German Naval Victory Dec 16th 1914?

Discussions on all aspects of Imperial Germany not covered in the other sections.
Jon Sutton
Posts: 44
Joined: 12 Apr 2003 18:10
Location: Trier, Germany

German Naval Victory Dec 16th 1914?

Post by Jon Sutton » 21 Apr 2003 19:16

On December 16th 1914 the Germans raided the Yorkshire coast with their Battlecruisers. The British were aware of this plan and sent Admiral Beatty with four Battlecruisers, with Vice-Admiral Warrender's Second Battle Squadron in support, to intercept. What the British did NOT know was that the German High Seas Fleet was at sea in support of their Battlecruisers, and in bad weather south of the Dogger Bank Beatty's destroyer screen met the destroyer screen of the High Seas Fleet. The commander of the High Seas Fleet, von Ingenohl, assumed he had met the Grand Fleet and turned back for home, abandoning his Battlecruisers to fate (but Admiral Hipper was able to avoid the British forces and return safely to port.)
What would have happened if von Ingenohl had held on and realised that he was only facing a small British force, exactly what the High Seas Fleet had been hoping for since the outbreak of war? Von Ingenohl had fourteen Dreadnoughts and eight Pre-dreadnoughts against Warrender's six Dreadnoughts and I think that it is fair to say that if there had been an engagement the British would have come off decidedly the worst.
What would have been the effect of a German naval victory at this time? It would have reversed the effect of the Battle of the Falklands; how would neutral countries such as Norway and Holland have reacted? How would British Public Opinion have reacted? Would there have been any move towards a Peace Settlement?

User avatar
Posts: 435
Joined: 04 Mar 2003 22:06
Location: Mainz, Germany

Post by dead-cat » 22 Apr 2003 16:25

Pretty much a reversed raid on the Helgoland Blight if everything went well. He probably would've sunk 1 or 2 BCs if Beatty would've been stupid enough not to retreat at once. British BCs had a few knots advantage over german dreadnoughts (not to speak about pre-dreadnoughts, which, imho were more a liability than an asset. i think they shoud've scrapped them alltogether, using the barrels as railway guns where they would've been put to much better use). So Beatty could pretty much break off battle at his discretion (weather is also a factor here) but even the loss of 2 BCs wouldn't really shift the balance. It's not like the british would be left without scouting ability since they had plenty of CLs. At Jütland 3 british BCs were sunk without damaging decesivley british scouting or combat capabilities seriously.

Return to “Imperial Germany”