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  • Jutland 1916

    May 31st 1916.

    Instead of it being a win 'on points' the British Grand Fleet trounce the German navy leaving many of their heavy units on the bottom of the North Sea. Jellicoe returns a hero, lauded as a new Nelson and Beatty doesn't rise any further.

    What effect (if any) would such an unequivocal victory have on the future course of the war? Any ideas?
    HONNEUR ET FIDÉLITÉ

    "Believe me, nothing except a battle lost can be half so melancholy as a battle won." - Duke of Wellington at Waterloo.

  • #2
    Originally posted by Dogsbody67 View Post
    May 31st 1916.

    Instead of it being a win 'on points' the British Grand Fleet trounce the German navy leaving many of their heavy units on the bottom of the North Sea. Jellicoe returns a hero, lauded as a new Nelson and Beatty doesn't rise any further.

    What effect (if any) would such an unequivocal victory have on the future course of the war? Any ideas?
    The only major effect is to start unrestricted U-boat warfare earlier.........
    Lance W.

    Peace through superior firepower.

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    • #3
      Both sides claimed to've won at Jutland, each side's analysis supporting their viewpoint.

      A win for Britain'd probably drive Germany to turn to submarine warfare, probably diverting resources away from the surface fleet, to the detriment of Britain's supply lines.
      Indyref2 - still, "Yes."

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Lance Williams View Post
        The only major effect is to start unrestricted U-boat warfare earlier.........
        Agreed. Germany suspends further work on capital ships in favor of just building u-boats.
        "Profanity is but a linguistic crutch for illiterate motherbleepers"

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        • #5
          Originally posted by the ace View Post
          Both sides claimed to've won at Jutland, each side's analysis supporting their viewpoint.

          A win for Britain'd probably drive Germany to turn to submarine warfare, probably diverting resources away from the surface fleet, to the detriment of Britain's supply lines.
          This must be a rather plausible scenario as three well informed people agreed that they would focus on developing more U-Boats.
          “Come and take it!"

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Lance Williams View Post
            The only major effect is to start unrestricted U-boat warfare earlier.........
            .......Bringing the U.S. into the war earlier as the Germans sink more neutrals (and other shipping) carrying American nationals, adding them to the ones killed and wounded (and exploited for their propaganda value on both sides of the Atlantic), to those from the Lusitania?
            HONNEUR ET FIDÉLITÉ

            "Believe me, nothing except a battle lost can be half so melancholy as a battle won." - Duke of Wellington at Waterloo.

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            • #7
              I wonder how many months earlier this hypothetical US entery into the war would be?

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Carl Schwamberg View Post
                I wonder how many months earlier this hypothetical US entery into the war would be?
                I suppose that would depend on the amount of Neutral shipping sunk and the casualties created by those sinkings.
                HONNEUR ET FIDÉLITÉ

                "Believe me, nothing except a battle lost can be half so melancholy as a battle won." - Duke of Wellington at Waterloo.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by the ace View Post
                  Both sides claimed to've won at Jutland, each side's analysis supporting their viewpoint.

                  A win for Britain'd probably drive Germany to turn to submarine warfare, probably diverting resources away from the surface fleet, to the detriment of Britain's supply lines.
                  Could have gone either way.

                  I don't think that there were many resources to divert in production terms. Germany didn't lay down much by way of new capital ships after Jutland, although clearly there would be repair and maintenance workloads. Manpower would also be an issue, although the manpower required for U boat warfare was minimal compared to the infantry losses on either front.

                  I believe that the primary difference would have been psychological. Its possible that an Imperial navy humiliated at Jutland would have lost influence to such a degree that all its projects would have lost traction, and there would have been LESS u-boat activity. Just because a particular choice looks wise with hindsight doesn't mean it would have been obvious from the perspective of the time.

                  There is also the question of how long it would take to absorb the defeat, re-assign priorities and build extra U boats and train their crews. This can't be done overnight, although a change of the RoE for existing U boats could be achieved fairly quickly.

                  Earlier unrestricted u-boat warfare, as another poster noted, might also have brought the dough-boys to france earlier. Its possible that a combination of this with a german humiliation at sea might even have altered things enough to postpone/cancel the Russian revolution and military collapse. I can't even begin to analyse the consequences of that!

                  One can't even rule out a late 1916 diplomatic settlement, at least for a time.

