|Maximum Speed||12.4 knots above the surface, 5.2 knots underwater|
The original purpose of the German U-Boats was to create a blockade around England during the First World War. However, having to give warning to ships approaching British waters before firing upon them proved highly ineffective, and Germany realized it would have to use its submarines to their full capacity to win the war against Britain. Thus, Germany began unrestricted submarine warfare against all ships traveling near the British coast. One of the reasons the United States entered the war was the sinking of the British luxury cruiser, the Lusitania, on which several Americans were passengers. By the time the U.S. began running escorted convoys to England, the island nation was only weeks from starvation.