The War at Sea
November 2nd, 1914
I remember it like it was yesterday, yet it was. This War at Sea is absolutely traumatizing for all of us and there is no doubt that it'll affect the future generations. Since the Germans have made another journey across the North Sea to attack the East coast of England, too many civilian casualties have occurred. I am having difficulties protecting myself and my children. They not only have been at war with Britain but across the sea, they continuously sink our merchant ships. With no shipments coming in, our food stocks have begun to decline and eventually there will be a devastating shortage. I fear for my family, and my husband who is battling at sea. Some of the German squadrons have destroyed British ships off Chile's coast (Taylor 30). Updates on the battles and every day occurrences continue to flood in, there is not one citizen who doesn't hear about them. My fear when waking up is a letter from the Navy. If I receive nothing, I know my husband is alive.
December 8th, 1914
Finally I have begun to think the tables are turning. Admiral Sturdee has managed to sink 80% of their warships. I hope that in the near future, our food shortage problems can finally be solved. The damned Germans have been sealing us off for the past months so we can starve to death (Taylor 30). It feels good to know that the next day, we can wake up with food on our tables and not worry about how many mouths to feed. I must say though, the British army is doing quite well against the Germans, at this rate, the constant guerrilla attacks on the East coast will soon be cleared and hopefully, the war soon to follow.
January 17th, 1915
Our morale has been boosted once more as recent news about a stellar victory in the Indian Ocean. A German cruiser called the Emden was sunk by one of our own, the Sydney. Although not a battle close to home, it's a battle that has been won by us. With the German warships cleared, our Coast is currently free of any German threat, so we can all breathe a bit easier now. We have even given the Germans a taste of their own medicine. I've heard that our Admiral has been sending ships to block off the Germans' food and munition shipments. It serves them right. With another small victory at Dogger Bank, taking out the Blutcher, a German cruiser, I think we can safely say that we're one step closer to victory (Taylor 30).
February 4th, 1915
The Germans have been using a new weapon, a weapon for the cowards. They hide under the ocean in U-boats and destroy our ships, afraid to even show themselves. They use destroyers to protect themselves at sea and fire guns and torpedoes as a surprise. What cowards they are for even using unrestricted submarine warfare. Early in the war, all they did was target countries at war with them, but now at war or not, they attack all countries. The U-boats are a powerful weapon and an advantage for Germany but I know we can find a way to counter them (Taylor 32). These aren't acts of war, these attacks on people who have no wronged them in any way are nothing but barbaric acts. Plus, they're at all of this again, targeting the supplies and munition is dirty play from how I see it.
May 8th, 1915
Everyone in town just heard the news about an outrage between the United States and the Germans. Yesterday, a British ocean liner, called the Lusitania, carrying well over 1,200 passengers recently made a trip from New York to Liverpool, England. It never got to complete the trip. Off the coast of Ireland, it was sunk by U-boats, killing 1198 people who were on the ship. 128 of them were American, which angered the United States greatly, because up until now, it looked as if they were going to stay in their position as neutral, not participating in the war whatsoever. What a terrible shame for all those citizens. They we're no harm to the Germans but it is said that the Lusitania was most likely transporting munitions and explosives. Using innocent passengers to cover up transportation is cruel. That must be the explanation why it sunk so fast with all those supplies, but I'm hoping that this will change soon. After all, the Germans were the ones going around using unrestricted submarine warfare again. They killed hundreds of thousands of our own in cold blood, and now the Americans too (Taylor 32). If the United States can join us, this madness will end sooner, and I won't have to further wake up every morning hoping for that letter to not show itself.
May 31st, 1916
Earlier today was outrageous, the largest battle that has occurred so far in this War at Sea. The Germans tried to sail out into the open on the North Sea to tempt us then attack in surprise, but we knew better. We knew the German codes and knew their plans so we set out to meet them. More of a surprise for them isn't it? Just half an hour after the cruisers were sent out to the coast of Jutland, Britain's Indefatigable sank and exploded along with more than 1000 sailors . Queen Mary also sunk and they lost 1268 men, but they managed to save 8. In the end there were 250 fleets exchanging gunfire at sea and finally Germany retreated due to them being outnumbered. The strange thing is, I heard there was no real victory. Both sides claimed they won. I assume Germany though they won since they lost less sailors and sunk more ships but we remained in control of the North Sea. Gladly, for the rest of the war the Germans will stay in port (Taylor 31).
April 28th, 1917
The suffering still continues. The children are still constantly fearing more attack just as I am. Britain is still blockading Germany's ports and we still suffer from food shortages. We will soon only have 6 weeks of food supplies left. 992 000 tons of our ships have sunk. The U.S. have declared war against Germany on April 9th. Everyone is so relieved and Germany must be in fear since the U.S. has so much power. They're still using unrestricted submarine warfare. The best part now is that we can counter them. When they surface, the are taken by surprise by our Q-boats which are just merchant ships with hidden guns on board. It's effective but we know that the will soon become aware and it will soon no longer work (Taylor 33). My husband is still out there somewhere, I just know it.
May 4th, 1917
A huge weight has been lifted off of us. The barrages that were put up across the Dover Straits prevent U-boats from passing throughout he English channel. The convoy system has been created to counter the U-boats. Merchant vessels are grouped and destroyers escort them across the sea. What made it even more effective is that the U.S. Navy aids them as well by providing destroyers. The loss of our ships have dramatically decreased and more U-boats are being destroyed. Our town is finally recovering and now our stocks are coming in again. We have been saved from starvation (Taylor 33). We have a large reliance on imported foods such as sugar, fruit, cereals, meat, vegetables and cheese (Gilbert 82). Whoever there is to thank, thank you for saving my family from hunger. I have no words to describe how grateful I am and there is no letter in sight. The war may not be over but I may rest knowing everyone I love is going to be able to eat. The luck is now on our side.
August 4th, 1918
The war may be over soon, but things are never really over. I'm not certain if this was for the better or for the worse but it will leave a deep scar to be remembered by our descendants down the road. But this war was the latter. The trauma strikes in when you see the dead, rotting bodies beyond recognition that litter the battlefields and the many engulfed in the sea. Too many families spent time mourning, burying empty coffins with their loved ones no where to be found. The war will continue to leave a light, nearly unnoticeable resentment for the ones who were out opponents. It will also leave them wiser, to know what has been a mistake. Even for many generations to come, a scar so deep will fail to fade. The war was single-handedly an event that has changed the definition of humanity itself. The families to continue to have their loved ones at their side are blessed, just as my family is. The sailors will return soon and we can have life return to peace once more.
August 5th, 1918
A letter has arrived in the mail.
Fisk, Robert. "German U-boats Refuelled in Ireland? Surely Not - BelfastTelegraph.co.uk." BelfastTelegraph.co.uk. N.p., 19 Sept. 2011. Web. 20 Feb. 2015.
"HMS Wonganella, Q-ship - British Warships of World War 1." HMS Wonganella, Q-ship - British Warships of World War 1. Ed. Howard Stagg. N.p., n.d. Web. 22 Feb. 2015
"The Royal Navy’s Brutal WW1 Battles." News Findmypastcouk. Brightsolid Online Publishing, 28 Apr. 2014. Web. 12 Feb. 2015.
Gilbert, Martin. First World War Atlas Cantography by Arthur Banks. N.p.: London : Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 1970. Print.
Taylor, David. Key Battles of World War I, 1916. N.p.: 20th Century Perspectives, 2001. Print.
Note: In each journal entry I have entered one general embedded citation for each page that was used.