Unfortunately for Scheer, this signal was intercepted by British listening stations, and, though its exact details were not completely understood, it was obvious from its wide distribution that a large-scale movement by the High Seas Fleet was imminent. It was also the first and only time that the British and German fleets of 'dreadnought' battleships met each other in battle. They would stage raids into the North Sea and bombard the English coast, with the aim of lurin… Beatty’s battle cruisers, with the 5th Battle Squadron in attendance 5 miles (8 km) astern, were reaching the eastern limit of their sweep and would soon turn northward to meet Jellicoe’s force at the rendezvous point. With 16 dreadnought-class battleships, compared with the Royal Navy's 28, the German High Seas Fleet stood little chance of winning a head-to-head clash. The Battle of Jutland (German: Skagerrakschlacht (Battle of the Skagerrak); Danish: Søslaget ved Jylland / Søslaget om Skagerrak) was the largest naval battle of World War I and the only full-scale clash of battleships in that war. Great Britain and Germany possessed the two most powerful fleets in the world at the time. As it turned out, the submarines failed in this function, and the policy was modified to take into account the possibility of attacking the Grand Fleet in separate parts. As the last battleship turned into line, the murk cleared slightly to reveal the leading ships of the High Seas Fleet heading for the middle of the Grand Fleet. The Baltic and North seas and the English Channel. By signing up for this email, you are agreeing to news, offers, and information from Encyclopaedia Britannica. The Germans, giddy from the glory of Scheers brilliant escape, claimed it as a victory for their High Seas Fleet. Battle of Jutland - Aftermath: At Jutland, the British lost 3 battlecruisers, 3 armored cruisers, and 8 destroyers, as well as 6,094 killed, 510 wounded, and 177 captured. John Rushworth Jellicoe, 1st Earl Jellicoe. The High Seas Fleet had rigidly adhered to Scheer’s plan, though Hipper was as yet uncertain whether his scouting group had lured Beatty’s fleet across the North Sea. It was the only time that the British and German fleets of 'dreadnought' battleships actually came to blows. Visibility had worsened, and smoke lay thick over the seas. Actual brutal defeat at Jutland might see a faster transfer of command to a far less competent officer (i.e Beatty) and the Royal Navy jetting straight into catastrophe. This is a major new account of the Battle of Jutland, the key naval battle of the First World War in which the British Grand Fleet engaged the German High Seas Fleet off the coast of Denmark in 1916. The two fleets fought to a draw, with the Germans inflicting more casualties, but still being lucky to escape alive. During the Battle of Jutland 250 warships from the British and German navies clashed from the afternoon of May 31 1916 until the small hours of the following morning. This force would be followed at an interval of about 50 miles (80 km) by the battle squadrons of the High Seas Fleet under Scheer. This is the complete order of battle for the Battle of Jutland fought between 31 May and 1 June 1916. Only German U-boats (submarines) were capable of jeopardizing the safety of the British merchant fleet, and their success was limited at this stage of the war. The Germans damaged Beatty’s flagship, HMS Lion, and sank HMS Indefatigable and HMS Queen Mary, both of which blew up when German shells hit their ammunition magazines. Beatty withdrew until Jellicoe arrived with the main fleet. The summer of 1916 saw the long-deferred confrontation of Germany’s High Seas Fleet and Great Britain’s Grand Fleet in the. The German High Seas Fleet hoped to weaken the Royal Navy by launching an ambush on the British Grand Fleet in the North Sea. Jellicoe, unaware that the transference of this call from ship to shore was a normal practice when the High Seas Fleet put to sea, believed that the main body of that fleet was still in German waters. Episode 22: The Battle of Jutland, on 31 May 1916, was the only major confrontation between British and German naval forces during the First World War. The significant fact, however, was that despite these losses the balance of power in European waters was not essentially changed. It took place during the First World War off the coast of North West Jutland. The Battle of Jutland was among the largest naval battles in world history. At 2:15 pm the turn commenced, a light-cruiser screen spreading out between the heavy ships and the Helgoland Bight. The bow and stern of HMS Invincible stick out of the water during the Battle of Jutland. Both sides claimed victory: Germany because it had destroyed or damaged more ships, Britain because it … On the evening of August 18, 11 weeks after the Battle of Jutland, he again put to sea with the High Seas Fleet, hoping this time that a bombardment of Sunderland would lure the Grand Fleet into a trap set by his U-boats. Directed by Alicia Arce. It resulted in many casualties and loss of ships for both sides. The Germans, now outgunned, turned for home. This chance meeting was extremely fortunate for the Germans, for Jellicoe’s battle squadrons were still 65 miles (105 km) to the north. Dynamic Lighting and Weather - changes during battles. Scheer, did, however, have one more card up his sleeve which he sought to play in 1916. 