The Great War: the naval arms race
In Berlin, strikes and social unrests that echo the events in Russia. The munitions factories have been kept running for the last three years by exhausted women and soldiers no longer able to serve the front. The sacred union between the socialists and government authority that have made the war possible, begins to break down. Key german socialist leaders abandon the party to found a spartakist revolutionary movement which calls for an immediate end of the war. Ludendorff sees one solution: a german victory as quick as possible brings England to its knees with what he calls "an unrestricted submarine warfare". This decision will change the course of history. One hundred german submarines have order to attack all commercial vessels including neutral ships, contrary to the laws of the sea. They receive the order to fire torpedos at any ships supplying England including american ones. The german admirals calculate that if submarines sink five hundred thousands ships a month, England will capitulate in six months. The chancellor Bethmann-Hollweg fears an american reaction. The first battle of the Atlantic begins.
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