On April 6, 1917, the United States joined Great Britain, France and Russia in the war against Germany, which had been raging in Europe since 1914. The United States committed 2 million soldiers to the cause.

Initially opposed to joining the war, public opinion in the U.S. was eroded by the German use of unrestricted warfare against shipping in the Atlantic during 1917, resulting in the loss of American ships and lives. Total casualties, civilian and military, during World War I exceeded 38 million, making it among the most deadly in history.

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