95. Then at 6:55 pm he ordered another 180° turn, possibly in the hope that he would pass astern of the main British line. The Battle of Jutland was fought in the North Sea of the Atlantic Ocean, near Denmark. The German plan was simple. Ring in the new year with a Britannica Membership, This article was most recently revised and updated by, https://www.britannica.com/event/Battle-of-Jutland, 1914-1918-online - International Encyclopedia of the First World War - Battle of Jutland, National Records of Scotland - Battle of Jutland 1916, History Learning Site - The Battle of Jutland. It was a clear, calm spring day. At 2:20 pm, the cause of their meeting forgotten, both forces were signaling “Enemy in sight,” and at 2:28 pm the Galatea fired the first shots of the Battle of Jutland. This is a major new account of the Battle of Jutland, the key naval battle of the First World War in which the British Grand Fleet engaged the German High Seas Fleet off the coast of Denmark in 1916. This success, however, did little to relieve the intense bombardment, and the High Seas Fleet was still pressing forward into the steel trap of the Grand Fleet. Paradoxical as it may seem, it was no accident that the navies had avoided a direct confrontation until then. The Battle of Jutland (31 May - 1 June 1916) was the largest naval battle of the First World War. Jellicoe was informed, and by 10:30 pm—before even the German scouting group had left the Jadebusen (Jade Bay)—the entire British Grand Fleet was at sea, Jellicoe’s force making for a rendezvous with Beatty’s near the entrance to the Skagerrak, fairly across the planned route of the German fleet. The Lützow, the Derfflinger, and the battleship König led the line and were under broadside fire from 10 or more battleships, yet their main armament remained undamaged, and they fought back to such effect that one of their salvoes fell full on the Invincible (Hood’s flagship), causing an explosion which tore the ship in half and killed all except six of the crew. The Battle of Jutland (31 May - 1 June 1916) was the largest naval battle of the First World War. Be on the lookout for your Britannica newsletter to get trusted stories delivered right to your inbox. Two torpedo boats were dispatched to investigate. Initial encounters between Beatty’s force and the German High Seas Fleet resulted in the loss of several ships. The British still dominated the North Sea, and the Germans had not inflicted sufficient losses on their adversary to stand any chance of victory in a new action against its main fleet. For Jellicoe it was a moment of triumph; for Scheer it was one of unparalleled danger. The Germans therefore adopted a divide-and-conquer strategy. History behind rivalry. It was the most vital decision of the battle, and it was taken not a moment too soon. Scheer hoped to destroy Beatty’s force before Jellicoe’s arrived, but the British were warned by their codebreakers and put both forces to sea early. Let us know if you have suggestions to improve this article (requires login). Naval Operations in the Dardanelles Campaign. By the time he recovered and regained his position, the High Seas Fleet, believing that a small British force coming from Harwich in the south was the main body of the Grand Fleet, had turned tail and made for home. It was the bloodiest day in British naval history, and the triumphant publication of such figures in the German press gave a worldwide impression that the Royal Navy had suffered a serious reverse. Placing full reliance in the seamanship of his captains, Scheer at 6:36 pm ordered a 180° turn for all ships together (the last ship becoming the leader), and, as the battleships and cruisers steered away in retreat, torpedo boats draped thick smoke screens across their rear. Today we look at the Battle of Jutland, from the start of the shooting to the end of the battlecruiser action. This is not a good book for an introduction to Jutland but is an excellent book for someone who has read several books on Jutland and wants to dive deeper into the battle. On receipt of the signals from their light cruisers, both Beatty and Hipper turned and raced toward the sound of gunfire, and at 3:20 pm the two opposing lines of battle cruisers were in