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#157: US Adopts Neutrality as World War One Begins in Europe

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British forces in action during World War One
British forces in action during World War One

BOB DOUGHTY: Welcome to THE MAKING OF A NATION - American history in VOA Special English.

In nineteen fourteen, Europe exploded into the First World War. It was a war no nation really wanted. But no nation seemed able to stop it.

1914年,欧洲爆发了第一次世界大战。没有一个国家真的希望打这场战争,但是也没有任何国家能阻止战争的爆发。

The assassination of Austria's Archduke Franz Ferdinand in the city of Sarajevo was the spark that set off the explosion.

一战的导火线是奥地利大公斐迪南在萨拉热窝被刺杀。

This week in our series, Harry Monroe and Kay Gallant tell about the war and how it affected the United States under President Woodrow Wilson.

HARRY MONROE: The Austrian Archduke was murdered by Serbian nationalists. They opposed Austrian control of their homeland. After the assassination, Austria declared war on Serbia. One of Serbia's allies was Russia. Russia agreed to help Serbia in any war against Austria.

刺杀斐迪南大公的是塞尔维亚的民族主义分子,他们反对奥地利对塞尔维亚的统治。刺杀事件发生后,奥地利向塞尔维亚宣战。塞尔维亚的一个盟国是俄罗斯,俄罗斯同意帮助塞尔维亚对奥地利作战。

Austria had allies, too. The most important was Germany. Germany wanted Russia to stay out of the war. When Russia refused, Germany declared war on Russia. Then Germany declared war on Russia's close ally, France. Britain entered the war a few days later when Germany violated the neutrality of Belgium.

奥地利也有盟国,其中最重要的一个盟友是德国。德国希望俄罗斯不要介入奥地利和塞尔维亚的战争,但俄罗斯拒绝了,于是,德国向俄罗斯宣战。随后,德国又向俄罗斯的亲密盟国法国宣战。几天之后,由于德军入侵中立的比利时,英国向德国宣战。

An abandoned British trench captured by the Germans. German soldiers are on horseback in the background.
An abandoned British trench captured by the Germans. German soldiers are on horseback in the background.

KAY GALLANT: One nation after another entered the conflict to protect its friends or to honor its treaties. Within a week, most of Europe was at war.

一个又一个国家为了保护自己的盟国或遵守盟国之间的协定而参战。不到一个星期,欧洲绝大多数国家都卷入了战争。

On one side were the Central Powers: Germany and Austria-Hungary. On the other side were the Triple Entente Allies: France, Britain, and Russia. Many other nations took sides. Bulgaria and Turkey joined the Central Powers. Italy, Romania, Portugal, and Greece joined the Allies.

战争的一方是轴心国,包括德国和奥匈帝国;另一方是协约国,包括法国、英国和俄罗斯。许多其它国家也做出选择。保加利亚和土耳其加入轴心国,而意大利、罗马尼亚、葡萄牙和希腊则加入了协约国。

HARRY MONROE: The United States hoped to stay out of the war. President Wilson immediately declared American neutrality. He said: "It is a war with which we have nothing to do, whose causes cannot touch us."

美国想置身事外。威尔逊总统在战争爆发后立即宣布美国的中立态度。他说:"这次战争与美国完全无关,战争的是是非非跟美国不沾边。"

Most Americans agreed with President Wilson. They did not want to get involved in the fighting. However, many found it difficult to remain neutral in their hearts. Some Americans had family roots in Germany. They supported the Central Powers. A greater number of Americans had family roots in Britain or France. They supported the Allies.

绝大多数美国人也是这么想的,他们都不想卷入战争。然而,许多美国人其实在内心里很难保持中立。有些人的祖籍在德国,因此他们支持轴心国。还有更多的美国人祖籍是英国和法国,因此他们支持协约国。

Yet the official American policy was neutrality. The United States planned to continue to trade with both sides.

然而,美国的官方政策是中立,美国还打算继续同交战双方做生意。

KAY GALLANT: Germany and Austria expected a quick victory in the war. They were caught between two powerful enemies: Russia and France. But German military leaders were not worried. They had a battle plan they were sure would succeed.

德国和奥地利认为自己很快就能打赢这场战争。虽然它们受到俄罗斯和法国两个强大敌人的夹击,但德国的将领们并不担心,他们制定了一项作战计划,觉得靠此计划必能取胜。

The German generals planned to strike quickly at France with most of the German army. They expected to defeat France in a short time and then turn to fight Russia. In this way, the German army would not have to fight both enemies at the same time.

