Day of the Dreadnoughts: Battle of Jutland



corporal punishment

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After the war, Jellicoe was packed off the New Zealand as Governor. Beattie as an admiralty lord was able to rewrite history. He almost blew it though by signing his redrafts of maps and reports as simply "Beattie" which was his right as a Lord but the original maps and drawing we're written when he was a vice Admiral and so we're signed David Beattie. the mistake was spotted and a crude attempt to resign the documents was made but too many people we're aware of his forgeries by then.
 

Civic_critic2

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It always seems to be those who are most anti-republican who lose themselves in long cogitations on the merits of various British military tactics. West Brits? Astroturfers trying to introduce this as a 'normal' narrative in Ireland? A bit of both?
 

owedtojoy

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See, I would say they were victories for the Union. Grant just kept going, punching Lee back into siege lines he never escaped, inflicting losses Grant could replace but Lee couldn't and ensuring the war was lost.

The German aim was to inflict enough damage on the Grand Fleet that they could escape into blue water again. They failed and got stuck in port more than before. The RN aim was to keep and tighten the blockade and, if possible, annihilate the High Seas Fleet. It achieved the first and would have achieved the second had the Germans not run. If you achieve more of your aims while preventing them achieving any, it's a victory.

An interesting contrast is the Glorious First of June. The RN AND French considered it a victory; the first because they inflicted damage on warships, the French because they achieved their aim of fighting the grain ships through. Each, from their own perspective, was right.
Victories for Grant were only visible in retrospect.

If McClellan had won the 1864 Presidential election and called an Armistice with the Confederacy, we might just remember "Grant the Butcher" and not the victor of Appomattox.

Similarly, if Ludendorff had forced the Allies to the conference table in Summer, 1918, our view of Jutland might be that of a lost opportunity for the British to finish off the High Seas Fleet.

Though, I fully buy into the notion of the strategic victory. However, I think the British were right in feeling frustrated and foiled, and the Germans were right to spout a victory, though it was only a surface gloss.
 

owedtojoy

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It always seems to be those who are most anti-republican who lose themselves in long cogitations on the merits of various British military tactics. West Brits? Astroturfers trying to introduce this as a 'normal' narrative in Ireland? A bit of both?
West Cork memorial to honour men killed in First World War | Irish Examiner

History is history.

You can read these other threads on naval history I started where you need not feel insecure that Britain may be mentioned.

http://www.politics.ie/forum/history/231247-leyte-gulf-1944-historys-largest-sea-battle.html

http://www.politics.ie/forum/history/226797-ten-bombs-ten-minutes-battle-midway-june-1942-a.html
 

Diawlbach

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Victories for Grant were only visible in retrospect.

If McClellan had won the 1864 Presidential election and called an Armistice with the Confederacy, we might just remember "Grant the Butcher" and not the victor of Appomattox.

Similarly, if Ludendorff had forced the Allies to the conference table in Summer, 1918, our view of Jutland might be that of a lost opportunity for the British to finish off the High Seas Fleet.

Though, I fully buy into the notion of the strategic victory. However, I think the British were right in feeling frustrated and foiled, and the Germans were right to spout a victory, though it was only a surface gloss.
Except that in neither case did they manage to do so.

McLelland, btw, had tried to do what Grant did, and failed. Because he was a vainglorious idiot. Ludendorff wasn't much better, for mine; the jig was up in 1917, and they should have made peace then.
 

Diawlbach

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After the war, Jellicoe was packed off the New Zealand as Governor. Beattie as an admiralty lord was able to rewrite history. He almost blew it though by signing his redrafts of maps and reports as simply "Beattie" which was his right as a Lord but the original maps and drawing we're written when he was a vice Admiral and so we're signed David Beattie. the mistake was spotted and a crude attempt to resign the documents was made but too many people we're aware of his forgeries by then.
He had the actual report on Jutland burnt as soon as he became First Sea Lord before it was published and indulged in appalling and utterly mendacious propaganda against Jellicoe to make himself look better. A ************************ of the first water.
 

owedtojoy

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Except that in neither case did they manage to do so.

McLelland, btw, had tried to do what Grant did, and failed. Because he was a vainglorious idiot. Ludendorff wasn't much better, for mine; the jig was up in 1917, and they should have made peace then.
I agree, but our appreciation of a strategic victory is contingent on what happened afterwards..

France still had to survive its army mutinies in 1917, and the Ludendorff offensive, and the Americans had to arrive before the blockade paid off.
 

Malcolm Redfellow

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It always seems to be those who are most anti-republican who lose themselves in long cogitations on the merits of various British military tactics. West Brits? Astroturfers trying to introduce this as a 'normal' narrative in Ireland? A bit of both?
My TCD mate as an undergraduate was emphatic: history began in 1789; anything earlier was archaeology. Post-graduate, he studied medieval trade routes.

Similarly, Irish history didn't begin on 6th December 1922, or just a few months before. There was a remarkable number of Irishmen at Jutland as (owedtojoy's post #46). They deserve recognition and recollection.
 

owedtojoy

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He had the actual report on Jutland burnt as soon as he became First Sea Lord before it was published and indulged in appalling and utterly mendacious propaganda against Jellicoe to make himself look better. A ************************ of the first water.
There was a good documentary on BBC on Monday about Jutland.

