At the outbreak of war, Britain was, by necessity, the greatest maritime power in the world: its empire and commercial prosperity were entirely dependent on control of the oceans. However, the most potent naval weapons of the First World War were not great battleships, but submarines and mines.

 
ARCHIVE ARTICLES

THE BATTLE OF JUTLAND

THE LOSS OF THE LUSITANIA

THE MINE SWEEPERS OF THE NORTH SEA

SAILORS SONGS & CHANTIES

SALVAGE OF SHIPS AFTER EXPLOSIONS

 


 
‘The birth of a battleship’ by F. J. Mortimer, from a photographic exhibition reviewed by the magazine in 1915.
 
 
An article in October 1914 highlighted the dangers of mines to trawlers. Here, a fisherman from Lowerstoft is shown at work on his boat. According to the article, these men presented ‘the old type of sea-dog characteristic of this empire’.
 
 
‘The trail of the Huns.’ This 1916 photograph of a crew escaping from a sinking sailing ship was, presumably, staged.
 
 
This stand-alone patriotic photograp, published full-page in 1914, was simply captioned ‘Watchdogs’. Again it is presumably staged.
 
 
 The guns of the Italian dreadnought Cavour in a photograph of 1917. The picture appeared in an article praising the achievements of the Italian fleet.
Anson RN, photographed in 1917, was one of a number of mascots illustrated on the Letters page. Anson saw action at Antwerp, two troop landings in Egypt and helped manhandle machine guns on the battlefield.

 

RETURN TO THE WORLD WAR ONE HOMEPAGE

THE WORLD AT WAR

WOMEN & THE WAR

CHILDREN & THE WAR

THE WAR IN THE TRENCHES

ADVERTISING & THE WAR

THE WAR IN THE AIR

HORSES & THE WAR

THE WOUNDED & PRISONERS

WAR MEMORIALS

OFFICIAL WAR ARTIST: SIR MUIRHEAD BONE