How did the British blockade affect Germany?
The sea blockade
The German naval command under Alfred von Tirpitz had assumed a close-up blockade of the German ports, against which a breakthrough by the German deep-sea fleet was intended. However, an attack against the remote blockade was extremely risky, so the German ships remained defensive and made no attempt to open the blockade. Nevertheless, in the course of 1914, extensive deliveries of raw materials reached the German Reich, so that the British tightened the blockade regulations and constantly expanded the list of goods that were confiscated from neutral ships. On November 2, 1914, the British Admiralty declared the entire North Sea a war zone and laid down certain routes for neutral shipping there in order to force them to more easily control them in English ports. With military and diplomatic pressure, most of the neutral states were forced to accept British control of maritime trade.
Although these measures violated international law, Great Britain was largely able to evade open protest through numerous agreements with the neutral states. Although deliveries to the Middle Nights could never be completely suppressed, the sea blockade was very effective and led to a threatening shortage of raw materials and food shortages in the German Reich. Due to the hopelessness of fighting the British lock in open sea warfare, the German naval command soon called for unrestricted submarine warfare. Economic warfare was used by both sides against the population in order to force military success. All in all, the British naval blockade proved to be a very effective and lasting weapon against the German economy and against the needy population, for whom it became a "hunger blockade". Even after the Compiègne armistice in November 1918, the British continued the blockade, which further increased bitterness in Germany.
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