What Was the Purpose of the Convoy System?

The purpose of the convoy system is for ships to sail in groups, with or without naval support, to provide mutual protection. The system may date back to ancient times, but imperial Britain is notable for using it in the development of its empire.

The British initially used the convoy system to protect merchant vessels crossing the English Channel. However, the British Royal Navy found the convoy system necessary to protect ships on the open sea from successful German U-boat campaigns during World War I. Britain and its allies used conveys throughout World War II to protect shipping from German and Japanese warships across the globe.