Topics > First World War > War at Sea: WW1 > German Ocean

German Ocean

In Britain and elsewhere, the North Sea was commonly known as the 'German Ocean' until the early 20th century. That changed after the First World War, when the name became politically unacceptable in Britain. The North Sea is a marginal sea of the Atlantic Ocean located between Great Britain, Denmark, Norway, Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium and France.

Examples of the German Ocean from old texts are provided below:

NORTHUMBERLAND, a maritime county, and the most northern of England, bounded on the east by the North Sea, or German Ocean; on the south, by the county of Durham; and on the west by Cumberland, and by Roxburghshire in Scotland....

BLYTH (SOUTH) is a chapelry, township, and seaport, in Earsdon parish, situated on the southern bank of the river Blyth at its junction with the German Ocean, nine miles south-east of Morpeth, and thirteen miles north-east of Newcastle....

Extracts from: History, Topography, and Directory of Northumberland...Whellan, William, & Co, 1855.

The Newcastle and Carlisle railway, which, crossing the northern part of the kingdom, connects the German Ocean with the Irish Sea....

[Hauxley] the village stands, commanding a beautiful view of the German Ocean, including Coquet Island. On the coast are dangerous reefs of rocks, stretching far into the sea, where many vessels were annually lost, till the erection of a lighthouse on Coquet Island, in 1841....

Extracts from: A Topographical Dictionary of England comprising the several counties, cities, boroughs, corporate and market towns, parishes, and townships..... 7th Edition, by Samuel Lewis, London, 1848.

[Newcastle-upon-Tyne] the city stands on the northern bank of the river Tyne, 10 miles west from the German Ocean, 275 from London, 117 from Edinburgh, 60 south from Berwick-on-Tweed...

SOUTH SHIELDS, a sea-port, municipal and parliamentary borough, market and union town, and by the Local Government Act, 1888, is now a county borough for certain purposes, in the Jarrow division of the county, east division of Chester ward, head of a petty sessional division and county court district, situated on the south bank of the river Tyne, at its confluence with the German Ocean, and at the northeastern extremity of the county of Durham....

Extracts from: Kelly's Directory of Durham, 1890
War at Sea: WW1


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