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 (1914-1918) WWI Battles
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iron_duke75
Temple, TX, USA
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Jutland
Posted on: 12/11/2017 5:58:16 AM
If Jellicoe had succeeded in destroying the High Seas Fleet at Jutland, would it have necessarily shortened the war? The German U-boat fleet would have survived, and their actions had a much more profound effect on the final outcome. I believe Cyril Falls commented that while Jellicoe could have lost the war for Britain that day, Scheer could not have lost it for Germany. This may explain Jellicoe’s caution. Thoughts?

anemone
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Re: Jutland
Posted on: 12/11/2017 7:10:35 AM
The way I see your question is as folkows- the Grand Fleet did not destroy the High Seas Fleet but kept it stuck in port for the duration of the after Jutland. So Destroyed of immobilised-- are largely- in a way- one and the same; hence no discernible effect on the outcome of the war IMHO

Regards

Jim
---------------
Pro Patria Saepe Pro Rege Semper

Phil andrade
London, UK
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Re: Jutland
Posted on: 12/11/2017 7:40:18 AM
Jim is surely right : the High Seas Fllet was more or less neutralised by Jutland .

Maybe you could argue that, by dint of Jutland, Imperial Germany sought conclusions through unrestricted U-Boat warfare, and embarked on a strategy that was to be her undoing.....so, in an indirect way, the naval engagement was, in a sense, decisive.

My wife’s grandfather was a very young sailor and was quite badly wounded at Jutland. He had a metal plate in his skull for the rest of his life. I’ve never managed to find out more about him , because he died a long time before I met Lynn. I know that he died in poverty, living in a one room bedsit in the outskirts of north London, after a pretty hard life working as a lorry driver.

While more than six thousand British sailors were killed at Jutland, only about 550 were wounded...ships that explode tend to kill their crews rather than wound them, so I suppose Lynn’s grandad was lucky .

Like so many of his generation, he died from lung cancer in his sixties, having smoked like a chimney.

I often wonder how many veterans who survived both the world wars had their lives diminished by the cigarettes they puffed away at for the remainder of their days.

Dad was anther such victim.

Regards, Phil
---------------
"Egad, sir, I do not know whether you will die on the gallows or of the pox!"

"That will depend, my Lord, on whether I embrace your principles or your mistress."

Earl of Sandwich and John Wilkes

Jim Cameron
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Re: Jutland
Posted on: 12/11/2017 8:25:30 AM
Even if the High Seas Fleet was largely neutralized at Jutland, by the calculus of WW1 it still essentially pinned the Grand Fleet in place as long as it remained a "fleet in being." The difference being that as long as the HSF was neutralized, the British fleet was happy enough to keep it there.
Still, it must have made for a boring war for the crews on both sides.
---------------
Jim Cameron

Every time I go to Gettysburg, I learn two things. Something new, and, how much I still don't know.

Phil andrade
London, UK
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Re: Jutland
Posted on: 12/11/2017 9:08:51 AM
Family folklore is a capricious business when it comes to the hard facts of history.

Lynn’s grandfather was definitely a sailor at Jutland : I’ve seen a photograph of him, and his uniform indicated that he served on the Iron Duke.

Trouble is, that ship - although engaged and under fire - sustained no damage or casualties, according to a website that I’ve just browsed.

I need to investigate .....there’s no question of lying ; just a few dots that don’t join up.

Regards, Phil
---------------
"Egad, sir, I do not know whether you will die on the gallows or of the pox!"

"That will depend, my Lord, on whether I embrace your principles or your mistress."

Earl of Sandwich and John Wilkes

brian grafton
Victoria, BC, Canada
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Re: Jutland
Posted on: 12/11/2017 8:42:54 PM
Iron Duke, I never believed that Jellicoe was afraid of the Hish Seas Fleet, and to be honest I don't see any hesitancy in Jellicoe's engagement with the HSF once his ships could engage. But whether it was Cyril Falls or someone else who said it, I believe it true that were Jellicoe to lose any major battle with the German High Seas Fleet he could be in danger of losing the war. Think of that fleet against trade and shipping routes. Think about the German fleet with, at minimum, a greater opportunity to harass BEF Dover crossings.

It's been a few years since I studied Jutland, I admit. But it still seems to me that Sir David Beattie's role is of significance. The story goes that Hipper lured Beatty into battle. I would argue that Beattie couldn't wait to make the charge!

IIUC, RN boffins were using D/F to track German ship movement. It didn't provide 100% accuracy, of course, but – just e.g. – it provided Jellicoe with at least an indicator that more than Hipper's forces were loose that day. Was the same information available to Beattie? I don't know. Beattie was a great leader in many ways, but IMHO he was not a "sober" leader. He wanted his teeth at the enemy's throat. So would he have been prone to trust his boffins, or would he have "damned the torpedoes"?

IIRC, Jellicoe determined to rely on signal flags to direct his fleet, and there is speculation that is because he was concerned about having radio traffic intercepted b the Germans (just as he was doing). This may not have been the best choice, but it was a decision. Is that caution, or prudence? When his fleet approached the German High Seas Fleet, he executed some intricate fleet manouvres and IIRC crossed the German fleet's "T", with some success. Scheer's fleet reversal may have saved the German High Seas Fleet, when you get down to it.

