tv World War I at Sea CSPAN January 14, 2017 7:08pm-8:01pm EST
[captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2016] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit ncicap.org] announcer 1: you are watching allrican history tv" weekend every weekend on c-span3. to join the conversation, like us on facebook at c-span mystery. began in august 1914, the british royal navy imposed a naval blockade to restrict maritime trade with germany and other central powers. the blockade lasted throughout the war. next, u.s. army command and general staff college history professor john kuehn on his book. minute illustrated presentation is a part of a two-day symposium hosted by the national world war i is he a him and memorial in kansas city, missouri. -- museum and memorial in kansas city, missouri. >> i don't know question start
with his joke because it is not really a joke, but one of my polish students told me this. you know, i am a historian. i am aware of the difficulties that poland has had being between these great powers, the habsburgs and the romanovs. more often than not, we think about the czars and the prussian kings and the problems that lie in there. i had asked my polish student, i said, who would you fight first, the germans or the russians? and he thought about it and he said, it is not hard. we fight the germans first. business before pleasure. [laughter] john kuehn: ok, i don't know if that was supported by the last
three. this is one of those kind of things where you go, is this the year of decisions, sort of a restorable question -- rhetorical question? i will say yes, but -- because all of the years and years of decisions, certainly 1914 is a year of decisions, because we do not have a year of decisions if we don't have 1914. we will talk about why none of those years of decisions really achieved the decision. there is a navy theorist, jc wiley, he is a dell brookeian. he thinks of dipole or strategies or bipolar strategies. there are linear and acuity of strategies. -- a cumulative strategies. these are strategies that rely not on one single engagement but rely on many things going on all
the time in a sustained fashion a systemicet collapse. next slide. next slide, please. context, and you guys have got a lot of that already, but we will do a little bit. i like to put things in little bins. i put this in bins. the war is in four parts. we will have to talk about jutland. i will not spend as much time as do want, but we can questions. and we talk about the blockade strategy and the asymmetric response of the blockade, which had already been out there the whole time and occurs considerably earlier in the war then the decision of 1916. we will talk a little bit about that. another thing that people often forget about is this is the
first war in four dimension, the first war in four dimension. it is a war on the air, the surface and the subsurface, at sea and on land. and there is the electromagnetic field, telegraphs, spies, ciphers. all of that is extremely intelligent. those of you who read the book on the lusitania know that room 40 annie haeger and all of these guys are critical. we will talk about that. there is that four dimension, the cyber domain as we come -- sometimes call it is important. we would do review on a naval power. first we look at traditional naval power, surface naval power. in coin of the realm still
january 1916 is the dreadnought battleship, the dreadnought battleship. oftentimes we talk about these old outdated battleship admiral, blah blah blah blah, but this was revolutionary. it was star wars technology of its day, brand-new on the scene of conflict. we kind of joke about the stuffy battleship admiral, but this was not a battleship like we had seen before 1906. this was very advanced technology, and the people who were its advocates are the innovators and agents of innovation of their day. also we had the future force, the battle cruiser. the battle cruiser. in many ways, the battleship dreadnought is enacted as a demonstration for new technology. the real ship that jackie fisher wanted to use to control britain's maritime empire and
wish to blow apart anything smaller than it and run away from anything bigger than it was the battle cruiser, the battle cruiser. that is the way of the future. and then there is the brand-new on the scene boat, the destroyer, the motor torpedo destroyer. simply the destroyer. and the destroyer is rapidly integrated into the fleet with technology because of the whitehead torpedo, which increases exponentially in its range and destructiveness and invention until world war i, 3000% in lethality from the late 19th century. that is designed to keep the whitehead torpedo from killing in a major sea battle. there is, by the way, our new technology, the first fire and forget weapon at sea, the whitehead torpedo or the modern
or veto. these are things -- modern torpedo. these are things that captured naval power, but we are not sure why. it seems this little thing up in the right-hand, your left hand, the submarine vessel invented by mr. holland to be a terror weapon against the british empire against the irish, which he themselves to the british -- this is simply a coastal defense weapon. it is a submersible torpedo boat that is like a torpedo monitor. it will do anti-access type defensive operations in coasts, bays.s, estuaries, and there are people that think this can do more, but they are thinking and forms of other
