Wargaming in Hertfordshire

Tuesday, 8 April 2008

WW1 Naval - Initial Battle Report

NORTH SEA BATTLE REPORT – 17:20 Onward - 13th September

Picture 1: 17:20: Beatty's four Queen Elizabeths head the British Battlecrusier line in an arc, curving round to match the heading of the German Pre-Dreadnaught line. The German predreadnaughts find the range first, hitting the British battleships. Beatty’s destroyers and light cruisers shelter behind their battleline, while the Grand fleet can be seen approaching, in the background.

Picture 2: Admiral Kevin's Powerful Queen Elizabeths finally find the the range and immediately disabled three of Admiral Ian's German pre-dreadnaughts (in the foreground), which dropped out of line. A further two more pre-dreadnaughts were then badly damaged. The superior armour of the Queen Elizabeth class fast battleships easily protects them from further damage. However, the British battlecruisers are not so fortunate. Two are badly hit and leave the line, out of control, with the unfortunate Princess Royal heading directly for the German line! While Admiral Mark's squadron of the Grand fleet moves into range, it is still masked by the battlecruisers.

Picture 3: Looking from the British battleline, Admiral Mark's squadron, comprising KGVs, Orions and Erin, is in the foreground. Admiral Chris's (Jellicoe) squadron is moving across their port rear, due to an unfortunate a command breakdown. Admiral Kevan's squadron is entering from the left of picture, and are being engaged at long range by Admiral Peter's (Scheer) lead High Seas Fleet squadron at the top of the picture, which is moving up to support the pre-dreadnaughts.

Picture 4: The German pre-dreadnaughts on the right are now attempting to disengage from the battle , with most of them having been badly mauled, disabled or dead in the water. The Queen Elizabeths, in the forground, are not letting them go and execute a sharp turn to port, to continue engaging. Princess Royal is dead in the water (uper right of shot) after sustained close range fire from the German pre-dreadnaughts. The other British battlecruisers are back under control but are now disengaging (bottom left), having suffered severe damage. The sudden appearence of Hipper's battlecruisers from the south (out of shot to the left) may have influenced their decision.
The German dreadnaughts are now engaging the entire Grand fleet, however half the British ships are masked due to continuing command breakdowns. The Koenig, Grosser Kurfurst, Kaiser and Kaiserin suffering damage, whereas on the British side, Adm. Mark's Centurion, Adm. Chris's Hercules has taken damage, as has Adm. Kevan's Superb, Bellerophon and Temeraire.
Picture 5: The remaining German pre-dreadnaughts flee northwards (bottom of shot), while the German dreadnaughts (centre left) are closely engaged, with Kaiser being heavily damaged. In the British battleline (top left), Royal Oak is disabled and has dropped out of line. Many of Adm. Chris's other ships are also damaged.
Adm. Sean's Second German battle squadron can be seen approaching from the north (centre right).
The British have launched an attack by destoyers and light cruisers on the end of the German squadron (centre of photo), while the Germans have, in return, sent their light forces to attack the British line (centre left).
The British armoured cruisers have been sailing safely to the north east (off the photo), but Commodore Jim has attacked them with his light squadron and torpedoed two of them.

Pictures 6 & 7: On the left of the image, the 2 divisions of Adm. Sean's battle squadron can be seen entering the battle. The lead division (lower left) is sailing behind the British fleet, while the rear division appears to have lost its way? Adm. Sean’s light forces can be seen successfully defending against a British torpedo attack.
At the top of the picture, the pre-dreadnaughts continue to flee. The British light squadron at the rear of the line (bottom centre of picture) is preparing to attack the end of the Adm. Pete's battle line, which is now under heavy fire from Adm. Kevan. The German battle line takes progressively more damage, with the Bayern, Kaiser, Koenig and Koenig Albert being very heavily mauled, some of them dropping out of the line. The front of Adm. Chris's British battle line has been heavily hit, with Royal Oak being crippled and the Hercules badly damaged. Admiral Mark's battleline is now under fire from Adm. Sean's battlecruisers (off picture to the right).

It appears as if the German High Seas fleet is on the verge of suffering a damaging defeat, although many of the British heavy units have suffered significant damage. Admiral Peter Shear would appear to need all his skills to extract the High Seas fleet from this predicament and escape into the welcome arms of nightfall.
Clearly both sides will claim victory over this clash and perhaps it will be in the world of the propaganda war that final “victory” will be claimed and ‘won’?

Bill Milater, US Naval Attaché, London
Note: Bill has an Irish father and a German mother. He was recruited by the German Secret Service while at University. He was then apparently “turned” by British Military Intelligence and employed sending false intelligence to the Germans. However, he seems to have had a gift for guessing what was false and what was real. Unbeknown to his German paymasters, he was equally happy to feed intelligence the other way. His sympathies were very much pro-Irish and his motivation appears to have been to cause a clash between the Grand Fleet and the High Seas Fleet, in German terms, in the hope of negating British naval supremacy and hence furthering the pro-Irish movement.
These remarkable photos were obtained from a German Zeppelin, which reached the battle site, just too late to warn Admiral Sheer.

Full colour versions of the above images can be found at;


1 comment:

Ian said...

In my post analysis briefing with my captains and my gunnery experts, I would like to suggest to the High Sea command that whilst our gunnery was accurate and we out shot the RN Dreadnoughts and Battlecruisers, the use of cotton buds as our armour piercing shells needs revisiting.
Yours honourably
Admiral Saschen