Jellicoe didn't get the victory the British people wanted. And in just counting the losses, it is hard to convince anybody that this was a RN victory. Almost double the dead and wounded; more than double the number of capital sips lost, greater damage amongst the small-fry of the fleet: none of this sounds like a victory. All one can say is that it was not a defeat.

Cheers
Brian G
---------------
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brian grafton
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Re: Jutland
Posted on: 12/11/2017 9:01:16 PM
Phil, matelots were moved from ship to ship – often at the whims of the Service, sometimes at the whim of the captain. Drafts on crew members were not at all out of the ordinary. A pic with an "Iron Duke" cap band (I'm assuming that was the indicator) can't be taken to show where he was for Jutland. HMS Iron Duke was Jellicoe's flag ship: of course it was at Jutland. I don't know Lynne's Gramp's rating, of course, but I would expect that he could have been put in harm's way at any time from the first indication of the High Seas Fleet sailing to the time Jellicoe and Iron Duke returned to Scapa.

Cheers
Brian G
---------------
"We have met the enemy, and he is us." Walt Kelly.

"The Best Things in Life Aren't Things" Bumper sticker.

iron_duke75
Temple, TX, USA
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Re: Jutland
Posted on: 12/12/2017 12:57:55 AM
I agree with your assessment of Beatty; he badly wanted to come to grips with his foe. I think his comment after the Indefatigable and Queen Mary went down (“Chatfield, there seems to be something wrong with our bloody ships today. Turn two points to port.“) demonstrates this wonderfully (as I understand it, two points to port placed him closer to the German fleet). His later request to Jellicoe that the battleships follow him so that they might cut off the German retreat also demonstrates this.

I do wonder at what point does gallantry cross over to recklessness? Beatty’s flagship was already ablaze and might have been destroyed but for the bravery of a Major Harvey (VC) of the Royal Marines, who gave a dying command to close and flood the magazines in the Lion’s midship turret (Beatty didn’t know this at the time, of course). I suppose we all have a tendency to love the leaders like Beatty when they win, and to write them off as reckless when they don’t. 😐

I know Jellicoe has been criticized for his caution, and I wonder how fair or unfair is that criticism? Falls said that Jellicoe “fought to make a German victory impossible rather than to make a British victory certain“. This seems like an accurate appraisal to me, and given that just keeping the High Seas Fleet in port was enough to eventually win the war, it seems the most rational course of action...even though it may have denied Britain another Trafalgar. But the possibility of throwing the Baltic wide open to the Royal Navy had to be a tantalizing one. Could the possibility of British troop landings in that region have kept some German divisions off the Western Front? Very interesting thing to ponder. 🤔

Thanks for the replies, gentlemen. 👍🏼

ID75

Phil andrade
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Re: Jutland
Posted on: 12/12/2017 3:12:47 AM

Quote:
Phil, matelots were moved from ship to ship – often at the whims of the Service, sometimes at the whim of the captain. Drafts on crew members were not at all out of the ordinary. A pic with an "Iron Duke" cap band (I'm assuming that was the indicator) can't be taken to show where he was for Jutland. HMS Iron Duke was Jellicoe's flag ship: of course it was at Jutland. I don't know Lynne's Gramp's rating, of course, but I would expect that he could have been put in harm's way at any time from the first indication of the High Seas Fleet sailing to the time Jellicoe and Iron Duke returned to Scapa.

Cheers
Brian G

--brian grafton


Thanks, Brian : you’ve put my mind at rest.

I didn’t like the idea of challenging the story about Lynn’s GF being wounded at Jutland : now I can see how the thing can be reconciled .

Regards, Phil
---------------
"Egad, sir, I do not know whether you will die on the gallows or of the pox!"

"That will depend, my Lord, on whether I embrace your principles or your mistress."

Earl of Sandwich and John Wilkes

anemone
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Re: Jutland
Posted on: 12/12/2017 7:39:32 AM
The Battle of Jutland—or the Battle of the Skagerrak, as it was known to the Germans—engaged a total of 100,000 men aboard 250 ships over the course of 72 hours. The Germans, giddy from the glory of Scheer’s brilliant escape, claimed it as a victory for their High Seas Fleet. At first the British press agreed, but the truth was not so clear-cut. The German navy lost 11 ships, including a battleship and a battle cruiser, and suffered 3,058 casualties; the British sustained heavier losses, with 14 ships sunk, including three battle cruisers, and 6,784 casualties.

Ten more German ships had suffered heavy damage, however, and by June 2, 1916, only 10 ships that had been involved in the battle were ready to leave port again (Jellicoe, on the other hand, could have put 23 to sea). On July 4, 1916, Scheer reported to the German high command that further fleet action was not an option, and that submarine warfare was Germany’s best hope for victory at sea.

Conclusiom
Despite the missed opportunities and heavy losses, the Battle of Jutland had left British naval superiority on the North Sea intact. The German High Seas Fleet would make no further attempts to break the Allied blockade or to engage the Grand Fleet for the remainder of Wo
Regards

Jim
---------------
Pro Patria Saepe Pro Rege Semper

kaii
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Re: Jutland
Posted on: 12/12/2017 2:00:13 PM

Quote:

Quote:
Phil, matelots were moved from ship to ship – often at the whims of the Service, sometimes at the whim of the captain. Drafts on crew members were not at all out of the ordinary. A pic with an "Iron Duke" cap band (I'm assuming that was the indicator) can't be taken to show where he was for Jutland. HMS Iron Duke was Jellicoe's flag ship: of course it was at Jutland. I don't know Lynne's Gramp's rating, of course, but I would expect that he could have been put in harm's way at any time from the first indication of the High Seas Fleet sailing to the time Jellicoe and Iron Duke returned to Scapa.

