- Western Approaches
For the museum of this name at the former World War II command centre, see Western Approaches Command.For the 1944 film, see Western Approaches (film).
The Western Approaches is a rectangular area of the Atlantic ocean lying on the western coast of Great Britain. The rectangle is higher than it is wide, the north and south boundaries defined by the north and south ends of the British Isles, the eastern boundary lying on the western coast, and the western boundary in the Atlantic roughly at Iceland. The area is particularly important to the UK, because many of the larger shipping ports lie in this area.
The term is most commonly used when discussing naval warfare, notably during the First World War and Battle of the Atlantic during the Second World War in which the German Navy (Kriegsmarine) attempted to blockade the UK using submarines (U-boats) operating in this area. Since almost all shipping to and from the UK passed through this area, it was an excellent hunting ground and had to be heavily defended.
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