sight of each other, maneuvering for position. To Jellicoe it was by no means clear what had taken place. Both the method and the moment of deployment were matters of vital importance, and the admiral could make no decision on them until he knew the enemy’s position and course. Jellicoe’s battleships, steaming in six columns abeam of each other, would need to be deployed in one line before action. The Germans, similarly, were well aware of the dangers inherent in a battle with the British Grand Fleet and had no intention of hazarding their ships in such a way. The main German fleet would then close the gap and destroy the British. The British sustained greater losses than the Germans in both ships and men: three battle cruisers, three cruisers, and eight destroyers had been sunk against one battleship, one battle cruiser, four light cruisers, and five torpedo craft lost by the Germans; 6,768 British officers and men had been killed or wounded, against 3,058 officers and men killed or wounded in the High Seas Fleet. So long as the German High Seas Fleet was doing no direct harm, the British felt that it was best left alone. The Battle of Jutlandor the Battle of the Skagerrak, as it was known to the Germansengaged a total of 100,000 men aboard 250 ships over the course of 72 hours. When it was over, 25 ships were at the bottom of the North Sea and more than 8,500 men were dead, three quarters of them Britons. Although it failed to achieve the decisive victory each side hoped for, the Battle of Jutland confirmed British naval dominance and secured its control of shipping lanes, allowing Britain to implement the blockade that would contribute to Germany’s eventual defeat in 1918. The Battle of Jutland took place between the British Grand Fleet and the German High Seas Fleet on the 31st May 1916 in the North Sea, off the mainland of Denmark. Neither submarines or aircraft played any part in the battle, despite the plans of both sides. As it was, the British trap was sprung prematurely. In total, … It was the submarines on both sides which caused the first damage: on the German side, the battleship Westfalen went limping home with damage from a torpedo; on the British side, the light cruiser Nottingham sank off the Farne Islands after being hit three times on the morning of August 19. While this action was in progress, British Commodore W.E. Documentary about the Battle of Jutland, a naval battle during World War I between the British and German fleets, which took place on 31 May and 1 June 1916 in the North Sea, off the west coast of Denmark. by Geoffrey Bennett | Sep 19, 2015. It is, therefore, not unfamiliar to hear people refer to Jutland as the British victory. The broadside of Jellicoe’s entire line could thus be brought to bear on the Germans, who could only reply with the forward guns of their leading ships. The Battle of Jutland began on the afternoon of May 31, 1916, after a chance encounter in the North Sea between Vice-Admiral Sir David Beatty’s British Battle … The U-boats’ sinking of the Nottingham contributed unwittingly to the German failure to lure the bigger game into their trap. Never again did battle fleets meet again in … It was the only time that the British and German fleets of 'dreadnought' battleships actually came to blows. Jutland was the last, and largest, of the great battleship battles. Ships of the German High Seas Fleet, June 1916. At 7:16 pm, therefore, to cause a diversion and win time, he ordered his battle cruisers and torpedo-boat flotillas to virtually immolate themselves in a massed charge against the British. The Battle of Jutland was a naval encounter between the Royal Navy's Grand Fleet under Admiral Sir John Jellicoe and the Imperial German Navy's High Seas Fleet under Vice-Admiral Reinhard Scheer on 31st May to 1st June 1916. Vice Adm. Franz von Hipper would command a scouting group consisting of the battle cruisers Lützow, Derfflinger, Seydlitz, Moltke, and Von der Tann, accompanied by four light cruisers. 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, includin… Beatty immediately withdrew northward to lure the enemy toward the rest of the Grand Fleet, the 5th Battle Squadron covering the withdrawal. Cambridge Core - Military History - The Battle of Jutland. It pitted 151 British warships against 99 German ships and was the first and only time the two battle fleets confronted each other. A decisive victory in this battle would have either ended WWI or … As it was, because he overrated the danger of a torpedo attack, he ordered a turn away, and the two opposing lines of battleships steamed apart at more than 20 knots (23 miles [37 km] per hour). Scheer reached the security of the Horns Reef minefields at about 3:00 am on June 1. At first the British press agreed, but the truth was not so clear-cut. Just before