20 Interesting Vintage Photographs of American Troops During World War I

The United States declared war on the German Empire on April 6, 1917, nearly three years after World War I started. A ceasefire and Armistice was declared on November 11, 1918. Before entering the war, the U.S. had remained neutral, though it had been an important supplier to the United Kingdom, France, and the other powers of the Allies of World War I.

The U.S. made its major contributions in terms of supplies, raw material, and money, starting in 1917. American soldiers under General of the Armies John Pershing, Commander-in-Chief of the American Expeditionary Force (AEF), arrived at the rate of 10,000 men a day on the Western Front in the summer of 1918. During the war, the U.S. mobilized over 4 million military personnel and suffered the loss of 65,000 men. The war saw a dramatic expansion of the United States government in an effort to harness the war effort and a significant increase in the size of the U.S. Armed Forces.

After a relatively slow start in mobilizing the economy and labor force, by spring 1918, the nation was poised to play a role in the conflict. Under the leadership of President Woodrow Wilson, the war represented the climax of the Progressive Era as it sought to bring reform and democracy to the world. There was substantial public opposition to U.S. entry into the war. (Wikipedia)

These stark images released nearly a century after the end of the war show U.S troops keeping watch in the trenches, injured on the battlefield and arriving back home after the fighting was over.

US soldiers of the 82nd division stand in formation at Camp Gordon in Georgia in 1917 – the year they joined the war effort in Europe.
US soldiers keep watch in a trench in France. in this undated photo captured after America joined the war effort.
US soldiers are seen returning to emotional scenes in Washington DC after serving in the First World War that took place between 1914 and 1918.
US Marines form a line France during World War 1.
US soldiers are captured playing baseball as they take a break from life in the trenches.
US troops are seen taking grenade gun training in France during the First World War.
An American World War I observation balloon is seen on Dec. 9, 1917.
A Renault truck outfitted with mobile X-ray equipment to help doctors in the field is seen in this World War I photo.
Tanks were developed to barrel over trenches filled with soldiers. Here, a British Mark IV tank didn’t quite make it during the British-German Battle of Cambrai in France, Nov. 20, 1917.
American soldiers can be seen in the midst of a gas attack in this chilling photo from the First World War.
An American gun crew from Regimental Headquarters Company, 23rd Infantry, fires a 37mm gun during an advance against German entrenched positions in an undated photo taken during World War I.
US soldiers Corporal Howard Thompson and James H White were part of a group that killed and captured several Germans in no man’s land – the area between the opposing trench lines.
Wounded soldiers lie in an American field hospital in Auteuil, Paris, France, 1918. during World War I.
American, British, French and German gas masks are seen in an undated photo taken during World War I.
An officer receives a camera and its film to be processed in the field, 1917-1918. in an undated photo from World War I.
American troops are seen marching down a road in an unspecified location in France after joining the war effort.
An American Expeditionary Force doctor tends to an injured US soldier immediately behind the first trench line in France.
US soldiers of the American Expeditionary Force are gathered together during a pause in the fighting, 1918. in this snap from the conflict.
A US Marine leads training on a French shooting range during the conflict that raged in Europe in the early 20th century.
American troops of the Machine Gune Battalion, Company G, Second Brigade, gather around an outdoor kitchen in Hermitage, France.

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