Cheers
Brian G

--brian grafton


Thanks, Brian : you’ve put my mind at rest.

I didn’t like the idea of challenging the story about Lynn’s GF being wounded at Jutland : now I can see how the thing can be reconciled .

Regards, Phil

--Phil andrade


Perhaps the National Archives at Kew would have more specific info Phil?

Cheers
K
---------------
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Michigan Dave
Muskegon, Michigan, MI, USA
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Re: Jutland
Posted on: 12/12/2017 7:18:29 PM

Quote:
Iron Duke, I never believed that Jellicoe was afraid of the Hish Seas Fleet, and to be honest I don't see any hesitancy in Jellicoe's engagement with the HSF once his ships could engage. But whether it was Cyril Falls or someone else who said it, I believe it true that were Jellicoe to lose any major battle with the German High Seas Fleet he could be in danger of losing the war. Think of that fleet against trade and shipping routes. Think about the German fleet with, at minimum, a greater opportunity to harass BEF Dover crossings.

It's been a few years since I studied Jutland, I admit. But it still seems to me that Sir David Beattie's role is of significance. The story goes that Hipper lured Beatty into battle. I would argue that Beattie couldn't wait to make the charge!

IIUC, RN boffins were using D/F to track German ship movement. It didn't provide 100% accuracy, of course, but – just e.g. – it provided Jellicoe with at least an indicator that more than Hipper's forces were loose that day. Was the same information available to Beattie? I don't know. Beattie was a great leader in many ways, but IMHO he was not a "sober" leader. He wanted his teeth at the enemy's throat. So would he have been prone to trust his boffins, or would he have "damned the torpedoes"?

IIRC, Jellicoe determined to rely on signal flags to direct his fleet, and there is speculation that is because he was concerned about having radio traffic intercepted b the Germans (just as he was doing). This may not have been the best choice, but it was a decision. Is that caution, or prudence? When his fleet approached the German High Seas Fleet, he executed some intricate fleet manouvres and IIRC crossed the German fleet's "T", with some success. Scheer's fleet reversal may have saved the German High Seas Fleet, when you get down to it.

Jellicoe didn't get the victory the British people wanted. And in just counting the losses, it is hard to convince anybody that this was a RN victory. Almost double the dead and wounded; more than double the number of capital sips lost, greater damage amongst the small-fry of the fleet: none of this sounds like a victory. All one can say is that it was not a defeat.

Cheers
Brian G
--brian grafton



Hi Brian,

Have you heard anything to the effect that Admiral Beattie's take on this great sea battle did not coincide Jellicoe's,
and that Beattie's report had been changed or fabricated to support his official report? It seems Jellicoe's grandson has researched it to clear Admiral Jellicoe of any wrong or careless maneuvers, placing the blame on Admiral Beattie!?

[Read More]

If you see this documentary on Jutland, you will see the mistakes Beattie made poorly storing munitions on capital warships, thus causing catastrophic explosions, also after the battle fabricating map positions to make himself look better in his poorly planned attack on the German Fleet! I highly recommend seeing this documentary, it's excellent!

What say you? Which Admiral was more to blame for high British losses!?

Cheers,
MD
---------------
"The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract."

brian grafton
Victoria, BC, Canada
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Posts: 1884

Re: Jutland
Posted on: 12/12/2017 9:11:12 PM
Iron duke75, sorry for my rudeness. I didn't even stop to welcome you to MHO. Good to have you aboard!

Cheers
Brian G
---------------
"We have met the enemy, and he is us." Walt Kelly.

"The Best Things in Life Aren't Things" Bumper sticker.

brian grafton
Victoria, BC, Canada
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Posts: 1884

Re: Jutland
Posted on: 12/12/2017 9:21:18 PM
Jim, I don't think anybody is arguing with your conclusion. But those ratios of losses are still telling, and suggest that any sense of RN victory at Jutland arose because they had still more ships to lose. Lots of avenues to explore within those 72 hours before arguing that because the Brits had more ships to lose they were victors. See, e.g., a subsequent post I'm going to make to MD. It's not a perfect response, but I think these are areas concerning "fleet actions" – the military fantasy of naval officers for decades which might deserve separate focus.

Cheers
Brian G
---------------
"We have met the enemy, and he is us." Walt Kelly.

"The Best Things in Life Aren't Things" Bumper sticker.

Riaindevoy
Geelong, Australia
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Re: Jutland
Posted on: 12/12/2017 10:11:48 PM
I once counted the hits during each phase of the battle, the Germans started well and that's why the dominated the early part of the engagement, but as the battle progressed the British were getting unanswered heavy hits on the Germans. Basically without the battle turnaways Jellicoe would have crushed the HSF the way the GF was shooting toward the end.
---------------
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anemone
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Re: Jutland
Posted on: 12/13/2017 5:25:58 AM
Absoluteky spot on Riain -it was all down to numbers of warships-Brian please note. Grand Fleet had 151 incl 21BB and 9BC; whereas HSF had a total 99 incl.10 NN and 5BC. As soon as Scheer saw the magnitude of the GF#s battle line-- he knew that he could not compete-so he "Turned Away" and headed for home .Battle over.Who won-certainly not the HSF.

