The Tenth Cruiser Squadron of the Grand Fleet had the task of patrolling the seas between Scotland and Greenland to intercept enemy ships trying to escape into the ocean and merchant ships who could be carrying goods destined for Germany. This was a task of great political sensitivity, since almost all the ships intercepted were neutrals, and requiring great physical endurance from ships and men in the violent North Atlantic. The Maritime Blockade of Germany in the Great War is a comprehensive collection of the records of the Northern Patrol. It consists of regular reports of the admirals in command, to which are added other relevant official records, and more informal documents. There are the chatty letters of Captain Vivian and HMS Patia, the appalling experiences of young officers placed in barely seaworthy sailing ships to see that they went into port for examination, the patehtic 'mutiny' by a bored, distressed and underpaid black gang, the diary of Able Seaman Style, demonstrating the tedium of the patrol, and the self-satisfied diary of Dr Shaw. There are also the casualities: ships overwhelmed by storms, sunk by enemy action, torpedoed. The ships of the Patrol were perhaps the most constantly active Royal Navy vessels in the Great War, a barely acknowledged yet vital component in the eventual Allied victory
Table of Contents
Contents: Introduction; The first patrol: the Edgars, August-November 1914; The armed merchant cruisers, December 1914-March 1915; The patrol established, March-June 1915; A new base: submarines, June-August 1915; Life on patrol, August-November 1915; De Chairs' last months, November 1915-February 1916; Tupper takes command, March-May 1916; Tightening the Blockade, June-August 1916; The effective blockade, September-December 1916; The submarine menace renewed, December 1916-March 1917; The successful blockade, March-June 1917; The end of the Northern Patrol, June 1917-January 1918; Bibliography; Index.
'John Grainger [...] has assembled a treasure trove of documents on the Northern Patrol, part of the Royal Navy's 'distant blockade' of Germany... He provides a superb introduction that will, in combination with the documents, appeal largely to a scholarly audience but will nonetheless provide an attractive work for more general readers.' The Mariner's Mirror