Overview  Strategy Order of Battle Battle cruiser action Fleet action Night action Result 

The Grand Fleet and The High Sea Fleet

Both the British and German navy's was build upon the idea of a main fleet - "The Grand Fleet" and "The High Seas Fleet (Hochseeflotte)" - and a smaller but fast and modern fleet known as the Battlecruiser fleets. The two British fleets outsized their German counterparts by about 50%. Germany had strong wish to intervene in the British overseas operations and therefore had to compromise the British sea dominance.

Ship design

1st Sea Lord Admiral Fisher was the mastermind behind the development of the battlescruiser. They where constructed under the philosophy that Speed is armour. They had the same armament as the battleships but the armour was reduced as a trade of higher speed. Their size was bigger than most battleships and the battlecruiser fleet was considered the most modern part of the navy. The Queen Elizabeth Battleship was a very fast battleship and was able to keep up with the battlecruisers and at the Battle of Jutland therefor attached to Beatty's battlecruiser fleet.

A major difference in the British and German philosophy in shipbuilding was that the British favoured armament instead of armour. The Germans had the opposite idea which meant that the British ships had more firepower and longer range. The German navy however had a higher stamina threshold.

German Strategy

Germany was worried about the size of the British fleets. The ambition was to make a hard blow to Beatty's battlecruiser fleet and thereby equlize the difference in the quantity of the navy's. That way the germans ment that they could meet the Grand fleet face-to-face because they where convinced that the odds would be in their favour due to the higher skills of seamanship and the better design of their ship - an asumption the battle proved to be correct.

The plan was therfor to lurk out Beatty by deploying Hippers battlecruisers to Skaggerak to intervene in the British commerce shipping. After Hipper, Scheer would follow up with the main fleet and thereby trap Beatty and bring him to action. This plan, whatever it was carefully planned failed utterly due to the fact that British intelligence managed to intercept and decrypt the german messages and Jellico deployed The Grand Fleet and Beatty's Battlecruisers without hesitation. The intelligence interception was so effective that Jellico actually went to sea 4 hours before Scheer. The scene was now set for the biggest naval battle the world had ever witness.


British strategy

There was a very high pressure on Admiral Jellico - the public expected very high results and expresions like "A new Trafalger" was not uncommon. Anything but a total destruction of the enemy fleet was unsatisfying. What was on Jellico's mind is unknown but the navy was indeed impatient to meet the germans sooner better than later.