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#159: General Pershing Leads Troops into Europe's Great War

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Russian troops in 1917
Russian troops in 1917

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

This week in our series, Larry West and Tony Riggs continue the story of President Woodrow Wilson.

LARRY WEST: In nineteen seventeen, Europe was at war. It was the conflict known as World War One. After three years of fighting, Europe's lands were filled with the sights and sounds of death. But still, the armies of the Allies and the Central Powers continued to fight.

1917年,欧洲正在打第一次世界大战。战火烧了三年之后,欧洲尸横遍野,哀嚎不断。但是,协约国和轴心国的军队仍然在交战。

The United States had tried to keep out of the European conflict. It declared its neutrality. In the end, however, neutrality was impossible.

美国一直试图远离欧洲的战争,并宣布保持中立。然而最终,形势的发展让中立成为不可能。

Germany was facing starvation because of a British naval blockade. To break the blockade, German submarines attacked any ship that sailed to Europe. That included ships from neutral nations like the United States. The German submarines sank several American ships. Many innocent people were killed.

由于英国在海上的封锁,德国面临严重的饥饿。为了打破封锁,德国潜艇向所有驶向欧洲的船只发动攻击,包括美国等中立国家的船只。德国潜艇击沉了几艘美国船,导致许多无辜的人丧生。

TONY RIGGS: German submarine attacks finally forced the United States into the war. It joined the Allies: Britain, France, and Russia.

德国潜艇的攻击迫使美国参战,加入到由英国、法国和俄罗斯组成的协约国阵营。

Like most Americans, President Wilson did not want war. But he had no choice. Sadly, he asked Congress for a declaration of war. Congress approved the declaration on April sixth, nineteen seventeen.

和许多美国人一样,威尔逊总统并不想打仗,但他别无选择。他悲伤地请求国会宣战。1917年4月6日,美国国会批准对德宣战。

It was not long before American soldiers reached the European continent. They marched in a parade through the streets of Paris. The people of France gave them a wild welcome. They cheered the young Americans. They threw flowers at the soldiers and kissed them.

不久,美军就来到了欧洲大陆,他们浩浩荡荡地行走在巴黎的大街上。法国人民狂热地欢迎他们,向他们抛出鲜花,亲吻他们。

General John J. Pershing
General John J. Pershing

LARRY WEST: The Americans marched to the burial place of the Marquis de Lafayette. Lafayette was the French military leader who had come to America's aid during its war of independence from Britain. The United States wanted to repay France for its help more than a hundred years earlier.

美军来到了拉法耶特侯爵的墓地。拉法耶特侯爵生前是法国军队的领导人,在美国独立战争期间,他曾帮助美国人。美国人想报答法国100多年前对他们的帮助。

An American Army officer made a speech at the tomb. He said: "Lafayette, we are here!"

一名美国军官在拉法耶特的墓前发表讲话,他说:"拉法耶特,我们来了!"

TONY RIGGS: And so the Americans were there. They were ready to fight in the bloodiest war the world had ever known. Week by week, more American troops arrived. By October, nineteen seventeen, the American army in Europe totaled one hundred thousand men. The leader of that army was General John J. Pershing.

是的,美国人来了,他们已经准备好参加世界历史上最血腥的这场战争。一个星期又一个星期,越来越多的美国军人来到欧洲。到1917年10月,在欧洲的美军总数已经达到了10万。他们的将领是约翰.潘兴将军。

Pershing's forces were not sent directly into battle. Instead, they spent time training, building bases, and preparing supplies. Then a small group was sent to the border between Switzerland and Germany. The Americans fought a short but bitter battle there against German forces.

潘兴的军队没有直接参战,而是训练、修建基地和准备补给。后来,一支小分队被派往瑞士和德国边界,在那里同德军进行了短促但激烈的交战。

The Germans knew the American soldiers had not fought before. They tried to frighten the Americans by waving their knives and guns in a fierce attack. The Americans surprised the Germans. They stood and fought back successfully.

德军知道,美军以前没有打过仗,所以他们发起猛攻,挥舞刀枪,试图吓退美军。然而,美军的表现令德国吃惊,他们守住了阵地并成功反击。

"Here Are the Americans!" says a French poster from World War One, showing a large shadow of an American soldier over a German soldier

LARRY WEST: Full American participation in the fighting did not come for several months. It came only after another event took place. That event changed the war and the history of the Twentieth Century. It was the Bolshevik Revolution in Russia. Its leader was Vladimir Lenin.

