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How Far Was The War At Sea The Most Important Reason For The Allied Victory In 1918?

2426 words - 10 pages

There were many factors in the war which contributed to the Allied victory in 1918, one of these being the war at sea. It is important to compare the effectiveness of the war at sea with the other factors affecting the victory of the Allies in the First World War; these factors being the American entry into the war, the war on land, the war in the air and the development of weapons. I will be trying to evaluate the extent to which the war at sea was the most important reason for the Allied victory, because I believe that it was the most significant factor that aided the Allies in winning the war in 1918.
The naval tactics used by both sides played a very significant role in the First World ...view middle of the document...

The German use of U-boats was quite important and was one of the most successful naval machines used by Germany. A cartoon in the British magazine ‘Punch’ showed a German officer standing on top of a U-boat, grinning down at several casualties, these including women, below him. It was titled ‘A Great Naval Triumph’. This source tells us that the British opinion of the German U-boats was that they were vicious and caused the deaths of many innocent people. This said, the source is not very reliable as it shows a bias towards the British and was made to make the Germans seem like monsters.
Aided by reconnaissance in the air, the British naval force was one to be reckoned with as they used many important tactics such as blockades and mines, as well as having an advantage in being an island with many ports. Britain was very successful in their use of the sea to restrict German supplies and this, I believe, contributed greatly to the Allied victory in the First World War.
Another notable factor that aided the Allied victory in 1918 was the entry of the USA into the war. Although the USA was officially neutral at the start of the war, they had been helping the Allies by providing money and resources. However, after the sinking of many American cruise ships due to German ‘unrestricted submarine warfare’ and a German proposition to ally with Mexico against the USA, the Americans entered the war on the side of the Allies, bringing with them resources, new tactics and, above all, man power.
As shown in an extract from ‘The First World War’ by AJ.P Taylor, written in 1963, ‘America’s entry brought limitless resources to the Allied side.’ We learn from this that the entry of the USA into the war was helpful in providing what the Allies needed to win the war. In contrast, the same extract states, ‘[The USA] had virtually no army.’ This suggests that many of the men had to be ‘conscripted and trained’ and that the USA were sending inexperienced soldiers to the western front that would not be able to contribute to the Allied victory in any way except in numbers. Not only this, but due to the soldiers needing training before being sent to the western front, there was a time period where the Allies were left waiting for the arrival of troops. With Russia leaving the war, German troops were free to be sent to fight in Western Europe, causing a surge that would require a great counterblast from the Allies to be beaten. A lack of men whilst the American arrival was in progress was an inconvenience at the worst of times.
Despite this opinion, a cartoon source, titled ‘Side by Side’ and produced in August 1917, shows Uncle Sam with an eagle, linking arms with Britannia, a lion at her side. This suggests that, at the time, the American entry into the war was greatly valued, providing a morale boost for the Allies as well as providing assurance that they would help the Allies by forcing Germany to surrender. The use of the lion and eagle being shown in a majestic light...

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