Queenstown Bound: U.S. Navy Destroyers Combating German U-boats in European Waters in World War I
Cdr. David D. Bruhn, USN (Retired)
Beginning in spring 1917, the U.S. Navy sent ever more divisions of destroyers to Europe, first to Queenstown, Ireland, and later to Gibraltar and French ports as well, to combat German U-boats. The submarines were taking a huge toll on Atlantic shipping over the course of World War I, resulting in the loss of nearly half of Britain’s merchant fleet. By the time America entered the war, an expanded U-boat fleet had come dangerously close to choking off Britain’s critical supply of food, which threatened the sustainment of the island nation and could have led to the collapse of the British war effort. Though lacking sonar, radar, and embarked helicopters common to warships today, the four-stack, coal-burning destroyers bravely carried out anti-submarine patrols and convoy escort duties. Their presence in dangerous waters where unseen submarines searched for victims, helped hold the enemy down and, when possible, enabled depth-charge and gunnery attacks against the enemy. The destroyers’ greatest contributions were in helping to get two million U.S. soldiers safely to France, which changed the course of the war, and of world history. One hundred seventy-seven photographs, maps, and diagrams; appendices; a bibliography; and an index to full names, places, and subjects add value to this work.
2023, 6x9, paper, index, 308 pp