neil hilton wrote:
As for Germany in 1918, the RN blockade was the most important factor in the armistice (the other factors obviously had an effect) but it was the blockade that that was the real kill shot, if the Germans hadn't folded in 1918 there would have been a famine of biblical proportions in 1919.
The blockade wasn't lifted until after the Treaty of Versailles was signed on 28 June 1919. Prior to then the state of war still existed, it was the Armistice that stopped the actual fighting.
Since March 1918 the Germans had access to Russian wheat, courtesy of the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk, although Russia itself was in turmoil. There were severe food shortages but not actual widespread famine - rural communities were better off than the towns and cities, which is where the food riots were concentrated. The shortages in the urban areas were also exacerbated by the Army seizing a lot of the supplies to keep its officers and troops reasonably well fed. Remember that the food shortages were initially brought on by the male agricultural labour force being conscripted into the German Army and no immediate plans had been made to replace them with female labour - this was as a result of the Germans not planning for a long war. Before 1914 Germany could feed itself, German agriculture was protected by very high trade tariffs
Where the RN blockade really hurt was in cutting off supplies of raw materials for German industry and inferior substitutes had to be used.