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What was the significance of submarines in the First World War?

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What was the significance of submarines in the First World War? Britain's main aim in the Dardanelles was to get access to the Sea of Marmora to supply route access to their eastern ally Russia. However the allies Dardanelles campaign was a military disastrous. Although it was a complete military disaster, British submarines were not a complete disaster. The ultimate impact of British submarines in the Dardanelles was not great in the sense that they did not change the course of the campaign. However, they had proved that they were a valuable weapon when used properly. The activities of Allied submarines were a bright spot in a dismal story, though three French and four British submarines were lost in the effort. However, they had sunk seven Turkish warships, 16 transports and supply ships, and 230 steamers and small vessels. Although the British had to withdraw, they still managed to do a lot of damage to Turkey. This is a significant factor because it was the first real success of the British submarines. Submarines were now seen as a morale booster for all the British people. The Dardanelles proved how significant the British submarines were. It was the first time in 500 years that a boat managed to managed to surface in Istanbul. ...read more.


In January, before the declaration of "unrestricted submarine warfare" 43,550 tones of shipping had been sunk by U-boats. The number of sinking's then steadily increased, with 168,200 tones going down in August. This is very significant as Britain, an island nation, was heavily dependent on foreign trade and imported resources. Britain came within six week of running out of grain. Unrestricted submarine warfare was first introduced in World War I in early 1915, when Germany declared the area around the British Isles a war zone, in which all-merchant ships, including those from neutral countries, would be attacked by the German navy. Unrestricted warfare caused a bitter argument between the leaders. Bethmann Hollweg argued the danger of alienating neutral countries, particularly the Netherlands and America. He was frightened and persuaded to override the use of submarines this caused annoyance to the conservatives. On the 1st February 1917, unrestricted submarine warfare commenced. It was a desperate gamble with only a slender chance of success. As Bethmann Hollweg had predicted, technical advances enabled Britain to win the Battle against the submarines. Unrestricted submarine warfare, 600,000 tons of Allied vessels could be sunk per month, bringing Britain to starvation within six months The Germans biggest mistake was to sink the American Cruise-liner, the Lusitania, which was one reason why the USA decided to enter the war in 1917. ...read more.


As the expanding German war machine needed more and more iron, so the need to gain it became more and more difficult. As long as this difficulty occurred, the German army could never be at its most functional and efficient. If the German military hierarchy was putting some of its efforts into such a basic issue as the acquisition of iron ore as opposed to other more military-based problems, then the latter had to suffer accordingly. German best chances of winning the war was through their U-boats, without iron to help build more U-boats, it made it a lot harder for Germany to continue such a strong blockade against Britain. In my opinion, the most significance caused by the submarine was the entering of USA. The U-boats nearly won the Germans the war as they were able to nearly starve Britain of all food supplies however; in the end, it was indirectly the u-boats that lost them the war. The Germans were within weeks of winning the war however because of the sinking of Lusitania, America decided to get in involved on the allies side. This is very significant as if the submarines hadn't angered the Americas which lead to them deciding to join the war, Germany may have won the war. If Germany had won them, the war the history that we know today may have been completely different. ?? ?? ?? ?? Page 1 ...read more.

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