The Battle of Jutland was a tactical victory for Imperial Germany over the United Kingdom, but a strategic victory for the UK as the German fleet was still blocked from reaching the Atlantic.


In May/ June 1916, the British Grand Fleet and the German High Seas Fleet clashed at Jutland in the largest naval battle in history until the Battle of Leyte Gulf off the Philippines in 1944. Key points:

  • Involved 151 British and 91 German warships. 
  • For the first 22 months of WW1, both sides remained on the defensive for fear of losing important parts of their forces.
  • The WW1 British naval objective was to blockade Germany.
  • In January 1916, newly appointed Chief of the High Seas fleet Vice Admiral Scheer decided to act more offensively.
  • Due to the enormous superiority of the Grand Fleet, Scheer wanted to lure out sections of the  UK's Grand Fleet, trap and destroy sections one at a time.
  • Scheer’s first operation planned was to attack British merchant vessels off southern Norway utilising submarines and surface vessels.
  • Having broken the German naval code, the British knew the German strategy.
  • In the initial clash, two British battlecruisers were lost at a cost of only minor damage to German ships.
  • In an ensuing clash, another British Battlecruiser was lost, but the German flagship was damaged beyond repair.
  • Later, the main British battle fleet surprised the Germans and forced their withdrawal.
  • In the ensuing night battle, both sides lost vessels.
  • The following morning, the Germans reached home port safety, where most of it remained for the rest of the war.
  • Battle of Jutland was a tactical loss for the British as they lost more ships and crew than did the Germans.
  • The Battle was a strategic victory for the British because even if they could not destroy the German fleet, they could keep it bottled up for the rest of the war; see: The Battle Of Jutland: Who Won The WW1 Naval Battle? - HistoryExtra.
  • The continuing blockade deprived Germany of war material see: The British Blockade During World War I: The Weapon of Deprivation - Inquiries Journal


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References from the Web

Source Information:  1914-1918-online, International Encylopedia of the First World War