The Zimmermann Telegram And Its True Purpose

1180 words - 5 pages

The Zimmermann Telegram and Its True Purpose

On January 9th, 1917 a message was sent from Germany to the German minister in Mexico. This message, later to be known as the Zimmermann Telegram was the final piece to a German plot to embroil the United States into a war with Mexico, Japan or both in order to cripple Allied supply lines fueling Allied operations in Europe.
The actual telegram was translated to as follows:
"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 or 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 secretily 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 follows the prospect of compelling England in a few months to make peace"
- ZIMMERMANN
Considering this telegram was sent to Mexico, it shows Mexican importance in this war. Mexico had two thousand miles of undefended coastline on the Pacific . Her northern boarder with the United States stretched for twelve hundred miles from Texas to California, touching all along all along its length against territory that had once been her own. Mexicans remembered the Alamo too. Mexico was, in short, the soft underbelly of the United States. Mexico also had a system of railways which connected to the United States at key points which made invading the Mississippi valley, to in essence cut the nation in two plausible with a Mexican ally. Mexico also faced the nationalistic advantage and the Yankee hatred which fueled much of the war talk of murdering the gringos. The Mexicans had justified reasons to hate the gringos. During the latter stages of their civil war the US bombarded the city of Veracruz in order to destroy munitions supplying Huerta's forces. The US also launched an invasion involving twenty thousand men or two thirds of the regular forces to invade Mexico and capture Mexican generalismo Poncho Villa. These forces were led by Gen. Pershing and were ultimately unsuccessful on their 3 month trek in the deserts of Mexico. This sense of nationalism would be essential if Mexico were to launch an offensive campaign against the US, but without strong leadership they would fail miserabliy. Mexico lacked a strong central figure for over twenty years. Mexico had been going on an on going struggle with a three prong civil war between Huerta, Villa and...

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