SUBMARINES IN WORLD WAR I
World War I was a deadly conflict as shown by the 38 million military and civil casualties it caused. The large number of casualties was caused, in part, by the development and use of new weaponry that took place during the war. The following weapons either made their debut in World War I or had a dramatic effect on the major battles of the war: machine gun, tank, poisonous gas, airplanes and submarines.
The final new weapon of World War I was the submarine. Germany used submarines (called U-boats) during World War I to great success in its attempt to stop British merchant shipping in the Atlantic Ocean. At the time Britain was receiving war-time supplies, such as food and munitions, from the United States and Canada. Germany sough to halt this trade in order to put pressure on the British war effort and began to attack and sink British merchant ships. However, British shipping prevailed as the German U-boats were unable to fully stop the Atlantic trade and ultimately German submarine warfare caused the United States to enter World War I on the side of the Allied nations.