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Blockade is the story of a long-running battle at sea, a battle for trade which both Britain and Germany had to win in order to survive; in particular, it tells the story of the Northern Barrage and the 10th Cruiser Squadron.
The Royal Navy’s role during WWI in denying Germany access to the sea, trade and vital resources was crucial in helping win the war on the Western Front; the ‘Northern Blockade’, located across the inhospitable waters between Iceland and Scotland, was to bring the German economy to its knees and destroy her home front morale. Likewise, the Royal Navy’s success in negating Germany’s attacks on British commerce prevented much suffering in Britain, and the author vividly describes the final destruction of German surface vessel commerce warfare, culminating in the hard-fought battle between the raider SMS Leopard and two British warships. The American reaction to the British naval blockade and to Germany’s war on trade and her treatment of American sailors taken prisoner is looked at, while the changes in strategy on both sides through the war and the use of converted liners and armed merchant vessels as warships (AMCs) are examined in detail.
With the help of first-hand accounts, the book brings to life the experiences of those who manned the blockade, and creates a vivid picture of the dangers of duty; it lays before the reader a highly significant but, until now, much neglected aspect of the First World War.
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