Accession Number:

ADA425342

Title:

Q-Ships of the Great War

Descriptive Note:

Research paper

Corporate Author:

AIR UNIV MAXWELL AFB AL

Personal Author(s):

Report Date:

2000-04-01

Pagination or Media Count:

35.0

Abstract:

Lacking adequate antisubmarine warfare tactics and technologies to combat the German unrestricted submarine campaign during the Great War, the Allies turned to deception or ruse de guerre as a means to counter the U-boat menace. Armed decoys, known as Q-ships, manned by naval crews and outfitted with hidden guns, were introduced to deceive, trap, and destroy U-boats. Registering early kills, Q-ships served as a valuable deterrent and had a demoralizing effect on previously bold U-boat crews. Q-ships successfully filled Britains void in antisubmarine warfare through 1917. By 1918, the Q-ship campaign ground to a halt when these intrepid decoys lost their usefulness through frequency of use and lost surprise. This paper examines the employment of Q-ships in the Allied maritime strategy during the Great War, focusing on the requisite elements and specific tactics associated with this unique form of deception. Significant engagements are examined to assess the effect Q-ships had against U-boats and their overall impact during the course of the war. 26 refs.

Subject Categories:

  • Humanities and History
  • Defense Systems
  • Naval Surface Warfare

Distribution Statement:

APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE