1917–1918Developments in 1917Events of 1917 proved decisive in ending the war. The British naval blockade began to have a serious impact on Germany. In response, in February 1917, the German General Staff convinced Chancellor Theobald von Bethmann-Hollweg to declare unrestricted submarine warfare, with the goal of starving Britain out of the war. After July, the newly re-introduced convoy system became effective in reducing the U-boat threat. Britain was safe from starvation, while German industrial output fell and the United States joined the war far earlier than Germany had anticipated.On 3 May 1917, during the Nivelle Offensive, the French 2nd Colonial Division, refused orders, arriving drunk and without their weapons. The French Army Mutinies eventually spread to a further 54 French divisions and saw 20,000 men desert. However, appeals to patriotism and duty, as well as mass arrests and trials, encouraged the soldiers to return to defend their trenchesThe victory of the Central Powers at the Battle of Caporetto led the Allies to convene the Rapallo Conference at which they formed the Supreme War Council to coordinate planning.In December, the Central Powers signed an armistice with Russia, thus freeing large numbers of German troops for use in the west. The Central Powers knew that they could not win a protracted war, but they held high hopes for success based on a final quick offensive. Furthermore, both sides became increasingly fearful of social unrest and revolution in Europe. Thus, both sides urgently sought a decisive victory.Ottoman Empire conflict, 1917–1918In March and April 1917, at the First and Second Battles of Gaza, German and Ottoman forces stopped the advance of the Egyptian Expeditionary Force. At the end of October, the Sinai and Palestine Campaign resumed. early in December, Jerusalem was captured following another Ottoman defeat at the Battle of Jerusalem (1917).In early 1918, the front line was extended and the Jordan Valley was occupied, following the First Transjordan and the Second Transjordan attack by British Empire forces. In March, most of the Egyptian Expeditionary Force’s British infantry and Yeomanry cavalry were sent to the Western Front as a consequence of the Spring Offensive. a number of attacks were carried out on sections of the Ottoman front line. These pushed the front line north to more advantageous positions for the Entente.in September 1918 the British and Indian infantry, broke the Ottoman front line and captured the headquarters of the Eighth Army (Ottoman Empire) at Tulkarm, Arara and the Seventh Army (Ottoman Empire)headquarters. The Desert Mounted Corps rode through the break in the front line created by the infantry. The Armistice of Mudros, signed at the end of October, ended hostilities with the Ottoman Empire when fighting was continuing north of Aleppo.Entry of the United StatesAt the outbreak of the war, the United States pursued a policy of non-intervention. When the German U-boat U-20 sank the British liner boarding 128 Americans among the dead, President Wilson insisted an end to attacks on passenger ships. Germany complied. he also repeatedly warned that the United States would not tolerate unrestricted submarine warfare, in violation of international law. In January 1917, Germany resumed unrestricted submarine warfare, realizing it would mean American entry. The Germans invited Mexico to join the war as Germany’s ally against the United States. In return, the Germans would finance Mexico’s war and help it recover the territories of Texas, New Mexico, and Arizona. The United Kingdom intercepted the message and presented it to the U.S. embassy in the U.K. Wilson called on antiwar elements to end all wars, by winning this one. He argued that the war was so important that the U.S. had to have a voice in the peace conference. Wilson called for war on Germany, which the U.S. Congress declared on 6 April 1917.The United States had a small army, but, it drafted 2.8 million men, and, by summer 1918, was sending 10,000 fresh soldiers to France every day. German General Staff assumptions that it would be able to defeat the British and French forces before American troops reinforced them were proven incorrect.The United States Navy sent a battleship group to Scapa Flow to join with the British Grand Fleet, destroyers to Queenstown, Ireland, and submarines to help guard convoys. Several regiments of U.S. Marines were also dispatched to France. Expeditionary Forces (AEF) commander, refused to break up American units to be used as filler material.German Spring Offensive of 1918The Spring Offensive sought to divide the British and French forces with a series of feints and advances. British and French trenches were penetrated using novel infiltration tactics, by specially trained units called stormtroopers. in the Spring Offensive of 1918, Ludendorff used artillery only briefly and infiltrated small groups of infantry at weak points. More heavily armed infantry then destroyed these isolated positions. This German success relied greatly on the element of surprise.The front moved to within 120 kilometers of Paris. Three heavy Krupp railway guns fired 183 shells on the capital.. Many Germans thought victory was near. After heavy fighting, however, the offensive was halted. Lacking tanks or motorized artillery, the Germans were unable to consolidate their gains.A Supreme War Council of Allied forces was created at the Doullens Conference on 5 November 1917. General Foch was appointed as supreme commander of the Allied forces.Germany launched Operation Georgette against the northern English Channel ports. The Allies halted the drive after limited territorial gains by Germany. The German Army to the south then pushed opponents broadly towards Paris.By 20 July, the Germans had retreated across the Marne to their starting lines, having achieved little, and the German Army never regained the initiative. German casualties between March and April 1918 were 270,000, including many highly trained storm troopers. Meanwhile, Germany was falling apart at home.