The Battle of Jutland - The Run to the NorthPosted on Thursday 31st May 2012
HMS Black Prince (sunk)
Built Thames Iron Works, laid down February 1903, completed March 1906. Cost about £1.15m. Trial speed 23.66 knots. 1st Cruiser Squadron Mediterranean Fleet. August 1914 involved in hunt for SMS Goeben and Breslau. December 1914 onwards 1st Cruiser Squadron Grand Fleet. 1 June 1916 sunk at the Battle of Jutland.
HMS Indefatigable (sunk)
Built Devonport Dockyard, laid down February 1909, completed April 1911, cost £1,520,591. Trial speed 26.89 knots. August 1914 hunting SMS Goeben and Breslau. 18 August became flagship of Dardanelles squadron. 3 November 1914 bombarded Dardanelles forts. 20 February joined 2nd Battlecruiser Squadron of the Grand Fleet. 31 May 1916 sunk by SMS Von der Tann at the Battle of Jutland.
HMS Queen Mary (sunk)
Built Palmers, laid down March 1911, completed March 1912, cost £2,078,491. 1st Battlecruiser Squadron Grand Fleet. Present at the Battle of Heligoland Bight. January–February 1915 refit at Portsmouth. 31 May 1916 sunk at the Battle of Jutland.
The condition of our ship became ever graver. Hour by hour more water penetrated into the foreship, so that the stern almost lay in the water. The danger always increased that the forward bulkheads would break. Our men of the Leak Security Service, under the direction of Korkpt. von Alvensleben and Marineingenieurs d Res. Lucke, worked like slaves during the night! The untiring, energetic work of each man had a single aim, that we still believed in, to bring the ship safely to harbour. Special thanks should go to our commander, who through his quiet, definite orders inspired all on the ship during the battle, and forgot his understandable tiredness and always spurred us to new performances. We all wanted to save our heavily damaged ship, cost what it may, and there were still many difficulties to overcome.
With each hour our situation became graver, we already had enormous amounts of water in the ship, and the strenuous work was not possible to stop new water masses penetrating the ship. Two pump steamers came out from Wilhelmshaven and they put themselves alongside us and pumped water out of the ship. However, as quickly as they pumped the water out more water poured in through the innumerable holes, that could only poorly be closed. Everything now depended on the transverse bulkhead of the forward boiler room; if it held then it was quite possible that we could remain capable of buoyancy, if it failed then it meant the end. I knew that the I Offizier, Korvkpt. von Alvensleben and his bulkhead men had been in the questionable boiler room and strengthened the bulkhead with available means. With innumerable wooded supports they had propped the bulkhead but water seeped through in many places, and death lurked nearby. Undeterred they did their duty in this horrible room and it was only thanks to them that the ship was saved.
Slowly we proceeded, and slowly we neared our goal. During the night a storm came up from the NW and heavy seas threatened to destroy the fatally wounded ship, just short of the safety of harbour. We had 4,000 tonnes of water in the ship and within a few hours a further 1,000 tonnes entered. However we survived this trial and on a sunny evening toward 6hrs we arrived on Wilhelmshaven Roads to the cheers of the ships lying there.
The Battle of Jutland
(Hardback - 224 pages)
by Jon Sutherland
Only £15.99 RRP £19.99
The Battle of Jutland was the greatest naval engagement of the First World War, if not any war. The events leading up to the battle gave the indication that it would be a major British naval victory. But as it would transpire the results were a lot less clearcut. It had been the German vessels that had soured relations between Britain and Germany, but in the end the fleet had proved inadequate. Whilst the Germans claimed a victory, in Britain, Jutland was celebrated as another Trafalgar.
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