At War in Distant Waters
British Colonial Defense in the Great War
At War in Distant Waters investigates the reasons behind Great Britain’s combined military and naval offensive expeditions outside of Europe during the Great War. Often regarded as unnecessary sideshows to the conflict waged on the European continent, Pattee argues that the various campaigns were necessary adjuncts to the war in Europe, and fulfilled an important strategic purpose by protecting British trade where it was most vulnerable. Since international trade was essential for the island nation’s way of life, Great Britain required freedom of the seas to maintain its global trade. While the German High Seas Fleet was a serious threat to the British coast, forcing the Royal Navy to concentrate in home waters, the importance of the island empire’s global trade made it a valuable target to Germany’s various commerce raiders, just as Admiral Tirpitz’s risk theory had anticipated.