Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Naval Actions.

This is coolbert:

From the era of the Great War [WW1] the naval battle of Jutland [1916] is well known? Massed divisions of capital ships versus massed divisions of capital ships [a division is usually defined as two to four large warships fighting as a unit], German and English both, battling it out for naval supremacy, large-bore naval gunfire the primary means of destruction, the long-anticipated and in some circles much welcomed show-down between the English Grand Fleet and the German High Seas Fleet.

It had been thought on both sides that the outcome of the war was in the balance, a clear and decisive naval victory possibly leading to a cessation of hostilities. This was NOT to be, Jutland generally by the historians considered to be a draw, neither side able to prevail over the other in the desired fashion.

And NEVER again during the following two years of conflict was either fleet able to muster the number of ships in the manner of Jutland - - THAT CLIMACTIC AND DECISIVE NAVAL BATTLE IN THE MANNER OF TRAFALGAR NOT OCCURRING!!

[Germany prior to WW1 having both the second largest navy and merchant marine in the world, Germany a parvenu [upstart] nation seen as a serious challenger to a century-long English domination of the seas.]

Do NOT think, however, that naval surface action and combat of the Great War was strictly confined to the well-known [?] events at Jutland.

Thanks to the wiki we have a listing of those additional naval combats between the Grand Fleet [RN] and the High Seas Fleet during WW1, a much more extensive listing that merely Jutland. German and British naval contingents battling it out on the high seas, strictly surface warships versus other surface warships in combat the old-fashioned way, predominantly using naval gunfire as the weapon of choice.

In over a dozen specific instance, ships massed to some degree for naval conflict, the results generally favorable to the British, but not exclusively so, the RN not able to dominate as thought would have been the case, under the correct set of circumstance the High Seas Fleet able to give a good account of itself, a certain significant number of times neither side able to prevail over the other.

Naval surface combat action NONE of which to include either:

* German commerce surface raiders of the type such as the SMS Wolf or the SMS Seeadler.
* Submersibles [submarines] versus surface vessels.
* British naval raiders attacking German U-boat docks and shore facilities. [Zeebrugge.]

* Battle of Heligoland Bight (1914)  28 August 1914. British

* Battle of Coronel   1 November 1914. German victory.

* Battle of the Falkland Islands  8 December 1914. British victory.

* Raid on Scarborough, Hartlepool and Whitby  16 December 1914. German victory..

* Battle of Dogger Bank (1915)   24 January 1915. British victory.

* Battle of Dogger Bank (1916)   10 February 1916. German victory.

* Action of 29 February 1916    29 February 1916. British victory.

* Bombardment of Yarmouth and Lowestoft  24 April 1916. Draw.

* Battle of Jutland    31 May 1916 – 1 June 1916. Draw

* Battle of Dover Strait (1916)   26–27 October 1916. German victory.

* Action of 16 March 1917  16 March 1917.  British victory.

* Battle of Dover Strait  20 April 1917. British victory.

* Action off Lerwick  17 October 1917. German victory.

* Second Battle of Heligoland Bight   17 November 1917. Draw.

Subsequent to the latter part of 1917 NEITHER side willing to risk capital ships in combat on the high seas! The threat either from naval mine or submarine felt to be too great to endanger those surface vessels having the greatest firepower and destructive force. The German unable also to break the British naval blockade and unrestricted submarine warfare inconclusive in starving England into submission.

The admirals had become too skittish and nervous, unwilling to lose or even commit their most valuable assets, naval warfare warship versus warship mano-a-mano during WW1 INDECISIVE!!


1 comment:

Gerald said...

Warfare is a fascinating subject. Despite the dubious morality of using violence to achieve personal or political aims. It remains that conflict has been used to do just that throughout recorded history.

Your article is very well done, a good read.