Jutland

From the birth of the Dreadnought to the period immediately after the end of World War I.
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Ersatz Yorck
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Re: Jutland

Postby Ersatz Yorck » Sun Sep 18, 2011 2:39 pm

Byron Angel wrote:
RF wrote:Byron, Germany already had most of Lorraine in its national territory as a source of iron ore. Alsace-Lorraine remember was part of Germany from 1871 to 1918.



..... RF, I need to track it down again, but I recall reading a comment attributed to Hindenburg to the effect that Germany could not have continued the war without access to Swedish iron ore. Something about Swedish ore bearing twice the metal content of domestic German ore.



During WW2 Germany got between 30 and 40% of her iron ore needs from Sweden. I suppose the figure might well have been similar during WW1, so it would be a serious shortfall. I gather that Swedish ore is in some ways superior to French or German, but I don't know exactly why or how.

The question is whether the Royal Navy would have been able to operate in the Baltic in the face of mines and submarines and attacks from whatever was left of the German Fleet.

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Re: Jutland

Postby RF » Mon Sep 19, 2011 8:19 am

Don't forget Byron that the Germans also had a dependency on the import of nitrates from Chile. The British blockade cut that supply off, but the Germans quickly found substitutes. Similary if iron ore imports were cut off.....
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RF
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Re: Jutland

Postby RF » Mon Sep 19, 2011 8:23 am

paul.mercer wrote:......was not the High Seas Fleet built with the aim of taking on the Grand Fleet on equal terms?


Yes it certainly was, however the Germans were unable to match British production so the HSF couldn't take on the whole Grand Fleet on equal terms - hence the policy of Scheer of trying to destroy it piecemeal.
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RF
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Re: Jutland

Postby RF » Mon Sep 19, 2011 8:25 am

Ersatz Yorck wrote:The question is whether the Royal Navy would have been able to operate in the Baltic in the face of mines and submarines and attacks from whatever was left of the German Fleet.


Unlikely without the use of Russian bases - itself a politically uncertain and unreliable prospect.
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Re: Jutland

Postby tommy303 » Mon Sep 19, 2011 7:39 pm

I gather that Swedish ore is in some ways superior to French or German, but I don't know exactly why or how


If I recall, Swedish iron ore has very little sulphur impurities in it compared to that mined in Germany, France or Alsace-Lorraine.

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Re: Jutland

Postby Djoser » Wed Sep 21, 2011 11:11 am

Interesting thread, and far better than the usual rehash of the same old controversies about the battle.

The moral effect of a drastic German loss would have been significant, I think. But could have been readily compensated by an earlier assumption of all out submarine warfare. Which would have brought the US in slightly earlier. With all the US dreadnoughts then being available (even if their gunnery sucked lol). Lots of variable scenarios here.

A strategic German victory at Jutland could have broken the blockade, even if it didn't mean domination of the seas. The blockade, as much as anything, was what broke the German will to keep fighting.

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Re: Jutland

Postby lwd » Wed Sep 21, 2011 1:16 pm

tommy303 wrote:
I gather that Swedish ore is in some ways superior to French or German, but I don't know exactly why or how

If I recall, Swedish iron ore has very little sulphur impurities in it compared to that mined in Germany, France or Alsace-Lorraine.

This reference:
http://www.jstor.org/pss/20028853
states that Swedish iron ore contained twice as much iron as French. Sulpher is usually more of a problem with coal from what I recall.

The wiki page at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Swedish_ir ... rld_War_II seems to have a nice summary of the issues related to WWII.

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Re: Jutland

Postby RF » Wed Sep 21, 2011 2:45 pm

Djoser wrote:A strategic German victory at Jutland could have broken the blockade, even if it didn't mean domination of the seas. The blockade, as much as anything, was what broke the German will to keep fighting.


It could have broken the blockade. but I doubt it. This is because the blockade was a distant naval operation securing the entrances to the North Sea and thus primarily Atlantic focussed. The problem for the HSF is that its dreadnoughts are not sufficiently longed range to roll up the blockading cruisers all the way back into the North Atlantic. Had the blockade been one of bottling up shipping in individual ports - like the blockade of the Confederaracy by the Union Navy - then that sort of blockade would be smashed.

Essentially a big German win at Jutland has two effects:

1) Morale. German morale is greatly boosted, Allied morale plummets as people panic at the thought of Germany invading England.

