The convoy system in World War I involved organizing ships into large groups under the protection of armed naval vessels to provide better defense and countermeasures against German U-boat attacks. The ships protected were usually civilian merchant vessels, military supply ships and troop transports. Warships, such as destroyers, cruisers and torpedo boats, were used for convoy protection. They also sometimes deployed aerial reconnaissance to spot potential underwater U-boat movement.Know More
German U-Boats were highly successful during the early years of World War I in disrupting the Allies' maritime supply lines. The armed submarines would emerge from under the sea, torpedo an unsuspecting vessel by surprise and then slink back under the surface without worry of retaliation. These tactics caused major damage to the Allies' war effort by targeting both combatant and neutral vessels. Losses for the Allies mounted to over 25 percent of shipping vessels.
The British admiralty was at first extremely reluctant to commit to convoy tactics, arguing that warships would be put to better use elsewhere. However, the successful use of convoys in protecting French coal shipments eventually convinced them otherwise. In less than a month, shipping losses dropped from over 25 percent to less than 1 percent thanks to convoy tactics.
Variations on the convoy system have been used by many nations in naval conflicts since the tactic's widespread use during World War II.Learn More
In World War I, Germany declared war on France as part of a long-held strategy called the Schlieffen Plan. The Schlieffen Plan required German troops to organize on the frontier of Belgium, a neutral country, with the idea to invade France.Full Answer >
Russia's withdrawal from World War I was based on two primary factors. The first concerned the major military reversals it had experienced in the field. The second stemmed from the internal upheaval and political change that culminated in the Bolshevik Revolution of October 1917.Full Answer >
During World War I, the area between the entrenched armies of the Allied and Axis armies in Europe was commonly known as "no man's land." The exact location of this area constantly changed as the war progressed.Full Answer >
U-boats were an advanced type of submarine used by Germany during World War I and II. They were responsible for sinking several civilian ships during the beginning of World War I and served as dangerous and stealthy weapons in military conflicts in both wars.Full Answer >