Jutland

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tommy303
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Re: Jutland

Postby tommy303 » Thu Sep 22, 2011 6:07 pm

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.


Krupp archives indicate that higher sulpher content in French and Spanish iron ore led to unacceptable impurities during the manufacture of guns and armour plate, hence the heavy dependency on Swedish ore, which had far less sulpher and as you pointed out, more iron per ton than French or Spanish.

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Re: Jutland

Postby lwd » Thu Sep 22, 2011 8:04 pm

tommy303 wrote:Krupp archives indicate that higher sulpher content in French and Spanish iron ore led to unacceptable impurities during the manufacture of guns and armour plate, hence the heavy dependency on Swedish ore, which had far less sulpher and as you pointed out, more iron per ton than French or Spanish.

Thanks for the info. Do they rate German ore as well?

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Re: Jutland

Postby tommy303 » Fri Sep 23, 2011 12:24 am

If I remember correctly, it was rated as about the same as French, much of it coming from Alsace-Lorraine prior to the loss of those provinces after WW1. Elsewhere in the east, deposits were widely scattered and of comparatively low yield.

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Re: Jutland

Postby delcyros » Fri Sep 23, 2011 11:38 am

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?


I don´t think this is published yet, it´s an MA thesis. As mentioned previously, You have to go to Freiburg into the Archive to study the relevant primary sources.
From what I remember, it centered around radio communication and reported range rates. Much has been already said about the communication issues, under which Jellicoe suffered during the whole battle. The same can be mentioned when judging Scheers maneuvre.
The lead ships of the HSF were retreating behind smoke screens laid during the 1st turn about, as a consequence, little -except gunflashes- could be seen from the GF. The positioning is important because visibility was very poor in this part of the engagement and light was fading away. The BC´s of the I. AG were following DERFFLINGER (Hipper was in the process of going from LÜTZOW to DERFFLINGER at most of this period) and also enjoied no visibility to the GF. The scouting was entirely done by the 2nd AG lead CL Frankfurt (Admiral Friedrich Boedicker). They were cruising in a loop some 4 miles further to the east and could spot the enemy van during the whole procedure of the fist about turn. Frankfurt radioed the positions of the enemy battlefleet in a signal timed 18:57 to Scheer but the position given was 2 to 3 miles to far south than historically. This mistake in rangetaking can be attributed to the rangefinding equipment and generally poor visibility conditions. To further complicate things, Beatty circled with his BC´s in the southwest of the GF and couldn´t be ID´ed properly but made a lot of smoke. Scheer in SMS FRIEDRICH DER GROßE was unable to see anything to the north and eastward and thus was entirely dependent on these radio reports. He knew from the previous engagement that the rear of the fleet were the QE´s but these were to far to the north at 19.00 and the rear end was decidedly misspotted by Boedicker (who did not ID it) while Scheer may have been tempted to draw the wrong conclusions from this report. He therefore must have gotten the impression that he could cut off the enemy van, crossing Jellicoe´s rear "T" with a second turn about at about 19:00 (compare attached battlechart). This effectively would bring the german line in between the damaged ships of the 5th BS (whiches position was uncertain for Scheer by then) and the rear of the british van. Since Frankfurt radioed correctly that the enemy van was started to get into columns (turning "together") and pushed south (the direction radioed was off), this indeed could bring Scheer in a favourable position if the advance is concealed by the remaining smoke screens as far as possible. As it turned out and contradicting to his informations, the enemy fleet was far more into the northwest and retook line formation with a southeasterly course but then it was already to late.

Image

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Re: Jutland

Postby Ersatz Yorck » Fri Sep 23, 2011 12:22 pm

delcyros wrote:
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?


I don´t think this is published yet, it´s an MA thesis. As mentioned previously, You have to go to Freiburg into the Archive to study the relevant primary sources.
From what I remember, it centered around radio communication and reported range rates.... snip


Thanks for the detailed answer! Very interesting! This was new to me but it seems very reasonable. Most accounts mention the difficulties for Jellicoe in getting accurate reports from his subordinates, and it seems likely Scheer had the same difficulties, but few books mention that. It appears to be to Scheers credit that he didn't blame his subordinates. OTOH AFIK he was always vague on the subject, and one would think he could have explained the thoughts behind his decision without blaming someone ("I thought i could do this, but due to bad visibility the enemy was not in the position I expected.." or something like that).

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Re: Jutland

Postby delcyros » Fri Sep 23, 2011 12:58 pm

I don´t know the rational in why Scheer kept beeing vague on this, I think this has to be examined with the Zeitgeist´s perspective and this has to be done yet.
But from personal communication, I know that J. Campbell already suspected communication issues, he knew Boedicker´s radio reports but I don´t have his book at hand here. I guess one may find notes in it that Boedickers reported GF position are off by a mile or two.

