Aims: Explain the role of the naval blockade in defeating Germany. Examine the outcome of the Battle of Jutland in 1916. Aims:
Before the First World War, Britain was the strongest naval power in the world. The naval arms race led to great tension between Britain and Germany as both sides raced to build Dreadnoughts and ‘rule the seas’. Q.Why was it so important for Britain to have a large and powerful navy? Introduction
The Naval Blockade When war broke out Winston Churchill, the First Sea Lord of the Admiralty ordered a naval blockade of Germany. Ships heading for German ports with supplies of food or raw materials e.g. oil, chemicals were turned back or sunk. Around 12,000 ships were intercepted by the British. This gradually starved Germany of vital supplies. The Naval Blockade
Early Sea Battles The British Fleet was stationed at Scapa Flow in the Orkney Islands, Cromarty in the Moray Firth and Rosyth in the Firth of Forth. Early in the war a German battleship was sunk in the Baltic Sea by the Russians. The body of a German officer was found clutching a naval code book. This allowed Britain to decode German signals and work out when enemy ships were leaving port. There were a few small scale battles in the first year of the war which the British won easily. Early Sea Battles
The Battle of Jutland 1916 The British did not want to risk a major North Sea battle unless it was really necessary. The only time the German and British High Seas Fleet engaged in battle was at Jutland. The British Fleet was led by Admiral Jellicoe and had 151 warships including 28 Dreadnoughts. The Germans were led by Admiral Scheer and had 99 ships including 22 Dreadnoughts. The Battle of Jutland 1916
The Outcome The battle was closely fought. Although the British won they suffered heavy losses. As a result of this the German fleet stayed in their ports for the rest of the war – they couldn’t risk any further defeats at sea. British losses14 ships 6,000 men German losses13 ships 2,500 men The Outcome
Submarine Warfare Aims: Identify how the Germans used submarines to try and defeat Britain. Examine the methods used by Britain to defeat German submarines.
U-Boats ‘ A damned un-English weapon ’ Why do you think some people felt this way about submarines (U-boats)?
The submarine or Unterseeboot (U-Boat) was very effectively used by the Germans. They were used in BLOCKADES designed to prevent supplies reaching Britain. They sunk ships carrying goods to Britain including vital food supplies. British farmers could not supply enough food for the whole country and certain crops such as sugar cannot grow in our cold climate. The Germans believed that if they could sink enough ships Britain could be forced to surrender from starvation or a lack of war materials.
By 1917 the Germans were so desperate to win the war that they launched a campaign of ‘unrestricted U-Boat warfare’. German U-Boats began sinking any ships taking supplies to Britain including those from neutral countries like the USA. By 1917 they had been so successful that Britain only had six weeks supply of certain foods left. Defeat for Britain was never closer during the whole war.
Defeating U-Boats Defeating U-boats was always going to be difficult. Several ideas were used to overcome the submarine threat.
Defeating U-boats Steel anti Submarine nets Depth Charge dropped on top of submarines and exploded ‘ Q’ Ships Disguised cargo ships which were armed and destroyed U-boats. Armed Convoys Ships sailing together with armed protection Mines If a sub hit the Mine it would explode
Defeating U-Boats The convoy system was the most successful way of defeating the U-Boats. The Navy opposed the idea at a first – they were worried precious warships would be sunk. From June 1917 to November 1918 16,539 ships sailed in convoys and only 154 were torpedoed. The crews of many torpedoed ships were rescued by other ships from the same convey. The U-Boat menace had been defeated.