The U Boat Threat Essay

1884 words - 8 pages

The U Boat Threat

A blockage simply stops something getting through. In the case of
World War I, blockades were set up to restrict the amount of supplies
getting through to enemies ports. In earlier history surface ships
simply blocking ships entering or leaving a port did this.

2. Unrestricted submarine warfare was set up in February 1915. It
meant that any vessel heading for an English port would be fired upon.
This was because it was thought that some ships carrying food were
also carrying supplies for the war effort.

2 b. As the Germans could not break the British Naval blockade in the
North Sea on German ports, they turned to using submarines to starve
the British into submission, by destroying Allied shipping carrying
food and raw material. Source 4 shows that the German Admiral Tirpitz
thought that by also blockading our supplies, Britain would face a
similar situation as their country.

3. The chart is source 2 shows three main points. Firstly, the graph
starts at only 0.3 million tons of Allied shipping loss. This rises
gradually due to the increase in German U Boats. Secondly, it can be
seen that in 1917 the reintroduction of unrestricted submarine warfare
has had a great effect on the quantity of Allied shipping sunk. The
graph peaks at 6.25 million tons. Lastly, it is apparent that the anti
submarine tactics dramatically reduced the amount of shipping lost.
Depth charges were very effective, second only to mines. It is also
thought that the decrease is due to destroyers travelling with large
convoys in order to protect them.

4. There were a few serious food shortages and riots around Britain.
This information would have obviously been kept from most soldiers, so
as not to reduce moral. None of the soldiers would have wanted to know
that their families were starving, so in order for this to be kept
quite, home leave may have been made more exclusive. However, the
validity of this source could be questioned. Apart from this source
being seventy years old, much of it is second hand evidence and could
have been exaggerated, or on the other hand played down.

5. Prime Minister David Lloyd George said, " we were never faced with
famine." Whereas Charles Young, an injured infantry soldier who had
returned home, clearly stated that, " many died of starvation." These
opinions are of great contrast to each other. However, Lloyd George
would have a very different perspective of the food shortages and
riots around Britain. Lloyd George would have been informed about the
general situation. It is unlikely that he would have been informed
about specific towns or villages, and even if he was, it is improbable
that he would remember particular events twenty years after the war
ended. Lloyd George would have been fully aware of the build up to the
Second World War and may...

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