Encyclopedia > Convoy

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A convoy is a group of vehicles traveling together for mutual support, with or without one or more additional vehicles especially for defense and/or other support. In effect, it is a modification of a caravan.

For example, driving by car through a desert is safer in a convoy. If a car breaks down others can help too fix it, and if it cannot be repaired, the people in it can get a ride in one of the other cars.

As for wartime, convoy tactics are particularly important. During the World War One, Lloyd George overruled the protestations of British admiralty and gave an order to organize ships in convoys. British continued the practice during the Battle of the Atlantic (1940) when American supplies were vital for Britain to continue its war effort. Without convoys, U-boat would have needed merely to wait in the shipping lanes for a ship to come along. Convoying increased the odds that a submarine would not encounter enemy targets, and when it did so, the convoy was more likely to have defenders who could either threaten the sub or at least hinder it enough to give the convoy members time to escape.

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