The contaversy lingers on nevertheless

Regards

Jim
---------------
Pro Patria Saepe Pro Rege Semper

Michigan Dave
Muskegon, Michigan, MI, USA
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Re: Jutland
Posted on: 12/13/2017 9:36:11 AM
Jim,

Discretion is the better part of valor for both fleets! Remember Jellicoe also maneuvered his fleet away in the light of a torpedo attack by the Germans! That's Jellicoe for you, he was very concerned about his men, Beattie was more aggressive throwing caution to the wind!?

What say you?
Cheers,
Dave
---------------
"The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract."

anemone
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Re: Jutland
Posted on: 12/13/2017 10:35:22 AM
Hi Dave--I have to agree with you re. Jellicoe'#s circumspection when it came the decision to follow or not to follow the HSF-he was not risking further loss via torpedoes nor sea mines; and he too left the scene of action.As I said previously--contraversy continues to this day

Regards

Jim
---------------
Pro Patria Saepe Pro Rege Semper

kaii
Tallinn, Estonia
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Re: Jutland
Posted on: 12/13/2017 12:38:40 PM

Quote:
Iron duke75, sorry for my rudeness. I didn't even stop to welcome you to MHO. Good to have you aboard!

Cheers
Brian G
--brian grafton


Indeed. Welcome, always good to have new contributors.

K
---------------
I’m not worried about the Third World War. That’s the Third World’s problem.

Phil andrade
London, UK
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Posts: 2975

Re: Jutland
Posted on: 12/13/2017 4:56:21 PM
Was Beatty a kind of nautical Patton ?

He had that maverick swagger about him......even to the extent of wearing his hat at a jaunty angle !

And let me add my welcome to you, too, Iron Duke 😊

Regards, Phil

---------------
"Egad, sir, I do not know whether you will die on the gallows or of the pox!"

"That will depend, my Lord, on whether I embrace your principles or your mistress."

Earl of Sandwich and John Wilkes

brian grafton
Victoria, BC, Canada
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Re: Jutland
Posted on: 12/14/2017 12:43:33 AM
Sure, Phil, that fits to some extent. I'm just not sure why Patton might be the model. Beatty was Beatty, just as Mountbatten was Mountbatten in WW2.

I've always felt that the RN almost suffocated itself before the coming to power of Jackie Fisher. Senior officers were allowed enormous personal quirks, which might spill into shipboard conditions in terms of crew activities, behaviours and the like, but were increasingly required to meet increasingly uniform standards of seamanship, communications and the like. With the advent of Fisher, and his drive to modernize, those uniform standards became even more required. There was still space for personal quirks from a skipper/Commodore/Admiral, but only if basic seamanship, ship-handling and tactics for a big-ship navy were part of the package.

That jauntily-angled cap has always bothered me, to be honest. It was a mark of a small-ship man, of course – a bit of a nose tweak at the "brass".

To be honest, I think Beatty's biggest problem was that he was more swagger and jauntiness than good solid leadership material of the type the RN needed. With Jutland, Jellicoe was finished, and Beatty took his place. And to be honest, he didn't do much very different from what Jellicoe had been doing. Keep the fleet at Scapa in case of an attempted break-out, and rely on junior men to take the fight to the enemy.

Comes the hour, comes the man. Sir Roger Keyes was, IMHO, a much better and more innovative officer than Sir David Beatty ever was. Look at pix of him, and his cap is straight, his face is unsmiling and his pose is rigid and uncompromising. But Keyes was a true innovator, making changes in convoying and in anti-U-boat work that benefited not just the RN but the general war effort.

Cheers
Brian G
---------------
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"The Best Things in Life Aren't Things" Bumper sticker.

anemone
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Re: Jutland
Posted on: 12/14/2017 3:59:28 AM
Although Germany inflicted greater damage on the British, the strategic balance between the two navies had not changed. Britain still had the larger navy, and while Germany may have claimed victory, her ships never dared to challenge the British Grand Fleet again.

However the prestige of the Royal Navy was tarnished. But Britain perhaps had cause to be grateful that Jellicoe acted to preserve the British Grand Fleet at all costs.

Thanks to his instinctive caution, Jellicoe ensured Britain's ability to protect its sea lanes and to send troops and supplies to Europe until the end of the war.

On paper Jutland may have been a tactical loss for Britain, but in the longer term it represented a strategic victory.

Regards

Jim
---------------
Pro Patria Saepe Pro Rege Semper

Michigan Dave
Muskegon, Michigan, MI, USA
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Re: Jutland
Posted on: 12/14/2017 9:52:53 AM
Amen to that Jim! Lord Nelson would have been proud of Adm. Jellicoe!

Be British Mate!
Dave
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"The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract."

OpanaPointer
St. Louis, MO, USA
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Re: Jutland
Posted on: 12/14/2017 10:16:41 AM
Jellicoe's book on Jutland is at archives.org. I have a copy of the first edition.

brian grafton
Victoria, BC, Canada
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Re: Jutland
Posted on: 12/14/2017 8:04:33 PM
OP, you lucky bugger! What a treasure to have in your library!

Cheers
Brian G
---------------
"We have met the enemy, and he is us." Walt Kelly.

