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Battle of Jutland - 1916

May 31 – June 1, 1916

Skagerrak, North Sea

Allied Powers: British Royal Navy – Grand Fleet
Central Powers: Imperial German Navy – High Seas Fleet

The outbreak of the Battle of Jutland was the culmination of the race for naval supremacy between the navies of Britain and
Germany that had persisted since the start of the century. The Battle of Jutland was referred to by the Germans as the Battle of Skagerrak. The battle was the largest naval battle fought at the time. The two navies employed a large number of battleships in the war.

VesselBritish NavyGerman Navy
Pre-Dreadnoughts    06
Light Cruisers2611

Admiral Reinhard Scheer, having taken command of the German High Seas Fleet in 1916, decided to aggressively encounter the British Royal Navy. Admiral Franz von Hipper and a fleet of battleships were spotted on the North Sea by Admiral Sir David Beatty. Beatty decided to go after the German fleet. The battle broke out at 4 p.m. on May 31, 1916. Beatty retreated following a round of firing and subsequent loss of two battle cruisers. The German High Seas Fleet pursued Admiral Beatty’s fleet and came face-to-face with the main British Grand Fleet. Battle waged again at 6:30 p.m. The German fleet was at a disadvantage with the sun setting behind them. After an initial round of fighting, as the High Seas fleet turned homeward, it faced the other half of the Grand Fleet under the command of Admiral Sir John Jellicoe who intended to cut the Germans off. Admiral Scheer’s use of torpedoes and battle cruisers and the cover of the darkness saved the day for the German fleet.

Both the navies claimed to have won the battle. The Germans were successful in causing huge damages to the Grand Fleet. Over 6,000 British sailors were killed in action. The battle however restricted the Germans from taking on the British Navy in a direct battle. The German Navy thenceforth resorted to unrestricted submarine warfare.

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Battle of Jutland - 1916 
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