Battle of Dogger Bank

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Keep Nearer the Enemy
—signal hoisted in H.M.S. Lion

The Battle of Dogger Bank was a naval battle fought in the North Sea on 24 January, 1915.

Gunnery

In a 1919 Naval Staff précis of naval gunnery during the war, it was claimed that, "From a gunnery point of view the outstanding feature of this battle was that the British battle cruisers commenced to hit their opponents at 19,000 yds."[1]

Lion and Princess Royal started their fire with individual shots while still out of range, in hopes of immediately discovering when the limits of firing range were met. Upon crossing the target, Lion fired salvoes from "A" and "B" . Princess Royal did as well, after ten minutes of single shot fire.[2]

Tiger used her director for the first 90 minutes until the firing circuit was cut off by a breaker thrown by an enemy shell strike, which forced a resort to gunlayer firing after three director missfires. This experience prompted the decision to fit auxiliary firing circuits in all ships.[3]

The ships reports the following expenditures of ammunition and materiel failures.[4]

Lion fired 243 rounds. Her "A" turret was hit. The right gun was never put out of action, but the left gun was not ready for use until two hours later. "B" turret had only a very slight delay due to choked vents. In one case, a gun had to be depressed in order to get it to run out in reasonable time.

Princess Royal fired 271 rounds. Her "A" turret sheared a pin which caused a flash door to become inoperative. A run in and out cylinder's drain opened due to vibration. A training pinion jammed the turret, putting it out of action for 10 minutes. A similar failing in "Q" was put right immediately.

Tiger fired 355 rounds. "Q" turret was hit on the roof. Small problems only elsewhere. New Zealand fired 139 rounds and Indomitable 136 without serious breakdowns or delays.

British Torpedoes

The Royal Navy quantised its use of torpedoes during the action thusly, with target inclinations and speeds noted.[5]

  • 11:00am, Miranda fired a torpedo from 5,500 yards with 135R and 20 knot target, securing a hit under the bridge.
  • 11:20am, Tiger fired a torpedo from 6,000 yards with 96L and 10 knot target speed, securing a hit under fore funnel.
  • 11:20am, Tiger fired a torpedo from 6,000 yards with 96L and 0 knot target speed and 10 knots on director, missing ahead.[6]
  • 11:30am, Arethusa fired a high speed torpedo from 1,600 yards at 90L and 5 knots, hitting under fore turret.
  • 11:30am, Arethusa fired a high speed torpedo from 1,600 yards at 90L and 5 knots, hitting the engine room.
  • at 11:30am, Mentor fired three torpedoes, claiming one hit.

See Also

Footnotes

  1. Progress in Naval Gunnery, 1914 to 1918. p. 29.
  2. Grand Fleet Gunnery and Torpedo Orders. No. 51.
  3. Grand Fleet Gunnery and Torpedo Orders. No. 51.
  4. Grand Fleet Gunnery and Torpedo Orders. p. 20. 600-15/9/15.
  5. Annual Report of the Torpedo School, 1915. p. 23.
  6. I think the 0/10 knot indication here is that 0 knots was post-game analysis.

Bibliography

  • Admiralty, Gunnery and Torpedo Division (July, 1919). Progress in Naval Gunnery, 1914-1918. C.B. 902. The National Archives. ADM 186/238.
  • Corbett, Sir Julian S. (1921). Naval Operations. Volume II. London: Longmans, Green and Co..
  • Goldrick, James (1984). The King's Ships Were At Sea: The War in the North Sea August 1914–February 1916. Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press. ISBN 0-87021-334-2.
  • Marder, Arthur Jacob (1965). From the Dreadnought to Scapa Flow, The Royal Navy in the Fisher Era, 1904-1919: The War Years : To the Eve of Jutland.. Volume II. London: Oxford University Press.
  • Naval Staff, Training and Staff Duties Division (1921). Naval Staff Monographs (Historical). Fleet Issue. Volume III. Monograph 6.—Passage of the British Expeditionary Force, August, 1914. Monograph 7.—The Patrol Flotillas at the Commencement of the War. Monograph 11.—The Battle of Heligoland Bight, August 28th, 1914. Monograph 8.—Naval Operations Connected with the Raid on the North-East Coast, December 16th, 1914. Monograph 12:—The Action of Dogger Bank, January 24th, 1915. O.U. 6181 (late C.B. 1585.). Copy No. 127 at The National Archives. ADM 186/610.