Wednesday 23 March 2011

ABC Wednesday - J is for Jutland

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.
File:Grand fleet jutland.jpg
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.


  1. These are great stories, all. And all a bit depressing; no offense.

    ROG, ABC Wednesday team

  2. I guess wars just don't end. We wish human kind could learn from anguish, but we don't. It just keeps on going, keeps on escalating. Sigh...

  3. Fancy still using flags and signals, guess the Royal Navy was as set in its way as the army in WW1, and yet they had a sea plane, must have had one or two forward thinkers. I always think of Riddle of the Sands when the battles are in that neck of the woods.

  4. I always learn so much when I visit here.
    I prefer 'Jutland' to the German version!

  5. Great history refresher course and a terrific post for the J Day, Janice!! Hope you're enjoying a great week!

    ABC Team

  6. Another exciting story!
    I prefer jUtland. Why do u need to write so many letters anyway when u don't mean to pronounce them??!!

    Yeah..we are SO SO excited about the trip. The place we found sounds cool over the phone! Hope is turns out to be really good.
    I am excited about the kitchenette...I love to try out stuff for my guinea pig husband who is ever ready to try all kinds of edible stuff!!
    And I am not speaking of Buddy though, I might have been!!
    I do mean to explore the place and try out some authentic Goan dishes. It has been very long..almost 4 years since our last visit.

    It is nice to know that your family likes Goa. Why don't you plan a trip to India/ It will be really nice to meet you in person:) :)

  7. Oh! I almost forgot!
    I tried looking for Janice, Berkshire, Uk in Facebook and came up with a number of Janices but not the right one!!!!
    I am registered as Geetalima Dutta..maybe you can try and find me:)

  8. So many horrible. We tend to read these things and see only the numbers, but each number represents a person who left loved ones behind. Thanks for the look-back at an important historical event.

  9. I wonder how many of the ships in WWI actually had radio and access to electricity in 1914. I remember learning signalling with flags when I belonged to the Girl Guides in the late '40's.
    My siblings and I also leaned Morse Code so we could communicate with friends in their farmhouse across the field by using flashlights. Great fun!

  10. I shall have to get the LSO to read this - he loves history.

  11. It makes you wonder what would happen in the current climate what would happen if computer systems went down! Doesn't bear thinking about does it?
    Thanks so much.
    Denise ABC Team

  12. Really interesting visit! You'd think we'd have learned by now....

  13. Excellent post - as always. History seems to be escaping our radar and being ignored in education.

  14. That's what I like, a post with CONTENT! Thanks.


Thank you for visiting. I love to read your comments and really appreciate you taking the time to respond to posts.

I will always try to repay your visit whenever possible.