Excerpt from War-Chronicle: War Journal, Soldiers' Letters, Pictures of the War; July, 1915
If it be, that in the present war those principles of the freedom of the Seas have become more and more restricted and seem likely to continue being curtailed, Germany is in no way res... ponsible.
The American Government is aware that from the commencement and with ever increasing ruthlessness, the opponents of Germany have, in opposition to all the principles of International Law, and oblivious of the rights of neutrals, paralyzed friendly intercourse between Germany and the neutral countries; not so much perhaps as regards the conduct of the war, but far more to stifle the life of the German nation. On 3rd November 1914, England declared the North Sea as a war zone and shipping was rendered difficult and dangerous to the utmost degree, owing to the presence of mine fields. Neutral coasts and harbours were, against all constitutional rights, blockaded. Long before the commencement of the submarine war, England had cut off the legitimate neutral shipping to Germany. Thus Germany was forced to resort to the submarine war against commerce. Already on November l6th, 1914, the English Prime Minister declared in the House of Commons that one of England's principal tasks was to prevent provisions reaching the German people through neutral harbours. Since March lst, 1915, England has been taking from aboard neutral Ships, all wares, either coming from or going to Germany, and even if those goods belong to neutrals, they are seized without further ado. Just as was the case at the time of the Boer war, so now, the German people is given the choice, as to whether with its women and children it will die of hunger or relinquish its independence.
Whereas our enemies have so repeatedly and loudly asserted that they are determined to continue hostilities until Germany is to tally destroyed, we continue to pursue the war fighting desperately for our national existence and in order to obtain a lasting peace. The intentions of our enemies and their unconstitutional manner of carrying on the war have compelled us to adopt submarine warfare.
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