The War at Sea 1914

The British raided the German naval base at Helgoland Bight, an island off Germany in the North Sea, sinking three German ships.

October 27: German submarines sank several British naval units, including the super-dreadnought Audacious. When German submarines attempted to raid Scapa Flow the British naval units stationed there withdrew to the west coast of Scotland.

The Germans hoped to balance the struggle for control of the seas by employing a kind of maritime guerrilla warfare using land mines and submarine attacks to chip away at the numerically superior British fleet.

November: Germany launched a campaign to prevent merchant shipping from delivering food supplies from the USA to the Allies, chiefly the UK.

September 22: Submarine warfare erupted when the German submarine U-9 sank three British cruisers off the Dutch coast in quick succession.

By the end of 1914, except for the High Seas Fleet in the Jade and the Baltic command based on Kiel, the German navy had been practically swept from the seas. Allied maritime traffic was uninterrupted, while Germany, feeling the pinch of naval blockade, focused its attention on the one major weapon left to it on the high seas: the submarine.