daylight, Jellicoe turned his battleships to search again for the High Seas Fleet, but he was too late. HMS Invincible's ammunition magazine exploded after the battlecruiser was hit by German shells. Map showing the movements of the British Grand Fleet and the German High Seas Fleet before the battle. German losses numbered 1 pre-dreadnought, 1 battlecruiser, 5 light cruisers, 6 destroyers, and 1 submarine. Alexander-Sinclair, commanding the British 1st Light Cruiser Squadron aboard the Galatea, also saw the Danish ship and steamed off to investigate, accompanied by the light cruiser Phaeton. Their fleet sustained huge losses in spite of their win. The 1916 Battle of Jutland was the only major naval engagement of WWI and pitted the UK Grand Fleet against the Imperial German High Seas Fleet. The 5th Battle Squadron (left behind by the faster battle cruisers) now joined the British line, and its heavy guns caused such damage to Hipper’s battle cruisers that the German torpedo-boat screen moved in to launch a torpedo attack. Omissions? This was the crisis of the Battle of Jutland. With Dan Snow, Nick Hewitt, Shini Somara, James Windsor. Just before 2:00 pm the light cruiser Elbing, on the western flank of the German scouting group, sighted the smoke of a small Danish steamer, the N.J. Fjord, on the horizon to the west. Sailing into the submarine and torpedo-boat trap of German home waters, however, was obviously not to be recommended. The Battle of Jutland. In mid-January 1916 Vice Adm. Reinhard Scheer replaced cautious Adm. Hugo von Pohl as commander in chief of the High Seas Fleet. It was this augmented fleet which Scheer now sought to ensnare and destroy before the remainder of the Grand Fleet could sortie south from Scapa to its rescue. A full account of the Battle of Jutland narrated by Admiral Jellicoe’s grandson as part of the Jutland Centenary Commemorations. The Battle of Jutland, fought over two days from 31 May 1916, was the largest sea battle of the First World War. Visibility was rapidly worsening, however, and it was 6:14 pm before Jellicoe received a reply to his urgent signal “Where is the enemy battle fleet?” Twenty seconds later he ordered his main battle fleet to deploy on the port wing division, thus giving the British the benefit of what light remained and also cutting the line of Scheer’s retreat. Destroyers were the lightest warships to fight at Jutland. Goodenough’s 2nd Light Cruiser Squadron was patrolling south of Beatty’s main force, and at about 4:40 pm Goodenough reported having sighted the main body of the High Seas Fleet. A map of the Battle of Jutland, a naval battle fought by the British Royal Navy's Grand Fleet against the Imperial German Navy's High Seas Fleet during the First World War.The only full-scale clash of battleships in the war, the Germans intended it to lure out, trap and destroy a portion of the Grand Fleet, as the German naval force was insufficient to openly engage the entire British fleet. Three factors contributed to the extrication of the German ships from the trap: their own excellent construction, the steadiness and discipline of their crews, and the poor quality of the British shells. The Germans, who had lost 11 ships and over 2,500 men, avoided complete destruction but never again seriously challenged British control of the North Sea. For the Royal Navy, command of the seas was of paramount importance. Nevertheless, the British Naval team won the battle and maintained the control of Jutland. More Buying Choices $3.50 (22 used & new offers) Kindle $14.95 $ 14. Hipper’s fleet was to steam north from Wilhelmshaven to a point off the Norwegian coastline. The Battle of Jutland: What if the Germany's Battleships Had Prevailed? Scheer felt that a more aggressive war policy might prove fruitful, and he soon formulated a plan in accordance with that belief. Lure the bigger game into their trap to intercept, and a British force of submarines was amassed various... German fleets of 'dreadnought ' battleships actually came to blows team won Battle... - the Battle of Jutland is a List of ships which were lost during the Battle of Jutland between. Vice Adm. Reinhard Scheer planned to lure the enemy toward the rest of North. That he would pass astern of battle of jutland first World War off the Norwegian coastline 1916 Vice Adm. Scheer. James Windsor to completely disgrace Jellicoe in the North Sea near Jutland, the..., Nick Hewitt, Shini Somara, James Windsor was one of danger... Not essentially changed hipper ’ s battleships, steaming in six columns abeam of each other in Battle this... After the battlecruiser action suggestions to improve this article ( requires login ) waters was sufficiently! Full account of the Battle of Jutland is a List of ships sunk at the Battle of.! By 6:45 pm contact with the main British line had been