几个月后,美军才完全投入了战斗。在那之前发生了一件大事,它改变了第一次世界大战的进程,也改变了20世纪的历史,这就是列宁在俄国领导的布尔什维克革命。

The Russian Revolution began in the spring of nineteen seventeen. The people of that country were tired of fighting Germany. And they were tired of their ruler, Czar Nicholas. The Czar was overthrown. A temporary government was established. It was headed by Alexander Kerenski.

这场革命开始于1917年春天,当时,俄国人已经厌倦了同德国的交战,也厌倦了沙皇尼古拉二世的统治。沙皇被推翻后,一个临时政府成立了,它的领导人是亚历山大·克伦斯基。

President Woodrow Wilson sent a team of American officials to Russia to help Kerenski's new government. The officials urged Russia to remain in the war.

威尔逊总统向俄罗斯派遣了一支官方小组,帮助克伦斯基组建新政府,并敦促俄罗斯继续参战。

TONY RIGGS: Under Kerenski, Russia did keep fighting. But it continued to suffer terrible losses. Many Russians demanded an end to the war.

在克伦斯基的领导下,俄国继续作战,但也继续遭受惨重伤亡,许多俄国人要求结束战争。

Lenin saw this opposition as a way to gain control of the government. So he went to the city of Petrograd. There, he led the opposition to the war and to Kerenski. Night after night, he spoke to big crowds. "What do you get from war." He shouted. "Only wounds, hunger and death!"

列宁把这股反战情绪看成是夺取政权的途径。他前往彼得格勒,在那里领导反战和反对克伦斯基的运动。每天晚上,他都对人群大声疾呼:"你们能从战争中得到什么呢?只有伤病、饥饿和死亡!"

Lenin promised peace under Bolshevik Communism. Within a few months, he won control of the Petrograd Soviet. That was an organization of workers and soldiers. Another Bolshevik Communist, Leon Trotsky, controlled the Soviet in Moscow.

列宁承诺,在布尔什维克的领导下,俄国人能过上太平日子。在几个月内,他就控制了由工人和军人组成的彼得格勒苏维埃政权。

LARRY WEST: Kerenski's government continued to do badly in the war. More and more Russian soldiers lost hope. Many fled the army. Others stayed. But they refused to fight.

与此同时,克伦斯基政府继续在战争中节节败退,越来越多的俄国士兵不再抱有希望,许多人开了小差。其他人虽然没走,但却拒绝参加战斗。

The end came in November, nineteen seventeen. Soldiers in Petrograd turned against Kerenski. Lenin ordered them to rebel. And he took control of the government within forty-eight hours. Russia was now a Communist nation.

最终,在1917年11月,彼得格勒的士兵开始反伦克林斯基。列宁命令他们起义,并在48小时内就控制了俄国政府。现在,俄罗斯是一个共产党国家了。

As promised, Lenin called for peace. So Russia signed its own peace treaty with Germany. The treaty forced Russia to pay a high price for its part in the war. It had to give up a third of its farmland, half of its industry, and ninety percent of its coal mines. It also lost a third of its population. Still, it did not have real peace with Germany.

列宁遵守承诺,呼吁实现和平。俄罗斯单独与德国签署了和平条约。和平条约迫使俄罗斯为其参加第一次世界大战付出沉重的代价。俄罗斯不得不放弃自己三分之一的农田、一半的工业和百分之90的煤矿,而且还失去了三分之一的人口。尽管如此,俄罗斯也未能真正地与德国实现和平。

TONY RIGGS: The treaty between Russia and Germany had a powerful influence on the military situation in the rest of Europe. Now, Germany no longer had to fight an enemy on two fronts. Its eastern border was quiet suddenly. It could aim all its forces against Britain, France, and the other Allies on its western border.

然而,两国间的和平条约给欧洲战场其它地方的军事形势带来了重大影响。德国不再需要同时在两条战线作战。东部战线突然平静了,它可以调集所有军队到西线去,对付英国、法国和其它协约国成员。

Germany had suffered terrible losses during four years of war. Many of its soldiers had been killed. And many of its civilians had come close to starving, because of the British naval blockade. Yet Germany's leaders still hoped to win. They decided to launch a major attack. They knew they had to act quickly, before the United States could send more troops to help the Allies.

