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The Battle of Jutland in The North Sea, 1916

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The Battle of Jutland

Image source: Wikimedia

The WW1 Battle of Jutland in 1916

The Battle of Jutland was the only great sea battle of the first world war and was fought between the British Grand Fleet and the German High Seas Fleet on 31 May 1916. The whole battle was fought in the North Sea off the coast of Jutland, Denmark. Admiral Sir John Jellicoe commanded the British fleet and Admiral Reinhard Scheer was the German commander. At the start both sides were initially unsure of the other's position and strength, and Admiral Jellicoe was previously told that the German fleet was unlikely to contain any battleships - the most powerfull ships afloat at that time. The British Grand Fleet was comprised of three sections, one from Scapa Flow and the others from Rosyth and Invergordon. It would take time for all ships to get into the planned position.

The first sighting of each other by both sides was in the early afternoon on 31 May. Part of the British fleet steamed for the enemy at full speed even though they were aware that the rest of the British ships had not yet caught up. The British battlecruiser fleet, under David Beatty, engaged the Germans first and there was a great deal of confusion when the battle began. It was very misty and darkness was beginning to fall. Later, Admiral Jellicoe's section arrived and joined the battle which was now raging. Not long afterwards the German fleet decided to head back home whilst it was still dark. The battle of Jutland was over by 5am.

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