The Battle of Jutland was fought on the 31st of May and the early hours of the 1st of June, 1916 in the North Sea.
The entire strength of the Royal Navy’s Grand Fleet faced off against the full strength of the Kaiserliche Marine’s High Seas fleet in the largest clash of steel battleships ever seen.
Though the battle was indecisive, it remains a truly remarkable and important piece of naval history.
And I’ve spend the last 8 months or so building every ship that took part.
I started building WWI battleships and before long I realised that I had a few that fought at Jutland, so I ambitiously started to think about building all of the battleships of the Royal Navy’s Grand Fleet. Before long, my thinking expanded to include all of the ships that were present, both British and German.
There a lot of them. 249 ships in all, spread across dozens of classes and arranged into four separate fleets. Luckily for me, many of them belonged to the same classes as one another and so one build can represent multiple ships.
Order of Battle
The Wikipedia page on the Order of battle is generally very good. ***LINK***
I used the Wikipedia page as my main guide in which ships to build and how they were organised for my final map. For a detailed order of battle, follow that link.
The Royal Navy’s Grand Fleet was the largest fleet present, commanded by Admiral Sir John Jellicoe. The Grand Fleet sailed with 24 dreadnought battleships, 3 battlecruisers, 8 armoured cruisers, 12 light cruisers and 52 destroyers.
The Royal Navy’s Battlecruiser Fleet was commanded by Vice Admiral Sir David Beatty. It sailed with 6 battlecruisers, 4 fast battleships, 14 light cruisers, 27 destroyers and 1 seaplane carrier.
The main Kaiserliche Marine fleet was the Hochseeflotte (High Seas Fleet), commanded by Vice Admiral Reinhard Scheer. It sailed with 16 dreadnought battleships, 6 pre-dreadnought battleships, 6 light cruisers and 31 torpedo boats. The German torpedo boats were roughly equivalent to the British destroyers.
The Kaiserliche Marine’s battlecruisers formed the Aufklärungsstreitkräfte (Scouting Force), commanded by Vice Admiral Franz Hipper. It sailed with 5 battlecruisers, 5 light cruisers and 30 torpedo boats.
A note on ranks: The Royal Navy and Kaiserliche Marine operated with different rank structures. The Royal Navy ranks are effectively the same as current RN ranks. The ranks of the Kaiserliche Marine differ from the modern day German Navy. For ease of comparison, the German ranks are translated to the nearest Royal Navy Equivalent.
This is most notable for the German admirals – Scheer and Hipper both held the rank of Admiral, but in the Kaiserliche Marine this was a 3-star rank and equivalent to the Royal Navy’s Vice Admiral. Hence I refer to them as Vice Admirals in this thread. The KM equivalent to Jellicoe’s 4-star Admiral rank would be Generaladmiral.
In effect, Jellicoe held 4-star rank while Beatty, Scheer and Hipper all held 3-star rank.
I had also written an account of the battle in my own words, but it ran into the post character limit, so here’s a brief summary.
The Germans knew they couldn’t beat the Grand Fleet in a full fleet battle since they were outnumbered so badly. Instead they planned to use Hipper’s ships to lure Beatty into a trap where Scheer and Hipper would destroy him before Jellicoe could arrive.
The British had the German codes and so they knew what the Germans were up to. Jellicoe and Beatty sailed in an attempt to ambush the Germans.
Beatty and Hipper’s fleets came together and engaged in a running battle as Hipper led Beatty towards Scheer’s fleet. This phase was known as the “Run to the South”, and is notable for two of the british battlecruisers exploding spectacularly. When Scheer’s fleet came into view, Beatty turned 180 degrees and started to lead them towards Jellicoe in the “Run to the North”.
As the fleets came close to reaching Jellicoe, a German light cruiser became disabled in between the fleets, becoming the focus of a fiercely fought battle, and another British battlecruiser was blown up. Soon enough, Scheer’s fleet was sailing against Jellicoe’s full fleet. Jellicoe had manoeuvred perfectly, but Scheer managed to pull off a perfect 180 degree turn to sail out of danger. Jellicoe didn’t chase him directly out of caution against torpedoes.
Scheer then sailed at the British a second time to cause confusion and buy time for night to arrive and was starting to take significant damage before turning away again, this time using the battlecruisers as a distraction to help him disengage.
In the night, the German fleet attempted to slip past the British to return to port, and there were furious battles involving British destroyers and light cruisers launching torpedo attacks on the German fleet, including the destruction of one of the German pre-dreadnoughts.
Scheer managed to slip past the British and make for home, his fleet largely intact. Some of the most badly damaged German ships struggled to reach port, though of the capital ships only one battlecruiser foundered on the way home. The British realised that the Germans had slipped away and returned to port.
Renders and Screenshots
I’ll list the ships under the class name. Only the ships that were present at Jutland will be listed. Sister ships which were not present will not be listed. I’m going to pick a ship of each class to ‘name’ each screenshot. It might be a ship that did something particularly impressive, perhaps a favourite of mine or maybe just one where I like the name!
In an effort to keep this post relatively un-cluttered by screenshots and I’ve only put in one screenshot per ship. If you want to see more screenshots of these ships, they can be found in my Shipyard Thread.
This post has grown so monstrously long that I’ll try to break it up a bit with some spoiler tags! Inside the following spoiler tags you’ll find a screenshot of every ship class from the battle and a description of the ships and their role.
The capital ships of each fleet are listed together (that is, the battleships and battlecruisers). The remaining ships – armoured cruisers, light cruisers, destroyers, torpedo boats etc, are listed in the ‘Other Ships’ section in the order I built them. I might rearrange that section of the post, but it would take a lot of editing!
All ships are built at 1:1 scale (that is, 1 block per metre) and none have interiors aside from a few basic decks which have been placed in the superstructure.
Grand Fleet (Jellicoe)
Bellerophon class battleships Bellerophon, Superb, Temeraire
The Bellerophon class were an update to the HMS Dreadnought design. Dreadnought’s main mast was behind the first funnel because it made for a convenient mounting point for the boat crane. It was found in practice that the spotting positions were badly effected by smoke from the funnel, so for the Bellerophons the mast was moved in front of the funnel, and a second mast was added in front of the second funnel. They also carried a heavier secondary armament.
Superb fought as the flagship of the 3rd Division while Bellerophon and Temeraire fought in the 4th Division. All three ships fired dozens of rounds, but achieved no significant successes and suffered no damage.
I made this build by modifying from my HMS Dreadnought, which I had built since she was the first of the modern style of battleship and indeed lent her name to the general type. Dreadnought wasn’t present at Jutland because she was undergoing a refit, but the build can be seen in the spoiler.
All of the Bellerophons survived the war, but as some of the oldest dreadnoughts in the Royal Navy, they were some of the first to be scrapped as a result of the Washington Naval Treaty in the early 1920s.
St. Vincent class battleships St. Vincent, Vanguard, Collingwood
The St. Vincent class were effectively a repeat of the Bellerophon class but with a new version of the 12” gun with a longer barrel. Aside from the longer gun barrels, there was virtually nothing to distinguish them visually.
At Jutland, Vanguard fought in the 4th Division while St. Vincent and Collingwood fought in the 5th Division. They all emerged from the battle unscathed. St. Vincent and Collingwood both engaged ships of the König class, though only Collingwood claimed hits.
Prince Albert (the future King George VI) was a sub-lieutenant on Collingwood during the battle, commanding ‘A’ turret. He was reported to have watched the battle from the spotting positions in the turret roof.
Like the Bellerophons, the St. Vincents survived the war but were soon scrapped under treaty terms in the early 1920s.
HMS Neptune (battleship)
Neptune was the first British battleship to deviate significantly from the layout of Dreadnought. She was designed to make more effective use of her armament. As a result, the wing turrets were staggered en echelon and she was the first British battleship to mount superfiring turrets, with a pair at the stern. This layout allowed them to theoretically fire all their turrets on each broadside. In practice, the wing turrets from the opposite side firing ‘through’ the ship caused so much blast damage to the decks and superstructure to make it impractical. The superfiring arrangement was still in its early stages too – the upper turret couldn’t fire directly astern because the blast wave would enter the lower turret through the sighting hoods and concuss the lower turret’s crew.
She was intended to be the lead ship of a class of three, but the following two ships had significant enough changes to be considered their own class, the Colossus class.
Neptune was flagship of the Home Fleet from May 1911 until May 1912 before being transferred to the 1st Battle Squadron. She was in this squadron at Jutland, assigned to the 5th Division. During the battle she only fired 48 main battery shells, but was credited with several hits on Lützow.
She was transferred to the reserve fleet shortly after the war and was scrapped in 1922.
Colossus class battleship Colossus, Hercules
The Colossus class were originally going to be the same class as Neptune, but the Admiralty decided to modify the design in light of the news that the German designers were moving from their 11” to a 12” gun. The Neptune design was modified to include greater armour protection, and since this added a fair amount of weight attempts to save weight were made elsewhere, most notably by removing the mainmast. That was the most obvious visual difference; where Neptune carried two masts, the Colossus class had only one and repeated the strange mistake from Dreadnought of putting it behind the forward funnel where the spotting tops would be obscured by smoke and choked by fumes. This was a greater problem in these ships due to the greater power of the boilers exhausted by the funnel. In addition, the forward superstructure was slightly lengthened and the stagger of the wing turrets reduced slightly.
Colossus served as flagship of Rear Admiral Gaunt in the 5th Division at Jutland. Notably, her captain was Dudley Pound who would later go on to be First Sea Lord during the opening years of WWII. She reported hits on Derfflinger, and was hit herself on the forward superstructure. That meant that Colossus was actually the only battleship serving with the Grand Fleet that was hit by gunfire – the Queen Elizabeth class ships of the 5th Battle Squadron were all hit, but they were assigned to the Battlecruiser Fleet.
Hercules served in the 6th Division. She engaged the German battlecruisers, claiming hits and received no damage or casualties in return. She had to turn to avoid several torpedoes, and one was even observed running alongside the ship. She had a reputation as a ship where troublemakers would be posted, and even had a boxing ring on board. Many breaches of discipline would be dealt with by getting those involved into the ring to fight it out.
Hercules was scrapped in the early 1920s. Colossus lasted a little longer as a boys’ training ship before being scrapped herself in the late 1920s.
Orion class battleship Orion, Monarch, Conqueror, Thunderer
The Orion class were the first super-dreadnoughts. They were the first British battleships to mount all of their guns on the centreline, and the first to upgrade from the 12” to the 13.5” gun. They were also the first of a succession of broadly similar battleships, with the following King George V and Iron Duke classes repeating their basic layout.
The four Orions were grouped together as the 2nd Battle Squadron 2nd Division for most of the war, including at Jutland. They weren’t heavily engaged in the battle; they only ever fired fleetingly at long range when they had the chance. Orion scored hits on Lützow, Monarch hit König and claimed hits on Lützow. Conqueror suffered engine trouble and scored no claimed hits, nor did Thunderer.
Notably, one of Thunderer’s salvoes was fired directly over the top of Iron Duke.
They all survived the war and were decommissioned as a result of the Washington Naval Treaty. Orion and Conqueror were scrapped, while Monarch was used as a target ship. Thunderer survived a little longer as a training ship before she too was scrapped.
King George V class battleship King George V, Centurion, Ajax
The King George V class were an incremental improvement on the Orion class. Fundamentally they were the same design, with the most major change being the arrangement of the mast in relation to the funnels; in the Orions the mast had been behind the forward funnel which caused problems with smoke and fumes interfering with the sp.otting tops and rangefinding. In the KGVs, the mast was moved in front of the funnels. King George V and Centurion were fitted with a pole mast, while Audacious and Ajax were fitted with a tripod mast. By 1918, King George V and Centurion had their pole masts replaced with tripods because of the extra weight of directors and rangefinders fitted in the tops. The only other major change from the Orions was the layout of the secondary armament. It had been planned to increase from 4” to 6”, but this would have made the ships larger and they had been promised as being the same size as the Orions. Because of this, the upgraded secondary armament would have to wait until the Iron Dukes.