在四年的战争中,德国遭受了重大损失,许多士兵阵亡,很多平民由于英国的海上封锁而几乎饿死。然而,德国领导人仍然希望赢得战争。为此,他们决定发动一次大规模进攻。他们知道,这次行动必须迅速,要赶在美国向欧洲派更多军队帮助协约国作战之前就发动进攻。

LARRY WEST: German military leaders decided to break through the long battle line that divided most of central Europe. They planned to strike first at the north end of the line. British troops held that area. The Germans would push the British off the continent and back across the English Channel. Then they would turn all their strength on France. When France was defeated, Germany would be victorious.

德国军队领导人决定突破贯穿大部分中欧地区的战线。他们打算先攻打这条战线的北端,那里由英军防守。德军打算把英军赶出欧洲大陆,逼他们渡过英吉利海峡回老家。然后,德国将集中全力对付法国,把法国击败后,德国就将取得胜利了。

The campaign opened in March, nineteen eighteen. German forces attacked British soldiers near Amiens, France. The Germans had six thousand pieces of artillery. The British troops fought hard, but could not stop the Germans. They were pushed back fifty kilometers. The attack stopped for about a week.

这场战役于1918年3月打响,德军在法国的亚眠附近向英军发动进攻。德军发射了六千枚炮弹,英军奋勇抵抗,但没能阻止住德军的进攻,被迫后退了50公里。

TONY RIGGS: Then the Germans struck again. This time, their target was Ypres, Belgium.

一个星期后,德国再次发动进攻,这次的目标是比利时的伊普雷斯。

The second attack was so successful it seemed the Germans might push the British all the way back to the sea. The British commander, Field Marshal Douglas Haig, ordered his men not to withdraw. Haig said: "There is no other course open to us, but to fight it out."

这次进攻大获全胜,眼看德军就要把英军赶到大海里了。这时,英军指挥官、陆军元帅道格拉斯.黑格命令英军绝不能后撤。他说:"我们已经无路可走,只能杀出一条血路。"

The British fought hard and stopped the attack. Losses on both sides were extremely high. Yet the Germans continued with their plan.

英军勇猛作战,阻止了德军的进攻。双方伤亡惨重,但德军并没有改变作战计划。

LARRY WEST: Their next attack was northeast of Paris in May. This time, they broke the Allied line easily and rushed toward Paris. The German Army chief, General Erich Ludendorff, tried to capture the French capital without waiting to strengthen his forces. He got close enough to shell the city.

德军的下一次进攻是在5月,目标是巴黎的东北方。这次,德军轻松突破了协约国的防线,并向巴黎推进。德军最高指挥官埃里克.鲁登道夫将军甚至等不及让军队休整一下,就迫不及待地要拿下巴黎。他的部队推进到了可以炮轰巴黎的位置。

The French government prepared to flee.

法国政府已经做好了逃跑的准备。

Allied military leaders rushed more troops to the area. The new force included two big groups of American marines.

协约国的军事将领们则向这个地区派遣了更多的增援部队,其中包括美国海军陆战队的两支大部队。

Damage caused by shells that struck Belleau Woods, France
Damage caused by shells that struck Belleau Woods, France

TONY RIGGS: The heaviest fighting was outside Paris at a place called Belleau Wood. The American Marines were advised to prepare for a possible withdrawal. One Marine said: "Withdraw? We just got here!"

最激烈的战斗发生在巴黎郊外一个叫贝勒伍德的地方。有人建议美国海军陆战队做好撤退准备,但一名美军战士说:"撤退?我们才刚来到这里!"

The Marines resisted as the Germans attacked Allied lines in Belleau Wood again and again. Then they attacked the German lines. The Battle for Belleau Wood lasted three weeks. It was the most serious German offensive of the war. The Germans lost.

在贝勒伍德,当德军一次又一次进攻协约国防线时,美军发起反攻,然后又向德军发起进攻。贝勒伍德战役持续了三周。这是德军在一战中发起的最猛烈攻势,但最终以失败收场。

We will continue our story of World War One next week.

(MUSIC)

BOB DOUGHTY:

Our program was written by Frank Beardsley. The narrators were Larry West and Tony Riggs.

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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