This graph shows the gross tonnage lost by enemy action and marine risks over the course of the war. The spike indicates the date of the greatest losses to be the 2nd quarter of 1917, having risen sharply during the preceding quarter. The rise coincides with the declaration of unrestricted submarine warfare by Germany on 1 February 1917, which inflicted significant damage on shipping of all kinds, but particularly on merchant vessels. The fall in losses during the subsequent quarters suggests the efficacy of the Allied defensive strategy of protecting shipping though the use of convoys. The graph also shows the world’s shipbuilding output during the war. Although vessels were continually being built it is clear that the construction of new ships could not keep pace with the losses sustained, signifying the ongoing depletion of the world’s fleets right up until the final year of the war.
John Rushworth Jellicoe was a navy officer who commanded The Grand Fleet during World War One. He led Allied warships against the German High Seas Fleet and was involved in high-level decision-making about naval operations. The Jellicoe Papers comprise correspondence, memoranda, reports, charts and other documents either created or used by Jellicoe during his service in the Royal Navy.