Battle of Jutland (Chronology of European History)
Article abstract: The Battle of Jutland establishes the decisive superiority of the British Grand Fleet over its rival, the German High Seas Fleet, despite heavy British losses in ships and men.
Summary of Event
Early in 1916, the German Naval Staff decided to undertake an offensive campaign against the British Grand Fleet in the North Sea. Vice Admiral Reinhard Scheer, commander of the German High Seas Fleet of twenty-three dreadnoughts, realized that he could conduct only limited operations against the British Grand Fleet of forty-two dreadnoughts under the command of Admiral Sir John Rushworth Jellicoe. So Scheer planned to lay minefields off the British naval bases and then lure the Grand Fleet out to sea. If German U-boats could take their toll of British battleships, Scheer imagined that he could offer battle on more equal terms.
At the same time, the British became more aggressive. They wanted to attack the Zeppelin bases in northern Germany and also support the Russian navy in the Baltic. They, too, hoped to lure the enemy fleet out to battle in the North Sea.
Minor sorties began in March, 1916. German battle cruisers bombarded a few British towns without inflicting or...
(The entire section is 1483 words.)
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Battle of Jutland (Magill’s Guide to Military History)
Article abstract: Type of action: Naval battle in World War I. Result: A tactical victory for the Germans and a strategic victory for the British.
The German High Seas Fleet, led by Admirals Reinhard Scheer and Franz von Hipper, came out early on May 31, 1916, and the British Grand Fleet, led by Admirals John Jellicoe and David Beatty, came down from its base at Scapa Flow. Advance battle cruiser squadrons met first, then the main fleet. The weather was poor, and the main confrontation occurred late in the afternoon, followed by confused and violent night action. British losses were 3 battle cruisers, 3 cruisers, 8 destroyers, 6,945 casualties; German were 2 battleships, 4 cruisers, 5 destroyers, and 3,058 casualties.
Debate over the battle, its leadership (especially that of Admiral Jellicoe), deficiencies, consequences, and implications continued for decades. Both sides were deficient in leadership, intelligence, communication, navigation, staff planning, and ability to handle night operations. In addition, there were flaws in warship and weapons design, optics, and fire control systems. The Germans immediately declared a victory, and although the battle was a strategic victory for the British, the initial announcement was factual, subdued, and depressing. That assessment persisted, exaggerating German accomplishments.
Though many believed the naval battle at Jutland would be...
(The entire section is 336 words.)