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 The Zimmerman telegram

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PaulRyckier
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PostSubject: The Zimmerman telegram   Fri 20 Jan 2017, 22:16

http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-38581861

Tomorrow more comments.

Kind regards, Paul.
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PaulRyckier
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PostSubject: Re: The Zimmerman telegram   Thu 26 Jan 2017, 21:31

No time anymore. So busy. And during two evenings research for one concept words? core words? stem words? in English and other languages. Will make a new thread about it. And still involved in the pre-Celts thread on a French forum, sparked on this French forum by the Chinese Caucasian types that I described here also in a thread.

But quickly about the telegram:
I read Barbara Tuchman
https://www.britannica.com/biography/Barbara-Tuchman
about her Zimmermann telegram:
https://www.amazon.com/Zimmermann-Telegram-Barbara-W-Tuchman/dp/0345324250
According to this description:
http://www.weibnc.com/wp-content/uploads/brkpdfs/The-Zimmermann-Telegram-by-Barbara-W-Tuchman-Classic-Story-Of-Intrigue.pdf
Barbara would have suggested that it was not the Lusitania but indeed the telegram, which would have the US balanced (tilted over?) to war...

Kind regards, Paul.
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Meles meles
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PostSubject: Re: The Zimmerman telegram   Fri 27 Jan 2017, 11:30

@PaulRyckier wrote:

Barbara would have suggested that it was not the Lusitania but indeed the telegram, which would have the US balanced (tilted over?) to war...

Seeing as the Lusitania was sunk two years before the US declaration of war her sinking surely could only ever have been contributary in influencing American popular opinion. Moreover following the sinking and the resulting international outcry, the German Navy had greatly restricted their use of submarines against merchant vessels generally and in particular avoiding all vessels that were not from belligerant nations.

However from the beginning of February 1917 (20 months after Lusitania) Germany reinstituted unrestricted submarine warfare against mechant vessels including, as was clearly stated, all ships in the North Atlantic flying the American flag ... and for February/March/April 1917, ie just prior to the US declaration of war (6 April), shipping losses were running at about 500,000 tons a month in the North Atlantic and North Sea. The German policy initially appeared to be successful in that, rather than call for US vessels to be armed or escorted by US warships, most US shipping companies simply withdrew their vessels from sailing to Europe.

Nevertheless this second period of submarine warfare against merchant vessels was certainly a key element in deciding America's entry into the war, as the German's feared it would be. The Mexico business was intended as a threat to prevent US involvement when faced with intensive German submarine warfare in the Atlantic in pursuit of a blockade of Britain. Zimmerman himself, when he admitted to the American press that the released details of the telegram were true (March 1917) said that he hoped the Americans would understand that the idea was that Germany would aid Mexico's war with the US only in the event of an American declaration of war. But the telegram also mentions "ruthless employment of our submarines" so clearly this renewed submarine activity was linked to Mexico - both in the minds of the German High Command, and of the US Government and people - and so as I see it, these two aspects together were the immediate actions that tipped the US into war.

Just for reference the decoded telegram in full reads:

"We intend to begin on the first of February unrestricted submarine warfare. We shall endeavor in spite of this to keep the United States of America neutral. In the event of this not succeeding, we make Mexico a proposal of alliance on the following basis: make war together, make peace together, generous financial support and an understanding on our part that Mexico is to reconquer the lost territory in Texas, New Mexico, and Arizona. The settlement in detail is left to you. You will inform the President of the above most secretly as soon as the outbreak of war with the United States of America is certain and add the suggestion that he should, on his own initiative, invite Japan to immediate adherence and at the same time mediate between Japan and ourselves. Please call the President's attention to the fact that the ruthless employment of our submarines now offers the prospect of compelling England in a few months to make peace." Signed, ZIMMERMANN
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PaulRyckier
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PostSubject: Re: The Zimmerman telegram   Fri 27 Jan 2017, 19:28

Meles meles,

in such a short message you have explained it all. And I had to read the whole Barbara Tuchman book, this BBC survey and the summary of the Tuchman book. And now I see that you put it in the right context only in few lines...

With esteem, Paul.
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PostSubject: Re: The Zimmerman telegram   Fri 27 Jan 2017, 20:31

Thank you for your praise, Paul ... I do sometimes, albeit rarely, have my moments.  Shocked 

I was interested to see the mention of Japan in the Zimmerman telegram. As an ally of Great Britain and France, Japan had been involved in the war from the outset, but I always thought that this was largely restricted to taking over German colonial possessions in Asia, such as Tsingtao, and in providing (along with Australia and New Zealand) naval patrol and escort duties in the Indian and Pacific oceans. I wasn't previously aware that Japanese forces were also used in the European theatre, thereby directly threatening Germany itself. However after a bit of reading, I now see that at the very beginning of 1917 (so just five weeks before Germany's reintroduction of unrestricted submarine warfare and only three months before the Zimmerman telegram and the US entering the war) Japan sent a significant number of ships to the Mediterranean: 12 destroyers were sold to France, and a force of 3 cruisers, 14 destroyers, and numerous other patrol craft, all under Japanese command, were sent to Malta. These allowed the Royal Navy to redeploy its own warships to anti-submarine and blockade duties in the North Atlantic and North Sea.

By the time of the Zimmerman telegram relations between Japan and the US were rather strained with both countries competing for influence in the Pacific. With the US declaration of war they found themselves on the same side and their mutual hostility was only partially relieved by the Lansing-Ishii Agreement of November 1917. Nevertheless the Japanese ability and willingness to supply much needed materiel to its European Allies, and to physically help counter the submarine threat in the Atlantic, did much to increase Japan's standing and influence, as well as to promote and diversify her industry ... all of which was in direct competition with the US.

With all that in mind, the allusions in the Zimmerman telegram to the possblity of a German-Japanese armsitice now make much more sense.
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Vizzer
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PostSubject: Re: The Zimmerman telegram   Sat 28 Jan 2017, 12:05

Japanese foreign policy was quite understandable and even astute during the First World War. Just 9 years after the Russo-Japanese War, to have Russia embroiled in a major conflict in Europe only served to further Japan's security needs in the Far East. Zimmerman's facile conclusion that Japan was on an inevitable collision course with the U.S. and so this predicated a strategic understanding with Germany as being in Japan's long-term interests only reflected the increasingly desperate view from Berlin. It was obviously not a view shared by Tokyo.

As far as Foreign Minister Ishii Kikujiro etc were concerned, staying in with the British and getting in with the French was the best way to offset any possible or perceived tensions with America. To be fair to Zimmerman, his analysis was basically correct in that (unchecked) the ongoing growth of both Japanese and American naval power and interests in the Pacific were indeed sooner or later going to come to a head. His fanciful offer of an alliance with Mexico and his crass mishandling of the leak afterwards, however, showed him to have been singularly ill-suited as Germany's diplomat-in-chief during that critical period.
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nordmann
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PostSubject: Re: The Zimmerman telegram   Fri 17 Feb 2017, 11:23



Bob Dylan's booking manager Bert Block confirms that Zimmerman & Band will attend the 1969 Isle of Wight Festival by telegram.

Smile
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