by Richard van Pelt, WWI Correspondent
“German Submarines May Cross Ocean” was the headline on the Capital Journal’s editorial page, discussing the probability that submarine warfare could reach the Atlantic coastline of the United States:
And now a new peril confronts this neutral nation of ours. J.W.T. Mason, war expert of the United Press association, thinks that Germany may be preparing to send submarines across the Atlantic to resume her undersea warfare in American waters. This possibility is indicated in the news that a steamer was sunk by a submarine off Cape Finisterre, Spain.
This affair, he admits, is small in itself, but it establishes a new record for a submarine voyage. This is the reason it is an incident of the greatest importance, technically, since the German undersea warfare began. Finisterre is 1,200 miles from Cuxhaven. The route passes through the Bay of Biscay, one of the roughest pieces of water on the globe. Only a very recently designed submarine could undertake such a voyage, which doubtless was chiefly experimental. Otherwise, there would be more certainty of result proportionate to the energy expended by confining operations to the waters about the British Isles.