North Sea Mine Barrage

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NORTH SEA MINE BARRAGE. The North Sea mine barrage was a World War I minefield 230 miles long and more than fifteen miles wide, laid in 1918 between the Orkney Islands off northern Scotland and Norway to blockade German submarines. The mines had long wire antennas that would explode the contents, 300 pounds of TNT, on contact with any metallic object. Altogether 70,263 were laid at a cost of $80 million ($952.8 million in 2002 dollars). The exact number of German U-boats destroyed is unknown but is estimated at seventeen. The effect was perhaps greater in shattering the morale of German submarine crews, thus helping to produce the revolt of German seamen that marked the beginning of the defeat of Germany.


Mannix, Daniel P. "The Great North Sea Mine Barrage." American Heritage 34 (April 1983): 36–48.

Syrett, David. The Defeat of the German U-Boats, Columbia: University of South Carolina Press, 1994.

Walter B.Norris/a. r.

See alsoMinesweeping ; World War I, Navy in .