Слике страница
PDF
ePub

squadron received more of the return fire knots. At 7:32 the British battle cruisers than the remainder of the main fleet. The

had again reduced speed to 18 knots. *Colossus was hit, but not seriously damaged, and other ships were straddled with fair fre

German destroyers advanced, emitting quency by the German salvos.

clouds of dark gray smoke, under which Admiral Jellicoe makes special men screen the German capital ships turned tion of the Marlborough of the third away and were lost sight of at 7:45. battle squadron, stating that at 6:17 she British light cruisers were ordered to fired seven salvos at a German battleship sweep westward to regain touch, and at of the Kaiser class, then engaged a 8:20 Admiral Beatty ordered a westerly cruiser and again a battleship. At 6:54 course in support. she was hit by a torpedo and took up a

Climax of the Fighting considerable list to starboard, but at 7:0:3 reopened on a cruiser, and at 7:12 fired

Soon afterward German battle cruisfourteen rapid salvos at a battleship of

ers and battleships were heavily engaged

at 10,000 yards range. the König class, hitting her frequently

Admiral Beatty until she turned out of line. These details reports that the leading ship was hit rein the case of the Marlborough permit peatedly by the Lion and turned out of some rather interesting speculations. It

line eight points, emitting high flames; seems that this ship alone fired approxi

that the Princess Royal set fire to i mately between 200 and 250 13.5-inch

three-funnel battleship, and that the New shells, each one weighing about 1,240

Zealand and Indomitable both engaged pounds, aggregating in the neighborhood

the third ship, forcing her to haul out of of 140 tons of high explosive steel shell,

line on fire and heeling over. The mist at the effective battle range of 12,000

at this time shut them from view, but yards in the beginning and closing to 9,000

the Falmouth reported the German ships yards during the course of the action.

as last seen at 8:38 steam to the westIf this is at all indicative of the fighting ward. The British battle cruisers did not done by the other battleships of the main regain touch, and at 9:24 changed to the body it is apparent that a considerable

southerly course set by Admiral Jellicoe weight of metal was let loose. In the

for the battle fleet. first and second phases it is estimated During the third phase the conditions that each of the ships under Vice Ad of mist and failing light favored torpedo miral Beatty and Rear Admiral Thomas attack, but few details have as yet been fired four or five times this amount reported. The fourth light cruiser squad(about 600 tons each) and the Germans ron occupied a position in the van until quite as much, if not more.

7:20 P. M., when they carried out orders After the injury to the Marlborough to attack German destroyers. Again at Vice Admiral Burney transferred his 8:18 P. M. this squadron moved out to flag to the Revenge.

support the eleventh destroyer flotilla in It appears that the British battle a torpedo attack. They came under a cruisers after the loss of the Invincible heavy fire from the enemy battle fleet at were out of action for about half an hour. ranges between 6,500 and 8,000 yards, At about 6:50 the two remaining ships but succeeded in firing torpedoes at Gerof Admiral Hood's squadron were ordered man battleships. to prolong Admiral Beatty's line astern, At 6:25 the third light cruiser squadand, having lost sight of the enemy, the ron attacked the German battle cruisers battle cruiser squadrons reduced speed with torpedoes, and the Indomitable reto 18 knots. Course was gradually ported that a few minutes later a Gerchanged to south and then to southwest man battle cruiser of the Derfflinger in an effort to regain touch with the class fell out of line. This may have enemy. At 7:14 two German battle cruis been the Lützow, as at about this time ers and two battleships were sighted at Vice Admiral Hipper, while under a about 15,000 yards range, bearing north- heavy fire, transshipped his flag in a westerly. At 7:17 Admiral Beatty's ships torpedo boat from the disabled Lützow re-engaged and increased speed to 22 to the Derfflinger.

Battle Line—The Formation for Approach

O SUF

[blocks in formation]

SUPERB (1909 TEN 12-IN.)

OERIN(1914 TEN 13.511.)
TEMERAIRE(1909 TEN 12-IN.)