warships, primarily providing eyes. the other thing at the mine, very old technology. this is a challenge to the reigning paradigm of naval power. we are in the air now, lighter than air, heavier than air. see, this war will take a brand-new domain, air warfare, quickly out to see. the german -- to sea. the german navy will commence bombing against great britain and great britain and america and the french will try to employ strategic bombing off of aircraft carriers. and of course, we get airplanes in the battle against submarines. we find out a submarine's biggest fear is going to be an airplane. there is, the electromagnetic
spectrum. this is the blinking genius of the british navy who is kind of behind all of this. intelligencet in and exportation, he is in charge of all counter intelligence. by the time the war has started, all three german codes have been compromised. and the blinker hall efficacy room have all-pro -- also broken the other code, but there are pluses and minuses, because they have not figured the seamless intelligence system to deliver operational intelligence to the fleet. we will have a similar problem in world war ii with enigma. but the british have an incredible advantage because of cyber warfare or electronic warfare signal intelligence because of this. it plays a big role, because the british oftentimes will get
underway for the germans will when the germans get order to get underway. think about that again. here i am. i am sitting in my state room on board my as destroyer. -- my destroyer. i get the notification to steam up and get underway. the british at the same time get that message, and they are getting steamed up too and getting to sea in many cases before the germans do based on intelligence. because of the naval component of the war, it is a global war, it is a global war. it is not just a global war because you have german surface raiders running around. it is not just a global war because of the economy, but because of the economic war, the economic war. first classic commerce war, that should have been dealt with in the first two times. the classic warfare is cruiser warfare rules, ensure the safety of the crew.
you have to pull the ship over, investigate them for contraband, a sort of gentlemanly style of warfare. nobody had adhered to it anyway, but everyone thinks everybody had adhered to it. and that is over. there are some lone survivors in terms of german light cruisers and everything. this picture of valparaiso prior to the disastrous rating squadron off the falkland captures that. that is war number one, that commerce war. and then there is the blockade, and this is british policy. we will talk about him and the admiralty committee of defense. ferguson talked about this and nick lambert talked about it a few years back. they also designed an economic doomsday machine that will destroy germany. part of that is the blockade policy. we will talk more about the blockade later on.
that is another form of warfare. classic blockade is that classic strategy. then you have to fight on your terms, but you have to implement this before you get the chickens out of the cube. .- coop opposing strategy. now we will start to get into it. the germans don't have a strategy. i should go to the second bullet first, which is the british go, the admiral jellico, the admiral at sea, goes to the blockade. the germans had designed their strategy built around the high seas fleet to challenge a close blockade. ,hey will use submarines, mines and destroyers to get the germans into their anti-access areas of their coastal areas and kind of inside the british in those waters, like what the chinese are thinking of doing today in the western pacific. that is the german plan.
the problem is, the german -- british don't do it. they employed open blockade's, put part of the fleet of flow because they can go around the north sea. and they rely on an open blockade, and they rely on policies and financial factors and sort of capitalism to kind of aid them in what is an open blockade. so that makes the germans. the germans go to this thing, and they only figure out the lately in 1915. they will try to whittle away the british fleet, get them to make mistakes, destroyed battleships. invite theis to british grand fleet using submarines, the zeppelins, destroyers, battle cruisers and finally the high fleet itself until they get the null sony and trafalgar-- nelsonian
. so they do this bombardment to send their cruisers out to bombard british towns and everything to get the british to overreact to the rating basil bruiser force. -- battle cruiser force. , shape are trying to do the battle for the mahaney and decisive battle. there is the war at sea, there is the geography. this is all the way up to the north. you can plug up the north sea and its exits there and essentially blockade the central powers. there is weaknesses here because you are not going to be able to blockade them in the baltic sea. in the mediterranean, and it is not going to be a difficult problem just because it is so and to cork up the adriatic eventually when bulgaria and turkey come in, it is not difficult to cork those up.
