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The Holtzendorff Memorandum of 22 December 1916 and Germany's Declaration of Unrestricted U-Boat Warfare

As Chief of the Admiralty Staff of the Imperial German Navy, Admiral Henning von Holtzendorff was the driving force behind the German declaration of unrestricted U-boat warfare in 1917. In his memorandum of 22 December 1916, Holtzendorff condensed the key arguments of his fifteen-month struggle... Full description

1st Person: Steffen, Dirk
Source: in The journal of military history Vol. 68, No. 1 (2004), p. 215-224
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Type of Publication: Article
Language: English
Published: 2004
Keywords: research-article
Online: Volltext
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520 |a As Chief of the Admiralty Staff of the Imperial German Navy, Admiral Henning von Holtzendorff was the driving force behind the German declaration of unrestricted U-boat warfare in 1917. In his memorandum of 22 December 1916, Holtzendorff condensed the key arguments of his fifteen-month struggle for unrestricted U-boat warfare. He focused on two issues: the unique opportunity to starve Great Britain into submission due to the crop failure of 1916 and the declining prospects for German submarine warfare under cruiser rules in the face of the progressive arming of allied merchantmen. He also believed that Germany could afford to risk a confrontation with the United States over the issue. 
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