More than a hundred years have passed since the outbreak of the World War I, but there are still fundamental gaps in our understanding of the conflict. It has been generally recognized that the British blockade of Germany played the central role in bringing about Germany’s surrender. The German economy, industry and military came to suffer as a result of domestic shortages of all kinds, but especially of coal. In the gridlock of devastation and military force that had developed by 1916 coal came to represent a most effective tool of British allied force that Germany could not counter and so became a decisive factor in Germany’s collapse by 1918.
Zeller, Joseph "Coal: A Significant Factor in Germany’s Defeat in World War I." Canadian Military History 27, 1 (2018)