the blockade will -- apply over all of those areas. you say, where is the french butler and the blockade runners? that is really not going to work. your best bet is to go to see from ukraine. and then with the adonis basin, you can fight from ever. and then there is classic war at sea. part of that maybe a subset of that is howland's projection. you may have heard about that last year 1915 with the dardanelles campaign and everything. that is the classic, we have got command of the sea, the enemy doesn't, we can project. we can implants the fight ashore byinfluence the fight ashore taking the easy backdoor, the soft underbelly of europe or the dardanelles and the bosporus. we find out how soft all of that is, don't we, at gallipoli.
that leaves the classic war at sea. this continues to go on. let's finish up on the context piece. the first is this leads to an engagement off the dogger bank between the battle cruiser forces. the british car outnumber the germans, the germans have slow armored cruisers with the blucher. that is a pretty modern battleship. that is how they have made armored cruisers obsolete. armored cruisers get new life, heavy cruisers and report to by the way. the way.ld war ii by the germans learned there are key vulnerabilities they need to take care of. their damage control and design of the ship is pretty good, but they realized the rate of fire is not as important as making sure that terrorists are protected, and that you can't get a debt -- that terrorists
are protected -- turrets are protected. the british don't learn about this on dogger bank. the signals are screwed up, and they mishandled the battle in many senses. it is a battle between them and the battle cruiser guy hippert. so they don't learn. it is harder for the british to keep up rate of fire, and the sea will protect the battle cruisers, even though there is evidence that is not the case. they don't lose any ships, so every thing is ok, right? we don't have to worry because we have taken shortcuts the damage control and safety of powder what that might lead to is a direct path of a hit down to the powder room and catastrophic explosion. the german course, we talked about the lusitania, the germans back off a little bit. the incidence don't stop, by the
way. the german u-boats continue to push the envelope as we say in naval aviation. the german course is still in the hands of the submarine force . but with more humane cruiser type rules. cruiser type rules. so the germans are trying to avoid keeping a neutral united states out of the war. they are still conducting a commerce war, but mostly it is with their submarine and kind of according to the rules. on the land, failure in the east , failure in the east. this morning from 8:30 to 12:30, i lectured to staffers on what staffers on-- two what is going on on land. it is tactical stalemate. they are trying to learn, but it is tactical stalemate.
tactical stalemate. in 1915, the germans, when you look at a map, you go, why didn't they win in the east in 1915? that is because they culminate operationally. russia is still in the war, trying to improve her economy to fight. the allies are trying to keep desperately russia in the fight. in 1916, the russians successfully launched the offensive which darn near knocked austria out of the war, there is operational stalemate in the east. the east has a front decision to make. gallipoli has not brought decision. this place has not brought decision. all of the ways to find a quick and have failed. -- end have failed. after, the bosporus -- the falcon 9 being fired, falcon
conducto the east and blitzkrieg world war i style against romania. there is some success there. even the treaty of bucharest will teach the allies the germans will not make anything a just peace with anybody they can easily perceive. and then the classical naval power impotence, the british have a blockade, but i can't seem to use their navy to get anything accomplished. i have always been fascinated by this because i think about trafalgar. it happened in 1805. when was waterloo? 1815. they are a little impatient i think on waiting on naval power to have an impact here. i am not sure classical naval power is different. they have command of the sea. they have command of the sea. they use it for blockades, and they use it for power projection
