30th Apr 1917: 55 merchant ships sunk in one week

30th April 1917: In the third week of April no less than 55 merchant ships – a total of 180,000 tons – had been sunk. In the month of April a total of 881,027 tons was lost. At this rate it was estimated by the end of the year that there would only be barely enough shipping to keep the British people fed, and far too few for the carriage of troops, munitions and supplies necessary to maintain the Allied war effort.

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