The Battle of the Naval Blockades in the First World War
Taylor, James S.
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In any credible discussion as to the decisive events in the First World War, one must invariably delve into the category of sea power. Competition between countries produced a rivalry on the oceans, which in turn helped augment the largest arms race Europe had ever witnessed. With the initial outbreak of hostilities in 1914, military campaigns on land commanded the center of attention. Early in the war, both coalitions felt that their untested armies would yield them a quick and decisive victory. When the front stabilized and the trenches were dug, the belligerent nations found themselves engaged in a wholly unexpected war of attrition. Strategists planned numerous offensives that would decide the conflict on land, yet throughout the course of the war both alliances were denied a decisive victory. As the stalemate at the front continued, events at sea assumed an ever greater military importance. Both factions intensified their efforts in this area in search of the elusive, overwhelming victory. As history would show, events at sea were to exert a highly significant bearing on the outcome of this conflict. They in the end, gave rise to the circumstances that were to decide the holocaust, that was the First World War.