这个计划就是集中德国的大部分兵力快速袭击法国,在迅速打败法国后再转而同俄罗斯作战。这样,德军就不必同时在法俄两线作战。

A 1915 poster showing a French soldier holding a grenade
A 1915 poster showing a French soldier holding a grenade

HARRY MONROE: At first, the plan worked. Two million German soldiers swept across Belgium and into France. They rushed forward toward Paris, hoping for a fast victory. But the German commanders made a mistake. They pushed their men too fast. When British and French forces struck back -- outside Paris -- the tired and worn German soldiers could not hold their positions.

开始时,德国的计划取得了成效。两百万德军横扫比利时,进入法国,迅速向巴黎推进,希望能够速战速决。但是,德军将领们犯了一个错误,他们的推进速度太快了。当英法军队在巴黎外围反攻时,疲惫的德军已经无力坚守阵地。

The battle was fierce and unbelievably bloody. In the end, the Germans were forced to withdraw.

这场战斗异常激烈和血腥,最终,德军被迫撤退。

The German withdrawal gave the allies time to prepare strong defenses. There was no chance now for a quick German victory. Instead, it would be a long war, with Germany and Austria facing enemies on two sides. Britain and France were on the West. Russia was on the East.

德军的撤退使协约国获得了加固防线的时间。此时,对于德国而言已经没有速胜的机会了。相反,德国和奥地利现在腹背受敌,在西线同英法作战,在东线同俄罗斯作战。

KAY GALLANT: The Allies took immediate steps to reduce Germany's trade with the rest of the world. The British navy began seizing war supplies found on neutral ships sailing toward German ports. It then expanded its efforts to block food exports to Germany.

战争变成了持久战。协约国还立即采取措施减少德国与其它国家间的贸易往来。英国海军开始在驶往德国港口的中立国船只上搜缴战争补给品,后来还扩大到封锁向德国出口的食品。

The blockade by Britain and the other allies was very successful. Germany faced possible starvation. Its navy was not strong enough to break the blockade with surface ships. Its only hope was to break the blockade with another naval weapon: submarines.

英国和其它国家的这种封锁取得了很大的成功,德国几乎要出现饥荒。德军的水面舰船无力打破封锁,只能将希望寄托在另一种海军武器上,那就是潜艇。

Germany announced that it would use its submarines to sink any ship that came near the coast of Britain. The threat included ships from neutral nations that tried to continue trading with the Allies.

德国宣布,将用潜艇击沉靠近英国海岸的所有船只,包括那些企图继续同协约国展开贸易的中立国船只。

HARRY MONROE: The United States and other neutral nations immediately protested the German announcement. They said it was a clear violation of international law.

美国和其它一些中立国立即抗议德国的声明,它们说,这么做显然违背了国际法。

A German submarine said to be the one that sank the Lusitania
A German submarine said to be the one that sank the Lusitania

When a German submarine sank a British ship in the Irish Sea, one of the victims was an American citizen. A few weeks later, an American oil ship was damaged during a sea battle between British navy ships and a German submarine. Then came the most serious incident of all. It involved a British passenger ship called the Lusitania.

后来,德国潜艇在爱尔兰海域击沉了一艘英国船只,其中一名受害者是美国公民。几个星期后,一艘美国油船在英国战舰和德国潜艇之间的战斗中被毁。之后,又发生了最为严重的事件。涉事的是一艘名叫路西塔尼亚的英国客船。

The Lusitania was sailing from New York City to Britain when it was attacked by a German submarine. The Lusitania sank in eighteen minutes. One thousand two hundred persons were killed. One hundred twenty-nine were Americans.

路西塔尼亚在从纽约驶往英国的途中遭到德国潜艇的袭击,18分钟后沉没,导致1200人死亡,其中有129个美国人。

KAY GALLANT: The sinking of the Lusitania shocked and horrified the American people. They called it mass murder. They turned against Germany. President Wilson warned that he might declare war on Germany, if Germany continued to sink civilian ships.

路西塔尼亚号沉船事件震惊了美国,并引发了人们的恐慌。美国人说这是一次大规模谋杀,他们开始把德国看作敌人。威尔逊总统警告德国说,如果德国继续攻击民船,美国可能会对德国宣战。

Germany did not want war with the United States. It already faced a strong fight against the European Allies. It promised not to sink any more civilian ships without warning. And it offered regrets for the Lusitania incident.

