H.M.S. Royal Oak at the Battle of Jutland
Report of Proceedings
H.M.S. " Royal Oak,"
10th June 1916.
WITH reference to your signal of to-day, I have the honour to submit the following report on the action of 31st May—1st June.
|5.47.||Firing first heard.|
|5.49.||Flashes distinctly visible. Green 65 to S. Westward.|
|6.12.||Formed line of Battle.|
|6.15.||Heavy firing observed to the Southward.|
|6.25.||" Iron Duke " opened fire on 3 funnelled cruiser.|
|6.29.||" Royal Oak " opened fire with 15-in. guns on the same 3 funnelled cruiser. Fired 4 salvoes, the first salvo fired was seen to have straddled the target. The hit was observed on after part of the ship with the 3rd salvo. Range about 10900 yards from the plot.|
|6.33.||" Royal Oak " opened fire with 6-in. guns. Two or 3 salvoes fired on above target, all apparently straddling. " Royal Oak " was straddled once.|
|6.35.||" Royal Oak " checked fire, enemy cruiser being no longer visible. When last seen was burning fiercely. There was a large amount of spray from shots in front of her at this time. Observed cruisers heavily engaged on the starboard bow, two of our cruisers seemed to be badly damaged.|
|6.45.||Enemy Battle fleet faintly visible on the starboard beam. Order passed to " open fire " but could not be carried out owing to mist enveloping them. From spotting top the four engaged ships looked like " Königs " or " Kaisers."|
|6.50.||Passed wreck of ship on starboard beam, broken in two pieces, believed to be " Invincible." Speed varied from 15 to 18 knots.|
|7.9.||" Royal Oak " and " Benbow " opened fire, with 6-in. guns on enemy destroyers. Bearing Green 65 to the Westward.|
|7.11.||" Marlborough " reported she had been struck by a mine or a torpedo.|
|7.15.||Observed 3 enemy battle cruisers to Westward on starboard beam. Opened fire with 15-in. guns on leading enemy's battle cruiser " Derfflinger " class. Atmossphere [sic] much clearer for a few moments.|
|7.16.||Enemy ship fire at was observed to be hit several times aft. Opening range 14,000 yards. Speed of own ship 15 knots. Enemy turned away into mist. Fire was shifted to the next ship, a few rounds only could be fired as she was soon lost in the mist. All 6-in. guns were meanwhile firing on the enemy Destroyers on starboard beam, who were zigzagging frequently.|
|7.28.||Eenmy [sic] destroyers, making a very effective smoke screen, turned away to starboard, our own destroyers coming down from ahead and chasing them off.|
|7.30.||Altered course, leading ships together, rest in succession to S. by W. " Royal Oak " was not in action again. The total expenditure of ammunition being 15-in.—39; 6-in.—84.|
|7.44.||Heavy firing heard from rear of British line, enemy ships very faintly visible on starboard quarter. Shots seen falling fairly close to " Benbow."|
|7.50.||Speed 15 knots.|
|7.51.||Heavy firing observed on green 125.|
|8.17.||Firing observed on port bow.|
|8.20.||3 light cruisers of " Calliope " class under heavy fire; observed a hit on starboard quarter of rear cruiser abreast 2nd gun from aft. Apparently did not affect the ship.|
|8.55.||Observed firing apparently a heavy destroyer engagement on starboard quarter. A big flare was seen lasting quite 15 seconds.|
At 10.12 and 10.45 firing again broke out in this direction, in the latter of these a battleship division was apparently engaged, ships being occasionally silhouetted against searchlights.
|2.20.||" Iron Duke " fired a gun at cruiser on starboard bow, who did not answer challenge.|
|3.20.||Heard heavy firing.|
|3.45.||Altered course to port. Speed 15 knots.|
|3.52.||Rear battle ship of division fired at a Zeppelin, red 150. Got ranges of Zeppelin as 19,000-20,000 yards. " Iron Duke" fired 13.5-in. at her, she turned away and disappeared, behind a cloud, and was not again sighted.|
There were no mishaps with the exception of one missfire with a 15-in. gun, and this was immediately rectified.
I have the honour to be,
Your obedient Servant,
- Admiralty (1920). Battle of Jutland 30th May to 1st June 1916: Official Despatches with Appendices. Cmd. 1068. London: His Majesty's Stationary Office.