Technology in the military has greatly increased strength and eased the ranking among world powers and effected the development of new military weapons. The First World War introduced a whole host of new technology to the armies of the world. The machine gun, the tank, and the airplane ruled the battlefields of France and Germany. These new inventions changed the face of warfare forever. As equal, the German submarine changed naval warfare. As the First World War erupted, Germany needed to cut the Allied supply of resources to wear down the soldiers fighting in trenches, resulting in Restricted U-Boat Warfare.
The U-Boats brought new and advanced technology to the war at sea. The U-Boat could attack enemy ships without being detected giving it the element of surprise, and carried up to 10 deadly torpedoes. However, Germany had to launch Restricted U-Boat Warfare because the British found it unfair and caused to much havoc at sea, and also stopped the U. S. From entering the war. However, small numbers of ships were being sunk, until Germany launches Unrestricted U-Boat Warfare. With Unrestricted U-Boat Warfare, Germany was able to sink much more ships than before and sink a large amount of the allies’ supplies.
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If Germany had applied Unrestricted U-Boat Warfare earlier, their chance of winning the war would have increased dramatically. The U-Boat was an incredibly advanced underwater war vehicle perfectly suited to fight a war of attrition however, the German command failed to use its full potential thereby robbing them of a chance for victory. Prior to World War l, Germany starts designing U-Boats to help them overcome a war of attrition and deplete the Allies resources. After the Schlemiels plan failed in July of 1914, soldiers started to dig down and build trenches, realizing the war would span any years filled with blood and death.
Many Generals for the Germans and Allies had the same mindset, “When the enemy’s lines were not pierced, and no war movement occurred, frontal assaults, they believed, would eventually Wear down’ the other side. The inevitable outcome was attrition: however was still alive at the end of the war would be Judged the victor. ” . With nearly every military general following the tactic of sending more men, the death counts in battles was at an all-time high. Such battles as the Battle of the Some from July to November of 1916, where Allies had 23, 907 casualties and Germany had 465, 000 casualties.
Such senseless slaughter would wear down men, money, resources and morality throughout the war. Many soldiers were in disarray from the battles, questioning why they were even in the war, “What is this war? It is mud, trenches, blood, rats, lice, bombs, pain, barbed wire, decaying flesh, gas, death, rain, cats, tears, bullets, fear and a loss of faith in all that we once believed in” . Everything about the First World War made soldiers want to go home, and there was a severe loss of morality throughout the battlefields. This was Germany’s key to victory.
If the Germans could hurt the Allies even more by blocking off their shipments of supplies from other colonies, their will to fight would be depleted, and Germany could be victorious. This was the U-Boats mission in World War l, and many Germans believed the technological advancements of the U-Boat would lead Germany to victory. With the different technological advancements of weaponry in World War l, the IS- Boat proved to be a great threat to the Allies and would change the face of naval war forever. Prior to the Great War, submarines were used very little.
In 1870, France made the first diesel powered military submarine, though it was very small and could store only one torpedo. Germany took these concepts and remade them into a vehicle that on average could carry 10 torpedoes, and would be mounted with machine guns. The first of the German U-Boats was originally Russian, “In 1904, the Imperial Russian Navy ordered several more submersibles from the Kiel shipyard, submarines from the Kara class. One submarine was modified and improved, and commissioned into the Imperial German Navy in 1906 as its first U-Boat, the 13-1 . Germany strives when owing up with new technologies, and startled everyone with their new U-Boat by simply modifying a nearly useless submarine into a battle-changing vehicle of war. The U-boats ability to function as practical war machines relied on new tactics, their numbers, and submarine technologies such as combination diesel-electric power system developed in the preceding years. Though the early U-Boats had difficulties, “The primary defense of a submarine lies in its ability to remain concealed in the depths of the ocean. Early submarines could be detected by the sound they made, which made them an easy target once spotted. He submarines were still able to take the Allies by surprise. The unpredictability of U-Boats and their use of stealth led to over 5000 Allied ships sunk by the end of the war. The Allies first started to see the submarines as a threat in September of 1914, soon after the war had started. German U-Boat, the U-9, sunk 3 British Cruisers in less than an hour. The British Navy was caught by surprise, and referred to Germans cheating when using U-Boats, “Despite the persistent exhortations of Jacky Fisher to develop a strong Royal Navy submarine arm, the British regarded the submarine as underhanded, unfair, and eased UN-English. . Britain was truly shocked to see the amount of their ships being destroyed by such a smaller, weaker vehicle. The British started to design ways to stop U-Boats, such as using convoys, underwater mines, and sonar. This did not stop Germans from creating their own tactic, “The idea was to form a pack of U-boats, and to delay an attack until all boats were in position to conduct a massed organized attack. This would overwhelm the escorts as the sheer number and surprise of the attacking boats would throw the defense into disarray’. This tactic was known as the
Wolf Pack tactic, and was used to combat the convoy system that was largely used by the British ships. The new technology and tactics used by the U-Boat were extremely effective, though its potential was cut short because of certain rules that had to be placed on U-Boat Warfare. As soon as the war had started, both sides of the war agreed to put rules onto naval warfare because of U-Boats, which limited the potential of the war vehicle. The IS- Boat proved to be successful even with the Restricted U-boat Warfare Campaign being placed, though was very inconvenient for German soldiers and only helped the Allies.
