As the fifth battle squadron makes a high speed turn to join the Grand Fleet the steering gear of the battleship HMS Warspite overheats and jams trapping the ship in a wide turn. Warspite absorbs 13 hits before control is regained. The damage means Warspite is later forced to withdraw from the battlezone however saves the crew of the armoured cruiser Warrior which was lying crippled and helpless nearby.
Monthly Archives: May 2016
On board his Flagship Iron Duke Admiral Jellicoe faces the most important decision of his life. The Grand Fleet is currently moving south in its cruising formation of six columns of four ships, to engage it needs to shift into line of battle but at this critical moment the information being received from those ships in contact is limited in both quantity and accuracy. His choice is between deploying East or West and will require twenty minutes.
Jellicoe chooses East.
By now aware that a major engagement is underway Admiral Jellicoe orders forward his own battlecruisers and armoured cruisers. These encounter and force back the leading elements of the German cruiser screen ensuring that the main German Fleet receives no warning of the approaching Grand Fleet. The German light cruiser Wiesbaden is disabled during this chaotic engagement, coming the halt close the where the Grand Fleet will later pass. Of her 589 strong crew there is a single survivor.
Having sighted the German main fleet, Beatty orders his ships to turn in away and towards the approaching Grand Fleet. Due to a failure to signal clearly the battleships of the Fifth Battle Squadron only belatedly turn, leaving them at the the end of the British line and within range of the German fleet. Offered an apparent opportunity to eliminate a portion of the British fleet Germans follow eagerly. While the Fifth Battle Squadron receives heavy fire these ships are better able to absorb the punishment.
The battlecruiser HMS Queen Mary, under fire from Derfflinger and Seydlitz explodes. Of her 1275 man crew there are 9 survivors.
Under fire from the Von der Tann, HMS Indefatigable falls out of line before receiving another hit to the forward turret. The magazine detonates breaking Indefatigable in two. Of her crew of 1019 there are only two survivors.
HMS Lion, Admiral Beatty’s flagship receives a direct hit to Q turret killing or wounding everyone in the position. Turret commander Major Francis Harvey although severely wounded and burned orders the flooding of the turrets magazine before dying of his wounds. A further explosion nearly thirty minutes later buckles the magazine doors and only the fact that is it already flooded saves the ship.