. because you have command of the seed of an mean you win the war. the sea doesn't mean you win the war. there is confusion on that today. there is blockade, but it is slower ineffectual. let's talk about exciting stuff. these are the major leaders in the trajectory to jutland. they use the battle cruiser. jellico is the overall commander of the grand fleet. turks, professional, quiet, relying on that one afternoon for all of his serious warfare to be successful. in the germans we get a new leadership takes over. this man is not working, the kaiser takes all of his ships and put him in a bandbox and says, don't use my ships. again, there is meditation inside the navy. er becomes the commander,
and he and hipper takeover. we will send him/her out, and he out, hep -- hipper will bomb british towns. emperor will pull back into scheer -- hipper will pull back into scheer. they were all operational design. pre-jutland, the advantages with the british, ok, the advantages with the british. 37 battleships and battle cruisers. the germans have 27. those numbers belie the fact to the british guns are heavier, and so they have twice the broad side weight they can deliver on target is the gunnery is good enough. here is the big, grand theme. here again, electronic warfare comes back. scheer is heavily relying when
he decides to sortie from his bases around the jutland channel , up the jutland peninsula. he is relying on u-boats to give him accurate intelligence. and then possibly the u-boats, will attract some of the british ships. that is his plan to detect the british and figure out where they are. a war at sea is very difficult. one reason you don't see a lot of it is because they are always missing each other. probability of fighting each other is actually quite low. the british on the other hand here the order. -- hear the order, get the information out and said, the germans have left port. and you have got to kind of take it a little bit this way. when beatty angelicoe -- and jellicoe get out there, they are
there. jellicoe thinks the intelligence he has is not good, so he is starting to distrust but comes from this. there is a bigger story, but we don't have the time. first,tish show up scheer and hipper show up second, and they have no idea the entire power and majesty of the grand fleet, 157 ships strong, fronted by the 47 battleships, is at sea. they think they are only dealing with jellicoe. that divides the battle into sort of two phases. there is three phases, the third is not up here. at first he goes according to german plan. everything that should have been learned from the doctor bank comes home like chickens coming home to roost with david beatty, the commander of the battle cruiser force. he advances. finally, the way this happens,
total accident, there is a shift across the middle. the germans and of a ship to intercept, the british respond. that brings the two fleets together. and hipper sees beatty, and then beatty starts to bombard hipper and then scheer shows up and beatty runs away. that is it in a nutshell. timeframe, battle cruisers start blowing up. 80 remarks, there is something wrong with these ships today. it is because the british not learn from the dogger bank. the undervalued german gunnery and overvalued their speed and damage control on their ships, which quite frankly the american navy looked at this battle, and they went to germany and said, where is your damage control document? the germans gave it to us, and we adopted german adult damage control. -- battle damage control.
so they realize they have been suckered. see the queen mary is sunk. beatty's ownership is heavily be up. -- beat up. but here's where jellicoe comes in and despite beatty not telling him where the german fleet is, screwing up his approach and everything, jellicoe manages to cut the germans off from germany and from their ports. it looks like jellicoe is defeated. the battle is very circuitous. some of the seamen, like me, it is astonishing, how can they be that good? the germans launch their destroyers off to threaten for peter attacks. but what is happening -- threaten torpedo attacks.
he realizes he is running out of daylight, and he does. it is during the timeframe he loses the german fleet in the fog of the night, kind of anti-climactically, scheer cuts across his rear, some battleships and makes it home. .ftermath british suffer a tactical defeat. they lose more ships. they lose more men, most of them on those battle cruisers that blew up. but look at the available strength after. what has changed? the blockade is still in effect, the british still command the and, and the -- the sea, the germans are now drastically inferior to the british navy. they did not think that many, but they damaged them in that engagement. one of them, on its way back into port, hit a german mine.