Audacious was sunk early in the war when she struck a German mine during gunnery drills off Ireland. Despite the assistance of other ships including the liner RMS Olympic, she couldn’t be saved. The remaining 3 ships fought at Jutland in the 1st Division, along with the similar HMS Erin. They fired a few salvoes at the leading German battlecruisers, but weren’t recorded as scoring any hits and didn’t suffer any damage.
King George V and Ajax were scrapped in the mid-1920s, while Centurion was converted to a target ship. She was still afloat during World War II and was at one point mocked up into a dummy version of the new battleship HMS Anson (of a newer class also named after King George V). She was eventually sunk deliberately off Normandy in 1944 as a breakwater for the Mulberry harbours. The German shore gunners thought that they had sunk her with great loss of life because only 70 sailors escaped the sinking ship. In truth, the 70 men were her entire crew.
I’ve got two variants on this model. The first, with a pole mast, represents King George V and Centurion. The other, with a tripod mast, represents Ajax.
Iron Duke class battleship Iron Duke, Marlborough, Benbow
The Iron Duke class were a fairly new class of super-dreadnoughts that had been in service for a couple of years. They were an incremental improvement over the King George Vs, which were themselves an improvement on the Orions.
Unlike most classes which tended to fight together in the same divisions, the Iron Dukes all served as flagships. Iron Duke served as the flagship of the whole Grand Fleet, a role she would keep until Beatty (who replaced Jellicoe as commander of the Grand Fleet) transferred his flag to HMS Queen Elizabeth in 1917. Marlborough and Benbow served as division flaghips. The fourth sister, Emperor of India, was in port for refit and missed the battle.
During the battle, Iron Duke scored seven hits on König, causing significant damage. Marlborough was hit by a torpedo, causing a slight list and meaning that she had to be towed back to port. Benbow fired on the König class ships and German destroyer flotillas, but her firing was hampered by poor visibility. She managed to avoid taking any damage or casualties.
The Iron Dukes were the oldest Royal Navy battleships to survive the Washington Naval Treaty, and they served in various roles in the 1920s. However, they were scrapped in the early 1930s as a result of the London Naval Treaty. Iron Duke herself survived longer, though under treaty terms she was demilitarised and used as a gunnery training ship. Two turrets were removed, as was much of her armour and some of her boilers. She was used as a base ship at Scapa Flow in WWII before finally being scrapped in the late 1940s.
Rio de Janeiro class battleship Agincourt
Brazil had allowed its navy to all but disappear by the start of the 20th century. An attempt to rebuild it was started with orders for three battleships and an array of smaller ships placed with European shipyards. Shortly after the battleships were laid down, they were made obsolete by the launch of HMS Dreadnought. Brazil quickly cancelled the pre-dreadnoughts and re-ordered them as dreadnoughts, kicking off the South American dreadnought arms race. The order went to British shipyard Armstrong Whitworth, two battleships to be built first with a third following later. The first two became the Minas Geraes class. When the time came to lay down the third, Brazil’s economy wasn’t doing so well and enthusiasm for the navy was down. They attempted to negotiate out of the contract, but Armstrongs held them to it. Brazil borrowed the money and asked for a new design, since battleship design was progressing very quickly. Several designs were proposed, works started and then halted again, more design changes asked for. The ship was to be named Rio de Janeiro.
The largest discussion over the design was the size of the main guns, whether they should stick with the same 12” as the Minas Geraes class ships or whether the calibre should be increased. Admiral Leão was keen on keeping the 12” gun, perhaps influenced by the German naval thinking that faster-firing but slightly smaller guns were a better way to go. But in order to ‘sell’ the ship to the Brazilian people, she needed to look more powerful than the Minas Geraes class. Those ships carried 6 twin turrets, 4 on the centreline and 2 in the wings. So the new specification called for no less than 7 twin turrets, and since the design trend had moved on to putting the whole main armament on the centreline, it was a struggle to fit the turrets in.
The designers at Armstrong Whitworth managed it. The design they came up with had a superfiring pair of turrets forward, two amidships between the funnels and three at the rear, with the middle one superfiring. It remains the greatest number of main battery turrets ever fitted to a battleship.
After the ship had launched but while she was still fitting out, Brazil’s economic position got worse and they elected to sell the unfinished ship. The Ottoman Empire bought Rio de Janeiro and renamed her Sultan Osman-ı Evvel. She was effectively complete and undergoing sea trials at the outbreak of the First World War, and an Ottoman crew had arrived in Britain to take delivery. However, the British Government and the Admiralty viewed the Ottomans as a hostile nation who would probably ally with Germany. Because of that, Winston Churchill (who was First Lord of the Admiralty at the time) ordered that the ship should be seized for use by the Royal Navy, to be renamed HMS Agincourt. The same happened to Reşadiye, another ship being built for the Ottomans by Vickers.
Agincourt was hastily modified for British service, perhaps most amusingly replacing the Turkish style lavatories with British ones. In British service, she soon gained the nickname “The Gin Palace”, partly a play on her name and also a reference to the fact that her accomodations were surprisingly luxurious by comparison with most Royal Navy ships.
As part of the 6th Division at Jutland, she was one of the closest Royal Navy battleships to the German Fleet, in the area of the battle that became known as “Windy Corner”. She evaded two torpedoes and fired 144 main battery shells, though no hits were confirmed.
After the war, Britain attempted to sell her back to Brazil, but the Brazilians weren’t interested. She was scrapped in the early 1920s to comply with the Washington Naval Treaty.
Reşadiye class battleship Erin
HMS Erin was originally ordered by the Ottoman Empire as Reşadiye. Her design was based on the Royal Navy’s King George V class, but with several modifications. The Royal Navy ships had limits on beam and draft so they could use the RN’s drydock facilities. Reşadiye did not need to meet these requirements, so she was built with slightly more beam and significantly shorter than the KGVs. As a result the design was a more stable gun platform, allowing an upgrade of the secondary armament to 6” and for the midships Q turret to be mounted one deck higher at forecastle level. She had a tripod mast with the legs pointing forward instead of the more usual aft, because this allowed the boat crane to be mounted on the mast. Because they didn’t need a boat crane between the funnels, the funnels could be placed much closer together. Finally, she was built with a plough bow rather than a ram bow, which helped her to cut through the water better.
She was virtually complete at the outbreak of WWI, but since the Ottoman Empire was viewed as a hostile nation, the First Lord of the Admiralty Winston Churchill ordered that Reşadiye should be seized for use by the Royal Navy. They also seized Sultan Osman-ı Evvel which was in a similar nearly-finished state.
At Jutland, Erin fought in the 2nd Battle Squadron 1st Division with the 3 surviving King George V class ships. They were the furthest ships from the German Fleet once the Grand Fleet deployed for battle and as a result were hardly engaged. Erin herself was right at the far end, and didn’t even fire her armament during the battle.
In the early 1920s, she was planned to be retained as a training ship after the Washington Naval Treaty, but that role went to Thunderer instead and Erin was sold for scrap.
Almirante Latorre class battleship Canada
The Almirante Latorre class was a part of the South American dreadnought arms race. After Brazil and Argentina had both ordered battleships from British and American shipyards respectively, Chile followed suit. They intended to order two of the most up-to-date and most powerful ships of their time. The orders were placed with the British shipyard Armstrong Whitworth. The design was effectively a slightly enlarged Iron Duke class with larger funnels, a shorter forecastle and a longer quarterdeck.
The lead ship Almirante Latorre was well on the way to completion when the First World War broke out, while the second ship, Almirante Cochrane, was still on the slipway. When the war started, construction was suspended. A couple of months later, the Royal Navy decided to purchase the ships from Chile. Almirante Latorre was completed in 1915, renamed HMS Canada and commissioned into the Grand Fleet. Almirante Cochrane languished in a half-built state for most of the war before the Royal Navy decided that they would convert her into one of their first large aircraft carriers, to be named HMS Eagle.
Canada fought at Jutland in the 4th Battle Squadron, which was headed up by the fleet flagship Iron Duke. She suffered no hits or casualties, and fired rounds at the disabled cruiser Wiesbaden, fired at an unknown German ship some time later and utilised her secondary battery in firing at German destroyers.
After the war, the Chilean government re-purchased HMS Canada and restored her to her original name of Almirante Latorre. During the Second World War, she was still in pretty good condition and was used for ‘neutrality patrols’. Interestingly, after Pearl Harbor put much of the US Pacific Fleet out of action, the US Government inquired about buying Almirante Latorre from Chile to try to fill in the gaps, but Chile declined. She served with the Chilean Navy until the 1950s, when she was sold for scrap.
After WWI, Chile were also interested in re-purchasing HMS Eagle/Almirante Cochrane, but by that time the ship was already under conversion to an aircraft carrier and it would have cost more to restore her to a battleship than the money that Chile would have paid for her. Because of this, Britain elected to keep the ship and continue the conversion work. HMS Eagle was eventually commissioned in 1924 and was sunk by a U-boat in the Mediterranean in 1942.
Revenge class battleship Revenge, Royal Oak
The Revenge class were the newest class of capital ship on either side. The class would eventually number five ships, but at the time of Jutland, Ramillies and Resolution weren’t yet completed, and Royal Sovereign was so new that Admiral Jellicoe thought her crew weren’t ready for a fleet action so he left her in Scapa Flow. So the only two ships of the class to participate at Jutland were Revenge and Royal Oak.
Both served as the second ships in their respective squadrons, Royal Oak behind the fleet flagship Iron Duke, and Revenge behind Marlborough, the flagship of the second in command Vice Admiral Burney.
Both ships landed hits on Derfflinger, while Revenge scored a hit on Von der Tann and Royal Oak hit the light cruiser Wiesbaden.
Burney would later transfer to Revenge after Marlborough had to drop out of the chase of the German fleet due to torpedo damage forcing her to slow down.
As the Royal Navy’s newest battleships built before the post-war naval treaties came into effect, the Revenge class ships were retained and served through the Second World War. However, they had hardly been modernised, with modernisation efforts concentrated on the slightly older but larger and faster Queen Elizabeth class. As a result, the Revenge class ships were of limited usefulness in WWII due to their speed – perfectly adequate in WWI, but much too slow twenty years later. They generally served in shore bombardment, area denial and convoy escort roles.
Royal Oak was the only ship lost, torpedoed in Scapa Flow on the 14th of October 1939. She sank with the loss of over 800 lives. I laid down my minecraft replica in tribute, on the 14th of October 2014, the 75th anniversary of her sinking.
Invincible class battlecruiser Invincible, Inflexible, Indomitable
The Invincible class battlecruisers were the first battlecruisers anywhere in the world, and they were the first capital ships that Britain laid down after Dreadnought. The brainchild of the First Sea Lord Admiral Fisher, they were intended to hunt down enemy cruisers and act as a heavy scouting force for the main battlefleet; they sacrificed armour protection to achieve a greater speed.
The Invincible class battlecruisers formed the 3rd Battlecruiser Squadron of the Battlecruiser Fleet under Rear Admiral Hood, but in May 1916 they had been detatched to the Grand Fleet’s base at Scapa Flow for gunnery practice. They were still there when the fleets sailed to Jutland, and so they operated under the Grand Fleet. Jellicoe ordered Hood to steam ahead of his fleet to assist Beatty. In passing they fired on the light cruisers of the German II Scouting Force. One shell from Invincible exploded in Wiesbaden’s engine room, leaving her dead in the water.
The approaching German battlecruisers altered course towards Wiesbaden to assist, quickly destroying the armoured cruisers that had charged in to finish Wiesbaden off. The 3rd BCS then joined Beatty in engaging the leading German ships. They soon scored multiple hits on the German ships including 10 on Hipper’s flagship Lützow. Two of those hits from Invincible damaged Lützow below the waterline near her bows, which would ultimately sink the German ship. She quickly had her revenge though; the combined fire of Lützow and Derfflinger soon destroyed Invincible in a magazine explosion much like the explosions of Indefatigable and Queen Mary.
Inflexible and Indomitable remained with Beatty’s ships, engaging the Germans again at night when they attacked Hipper’s squadron at the rear of the German line. They scored several more hits before the battered German ships were able to move to relative safety past the pre-dreadnoughts of the II Battle Squadron. Several hits were scored on the pre-dreadnoughts before they too managed to disappear into the night.