德国不希望同美国开战,因为它已经要应付强大的协约国。于是,德国许诺不会再在没有警告的情况下攻击民船,并就路西塔尼亚号沉船事件表示道歉。

HARRY MONROE: President Wilson accepted Germany's apology. Like most Americans, he hoped to stay out of the bloody European struggle. And he also knew that the record of the Allies was not completely clean.

威尔逊总统接受了德国的道歉。和许多美国人一样,他并不想卷入欧洲的血腥战争。他也清楚,协约国做的事儿也并不清白。

For example, he was troubled by reports of mass hunger in Germany. He and other Americans felt the British food blockade was cruel. They also were shocked by the way British forces brutally crushed a rebellion in Ireland at the time.

比如,德国因为被封锁而发生了大范围饥荒,这令威尔逊感到不安。他和许多美国人认为,英国对德国的粮食封锁是残酷的。与此同时,英军对爱尔兰一次起义的残酷镇压也让美国人感到震惊。

Most of all, the American people were sickened by reports of what was happening on the battlefields of Europe. The armies were using poison gas and other terrible weapons. Soldiers on both sides were dying by the millions. The war had become a bloodbath.

但美国人最反感的还是欧洲战场上发生的事情,比如军队用毒气弹和其它可怕的武器作战;双方士兵死亡数百万。这场战争已经变成了一场大屠杀。

President Woodrow Wilson in 1916
President Woodrow Wilson in 1916

KAY GALLANT: The United States had a presidential election in nineteen sixteen. President Wilson won the nomination of the Democratic Party to seek re-election. Democrats around the country shouted their support with these words: "He kept us out of war!" Wilson himself did not like the words. He felt it raised false hopes. But people continued to say it, because they did not want war.

1916年是美国总统选举年,威尔逊总统获得民主党的提名,他将寻求连任。全国的民主党人在表示他们对威尔逊的支持时都高喊:"他让我们免于卷入战争!"威尔逊自己并不喜欢这样的话,因为他觉得这其实给了人们错误的希望。但美国人仍然这样说,因为他们不想打仗。

HARRY MONROE: The Republican Party nominated Supreme Court Justice Charles Evans Hughes as its candidate for president. Hughes was a moderate Republican. He supported a number of social reforms.

共和党提名最高法院大法官查尔斯.休斯为总统候选人。休斯是一位温和的共和党人,他支持一系列社会改革。

Like Wilson, Hughes promised to keep the United States neutral. However, one of his supporters was former President Theodore Roosevelt. And Roosevelt called for strong American policies that could lead to war. Roosevelt's words led many Americans to see Wilson as the candidate of peace....and Hughes as the candidate of war.

和威尔逊一样,他承诺保持美国的中立态度。然而,休斯的一个支持者是美国前总统西奥多.罗斯福,罗斯福呼吁美国采取强硬政策,而这些政策可能会导致美国卷入战争。结果,罗斯福的话使许多美国人把威尔逊看成了期望和平的总统候选人,而休斯则成了期望战争的候选人。

KAY GALLANT: Voting in the presidential election was very close. At first, it seemed Hughes had won. He went to bed on election night believing he would be America's next president. But voting results later that night confirmed Wilson as the winner. The election was so close the Republicans did not accept defeat for two weeks.

这次总统选举竞争非常激烈。开始时,休斯似乎获胜了。选举日那晚,他上床睡觉时觉得自己必定就是下一任总统了。但后半夜的计票结果却确认威尔逊获得了胜利。由于选举结果非常的接近,共和党一直拖了两个星期才承认竞选失败。

Woodrow Wilson had won another term. During that term, he would find it increasingly difficult to honor the words of the campaign. Finally, he would find it impossible. The United States entered World War One while Woodrow Wilson was president.

伍德罗.威尔逊又赢得了一个总统任期。在这个任期内,他将发现,要兑现在选举中许下的诺言越来越难,最终则变成完全不可能。美国在威尔逊当政期间参加了第一次世界大战。

That will be our story next week.

(MUSIC)

BOB DOUGHTY: Our program was written by Frank Beardsley. The narrators were Harry Monroe and Kay Gallant.

You can find our series online with transcripts, MP3s, podcasts and images at www.unsv.com. You can also follow us on Facebook and Twitter at VOA Learning English. Join us again next week for THE MAKING OF A NATION -- an American history series in VOA Special English.

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