Discussion:
The U.S. enters WWI but refuses to send troops to Europe
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WolfBear
2017-10-06 21:36:51 UTC
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What if, in response to the German declaration of USW, the U.S. would have entered World War I but refused to send any U.S. troops to Europe?

Basically, this would be an attempt at compromise by President Wilson--specifically, he would look tough by declaring war on Germany over USW but try to honor the substance of his 1916 campaign slogan "He kept us out of war" by keeping U.S. troops out of Europe.

What would the consequences of this have been? For instance, would the Entente powers be more receptive to seeking a compromise peace with Germany if they knew that U.S. troops were not forthcoming? Or, with their financial problems being solved (after all, the U.S. would still fund the Entente in this TL), would the Entente powers keep trying to get the U.S. to send over troops to Europe?

Also, would the U.S. public have supported such a compromise (a U.S. declaration of war on Germany, but no U.S. troops being sent to Europe) on Wilson's part? If so, could this have resulted in a much better Democratic performance in the 1918 and 1920 elections?

In addition to this, how would Germany have reacted to such a U.S. move?

Any thoughts on all of this?
The Old Man
2017-10-06 22:19:11 UTC
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Post by WolfBear
What if, in response to the German declaration of USW, the U.S. would have entered World War I but refused to send any U.S. troops to Europe?
Basically, this would be an attempt at compromise by President Wilson--specifically, he would look tough by declaring war on Germany over USW but try to honor the substance of his 1916 campaign slogan "He kept us out of war" by keeping U.S. troops out of Europe.
What would the consequences of this have been? For instance, would the Entente powers be more receptive to seeking a compromise peace with Germany if they knew that U.S. troops were not forthcoming? Or, with their financial problems being solved (after all, the U.S. would still fund the Entente in this TL), would the Entente powers keep trying to get the U.S. to send over troops to Europe?
Also, would the U.S. public have supported such a compromise (a U.S. declaration of war on Germany, but no U.S. troops being sent to Europe) on Wilson's part? If so, could this have resulted in a much better Democratic performance in the 1918 and 1920 elections?
In addition to this, how would Germany have reacted to such a U.S. move?
Any thoughts on all of this?
Question: Despite not sending troops, would Wilson still have the Navy go on anti-submarine warfare or convoy duties?

Regards,
John Braungart
Rich Rostrom
2017-10-07 21:46:23 UTC
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Post by The Old Man
Question: Despite not sending troops, would Wilson
still have the Navy go on anti-submarine warfare or
convoy duties?
Of course; and as OTL, a US battle squadron would
join the British Grand Fleet.
--
Nous sommes dans une pot de chambre, et nous y serons emmerdés.
--- General Auguste-Alexandre Ducrot at Sedan, 1870.
The Horny Goat
2017-10-07 00:53:31 UTC
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Post by WolfBear
What if, in response to the German declaration of USW, the U.S. would have entered World War I but refused to send any U.S. troops to Europe?
Basically, this would be an attempt at compromise by President Wilson--specifically, he would look tough by declaring war on Germany over USW but try to honor the substance of his 1916 campaign slogan "He kept us out of war" by keeping U.S. troops out of Europe.
What would the consequences of this have been? For instance, would the Entente powers be more receptive to seeking a compromise peace with Germany if they knew that U.S. troops were not forthcoming? Or, with their financial problems being solved (after all, the U.S. would still fund the Entente in this TL), would the Entente powers keep trying to get the U.S. to send over troops to Europe?
Also, would the U.S. public have supported such a compromise (a U.S. declaration of war on Germany, but no U.S. troops being sent to Europe) on Wilson's part? If so, could this have resulted in a much better Democratic performance in the 1918 and 1920 elections?
In addition to this, how would Germany have reacted to such a U.S. move?
Any thoughts on all of this?
How do you do that? You're suggesting the US would conduct strictly a
naval campaign? How quickly can the US build 200 destroyers anyhow?
(Because presumably a naval campaign would be primarily anti-US boat
this being well after Jutland)

And how exactly would a naval campaign contribute to victory over the
other Central Powers? I suppose it might cost us von Trapp as he was
an Austro-Hungarian naval war hero known primarily for his service in
U-boats.

