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Battle of Dogger Bank

The First Dreadnought Engagement, January 1915

Tobias R. Philbin

Publication Year: 2014

On January 24, 1915, a German naval force commanded by Admiral Franz von Hipper conducted a raid on British fishing fleets in the area of the Dogger Banks. The force was engaged by a British force, which had been alerted by a decoded radio intercept. The ensuing battle would prove to be the largest and longest surface engagement until the Battle of Jutland the following summer. While the Germans lost an armored cruiser with heavy loss of life and Hipper's flagship was almost sunk, confusion in executing orders allowed the Germans to escape. The British considered the battle a victory; but the Germans had learned important lessons and they would be better prepared for the next encounter with the British fleet at Jutand. Tobias Philbin's Battle of Dogger Bank provides a keen analytical description of the battle and its place in the naval history of World War I., reviewing a previous edition or volume

Published by: Indiana University Press

Title Page, Copyright Page

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pp. i-viii

Contents

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pp. ix-x

List of Illustrations

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pp. xi-xii

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Preface

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pp. xiii-xxii

This book is designed to provide new insights into the first battle between the largest fighting machines of the early twentieth century. It seeks the reasons for the battle in the context of what was basically a stalemate on the ground in the opening phases of World War I...

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Acknowledgments

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pp. xxiii-xxvi

An author’s return to ground covered at the outset of a career in many things other than history must have in that return the gifts of many scholars and institutions. Of the scholars, I would list Volger Berghahn, Keith Bird, Patrick Kelly, Rolf Hobson, Paul Kennedy, the late...

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1. Decisions beyond the Battlefield

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pp. 1-22

Dogger Bank was fought against the advice of the man who commanded the German force. Rear Admiral Franz Hipper believed “the expected success is not worth the effort.” It was intended only to sort out British intelligence sources among the numerous fishing...

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2. Building the Battle Cruisers

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pp. 23-48

Germany and Britain built a whole series of what were very fast dreadnoughts designed to scout enemy battle fleets and obtain advantage for their main bodies with speed and firepower. They were designed to take risks and escape while inflicting major punishment...

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3. Prologue to War and Battle

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pp. 49-100

In the final analysis, the single most important technical decision made by either side in the prologue to the war was the decision taken by the British to arm the Queen Elizabeth class of super-dreadnoughts with a 15-inch gun. Although not present at Dogger Bank, this weapon and...

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4. The Order of Battle

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pp. 101-113

The “order of battle” which was deployed by each side represented the sum and substances of their bureaucratic processes, which must be remembered as competing not complementary – that is, not mirror images of each other. The British decisions for larger displacement...

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5. Chase and Intercept

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pp. 114-130

The outcomes of battles are always driven by a mix of deliberate decisions off and on the battlefield, echelons of mistakes in both places, and fortune or luck. They are frightening, exhausting, and deadly. They are a reflection of a determination to impose will by force. Dogger Bank 1915 was all of these. The essential facts of the engagement are not at issue. The Germans...

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6. The Engagement

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pp. 131-144

As Blücher opened fire, her earlier ranging shots fell among the chasing British light cruisers and destroyers, sufficient to drive them off, but she soon had to shift fire to the British heavy ships. As the engagement developed, the German ships slipped into a single...

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7. The Aftermath

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pp. 145-158

There is a thin line between mistakes and lessons learned. At Dogger Bank, there were three levels of issues, which in today’s parlance fall out to strategic, operational, and tactical. To some extent fortune played a part in all of these, and to some extent they all played a part in the future...

Notes

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pp. 159-174

Bibliography

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pp. 175-182

Index

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pp. 183-188

About the Author

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pp. 189-


E-ISBN-13: 9780253011732
E-ISBN-10: 0253011736
Print-ISBN-13: 9780253011695

Page Count: 216
Illustrations: 15 b&w illus., 5 maps
Publication Year: 2014

Series Title: Twentieth-Century Battles