in the French/British/Belgian army before 1917 too. Mostly trigger-happy war veterans.

Ralph
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Post by Ralph » 21 Dec 2003 18:28

From my research into German casualties there were a considerable number of Americans serving in the German Army. I have discovered dozens of names listed among the casualty lists and given that not all who served were killed, wounded or missing it can be assumed the acual numbers are much higher. The casualty rates also indicate they served throughout the war.

Unfortunately there is little information I have discovered regarding their service in the various archives. I have no idea if anything was ever done on this subject or what might have happened to the men if they returned to the U.S. afterward.

Ralph

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Wm. Harris
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Post by Wm. Harris » 01 Jan 2004 18:59

...sauerkraut was renamed Liberty cabbage.


I'll stick with Freedom Fries, thank you very much! :)

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