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Jutland, battle of

Jutland, battle of, 1916. The war in the North Sea was a frustrating experience for the Royal Navy. The Grand Fleet never gained the overwhelming victory over the German High Seas Fleet for which it yearned. The Germans, aware of their numerical inferiority, usually preferred to remain in port. The best opportunity the British had to fight a second Trafalgar was on 31 May 1916 when Beatty succeeded in luring the High Seas Fleet under the guns of the Grand Fleet. But the outcome only served to demonstrate the weakness of the British fleet. The Grand Fleet's range-finders were deficient, its target-plotting machinery prone to error, and its gunnery computers, staff work, and armoured protection defective. The British suffered greater losses of both ships and men, proof of the excellence of German gunnery and ship construction.

But although Jutland was a tactical victory for the Germans, it was a strategic victory for the British. The British were able to repair their damaged ships faster than the Germans, so after the battle Jellicoe still had more capital ships than his enemy. And crucially, the allied naval blockade of Germany, which was doing so much to strangle its economy, remained unbroken. Although the High Seas Fleet ventured out of harbour on several occasions after June 1916, it never again sought a fleet action with the British, and when it was ordered to make a final attack in October 1918, its crews mutinied.

David French

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"Jutland, battle of." The Oxford Companion to British History. . Encyclopedia.com. 20 Oct. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

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Jutland, battle of

battle of Jutland, only major engagement between the British and German fleets in World War I. They met c.60 mi (100 km) west of the coast of Jutland. On May 31, 1916, a British squadron under Admiral Beatty was scouting in advance of the British main fleet, in search of the German main fleet under Admiral Scheer. Instead, Beatty encountered a German scouting force under Admiral Hipper. They exchanged fire and Beatty lost two ships. Hipper turned to join Scheer's force, and Beatty pursued, but when Beatty saw the main German fleet, he retired to join the British fleet under Admiral Jellicoe. Scheer followed and the two main fleets engaged in battle. Although outnumbered in the ensuing engagement, the Germans displayed brilliant naval tactics, and the encounter ended only when fog and darkness permitted escape to their home base. The heavy losses of the British navy caused one of the great controversies of the war. The British won strategically, but lost tactically. It was Britain's one chance to engage the enemy directly. The German high seas fleet never sailed again; the following year the Germans resorted to unrestricted submarine warfare. In Germany it is called the Battle of the Skagerrak.

See studies by H. H. Frost (1934, repr. 1970), D. Macintyre (1958), and J. J. C. Irving (1966).

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Jutland, Battle of

Jutland, Battle of (1916) Naval battle in the North Sea between the British and Germans in World War I. The only full-scale engagement of the war involving both main fleets, it ended indecisively. Although British losses were greater, the German fleet remained in harbour for the rest of the war.

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"Jutland, Battle of." World Encyclopedia. . Retrieved October 20, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/environment/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/jutland-battle