Jutland:Preliminaries

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Battle of Jutland
31 May – 1 June, 1916
Chapters
PreliminariesRun to the SouthRun to the NorthClash of the Battle FleetsNight ActionsBritish ReactionsGerman ReactionsAnalysisConclusions

30 May

At 14:20 Iron Duke received a signal from the Admiralty:

Urgent 431. There are indications that German fleet are to be in outer roads by 7 p.m. to-night and may go to sea early tomorrow. Object may be to have them ready to support returning Zeppelins. Sixteen German submarines are now at sea, most of which are believed to be in the North Sea, two are off Terschelling.[1]

In 1920, Admiral of the Fleet Sir Henry Jackson, recalled:

Our wireless direction-finding stations, under Captain Round, kept careful and very intelligent watch on the positions of German ships using wireless, and on 30th May, 1916, heard an unusual amount of wireless signals from one of the enemy ships which they located at Wilhelmshaven. This was reported to me; the time was a critical and anxious one in the war and I had also some reasons for expecting that the German Fleet might put out to sea during the week. Our Fleet was ready at short notice and had arranged, unless otherwise prevented, to put to sea on the following day for a sweep of the North Sea. But if the German Fleet got to sea first, the chance of a meeting in waters not unfavourable to us was remote; our object was to try to get to sea before or shortly after the Germans, and hitherto we had not succeeded in doing so. Later on in the afternoon, it was reported to me that the German ship conducting the wireless had changed her position a few miles to the northward. Evidently she and her consorts had left the basin at Wilhelmshaven and had taken up a position in the Jade River ready to put to sea. This moment decided me to send our Grand Fleet to sea, and move towards the German Bight at once and try to meet the German Fleet and bring it to action.[2]

Footnotes

  1. Add. MSS. 49014. f. ? Quoted in Jellicoe Papers. I. pp. 253-254.
  2. Round, H. J. (1920). Journal of the Institution of Electrical Engineers. 58. pp. 247-248.

Bibliography

  • Naval Staff, Admiralty (1926). The Battle of Jutland (The German Official Account). O.U. 5359. The National Archives. ADM 186/626.