Wargaming in Hertfordshire

Tuesday, 18 March 2008

WW1 Naval Game Intelligence Report

US Naval London Attaché Report 1
Since the indecisive battle at Jutland at the end of May, both the British Grand Fleet and German High Seas Fleet have been frantically repairing their ships in readiness for another fateful clash. During the action at Jutland, the British lost the battlecruisers Invincible, Indefatigable and Queen Mary, the armoured cruisers Black Prince, Warrior and Defence and eight destroyers. The battleship Marlborough was torpedoed. The Germans lost the pre-dreadnaught Pommern, the battlecruiser Lutzow, four light cruisers and eight destroyers. Despite claiming victory, Both Admiral Jellicoe and Admiral Scheer have been heavily criticised for the indecisive outcome.
Both commanders need a decisive victory, but for different reasons and both sides appear to be making preparations for a future clash.
Minesweepers have been at work clearing channels through Jade Bay, presaging a sortie by major elements of the High Seas fleet. The Germans have also warned the US government that its merchant ships should avoid the North Sea for the next few days due to an unusually large number of submarines deployed in the area.
The impetuous Admiral Beatty is known to be eager to exercise the seven British battlecruisers under his command, based at Rosyth.
The main British battle fleet of 33 dreadnought battleships based at Scapa under the command of Admiral Sir John Jellicoe with Vice-Admiral Walker as his 2nd in command, is known to be at a high state of readiness and may have set sail on a major exercise. It is also thought that a separate group of King Edward VII class pre-dreadnaughts have been moved to the Channel area.
A number of key dreadnaughts are know to be refitting, including the torpedoed Marlborough and the battlecruiser Australia recently damaged in collision.

The attached message was obtained via contacts in the Berlin embassy. This must be forwarded to Washington. It must not be transmitted with the above signal report.

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