Although there has never been a time among warring peoples when they have not known the advantage of a surprise attack, no other fighting craft has been governed so absolutely by the principle as the submarine. Knowledge of the presence of this vessel gives a foe opportunity, commonly to elude, and often to destroy it. On the other hand, if for a few moments it can choose its position unobserved, it may speedily destroy transport, cruiser, or battleship. It was because of this necessity of secrecy that the British gave out such inadequate reports during the war. The public was told nothing of the force of submarines that the Allies had assembled, or of their zone of operations. Whereas the Admiralty published fairly definite reports of the loss of the Cressy and the Queen Mary, and of the achievements of the Lion and the Broke, they permitted scarcely a mention of any of the 50 or 60 submarines lost by England, or of the several hundred enemy vessels which Allied submarines destroyed.
American Submarine Operations in the War
By Carroll Storrs Alden, PH. D., Professor of English, U. S. Naval Academy