"The Best Things in Life Aren't Things" Bumper sticker.

brian grafton
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Re: Jutland
Posted on: 12/14/2017 8:24:38 PM
Jim, we could play with this for years. Jutland was an incomplete battle at best. Neither nation wished to see it as a loss. Both nations wished to draw conclusions from the Battle. And I would argue that the British learned less from the battle than anyone else.

Cheers
Brian G
---------------
"We have met the enemy, and he is us." Walt Kelly.

"The Best Things in Life Aren't Things" Bumper sticker.

Michigan Dave
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Posts: 3570

Re: Jutland
Posted on: 12/24/2017 9:30:06 AM
In 2014 a dive team explored Jutland wrecks! ( including the last 2 videos on HMS Queen Mary, & HMS Invincible!

[Read More]

[Read More]

[Read More]

Jutland was certainly one of the most hotly contested naval battles of the 1900's!

What say you?
MD

BTW If the RN had not been so careless with storing explosive ammo on their ships,

how much less destruction & casualties would have resulted??

Also your right about Adm. Beattie's aggressive nature also leading to more ships, & casualties lost!?
---------------
"The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract."

brian grafton
Victoria, BC, Canada
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Posts: 1884

Re: Jutland
Posted on: 12/24/2017 6:55:24 PM
Dave, thanks for a cheerful discussion topic for Christmas Eve. I needed a boost!

Personally, I wouldn't put RN storage down to carelessness. It was a design flaw incorporated into certain classes of their large men-of-war. Or, to pick bones, bad decisions which led to design flaws. Perhaps it was not discernible until Jutland, but Beatty certainly witnessed a display of the results of bad design.

As the development of "modern" navies took place (largely driven by "Jackie" Fisher's vision of the RN of the future), issues arose, which became often required rethinking as concepts were made real on new, previously unknown ships. The main issues were basic, but often overlapping. Oil v. coal. Speed v. armour. Gun size v. speed. Rate of fire v. safety. Crew comfort v. use of space. The issues went on and on, from the largest battleships to the "boats" of any navy. Certainly, Jutland was not just a huge and costly battle, but was also what we might now call a "Beta" test: a real-life trial prior to working the bugs out. I think the British lost. Not so much during the test itself: the RN had a sufficiency of ships to lose if they could bring the German fleet to battle. Quite simply, that didn't happen.

I'm taking a rather specific look at ship losses. I'm looking at 5 major RN ships lost during the larger Jutland action – 3 battlecruisers and 2 armoured cruisers. Total personnel lost=5069. Total saved=17.

I might argue that the carelessness, which may border on professional stupidity, arose when little was done to alter the basic structure of ammunition feed to turrets on main battle ships. Or to increase deck armour against plunging fire (which would, increasingly, include a/c dive-bombing and even rather hopeless high-level bombing).

IMHO, Jutland demonstrated a flaw in British ship design. For a number of reasons, the flaw went either unrecognized, or ignored, or understated because of the costs involved in developing now designs and protocols.

This isn't an attack on the RN, by the way. The matelots were as brave and stoic and phlegmatic as "hearts of oak" have ever been. The officers acted effectively within their requirements, and Gunnery was accurate, rapid and effective. This isn't about "those in peril on the sea", but about those who made decisions about naval affairs. I think, between the wars, this was largely driven by political assessments, and that they were vastly and wantonly incorrect.

Cheers
Brian G
---------------
"We have met the enemy, and he is us." Walt Kelly.

"The Best Things in Life Aren't Things" Bumper sticker.

Jim Cameron
North Bellmore, NY, USA
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Posts: 736

Re: Jutland
Posted on: 12/24/2017 8:58:40 PM
Brian,
I am no great expert on Jutland, but my impression has always been that ammunition supply to the turrets on the British battlecruisers was actually well enough designed, by the standards of the day, but the turret crews had got in the habit of working around the design protections in order to maximize rate of fire. Leaving propellant charges outside of protection so as to allow flash to communicate from one to the next. If so, while that may have been a form of carelessness, it also had a deliberate element to it.

Providing adequate deck armor was a perennial problem. The sheer square footage involved made it difficult to provide the necessary thickness while staying within weight and stability limits. Belt armor was easier, since the area to be protected was smaller and lower in the ship. Even into WW2 horizontal protection on capital ships was often split up into two thinner decks designed not so much to prevent penetrations, as to burst the shell before it reached the vitals.

Part of the larger problem may have been that designing for adequate protection and compartmentation was still in its relative infancy. How many WW1 ships do you read about sinking due to a single mine or torpedo hit, whereas in WW2 similar sized vessels would often not only survive multiple hits, but remain in the fight?
---------------
Jim Cameron

Every time I go to Gettysburg, I learn two things. Something new, and, how much I still don't know.

brian grafton
Victoria, BC, Canada
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Moderator


Posts: 1884

Re: Jutland
Posted on: 12/25/2017 9:44:41 PM
Jim, nor am I. Nor am I a naval person, former or not.

I have no disagreement with your comments. That fits well with what I remember reading at various times, and it fits with recent discussions I've had with members of the RCN who are not officers. Standards, and particularly SOP, can be exceeded, and crew find some pride in doing so.

So, a few questions – not totally at random – for WW1 and WW2:
• which fleet lost more capital ships at Jutland? And which fleet followed more conservative construction methodology?
• which fleet had more effective gunnery? Not more rapid, or even more accurate, but more effective?
• which navy lost more ships to single or relatively few hits from the enemy?

