the United States entered the First World War

Having remained neutral in face of the European conflict, the United States entered the war following the sinking of the Lusitania, when the Germans resumed submarine warfare, and following the interception of the Zimmerman Telegram which was hostile to their interests.

Even though their involvement only made a significant contribution in the field in the last few months of the conflict, the Americans put in place a real "war machine". They unloaded tonnes of equipment and built infrastructure to deploy their army in preparation for offensives in 1919.

American troops in Iéna Square in Paris on Washington's birthday (22/02/1918).

After the armistice, significant stocks of equipment were left in place and sold off at low prices, in particular crates containing "Liberty" trucks in kit form. They were bought by Louis Willème, providing tough competition for French trucks. In addition, the sudden cessation of orders for military vehicles led to a sharp drop in activity for national manufacturers, who had to find new outlets.

Renault converted its tanks into agricultural tractors and Berliet diversified its production to the manufacture of machine tools and vehicles running on wood gas, or even all-terrain vehicles …


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