Inflexible and Indomitable served out the rest of the war, but were paid off soon afterwards and sold for scrap in 1921.
Battlecruiser Fleet (Beatty)
Indefatigable class battlecruiser Indefatigable, New Zealand
The Indefatigable class were the second group of British battlecruisers. Originally intended to be a one-off design, HMS Indefatigable was a slightly lengthened version of the Invincible class with the turret/funnel layout altered to try to enable the ship to more effectively fire all of the turrets on the broadside. Later, the British government convinced the Australian and New Zealand governments to fund a battlecruiser each, and the Indefatigable design was chosen rather than the newer Lion class which was already in development, meaning that the class eventually numbered three ships. HMAS Australia formed the core of the brand new Royal Australian Navy, while HMS New Zealand was intended as a gift to the Royal Navy from the New Zealand government.
Of the three, Indefatigable and New Zealand fought at Jutland. Australia and New Zealand had collided back in April and Australia was still out of action for repairs.
Indefatigable was the rearmost ship in Beatty’s fleet and was first capital ship sunk. She came under fire from SMS Von der Tann and was soon damaged and starting to list. Not long afterward, she suffered a huge magazine explosion and sank with just two survivors.
New Zealand then became the rearmost ship, and was herself hit by Von der Tann. When Beatty sighted the High Seas Fleet and turned to lead them to Jellicoe, New Zealand turned sooner than ordered to avoid coming too close to the Germans. She was straddled with shells but not hit in that exchange. New Zealand fired more main battery shells than any other ship in the battle (420) but was only credited with four hits; three on Seydlitz and one on Schleswig-Holstein.
Lion class battlecruiser Lion, Princess Royal
The Lion class were ordered alongside the Orion class battleships. Much like how the Orions were a large jump forward over previous battleships, the Lions were larger, faster, more heavily armed and better armoured than the previous Royal Navy battlecruisers of the Indefatigable class. This was mainly intended as a counter to the German Moltke class, which themselves outclassed the Indefatigables. The Lions were designed to outclass the Moltkes. They were the first British battlecruisers to adopt the 13.5” gun and mount them on the centreline and were nicknamed “The Splendid Cats”.
At Jutland, Lion herself was Vice Admiral Beatty’s flagship, while Princess Royal was the flagship of the 1st Battlecruiser Squadron under Rear Admiral Brock. They were the leading ships of Beatty’s force, so they came under fire early in the battle and they were both soon hit. Lion duelled with Hipper’s flagship Lützow, both scoring hits on each other. One of Lützow’s shells hit Lion’s Q Turret, killing or wounding everybody in the turret and starting a fire. The turret commander, Royal Marines Major Francis Harvey, managed to order the magazine flooded despite being mortally wounded. He almost certainly saved the ship, and was awarded a posthumous Victoria Cross.
Princess Royal engaged Derfflinger. She was hit several times by the German ship, but none were serious. For much of the battle, Princess Royal struggled to target the German ships because of hits on Lion ahead of her; the smoke and fumes from the hits on Lion drifted over Princess Royal making it difficult for her to see the Germans and difficult for them to see her. It was due to this that Derfflinger switched fire to Queen Mary, with dire consequences for that ship.
During the run to the north, Lion was hit twice more, but since Beatty was trying to put distance between himself and the Germans the fighing wasn’t as intense as in the run to the south. The battlecruisers led the German ships into the waiting guns of the Grand Fleet.
Both ships survived the war and were scrapped in the early 1920s as a result of the Washington Naval Treaty.
HMS Queen Mary (battlecruiser)
Queen Mary was ordered together with the King George V class battleships. She was effectively a repeat of the Lion class ships, but is different enough to be considered a separate class. She was just slightly larger than the Lions and had a slightly different secondary armament layout. The officers’ quarters were moved back to their traditional location in the stern rather than their more recent location amidships; it is probably because of this that Queen Mary was the first battlecruiser to mount a sternwalk.
At Jutland she sailed behind the Lion class ships. During the run to the south, she targeted Seydlitz and scored several hits. Ahead of her, Lion was hit several times and when the smoke and fumes somewhat obscured Princess Royal (which was second in line) Derfflinger switched her fire to Queen Mary. She soon scored several hits on the British ship, with one hit causing the forward magazines to detonate.
Queen Mary broke in two somewhere near the foremast and sank with just twenty survivors.
HMS Tiger (battlecruiser)
Tiger was the follow up to the Lion class ships and their near-sister Queen Mary. She was originally going to be built to a similar design, but was influenced by the design that George Thurston of Vickers produced for the Japanese Kongō class. Japan intended to have their new ships designed in Britain and the lead ship built by Vickers, while Japanese technical specialists observed and learned enough so that they could build capital ships at home from that point forward.
The design that Thurston prepared for Kongō was held to be an improvement on the Lion type design and the new British battlecruiser was quickly redesigned to incorporate many of Kongō’s best features. The result was Tiger, which ended up being the only ship of her class. The most obvious change was that the third funnel was brought forward and the midships ‘Q’ turret was positioned behind the funnels for better fields of fire. She carried the same 13.5” guns as the previous Lion type ships, and was slightly larger.
She was commissioned into the Royal Navy in 1914. Her performance was disappointing at the Battle of Dogger Bank, which was put down to the fact that she was still a newly commissioned ship. At Jutland, she was the rearmost ship in the 1st Battlecruiser Squadron, behind the two Lion class ships and Queen Mary. Early in the Run to the South she engaged Moltke and soon suffered several hits from the German ship which temporarily put ‘Q’ and ‘X’ turrets out of action. She had to turn sharply to avoid the wreckage of Queen Mary after that ship exploded.
By the time the battlecruisers made their turn away from Scheer’s fleet at the end of the Run to the South, Tiger had been hit 17 times, 16 of them by Moltke, but she was still generally in a good condition and fit to fight.
During the night she joined the rest of the battlecruisers in firing on Hipper’s battlecruisers and later the German pre-dreadnoughts. Despite being heavily engaged for much of the battle she was only credited with scoring three main battery hits; one on Moltke and two on Von der Tann. She took 18 hits in return, but the damage was mostly superficial and she was soon repaired.
She survived the war and was the oldest Royal Navy battlecruiser retained after the Washington Naval Treaty. She spent much of the 1920s in reserve and then serving as a training ship before being briefly brought back into frontline service in 1929 while Hood was undergoing refit. She was sold for scrap in 1932 in the aftermath of the London Naval Treaty.
Queen Elizabeth class battleship Warspite, Valiant, Barham, Malaya
The Queen Elizabeths were the world’s first fast battleships and were probably the most powerful battleships in commission anywhere in the world in 1916. They were intended as a development of the preceding Iron Duke class, except with an increase in the main gun calibre from the 13.5” of the previous ‘super dreadnought’ classes to a brand new 15” design. The First Lord of the Admiralty Winston Churchill took quite a risk by rushing the new gun design into production and skipping the prototype phase, but the risk paid off; the BL 15” Mark I gun became one of the most successful naval guns ever manufactured.
It was quickly realised that the new design could easily lose the midships ‘Q’ turret from the Iron Duke layout; 8 of the new 15” guns would still fire a heavier broadside than 10 of the previous 13.5” weapons. The extra space freed up by the removal of the midships turret allowed more powerful machinery to be installed which (along with the change to fuel oil firing instead of coal) allowed the ships to make roughly 24 knots – substantially faster than most battleships of the day which usually topped out at 21 knots.
The first of the ships to enter service, Queen Elizabeth, was assigned as flagship to the Dardanelles campaign. By mid 1916 she had returned to Britain but was undergoing refit and repairs and so she missed Jutland. The other four ships formed the 5th Battle Squadron of the Grand Fleet. They were intended to be used as the vanguard of the fleet, but in May 1916 they were temporarily assigned to the Battlecruiser Fleet as a replacement for the 3rd Battlecruiser Squadron (which was practicing gunnery with the Grand Fleet). HMS Barham served as the flagship of Rear Admiral Evan-Thomas.
The 5th Battle Squadron sailed at the rear of Beatty’s force, and at the start of the battle they had fallen behind the battlecruisers due to a lack of communication over the Battlecruiser Fleet’s standing orders (which favoured initiative) when compared to the Grand Fleet’s standing orders (which favoured rigid adherence to the flagship’s signals). As the Run to the South progressed, they steamed hard to catch up and by the latter stages they were in a position to open fire on Hipper’s ships.
When Beatty spotted the main German fleet and gave the order to turn in succession, the 5th Battle Squadron should have come alarmingly close to the Germans. Instead they turned a little sooner than ordered to keep the gap open. During this phase of the battle they were the main target for the chasing German fleet, providing some respite for Beatty’s mauled battlecruisers. The ships took fairly heavy damage, aside from Valiant which managed to avoid being hit. They fired well in return; Admiral Scheer later said that they “fired with extraordinary rapidity and accuracy”, and the heavy 15” shells generally caused quite a lot of damage when they hit.
As the ships prepared to join the Grand Fleet at the end of the Run to the North, a shell hit jammed Warspite’s steering and she was forced to steam in circles. She made a very tempting target for the German gunners and made two full circles before being brought back under control, taking 13 hits. She inadvertently drew the German fire away from the crippled armoured cruiser Warrior, allowing her to slip away. Warrior’s crew admired Warspite’s actions, thinking that they were trying to deliberately draw the German fire. Warspite had taken enough damage that it was decided she should withdraw rather than take any further part. It was her first action; she would later go on to receive the most battle honours of any Royal Navy battleship.
Queen Elizabeth joined the 5th BS after her refit, but she wasn’t a part of it for long since Admiral Beatty made her the flagship of the Grand Fleet in 1917. After the Washington Naval Treaty they were retained by the Royal Navy since they were the most powerful battleships that Britain possessed at the time. They were all generally modernised in between the wars, being far more suited to upgrades than the slightly newer-but-slower Revenge class, and served with distinction in the Second World War. The only ship of the class to be sunk was Barham, torpedoed by a U-boat in the Mediterranean in 1941 with the loss of 841 men. Unusually her sinking was filmed by a cameraman on deck of her sister ship Valiant; the film has since often been used as stock footage in documentaries. The surviving ships were all scrapped after the war. There were calls for Warspite to be preserved as a museum ship, but in the harsh economic climate post-war she was sold for scrap.
High Seas Fleet (Scheer)
Braunschweig class battleship Hessen
The Braunschweig class were the penultimate German pre-dreadnought class. By 1916, three Braunschweig ships (Preussen, Hessen and Lothringen) were joined by the five slightly newer Deutschland class pre-dreadnoughts to form the II Battle Squadron. However, for Jutland Preussen had been temporarily assigned to the Baltic as a guard ship and Admiral Scheer decided that Lothringen was in too poor a condition to sail. So when the High Seas Fleet left port, Hessen was the only Braunschweig class ship that sailed.
Along with the Deutschlands, she helped to cover the withdrawal of Hipper’s battlecruisers and were engaged by the British battlecruisers. They were in the thick of the night fighting, where Hessen narrowly avoided a torpedo. The Deutschland class Pommern was destroyed by a torpedo, and Hessen spent much of the night attempting to locate and destroy the submarines that they thought were in the area; in truth Pommern had been torpedoed by a destroyer.
Deutschland class battleship Deutschland, Hannover, Pommern, Schlesien, Schleswig-Holstein
The Deutschlands were the last pre-dreadnoughts that Germany built. They were obsolete before they entered service due to the rapid construction time of the Royal Navy's revolutionary HMS Dreadnought, but were still used in the High Seas Fleet because the Royal Navy vastly outnumbered them on modern vessels. They were broadly similar to the preceding Braunschweig class.
At Jutland, the five Deutschlands were joined by the Braunschweig-class SMS Hessen to act as the II Battle Squadron. Admiral Scheer generally tried to keep them away from the fighting because he knew that they weren't a match for modern battleships, but they still played an important role in preventing Beatty's battlecruisers from pursuing the withdrawing German battlecruisers. They were also engaged with British destroyers and cruisers in the night, where Pommern was torpedoed and exploded. The others all returned to port safely.