Accepting that German fleet development lagged behind RN development in the years leading up to WW1, my sense (and although I must have read at least some of this, I can't offer a source) is that naval building in Germany was prepared to sacrifice speed for armour, and perhaps crew efficiency for survivability. This was to survive into WW2, IIUC, across all classes of major German vessels. IIRC, no German capital ships in either war were destroyed by single salvos from the enemy. IIRC, a number of RN ships in both wars did. Isn't that the true test?

I agree that magazine design and the impact of deck armour played a huge part in the events of Jutland, and that at least the second of these issues is still of vital concern today. But I'm not comfortable with absolving the RN for weaknesses in the vital protection of the magazines, or with not realizing matelots had found a way around necessary protections. At Jutland, ships died for a reason. I'm wondering whether the Admiralty took note of what happened to those one-salvo ships, or whether they were more concerned with cheap fixes during the inter-war years.

There's also the question of Admiralty values when it came to the RN. If Jutland demonstrated a design flaw on something as crucial as transfer of explosives from magazine to turret, it should have been halted. Period. That there is no indication it was halted is worth consideration.

As of 1939, most German ships afloat or abuilding incorporated conservative defensive practices. More protection; more flood control. For a host of reasons, not too many German ships in WW2 met conditions similar to Jutland. I think Graf Spee fought well against three cruisers, despite her skipper's later decisions to scuttle hera nd kill himself.

Cheers
Brian G
---------------
"We have met the enemy, and he is us." Walt Kelly.

"The Best Things in Life Aren't Things" Bumper sticker.

Michigan Dave
Muskegon, Michigan, MI, USA
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E-9 Cmd Sgt Major


Posts: 3570

Re: Jutland
Posted on: 12/26/2017 12:27:26 PM
Hi Brian,

I'm glad that my Christmas Eve Jutland post stimulated a discussion on the RN in the World Wars! I consider you to be very competent when it comes to discussing the United Kingdom & it's Commonwealth in the World Wars. I consider Jutland to be a transition period for the great naval powers of the world! A sorting out timeframe where innovations in warships occurred! Certainly the RN would be at the forefront, & Germany unfortunately was perfecting their U-Boat technology!? What say you?

Happy Holidays,
Cheers,
Dave

BTW Guys I agree the RN had some dangerous practices with regards to dangerously light armor and & careless ammo storage, on their capital warships!
---------------
"The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract."

Phil Andrade
London, UK
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Re: Jutland
Posted on: 12/26/2017 3:10:17 PM
A feature of the personnel losses at Jutland might be worth mentioning : while the British lost 2.4 times as many men killed as the Germans, the loss in wounded was pretty well equal.

This might suggest that while the catastrophic explosions of capital ships took several thousand more British lives, the number of hits inflicted by the Royal Navy was sufficient to wound German sailors in equal measure ....does this imply that accuracy of British gunnery was up to the mark, but that the fatal explosions sustained by Beatty’s bloody ships testified to flaws of a different nature ?

All blessings to my friends on MHO at Christmas !

Phil
---------------
"Egad, sir, I do not know whether you will die on the gallows or of the pox!"

"That will depend, my Lord, on whether I embrace your principles or your mistress."

Earl of Sandwich and John Wilkes

Jim Cameron
North Bellmore, NY, USA
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Posts: 736

Re: Jutland
Posted on: 12/26/2017 3:35:36 PM
If in fact dangerous practices were being allowed in the interest of an increased rate of fire, I would to a failure of leadership on the part of the turret officers. And if they were turning a blind eye, how high up the chain of command did the problem go?
---------------
Jim Cameron

Every time I go to Gettysburg, I learn two things. Something new, and, how much I still don't know.

brian grafton
Victoria, BC, Canada
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Posts: 1884

Re: Jutland
Posted on: 12/26/2017 8:06:28 PM
Phil and Jim, good posts and good questions.

Phil, as usual you bring a different means of focus. Thanks. IMHO, the rate and accuracy of fire of the RN at Jutland was magnificent. British naval gunnery had been wonderful for decades, and was on display from the time the two main fleets engaged.

There will always be questions about Jellicoe's decisions and actions simply because he didn't secure the victory that was expected (and, I might argue, needed) by the British. But the man brought his Grand Fleet into position to cross Scheer's "T" twice, which is no mean feat for a single battle. I may still fuss about his decision to rely on flags to transmit his fleet intentions, given the amount of coal smoke and the time of battle, but that's nit-picking.

That Jellicoe's engagement didn't bring the success Britons expected might also say something about the quality of seamanship of Scheer's High Seas Fleet, and of Sheer's leadership and abilities. He had good ships, and superb gunnery, and pretty good discipline on every ship under his command. Why do we tend to forget that? It was a smaller navy, and a navy without the "heart of oak" tradition of Britain, but it was sufficiently modern and sufficiently capable to cause the greatest navy in the world to worry. It lost, but not by as much as most folks choose to believe.

My argument, such as it is, is that there was a distinct flaw associated with plunging fire. And maybe more than one. Phil asks whether
Quote:
the fatal explosions sustained by Beatty’s bloody ships testified to flaws of a different nature ?
Jim asks the same question from a different point-of-view:
Quote:
If in fact dangerous practices were being allowed in the interest of an increased rate of fire, I would to a failure of leadership on the part of the turret officers. And if they were turning a blind eye, how high up the chain of command did the problem go?


