The Star Malaysia - Star2 - - INSIGHT -

World War I marked the first war in which navies and mer­chant ship­ping feared death from be­low. The sub­ma­rine, pow­ered by a diesel en­gine on the sur­face and bat­ter­ies un­der­wa­ter, was heav­ily used by the Ger­mans in a bid to cut off sup­plies to Bri­tain, which de­pended on im­ports and ship­ping to re­sup­ply its war ef­fort and feed its civil­ian pop­u­la­tion.

While the first U-boats ini­tially were able to prey on Bri­tain-bound ship­ping al­most un­hin­dered, Royal Navy de­vel­op­ments, such as the anti-sub­ma­rine Q-Ship and the use of es­corted con­voys, ul­ti­mately broke the Ger­man stran­gle­hold – and these tac­tics would also prove suc­cess­ful in World War II al­most 20 years later.

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