After Jutland, the German command decided that the pre-dreadnoughts were too vulnerable and unsuitable for modern fleet actions, so the II Battle Squadron was detached from the High Seas Fleet.
Nassau class battleship Nassau, Westfalen, Posen, Rheinland
The Nassau class were Germany’s first dreadnoughts, and among the first in the world to follow the example of Britain’s Dreadnought. They had a turret layout that was particular to the early German dreadnoughts, six turrets – one forward, one aft and four on the wings. They were arranged in a hexagonal layout so that three turrets could fire to the front and rear and four could fire on each broadside.
They formed the 1st Battle Squadron, 2nd Division of the High Seas fleet. Because the Nassau class began the battle as the rearmost dreadnoughts in the German fleet, they barely engaged the British captial ships. But as the German fleet tried to slip away during the night they were engaged in furious night-fighting with British cruisers and destroyers. Nassau took part in the destruction of the British armoured cruiser Black Prince, and had to swerve sharply to avoid the wreck; she then had to set her engines to full reverse to avoid colliding with other German dreadnoughts. Westfalen fired her secondary armament at the flotilla leaders Tipperary and Broke, sinking the first and crippling the second.
When the German fleet returned to port, the relatively undamaged Nassau, Westfalen and Posen took up defensive positions in the Jade roadstead. They survived the war and were left in Germany when the newer ships of the High Seas Fleet were interned in Scapa Flow. They were ceded to the victorious Allies but were all soon sold for scrap.
Helgoland class battleship Helgoland, Oldenburg, Thüringen, Ostfriesland
The Helgoland class were the followups to the Nassau class, and were designed along similar lines. The hexagonal turret layout was retained, though the gun calibre was increased to 12” due to rumours that the British were increasing from a 12” to a 13.5” gun. The German designers generally favoured guns slightly smaller than their British counterparts, but faster firing. They had a very distinctive look with the hexagonal turrets and the three closely spaced narrow funnels, and were considered to be good sea boats.
The Helgolands served together as the 1st Battle Squadron, 1st Division and at Jutland they were positioned in the middle of the fleet – behind the Königs and Kaisers, ahead of the Nassaus and the pre-dreadnoughts. Ostfriesland served as the Squadron flagship.
During the battle they briefly fired on the British 5th Battle Squadron of fast Queen Elizabeth class battleships, but the range soon widened and they lost sight of their targets. At one point Helgoland was hit by a 15” shell which tore a hole in the hull and let in around 80 tons of water.
After night fell, they fired on a group of British destroyers. One of the destroyers managed to hit one of Oldenburg’s searchlights, sending shrapnel and shards down onto the bridge, wounding the captain and killing other officers and the helmsman. The captain managed take the wheel before she went out of control and rammed a friendly ship. Shortly afterward, Thüringen took the lead role in destroying the armoured cruiser Black Prince, illuminating her with searchlights and pouring heavy calibre fire into her at short range. Thüringen was assisted by Nassau and later Friedrich der Große.
Aside from the damage already mentioned, the only other damage was to Ostfriesland, which hit a mine in friendly waters on the way back to port. Thüringen was undamaged. Along with Helgoland and three of the Nassaus, she took up a defensive position outside the harbour after the fleet made it home.
Towards the end of the war when Germany was trying to negotiate the armistice, the naval command planned a last ditch attack on the Royal Navy, which has been called a “Death Ride”, intending to improve Germany’s bargaining position by inflicting as much damage as possible. The sailors of the fleet mutinied, and the plan was called off. Thüringen was notable for being the first ship where sailors openly mutinied, and Helgoland was one of the next.
The Helgolands weren’t interned in Scapa Flow after the war, and after the scuttling of the fleet they were ceded to the Allies in place of those ships. They were soon sold for scrap or expended as targets for bombing and gunnery trials.
Kaiser class battleship Kaiser, Friedrich der Große, Kaiserin, Prinzregent Luitpold
The Kaiser class ships were the second newest class of German battleships at Jutland and formed the 6th Division, second in line behind the newer König class. Friedrich der Große served as the Fleet Flagship from her commissioning in 1912 until the newly commissioned Baden took the role in 1917. There were actually five ships in the Kaiser class, unlike the other German dreadnought classes which generally comprised 4 ships. König Albert was the only modern German battleship to miss Jutland, in drydock for maintenance; meaning that 4 Kaisers were present.
They did away with the hexagonal turret arrangement from the preceding Nassau and Helgoland classes, instead having a single turret forward, wing turrets en echelon and a superfiring pair aft, the same arrangement as the battlecruisers Moltke, Goeben and Seydlitz. The wing turret arrangement meant that the funnels were widely spaced and combined with the two boat cranes gave the Kaisers a very distinctive look.
Being second in line behind the Königs, they saw a fair amount of action, particularly when they came to the aid of the stricken cruiser Wiesbaden, pouring fire into the British cruisers, sinking Defence and crippling Warrior. A shell from Kaiser damaged Warspite’s rudder, forcing her eventual withdrawal.
I’ve posted two ships from this class because Prinzregent Luitpold differed slightly from her sisters. She was intended to use a diesel engine on her central shaft, but it wasn’t ready so she was completed with just the two shafts compared to her sisters’ three, resulting in a slightly lower speed. The choice for which of the 3-shaft ships to depict was quite obvious given that Friedrich der Große was Scheer’s flagship.
König class battleship König, Großer Kurfürst, Markgraf, Kronprinz
The König class were the newest German battleships at Jutland; the newest Bayern class wasn’t quite ready for service. They were an improvement over the Kaisers, and were the first German battleships to mount all of their main armament on the centreline. Compared with the Kaisers, they added a superfiring turret forward and instead of the wing turrets they had a single turret amidships between the funnels.
They served together as the 5th Division, 3rd Battle Squadon of the High Seas Fleet under Konteradmiral Behncke, and were stationed as the vanguard of the fleet. König herself was in the lead as Behncke’s flagship. Because of this position, they were generally the most engaged German battleships.
They were the first German battleships to open fire on Beatty’s approaching battlecruisers, before Beatty turned around and moved out of range. They switched their fire to the Queen Elizabeth class ships until they too moved out of range. At this time they also sank the destroyers Nestor and Nomad.
AS the German Fleet approached the crippled cruiser Wiesbaden, Behncke manoeuvred his ships to try to put them between Wiesbaden and the British, and they took part in the heavy firing on the cruisers which were trying to finish Wiesbaden off. When the German line ran into the battle line of the Grand Fleet they were again in the lead. They received heavy fire both times the German fleet approached the Grand Fleet. The second time they turned away some of the battleships turned too soon and threw the line into disarray. As they struggled to get back into formation, Behncke laid a smokescreen with König to cover the manoeuvres.
As would be expected for the vanguard, the Königs generally received the most damage. Kronprinz, the rearmost of the four, was the only one to escape without being hit. The others each received several large calibre hits and notably König and Großer Kurfürst both sustained a substantial amount of flooding, which forced them to slow when returning to port. König also suffered fires in her secondary armament magazines, which had to be flooded to prevent an explosion.
They were among the ships that were interned at Scapa Flow after the war and were scuttled there in 1919.
Scouting Force (Hipper)
SMS Von der Tann (battlecruiser)
Von der Tann was the first battlecruiser built by Germany, and the only ship of her class. When the Kaiserliche Marine first learned of the new Royal Navy battlecruisers, they thought they were just larger armoured cruisers and laid down Blücher in response. When it later became apparent that they were an entirely new breed of ship, Von der Tann was laid down as a proper response. Because they knew that the Kaiserliche Marine would be outnumbered by Royal Navy battleships in the event of a war, the Kaiser and the Admiralty demanded a ship which was well armoured enough to stand in the main battleline, setting the pattern for the German battlecruisers. They were slightly less heavily armed and slightly less well armoured than the battleships, in exchange for a greater speed. This contrasted with the British battlecruisers which were generally more heavily armed and faster than their German counterparts, but weren’t as well protected.
Von der Tann was the rearmost battlecruiser in Hipper’s group at Jutland. In the early stages of the battle, she scored several hits on Indefatigable, causing an ammunition explosion which destroyed the British battlecruiser, a spectacular success which set the tone for the rest of the Run to the South. As the rearmost ship in Hipper’s group, she came under heavy fire from the approaching British 5th Battle Squadron. She tried to evade this fire by zig-zagging, but took a hit from the battleship Barham which damaged the steering gear and caused her to take on 600 tons of water. Thankfully for the Germans they were able to recover her steering, otherwise she would have been left at the mercy of the approaching British ships.
She was also engaged by Tiger and New Zealand, and later by Revenge. She took enough damage that at one point, all four main gun turrets were out of action, two due to shellfire and two due to malfunction. She remained in the line to distract the British gunners from Hipper’s other ships. She took part in the ‘Death Ride’, and then during the night she steamed with Derfflinger at the rear of the German line when the two ships couldn’t keep up with Moltke and Seydlitz. She had one more close call where she had to turn sharply to avoid being hit by a torpedo.
Von der Tann was scuttled in Scapa Flow with much of the rest of the German fleet in 1919.
Moltke class battlecruiser Moltke
The Moltke class were a follow up to SMS Von der Tann, improving on the previous design by adding an extra turret in a superfiring arrangement aft. Two ships were constructed, Moltke and Goeben. Upon the outbreak of WWI, Goeben was in the Meditteranean, and was chased by the Royal Navy to Turkey. As part of their alliance, Germany formally turned the ship over to the Ottomans.
Moltke remained in the North Sea and was a constant part of the Kaiserliche Marine’s Scouting Force. At Jutland, she was the fourth in line of the five German battlecruisers. Moltke engaged Tiger, and confusion among the British gunners meant that she was targeted by both Tiger and New Zealand. The British had got the range wrong, so their fire fell well past Moltke, while she scored several hits on Tiger, including knocking out her midships and aft turrets. She also fired torpedoes at Queen Mary, which caused the British line to fall into disarray since they thought the torpedoes had been fired by U-boats.
When the British 5th Battle Squadron of new Queen Elizabeth class battleships came into range, they concentrated fire on Moltke and Von der Tann. Moltke was hit with a 15” shell which pierced a coal bunker and a casemate deck, causing a minor ammunition explosion.
Moltke took part in the charge of the German battlecruisers intended to cover the withdrawal of the High Seas Fleet, taking her to within close range of the entire British battleship line. They withdrew before the charge became a suicide run, their own retreat covered by a torpedo boat attack.
A pause in the action at dusk allowed for a degree of damage control, before the German fleet reorganised into a reverse order formation. Hipper intended to transfer to Moltke from Lützow after the latter became too badly damaged to continue fighting, using the torpedo boat G39 as a go-between. In comparison with the rest of Hipper’s battlecruisers, Moltke was still in pretty decent shape, hence being the ship chosen. His attempt to board Moltke was interrupted by the British battlecruisers who discovered Hipper’s ships and opened fire. The battered German battlecruisers managed to get out of harm’s way by moving past the II Battle Squadron, which then took the British fire, and Hipper was able to come aboard.
Moltke and Seydlitz then steamed towards the head of the German line, while Von der Tann and Derfflinger lagged behind. They became separated after a furious night action between the two sides’ light cruisers, which ended in SMS Frauenlob exploding from a torpedo hit and throwing the German line into disarray.
The battlecruisers became separated as Seydlitz fell behind, so Moltke made her way back alone, steaming around the Grand Fleet at around 01:00.
SMS Seydlitz (battlecruiser)
SMS Seydlitz followed the Moltke class and was effectively the culmination of the first generation of German battlecruisers. The Reichstag decided that the ship could not be more expensive than the Moltke class ships, so it was considered that it might be best to simply build a third Moltke. Instead Admiral Tirpitz managed to negotiate substantial discounts from the steelworks and the shipyard that let the designers improve on the previous design while staying within budget. She carried the same main armament as the Moltkes and could make roughly the same speed, but was larger and better armoured.
