GERMAN TORPEDOES; SPANISH AND BRITISH PROTESTS
Our most urgent problem during my stay in London from April 3 to 25 was ships. The unlimited submarine war was wreaking havoc in shipping. The ships lost from all causes amounted to:
|February, 1917||537, 000|
Most of the ships were torpedoed, and these included neutral as well as Allied vessels. Seven of those torpedoed were C.R.B. ships.
In addition, we lost two sunk by mines. Five more were stranded or lost from the failure of the Germans to issue clear directions regarding the open channels. Two more ships were attacked by submarines but escaped.
On April 5, we telegraphed Spanish Minister Villalobar in Brussels:
The torpedoing within last two days of Feistein and Trevier, carrying 10,000 tons wheat having German safe-conducts and markings, pursuing supposed safe route laid down by German authorities, again jeopardizes whole relief. This makes five ships torpedoed since February carrying 23,000 tons grain, and unless we can get some definite and believable assurance we cannot induce a single ship, much less the crews, to pursue this work and I have serious doubts whether Allied Governments will