In the early months of the “Great War”, the British Royal Navy imposed a surface blockade on the German high seas fleet. Even food was treated as a “contraband of war”, a measure widely regarded as an attempt to starve the German population. With good reason. One academic study performed ten years after the war, put the death toll by starvation at 424,000 in Germany alone. The German undersea fleet responded with a blockade of the British home islands, a devastating measure carried out against an island adversary dependent on massive levels of imports.
Sinking of the Linda Blanche out of Liverpoole, by Willy Stöwer
World War 2 was a time of few restrictions on submarine warfare. Belligerents attacked military and merchant vessels alike with prodigious loss of civilian life, but WW1 didn’t start out that way.
Wary of antagonizing neutral opinion, German Chancellor Theobald von Bethmann Hollweg argued against…
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