Front cover

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Title Page, Copyright Page

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pp. i-iv

Contents

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pp. v-vi

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Foreword to the First Edition

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pp. vii-x

On 31 May 2006, at Reinbek Castle, when I was given the opportunity to address the participants of the conference “The Battle of Jutland, 90 Years Later,” I was able to point out that ninety years earlier, at the same time of day, at 1914h, the commander of the High Seas Forces had just ordered a foray by his large cruisers, which shortly after would provide cover for a third “battle turn [Gefechtskehrwendung].”...

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Preface to the First Edition

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pp. xi-xii

Despite whatever distinctions may be implied by the terms “military history” and “naval history” as they are used in Anglo-American historiography, the Military History Research Office (Militär-Geschichtliches-Forschungsamt, or MGFA) also addresses matters of naval history. The series, of which this present book is a part, is one instance. Among the new volumes that were published during the past five...

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Introduction

Michael Epkenhans, Jörg Hillmann, and Frank Nägler

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pp. 1-6

The naval battle that took place on 31 May and 1 June 1916 at Jutland, and which is described in this volume, was a unique event that occurred almost precisely at the midpoint of World War I. In this respect, it was an exceptional event, and, to put it bluntly, the protagonists on both sides would have preferred it had been a normal one....

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1 Anglo-German Naval Rivalry, 1860–1914

Nicholas A. M. Rodger

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pp. 7-24

We live history forward but we study it backward so that inescapable hindsight distorts the historian’s vision of the past and cuts him off from contemporaries who longed to know what he cannot avoid knowing: what was going to happen. No passage of modern history was so terrible and so consequential as World War I, and it is hardly surprising if historians have tended to view the events of the...

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2 Operational and Strategic Plans in the Kaiser’s Navy prior to World War I

Frank Nägler

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pp. 25-62

Secretary of State Alfred von Tirpitz exuded confidence in the presence of Kaiser Wilhelm II in September of 1899. Once the powerful fleet was in their grasp, he maintained, England would have “lost all inclination to attack us” and would no longer stand in the way of the German ascendancy to world power. This was grand politics, using fear in the service of world political ambitions and in the way...

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3 The Impact of War: Matching Expectation with Reality in the Royal Navy in the First Months of World War I at Sea

James Goldrick

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pp. 63-78

Recent research has significantly deepened our understanding of the planning and training in preparation for the expected war with Germany that the Royal Navy undertook in the years before 1914.1 The picture is by no means yet complete, but what is clear is that the efforts to prepare the service for the forthcoming conflict were both more sophisticated and more comprehensive than was once believed....

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4 “The Possibility of Ultimate Action in the Baltic”: The Royal Navy at War, 1914–1916

Andrew Lambert

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pp. 79-116

The strategic problem facing Britain in August 1914 was immense, given “the possibility of ultimate action in the Baltic.”1 Political and economic interests demanded a comprehensive, integrated global strategy, one that provided early and effective aid to France, if not to Russia, that satisfied the Dominions and did not alienate major neutrals. The basis of this strategy would be sea control, the ability to use...

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5 The Imperial Navy, 1914–1915

Michael Epkenhans

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pp. 117-142

“If our loving God does not help the Navy, then the outlook is grim.”1 With this desperate plea, the “father of the fleet,” Grand Admiral [Großadmiral] Alfred von Tirpitz, on the evening of 14 September 1914, the day of the defeat on the Marne, closed his evening letter to his wife in far-off Berlin. These letters from the first year of the war, all similar in content and tone, bear witness to this sense of helplessness....

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6 The Battle of Jutland from the German Perspective

Werner Rahn

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pp. 143-282

On 30 May 1916 two giant fleets prepared themselves for a sortie in the direction of the Jutland Strait. One was the German High Seas Fleet, which that day included 100 warships of various sizes and crews totaling forty-five thousand men. The main part of this fleet passed thirty nautical miles (nmi) off Sylt on the morning 31 May, heading generally north at fourteen knots. The British Grand Fleet that day consisted...

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7 Jutland: British Viewpoints

John Brooks

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pp. 283-296

In the Battle of Jutland, the Fourth Light Cruiser Squadron was commanded by Cdre. Charles Le Mesurier. The letters that he sent to his wife shortly after the battle reflect the widespread sense of disappointment in the British Fleet but also a shrewd appreciation of the tactical and strategic outcomes. On 4 June, he wrote of the initial engagement between the battlecruisers (now known as the Run to the South): “Result—a good deal in favour of the Germans.”...

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8 The Memory of the Battle of Jutland in Britain

Eric Grove

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pp. 297-306

Despite the many attempts to “spin” Jutland as a great British naval victory both at the time and since, there can be no doubt that the failure to destroy the German High Seas Fleet was regarded by many as, at best, a disappointing failure. As Arthur Marder later reported, “for the officers and men of the Grand Fleet the result of the battle was a terrible disappointment. Providence had delivered...

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9 Remembering the Battle of Jutland in Germany

Jörg Hillmann

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pp. 307-344

In the summer of 2000, a yacht, rigged as a yawl, took part in an old-timer’s rally in the Mediterranean. The form of the ship—with a swinging stern pole, a narrow, overhanging stern, a seam in the hull, and an orderly deck layout—were an immediate clue as to the boat’s builder, Abeking & Rasmussen of Bremen- Lemwerder. People recognized this yacht when she put in at the harbor of Porto...

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10 The Battle of Jutland in German Film

Jan Kindler

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pp. 345-362

When a historian poses questions concerning an event that has been locked in memory for a long time, he touches on communication processes that are naturally related to the media.1 Important for these kinds of investigations are the media-specific aspects of production and reception, which influence the audience’s perception and interpretation of the event being portrayed. How much this applies to the film medium must be shown with a concrete example....

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11 Ninety Years after Jutland: Reflections

Michael Salewski

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pp. 363-378

The Battle of Skagerrak, or the Battle of Jutland, did not take place. In the crystal clear air of that last day of May, the enemies come into sight of one another and wisely forgo the ten-minute battle along with all the rest of the death journey. The two navies perform perfect tactical battle turns, and 8,645 men do not meet with their certain deaths in battle....

Contributors

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pp. 379-380

Index

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pp. 381-400