This page is part of The Great War 1914-1918 Project.
Jan. 31, 1917 Germany, in its final effort to win the war against the Allied Powers, announced publicly it was resuming unrestricted warfare. (the U-boats). United States broke off diplomatic relations with Germany. However soon a German U-boat sank the American liner," Housatonic". A British steamer was able to rescue the 25 Americans on board!
This led states on the coast of the United States to start worrying a U boat might attack their ships or even fishing boats. Shortly 4 more Merchant marine vessels were sunk.
Feb. 24, 1917, the release of a disturbing the “Zimmermann Note,” a coded telegram from German Foreign Secretary Arthur Zimmermann to Count Johann von Bernstorff, German ambassador to Mexico. This was deciphered which stated Mexico should be requested to enter the war as one of Germany's allies. In return, Germany planned to return Mexico's lost territories of Texas, New Mexico, Arizona to Mexico. When this was published, America was ready for war against Germany.
Fort Meade was first established as a U.S. Army World War I National Army Mobilization and Training Camp in 1917 near Admiral, Anne Arundel County, Maryland. Named Camp Meade in G.O. 95, 18 Jul 1917, after Major General George G. Meade (Cullum 804), who commanded Union forces at Gettysburg during the U.S. Civil War. Renamed Fort George G. Meade on 5 Mar 1929.
The first commander of the camp was Major General Joseph E. Kuhn (Cullum 3058) who formed the 79th U.S. Infantry Division 25 Aug 1917 and initiated troop training. The 79th arrived in September 1917 and departed for France in Jul 1918. The division distinguished itself in combat suffering 3,223 casualties. The 79th returned to the U.S. in May 1919 and was demobilized.At the end of the war the camp became a demobilization center. The post was renamed Fort Leonard Wood (2) in 1928, but angry congressmen held up Army appropriations until it was renamed Fort George G. Meade on 5 Mar 1929.
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