Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Turn!

This is coolbert:

From a Q & A as posed by Bert on the War Times Journal forum:

"Twice at Jutland the German fleet was able to escape by doing a simultaneous turn in line 180 degrees. This was a maneuver they had practiced and were prepared for. My question is - - was this a maneuver unique to the German and had it ever been done in combat before Jutland?"

And thanks to Mitch the reply most authoritative and for your perusal almost in entirety:

"The Gefechtskehrtwendung."

"I did one of masters thesis on the dreadnought period and this is what I found out during my analysis"

"You have two possible answers here."

"The first deals with command and control; We know that the RN [British Royal Navy] signals book had many gaping holes and I could not find a signal that would execute the battle turn around like Scheer ordered at Jutland. So the maneuver may be unique to the HSF [German High Seas Fleet]."

"The second and perhaps more interesting answer is doctrinal in nature. The RN had a very rigid command structure and doctrine . . . so with this in mind why would the RN even develop such a tactic. Also bear in mind that for a century their would be no reason for a RN Admiral even think of a reason to do a battle turn around since it was their contention that no navy in the world would even pose a serious challenge in battle. The HSF was the Kaiser's 'baby' and Scheer knew that he could not risk losing his fleet against a RN fleet which he knew to be more powerful, so he needed a way to escape from a battle with his fleet intact."

"Since naval theory, battle doctrine and tactics were based upon RN in this period, I cannot see the USN or the IJN (I did a re-look of Evans' book Kaigun) developing such a tactic on their own."

"I do not recall it ever being done in combat before Jutland as well."

It is apparent that the German  Gefechtskehrtwendung  WAS indeed unique to the German HSF!

At the time of the turn [executed at least twice], Scheer instantly realizing the HSF was in extreme peril, utter and total obliteration at the hands of Jellicoe and the Grand Fleet not only a possible but almost a done deal unless drastic measures taken instantly. The HSF escaping relatively unscathed, the second Trafalgar as so greatly desired by the English NOT TO BE!

Thank you Mitch!

coolbert.

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