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Alabama case

Alabama case. The Alabama was the largest (990 tons) of several potential commerce raiders built in Britain for the Confederate South in the American Civil War. They all broke early steam power records for Atlantic crossings. Like them, the Alabama collected her armament outside Britain, and in two years of high seas raiding made 62 seizures of merchantmen. She was finally sunk in international waters off Cherbourg in June 1864 by the Union warship Kearsage. Arbitration in Switzerland in 1871 awarded higher damages against Britain, whose moral case was weak, than the sums claimed by the US government. Convention XIII of the 1909 London naval conference accepted that neutral powers were physically restricted in their dealings with belligerent warships; rights of passage for such ships were conceded.

David Denis Aldridge

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