Jim, I honestly don't know how to answer this. I don't know whether the loss of so many capital ships under early plunging salvos can be attributed to a design flaw, or to gun crew eagerness to face the enemy, or to leadership. I have no actual military experience. But I do know that certain military regulations will be waived in seconds in the face of battle. I remember talking to a rating aboard a RCN vessel at a recent open house. He noted that the official rate of torpedo launch was 3/minute, but that they had managed 5/minute. He was proud of that.

Personally, I don't think the purported practices between magazine and turret can be blamed on turret masters. One ship blown up by plunging fire might suggest blame to the turret control officer. Any more, and we've got a breakdown of command. So I'd like to think.

But other issues might also be germane. Were ships being committed recklessly, setting them up as targets rather than scouts?

Jim, I'd have to spend a lot of time looking at heaps of records concerning Beatty's command, and any directives he might have promulgated. I've always thought he was a bit of a loose cannon, but I've never contemplated anything more about his impact on RN ships or behaviour.

Cheers
Brian G
---------------
"We have met the enemy, and he is us." Walt Kelly.

"The Best Things in Life Aren't Things" Bumper sticker.

MikeMeech
UK
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E-6 Staff Sergeant
Posts: 389

Re: Jutland
Posted on: 12/27/2017 7:32:47 AM

Quote:
Jim, nor am I. Nor am I a naval person, former or not.

I have no disagreement with your comments. That fits well with what I remember reading at various times, and it fits with recent discussions I've had with members of the RCN who are not officers. Standards, and particularly SOP, can be exceeded, and crew find some pride in doing so.

So, a few questions – not totally at random – for WW1 and WW2:
• which fleet lost more capital ships at Jutland? And which fleet followed more conservative construction methodology?
• which fleet had more effective gunnery? Not more rapid, or even more accurate, but more effective?
• which navy lost more ships to single or relatively few hits from the enemy?

Accepting that German fleet development lagged behind RN development in the years leading up to WW1, my sense (and although I must have read at least some of this, I can't offer a source) is that naval building in Germany was prepared to sacrifice speed for armour, and perhaps crew efficiency for survivability. This was to survive into WW2, IIUC, across all classes of major German vessels. IIRC, no German capital ships in either war were destroyed by single salvos from the enemy. IIRC, a number of RN ships in both wars did. Isn't that the true test?

I agree that magazine design and the impact of deck armour played a huge part in the events of Jutland, and that at least the second of these issues is still of vital concern today. But I'm not comfortable with absolving the RN for weaknesses in the vital protection of the magazines, or with not realizing matelots had found a way around necessary protections. At Jutland, ships died for a reason. I'm wondering whether the Admiralty took note of what happened to those one-salvo ships, or whether they were more concerned with cheap fixes during the inter-war years.

There's also the question of Admiralty values when it came to the RN. If Jutland demonstrated a design flaw on something as crucial as transfer of explosives from magazine to turret, it should have been halted. Period. That there is no indication it was halted is worth consideration.

As of 1939, most German ships afloat or abuilding incorporated conservative defensive practices. More protection; more flood control. For a host of reasons, not too many German ships in WW2 met conditions similar to Jutland. I think Graf Spee fought well against three cruisers, despite her skipper's later decisions to scuttle hera nd kill himself.

Cheers
Brian G

--brian grafton


Hi

We should remember that the ships that sailed through the site of the battle the day after Jutland were ships of the Royal Navy looking for survivors, who sailed right up to the German minefield not seeing any sign of the German Navy operating after their 'victory'. While the British Battle cruisers and some other ships had suffered the British battle ships had not. of the 24 dreadnaughts of the battle fleet only 'Marlborough' had been sent to dry dock and 'Colossus' had been hit by two German heavy shells. Basically the Grand Fleet was totally ready for a return match. The German HSF was not, Sheer's three best dreadnaughts, 'Konig', 'Grosser Kurtfurst' and 'Markgraf'. Two of his surviving four battle cruisers , 'Derfflinger' and 'Seydlitz' were not ready for sea until December. It appears that German ships had suffered a pounding despite the shell and fuse problems of the RN (the RN did not know about this until about August when it was found out via neutral, a program was put in place to improve shells and fuse which was only fully implemented in about April 1918, the new shells basically doubling the power of the guns). The Germans got back to harbour first and then 'lied' in their press release about their losses, missing out some vessels, this came to light on 7th June which undermined some of the German Navy's credibility.

A total destruction of the HSF would not have changed the course of the war, there would have been no Grand Fleet sailing into German mine and submarine instead waters to land a few troops on the German shore line, this had been discussed, in different circumstances , pre-war and been ruled out. The British did operate submarines in the Baltic in support of the Russians from about August 1915.

A true defeat of the Grand Fleet would have ended the blockade and put Britain at greater risk.

Post Jutland the RN put in a series of 'improvements' including rapidly installing flashtight scuttles that operated like revolving doors, in magazine bulkheads and turret systems throughout the fleet. Extra armour plate was fitted above magazines and shell rooms, and improved spotting and gunnery control measures were devised and introduced. It is untrue to say the RN did not learn lessons from Jutland.