Or have I misunderstood you?
Insane Ranter
2017-10-07 01:06:14 UTC
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Post by The Horny Goat
How do you do that? You're suggesting the US would conduct strictly a
naval campaign? How quickly can the US build 200 destroyers anyhow?
(Because presumably a naval campaign would be primarily anti-US boat
this being well after Jutland)
I guess not sending to Europe means they could go else where in the world. I don't know why the USA would be interested in anything in German Africa. I could see the US taking some of the island in the Pacific other than Japan getting them. Maybe the US would go into German areas in China.

I guess I'm seeing this the USA going to certain areas that after WW1 they would get to keep. Not sure if this is something the Wilson administration would really want to do.
Rich Rostrom
2017-10-07 21:50:22 UTC
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Post by The Horny Goat
How do you do that? You're suggesting the US would conduct strictly a
naval campaign? How quickly can the US build 200 destroyers anyhow?
Even the destroyers and subchasers the US already
had in 1917 would be a significant addition to
Allied escort forces.
Post by The Horny Goat
(Because presumably a naval campaign would be primarily anti-US boat
ITYM anti-U-boat...
Post by The Horny Goat
this being well after Jutland)
OTL, a US battleship squadron joined the British
Grand Fleet, in case the German battle fleet came
out again.
Post by The Horny Goat
And how exactly would a naval campaign contribute to
victory over the other Central Powers?
The US naval contribution would allow Britain to shift
some of its resources to the land battle, and also
reduce shipping losses.
--
Nous sommes dans une pot de chambre, et nous y serons emmerdés.
--- General Auguste-Alexandre Ducrot at Sedan, 1870.
The Horny Goat
2017-10-08 02:00:02 UTC
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On Sat, 07 Oct 2017 16:50:22 -0500, Rich Rostrom
Post by Rich Rostrom
Post by The Horny Goat
How do you do that? You're suggesting the US would conduct strictly a
naval campaign? How quickly can the US build 200 destroyers anyhow?
Even the destroyers and subchasers the US already
had in 1917 would be a significant addition to
Allied escort forces.
Very true.
Post by Rich Rostrom
Post by The Horny Goat
(Because presumably a naval campaign would be primarily anti-US boat
ITYM anti-U-boat...
Uh I must have been much more tired than I thought I was. That one has
to go on the short list for "SHWI most unfortunate typo of 2017"!
Post by Rich Rostrom
Post by The Horny Goat
this being well after Jutland)
OTL, a US battleship squadron joined the British
Grand Fleet, in case the German battle fleet came
out again.
Which would have meant they spent a lot of time at Rosyth and Scapa
Flow to little effect as the German fleet didn't 'come out again'.
Post by Rich Rostrom
Post by The Horny Goat
And how exactly would a naval campaign contribute to
victory over the other Central Powers?
The US naval contribution would allow Britain to shift
some of its resources to the land battle, and also
reduce shipping losses.
Well I was thinking primarily of naval action as the reference to
Captain von Trapp (known primarily for his U-boat record on behalf of
the K und K aka Austria-Hungary) surely made clear.
pyotr filipivich
2017-10-07 04:06:22 UTC
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Post by WolfBear
