Jutland + 91

Greetings, loyal minions. Your Maximum Leader was afraid that he wasn’t going to have time to write this post bringing to your attention the anniversary of the Battle of Jutland during the Great War.

The Battle of Jutland was fought on May 31-June 1, 1916. It was the largest battle between fleets of modern battleships in the history of the world. It pitted the German High Seas Fleet and the British Grand Fleet against each other.

Wikipedia has a surprisingly good article on the Battle. Here is another site (and okay site overall) about the battle.

Your Maximum Leader’s own opinion of the battle has slowly evolved over the years. For many years he spouted the standard British Admiralty line which was “Brits won.” Now he has a more nuanced view. He believes that the German High Seas Fleet scored a tactical victory. Even though the High Seas Fleet fled the battlefield (so to speak), they had drawn more blood and by that standard they won. If one wanted to evaluate the performance of the two fleets, the Germans again would have the advantage in terms of gunnery accuracy, manoeverablility, and night fighting.

That said, the British won the strategic victory. The High Seas Fleet fled the battle. The High Seas Fleet never again ventured far out of port for the remainder of the war. And the British were left controlling the seas. But that standard the greater victory was won by John Jellicoe (the British Admiral). Your Maxmium Leader agrees (as he often does) with Winston Churchill who declared that Jellicoe was the only man on either side in the war who could lose the war in an afternoon. The destruction of the Grand Fleet would have dramatically changed the course of the war. Lucky for all of us he did not.

Carry on.

1 Comment »

Can you believe we’re only seven years from the century mark of the beginning of the Great War? We should be seeing lots of new WWI books over the next decade.

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