The Allied Blockade of Germany
Blockade by land or sea of an enemy’s overseas trade was a long-established weapon of war. It targeted the enemy’s home front, knowing that in a long war imports and exports were vital. In 1914, an Entente blockade of Germany’s overland trade was difficult, but the Royal Navy controlled the two routes in and out of the North Sea — the English Channel and the Faroes gap — through which passed the vast bulk of Germany’s merchant shipping. Thus, a naval blockade could starve Germany of world trade. Moreover, Germany’s strategy of keeping its surface fleet in port during the war abandoned its seaborne foreign trade to the Royal Navy.