they never fix it the whole time until it is told over to chesapeake bay, all rust bucket it. -- bucketed. the calculus of blockade. in 1909, the nation's get andther in norman angelle all of these antiwar guys saying we will have a long war at sea. the british refused to serve the london protocol. they do not sign it because of the idea that it is illegal to blockade foodstuffs that could be used to be women and children. -- knowish kind of no this is something they will do, prevent food from getting to women and children. that might be part of their strategy. we look at the numbers, the british have to worry about starving to death. of germans, less than 25%
their food is imported. the two british -- and the british, 60%. and the blockades could prevent nitrates for ammunitions and explosive, but the german chemists extract hydrogen from the atmosphere, so blockading nitrates doesn't work. there he is, that is the minister of the blockade, mark and keeps. -- hankey. nobody states it better than he does, the eulogy results of the strategy -- cumulative results of the strategy. who is affected most in the blockade? the army, the factory workers. they are not the ones. the ones that are affected by food rationing -- who are you going to feed? the germans and the -- the factory workers and the soldiers. the young and the week. that is who is affected most. in the british official history
-- this is the british official history, 72 house and -- 772,000 german deaths. the blockade does not end until 1919. that is kept in place until they make signs of a treaty. that is taking the german side. the british side, the institute the open blockade. it works slowly. initially, not everything is on the contraband. food only is on the contraband after several years. a lot of this has to do with market force. one, if you are going to stop every ship, the shipping company says, it costs a lot of money to send through to sweden and the netherlands and germany. sweden and netherlands also suffer from the blockade soapy --. -- from the blockade. the free market forces
work. the british offer incentives to the neutrals to sell foodstuffs to the allies. anyone that wants to sell to the germans will have to compete with the british unfair practice of offering more food for money. and then there is mismanagement of food distribution in germany. the germans really mismanaged their resources. there is a famous book about world war ii called "why the allies won." that could also be written for world war i. the out manage the germans. there is the pig massacre. here is the calculus. the pigs are eating a lot of agricultural produce. we eat that for humans, so let's kill all the pigs. now you have a protein problem. now at the same time, there is a drop in the cultivation of farmland. a drop in the cultivation of farmland. in the previous lecture we heard about the right-handed german policies in -- wrong handed
german policies. the germans get tired of eating potatoes and turnips. they get food boredom. that means to malnutrition. it leads to malnutrition. price control is stale, and germans get food from the box market -- black market by 1916. it is not efficient. these were caused by the urgency of the blockade. it is sort of forcing the germans into making all of these bad play calls to use a sports analogy. strong says it best. i figure why should i say it if he can say a better? it didn't work in isolation. it worked with these other famine, global famine. if there is a global famine, it
will be tough. you will have to tighten your belt if you are in britain or france, but you can go to the americas. you can go get rice from the far east. not the germans. this only exacerbates their situation. blockade. the germans have to do this. we are almost done. they go, we stopped at submarines. -- still got submarines. probably the most, well, not the most, but one of the many counterproductive decisions made by the german strategic leadership during the war. let's talk about the u-boat war. germany has modified his behavior after the lusitania. however, they have captured flanders. this gives them both u-boat bases. so the british have a really big problem. they are not just limited to looking at this narrow area
coming through the baltic or coming out of the jade river or the elba river estuaries. now they have u-boats floated down the rivers of the canal, put together in bruges a -- and it looks like something at disneyland. these little things go out and startled lay mines and sink ships. this is a huge problem. mines are sinking ships. you both are great mine layers. they still are. and there is also this kind of thing going. this is in 1916. i probably knew maria von trapp's husband, georg von trapp, he sinks 54 ships in 24 days. unrestricted. this did not bring the united states into the war. are buildingmans
more submarines. they built the most u-boats in 1916. they can continue to increase september., -- 1916, that jobs up over 60,000 tons. and in october, you almost get 100,000 more times. and it stays above the hundred thousand tons until unrestricted u-boat warfare is implemented, would it geometrically increases towards its hundred thousand tons and beyond -- towards 600,000 tons and beyond. the british navy knows it. iser jutland, jellicoe saying, it is still a big problem. everyone in britain is like, don't talk about the elephant in the room. we don't want america to know we have not solved this problem. it is being very effective.