At the start of WWI, Seydlitz was Hipper’s flaghip and served in most of the major operations. A very notable incident occurred at the Battle of Dogger Bank in 1915. A shell from HMS Lion hit the rear barbette and caused a flash fire/explosion in the working chamber which quickly passed through connecting doors that were usually kept closed, effecting the working chambers of the superfiring turret too. The explosion destroyed both aft turrets and killed their entire crews, with flames rising above them as high as a house. The ship’s executive officer quickly ordered that the magazines should be flooded and the crewman that carried out the order received severe burns from the valve, which was glowing red hot. The magazines flooded, almost certainly saving the ship from a devastating ammunition explosion that would have torn the ship apart. This was a foreshadowing of sorts of the explosions that would affect the British at Jutland, and served as a wake-up call to the German fleet to make sure that they paid proper attention to their ammunition handling procedures.
By the time of Jutland, Seydlitz had been replaced as flagship by the new battlecruiser Lützow, and sailed third in line behind Lützow and Derfflinger. During the Run to the South she engaged Queen Mary. Derfflinger’s target Princess Royal became obscured by smoke, so she fired on Queen Mary too. The fire of the two German ships soon scored several hits and Queen Mary was torn apart by a catastrophic explosion in her forward magazines. Shortly afterwards, Seydlitz was hit by a torpedo fired by a British destroyer. It tore a large hole in her hull directly below her forward turret and caused a slight list, but she was able to maintain top speed.
As the German battlecruisers reached the High Seas Fleet, they were starting to come under fire from the Queen Elizabeth class battleships of the 5th Battle Squadron. Seydlitz was hit by 15” shells that knocked out her port turret and also detonated the ammunition in her superfiring rear turret, which was already out of action.
During the Run to the North, the visibility favoured Beatty’s ships, and the Germans took a lot of fire. Seydlitz was hit six times in a short space of time, starting a fire under the forecastle. Hipper withdrew his ships away from Beatty, as Seydlitz started to take on more water. The battlecruisers played little role in the battleship action that followed, until Scheer wanted to cover his retreat. He ordered the battlecruisers (minus the struggling Lützow) to charge the British Fleet to disrupt their formation. This move became known as the Death Ride, and sent the four German ships into "the greatest concentration of naval gunfire any fleet commander had ever faced". All of the German ships took further damage but managed to retreat before any were sunk. Seydlitz managed to score a hit on HMS Colossus, which became the only battleship under Jellicoe to be hit by gunfire.
In a pause in the action at dusk, the crew took the opportunity to cut away wreckage that was interfering with those main guns that were still operational, but they were soon forced into action again when they were discovered by the British battlecruisers at around 21:00. In the ensuing firing, Seydlitz was hit twice, one of the shells destroying the bridge and killing the whole bridge crew and wounding several in the conning tower. The battered German battlecruisrs managed to retreat past the II Battle Squadron, which then took the British fire.
Hipper ordered his battlecruisers to the head of the German line, but only Moltke and Seydlitz had the speed to manage it. Along the way they came close to colliding with friendly cruisers and were involved in the fierce night battle between German and British light cruisers. As the British cruisers pulled out, HMS Southampton torpedoed SMS Frauenlob, causing the cruiser to explode. As the German line fell into disarray, Seydlitz lost sight of Moltke and in any case was no longer capable of keeping up with her. Instead she detached from the fleet and tried to make her way home directly.
As she passed through the British fleet, she was sighted by the battleship Agincourt, but the British captain wasn’t sure of her identity and declined to open fire because it would give away his position. Seydlitz slipped away. As she crawled home, she took on more and more water, sitting so low that she scraped over the Horns Reef. Since both of her gyro-compasses had failed, the cruiser SMS Pillau was dispatched to guide her in, but it looked like she wouldn’t make it. Her bows were almost completely under water, only just kept afloat because the forward torpedo flat was still buoyant. At one point she turned around and attempted to steam backwards to reduce the rate of flooding at the bow, and the crew were kept constantly busy trying to patch leaks with anything they could get their hands on. Just when it was beginning to look like she would have to be abandoned, a pair of pump ships arrived and managed to stabilise the flooding enough for her to make it home. She had taken on over 5000 tonnes of water.
Seydlitz was out of action for repairs until October, when she once again became flagship of the Scouting Force after Lützow’s sinking. After WWI she was one of the ships interned at Scapa Flow and was scuttled there by her crew. She was raised and scrapped in the 1930s.
Derfflinger class battlecruiser Derfflinger, Lützow
The Derfflinger Class were Germany’s newest battlecruisers at the time of the battle. They were the first German battlecruisers to do away with wing turrets and mount all of their main armament on the centreline with a pair of superfiring turrets forward and another pair aft. There was a slight difference between the two ships. Derfflinger was found to roll heavily, and a pair of secondary guns were sacrificed in order to fit anti-roll tanks. Lützow carried the full complement of secondary guns as well as mounting some extra superstructure due to her role as a flagship.
They both served in Admiral Hipper’s Scouting Force, and Lützow served as his flagship. They were both heavily engaged in the battle, playing a major role in the battlecruiser engagements. Initially during the run to the south Lützow duelled with Lion and Derfflinger fought Princess Royal. Lützow scored several hits on Lion and was hit several times in return. Notably, one shot knocked out Lion’s Q turret. The turret commander was mortally wounded, but managed to order the magazine flooded and saved his ship.
Due to the damage to Lion, Princess Royal was often obscured by smoke and fumes. This caused Derfflinger to switch her fire to Queen Mary, which was duelling with Seydlitz. Between them the two German ships soon scored several hits on Queen Mary which caused her magazines to detonate and she sank with immense loss of life.
As the battlecruisers joined up with the High Seas Fleet, they came under fire from the 5th Battle Squadron. They took hits from British 15” shells, which caused Derfflinger to take on 300 tons of water at the bow and knocked out both of Lützow’s wireless transmitters, leaving her reliant on visual signalling.
Sailing north in pursuit of the British battlecruisers, Hipper saw the light cruiser Wiesbaden which was dead in the water after taking a 12” shell from HMS Invincible. He altered course to support her, and soon saw the British armoured cruisers Defence and Warrior racing to finish off the crippled ship. Lützow opened fire, followed by Derfflinger and the rest of the battlecruisers. Defence was blown up almost immediately and Warrior suffered crippling damage before managing to limp away.
The German battlecruisers were then engaged by the approaching British 3rd Battlecruiser Squadron. The British ships soon scored several hits on Hipper’s fleet, including 10 hits on Lützow. Two of those hits from Invincible exploded below the waterline, leaving Lützow taking on a lot of water which would ultimately result in her sinking. Then abruptly Invincible became a clear target for Lützow and Derfflinger; their combined fire soon destroyed her with yet another magazine explosion.
When the High Seas Fleet made their first about turn to move away from the Grand Fleet, the battlecruisers followed their move. However, Lützow was too badly damaged to keep up. The torpedo boat G39 came alongside and took Hipper and his staff aboard; he would later board Moltke, which was the least damaged ship in his squadron. Lützow attempted to limp away from the battle to the southwest while other torpedo boats laid a smokescreen to cover her retreat. Before it obscured her from view, she took further hits from the British fleet and it wasn’t long before she was starting to settle worryingly low in the water.
When Scheer ordered the battlecruisers to make their “Death Ride” towards the British lines to cover his retreat, Hipper was still aboard G39 so the task of leading the charge fell to Captain Hartog and Derfflinger. Derfflinger earned a great amount of grudging respect from the British sailors who saw her absorb a huge amount of punishment and still keep fighting; they later gave her the enduring nickname “Iron Dog.”
In the night as the German fleet attempted to evade the British, Beatty’s battlecruisers came across Hipper’s at the rear of the High Seas Fleet. Hipper’s squadron was in no fit state to fight; one shell hit Derfflinger’s last operational gun turret and left her with no main armament in action at all. The battlecruisers managed to move out of harm’s way by putting the II Battle Squadron between themselves and the enemy. Hipper ordered that they should move to the head of the column, but Derfflinger and Von der Tann couldn’t make sufficient speed so they stayed at the rear.
Eventually during the night Scheer ordered the battlecruisers to withdraw due to the amount of damage they had suffered. As Lützow tried to limp home, she took on a serious amount of water and it soon became clear that she wouldn’t make it back to Germany. Her bows were practically underwater, and an attempt was made to save the ship by steaming backwards. That failed when the bows sank still further, lifting the stern enough that the propellers rose out of the water. She was soon in imminent danger of capsizing having taken on approximately 8000 tonnes of water, leaving her captain little choice but to give the order to abandon ship. The crew were taken off by the accompanying torpedo boats. G38 then fired two torpedoes into her to make sure that she went down. She had taken 24 heavy calibre hits and suffered 115 killed and 50 wounded.
Derfflinger had taken nearly as much damage, being hit by 17 heavy calibre and 9 secondary shells. By the end of the battle she only had two main battery guns in action and took the heaviest casualties of any ship that wasn’t sunk; 157 killed and 26 wounded. Her repairs lasted until October.
Derfflinger survived the war and was interned in Scapa Flow with the rest of the High Seas Fleet, where she was scuttled by her crew in 1919.
There were a multitude of smaller ships present on each side. Rather than list them in any sort of order like I did with the battleships and battlecruisers, I’ll add them to this list as and when I build them.
Minotaur class armoured cruiser Minotaur, Shannon, Defence
The three Minotaur-class ships were all present at Jutland. Minotaur and Shannon remained unengaged, and didn’t fire their main armament for the whole battle. Defence was heavily engaged. She fired upon and pursued the German battlecruisers, and moved on the disabled cruiser Wiesbaden. However this proved to be a mistake, as it brought her to within close range of five German capital ships. Shortly afterward, Defence took two hits which caused her aft 9.2” magazine to explode spectacularly.
The Großes Torpedoboot 1913-class were a group of (large) torpedo boats that were roughly equivalent to the Royal Navy's destroyers and were present at Jutland in fairly large numbers. I chose to name this ship after G39, since that ship was the leader of the First Torpedo Boat Flotilla. After Admiral Hipper was forced to abandon Lützow due to the damage she had sustained, he transferred briefly to G39 before later transferring to the battlecruiser Moltke.
The ships were named with a letter and a number. The letter represented the shipyard they were built at; G for Germaniawerft Kiel, S for Schichau Elbing, V for AG Vulcan Stettin.
Wiesbaden class cruiser Wiesbaden, Frankfurt
The Wiesbaden class was a group of two fairly new light cruisers. Frankfurt was assigned as flagship of II Scouting Group. Both ships were engaged early in the battle, and Wiesbaden was disabled by a hit from Invincible which exploded in her engine room leaving her dead in the water in between the two fleets. She became the centre of a hard fought action as the British cruisers attempted to finish her off and the German fleet attempted to save her and her crew. The fighting resulted in the destruction of two British armorured cruisers and ultimately Wiesbaden sank with the loss of all but one crew member.
Oddly, by becoming disabled Wiesbaden had a much larger impact on the battle than she would have done in full working order.
The two ships above represent the regular Admiralty design (Sparrowhawk) and the Builder’s Specials (Ardent), which were slightly shorter. Most of the Acasta class were present at Jutland, and were heavily engaged. Several were sunk.
I picked Sparrowhawk, because her loss was rather unusual; she collided with the flotilla leader Broke just before midnight. On both ships, the order was given to transfer over to the other; likely they both thought that their own ship was about to sink. By the time they separated, 20 of Sparrowhawk’s crew were aboard Broke, and 15 men had gone in the opposite direction. Sparrowhawk then suffered another collision with her sister ship Contest, though Contest was relatively undamaged by the impact. Sparrowhawk spent the next few hours unable to manoeuvre and trying to stay quiet and unnoticed. She was eventually found by a group of British destroyers. Marksman attempted to tow her, but the lines parted. Due to reports of nearby U-boats, it was decided to abandon and sink Sparrowhawk.
Ardent’s demise was nowhere near as bizarre; she was sunk during the night fighting by secondary gunfire from the German battleship Westfalen.
Of the other ships present, Shark and Fortune were also lost. Shark had led a torpedo attack on the German 2nd Scouting Group but was crippled by gunfire. Shark’s captain, Commander Loftus Jones, was awarded a posthumous Victoria Cross. He went down with his ship, and his body was washed ashore in Sweden some days later.
