The armoured cruiser HMS Black Prince, having got separated from the rest of the Grand Fleet mistakenly approaches the main German fleet. Up to five German battleships open fire at point blank range, under this bombardment Black Prince explodes. Of her crew of 857 there are no survivors.
Monthly Archives: May 2016
Aware of limitations of British night fighting Jellicoe returns his fleet to cruising formation expecting the the battle to resume at first light. He is unaware that the sound of gunfire to the North is the German fleet breaking through the British screen. Although several British battleships sight German capital ships they fail to either fire or pass the information to Jellicoe.
As the last of the light fades the battleships and battlecruisers exchange their final shots. While the British have already lost three heavy ships their overall tactical position is much stronger with the High Seas fleet both battered and cut off from base.
Scheer knows that as a know his fleet is slower than that of the British even before damage meaning a stern chase will see it caught and destroyed. As the High Seas Fleet makes two more battle turn aways attempting get round behind the Grand Fleet, the German battlecruisers along with their destroyer are sent forwards to distract the Grand Fleet. Almost all of the German battlecruisers are badly hit but with the exception of Lützow will survive the battle.
Realizing that he is facing the bulk of the Royal Navy, on his current course the High Seas fleet is sailing directly into the teeth of British guns, Scheer’s priority shifts from victory to escape. With its smaller fleet the Germans have practiced the Battle Turn Away maneuver, where each ship makes a 180 turn. While this sees the High Seas fleet begin to move away from the Royal Navy ships, the Grand Fleet is now between the Germans and the safety of their own harbors.
The Grand Fleet is now fully deployed and Jellicoe’s decision to deploy to the East is fully vindicated as the German ‘T’ is crossed. Scheer is taken completely by surprise as from the horizon ahead comes a the flash of heavy caliber guns and his lead battleships begin to receive punishing fire.
Detached from the Grand Fleet HMS Invincible and her two sister ships have already driven back the German cruiser screen and now encounter their battlecruisers. Flagship of the German battlecruisers Lützow, now comes under fire from a number of ships including Invincible, receiving damage that will ultimately prove fatal. Before that however Lützow and Derfflinger target Invincible, destroying her Q turret and detonating the magazines. There are 6 survivors from her crew of 1026.