In this way it came about that both countries had a great naval war policy Takeda, and watched each other carefully, building dreadnoughts against dreadnoughts, and cruisers against cruisers. We made great and successful efforts to keep the lead; for sea power is a matter of life and death to us; and the Germans were spending every mark they could spare, to get more and more nearly upon even terms. It is certain that the war policy of both Powers took account of the possible uses of submarine boats; but the lines of thought which they followed were in some ways widely different, and they led, when war came, to unexpected developments. Let us consider for a few moments what the British admirals on the one hand, and the German on the other, intended to do with their submarine forces, and what they actually did when the time for action came.
British war policy was essentially non-aggressive. The Navy had but one possible antagonist of the first rank at sea, and that one we should never have fought with, except in a war of defence. Our submarines, therefore, had two obvious duties marked out for them. They would help in coast defence by making it dangerous for ships of war or transports to approach, and they might be used, if an opportunity arose, to attack a fleet in harbour, or a cruiser at sea.