World War I Podcast




Prior to 1914, there was a theory that Great Britain would not survive a major European war if it lost access to food and supplies coming from North America. When World War I began, this concern initially faded away. The Royal Navy had quickly blockaded Germany and by January 1915, the Imperial German High Seas Fleet was bottled up in the North Sea. However, despite these successes, the trans-Atlantic supply line was still not safe. German U-boats remained free to prowl and soon became Germany’s primary weapon at sea. To combat this danger, the British resorted to a wide variety of U-boat traps. The Q-ship was one such effort. Relying on deception and clever camouflage, Q-ships were armed but designed to look like vulnerable merchant vessels in order to lure U-boats to attack. While not the most effective means of destroying the U-boat threat, Q-ships played an interesting role in the war.