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Re: Jutland

Postby Ersatz Yorck » Fri Sep 23, 2011 2:56 pm

delcyros wrote: He therefore must have gotten the impression that he could cut off the enemy van, crossing Jellicoe´s rear "T" with a second turn about at about 19:00 (compare attached battlechart). This effectively would bring the german line in between the damaged ships of the 5th BS (whiches position was uncertain for Scheer by then) and the rear of the british van. Since Frankfurt radioed correctly that the enemy van was started to get into columns (turning "together") and pushed south (the direction radioed was off), this indeed could bring Scheer in a favourable position if the advance is concealed by the remaining smoke screens as far as possible. As it turned out and contradicting to his informations, the enemy fleet was far more into the northwest and retook line formation with a southeasterly course but then it was already to late.

Image


When I think about it, that is a rather audacious maneuver! Even if successful, it would have placed the HSF with the GF to the south of it and between the HSF and its base! Not that I question the sources, it just strikes me that if this theory is correct, Scheer was apparently very much prepared to gamble!

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Re: Jutland

Postby delcyros » Fri Sep 23, 2011 3:42 pm

It´s not to audacious, it may be regarded as tempered agression. You need to consider general conditions past 19.00: Setting sun conditions (it´s always good to have the sun in Your back), rapidly decreasing visibility (which effectively renders whole van actions impossible and splits the battle into a series of smaller ones in which local superiority may be attained more easily).
This would generate a force advantage (in theory). One would also have to recognize that Scheer direct his forces to what he believed was the end of the british line: the damaged 5th BS´s engaged by KÖNIG´s & KAISER´s and older 12in BB´s engaged by the HELGOLAND´s and NASSAU´s.
It would finally allow the crew of WIESBADEN to be taken over by torpedoboats and allow the fleet to disengage the battle at will via the northern exit route (circling Jutland & heading for Kiel, which is what a few TB´s did)

This is in congruence with all his hopes entailed in the two period primary sources written by him:

[A] his war diary closed on june, 1st.

[B] his immediatpresentation for Wilhelm II a few days later

[A] says:
"attempting to rescue WIESBADEN which is laying between the lines or at least allow the crew to be taken over"

[B] says:
1.-to early for the night march (to much light aviable yet), not the right time to close daytime action
2.-Freedom of Agency needs to be regained
3.-Return to the german bay needs to be kept open

he expressed the hopes that:
1.-Surprise of the enemy due to new tactical situation
2.-Easier disengagement from the enemy van
3.-help for the crew of SMS WIESBADEN

Interestingly, his previous thoughts of the situation during the engagement with the enemy van confirm his poor situational awareness- caused by
mispositioning the enemy van. He estimated the enemy to be in his west to northwest sector (compare Rehn, p.171) with southeasterly headings. The german van was on parallel courses and he expected WIESBADEN to be in between the lines. This idea of positions was partly wrong. The HSF was on NE heading directly to WIESBADEN (in front of it) The lead ship LÜTZOW was firing ahead, to starboard and port. Thus the HSF was heading directly towards the GF, not beeing on parallel courses as Scheer believed before executing the turn about. He could have known that something was wrong with the positions given by Boedicker but then again, given the limitations in coupled navigation of period technology, any mistakes would be well within general tolerances but not without consequences!

I´m not in the position to comment these findings, I just share them.

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Ersatz Yorck
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Re: Jutland

Postby Ersatz Yorck » Fri Sep 23, 2011 5:56 pm

delcyros wrote:
1.-to early for the night march (to much light aviable yet), not the right time to close daytime action
2.-Freedom of Agency needs to be regained
3.-Return to the german bay needs to be kept open

he expressed the hopes that:
1.-Surprise of the enemy due to new tactical situation
2.-Easier disengagement from the enemy van
3.-help for the crew of SMS WIESBADEN



Yes, I have seen those reasonings before in various books. However, I always was a bit doubtful about them.

* Saving the Wiesbaden: Why would you risk a fleet to save a probably already sinking light cruiser?
* Too early for night. OK, so we take another beating from a superior enemy before night?
* Return to German Bight. Sure, but the maneuver performed would actually risk that very escape route.
* Surprise the enemy, yes he probably did that - and himself.
* Easier disengagement - why, he had just disengaged.

That is why I thought the theory you described interesting. It fits better that any of the reasons actually put forward by Scheer. IMHO it seems likely Scheer either:
1) Didn't have a clue and messed up. Understandable given the bad visibility and bad intel on the enemy.
or
2) Thought he had a clue, did the audacious move described above and messed up.

I must say I lean towards 1, because if he had had a good plan, he would probably had said so instead of the above, which to me always sounded a bit mushy.

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Re: Jutland

Postby delcyros » Fri Sep 23, 2011 9:03 pm

I agree. The reasons put forward by Scheer himself sound a bit fishy to me as well. It may eventually turn out that this is how You cover Your ass rather than explaining a poor move (speculative on my part).

I am also inclined to agree that Scheer didn´t had a real clue into what he was stumbling. But let´s not forget it´s just a theory supported by circumstantial evidence, particularely his situational awareness during the 1st turn about, the radio signals sent by Boedicker and the real and anticipated tactical position during the 2nd turn about. Scheer never entailed his full thoughts to his flag officers or to written evidence as far as we know.

