Archibald Hurd.

The merchant navy (Volume 1) online

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UNIVERSITY of CALIFORNIA

AT

LOS ANGELES

LIBRARY



THE MERCHANT NAVY



HISTORY OF THE GREAT WAR

BASED ON OFFICIAL DOCUMENTS

BY DIRECTION OF THE HISTORICAL SECTION OF THE
COMMITTEE OF IMPERIAL DEFENCE

THE

MERCHANT NAVY

Vol. I



BY

ARCHIBALD HURD



NEW YORK

LONGMANS, GREEN & CO.

FOURTH AVENUE & SOm STREET

1921






h^



/ . \



i



PREFACE

When the peace was broken on August 4th, 1914,
nothing suggested that British merchant seamen would
fare worse than their predecessors of the Napoleonic era,
and the statement that they would be compelled to face
perils in intensity and variety unparalleled in human
experience would have been rejected as unbelievable in
face of all the efforts made at The Hague to humanise
warfare. Events falsified all anticipations.
, After the comparative failure of the attack on commerce
by surface craft — cruisers and auxiliary cruisers — the

-V enemy became convinced that in the submarine he had

j^ found the means of cutting the communications of the

British Empire, and of shutting off from the European

battle-fields the essential supplies without which the troops

^ could not continue to fight. The use of the submarine

for commerce destruction involved the infraction of inter-

•^, national law as well as the ignoring of the code of

*t humanity, since these small craft, packed with machinery
and equipped for war, were unable to accommodate the
crews of ships sunk, whether by torpedo, gunfire, or
bonibs. The German flag had already been banished from
the highways of the world. So, in desperation, it was
decided, whatever the loss of human life might be, and
without respect for considerations of law, however widely




Online LibraryArchibald HurdThe merchant navy (Volume 1) → online text (page 1 of 47)