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GALLERY: U Boat Facts Ww1

U-boat is an anglicised version of the German word U-Boot [ˈuːboːt] (listen), a shortening of Unterseeboot, literally "underseaboat". While the German term refers to any submarine, the English one (in common with several other languages) refers specifically to military submarines operated by Germany, particularly in the First and Second World Wars. Although at times they were efficient fleet weapons against enemy naval warships, they were most effectively used in an economic warfare role (commerce raiding) and enforcing a naval blockade against enemy shipping. The primary targets of the U-boat campaigns in both wars were the merchant convoys bringing supplies from Canada and other parts of the British Empire, and from the United States to the United Kingdom and (during the Second World War) to the Soviet Union and the Allied territories in the Mediterranean. German submarines also destroyed Brazilian merchant ships during World War II, causing Brazil to declare war on both Germany and Italy on August 22 1942.

In the First Word War military submarines made a significant impact for the first time. The German U-Boats enjoyed a great deal of success and were responsible for destroying around half of all the food and supplies transported by the British Merchant Navy.

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