Saturday, March 26, 2005

Jutland: Victory or Defeat

It might be considered a draw, since neither side creditably could claim outright victory and the navy which retreated suffered far fewer losses than the one which "held the sea."

The Battle of Jutland was fought at the height of World War I, on the afternoon and night of 31 May-1 June 1916, in the North Sea off the coast of Denmark. The British, commanded by Adm. John Jellicoe, had the material advantage with 149 cruisers, destroyers and other vessels. German Adm. Reinhard Scheer could bring only 110 ships against him. From about 4 in the afternoon until the early hours of the morning, the two mighty forces maneuvered and engaged in a sequence of bombardments, some of them prolonged and bloody. The British suffered from faulty communications and intelligence. Scheer, realizing he was outgunned, succeeded in withdrawing with a sense of honor and order. Notably, he’d lost 11 ships and about 1,500 sailors; Jellicoe had lost 14 vessels and four times more men than the Germans.

Scheer had accomplished what he could but had failed in his purpose: to loosen the blockade of Germany’s North Sea ports. For the remaining two-and-a-half years of the war, Great Britain and its allies basically controlled the seas.


Post a Comment

<< Home