Beatty Killed At Dogger Bank

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Pips
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Beatty Killed At Dogger Bank

Post by Pips » 15 Oct 2023 02:57

Just a curious question if I may.

During the Battle of Dogger Bank HMS Lion received heavy damage and dropped out of the line, having been hit 14 times by large calibre shells.

My question is if Beatty had been killed during the action, who would have replaced him in command of the 1st Battlecruiser Squadron. And any idea of how that person may have performed from then onwards up to and including during Jutland?

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Re: Beatty Killed At Dogger Bank

Post by Terry Duncan » 22 Nov 2023 19:44

I did mean to reply to this somewhat earlier, but it slipped my mind it seems!

A lot depends on the outcome of the battle. For example, at what point does Beatty die? If it is before the idiotic late battle signals from Lion, Moore may well have continued the chase and secured a far larger victory with the overwhelming forces at hand. If he had, then he would be a national hero and quite possibly allowed to take over the overall BCF command, at least on a trial basis depending on the scale of his victory. The alternative would likely be one of the GF battle squadron commanders, Sturdee being the most likely due to The Falklands battle.

I have no idea on how Moore would react to the battle results, but Sturdee would almost certainly not have tacitly approved of the removal of anti-flash doors to improve the rate of fire rather than improving the accuracy of fire by more and better target practice. The two biggest results, if all else played out the same, would firstly be that the battlecruisers would almost certainly open fire far earlier at Jutland and make use of the greater range of their guns over the Germans, rather than stupidly pushing well inside the Germans range until the Germans fired first! That alone could see Hipper forced to try more to allow the range to close than allow his ships to be unable to reply whilst taking damage. The second would be that the signalling of the BCF could only improve, resulting in Jellicoe having decent info on what the BCF is engaging, resulting in no slowing down of the fleet, and thus the main encounter taking place and hour or two earlier, with everything that would entail.

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Re: Beatty Killed At Dogger Bank

Post by Pips » 23 Nov 2023 04:54

Thanks for the reply Terry.

So you think it may have boiled down to Moore and Sturdee? Not Brock?
Sturdee did indeed do well at the Falklands, but then with two modern battlecrusiers against older armoured crusiers he should have.
Poor Moore blew his chance at Dogger bank, concentrating on Blucher and not pursuing the remainder to the German battlecrusier fleet.

I've always favoured Reginald Tyrwhitt. He proved to be a most able and effective commander at sea of teh Harwich Force; and saw much support action in operations involving the BCS. He was aggressive, had a very good grasp of tactics and was a good communicator.

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Re: Beatty Killed At Dogger Bank

Post by Terry Duncan » 28 Nov 2023 13:20

Pips wrote:
23 Nov 2023 04:54
Thanks for the reply Terry.

So you think it may have boiled down to Moore and Sturdee? Not Brock?
Moore was the man on the spot and would have been hard to displace if he had turned in a total victory (at this point Beatty had only disabled Blucher, so anything from that point is down to Moore). Sturdee has the seniority and social connections, and has already commanded at a victory, even if it was a predictable one. Fisher didnt like him, but Churchill did, so all said and done he is a top contender. Brock was promoted to Rear Admiral only in March 1915 so it would be a huge jump in seniority over many other contenders.
Pips wrote:
23 Nov 2023 04:54
Sturdee did indeed do well at the Falklands, but then with two modern battlecrusiers against older armoured crusiers he should have.
I agree, the result was inevitable, indeed Fisher did have a point that Dresden should not have escaped too! Sturdee was capable and understood his role at sea far better than he did at the admiralty, but he was nothing outstanding.
Pips wrote:
23 Nov 2023 04:54
Poor Moore blew his chance at Dogger bank, concentrating on Blucher and not pursuing the remainder to the German battlecrusier fleet.
Yes, but to be honest Beatty also blew the best chance of the war here. He had the forces to take out the entire German force. Sadly, he preferred to keep all the destroyers out of the battle in order to leave it to his own immediate command to get him the victory and glory that would go with it. It was a victory, and he made the most of it, but in reality removing him would have been an excellent idea at this point.

Moore followed his orders, probably an indication he was not suited to overall command, given the circumstances.
Pips wrote:
23 Nov 2023 04:54
I've always favoured Reginald Tyrwhitt. He proved to be a most able and effective commander at sea of teh Harwich Force; and saw much support action in operations involving the BCS. He was aggressive, had a very good grasp of tactics and was a good communicator.
Tyrwhitt was one of two outstanding less senior officers in the war (Keyes being the other) but giving him the job would have been almost a double jump in the promotions list. As such, the RN would have found this very difficult. In an alternate timeline then maybe. If I had to make a pick then yes, Tyrwhitt is the way to go probably.

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Re: Beatty Killed At Dogger Bank

Post by Pips » 01 Dec 2023 07:14

Thanks for your comments Terry, appreciate them.

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