CENTURION(1913 TEN 13.51N)
BELLEROPHON (1909 TEN: 12-1N) AJAX(1913 TEN 13.5+N.)" *
VANOUARD (1910 TEN 12-1N.) J KING GEORGEY(1912 TEN 13.5iny

Rear Admiral Loveson.
COLLINGWOOD CI9IO TEN 12-IN) O MONARCH(1912 TEN 13.5-in)

SE VINCENT (1910 TEN 12-1N) ) CONQUEROR(1912 TEN 13.5-IN)
0 NEPTUNE (1911 TEN 12-IN.)

O THUNDERER(1912 TEN 13.5-in)
HERCULESC1911 TEN 12-IN) ORION (1912 TEN 13.5-IN)

Vice Admiral Jeryam.
COLLOSSUS (1911 TEN 12-1N.)

Vice Admiral Sturdee.
IRON DUKE(1914 TEN 13.5-IN)

Admiral Jellicoe.

[blocks in formation]

Above is shown the probable formation of the Grand Fleet for the approach and how the three squadrons may be swung into the battle
column of “line ahead.' If during the approach it is desired to gain distance to either the right or left, all ships may simultaneously turn
to the right or left through any angle designated, turning back again before forming column for battle. The battle line may be formed by
one 90° turn as shown above or by a succession of oblique movements. This chart also shows dates of completion and principal armament of
dreadnoughts in Admiral Jellicoe's fleet. In addition there were four Queen Elizabeths, (1914-15, eight 15-inch guns,) five battle cruisers, (1908-12,
eight 12-inch guns,) four battle cruisers, (1911-14, eight 13.5-inch guns.)

Losses on Both Sides It is thus seen that during the third phase, lasting from 6:15 to about 8:30 P. M., practically the entire British Grand Fleet was engaged with practically the entire German High Seas Fleet. Early in the phase the British armored cruiser Defense (tonnage 14,600, carrying four 9.2-inch guns and 755 men) was sunk. At the same time the armored cruiser Warrior (tonnage 13,500, carrying six 9.2-inch guns and 704 men) and her sister ship, the Black Prince, were disabled. The Warrior was taken in tow by the Engadine, but broke away during rough weather in the night, and sank after the crew had been taken off. The Black Prince came in close contact with a German battleship during the night and was sunk by gunfire.

Between 6 and 6:30 the Germans lost the light cruiser Wiesbaden. Rear Admiral Hood's flagship, the Invincible, (tonnage 17,250, carrying eight 12-inch guns and 750 men,) was sunk soon after engaging The German battle cruiser Lützow (tonnage 28,000, carrying ten 12-inch guns and 750 men) was disabled, and sank while returning to port. The German battleship Pommern (tonnage 13,040, carrying four 11-inch guns and 750 men) was probably disabled during the day battle and sunk in the night by a torpedo. The German light cruisers Frauenlob and Rostock were destroyed in the evening fighting, while the light cruiser Elbing was abandoned because of damage due to collision with another German ship. According to official admission, each side seems to have lost about four destroyers, either during this phase or during the night fighting.

The details of how Admiral Jellicoe manoeuvred his ships into action have not been disclosed, but the British battle fleet probably approached with squadrons or divisions in line or line of bearing. That is, the ships were in several parallel columns on a southerly course, with the leading ships in a line approximately east and west, at such a distance apart as to permit all ships to swing into one column, heading either east or west. The deployment into a battle line heading easterly seems to have been skill

fully effected under trying conditions. Just what the relative positions of the two fleets were during this phase is not known, but the British seem to have had a tactical advantage in turning the German van. The conditions of poor visibility, however, did not permit them to get full benefit of it, although they had the German ships backed by the twilight sky, an important advantage, which must have increased as darkness approached.

Some criticism has been made of Admiral Jellicoe for not pressing the retiring enemy ships more closely, but it is to be remembered that retiring ships are in a favorable position for using mines and torpedoes. Moreover, the mist and the direction of the wind were helpful to the destroyers in making a good smoke screen for the Germans.

