What is a naval blockade and how was it used?
A military blockade is undertaken to attain some specific military objective, such as the capture of a naval port. A commercial blockade has no immediate military objective but is designed to cause the enemy to surrender or come to terms by cutting off all commercial intercourse by sea.
By 1915, German imports had fallen by 55% from pre-war levels. Aside from causing shortages in important raw materials such as coal and various non-ferrous metals, the blockade cut off fertiliser supplies that were vital to German agriculture.
Submarine warfare played an integral role in the mounting international pressures of World War I. After the war broke out in 1914, Great Britain used its powerful navy to blockade German ports to limit food, supplies, and war materials from reaching the German military and people.
The blockade, although somewhat porous, was an important economic policy that successfully prevented Confederate access to weapons that the industrialized North could produce for itself. The U.S. Government successfully convinced foreign governments to view the blockade as a legitimate tool of war.
Blockades, part of economic warfare, had been employed throughout history. The Allied blockade (1914-1919), which aimed to prevent war supplies reaching Germany, ultimately also targeted the civilian population. It had its counterpart in the German attempt to block supplies to the Entente.
However, by the end of the war, the blockade had a significant impact on the South. People across the South were suffering from a lack of supplies and the overall economy ground to a halt. This included the army, where many of the men were nearing starvation by the end of the war.
Apart from leading to shortages in vital raw materials such as coal and metals, the blockade also deprived Germany of supplies of fertilizer that were vital to agriculture.
There is no specific provision in the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (Rome Statute) that makes naval blockades during international armed conflicts into war crimes.
Naval technology in World War I was dominated by the dreadnought battleship. Battleships were built along the dreadnought model, with several large turrets of equally sized big guns. In general terms, British ships had larger guns and were equipped and manned for quicker fire than their German counterparts.
The naval race between Germany and Great Britain between 1906 and 1914 created huge friction between both nations and it is seen as one of the causes of World War One. In 1906, Britain launched the first dreadnought – a ship that meant all others were redundant before its awesome fire power.
How did new naval technology impact ww1?
Warships became faster and more powerful than ever before and used newly invented radios to communicate effectively. The British naval blockade of Germany, which was made possible by developments in naval technology, brought a total war to civilians.
The Strategy of Blockades
Blockades are meant to prevent ships from reaching enemy ports with goods, food, supplies, or support of any kind. In 1861, when the Civil War began, the South was far behind the North when it came to industry, manufacturing, and goods.
The German government regarded the blockade as an attempt to starve the country into defeat and wanted to retaliate in kind. The German High Seas Fleet set out multiple times from 1914 to 1916 to reduce the British Grand Fleet and to regain access to vital imports.
The blockade was proclaimed by President Abraham Lincoln in April 1861, and required the monitoring of 3,500 miles (5,600 km) of Atlantic and Gulf coastline, including 12 major ports, notably New Orleans and Mobile.
The United States and United Kingdom responded by airlifting food and fuel to Berlin from Allied airbases in western Germany. The crisis ended on May 12, 1949, when Soviet forces lifted the blockade on land access to western Berlin.
In response to the Soviet blockade of land routes into West Berlin, the United States begins a massive airlift of food, water, and medicine to the citizens of the besieged city. For nearly a year, supplies from American planes sustained the over 2 million people in West Berlin.
The Blockade of Germany (1939–1945), also known as the Economic War, involved operations carried out during World War II by the British Empire and by France in order to restrict the supplies of minerals, fuel, metals, food and textiles needed by Nazi Germany – and later by Fascist Italy – in order to sustain their war ...
In the end, however, British naval power held. The British used their navy to ship troops to Canada, to keep them supplied, and to blockade and raid the American coast. The blockade had a devastating impact on the U.S. economy and public finance, and also kept most American warships in port.
It was received in North America in mid-September, and was designed to prevent all commerce by the American rebels. Parliament's December 22, 1775 “Prohibitory Act” began the first phase of the full British blockade on March 1, 1776. This phase ended when the French entered the war on the side of the Americans.
During the Revolutionary War (1775-83), the British navy maintained an undeclared commercial blockade of the rebel colonies along the Atlantic coast. This blockade closed American ports to all commerce, including cargos carried in neutral ships.
How was blockade used in the Cold war?
Joseph Stalin, the Soviet leader, imposed the Berlin Blockade from 24 June 1948 to 12 May 1949, cutting off all land and river transit between West Berlin and West Germany. The Western Allies responded with a massive airlift to come to West Berlin's aid.
All scholars agree that the blockade made a large contribution to the outcome of the war. By 1915, Germany's imports had fallen by 55% from its prewar levels and the exports were 53% of what they had been in 1914.
The Berlin Blockade was an attempt in 1948 by the Soviet Union to limit the ability of the United States, Great Britain and France to travel to their sectors of Berlin, which lay within Russian-occupied East Germany.