The Battle of Jutland (known in German as Skagerrakschlacht) took place on 31st May 1916 in the North Sea near Jutland, Denmark between the Royal Navy’s Grand Fleet and the Imperial German Navy’s High Seas Fleet. The Royal Navy’s objective was to defend the North Sea and to prevent the Imperial Naval Fleet from infiltrating the Atlantic and attempting to immobilise Britain’s merchant shipping.
Grand Fleet, Jutland
Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons
It was the largest naval battle of WWI and though the Royal Navy lost more men and ships (14 ships and around 6,000 lives) than the Germans (11 ships and about 2,500 casualties) the conclusion was that the Imperial German Fleet was defeated. The fleet was unable and in any case would have been unwilling to engage in fleet to fleet fighting for the duration of the war and relied increasingly on submarine warfare but the Royal Navy remained a potent fighting force.
At the beginning of the war the Royal Navy had more ships than their opponents. Realising that they were unlikely to gain victory in full fleet battle, the Germans decided on a strategy of ensnaring smaller groups in order to defeat them.
A series of incorrect messages and poor communication between ships led to more British losses than might have been forecast. For example, much of the most critical signalling was carried out with flags and lamps rather than by wireless. They were strange methods to rely on in misty conditions and with smoke issuing from the stacks of the coal-fired warships.
The battle was the first one in which an aircraft carrier was used. The single British
craft carried a seaplane.
Four Victoria Crosses were awarded - only one recipient survived the battle.
Joyful Denise Nesbitt and her Jolly crew organise this weekly meme. Click here to see more Js.