Book Review-‘Southern Thunder: The Royal Navy and the Scandinavian trade in World War One’ by S. R. Dunn

By David Bowen, published December 2020


Standing on the shores of the North Sea in a typical winter gale presents a bleak and forbidding prospect. It is sobering to consider that for the four years of the First World War this was a battleground where the warring nations committed their navies to a bitter and relentless struggle in order to wrest supremacy and control, knowing that the war could be won or lost there. Key to success was the management of the neutral Scandinavian countries who held the flank and whose trade, shipping and manpower were of strategic significance to both sides. Britain depended upon Sweden for pit props and iron ore, and Denmark for margarine and other foodstuffs. Norway provided Britain with fish and whale products but mainly shipping, having started the war with the fourth largest merchant fleet in the world. For its part Germany ‘relied on all three countries for food and raw materials’…

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Filed under: Baltic | WW1 | North Sea
Subjects include: Navies | Strategy & Diplomacy

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