Tuesday, 31 May 2016

The centenary of the Battle of Jutland

Today marks the centenary of the first day of what was arguably the largest naval battle ever to have taken place.

The Battle of Jutland (or in German, Skagerrakschlacht [the Battle of the Skagerrak]) may or may not have been a victory for one side or the other, but the cost was tremendous. In the space of twenty four hours the British lost 6,094 killed and 674 wounded and the Germans 2,551 killed and 507 wounded. The losses in ships was also heavy.

British losses (totaling 113,300 tons):
  • Battlecruisers: Indefatigable, Queen Mary, and Invincible
  • Armoured cruisers: Black Prince, Warrior, and Defence
  • Destroyer flotilla leaders: Tipperary
  • Destroyers: Shark, Sparrowhawk, Turbulent, Ardent, Fortune, Nomad, and Nestor
German losses (totaling 62,300 tons):
  • Battlecruiser: L├╝tzow
  • Pre-Dreadnought: Pommern
  • Light cruisers: Frauenlob, Elbing, Rostock, and Wiesbaden
  • Destroyers: V48, S35, V27, V4, and V29
The Battle of Jutland was not a repeat of the Battle of Trafalgar, although a lot of British people expected the Royal Navy to win just such a decisive victory. It did, however, prevent the German High Seas Fleet from seizing control of the North Sea - even for a day - and it failed to break the stranglehold of the blockade that the Royal Navy maintained from the beginning of the war. In the end it was the latter which helped to win the war for the Allies.

To mark this day, there have been quite a few re-fights of the battle, one of the largest of which took place at the US Naval War College, Newport, Rhode Island. They used the rules and equipment (but not the models) that the US Navy used to re-fight the battle during the 1930s.

The following photographs of this re-fight are all copyright US Naval War College.







12 comments:

  1. Hi BOB- I think that the HMS Indefatigable was the sister ship to HMAS Australia. The 'Replay' Game looks huge- pity the Organisers did not use a Blue Ocean- the Checks look like a Grand Prix Stage...the models look excellent- wonder the Scale of the Ships? Thanks for posting. Regards. KEV.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Kev,

      The Indefatigable was indeed Australia's sister ship.

      The NWC used the same style of chequerboard cloth that the original 1920s and 1930s wargames were fought on. As to the models ... well they might be 1:1200th-scale, although I think that they might be 1:600th-scale, which is the scale used during the 20s and 30s.

      All the best,

      Bob

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  2. Replies
    1. Service Ration Distribution (Hobby),

      It certainly looked it!

      All the best,

      Bob

      Delete
  3. ...and I was not invited. So tonight I will stage my own, using MoBaS.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Steven Page,

      Their loss! Good luck with your own Jutland re-fight.

      All the best,

      Bob

      Delete
  4. That's a really smashing layout. That first picture is probably the pick of the bunch. Very atmospheric.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Conrad Kinch,

      I understand that they used the same room that was used for the wargames they fought during the 1920s and 1930s. I would love to be able to stage such a wargame!

      All the best,

      Bob

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  5. Quite brilliant, though the pattern of the tiles is slightly disorientating. Thank you for sharing.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Michael Peterson,

      Glad that you enjoyed it!

      One would expect that a checkerboard design would be of help to the players - and had the squares been of two different shades of blue I am sure that they would have been - but a large area of black and white tiles can be disorientating.

      All the best,

      Bob

      Delete
  6. Grown men playing with toy ships on the floor. That'll never catch on....
    These models look more like 1/600 to me.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Tim Gow,

      I totally agree; it'll never catch on!

      If the squares on the grid are 12-inch by 12-inch, the models are about 8 to 9 inches long, which makes them too big to be 1:1200th-scale and too small for 1:600th-scale. Possibly 1:900th-scale?

      All the best,

      Bob

      Delete