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The Zimmermann Telegram

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  • Carl Silva
    The  Zimmermann  Telegram Arthur Zimmermann – Foreign Secretary of the German Empire   From: Germany To: Mexico---We intend to begin on the first of
    Message 1 of 1 , Sep 10 7:53 AM
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      Arthur Zimmermann – Foreign Secretary of the German Empire
       
      From: Germany To: Mexico---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    January 16, 1917                                                                                       Note: this was intercepted by the British and given to the US.
       
      Mexican President Venustiano Carranza assigned a general to assess the feasibility of a Mexican takeover of their former territories.   The general concluded that it would not be possible or even desirable for the following reasons:
      ·       Attempting to re-take the former territories would mean unavoidable war with the much stronger US.
      ·       Germany’s promises of “generous financial support” were empty.  Mexico could not buy arms, ammunition, or other war supplies, because the US was the only sizeable arms manufacturer in the Americas.  The British royal Navy controlled the Atlantic sea lanes, so Germany could not be counted on to supply Mexico with war supplies directly. 
      ·       Even if Mexico had the military means to win the conflict with the US and re-take the area in question.  Mexico would have had severe difficulty accommodating and or pacifying the large, well-armed, English-speaking population.
      ·       Other foreign relations were at stake.  Mexico had cooperated with the so-called ABC nations in South America to prevent a war with the US , generally improving relations all around. If Mexico were to enter war against the US it would strain relations with those same ABC nations—who would later declare war on Germany.
      The telegram was not an isolated case of German-Mexican collaboration, for Germany had long sought to incite a war between Mexico and the US, which would have tied down American forces and slowed the export of American arms to the Allies.  The Germans had engaged in a pattern of actively arming, funding and advising the Mexicans, as shown by the 1914 SS Ypiranga arms-shipping incident, and German advisors present during the 1918 Battle of Ambos Nogales. The German Naval Intelligence officer Franz von Rintelen had attempted to incite a war between Mexico and the US in 1915, giving Vicatoriano Huerta $12 million.  The Mare Island Naval Shipyard in the Bay Area, and possibly responsible for the July 1916 Black Tom explosion in New Jersey, was based in Mexico City.  The failure of American troops to capture Pancho Villa in 1916 and the movement of President Carranza in favor of Germany emboldened the Germans to send the Zimmerman Note.
      The BIB:
      Beesly
      Harcourt
      Bernstorff
      Singh
      Tuchman
      Last but not least  Katz---He does not include a lot of information that he could or should.
       
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