It may be tempting but let´s not jump from theory to conclusion.

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Re: Jutland

Postby paul.mercer » Fri Sep 23, 2011 10:16 pm

Quote : This would generate a force advantage (in theory). One would also have to recognize that Scheer direct his forces to what he believed was the end of the british line: the damaged 5th BS´s engaged by KÖNIG´s & KAISER´s and older 12in BB´s engaged by the HELGOLAND´s and NASSAU´s.
Gentlemen,
Re the above quote, I thought that the 5th Battle squadron was the QE class ships and the only one to take a pounding was Waspite due to her rudder jamming, was there a lot of damage to the other QE's, as again I was of the opinion that they handed out a lot more than they received?

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Re: Jutland

Postby delcyros » Fri Sep 23, 2011 10:32 pm

Both, MALAYA and BARHAM were also hit eight and four times, respectively and suffered damage to varying degrees. The damage of HMS MALAYA was probably the worst of all ships of this class. She lost her starbord secondary batteries, suffered 63 dead and 68 wounded (=131 casualties) and very narrowly avoided been blown up when smoldering fragments from a double hit penetring the upper side belt into the casemattes. Fragments of the burst penetrated the passageway all the way down into the magazines and landed on cordite bags of the secondary magazine, which adjacent to the main magazine may have been catastrophical. These hot fragments were removed by hand in prompt action by PO Day and L/S Watson, preventing the disaster. In addition to this, MALAYA suffered some hits on or below the waterline and developed a light list from flooding.
BARHAM suffered 74 casualties (24 of them dead) but was still in good fighting order (as was VALIANT).

The problem with the QE´s was that in battle draft their main belt partly submerged below the actual waterline, leaving just the tapered part of the 13in to 6in belt and the 6in casematte belt clearly above, both of which were penetrated at one point or another.

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Re: Jutland

Postby Byron Angel » Sat Sep 24, 2011 4:04 am

Delcyros wrote - "Frankfurt radioed the positions of the enemy battlefleet in a signal timed 18:57 to Scheer but the position given was 2 to 3 miles to far south than historically. This mistake in rangetaking can be attributed to the rangefinding equipment and generally poor visibility conditions."

..... I'm not sure that the above-mentioned error was necessarily a function of range-finding equipment. My suspicion is that it derived from the very same difficulties of position plotting by dead reckoning that plagued the British throughout the battle; almost all British position reports were off by several miles in one direction or another. It was an unavoidable fact of navigating life that establishment of a precise latitude/longitude was impossible when overcast skies prevented accurate celestial fixes from being taken. An old friend of mine who served as an officer in the merchant marine in the 1960's related to me once that, after a week of overcast on the high seas out of sight of land, their confidence in their dead reckoning position calculations was +/- 100 miles.

As regards Scheer's reversal of the first battle turnaway, my opinion is that he was simply seeking to get to the east and safety by passing behind the Grand Fleet. At that moment of decision for him, the HSF lay to the W/SW of the GF, which thereby was blocking the Germans' path to safety. Saddled by the pre-dreadnoughts in company, the HSF could never have won a race to the SE against the GF, which held as much as a 4 knot advantage over the HSF in fleet speed. Scheer's only real option then was to attempt to slip across the wake of the GF, trusting to the rapidly deteriorating visibility to shield his movement. It was a reasonable calculated risk (IMO), frustrated by Scheer's inability to get an accurate fix on the GF's position and course in relation to that of the HSF. As it was, Scheer eventually DID succeed in crossing the wake ofthe GF during the night.

B

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Re: Jutland

Postby simonharley » Sat Sep 24, 2011 9:07 am

delcyros wrote:Scheer never entailed his full thoughts to his flag officers or to written evidence as far as we know.


We do have some second-hand evidence, however scanty, to hand. Von Weizsäcker later claiming that Scheer told a group of admirals, including von Holtzendorff, "My idea? I had no idea. I wanted to help the poor Wiesbaden. And then I thought I had better throw in the cruisers in full strength. The thing just happened—as the virgin said when she got a baby."

Simon

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Re: Jutland

Postby Ersatz Yorck » Sat Sep 24, 2011 12:56 pm

Byron Angel wrote:As regards Scheer's reversal of the first battle turnaway, my opinion is that he was simply seeking to get to the east and safety by passing behind the Grand Fleet. At that moment of decision for him, the HSF lay to the W/SW of the GF, which thereby was blocking the Germans' path to safety. Saddled by the pre-dreadnoughts in company, the HSF could never have won a race to the SE against the GF, which held as much as a 4 knot advantage over the HSF in fleet speed. Scheer's only real option then was to attempt to slip across the wake of the GF, trusting to the rapidly deteriorating visibility to shield his movement. It was a reasonable calculated risk (IMO), frustrated by Scheer's inability to get an accurate fix on the GF's position and course in relation to that of the HSF. As it was, Scheer eventually DID succeed in crossing the wake ofthe GF during the night.

B


Yes, I think that sounds very likely.


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