• In 1914, a British ship, the Alert, set sail from Dover with the mission of sabotaging German undersea cables and cutting off their communication with the world.
• The British set up a system of censors across the empire, from Hong Kong to Malta to Singapore, to intercept strategic intelligence between the enemy and their agents.
• By leveraging the system of censors, the British were able to monitor and censor up to 50,000 messages per day.
At the outbreak of the First World War in 1914, Great Britain had the world’s most sophisticated undersea telegraph cable system, which encircled the entire globe. With the declaration of war on Germany, the British had to act quickly to cut off their enemy’s communication with the world. A solution was found when a British ship, the Alert, set sail from the port of Dover with a mission to sabotage German undersea cables and disconnect them from the world.
In order to ensure that the enemy’s communication was completely severed, the British employed a system of censors across the empire, from Hong Kong to Malta to Singapore. These censors were not just tasked with preventing the communication of strategic intelligence between the enemy and their agents, but with gathering intelligence as well. The system of censors was able to monitor and censor up to 50,000 messages per day, providing an almost impenetrable barrier between the enemy and their allies.
The British censorship system was a great success and played a major role in the Allied victory. By intercepting and censoring enemy communication, the British were able to gain a strategic advantage over the Axis powers and end the war. The success of the British censorship system during the First World War showed the importance of communication in warfare and the power of censorship in achieving victory.