i think if the germans hadn't -- i still think they would have lost, but that is an argument we can have later. they are doing pretty well without unrestricted submarine rules. however, there is a force in the german military that is saying, you can do even better and end the war in 1917. we get more u-boats. protection stays ahead of office. that is always a good metric. more u-boats being produced than being sunk by the allies. much more advanced than the allied marines, much more deadly , and good old eric larson wrote about guys, the killers in their boats. and british denial. i talked about that. we thought, we survived the best we can do -- germans can do, but the worst was get to come. and at the same time, the chief of the german naval staff is
agitating with the chancellor for submarine warfare. he has been the guy resisting this is an -- the decision because of the german ambassador in the united states. the german ambassador is saying, then they will come into war if you do this. the americans will come into war. they had been resisting it. ,ut in 1916, after these events one of the unintended consequences is that these to join up with the others, agitating for the kaiser to unleash unrestricted u-boat warfare. that finally comes to a head in the 22nd memo. 20,000 tons a month is achievable, they convert the kaiser, and they are sidelined. i think gordon craig, in one of his pieces, says this is a great
tragedy. you have this man advocating the policy to the right stack, and he is against it. ichtstag, and he is against it. there it is. that is why they make the decision. factor,will not be a r will be over. that is true if it is over on october 1. i guess we have to wait until next year to find out the rest of the story. [laughter] john kuehn: well, here is a preview. [applause] >> i love it when there was already a plug for next year, september 23 and fourth, put it on your calendars. john kuehn: yes, sir.
>> all right, let me get down here. happened? nd have i have read somewhere jutland could not have been trafalgar because jutland would not have happened under the conditions, conditions.ather because theened germans didn't to the british coming. would jutland have happened under the conditions of trafalgar? i don't think he could have had trafalgar. john kuehn: there are two issues here. first with jutland, it happens without room for it, and i don't think it would. that is the first thing. jellicoe, he is have gott because they to get out quickly. the germans get on their way very, very late in the day.
so without room 40 and blinker and everything, i don't know. the agitation in the german navy this strong to try to make kind of thing work -- and jutland is a client create -- the idea is not to have trafalgar. it is to have a few squadrons and slap it around a bit. if the engagement ends with hipper and scheer turning away into the mists of the north sea, they have done that, but they don't know the grand fleet is there. they don't know the grand fleet is there. could it have been a trafalgar? there was the potential for that. the potential was there. i forget how many times jellicoe crossed the german t, but it was at least two times.
had hiswhy scheer people turn away. beingad to compete with slowly, surgically demolished by jellicoe's dreadnought battleship. it was on the way to being trafalgar, but with that said, war would have been the difference. the germans would have gone, oh, our fleet is gone -- you think they will do that? that is the second issue. , and thatd happened was a possibility it could have happened, i am not so sure it would have done much. with the high seas fleet after and says, wels will join the submarines and send out a little small battle cruisers and battleships and battle cruisers to aid the submarines in the commerce war and complicate the british problem and maybe pitch a convoy
or two with service ships -- service ships, that is -- surface ships, that is basically the german plan. that was never the high seas fleet. maybe if that had happened, and it was in the realm of speculation. sorry about that. thank you, sir. showed the statistics for the tonnage being sunk and the disparity of picking up and picking up and really picked up in 1917. looking at the other side, what was the statistical comparison on the amount of tonnage getting through to england? john kuehn: that is a key metric. that is a key metric. the qualitative answer, because i don't have the quantitative mansur, but the qualitative answer is enough. enough. not enough for the british to
moderate their war aims. then the germans shoot themselves in the foot with the treaty of bucharest and the other treaty. but the chance for peace is a 1916, and they are not considering peaceful means in this war. they want to end the war. hopehe kind of and that that the russians do that. the ability to get the tonnage through, the germans aren't measuring that, are they? they are kind of working in the fog of four saying, where do they come up with this 600 tons of months? they have guys looking at the best available data without the internet, saying, this is what it takes to maintain the british were economy. the problem, maybe that is true. maybe 600 tons a month is what the british economy needs for these items. but are those 600 tons a month
going to be sunk, the right 600 tons a month? that is 1917. the other thing we don't understand here, and it is really the 1970 lecture, is the british -- 1917 lecture, is the british cannot solve the submarine problem. they think warfare has changed so much, the convoy is obsolete. it is one big target for the u-boat. they have not thought the problem through, even though they will when they commit to the death committee. -- duff committee. one reason it is so disastrous is they really haven't thought the problem through to figure out, how do we kill submarines? how do you kill submarines? debate a trap, or you get them to go where you want them to go. put all the merchant ships in a convoy. only one u-boat can engage one