2) It gives Germany naval control of the North Sea. It exposes eastern England to invasion and raiding parties, including the Thames estuary, which would directly threaten London.


Another aspect not yet discussed in this thread is what would happen in the English Channel. I would expect that the Flandern flotilla based in Belguim would be massively re-inforced. Would the Germans try to seize naval control of the English Channel and interdict all the shipping and troop movements between the English and French Channel ports?
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Re: Jutland

Postby RF » Wed Sep 21, 2011 2:54 pm

Djoser wrote:The moral effect of a drastic German loss would have been significant, I think. But could have been readily compensated by an earlier assumption of all out submarine warfare. Which would have brought the US in slightly earlier. With all the US dreadnoughts then being available (even if their gunnery sucked lol). Lots of variable scenarios here.


There certainly are, but I suspect more political than just military. The outcome of WW1 certainly would not be altered.

Given the events of 1918 particulary the mutinies and revolutionary activity in the German Navy I wonder whether it might be that a disastrous Jutland battle would accelerate such activity. Could it be possible that if these mutinies happened a year earlier that Germany is pushed into its own bolshevik revolution ahead of Russia?
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Re: Jutland

Postby paul.mercer » Wed Sep 21, 2011 7:20 pm

Gentlemen,
Another question on this subject.
If we assume that Germany had won the battle of Jutland after an all out battle, I think it is safe to also assume that the Grand fleet would not have been completley anihalated (sorry about the spelling!) so would have retained some heavy ships and the High Seas Fleet would also have taken some severe and irreplaceable losses. In that case surely the RN could call in all her heavy ships from around the world to defend her trade routes and coastline?

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Re: Jutland

Postby tommy303 » Wed Sep 21, 2011 9:00 pm

I believe that most of the RN capital ship assets were involved in Jutland, leaving older pre-dreadnoughts and other aging vessels to help elsewhere.

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RF
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Re: Jutland

Postby RF » Thu Sep 22, 2011 8:24 am

paul.mercer wrote: In that case surely the RN could call in all her heavy ships from around the world to defend her trade routes and coastline?


The coastline would be the critical consideration, and here smaller vessels like Destroyers, cruisers and submarines would also be important. With respect to trade routes beyond the North Sea, the HSF dreadnoughts are too short ranged for that; cruiser warfare though would be a possibility.
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Re: Jutland

Postby lwd » Thu Sep 22, 2011 2:18 pm

paul.mercer wrote:... If we assume that Germany had won the battle of Jutland after an all out battle, I think it is safe to also assume that the Grand fleet would not have been completley anihalated (sorry about the spelling!) so would have retained some heavy ships and the High Seas Fleet would also have taken some severe and irreplaceable losses....

Relevant to this someone pointed out in another thread I beleive that the British were able to get their damaged ships from the historical battle back into service quicker than the Germans. There was also some new construction. I think this is detailed in another thread on this board but am not sure.

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Re: Jutland

Postby delcyros » Thu Sep 22, 2011 4:42 pm

Scheer did the right thing, but I have always wondered why he turned back and put his head in the noose again? Probably a case of incomplete data about enemy dispositions, or just an error of judgement.


Without repeating someone´s else´s findings here, Your suspect is correct. The explenation for the 2nd turn about can be found when You start studying the radio signals send by Admiral Friedrich Boedicker (2nd AG) in SMS FRANKFURT about the positions of the GF. The relevant primary sources are preserved in the Bundesarchive in Freiburg.
Interestingly, Scheer didn´t blamed him for that but accepted the situation and ordered the 3rd turn about.

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Re: Jutland

Postby Ersatz Yorck » Thu Sep 22, 2011 5:38 pm

delcyros wrote:
Scheer did the right thing, but I have always wondered why he turned back and put his head in the noose again? Probably a case of incomplete data about enemy dispositions, or just an error of judgement.


Without repeating someone´s else´s findings here, Your suspect is correct. The explenation for the 2nd turn about can be found when You start studying the radio signals send by Admiral Friedrich Boedicker (2nd AG) in SMS FRANKFURT about the positions of the GF. The relevant primary sources are preserved in the Bundesarchive in Freiburg.
Interestingly, Scheer didn´t blamed him for that but accepted the situation and ordered the 3rd turn about.


Very interesting! Thanks for mentioning that! Is there a book where this is detailed, or would I have to go to Freiburg? :wink:

Edit: And where did he think the GF was?


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