Voices From Jutland

A Centenary Commemoration

Jim Crossley

 
Date Published :
March 2016
Publisher :
Pen and Sword
Language:
English
Illustration :
illustrated
Format Available    QuantityPrice
Hardback
ISBN : 9781473823716
Pages : 224
Dimensions : 9.21 X 6.14 inches
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In stock
$39.95

Overview
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Jutland was the only major fleet engagement to take place during the First World War, and indeed the only time in history in which columns of great dreadnought battleships fought each other. In spite of terrible losses of life, the battle did nothing to change the strategic situation in northern European waters, in fact it simply confirmed Britain’s command of the seas and her ability to enforce the blockade which was eventually to lead to Germany’s downfall.

This new book examines the strengths and weaknesses of both navies and identifies some of the reasons for the disappointing performance of the Royal Navy in the battle. Confusion and poor staff work in the Admiralty led to a failure to make proper use of the vital information gleaned by Room 40, the brilliant Admiralty intelligence center, which was able to read German signals traffic. Many years of totally irrelevant experience and inappropriate disciplines in the Victorian and Edwardian navies were poor preparation for 20th century warfare, and led to bad decisions being made by senior officers during the battle. Careless ammunition handling resulted in the loss of three battle cruisers and over 3,000 deaths. British warships were designed for worldwide cruising and to project naval might on a global basis, instead of being optimized for encounters close to home, in the North Sea. By contrast the German fleet performed magnificently and their ships proved extremely durable, but this was not enough to enable them to mount a serious challenge to superior British fire power and numbers.

The book argues that the building of the High Seas Fleet was a strategic blunder on the part of the Germans, who could have forced Britain out of the war completely if they had instead concentrated on their submarine fleet and on mine-laying.
Admiral Jellicoe, commander of the British Grand Fleet, was in the unenviable position of having to give overriding priority to keeping his fleet intact, rather than inflicting a crushing defeat on the enemy. His steadfast pursuit of this objective was to lead to ultimate victory.

About The Author
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Jim Crossley is an author and a historian.

REVIEWS
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"The story of the largest naval battle of the First World War is told here in a an imaginative and informative way by putting together a tough and objective analysis of Jutland with a collection of accounts from those involved. The point in particular which stands out, is the terrific loss of life, said here to be 8,645 men, and 25 ships in little over 12 hours, is extremely sobering even by the bloody standards set out by the First World War."

- John Ash, Britain at War

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