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Britain And The First World War

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Introduction

Britain And The First World War Assignment A - Britain and the First World War 1. War at Sea As an island the only way the country could be invaded was by sea and so to protect itself Britain needed the best navy by far in the world, especially as it had a rather small army, to act as deterrence. Britain used something known as Dual Standard, which meant that Britain�s navy had to always be at least twice the size of the next two biggest, in the world, combined together. There were many important roles that the navy had in the war. The main initial role of the navy was to control ocean areas and maintain free passage for merchant ships carrying cargos of vital war materials and supplies to the Western and other fighting fronts. It was also vital for the transportation of troops and munitions to the front. The navy was used to keep the Channel Ports such as Calais open and easily accessible. This control was mainly achieved through deterrence and the only real navy battle occurred between the two sides (Britain and Germany) ...read more.

Middle

Industry could not supply the army�s needs of munitions. For example only 12 guns of a required 1792 could be made in a week by one factory. Natural resources were especially important, such as coal, iron and steel as they were needed for weapons and machinery. The Home Front was important, as it was responsible to make sure the army was efficiently supplied. In Britain the Defence of The Realm Act was introduced in 1914. It increased the production of vital supplies and gave the government the power over railways, mines and trade union strikes. It gave the British government the power to seize factories and make them produce what was required and buy goods it wanted. It also imposed strict code of conducts on the population, such as shorter opening hours for pubs. Due to Britain importing a lot of its food supplies from abroad by 1917 the first food shortages occurred in Britain after bad harvests and U-boat attacks. The Home Front was responsible to make sure these problems were overcome. In 1917, the government introduced rationing, made more land used for cultivation and people were encouraged to grow their own foods at home or on allotments. ...read more.

Conclusion

New tactics, such as digging tunnels under enemy lines and then planting explosives there, rolling barrage and skirmish tactics were used. The British pioneered the tank, which could cross no-man's-land easily. Clearly the Western Front is important because the war can be easily lost there. As the war was a Total War and a war of attrition it went on for several years and therefore the Home Front and the war at sea are just as vital because they made sure that the Western Front was well supplied with men and munitions. Without the Home Front the army wouldn�t have been as big a force as it became because the Home Front created both the volunteer and Conscript army. The Home Front was also responsible to gearing the economy to a war economy and raising the finance to continue fighting effectively. The Navy made sure that Britain kept its supply routes open and well protected. It dealt with the U-boat campaign, which threatened to ruin the economy, and also used the blockades to slowly cripple Germany and weaken it as a force. The air force isn�t as important as the other fronts because it is only a subsidiary of the army and navy and played a relatively small role in the total war. ...read more.

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