A 16-year old boy on Queen Mary lost his life when it blew up, watched by his brother on another ship. Their mother wrote a moving letter to him, but she also remarked that "Beatty should have been taken out and shot". So Beatty's inept tactics were understood by some of the public, probably from their relatives in the RN.

Some of Beatty's errors:
  • He had skimped on gunnery practice with his ships, but demanded a high rate of fire, leading to the the ammunition errors of the battle.
  • He lost touch with the 5 supporting battleships of the 5th Battle Squadron, which could have had a tremendous effect on his battle with Hipper's 5 battlecruisers, giving a 14-5 advantage. Yet he pressed on regardless.
  • He unaccountably delayed opening fire on Hipper, giving the Germans time to find the range on his ships.
  • On retreating northwards, his communications with Jellicoe were obscure and garbled. When Jellicoe asked for the position of the German fleet, Beatty replied "Just behind me", not with their course, vital information that Jellicoe needed.
 

Diawlbach

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My TCD mate as an undergraduate was emphatic: history began in 1789; anything earlier was archaeology. Post-graduate, he studied medieval trade routes.

Similarly, Irish history didn't begin on 6th December 1922, or just a few months before. There was a remarkable number of Irishmen at Jutland as (owedtojoy's post #46). They deserve recognition and recollection.
Nor, btw, would I blame him, because they're fascinating. Trade, and getting trade working again first across the Mediterranean and then wider, was how the world started stitching itself back together after antiquity and led to the age of exploration and imperialism.
 

Diawlbach

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There was a good documentary on BBC on Monday about Jutland.

A 16-year old boy on Queen Mary lost his life when it blew up, watched by his brother on another ship. Their mother wrote a moving letter to him, but she also remarked that "Beatty should have been taken out and shot". So Beatty's inept tactics were understood by some of the public, probably from their relatives in the RN.

Some of Beatty's errors:
  • He had skimped on gunnery practice with his ships, but demanded a high rate of fire, leading to the the ammunition errors of the battle.
  • He lost touch with the 5 supporting battleships of the 5th Battle Squadron, which could have had a tremendous effect on his battle with Hipper's 5 battlecruisers, giving a 14-5 advantage. Yet he pressed on regardless.
  • He unaccountably delayed opening fire on Hipper, giving the Germans time to find the range on his ships.
  • On retreating northwards, his communications with Jellicoe were obscure and garbled. When Jellicoe asked for the position of the German fleet, Beatty replied "Just behind me", not with their course, vital information that Jellicoe needed.
Yet Jellicoe crossed the T. Twice. A hell of a feat, in the circumstances.

There was also Beatty's hopelessly inept signalling, courtesy of the flag lieutenant he knew was no good but had kept on.
 

Malcolm Redfellow

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The distinction is academic — battlecruisers were battleships with less armour to make them faster.
One of the lessons of Jutland: the trade-off didn't work.

Another lesson: the day of the heavy war-ship was coming to an end. The mine and the torpedo were instrumental — much of Scheer's manoeuvring at Jutland, before Sunderland, and elsewhere was intended to lay the British "heavies" open to U-boat attack. To that extent, JP Holland's submarines (the original British Holland boats were built by Vickers to his American Electric Boat Company’s design) were a critical factor. Holland, of course, was a Fenian, born in the County Clare.

Post-WW1, Billy Mitchell and his "Project B" would put the final nail through any Dreadnought's armour.
 

Diawlbach

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One of the lessons of Jutland: the trade-off didn't work.

Another lesson: the day of the heavy war-ship was coming to an end. The mine and the torpedo were instrumental — much of Scheer's manoeuvring at Jutland, before Sunderland, and elsewhere was intended to lay the British "heavies" open to U-boat attack. To that extent, JP Holland's submarines (the original British Holland boats were built by Vickers to his American Electric Boat Company’s design) were a critical factor. Holland, of course, was a Fenian, born in the County Clare.

Post-WW1, Billy Mitchell and his "Project B" would put the final nail through any Dreadnought's armour.
Thing is, they were never meant for Jutland. They were meant for tear-assing around the world's oceans, wiping out enemy cruisers by being as fast, but massively better armed. The early battles like the Falklands showed that they were dandy for that, and dandy for doing things like Dogger Bank. A bit like heavy Napoleonic frigates, they were never meant to stand in the main line of battle, more dash in, recce, pin the enemy in contact and do sniping from distance to try and slow or do damage while the battlewagons rolled up, and get the hell out of dodge on their extra speed when the enemy tried to make it a slugging match. Which is largely what the German ones did at Jutland. Beatty, being a twat, didn't do that, but tried to do what his ships were never meant to do without any adequate safeguards. Net result, he got his clock cleaned and thousands of men died. Jellicoe rescued him.
 

owedtojoy

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One of the lessons of Jutland: the trade-off didn't work.

