The Battle of Jutland
Largest Naval Battle of the First World War
On 31 May 1916 to 1 June 1916 the Battle of Jutland took place in the North Sea near the coast of Denmark’s Jutland Peninsula. The battle was between the Royal Navy Grand Fleet and the Imperial German Navy’s High Sea Fleet.
This battle was the largest naval battle of the First World War and the only full-scale clash of battleships in the conflict. Over a period of 36 hours up to 250 ships traded blows with shells and torpedoes. The conflict ended with 14 British and 11 German vessels on the seabed and more than 8,500 seamen dead.
The British ships lost were as follows:
Battlecruisers; Indefatigable, Invincible, Queen Mary
Armoured Cruisers; Black Prince, Defence, Warrior
Flotilla Leaders; Tipperary
Destroyers; Ardent, Fortune, Nestor, Shark, Sparrowhawk, Nomad, Turbulent
The British lost some 6,094 seamen and of these it has been estimated that there were almost 150 north east casualties. In Britain, the first official news came from German wireless broadcasts and authorities considered suppressing the news. However, surviving ships soon began to arrive in port with their crews sending messages to friends and relatives of their survival and the loss of others.
The weeks immediately after the battle were a time of great confusion over who had been lost and who had survived and an article in the Durham Chronicle on Friday 9 June 1916 gave some local news on those who were lost and survived and predicted that “North-county men will figure largely when the full casualty list of the recent battle is announced.”
Eye Witness to History: first-hand account of the battle of Jutland:
Imperial War Museum website:
Tyne and Wear Museums and Archives photographs:
Contributed by David D, Stanley, Co Durham
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