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Would you not consider the 31 May 1916 Battle of the Jutland Sound a clear-cut victory for the Brits?
Skagerrak/Jutland had nothing to do with the blockade or submarine warfare.
If Scheer had known that the GF was at sea, he would immediately have returned to port.
But the contention often read that this convinced the German HSF to remain in port doesn't hold tight. - They were in action at the British east coast again as early as August 1916.
And it were the British who now avoided contact.
The Action of 19 August 1916 was one of only two further attempts made by the German High Seas Fleet to engage elements of the British Royal Navy following the mixed results of the Battle of Jutland in World War I. The lesson of Jutland for Germany had been the vital need for reconnaissance so as to avoid the unexpected arrival of the British Grand Fleet during any raid, so on this occasion four Zeppelins were deployed to scout the North Sea between Scotland and Norway for signs of British ships, while four more scouted immediately ahead of German ships. Twenty four submarines were also deployed, off the English coast, in the southern North Sea and off the Dogger Bank.
Although Jutland had been officially hailed as a success, the German commander Admiral Reinhard Scheer felt it important that another raid should be mounted as quickly as possible to maintain morale in his severely battered fleet. It was decided that the raid should follow the pattern of previous ones, with the battlecruisers carrying out a dawn artillery bombardment of an English town, in this case Sunderland. Only two battlecruisers were still serviceable after Jutland, Moltke and Von der Tann, so the force was boulstered by the addition of three battleships, Bayern, Markgraf and Großer Kurfürst. The remainder of the High Seas Fleet, comprising 16 dreadnought battleships, was to carry out close support 20 miles behind. The fleet set sail at 9.00pm on 18th August from the Jade river.
Information about the upcoming raid was obtained by British Intelligence in Room 40 through intercepted and decoded radio messages. Admiral Sir John Jellicoe, commander of the British fleet, was on leave so had to be recalled urgently and boarded the light cruiser Royalist at Dundee to meet his fleet in the early hours of 19th August off the river Tay. In his absence, Admiral Cecil Burney took the fleet to sea on the afternoon of 18th August. Vice-Admiral David Beatty left the Firth of Forth with his squadron of six battlecruisers to meet the main fleet in the Long Forties. The Harwich Force of 20 destroyers and 5 light cruisers commanded by Commodore Tyrwhitt was ordered out, as were 25 British submarines which were stationed in likely areas to intercept German ships. The battlecruisers together with the 5th Battle Squadron of five fast battleships were stationed 30 miles ahead of the main fleet to scout for the enemy. The assembled fleet now moved south seeking the German fleet, but suffered the loss of one of the light cruisers screening the battlecruiser group, HMS Nottingham, which was hit by three torpedoes from submarine SM U-52 at 6:00 am.
At 6:15 am Jellicoe received information from the Admiralty that one hour earlier the enemy had been 200 miles to his south east. However, the loss of the cruiser caused him to first head north for fear of endangering his other ships. No torpedo tracks or submarines had been seen, so it was unclear whether the cause had been a submarine or entering an unknown minefield. He did not resume a south-easterly course until 9.00 am when William Goodenough, commanding the light cruisers, advised that the cause had been a submarine attack. Further information from the admiralty indicated that the battlecruisers would be within 40 miles of the main German fleet by 2.00 pm., and Jellicoe increased to maximum speed. Weather conditions were good, with plenty of time for a fleet engagement before dark.
Town class cruiser Falmouth, sunk after torpedo attacks from two submarines
The German force had received reassurances about Jellicoe's position, when a zeppelin had spotted the Grand Fleet heading north away from Scheer, at the time it had been avoiding the possible minefield. Unfortunately for the British, Zeppelin L13 sighted the Harwich force approximately 75 miles ENE of Cromer, mistakenly identifying the cruisers as battleships. This was precisely the sort of target Scheer was seeking, so he changed course at 12.15 pm also to the south-east and away from the approaching British fleet. No further reports were received from zeppelins about the British fleet, but it was spotted by a U-boat just 65 miles north of Scheer. Scheer turned for home at 2:35 pm abandoning his potential target. By 4.00 pm Jellicoe had been advised that Scheer had abandoned the operation and so turned north himself.
Nassau class battleship SMS Westfalen damaged by torpedo from E23
A second cruiser attached to the battlecruiser squadron, Falmouth, was hit by two torpedoes from SM U-63 at 16:52 and sank the following day while being towed to the Humber, when hit by two more torpedoes fired by SM U-66. By 17:45 the Harwich force had sighted German ships, but was too far behind for any prospect of an attack before nightfall so abandoned the chase.
A British submarine E23 commanded by Lieutenant-Commander R.R Turner managed to hit the German battleship Westfalen at 5:05 am on the 19th, but the ship was able to return home.
They knew that their shells were junk;
only by mid-1918 was the GF starting to receive the new 'Green Boy' shells; until then, the British were eager not to fight it out with the Germans, whose vessels had shown a disturbing longlivety.
That they could do nothing against the blockade was known since 1914, they didn't need Jutland to find out about this.
Even before the war, Tirpitz had been aware that in case of a wide blockade his precious fleet would be almost useless.
Scheer was a proponent of unrestricted submarine warfare
Kelvin wrote:By 1914, German seemed more concern about Russia and then Britain. Given relative small population of France , ( 39 million in 1914), French military potential was limited. On the other hand, Russia had the largest population of Europe. ( Combination of Austria-Hungary and Germany in 1914) and also had much natural resouces for industrial development ( Iron, Manganese and coal in Ukraine, Oil in Maikop, Gronzy and Baku and other ores in Ural and Siberia. So, Russian military and economic potential was huge and maybe one day, stronger than Germany. Harold Mackinder 's theory maybe had some effect on German politican.
Curiously by 1914 the worst of the problems had passed.
The problems hadn't passed, they were still around.
Curiously by 1914 the worst of the problems had passed.
In stating that Anglo-German relation had improved
the British were lying to themselves
they were knee deep in an alliance with France and Russia, and there was no way out for them.
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