Mike

Michigan Dave
Muskegon, Michigan, MI, USA
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Posts: 3570

Re: Jutland
Posted on: 12/27/2017 9:25:56 AM
Hi Mike,

You have a better perspective on the "bottom line results" of Jutland. In retrospect the RN did weather the battle better than the Germans, Is there anyway that they could have used this situation to their advantage? It's hard to attack the German Fleet near port! Just curious how effective were the respective air-forces on ships at this time?? I'm guessing they still had a ways to go to be truly effective, other wise they would have been more of a factor at Jutland? As you can see from this article Aircraft Carriers were in their infancy!? (but could have land based planes attacked, & did they??

[Read More]

Cheers,
MD
---------------
"The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract."

Phil andrade
London, UK
top 5
E-9 Cmd Sgt Major
Posts: 2975

Re: Jutland
Posted on: 12/27/2017 11:22:50 AM
Almost exactly one quarter of a century after Jutland, the pride of the Royal Navy, HMS Hood, was struck by plunging fire from the Bismarck , and exploded with the loss of fourteen hundred lives , with three survivors.

History doesn’t repeat itself , but it rhymes .

Regards , Phil

---------------
"Egad, sir, I do not know whether you will die on the gallows or of the pox!"

"That will depend, my Lord, on whether I embrace your principles or your mistress."

Earl of Sandwich and John Wilkes

MikeMeech
UK
top 25
E-6 Staff Sergeant
Posts: 389

Re: Jutland
Posted on: 12/27/2017 1:14:58 PM

Quote:
Almost exactly one quarter of a century after Jutland, the pride of the Royal Navy, HMS Hood, was struck by plunging fire from the Bismarck , and exploded with the loss of fourteen hundred lives , with three survivors.

History doesn’t repeat itself , but it rhymes .

Regards , Phil


--Phil andrade

Hi

You should remember that the HMS Hood had been laid down 31.5.16, launched 22.8.18 and completed in May 1920. The DNC's advice in 1918 was that:

"...the ship reflected pre-Jutland ideas on the disposition of armour, and that the changes since August 1916 had done no more than remedy the worst defects. He went on to recommend that sin it would be an unwarranted waste of money to break her up on the slip the best thing would be to get her out of the way, cancel her sisters (which was done) and get on with building ships which benefitted from wartime experience."

The Hood never received the modernisation that was needed, she was called the 'Mighty Hood' by the press because she was a big (and handsome) ship. The RN had an aging capital ship fleet in 1939, most of which had been built during WW1 some even having fought at Jutland, the remaining WW1 battleships being broken up in 1946-48.

Mike

MikeMeech
UK
top 25
E-6 Staff Sergeant
Posts: 389

Re: Jutland
Posted on: 12/27/2017 3:23:56 PM

Quote:
Hi Mike,

You have a better perspective on the "bottom line results" of Jutland. In retrospect the RN did weather the battle better than the Germans, Is there anyway that they could have used this situation to their advantage? It's hard to attack the German Fleet near port! Just curious how effective were the respective air-forces on ships at this time?? I'm guessing they still had a ways to go to be truly effective, other wise they would have been more of a factor at Jutland? As you can see from this article Aircraft Carriers were in their infancy!? (but could have land based planes attacked, & did they??

[Read More]

Cheers,
MD
--Michigan Dave


Hi MD

Aviation use during Jutland was fairly limited. The Germans used Zeppelins for reconnaissance, although only L 11 produced anything of use but even then it was an inaccurate location for the British fleet (25-30 miles from actual position). British fire forced it to break off contact. Visibility was bad anyway.
The British had the seaplane carrier (two Short 184s with wireless plus two Sopwith Babies) Engadine with Beatty's 3rd Light Cruiser Squadron. This launched a 184 (lowered into sea to take off) on reconnaissance during which it sighted the cruisers and destroyers of Hipper's Scouting Group II. While correct details, despite poor visibility, were sent back by wireless to Engadine, this ship had problems signalling the fleet, however, a British cruiser had also spotted the Germans and did contact Beatty.
Due to a series of problems Jellicoe's seaplane carrier, Campania (10 seaplanes), sailed late and was ordered back to Scapa. However, its absence probably made no difference as visibility remained poor for aerial reconnaissance.

At the time aircraft were not that capable (nor were the weapons they could carry) to make an effective attack on capital ships, and the aviation ships could not carry an adequate number of aircraft to make a real impact even if they had the weapons. For the British at least land based aircraft would be too far away.

Mike

Killroy63
Pinson, AL, USA
top 60
E-3 Private First Class
Posts: 51

Re: Jutland
Posted on: 1/12/2018 10:18:59 PM
Something to keep in mind when considering David Beatty:

Beatty and Jellicoe argued for weeks over who should have control of the 5th Battleship Division, which was comprised of the five super-dreadnoughts of the Queen Elizabeth class (the most powerful battleships then in existence). Beatty wanted them under his command to augment his battlecruisers, while Jellicoe wanted to retain command of them.

Roughly two weeks before Jutland, Beatty prevailed, and Jellicoe detached the squadron.

The 5th Battle Squadron was led by RADM Evan Thomas. One would imagine that, given a change in command, Beatty would have Evan-Thomas and perhaps the other Queen Elizabeth skippers over to discuss tactics and expectations. After all, the ships were moored in very close proximity in Scapa Flow, and it would have been a matter of a very short boat ride for the other commanders to come to Lion for a briefing.

Which Beatty never did.

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