The Fourth Phase Torpedo Attacks and Fighting During the Night

of May 31 to June 1 Admiral Jellicoe reports that after the arrival of the Grand Fleet the tactics of the Germans were generally to avoid further action, in which they were favored by conditions of visibility,

At this stage of the action, shortly after 8:40, Admiral Jellicoe quotes Vice Admiral Beatty as follows:

In view of the gathering darkness, and the fact that our strategical position was such as to make it appear certain that we should locate the enemy at daylight under

favorable circumstances, did not consider it desirable or proper to close the enemy battle fleet during the dark hours.

Admiral Jellicoe then reports: At 9 P. M. the enemy was entirely out of sight, and the threat of torpedo boat destroyer attacks during the rapidly approaching darkness made it necessary for me to dispose of the fleet for the night, with a view to its safety from such attacks, while providing for a renewal of action at daylight. I accordingly manoeuvred to remain between the enemy and his bases, placing

flotillas in a position in which they would afford protection to the fleet from destroyer attack and at the same time be favorably situated for attacking the enemy's heavy ships.

The British fleet, after making dispositions to guard against night torpedo attacks, steamed at moderate

most

I

our

speed on southerly courses. During the battlefield and near the line of approach night the British heavy ships were not to German ports until 11 A. M., June 1; engaged, but Admiral Jellicoe reports that the position of the British fleet must that the British Fourth, Eleventh, have been known to the enemy, because at Twelfth, and Thirteenth Flotillas deliv 4 A. M. the fleet engaged for about five ered a series of successful torpedo at minutes a Zeppelin which had ample optacks.

portunity to note and subsequently to reApart from the proceedings of the port the position and course of the British flotillas, the second light-cruiser squad fleet; that the waters from the latitude of ron, stationed in the rear of the battle Horn Reef to the scene of the action were fleet, was in close action for about fif thoroughly searched, but no enemy ships teen minutes at 10:20 P. M. with a Ger sighted; and that at 1:15 P. M., it being man squadron, comprising one cruiser evident that the German fleet had sucand four light cruisers. In this action ceeded in returning to port, course was the Southampton and the Dublin suf. shaped for British bases, which were fered rather heavy casualties, although reached without further incident. By their steaming and fighting qualities 9:30 P. M. of the next day, June 2, the were not seriously impaired.

fleet having fueled and replenished with This night fighting comprises an in ammunition, was reported ready for furteresting and perhaps an important ther action. phase of the battle, but too little is

Results of the Battle known about it at this time to permit profitable discussion. During both the The conduct of the British fleet on the day and night conditions were favorable morning of June 1, retracing its tracks for the use of torpedoes. Destroyer at to the northward over the battle area-tacks seem to have been numerous, per apparently searching the least likely sistent, and daring. It may be assumed places to find enemy ships-raises a lot that a great many torpedoes were fired, of perplexing questions. On the chart, but the resulting damage does not appear Page 88, it is evident that, if the Gerto have been very extensive.

man fleet was trying to ease around the The German fleet after nightfall prob British fleet from the westward toward ably steered a southwesterly course at its bases, it must have been in the shaded somewhat reduced speed because of dam area, whether using fleet speed of 17 aged ships. It should be kept in mind knots for five hours, or more likely, say, that the fleet speed of the British was 12 knots for that time. If, as suggested 20 knots. The feet speed of the Ger above, Admiral Scheer had taken an east. mans was 17 knots, as their dreadnoughts erly course, with perhaps the Skagerrack had been eked out with predreadnought in mind in case of emergency, the Gerbattleships of less speed.

man fleet must have been to the eastward Of course, to deceive the enemy, Ad of the course taken by the British fleet in miral Scheer may have set a different the night—which would seem the one course, such as toward the nearest land lane where the German fleet could not be to the eastward; but it seems more rea

located. sonable that he tried to ease around the With the Grand Fleet in position to put British fleet in the general direction of itself between the German High Seas his Heligoland base.

