2018 50¢ World War I: Turning the Tide
Value: 50¢ 1-ounce First-Class Letter Rate (Forever)
Issue Date: July 27, 2018
First Day City: Kansas City, Missouri
Type of Stamp: Commemorative
Printed by: Ashton Potter
Printing Method: Offset, Microprint
Format: Pane of 20
Quantity Printed: 20,000,000
By 1918, troops on the Western Front were weary from four years of trench warfare. With the Germans just 50 miles from Paris, the Allies got the boost they needed – thousands of fresh US troops.
From the outbreak of the war in 1914, the US chose to remain neutral, though hundreds of volunteers joined the fight in Europe. However, as the war dragged on, the Germans began attacking any ships that approached Britain, including American vessels. They also offered US land to Mexico in return for their support if the US joined the war. That offer, dubbed the “Zimmermann Telegram,” paired with the German sinking of American ships, pushed the US to declare war on April 6, 1917.
Though small at first, America’s army quickly grew. By the spring of 1918, there were two million US troops in France, with 10,000 more arriving daily. They were first tested at the Second Battle of the Marne and Belleau Wood, where they helped halt the German advance. These victories bolstered the Allied resolve, and in August, they launched the Hundred Days Offensive. Through a series of sweeping victories, they defeated the Germans and ended the war in a matter of months.
Of the four million Americans who fought, 116,000 never returned home. Each one played a crucial role in turning the tide of the war and establishing America as one of the world’s great military powers.