                  So many variables - cannot compute!

                  Baldric

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                  • #10
                    The Kaiser's fleet was a drain on Germany. In personel alone, the main fleet represented the manpower of two Army Corps. Dismount all those cannon and you have more than enough artillery, plus Strategic artillery that would improve the power of the entire Army.

                    Perhaps this is why the Third Reich had so little interest in the High Seas fleet...

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Lance Williams View Post
                      The only major effect is to start unrestricted U-boat warfare earlier.........
                      Originally posted by JohnBryan
                      Agreed. Germany suspends further work on capital ships in favor of just building u-boats.
                      Unlikely. In 1916 there was no way the Germans were going reintroduce unrestricted U-boat warfare. They were already beginning to recognise that they had lost the war and had discussed using this option. It was decided that to risk US involvement was unacceptable and the idea was dropped (only to raise its head again in 1917 with disastrous results).

                      I think Baldric is closer to the point. The destruction of the navy and the recognition that USW was politically unacceptable could have meant an abandonment of the naval arm in favour directing resources into the very hard pressed army.

                      Nineteen-sixteen was not a good year for the Germans
                      Last edited by The Purist; 16 Apr 09, 21:54.
                      The Purist

                      Words ought to be a little wild, for they are the assault of thoughts on the unthinking - John Maynard Keynes.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Exorcist View Post
                        Dismount all those cannon and you have more than enough artillery, plus Strategic artillery that would improve the power of the entire Army.
                        I'm not a heavy arty expert, but I would be surprised if such a thing could be achieved quickly. Presumably you would need to design specialist mounts and railway carriages (at least!).

                        It had used to be commonplace to take naval cannon ashore temporarily, but I am not aware of any mass re-deployment of breech loading, turret mounted naval guns being used for anything other than coastal batteries. But I am sure some-one will pop up with an example to prove me wrong!

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                        • #13
                          Actually a loss of most of the German fleet has major strategic importance.

                          With freedom that is gained by the victory England is able return to it usual use of Naval strategic movement. Some minor examples would be raiding the German coast line or a full invasion. Cleaning up German colonies earlier allow more resource to move Europe faster.

                          As long as the German Fleet was a viable fighting for the RSN options were limited because it had to contain the German Fleet.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Dogsbody67 View Post
                            .......Bringing the U.S. into the war earlier as the Germans sink more neutrals (and other shipping) carrying American nationals, adding them to the ones killed and wounded (and exploited for their propaganda value on both sides of the Atlantic), to those from the Lusitania?
                            Unless the Japanese were convinced by (corporal) Hitler to attack Pearl Harbor earlier, I doubt that the US would have done so.

                            Seriously, I agree that US shipping would have increased losses but the time needed to generate support was like to be the same. The neutrality sentiment was strong indeed.
                            Last edited by Cyberknight; 17 Apr 09, 14:51.
                            "I ask, Sir, what is the militia? It is the whole people. To disarm the people is the best and most effectual way to enslave them."
                            George Mason
                            Co-author of the Second Amendment
                            during Virginia’s Convention to Ratify the Constitution, 1788

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                            • #15
                              High seas fleet on bottom of north sea

                              Originally posted by Dogsbody67 View Post
                              May 31st 1916.

                              Instead of it being a win 'on points' the British Grand Fleet trounce the German navy leaving many of their heavy units on the bottom of the North Sea. Jellicoe returns a hero, lauded as a new Nelson and Beatty doesn't rise any further.

                              What effect (if any) would such an unequivocal victory have on the future course of the war? Any ideas?
                              Since the GHSF just gathered dust and communists after Jutland, it would not have made any diference to its contribution to the war effort, but certainly would after the war.

                              The success of the Battleship leads to a severe delay in the development of Aircraft Carriers by the British, causing them to fall behind in the comming arms race. While the glory of Jutland blinds british naval planners to the future of air power the germans having lost their battlefleet decide to spend the interwar years developing carrier and submarine designs based on American and Japanese work.

                              Without the GHSF as a hotbed of communist betrayal, Hitler has no mistrust of the navy, and allows more spending to modernized it. With a diminished communist party in Germany the Nazi's take over sooner allowing an excellerated arms program to begin.
                              "America has gone to hell since John Wayne died". - Al Bundy

                              "One finger is all any real American needs"

                              "A gesture is worth a thousand words - but you usually only need two"

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