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Transcript of MADDIE LANDIS
On this day in 1917, Germany projected the start of unrestricted submarine warfare in the Atlantic as German torpedo-armed submarines prepare to attack any and all ships, including civilian passenger carriers, said to be seen in war-zone waters.
In early May 1915, several New York newspapers published a warning by the German embassy in Washington that Americans traveling on British or Allied ships in war zones did so at their own risk. The announcement was placed on the same page as an advertisement for the imminent sailing of the British-owned Lusitania ocean liner from New York to Liverpool. On May 7, the Lusitania was torpedoed without warning just off the coast of Ireland. Of the 1,959 passengers, 1,198 were killed, including 128 Americans
Wilson subsequently sent a strongly worded note to the German government—the first of three similar communications—demanding that it cease submarine warfare against unarmed merchant ships. Wilson’s actions On the afternoon of May 7, 1915, the British ocean liner Lusitania is torpedoed without warning by a German submarine off the south coast of Ireland
The state seemed an unusual target; they had short coastline, shallow waters, and several military bases nearby. But it also had prime targets that were poorly protected. Antisubmarine patrols were uncoordinated, and many coastal communities ignored blackout orders.
The Germans’ most formidable naval weapon was the U-boat, a submarine far more sophisticated than those built by other nations at the time. The typical U-boat was 214 feet long, carried 35 men and 12 torpedoes, and could travel underwater for two hours at a time. In the first few years of World War I, the U-boats took a terrible toll on Allied shipping.
Faced with the overpowering size and strength of the British Royal Navy at the outset of World War I, Germany saw that its most effective weapon at sea was its deadly accurate U-boat submarine. Consequently, in February 1915, the German navy took in a policy of unrestricted submarine warfare, declaring the area around the British Isles a war zone, in which all merchant ships, including those from neutral countries, would be subject to attack.
Georgia reacted: Georgia's coastal defenses grew so forbidding that enemy submarines never again wished to come within sight of land. During the summer of 1943, two more American tankers were sunk approximately 150 miles east of Brunswick. But by then the tide of war had turned against the U-boats. The hunters became the hunted, and the German U-boat threat in Georgia waters ended for good.