Town class cruiser Bristol subclass:Gloucester Weymouth subclass:Falmouth, Yarmouth Chatham subclass:Dublin, Southampton Birmingham subclass:Birmingham, Nottingham Birkenhead subclass:Birkenhead, Chester
The Town class was a group of long-range light cruisers designed to patrol the far expanses of the British Empire. The overall class consisted of several sub-classes which differ in terms of their main armament layout, forecastle and bow design. I’ve built one of each subclass, so there are five screenshots here.
Notable of the ships at Jutland were Southampton and Chester. Southampton torpedoed and sunk the German light cruiser Frauenlob, while Chester found herself virtually alone and surrounded by German light cruisers. She took heavy fire, but it only really caused superficial damage to the ship – however it wreaked havoc on the men on deck, particularly the gun crews. One 16 year old gunner, Jack Cornwell, was posthumously awarded the Victoria Cross after he was discovered still manning his gun, mortally wounded, the only survivor from the whole gun crew, still waiting for orders. He died in hospital a couple of days later.
Gazelle class cruiser Frauenlob
The Gazelle class was the first modern light cruiser design produced by Germany. They had been surpassed considerably by the First World War, but Frauenlob still sailed as part of the IV Scouting Group at Jutland. During the night fighting, they were forced to fall out of line when the German battlecruisers passed too close, pushing them towards the British 2nd Light Cruiser Squadron. During the furious firefight that followed, Frauenlob was sunk by a torpedo fired by HMS Southampton.
Bremen class cruiser München, Hamburg
The Bremen class were effectively an enlarged version of the Gazelle class, with more powerful machinery necessitating a third funnel.
Both München and Hamburg were present at Jutland as part of the IV Scouting Group. München was engaged more heavily of the two in the night fighting, joining other ships of the squadron in causing heavy damage to the British cruisers Southampton and Dublin. She nearly collided with the sinking Frauenlob, but managed to evade the sinking ship and fired a torpedo at Southampton, which missed.
Boadicea class cruiser Boadicea, Bellona
The Boadicea class were a group of scout cruisers built to serve with flotillas of destroyers. They were never particularly suited for that role due to the fact that they were slower than the new destroyers that were entering service. Both ships of the class were present at Jutland, but they didn’t get close enough to the action to open fire.
Blonde class cruiser Blanche
The Blonde class were very similar follow ups to the Boadiceas. They were very slightly larger and increased the number of main 4” guns from six to ten. Of the two, only Blanche was at Jutland. Present towards the rear, she didn’t fire her guns.
Active class cruiser Active, Fearless
Follow ups to the Blonde class, the Active class were effectively the same aside from a redesigned bow. Of the three ships, Amphion had been sunk by a mine in 1914, and the remaining two were at Jutland; Active with the Grand Fleet and Fearless with the Battlecruiser Fleet. Both ships survived the battle.
They were the last class of scout cruiser built for the Royal Navy, since the newer light cruisers (which were slightly larger) were starting to take over their roles.
Devonshire class armoured cruiser Hampshire
The Devonshire class were built around 1902-1905, effectively as updates to the Monmouth class. The only one which fought at Jutland was Hampshire. She had an uneventful battle, never properly engaged. She fired a few salvoes at the German II Scouting group which fell far short.
Immediately after the battle, Hampshire was ordered to transport Lord Kitchener on a diplomatic mission to Russia. She hadn’t sailed far before she struck a mine and sank in about 15 minutes. Only 12 men survived. Kitchener and all his staff perished.
Laforey class destroyer Lydiard, Liberty, Landrail, Laurel
The Laforey (or ‘L’) class was the last pre-war class of British destroyers, and were the first that took all of their names from a letter theme, in this case all starting with ‘L’. They were follow-ons from the Acastas, based on the modified Acasta class ship Fortune. Most had three funnels, but a handful were built with two.
Four ships of the class served at Jutland in the 9th Destroyer Flotilla which sailed with Beatty’s battlecruisers.
Königsberg class cruiser Stuttgart, Stettin
The Königsberg class were effectively a larger, faster version of the Bremen class. By 1916, Königsberg and Nürnberg had both been sunk, leaving Stuttgart and Stettin as the two remaining ships of the class. Both ships were part of the IV Scouting Group, screening for the main German Fleet. Stettin was the flagship of Commodore Ludwig von Reuter, who would later become famous as the commanding officer who ordered the scuttling of the High Seas Fleet in Scapa Flow.
They were engaged in the night fighting with the British Light Cruisers. Stettin was hit twice and caught fire, while Stuttgart managed to avoid damage and scored up to eight hits on the British cruiser Dublin. Stuttgart had to evade the sinking Frauenlob (after that ship was hit by a torpedo) and had to manoeuvre between the battleships Nassau and Posen in the darkness when trying to evade torpedoes.
Marksman class flotilla leader Marksman, Kempenfelt, Abdiel
Flotilla leaders were intended to do exactly as their name implied, and they were effectively larger destroyers with extra facilities to accommodate the flotilla command staff. Marksman and Kempenfelt served as leaders for the second half of the 12th and 11th Destroyer Flotillas respectively. Abdiel had been converted to a destroyer-minelayer and was under the direct command of the commander-in-chief.
All three ships survived the battle and the war and were scrapped in the early 1920s.
The Acheron class was more a rough grouping of similar ships than a homogeneous class, which is why there are four separate screenshots. Across the various Admiralty Designs and Builder’s specials, there were ships with differing lengths and numbers of screws.
Of the ships that fought at Jutland, Oak was part of the Grand Fleet while all of the others served with the Battlecruiser Fleet. Oak was painted in a distinctive white scheme due to her role as the tender to the fleet flagship.
Defender is notable for taking a 12” shell to the boiler room, which failed to explode but still caused considerable damage. Despite this, she managed to take the damaged HMS Onslow under tow and at reduced speed towed her back to Aberdeen. Badger had the unfortunate task of rescuing survivors of the destroyed battlecruiser Invincible.
Arethusa class cruiser Royalist, Galatea, Phaeton, Inconstant
The Arethusa class were a fairly new group of light cruisers serving with the Royal Navy. Royalist sailed as part of the Grand Fleet, while Galatea, Phaeton and Inconstant were a part of the Battlecruiser Fleet.
Galatea led the 1st Light Cruiser Squadron, and along with Phaeton she made first contact with the enemy; the two ships had been dispatched to investigate the neutral Danish ship NJ Fjord and they soon discovered two German destroyers on the same mission. They signalled that the enemy had been sighted and opened fire while the Germans retreated towards their own cruisers. All four ships that fought at Jutland survived the war and were scrapped in the 1920s.
B97 and G101 Torpedobootszerstörer class destroyers B97, B98, B109, B110, B111, B112, G101, G102, G104
The Torpedobootszerstörer class were a German experiment with larger ‘destroyer’ type ships over their previous (and slightly smaller) Großes Torpedoboot type ships. They were ordered in 1914 as essentially a repeat of a design that had been built for Russia a couple of years earlier. These ships were all built at Blohm & Voss and AG Vulcan, hence their names starting with ‘B’ and ‘V’ depending on the shipyard. A further group of destroyers (the G101 class) were built for the Argentine Navy by Germaniawerft Kiel, and taken over by Germany. They were very similar to the B97 class, similar enough that I’ve added them all here as one group.
B109 and B110 are notable as the first ships to encounter the enemy. They were investigating the Danish steamer NJ Fjord when they came across British light cruisers carrying out the same mission. The destroyers retreated towards the cover of their own light cruisers and the battle had begun.
Karlsruhe class cruiser Rostock
The Karlsruhe class were a group of 2 light cruisers that were a slight improvement on the preceding Magdeburg class. Karlsruhe had been sunk by a spontaneous internal explosion in 1914, leaving Rostock as the only remaining ship of the class by the time of Jutland.
During the battle, Rostock played an important role as the leader of the Torpedoboot Flotillas. She took part in screening the main part of the High Seas Fleet, including laying a smoke screen for the fleet’s withdrawal. During the night, she fell in with the IV Scouting Group. Her searchlights illuminated the destroyer HMS Broke, which was soon disabled by gunfire. In a further encounter with British destroyers, Rostock was hit by a torpedo. Disabled, she was taken under tow by the Torpedoboot S54.
Later in the night, joined by two more Torpedoboots, they encountered the cruiser HMS Dublin. The German ships attempted to transmit British signals to confuse Dublin and then laid smoke screens while they evacuated Rostock and set scuttling charges. To ensure Rostock sank even faster, three torpedoes were fired into her.
M Class Destroyer Admiralty M Class:Maenad, Mischief, Martial, Magic, Minion, Mystic, Mons, Mandate, Michael, Marne, Milbrook, Manners, Mindful, Marvel, Narwhal, Nessus, Noble, Obedient, Onslaught, Opal, Ossory, Nonsuch, Menace, Munster, Mary Rose, Ophelia, Obdurate, Moresby, Nestor, Nomad, Nicator, Onslow, Narborough, Pelican, Petard, Moorsom, Morris Yarrow M Class:Moon, Mounsey, Morning Star, Nerissa
The M Class were the most recently completed Royal Navy destroyers at the time of Jutland, and were built in large numbers. As a result, they made up the bulk of the Royal Navy’s destroyer forces during the battle. There were ships present from two subclasses, the main Admiralty design (represented by the screenshot of HMS Nestor) and the Yarrow variant (represented by the screenshot of HMS Moon).
The M class ships were very similar to the preceding L class. The most obvious difference was a slight increase in installed power and a third shaft, giving them a 5 knot advantage over the L class. The Yarrow variant had two funnels rather than three, two shafts and a longer forecastle. Despite one fewer shaft and less installed power, the Yarrow variant were actually approximately two knots faster than the Admiralty design.
Nestor and Nomad were both sunk in the battle. They were part of a group that were dispatched to attack the German battlecruisers with torpedoes. They made their attack at the time that the German battlecruisers were joining up with the High Seas Fleet. Nestor and Nomad were disabled by fire from the battleships. They fired their remaining torpedoes before being sunk as the German fleet advanced.
Duke of Edinburgh class armoured cruiser Duke of Edinburgh, Black Prince
The Duke of Edinburgh class of two ships were the followups to the Devonshire class. The Admiralty had a new role in mind as a fast wing of the battlefleet, so they were designed to be more heavily armoured than their predecessors and were described as “cruiser versions of the King Edward VII class battleships”. The worst aspect of the design was the secondary armament in embrasures, which were inoperable in all but calm seas.
Both ships were part of the 1st Cruiser Squadron at Jutland. Duke of Edinburgh was the only ship out of 4 in the squadron to survive the battle. During the battle, she fired on the German II Scouting Group and particularly SMS Wiesbaden.
The rest of the fleet lost Black Prince when she came into contact with German forces in the late afternoon. Shortly afterwards, the remaining two ships in the squadron (Defence and Warrior) received heavy fire, causing Defence to blow up and severely damaging Warrior. The last contact with Black Prince was a wireless signal at 20:45. A British destroyer spotted a ship aflame with two widely spaced funnels at about midnight, and saw the ship explode. It was thought that it might have been Black Prince with the two central funnels shot away. The German account states that Black Prince briefly engaged the battleship Rheinland at about 23:35, before attacking the main body of the fleet at about midnight. She attempted to turn away, but was fixed in searchlights and destroyed by the combined point-blank fire of several battleships. There were no survivors.
Warrior class armoured cruiser Warrior, Cochrane
The Warrior class were originally intended to be repeats of the Duke of Edinburgh class, but the design was changed slightly to improve the secondary armament. In the Duke of Edinburghs, the secondary armament was mounted in embrasures in the hull, but was found to be only operable in dead calm seas. For the Warriors, they instead mounted four 7.5” guns in single turrets at main deck level.
