battle of Jutland

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Jutland, battle of, 1916. The war in the North Sea was a frustrating experience for the Royal Navy. The Grand Fleet never gained the overwhelming victory over the German High Seas Fleet for which it yearned. The Germans, aware of their numerical inferiority, usually preferred to remain in port. The best opportunity the British had to fight a second Trafalgar was on 31 May 1916 when Beatty succeeded in luring the High Seas Fleet under the guns of the Grand Fleet. But the outcome only served to demonstrate the weakness of the British fleet. The Grand Fleet's range-finders were deficient, its target-plotting machinery prone to error, and its gunnery computers, staff work, and armoured protection defective. The British suffered greater losses of both ships and men, proof of the excellence of German gunnery and ship construction.

But although Jutland was a tactical victory for the Germans, it was a strategic victory for the British. The British were able to repair their damaged ships faster than the Germans, so after the battle Jellicoe still had more capital ships than his enemy. And crucially, the allied naval blockade of Germany, which was doing so much to strangle its economy, remained unbroken. Although the High Seas Fleet ventured out of harbour on several occasions after June 1916, it never again sought a fleet action with the British, and when it was ordered to make a final attack in October 1918, its crews mutinied.

David French

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Jutland, Battle of a major naval battle in the First World War, fought between the British Grand Fleet under Admiral Jellicoe and the German High Seas Fleet in the North Sea west of Jutland on 31 May 1916. Although the battle was indecisive the German fleet never again sought a full-scale engagement, and the Allies retained control of the North Sea.

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Jutland, Battle of (1916) Naval battle in the North Sea between the British and Germans in World War I. The only full-scale engagement of the war involving both main fleets, it ended indecisively. Although British losses were greater, the German fleet remained in harbour for the rest of the war.

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