Battle of Jutland

Jutland is a coastal area of Denmark, the Battle of Jutland took place off the west coast.

This naval battle took place between British and German forces on 31st May 1916.  Early on the 31st the German fleet under Admiral Scheer entered the North Sea from the Baltic with the intention of enticing British battle-cruisers to an area off the Norwegian coast and then to destroy them.  Leading the German naval fleet were five battle-cruisers along with 36 other vessels (the enticers) under the command of Admiral Hipper.  The main fleet (the destroying force) consisted of 16 Dreadnoughts and 6 Pre-Dreadnought battleships together with 11 light cruisers and 72 destroyers.  The British had been alerted by German radio traffic (most likely by a listening post at Scarborough) and consequently the Grand Fleet consisting of 28 Dreadnoughts and 3 battle-cruisers and numerous other vessels a total of 99 ships, under the command of Admiral Jellicoe, set sail from Scapa Flow.  A further naval force, under the command of Admiral Beatty, of 6 battle-cruisers and 4 fast battleships plus other vessels set sail from the Rosyth naval base.

The total size of the naval forces involved in the battle was as follows:-
Dreadnought battleships...........British 28 (none were sunk)    German 16 (none sunk)
Pre-Dreadnought battleships....0(0)    6(1)
Battle-cruisers............................9(3)    6(1)
Armoured cruisers.....................8(3)    0(0)
Light Cruisers.............................26(0)    11(4)
Destroyers...................................78(8)    72(5)
Seaplane carrier..........................1(0)    0(0)

Hipper's and Beatty's scouting destroyers saw each other on the afternoon of the 31st and the German force promptly turned away to entice the British to the larger German (destroying) fleet.  Beatty took the bait and a long range gunnery duel took place in which two British battle-cruisers, one being HMS Indefatigable, were sunk and Beatty's flagship was also damaged, this caused Beatty to turn away to draw the Germans north and bring them up against Jellicoe's heavier strength.  The opposing fleets met and a general meleee ensued during which another British battle-cruiser was sunk.  Realising that he was out-gunned Scheer turned away under the cover of a smokescreen and a harassing destroyer rearguard action.  Jellicoe continued southwards hoping to get his fleet between Scheer and the German bases.  Scheer turned back into range, then left four battle-cruisers to cover his retreat.  Jellicoe, fearful of torpedoes in the failing evening light, decided not to follow and the battle then came to a somewhat inconclusive end.

Both sides claimed victory, Germany having sunk more ships than they lost, Britain's claim was because the German High Seas Fleet never ventured outside harbour for the rest of the war.




The following link takes you to the description of the battle on Wikipedia.  Other descriptions of this battle can be found by clicking on the following links.

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