Two ships of the class fought at Jutland, Warrior and Cochrane. Warrior was part of the 1st Cruiser Squadron. Along with HMS Defence, she closed in on the stricken German cruiser SMS Wiesbaden, but was then spotted and fired upon by several German battleships at short range. Defence blew up and Warrior was heavily damaged, suffering from widespread fires and flooding. She was saved when the battleships switched their fire to the battleship HMS Warspite, which was suffering from a damaged rudder and was slowly circling within range of the German ships. Despite the damage to Warrior, her engines worked and she was able to retreat. She was taken in tow by the seaplane tender HMS Engadine, but later the flooding progressed too far for her to make it back to port. The crew was taken off and Warrior sank.
Cochrane was part of the 2nd Cruiser Squadron, and was not engaged during the battle. After Jutland she spent time in the West Indies as well as being part of the Allied intervention in the Russian Civil War. She ran aground in the Mersey estuary just days after the Armistice was signed in November 1918, eventually breaking in two.
Faulknor class flotilla leader Faulknor, Broke, Tipperary
The Faulknor class were originally designed for Chile as a class of large destroyers named the Almirante Lynch class. Two were delivered to Chile before the war, but the last four were bought by the Royal Navy at the outset of hostilities. Their armament arrangement was interesting and unusual – two guns side by side on the forecastle, with one either side of the superstructure for four on the forecastle in all, and two side by side aft.
Of the four RN ships HMS Botha did not sail for Jutland, but the other three all took part. Faulknor survived the battle, but the other two sisters had a tougher time. Tipperary was sunk during the night fighting by secondary gunfire from SMS Westfalen, which also fired on Broke. Broke was also fired on by other German ships including SMS Rostock and was seriously damaged. The helmsman was killed at the wheel, and as he died his body turned the wheel and rammed the ship into the destroyer Sparrowhawk. Both crews at this point thought their own ship was the one about to sink and orders were given for Broke’s crew to evacuate to Sparrowhawk and vice-versa. Eventually the ships separated and Broke was able to steam away – with about 30 of Sparrowhawk’s crew on board. She managed to limp back to port.
After the war, the three remaining ships were returned to Chile.
HMS Engadine (Seaplane carrier)
HMS Engadine was one of the forerunners of the aircraft carrier. Seaplane carriers were starting to appear in the 1910s. They were typically fairly small ships with an obvious hangar built on the back, with cranes to deploy and recover seaplanes. They would carry a handful of seaplanes and lift them onto the water. The plane would take off from the water, scout the enemy position and then try to land on the sea close to the carrier, which would then crane it back on board.
Engadine was a cross-channel packet ship that was acquired by the Royal Navy and converted into a seaplane carrier at the outbreak of the war. At first her hangars were very much temporary, but by Jutland she’d had a more permanent hangar constructed. At Jutland she carried two Short Type 184 and two Sopwith Baby floatplanes and was attached to the Battlecruiser Fleet. Engadine was actually positioned at the front of the fleet because she needed clear, calm water to launch her planes from, rather than water churned by the wakes of the fleet. It also meant that by the time the planes had launched she could fall in with the main body of the fleet rather than being left behind. One of the Short Type 184s performed the first ever reconnaissance of an enemy fleet in action by a heavier than air plane.
Later, Engadine came to the aid of the crippled cruiser HMS Warrior, attempting to take her under tow. When it was clear that Warrior would sink, Engadine took on her crew. During the transfer, one of Warrior’s guns hit Engadine’s hull and punctured it, though the damage was soon patched. Since Engadine was such a small ship, the sudden influx of people had to be quickly distributed around the ship to prevent their weight causing her to capsize.
After the war she returned to civilian service and actually ended up in the Philippines in the 1930s, flying a US flag under the name SS Corregidor. In December 1941 shortly after Pearl Harbor, Corregidor attempted to leave Manila with over 1000 people on board, trying to flee the advancing Japanese. She accidentally sailed into the minefield in Manila Bay and was sunk with huge loss of life.
Graudenz class cruiser Regensburg
The Graudenz class was a group of two light cruisers which entered service early in the war. They generally served with the reconnaissance forces. Graudenz wasn’t present at Jutland, where Regensburg served in Hipper’s fleet as a leader of torpedo boats. To begin with Regensburg was on the disengaged side of the German line, but because the British battlecruisers were shooting long, she was actually in greater danger of being hit than the ships they were actually aiming at. She joined the head of the battlecruiser line, where Tiger fired several salvoes at her, mistaking her for a battlecruiser.
In the evening, she led a torpedo boat attack on the cruiser Cantebury, disabling the destroyer Shark before Cantebury slipped away into the mist. As the German fleet began to make its withdrawal, Scheer ordered a massed torpedo boat attack to cover it. But Regensburg and her accompanying torpedo boats had to wait for the German battlecruisers to pass in front of them, by which time the British fleet had turned away and moved out of range. Regensburg organised torpedo boats to make further attacks on the British fleet during the night. The following morning, she rendezvoused with the torpedo boats carrying the crew of the scuttled battlecruiser Lützow.
After the war she was surrendered to the allies and entered French service under the name Strasbourg. She was placed in reserve in 1936 and used as a barracks ship until 1944, when she was seized by the Germans and scuttled in Lorient harbour as protection for the U-boat pens. Her wreck is still in the harbour today.
Großes Torpedoboot 1906 class torpedo boat V189
There was a sole example of the 1906 model Großes Torpedoboot at Jutland, V189, though she was a later addition to the class and served with the High Seas Fleet in the 7th Torpedoboot Flotilla. She survived the battle and was ceded to Britain after the war. She ran aground and was broken up in place.
The 1911 version of Großes Torpedoboot was an evolution of the 1906 design, capable of a higher speed and more potently armed. 18 of the class served with the torpedoboot flotillas of the High Seas Fleet at Jutland, and only V4 was lost. Her bows were suddenly blown off in the early hours of the morning, though there was no enemy nearby so it was assumed to be the result of a mine or a submarine-launched torpedo. Two of her sister ships came alongside to take off the remaining crew and then sank the hulk.
C class cruiser Caroline subclass: Caroline, Comus, Cordelia Calliope subclass: Calliope, Champion Cambrian subclass: Canterbury, Castor, Constance
The C class light cruisers were the newest Royal Navy light cruisers at the time of the battle, and like the Town class before them they were divided into several subclasses. The first set were the Caroline subclass. They were armed with a superfiring pair of 6” guns aft, 8 4” guns (including a pair side-by-side on the forecastle) and a pair of 6-pounders. The Calliopes followed, with the most notable difference being that they reduced the number of funnels from three to two. They actually differed within the subclass too; Calliope was fitted with four screws like the Carolines, while Champion only had two. The Cambrian subclass altered the armament layout, swapping the forecastle 4” guns for two more 6”, one on the forecastle and one amidships. More subclasses followed, but they weren’t ready for action by the time of Jutland.
At Jutland, Caroline, Comus, Calliope and Constance served with the 4th Light Cruiser Squadron of the Grand Fleet, Castor served as leader of the Grand Fleet’s destroyer flotillas, Canterbury accompanied the 3rd Battlecruiser Squadron, Cordelia served with the 1st Light Cruiser Squadron in the Battlecruiser Fleet and Champion served as the leader of the Battlecruiser Fleet’s destroyers. Both Castor and Calliope were damaged by German gunfire.
The ships all survived the war. The later C class ships remained in service in WWII, but these earlier vessels were broken up in the inter-war years, mostly in the 1930s. The notable exception is HMS Caroline. She served briefly on the East Indies station after the war, was placed in reserve and then moored in Belfast as a training ship for the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve. When WWII came around she was used as the Royal Navy’s headquarters in Belfast Harbour, a role which soon outgrew the ship which meant that eventually several thousand personnel were nominally assigned to Caroline even though they were based ashore. After the war she returned to her role with the Volunteer Reserve before eventually being decommissioned in 2011. She is currently undergoing preservation and restoration to her WWI condition. Caroline is the only surviving ship that fought at Jutland, and until her decommissioning she was the second oldest ship in the Royal Navy after HMS Victory.
Talisman class destroyer Termagant, Turbulent
The Talisman class destroyers were a group of four destroyers that were being built for the Ottoman Navy and were taken over by the Royal Navy at the outbreak of the war. They were relatively large and heavily armed for destroyers, carrying 5 QF 4” guns. Termagant and Turbulent both served with the Battlecruiser Fleet at Jutland, and Turbulent was one of the British destroyers lost in the furious night-fighting.
Pillau class cruiser Pillau, Elbing
The Pillau class were a group of two light cruisers originally ordered from German shipyards by the Russian Navy, to be named Maraviev Amurskyy and Admiral Nevelskoy. They were still under construction when the war broke out, when they were requisitioned by the Kaiserliche Marine and renamed Pillau and Elbing. The planned Russian guns were replaced by a German 15cm gun which was intended to be a standard armament for light cruisers.
They were both a part of the II Scouting Group at Jutland, along with the Wiesbaden class ships. Elbing was the first German cruiser to engage the enemy. She fired at long range at the British cruisers Galatea and Phaeton where she scored the first hit of the battle; a long range hit on Galatea that failed to explode. Shortly afterwards the two ships drove off a seaplane from the seaplane carrier HMS Engadine, the first case of heavier-than-air aircraft scouting a naval force.
The cruisers engaged the British cruiser Chester and scored several hits before being driven off by the Invincible class ships of the 3rd Battlecruiser Squadron. Pillau took a 12” shell that exploded below her chart house and briefly knocked out the ship’s coal-fired boilers, but she was still able to steam on her oil-fired boilers. Elbing suffered engine trouble of her own due to leaks in her boiler condensers, forcing her to fall back towards the IV Scouting Group. While there, she engaged the British cruiser Castor, which was soon hit seven times and set on fire. The fight was soon joined by the British 2nd Light Cruiser Squadron, which landed a hit on Elbing destroying her wireless transmitting station.
After midnight, Elbing was steaming alongside the Nassau class battleships when the British destroyers launched a torpedo attack. Elbing turned to avoid the torpedoes, and tried to sail in between the battleships Nassau and Posen. Posen’s crew wasn’t aware of Elbing’s turn until it was too late and the battleship accidentally rammed the cruiser. Elbing took on water which knocked out her engines and electrical power, leaving her immobile. Most of the crew were taken off by torpedo boats and those that remained rigged an improvised sail to try to reach home, but were forced to scuttle the ship when more British destroyers were spotted in the area.
Pillau slowly made her way back to port as a guide and escort to the crippled battlecruiser Seydlitz, which was struggling to make it home. She survived the war, and was handed over to Italy as a war prize in 1920, renamed Bari. She served in the Italian navy into WWII, before being sunk in 1943 by American bombers.
And some more renders:
Grand Fleet Flagship HMS Iron Duke
Battlecruiser Fleet Flagship HMS Lion
High Seas Fleet Flagship SMS Friedrich der Große
Scouting Force Flagship SMS Lützow
1st Cruiser Squadron of the Grand Fleet
II Scouting Group of the Scouting Force, with accompanying torpedo boats
HMS Castor and the 1st Division, 11th Destroyer Flotilla of the Grand Fleet
The 3rd Division, 2nd Battle Squadron of the High Seas Fleet
HMS Invincible of the 3rd Battlecruiser Squadron, with support from the cruiser HMS Chester and the destroyers HMS Shark and HMS Ophelia
SMS Moltke and SMS Seydlitz of the Scouting Force
The 5th Battle Squadron, attached to the Battlecruiser Fleet
Top view of the Project Map
The Grand Fleet is at the top right, the Battlecruiser Fleet at the top left, the Scouting Force at the bottom left and the High Seas Fleet at the bottom right.
This is a very big image, if you open it in a new tab you can zoom in quite a long way.
Regarding the above license, given the amount of time I’ve put into this project I’m feeling quite protective of it. If you want to do something with the project which is not allowed under the license, please do ask me, either here in the thread or by PM.
Just what it sounds like, a link straight to the world save hosted on mediafire. It was built in 1.7.10 if that's important to anybody.
I've been hard at work today and built SMS Westfalen. She's a Nassau-class battleship, the first class of dreadnought battleships built by Germany. Therefore this model could represent the whole class of SMS Nassau, SMS Posen, SMS Rheinland and SMS Westfalen. Since they all fought together as one division at Jutland, that means this one model can effectively become the High Seas Fleet's 1st Battle Squadron, 2nd Division.
