1917 was a year of calamitous events, and one of pivotal importance in the development of the First World War. In 1917: War, Peace, and Revolution, leading historian of World War I David Stevenson examines this crucial year in context and illuminates the century that followed. He shows how in this one year the war was transformed, but also what drove the conflict onwards and how it continued to escalate.
Two developments in particular - the Russian Revolution and American intervention - had worldwide repercussions. Offering a close examination of the key decisions, David Stevenson considers Germanys campaign of submarine warfare, America's declaration of war in response, and Britain's frustration of German strategy by adopting the convoy system, as well as why (paradoxically) the military and political stalemate in Europe persisted.
1917 offers a truly international understanding of events, including abdication of Tsar Nicholas II, the disastrous spring offensive that plunged the French army into mutiny, on the summer attacks that undermined the moderate Provisional Government in Russia and exposed Italy to national humiliation at Caporetto, and on the British decision for the ill-fated Third Battle of Ypres (Passchendaele).
David Stevenson also analyzes the global consequences of the years developments, describing how countries such as Brazil and China joined the belligerents, how Britain offered responsible government to India, and how the Allies promised a Jewish national home in Palestine. Blending political and military history, and moving from capital to capital and from the cabinet chamber to the battle front, the book highlights the often tumultuous debates through which leaders entered and escalated the war, and the paradox that continued fighting was justifiable as the shortest road toward peace.