Another lesson: the day of the heavy war-ship was coming to an end. The mine and the torpedo were instrumental — much of Scheer's manoeuvring at Jutland, before Sunderland, and elsewhere was intended to lay the British "heavies" open to U-boat attack. To that extent, JP Holland's submarines (the original British Holland boats were built by Vickers to his American Electric Boat Company’s design) were a critical factor. Holland, of course, was a Fenian, born in the County Clare.

Post-WW1, Billy Mitchell and his "Project B" would put the final nail through any Dreadnought's armour.
Jutland was almost the last "two-dimensional" sea battle - in WWII they moved to 3 dimensions with air and undersea becoming vital.

But there were hints of things to come - the Germans used airships to do scouting, but I think they were over towards Britain's east coast. The British had a "seaplane tender" in their fleet, a ship that carried seaplanes for patrolling, but I do not think they got used.

The Germans also sent a U-boat picket line into the North Sea for advance warning of a British approach. But I do not think they got into place properly, at least they had no influence on the battle. The appearance of Jellicoe's ships came as a very unpleasant shock to the Germans.
 

Boy M5

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BBC2 has a programme on about it now
 

Catalpast

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Unfortunately for the Germans they would have needed a massive and stunning Victory this day 100 years ago to change the course of the War

- that was a most unlikely scenario

Scheer probably achieved as much as could be achieved given the disparity between the two Fleets

- but he knew he was a lucky Admiral to make it back to port in the aftermath of the battle

- if the Gods of War had been less kind he could have been regaling King Neptune

- instead of the Kaiser .....:cool:
 

Malcolm Redfellow

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the Germans used airships to do scouting, but I think they were over towards Britain's east coast. The British had a "seaplane tender" in their fleet, a ship that carried seaplanes for patrolling, but I do not think they got used.
As I understand it, there's quite a story in there.

At about 2:15pm, when Beatty ordered his ships to turn north-east, first smoke then the masts of a ship appeared over the horizon. HMS Galatea (Commodore Alexander-Sinclair) was detached to investigate, with the other ships of the 1st Light Cruiser Squadron — HMS Phaeton, HMS Inconstant and HMS Cordelia in concert. About the same time, 15 miles to the east, light-cruiser SMS Elbing had also sighted this unknown vessel, and with two torpedo boats in escort, peeled off to look closer. The unknown vessel was a Danish steamer, NJ Fjord of the DFDS Steam Ship line (she would be sunk by German submarine UC-31 a year later, and the wreck located only in 2013).

This created the first visual contact between the two naval forces. Both signalled "enemy in sight", raised battle ensigns, and at 2:28pm Galatea opened fire on Elbing with her 6in guns at near-maximum range. This were the first shots of Jutland. Galatea in return received a hit, which didn't explode.

Beatty changed course to close with this engagement and (here comes owedtojoy's point) ordered the seaplane carrier HMS Engadine to launch a seaplane to search ahead. The whole business of Jutland is (literally) clouded by the sea-mist that developed during the afternoon. This meant the sea-plane had no clear observation, which couldn't help Beatty's appreciation of the situation. Meanwhile, both sides were blazing away, largely blind, and their smoke and cordite further (also literally) clouding matters.

Beyond that, Engadine's main involvement in Jutland was the attempt to rescue the crew and tow the crippled and sinking Warrior to port, which failed when Warrior sank 160 miles off Aberdeen.

Engadine had been a Folkestone-Boulogne packet boat, before she was requisitioned and converted — the plus-point was the ability to maintain speeds comparable with the cruisers. She carried six Short 184 seaplanes. Back in civilian service (as those who hit the previous hot-link will know), she ended her life as SS Corregidor in another war, in a minefield off Manila Bay, on 16th December 1941, with as many as 1,500 lives lost.

Oh, one last detail:
When Engadine was commissioned into the Royal Navy, one of its air-service instructors in coastal navigation was a certain Robert Erskine Childers. he flew the Cuxhaven Raid of Christmas Day, 1914 (and later earned a DSC for service at Gallipoli and Salonica). If Civic_critic2 (see post #44) is still with us, would that be a reason to take a passing interest in events beyond our right little, tight little island?
 

Diawlbach

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Unfortunately for the Germans they would have needed a massive and stunning Victory this day 100 years ago to change the course of the War

- that was a most unlikely scenario

Scheer probably achieved as much as could be achieved given the disparity between the two Fleets

- but he knew he was a lucky Admiral to make it back to port in the aftermath of the battle

- if the Gods of War had been less kind he could have been regaling King Neptune

- instead of the Kaiser .....:cool:
The British termed the slight mayhem just before Jellicoe's turn to port "Windy Corner", with Beatty fup-acting around, various other idiots off on frolics of their own and that great, magnificent, wonky-wheeled wagon Warspite doing donuts while blazing away merrily.

The German equivalent was probably Punkt Fink MICH! as Scheer saw the Grand Fleet steaming across his bows. :D
 

Boy M5

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I must congratulate owed to joy for the op & thread.
The BBC2 programme showed the restored Caroline & interviewed our flag commander who was invited to Belfast.
They also interviewed Beatty's great grandson - who has the head off his gt grandad.
 


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