American forces took part in the forty-seven-day Meuse-Argonne offensive. The Allies advanced through the Argonne Forest and pushed the German line back until, cornered and with no hope for success, the Germans agreed to cease fire and an armistice on November 11.
Wilson released a decoded telegram from German foreign minister Arthur Zimmermann to Mexico. Zimmermann proposed that, if the US entered the war, Mexico go to war with the US as a German ally. Zimmermann promised that if Mexico allied with Germany, Germany would provide “financial support and an understanding on our part that Mexico is to reconquer lost territory in Texas, New Mexico, and Arizona.”
Fearing the restoration of German power, the Soviets insisted on the repression of the German people, while the United States hoped to include West Germany in Western European recovery plans. As American and Soviet forces occupying Germany clashed over punishment and rehabilitation plans for the country, the Soviets cut off access to Berlin.
President Reagan ordered “pre-emptive action against terrorist installations” in the bombing of Libya in response to a terrorist attack in West Berlin, allegedly perpetrated by Libya and its leader Muammar Qaddafi, that killed an American soldier.
Ronald Reagan made a controversial visit to a military cemetery at Bitburg, Germany. Nazi SS soldiers were among the dead, and the President’s visit sparked protests from both Americans and Germans. Reagan, who also visited the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp, justified the visit as an attempt to strengthen relations with Germany.