What if, in response to the German declaration of USW, the U.S. would have entered World War I but refused to send any U.S. troops to Europe?
Basically, this would be an attempt at compromise by President Wilson--specifically, he would look tough by declaring war on Germany over USW but try to honor the substance of his 1916 campaign slogan "He kept us out of war" by keeping U.S. troops out of Europe.
What would the consequences of this have been? For instance, would the Entente powers be more receptive to seeking a compromise peace with Germany if they knew that U.S. troops were not forthcoming? Or, with their financial problems being solved (after all, the U.S. would still fund the Entente in this TL), would the Entente powers keep trying to get the U.S. to send over troops to Europe?
Also, would the U.S. public have supported such a compromise (a U.S. declaration of war on Germany, but no U.S. troops being sent to Europe) on Wilson's part? If so, could this have resulted in a much better Democratic performance in the 1918 and 1920 elections?
In addition to this, how would Germany have reacted to such a U.S. move?
Any thoughts on all of this?
--
pyotr filipivich.
For Sale: Uncirculated Roman Drachmas, feature Julius Ceaser's Portrait,
several dated 44 BCE. Comes with Certificate of Authenticity.
Rich Rostrom
2017-10-07 21:45:06 UTC
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Post by WolfBear
What if, in response to the German declaration of
USW, the U.S. would have entered World War I but
refused to send any U.S. troops to Europe?
Basically, this would be an attempt at compromise by
President Wilson--specifically, he would look tough
by declaring war on Germany over USW but try to
honor the substance of his 1916 campaign slogan "He
kept us out of war" by keeping U.S. troops out of
Europe.
I don't see this as politically viable. The declaration
of war was followed by a great burst of "jingo" sentiment.
There would be intense pressure on Wilson for the US
to send a volunteer corps to France. If nothing else,
Teddy Roosevelt would be out yelling for it, and of
course offering to lead it (seriously annoying the
regular Army).
--
Nous sommes dans une pot de chambre, et nous y serons emmerdés.
--- General Auguste-Alexandre Ducrot at Sedan, 1870.
WolfBear
2017-10-07 22:26:03 UTC
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Post by Rich Rostrom
Post by WolfBear
What if, in response to the German declaration of
USW, the U.S. would have entered World War I but
refused to send any U.S. troops to Europe?
Basically, this would be an attempt at compromise by
President Wilson--specifically, he would look tough
by declaring war on Germany over USW but try to
honor the substance of his 1916 campaign slogan "He
kept us out of war" by keeping U.S. troops out of
Europe.
I don't see this as politically viable. The declaration
of war was followed by a great burst of "jingo" sentiment.
There would be intense pressure on Wilson for the US
to send a volunteer corps to France. If nothing else,
Teddy Roosevelt would be out yelling for it, and of
course offering to lead it (seriously annoying the
regular Army).
--
Nous sommes dans une pot de chambre, et nous y serons emmerdés.
--- General Auguste-Alexandre Ducrot at Sedan, 1870.
You're right; U.S. volunteers would be sent over to Europe. However, based on the information here, it looks like only 32,000 American men volunteered for service--hence the need for a draft! :

