For centuries, halting seaborne commerce to an enemy by means of a blockade had dealt a tremendous blow to its fighting power, and had proved to be ‘the most systematic, regularised and extensive form of commerce-destruction known to war.’ [1] Throughout the first world war the Royal Navy had the absolute power to isolate Germany from international trade and stop seaborne goods from entering her ports but, for at least the first two years of the conflict, the very best efforts of the blockade fleet were effectively sabotaged by Sir Edward Grey and the Foreign Office. 1,393 more words