Fleet and its ses, why was there no de. Early on the morning of June 1 (3 A. cisive engagement? The fleets could M.) Admiral Jellicoe's battle fleet was to not have been very far apart. Considerthe westward of Horn Reef, some ninety ing that the June nights between evening miles from the battlefield, as shown on and morning twilight are only five hours the chart. The British fleet then turned long in these latitudes, and also considto the northward and retraced its course. ering the numerous scouts, both German

Visibility was three to four miles. Ad and British, it looks as though they miral Jellicoe reports that the British should have been pretty well informed of fleet remained in the proximity of the each other's whereabouts. But before

criticising Admiral Jellicoe for not seeking an engagement in the vicinity of Heligoland it might be well to reflect upon the conditions confronting him on that morning: Visibility only three to four miles; close to enemy bases and comparatively far from home bases; a fleet somewhat knocked about after the previous day's fighting, and no doubt a number of the ships short of both fuel and ammunition; destroyers and light cruisers scattered, many more

or less damaged, and perhaps the majority with torpedoes expended; an enemy skilled in the use of submarines and mines.

Because of these conditions, and since the success of the allied cause and the safety of the British Empire depend upon the Grand Fleet, there appear to be few grounds for questioning Admiral Jellicoe's wisdom in safeguarding his ships against the submarine and mine traps laid for them in the vicinity of Heligoland Bight. It is significant that the British Admiralty Staff, which comprises those who know most and care most about the conduct of the fleet, appears to be well satisfied with the way the ships were handled.

It is hard for persons unused to the sea to visualize the conditions and circumstances attending this engagement. Even seagoing men of excellent balance are liable, when transplanted temporarily to the tranquillity of a war college, to be somewhat influenced by vironment, and, while in enthusiastic search of illustration for pet theories, they may overlook or fail to give due weight to modifying factors which cannot be simulated on the game board. Students of tactics on shore make their decisions after study and discussion in the comfortable quiet of a well-lighted room, and then use T square and ruler to move their miniature ships on a motionless wooden ocean. The fighters of the Jutland battle faced quite a different proposition. Decisions had to be made quickly, accurately transmitted by signal, and promptly carried out on sea darkened by mist, smoke, and approaching night. All this had to be done, moreover, in the midst of battle, under the strain of apprehension, in the

uncertainties of meagre and conflicting information.

Which side won and which side suffered the more damage—these are and for some time probably will continue to be debatable questions. Great Britain and Germany both claim a victory, and one's point of view seems to determine which of these two opinions is accepted. Very likely history will judge the battle indecisive. As to the damage inflicted, present official British and German admissions show that Great Britain lost a greater tonnage in ships actually sunk, but this is by no means conclusive evidence that the British fleet suffered greater punishment than did the German fleet. A careful study of the reports of the battle as well as sidelights, such as the official veil of secrecy enshrouding the German fleet and the fact that an honorary degree has been conferred upon the Chief Constructor of the German Navy because of the structural merits of German warships, especially with regard to their non-sinkability after injury, all indicate that many British shells and torpedoes found their mark. The chief losses, moreover, occurred in the battle cruiser squadrons. The battleship line, the backbone of British sea power, was not shorn of a single unit.

As regards general results, the military situation does not seem to have been much changed. British sea power is still supreme and exerting its inexorable pressure; the German High Seas Fleet is still a fleet in being and a menace to its enemies.

The following is the British statement of losses:

en

BATTLE CRUISERS
Ton- Armor Main

nage. Belt. Battery. Sp'd. Men.C'p'd
Queen Mary 27,000 9 in. 8 13.5-in. 28 1,000 13
Indef'gable .18,750 8 in. 8 12-in. 26 899 '11
Invincible ...17,230 7 in. S 12-in. 26 750 "Os

ARMORED CRUISERS
Defense

....14,600 6 in. 4 9.2-in. 23 755 'OS Bi'k Prince..13,550 6 in. 6 9.2-in,

20.5

704 '06 Warrior ...13,550 6 in. 6 9.2-in. 22.9 704 08

DESTROYERS
Tipperary 1,900

31 160 '14
Turbulent
Fortune
920

29.50 100 iż Sp'w Hawk.. 9.50

3 4-in. 31.32 100 '12 Ardent

950

3 4-in. 31.32 100 '12
Nomad
Nestor
Shark

930

3 4-in. 31.32 100 '12

a

« ПретходнаНастави »