„The conquest of Riga is of the greatest importance not only from the military, but also form the political point of view… Our military situation was never more glorious than it is at present. Meanwhile, there is also the U-boat war, which is taking its course. The destruction of enemy tonnage that was expected of it on the basis of official predictions, has not only been achieved, but partly exceeded by more than half… Time is working for us. Britain to-day is fighting the war with a watch in her hand, and it is in this that I see the fundamentally decisive effect of the U-boat weapon for us and the approach of peace… If we are to achieve anything through compromise and understanding, then the Government must not be forced to make any statements renouncing something from the outset. For this reason the tactics by which it has been and is still being tried to make the Government declare its disinterestedness in Belgium, are wrong. Even those who share the attitude of Herr Scheidemann ought to fight for the last stone in Belgium, in order to exploit to the utmost that which possession has made into a dead pledge… However, the fact that we are going to have peace— and, we hope, soon— will in my conviction be due, apart from our military achievements, to the effects of unrestricted U-boat warfare, of which I have repeatedly said before the Main Committee that while I reject the formula that it will force Britain to her knees, I believe as firmly in the formula that it will force Britain to the conference table.“
— Gustav Stresemann
Speech in the Reichstag (October 1917), quoted in W. M. Knight-Patterson, Germany. From Defeat to Conquest 1913-1933 (London: George Allen and Unwin, 1945), p. 121.