I chose to name my model after Westfalen rather than Nassau, Posen or Rheinland because Westfalen led the entire High Seas fleet after an about turn. The old pre-dreadnoughts were at the rear and therefore should have led the fleet after the turn, but Westfalen's captain noticed the pre-dreadnoughts were out of position and began his turn immediately, taking the lead position.
Because the Nassau class began the battle as the rearmost dreadnoughts in the German fleet, they barely engaged the British captial ships. But as the German fleet tried to slip away during the night they were engaged in furious night-fighting with British cruisers and destroyers.
What I'll do is each time I add a new ship, I'll edit it into the first post.
At the moment I'm working on the German Pre-Dreadnought Schleswig-Holstein, which can represent the whole Deutschland class, as well as the Braunschweig class with some minimal modifications.
But the reason I'm posting right now is that I've just had a bit of fun with some screenshots of my finished ships and a bit of image editing in GIMP to try to make them look like contemporary photographs, complete with white ink labels from the original "photographer". All in good fun!
I've also been using the Xtrablocks mod to add some decorative touches to my ships. I've come up with some main gun barrel blocks, 'porthole' designs, battleship-style iron doors and iron-textured fences and walls. It also helps me to match the slightly different colour schemes that the two fleets had in reality -
The Royal Navy are a mid-grey all over, with very light wooden decks and brunswick green paint on top of the turrets.
The Kaiserliche Marine are a mid grey for the hull and a lighter grey for the upperworks, slightly darker tan decks, with the tops of the turrets painted black. Whenever they were on operation, they would have orders to paint their rear funnel a particular colour once they were out of sight of land for recognition purposes. For Jutland, their funnels were painted red.
So here's what I have so far, using Dreadnought and Westfalen as guinea pigs -
I'm pretty pleased so far, other than thinking that perhaps the lighter grey for the German upperworks is perhaps a little too light.
I'll keep building the initial version of each ship in 'vanilla' blocks though, and only apply my Xtrablocks touches on an extra version. Just so if I put these up for download at some point people will be able to use the vanilla version and have it work without having to have the same mods/textures as me.
wow this is nice
can you tell me what resource pack and shaders are you using?
The shaders are the easy bit - SEUS 10.1.
The resource pack is more complicated. It's something I've thrown together myself, which I refer to as Frankenstein since it's been crudely stitched together from a bunch of different pieces.
It's essentially got an up-to-date resource pack as its base (Faerielight), but most of the textures you see are from an old favourite of mine (KDS Photorealism) which is very out-of-date. Some textures I've edited myself, particularly the ones I've used for the Xtrablocks.
Two new ships to add to the project, the German Deutschland-class pre-dreadnought SMS Schleswig Holstein and Großes Torpedoboot 1913-class SMS G39. I've also rearranged the first post somewhat and added these new ships into it.
The next complete-build battleship that I'm working on is HMS Royal Oak of the Revenge class. I laid her keel a few days ago, on the 14th of October, to mark the 75th anniversary of her sinking in WWII. I'm not sure whether she'll be the next ship I finish or whether I might at the same time create some of the ships which can be done via modifications to my previous builds.
I quite liked this view, from slightly astern of Schleswig-Holstein. She was the fifth of the five Deutschland class pre-dreadnoughts, the last pre-dreadnoughts that Germany built. She was obsolete before she entered service due to the rapid construction time of the Royal Navy's revolutionary HMS Dreadnought, but the Deutschlands were still used in the High Seas Fleet because the Royal Navy vastly outnumbered them on modern vessels.
At Jutland, the five Deutschlands were joined by the slightly older Braunschweig-class SMS Hessen to act as the 2nd Battle Squadron. Admiral Scheer generally tried to keep them away from the fighting because he knew that they weren't a match for modern battleships, but they still played an important role in preventing Beatty's battlecruisers from pursuing the withdrawing German battlecruisers. They were also engaged with British destroyers and cruisers in the night, where SMS Pommern was torpedoed and exploded. The others all returned to port safely.
The Großes Torpedoboot 1913-class were a large group of (large) torpedo boats that were roughly equivalent to the Royal Navy's destroyers and were present at Jutland in fairly large numbers. I chose to name this ship after G39, since that ship was the leader of the First Torpedo Boat Flotilla. After Admiral Hipper was forced to abandon SMS Lützow due to the damage she had sustained, he transferred briefly to G39 before later transferring to the battlecruiser SMS Moltke.
I've finished HMS Royal Oak today. When I realised about a week ago that it was the 75th anniversary of her sinking in 1939, I knew that I had to start work on her that day. Even if it was just the basic keel while I was finishing off SMS Schleswig-Holstein, it felt right that I should start on the anniversary.
Anyway, here she is. I've already edited her into the first post, with a brief bit of explanation of the Revenge class' role in the battle and beyond.
I really like the Revenge class, I think they look fantastic. It's a shame that by the time they saw a lot of active service in WWII, they were obsolete and far too slow to be of much use. Still deadly, but so slow that the axis navies could always choose whether to engage or withdraw.
And an interesting screenshot I decided to take to show just how much battleship design changed from ~1905 to ~1915.
Essentially, a top down shot giving you a good impression of the relative sizes. At the top we have my SMS Schleswig-Holstein, a Pre-Dreadnought. Next is my HMS Dreadnought, a revolutionary design that rendered the pre-dreadnoughts obsolete when she was launched in 1906. And then, HMS Royal Oak, the newest super-dreadnought design of the mid-1910s, showing just how much bigger and more powerful the ships were getting. And ships of all three styles were there at Jutland.
I've been remodelling my HMS Iron Duke. She was the first battleship I built, a couple of years ago. I used real pictures for inspiration and got the overall length right, but she was very much an 'inspired by' rather than a replica. Before I posted this thread, I'd given her three separate refits to get her closer to accurate, like my other ships. The first improved the shape of the bridge structure and the funnels, the second improved the shape of the underwater hull, the third raised the quarterdeck slightly in relation to the forecastle and reduced the prominence of the secondary battery.
I thought I was happy with her after that, but some of the dimensions were still out. The superstructure was generally a bit too long, the funnels a bit too far apart. It meant that Y turret was right on the stern, instead of having a bit of space in between. I was also missing the boat crane in between the funnels, so this is what Iron Duke looks like after Refit 4. I think she's finally as 'accurate' as my other ships.
I wanted to make sure I had her right because I'm very fond of the Iron Duke class. Also because there's a whole group of very similar super-dreadnoughts. The Orion, King George V and Iron Duke classes, as well as HMS Erin and HMS Canada. They're all roughly the same size (give or take 10m or so), have the same main gun turret layout and similar superstructure layouts. I figured I'd be able to make the other ship classes quicker by converting them from Iron Duke rather than building them from scratch, and I decided to start by creating the Orion class. The Orions were the first super-dreadnoughts and the first ships to have this standard-ish layout.
Unfortunately HMS Orion wasn't as easy to convert from HMS Iron Duke as I'd hoped. I quickly realised I'd have to start all over again with the superstructure, and so I deleted all of that. I had to remodel the forward hull to get rid of the casemate secondary armament along the forecastle that the Orions didn't have, and perform a cut-and-shut job to remove 12m from the middle of the hull to get the length right. Then rebuild the new superstructure... in the end it's only been marginally faster than building from scratch. I did manage to reuse most of the hull and the gun turrets, but that's about it.
I've taken my screenshot from about the same angle so you can see the similarities and differences between the classes. Most obviously, after the Orions, the King George V class added the casemate secondary armament to the forecastle and moved the mast in front of the fore funnel. The Iron Dukes were an improvement on the KGVs, so I'll have to do the KGV class soon as an intermediate step between the two.
Two new ships for you. I've put both of the new ships in the original post along with more of a description of their roles.
I've built Germany's first battlecruiser SMS Von der Tann, which was heavily engaged much like the rest of the Scouting Group. She destroyed HMS Indefatigable early in the battle, and took a severe beating as the battle wore on.
I've also built the German light cruiser SMS Wiesbaden, which was at the centre of some vicious fighting. She was disabled by a hit to the engine room, and became the focus of a battle-within-the-battle as the British tried to finish her off and the Germans tried to stop them. She eventually sank with only one survivor.
I've just done an update to SMS Derfflinger. I realised that the mast arrangement I had built was more the 1918 version than the 1916, so I've remedied that, and done a bit of work on the hull to bring it closer to my current standards. My Derfflinger model was my second oldest after Iron Duke, and that one's had several remodellings already!
While I was at it, I made the small alterations required for her sister ship SMS Lützow, namely an extra pair of secondary guns and a little bit of extra superstructure; probably there because of her role as flagship.
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Wow, this is really good, you are quite a talented builder. The only drawback I can see is(not in your skill) just that I agree with death. I prefer the older ships like the one as your avatar. One ^ for you!
Yeah, I love the older style ships too. They're the ones that I started out building. I've got quite a lot in my Shipyard Thread if you're interested, a variety of different Men O'War and trading ships of the Napoleonic Era.
I'd quite like to go back and build a few more, but I'm really getting into this project at the moment. One thing I'm really enjoying about doing Dreadnought/WWI era ships is that there aren't many people doing them in minecraft. You get a lot of people doing sailing ships, and quite a few people doing WWII ships and modern aircraft carriers, but you don't really see WWI. And it's an era of ships that I love; they just seem to have a kind of brutal majesty about them.
At the moment I'm figuring out the smaller ships that were at Jutland, trying to decide if I should just go all the way and build all of the cruisers/destroyers/torpedo boats as well as the capital ships. It's taking a while just to list them all out and match them up with their class!
You have been spotted by a Building Team, my building team. We are called DawnOfTheBlocks. We recently changed from a different type of server hoping to become an adventure map build team. We have a website which I'll post a link too at the bottom. You have immense skill and I would love to see you joining our team.
soon I'll be clearing out some staff members that are not mature, etc.
Thanks for the compliments, but I'm not looking to join any servers at the moment. I've got enough on my hands with the size of this project! Hope you get plenty of good builders for your team.
New updates have been added into the first post. I've done the battlecruiser HMS Indefatigable, basing the model off my HMS Invincible. In real life the Indefatigable design was a lengthened Invincible, with the funnels and main armament rearranged slightly to allow the ship to fire both wing turrets on each broadside much more effectively. I was able to lengthen the hull with a cut-and-shut job in the middle, then rearranged the funnels and substantially rebuilt the rest of the superstructure.
I've also done the British Acasta class destroyer - a relatively quick and simple build. There were two types, the regular Admiralty design, and a group of 'Builder's Specials', which were slightly shorter. I've done two versions of the model to represent both. HMS Sparrowhawk was an Admiralty model, HMS Ardent was a builder's special. Be sure to read the first post for the story of HMS Sparrowhawk's bizarre experience in the battle.
The project seems to have grown; I'm now planning on doing *all* of the ships, not just the capital ships. It's been helped by the fact that the destroyers are so fast to build, so it feels silly of me to leave them out. If I'm going to all the effort of doing the battleships, why not go the whole way and do everything?
What are the differences between the HMS Sparrowhawk and the HMS Ardent, because they seem to look very similarOr are they just the same ship class?
They're both Acasta-class. The reason I've put up the two ships is that there were two sub-groups in the class. HMS Sparrowhawk was the standard Admiralty-approved design and HMS Ardent was a so-called "builder's special". For the Acastas, the builder's specials were about 5m shorter than the Admiralty design and so my Ardent model is about 5 blocks shorter than Sparrowhawk. Not something that you'd notice in the screenshots, but something that I felt like I ought to do for completeness!
And yes, I've seen more Titanic recreations than I'd care to count. Some are good, some not so good. Some are 1:1 scale, others are bigger. I'm a lot more interested in doing ships that haven't really been done before, or at least haven't been done lots of times. When it comes to battleships, most people build 2nd World War era stuff; I've seen loads of Yamatos, Bismarcks, Missouris etc. But people don't generally do WWI era, which is good because that's an era I really like.
I've built one ocean liner, the SS Kaiser WIlhelm der Grosse. I'd like to do another at some point - I'm thinking probably RMS Campania.