Restricted U-Boat Warfare implied many steps that the submarine had to do before attempting to attack ships, “They were supposed, on encountering a ship in British waters, to surface, enquire what was on board, inspect it and, where appropriate, allow the ship’s company to take lifeboats before the ship was sunk”. The Germans could were only allowed to attack Allied warships and cargo ships that supply the war, and were forbidden to sink civilian and neutral ships. A new problem started to arise when the Allies started to fill civilian ships with ammunition and supplies for the war effort, and left the Germans unable to attack the ships.
A well- known example of such ships hiding munitions was the Louisiana, a British passenger ship that was making a trip from New York to Liverpool, Britain. The ship was carrying 1959 passengers with 128 being American, and on May 7th, 1917, it would be sunk by a German U-Boat. Germans sunk the U-Boat because it was very likely containing heavy munitions and other weapons of war onboard the ship. The Germans took a risk by sinking it, and what followed the first explosion was a second larger one, most likely caused by munitions on the ship, On board, the divers found approximately four million U.
S. -made Remington . 03 bullets. The discovery supports the German’s long-held belief that the Louisiana was being used to transport war materials. The find also supports the theory that it was the explosion of munitions on board that caused the second explosion on the Louisiana. The Louisiana was proven to be carrying munitions onboard; however it still caused major disruption in the U. S. Because of the death of 128 Americans. This was the reason why the United States joins the war on the allied side in 1917. The addition of U.
S. Troops meant more men and a boost of morality for the Allies, which served a great threat to the Germans. On January 9th, 1917, Germany launches a campaign that shows off the U-Boats true potential and results in hundreds of ships sunken. In 1917, Germany launches Unrestricted U-Boat Warfare, and allows German submarines to attack any ship on sight, showing the true potential of the U-Boat. The U-Boat campaign was launched due to the Americans entering the war, which would give the Allies a major boost in morale.
This new Campaign is designed to deplete the Allies of as many supplies as possible to starve and weaken the soldiers. This new Campaign also brought a boost of morale to German Admirals and Commanders, Admiral Wholehearted said that he could sink 600,000 tons of shipping every month. That British shipping would be cut by half, that there would be food riots, and terrible distress in the trading areas. ” The campaign was initially a great success, nearly 500,000 tons of shipping being sunk in both February and March, and 860,000 tons in April, when Britain’s supplies of wheat shrank to 6 weeks’ worth.
In May losses exceeded 600,000 tons, and in June 700,000. Germany had lost only 9 submarines in the first three months of the campaign. The U-Boats preformed even better than imagined, sinking enormous amounts of supplies, “It was founded on a calculation concerning the number of tons of shipping what would have to be sunk to strangle Britain which was never anything more than a wild guess, And anyway the toll of heavy loss among merchant ships imposed by the U-boats in the first half of 1917 could not be maintained. (The First World War) Britain clearly seemed distressed and at a great loss after the U-Boat Campaign was launched. Germany truly started to show a change of victory with the amount of supplies that were depleted, so Britain had to start launching defenses against U-Boats. The main defense system was convoys, where merchant ships and military ships would travel together, making it hard to take the ships out. This tactic was carried on throughout the war, though mostly use after April of 1917, when ships traveling on their own was too dangerous.
U-Boats were still effective, though sank much less ships than before, making the Allies stronger and the war tougher for Germany, “After this, sinking declined, more or less to the number that obtained under ‘cruiser rules’. On 10 May, The first convoy sailed, the merchantmen obeyed orders, and the destroyers shepherded them safely cross the Atlantic. ” With less supplies being sunk and American troops Joining the war, the Allies got stronger and more aggressive, while the German citizens suffered from hunger because of the British Naval Blockade which stopped the German line of supplies.
It seemed as though the U-Boats were an amazing piece of technology, but should have used its full potential earlier in the war; Germany might have had a chance for victory. The U-Boat was an incredibly advanced underwater war vehicle designed to bring the Allele line of supplies to a halt, however the German commanders were unable to SE the vehicle’s full potential earlier on in the war, weakening Germany’s chance for victory. As the First World War erupted, Germany needed to cut the Allied supply of resources to wear down the soldiers fighting in trenches, resulting in Restricted IS- Boat Warfare.
The U-Boat brought new and advanced technology to the war at sea. The U-Boat relied heavily on stealth, giving it the element of surprise, and carried up to 10 torpedoes that caused the destruction of thousands of ships. Germany first launched restricted U-Boat Warfare which restricted the U-Boats of their full attention. Restricted U-Boat Warfare limited the amounts of ships being sunk, and only assisted the Allies. When Unrestricted U-Boat Warfare was launched, U-Boats were allowed to attack any ship on sight, which resulted in Germany being able to sink much more ships than before and destroy a large amount of the Allies’ supplies.
Once the Allies launch the British Naval Blockade and the usage of convoys, however, it was clear that German victory could not be accomplished. If technological advancements are put in the best uses, it further inspires the development in related ND non-related areas but at the same time its negative use can create havoc in the humanity or the world. We must find ways to adapt to our changing environments and struggles through technology and make sure that we can learn from our mistakes to assist our future generation.