Convoy system

RAF aerial photograph of a convoy of five ships, 16 August 1918.

In response to the damage wrought on Allied shipping by the German campaign of 'unrestricted submarine warfare', the Royal Navy introduced a convoy system in June 1917. As this photograph illustrates, it worked by providing escort vessels for individual ships. These escorts not only guarded against surface gunfire attacks, but also dropped depth charges in areas where German 'U-boats' were known to operate. The convoy system resulted in a rapid decrease in German attacks on Allied shipping during the last 17 months of the war.
Catalogue reference: AIR 1/419/15/245/1 (16 Aug 1918)
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