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First World War (1914-1918)
The U-Boat Menace

The emergence of the submarine was a major development in naval warfare. German submarine - or U-Boat - attacks against Allied shipping in the Atlantic and in European waters posed a major threat to the Allied war effort.

SS Audax Sinking
SS Audax Sinking

Douglas Urry, a Canadian serving in the Royal Navy, took this rare photograph of a sinking merchant ship, the SS Audax, torpedoed on 6 September 1918.

It depicts the essence of the U-Boat campaign. If U-Boats could sink enough merchant ships carrying war supplies, munitions, and service personnel, they could starve the island nation of Great Britain into submission. The U-Boats almost succeeded. Unrestricted submarine warfare sank hundreds of merchant ships from early 1917, but the introduction of the convoy system, with warships protecting large groups of merchant ships, greatly reduced such losses.

George Metcalf Archival Collection
CWM 20030213-002_42a

The Return of U-9
U-Boat Deck Gun
Periscope Lens, U-117
U-Boat Signalling Lamp
Cut-Away German U-Boat Mine
German Naval Mine, U-153
SS Audax Sinking
Life Ring, SS Brussels
Life Ring, UC-77
"We risk our lives to bring you food. It's up to you not to waste it."
Porthole, RMS Lusitania
Qu'importe l'existence des Neutres! L'Allemagne est au dessus de tout! (Neutrality is irrelevant! Germany sees herself above all else!)
HMHS Llandovery Castle
Depth Charge, "Type G"
Model, U-27
First World War Atlantic Convoy
German Submarine U-118