ship in one convoy, and the rest of the convoy goes through. there hasn't been thinking on the operational analysis of this problem. they will in 1917. they are kind of keeping a lid on it. they are trying to put destroyers on patrol and airplanes, but mostly destroyers. we will hunt. that is what you do with raiders. you hunt them down. they are not finding anything. they are listening for submarines. the range of the sound measured in the hundreds, not the thousands of meters. the torpedo has a range in excess of a thousand meters. so it is a real losing gamble. it is difficult even today. the british haven't even figured out that is what they need to do. yes, sir. , did anye the blockade german ships happen to be able to slip through between ships,
and if so, what happened to them afterwards? john kuehn: i haven't really prepared for that question. i knowh in my study, that the germans had blockade runners. there were key strategic materials that the germans want. and there are some interesting, the yes about german blockade runners/commerce raiders, but he is very effective -- it is very effective. tanniau rule the c -- bri rules the sea. blockade running is a business plan. if the business model is bad, they don't the model. -- dump the model. there are blockade runners. i remember one about getting
tungsten. there are strategic materials the germans can get they would like to get, like a ship full of nitrate if they could. but the british blockade, the british have only been doing this for 300 years, so they are actually pretty good at it. they understand what they can accept in storms of -- in terms of leakers. but they definitely needs more research were reading on my part. -- or reading on my part. >> to questions, sorry. questions, sorry. as opposed to hunting down the u-boats, the prolific killers, did britain make any effort to go after the construction yards for documents -- u-boats? john kuehn: they had declined to go after the dockyards. one of the things that will drive british strategy in 1916
says, weis the hague have to get into flanders and shut these people down. we always think of the hague as being a bloody-minded butcher, but his proposals for offensive in the north have a real strategic purpose. he wanted to shut down the u-boat yards. the allies, the americans will invent strategic bombing doctrine in trying to get at the u-boat yards. the problem is, with the u-boat building facilities and everything, the u-boat pens in world war ii, they were designed -- the blue coats -- blueprints, the germans pull them out and have it again. 1916, 1917 technology and weapon nearing and bombs -- , theyeering and bombs
are more successful with the zeppelin because of the raids on the german zeppelin. the u-boat is difficult. hague is right, the best way to shut them down is to get them with manpower. we go back to the other question, room 40. yes.question there is a big jutland hearing. there is a jutland inquiry. there is a jutland scandal. and essentially, we really don't find out the real story about a jutland until many years later when the bay family gets so many people. history obscured by how has created it. but they knew they had a problem. jellicoe was furious even though he is first sea lord. but playing that out, it plays out in 1917 as a source of improvement that they want to make to room 40 and the flow between the british imperial
defense committee, admiralty, and room 40. and the operational people, the staff and these other places for the fourth and places like that. so there are going to be improvements. but details, i don't have them. but who would, nick lambert. he is the guy to go to. one of the signals intelligence guys. i am not as big with world war i history as i should be. my background is in the navy. i am a signals intelligence guy. i understand the kind of problems they were having. it is very difficult to describe in a component of a one-hour lecture. so i kind of did a handout. all right. one more question. >> there is someone standing. are you ready for one more question? john kuehn: i can take one.
>> is it brief? john kuehn: hopefully the answer will be brief. >> why are the british so successful at breaking the german codes? and the germans are not? john kuehn: there is a big question. in a both war -- in both wars, they get help from previous eastern speakers, polish. but the british pre-attention to this. the committee of the imperial defense has an extremely intelligent group. the british are thinking about armageddon. economic armageddon. the british are already culturally at least in certain parts of british culture and society, they control the world's telegraph networks, don't they. maybe that is part of the answer as well, having polish guys bring the enigma machines.
maybe another part of the answer, and i will start -- stop pissis the germans everybody off. >> i knew there was a reason so we could end on that statement. john kuehn: all right, sorry for the foul language. i am a sailor. [applause] >> thank you so much. americane watching history tv all weekend every weekend on c-span3. to join the conversation, like us on facebook. on lectures and history, arizona state university professor jonathan are teaches a class about the life of andrew jackson and his presidency. he focuses on jackson's clashes with quick party members like andrew clay and daniel webster.