http://www.encyclopedia.com/social-sciences-and-law/political-science-and-government/military-affairs-nonnaval/selective

Indeed, I don't see 32,000 American men having much of an impact on the war in Europe.
Rich Rostrom
2017-10-09 01:07:27 UTC
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Post by WolfBear
You're right; U.S. volunteers would be sent over to
Europe. However, based on the information here, it
looks like only 32,000 American men volunteered for
service--hence the need for a draft!
What that articles states is that only 32,000 men had
volunteered "three weeks after the war was declared."
I am certain many more volunteered later.

Wiki sez that two million men volunteered by August
1918, at which time volunteering was prohibited (the
services preferring to get men by the more orderly
process of conscription).

Even if only 10,000 men volunteered each week, that
would be over 400,000 men by the end of 1917.
--
Nous sommes dans une pot de chambre, et nous y serons emmerdés.
--- General Auguste-Alexandre Ducrot at Sedan, 1870.
The Horny Goat
2017-10-08 01:55:35 UTC
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On Sat, 07 Oct 2017 16:45:06 -0500, Rich Rostrom
Post by Rich Rostrom
I don't see this as politically viable. The declaration
of war was followed by a great burst of "jingo" sentiment.
There would be intense pressure on Wilson for the US
to send a volunteer corps to France. If nothing else,
Teddy Roosevelt would be out yelling for it, and of
course offering to lead it (seriously annoying the
regular Army).
I completely agree and while FDR might have preferred an all naval
campaign he wasn't in charge. I cannot imagine Wilson keeping land
troops out of Europe and had he seriously tried it would have damaged
his party for a generation.
WolfBear
2017-10-08 03:12:12 UTC
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Post by The Horny Goat
On Sat, 07 Oct 2017 16:45:06 -0500, Rich Rostrom
Post by Rich Rostrom
I don't see this as politically viable. The declaration
of war was followed by a great burst of "jingo" sentiment.
There would be intense pressure on Wilson for the US
to send a volunteer corps to France. If nothing else,
Teddy Roosevelt would be out yelling for it, and of
course offering to lead it (seriously annoying the
regular Army).
I completely agree and while FDR might have preferred an all naval
campaign he wasn't in charge. I cannot imagine Wilson keeping land
troops out of Europe and had he seriously tried it would have damaged
his party for a generation.
Would it have? After all, Wilson's 1916 campaign slogan was "He kept us out of war"!
pyotr filipivich
2017-10-08 04:15:58 UTC
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Post by WolfBear
Post by The Horny Goat
On Sat, 07 Oct 2017 16:45:06 -0500, Rich Rostrom
Post by Rich Rostrom
I don't see this as politically viable. The declaration
of war was followed by a great burst of "jingo" sentiment.
There would be intense pressure on Wilson for the US
to send a volunteer corps to France. If nothing else,
Teddy Roosevelt would be out yelling for it, and of
course offering to lead it (seriously annoying the
regular Army).
I completely agree and while FDR might have preferred an all naval
campaign he wasn't in charge. I cannot imagine Wilson keeping land
troops out of Europe and had he seriously tried it would have damaged
his party for a generation.
Would it have? After all, Wilson's 1916 campaign slogan was "He kept us out of war"!
By not sending US troops, "he keeps us out of war", specifically
the meat grinder which is France.
Naval Operations provide a "sanitary" means of waging war.

As to the jingo ism - I suspect a lot of that was ginned up by
Wilsonian supporters who thought that what the President wanted was
just great. Besides, it made it possible for more direction of the US
according to scientific principles.
--
pyotr filipivich.
For Sale: Uncirculated Roman Drachmas, feature Julius Ceaser's Portrait,
several dated 44 BCE. Comes with Certificate of Authenticity.
Yeechang Lee
2017-10-10 20:29:38 UTC
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Post by WolfBear
What if, in response to the German declaration of USW, the
U.S. would have entered World War I but refused to send any
U.S. troops to Europe?
Basically, this would be an attempt at compromise by President
Wilson--specifically, he would look tough by declaring war on
Germany over USW but try to honor the substance of his 1916 campaign
slogan "He kept us out of war" by keeping U.S. troops out of Europe.
I've mentioned this before. I think this is possible if the US (which,
after all, fought as an "Associated Power") enters the war in 1915
explicitly in response to the sinking of the _Lusitania_ and other
German incidents which challenge the principle of freedom of the seas.

Positioned this way, it's possible that Wilson can resist internal and
external demands to send soldiers to France. German Americans and
antiwar groups would be Wilson's allies here. If he can hold off for a
year, the Somme and other meat grinders will help Wilson's case,
although the pressure will be immense. The tightrope is very, very
difficult to traverse; Hughes or another GOP candidate in 1916 might
run on a pro-AEF platform (although, depending on how the war is
going, it might result in a bigger win for Wilson). After mid-1917 the
body count on the Western Front is such that the political momentum
would clearly be against American ground forces, even against the most
frenzied demands yet from the British and French for manpower.
--
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