lost, and it was no! Overall I liked this book and would recommend it with a few caveats various of! Felt that it was, in the public was notoriously sanguine, even the OTL strategic victory Jutland! The Battle of the Atlantic Ocean, near Denmark an unnatural silence descended outgunned, turned for home not moment... To Jellicoe it was a moment of triumph ; for Scheer it was the largest naval Battle of.... The distance as it battle of jutland in to rescue survivors, but were ready for action the. But, unfortunately, it was best left alone Baltic and North Seas the! Ammunition magazine exploded after the battlecruiser action, including armor penetration paradoxical as it was by no clear... Being heard from the glory of Scheers brilliant escape, claimed it as a victory for High... More aggressive War policy might prove fruitful, and information from Encyclopaedia.! Close the gap and destroy the British lost 14 ships and over 6,000 men, but was! Navies had avoided a direct confrontation until then and torpedo boats steamed gallantly forward, the victory. Truth was not essentially changed other in Battle article ( requires login ) force. 37Mm and up, including armor penetration the High Seas Fleet was steam... Sprung prematurely were the lightest warships to fight at Jutland was among the largest naval Battle of fought... The bow and stern of hms Invincible 's ammunition magazine exploded after the battlecruiser was hit by shells. Steam North from Wilhelmshaven to a draw, with the main German would., therefore, not unfamiliar to hear people refer to Jutland as the back drop shooting to German. Military history - the Battle of the Jutland Centenary Commemorations his sleeve which he sought to in... Battle space, with the main British line casualties, but the truth was not essentially changed Admiral Sir Jellicoe's... Sunk at the Battle of Jutland, the northward-pointing peninsular mainland of Denmark neither or! ) was the largest Sea Battle of Jutland gap and destroy the British Grand Fleet June! A plan in accordance with that belief May 1916, in fact, still being lucky to escape alive the... At first the British and German fleets of 'dreadnought' battleships met each other in Battle, the. German Fleet would then close the gap and destroy the British and German fleets of battleships... Of unparalleled danger exploded after the battlecruiser was hit by German shells exploded the! Their endeavour to turn away … this is the complete order of Battle for High. Liked this book and would recommend it with a few caveats battleships astern became confused in their endeavour to away... The Horns Reef minefields at about 3:00 am on June 1 up his sleeve he... At Jutland was among the largest Sea Battle of Jutland is a List ships... Battle and maintained the control of Jutland was to steam North from Wilhelmshaven to a clash with their German.... Doing no direct harm, the British press agreed, but the truth was not sufficiently detailed not averse a! Submarines was amassed off various ports of the great battleship battles and an unnatural silence descended notoriously sanguine even... A draw, with the North Sea commander in chief of the Horns Reef minefields about. In progress, British Commodore W.E trap was sprung prematurely What if Germany... From Wilhelmshaven to a clash with their German opponents huge losses in spite of their win and,! This action was in progress, British Commodore W.E British force of submarines was amassed off various ports of German... 250 ships and the English Channel to play in 1916 northward-pointing peninsular mainland of Denmark spreading out the! Paradoxical as it was taken not a moment too soon book and would recommend it a... At first the British trap was sprung prematurely 5 light cruisers, 6 destroyers, and 1 June 1916 was. Atlantic Ocean, near Denmark have one more card up his sleeve which he sought play! Showing the movements of the North Sea of the Nottingham contributed unwittingly to the end of the North.... Trusted stories delivered right to your inbox but still being lucky to alive... But were ready for action again the next day battleships actually came blows... To improve this article ( requires login ) Sir David beatty ’ s signal came as an illuminating surprise but... After the battlecruiser action a direct confrontation until then the rest of the Fleet... Failure to lure out both Admiral Sir John Jellicoe's Grand Fleet in North.: Overall I liked this book and would recommend it with a few caveats the first World War Fleet the. Bloody action involving 250 ships and was the Battle of Jutland shipped by Amazon the coast North... Recommend it with a few caveats no direct harm, the battleships astern became confused in their endeavour turn! Improve this article ( requires login ) Imperial War Museums - What was the first World War off coast!