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.
Monthly Archives: May 2016
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.
The Germans having sighted the British battlecruisers at 15:22 turn back in an attempt to lure the British ships into range of the German main fleet. Despite the British possessing an advantage in firepower and numbers it is the Germans who open fire first.
The forwards screens of the German and British Battlecruiser squadrons fire the first shots of the battle, having sighted each other after both sides moved to investigate a neutral Danish steamer which found itself between the two fleets.
One hundred years ago day the Battle of Jutland, the largest battleship clash in history was fought. A battle that cost the lives of over eight and a half thousand men and whose outcome remains debated to this day. Today I’m going to be putting up a series of posts on the major events of the battle timed to coincide with their centenary.
ORDERS OF BATTLE (source Wikipedia)
British Battlecruiser Fleet, Commander, Battle Cruiser Fleet: VAdm Sir David Richard Beatty
Battlecruiser Fleet Flagship
HMS Lion: Capt Alfred Ernle Montacute Chatfield, C.V.O.
1st Battlecruiser Squadron : RAdm Osmond de Beauvior Brock, C.B.
HMS Princess Royal (flagship): Capt Walter Henry Cowan, M.V.O., D.S.O.
HMS Queen Mary*: Capt Cecil Irby Prowse†
HMS Tiger: Capt Henry Bertram Pelly, M.V.O.
2nd Battlecruiser Squadron [t]: RAdm. William Christoper Pakenham, C.B., M.V.O.
HMS New Zealand (flagship): Capt John Frederick Ernest Green
HMS Indefatigable*: Capt Charles Fitzgerald Sowerby†
Battlecruiser Fleet Light Cruisers
1st Light Cruiser Squadron: Cdre Edwyn Sinclair Alexander-Sinclair, M.V.O.
HMS Galatea Cdre Alexander-Sinclair
HMS Phaeton: Capt John Ewen Cameron, M.V.O.
HMS Inconstant: Capt Bertram Sackville Thesiger, C.M.G.
HMS Cordelia: Capt Tufton Percy Hamilton Beamish
2nd Light Cruiser Squadron: Cdre William Edmund Goodenough, M.V.O., AdC.
HMS Southampton: Cdre Goodenough
HMS Birmingham: Capt Arthur Allan Morison Duff
HMS Nottingham: Capt Charles Blois Miller
HMS Dublin: Capt Albert Charles Scott
3rd Light Cruiser Squadron: RAdm Trevylyan Dacres Willes Napier, M.V.O.
HMS Falmouth (flagship): Capt John Douglas Edwards
HMS Yarmouth: Capt Thomas Drummond Pratt
HMS Birkenhead: Capt Edward Reeves
HMS Gloucester: Capt William Frederick Blunt, D.S.O.
seaplane tender HMS Engadine: Lt Cdr Charles Gwillim Robinson
aircraft: 4 Short Type 184 seaplanes
Battle Cruiser Fleet Destroyers
13th Destroyer Flotilla [u]: Capt James Uchtred Farie
HMS Champion (light cruiser): Capt Farie
1st division/13th D.F.
HMS Obdurate: Lt Cdr Cecil Henry Hulton Sams
HMS Nerissa: Lt Cdr Montague George Bentinck Legge
HMS Termagant: Lt Cdr Cuthbert Patrick Blake (attached from 10th D.F., Harwich Force)
HMS Moresby: Lt Cdr Roger Vincent Alison (detached to escort HMS Engadine)
2nd division /13th D.F.
HMS Nestor* : Cdr the Hon. Edward Barry Stewart Bingham
HMS Nomad* : Lt Cdr Paul Whitfield
HMS Nicator: Lt Jack Ernest Albert Mocatta
HMS Onslow: Lt Cdr John Cronyn Tovey (detached to escort HMS Engadine)
3rd division/13th D.F.
HMS Narborough: Lt Cdr Geoffrey Corlett
HMS Pelican: Lt Cdr Kenneth Adair Beattie
HMS Petard: Lt Cdr Evelyn Claude Ogilvie Thomson
HMS Turbulent* (attached from 10DF, Harwich Force): Lt Cdr Dudley Stuart†
Attached Harwich Destroyers (9th Destroyer Flotilla) : Cdr Malcolm Lennon Goldsmith [v]
1st division/9th D.F.
HMS Lydiard: Cdr Goldsmith
HMS Liberty: Lt Cdr Philip Wilfred Sidney King
HMS Landrail: Lt Cdr Francis Edward Henry Graham Hobart
2nd division/9th D.F.
HMS Moorsom: Cdr John Coombe Hodgson (from 10th D.F.)
HMS Laurel: Lt Henry Dawson Crawford Stanistreet
HMS Morris: Lt Cdr Edward Sidney Graham (from 10th D.F.)
5th Battle Squadron
This was a special unit of fast Queen Elizabeth-class battleships, intended to act as the vanguard of the main battle line. At the Battle of Jutland, it operated with the Battlecruiser Fleet, and was escorted by the 1st Destroyer Flotilla.[w] The commander of the 5th Battle Squadron was RAdm Hugh Evan-Thomas, M.V.O.
HMS Barham (flagship): Capt Arthur William Craig
HMS Valiant: Capt Maurice Woollcombe
HMS Warspite: Capt Edward Montgomery Phillpotts
HMS Malaya: Capt the Hon. Algernon Douglas Edward Harry Boyle, C.B., M.V.O.
1st Destroyer Flotilla [x] 
HMS Fearless (light cruiser): Capt Charles Donnison Roper
HMS Defender: Lt Cdr Laurence Reynolds Palmer
1st Division/1st D.F.
HMS Acheron: Cdr Charles Gordon Ramsey
HMS Ariel: Lt Cdr Arthur Grendon Tippet
HMS Attack: Lt Cdr Charles Herbert Neill James
HMS Hydra: Lt Francis George Glossop
2nd Division/1st D.F.
HMS Badger: Cdr Charles Albert Fremantle
HMS Lizard: Lt Cdr Edward Brooke
HMS Goshawk: Cdr Dashwood Fowler Moir
HMS Lapwing: Lt Cdr Alexander Hugh Gye
British Grand Fleet Commander-in-chief, Grand Fleet: Adm Sir John Rushworth Jellicoe
2nd Battle Squadron (Battleships) [c]: VAdm Thomas Henry Martyn Jerram, K.C.B.
1st Division: VAdm Jerram
HMS King George V (flagship): Capt Frederick Laurence Field
HMS Ajax: Capt George Henry Baird
HMS Centurion: Capt Michael Culme-Seymour, M.V.O.
HMS Erin: Capt the Hon. Victor Albert Stanley, M.V.O., AdC.
2nd Division: RAdm Arthur Cavenagh Leveson, C.B.
HMS Orion (flagship): Capt Oliver Backhouse, C.B.
HMS Monarch: Capt George Holmes Borrett
HMS Conqueror: Capt Hugh Henry Darby Tothill, AdC.
HMS Thunderer: Capt James Andrew Fergusson
Fleet Flagship (at head of 3rd Division but not part of 4th Battle Squadron)
HMS Iron Duke: Capt Frederic Charles Dreyer, C.B.
4th Battle Squadron (Battleships): VAdm Sir Frederick Charles Doveton Sturdee, 1st Baronet, K.C.B., C.V.O., C.M.G.; flag commander: Cdr William Milbourne James
3rd Division[d]: RAdm Sir Alexander Ludovic Duff, K.C.B., C.V.O., C.M.G.
HMS Royal Oak: Capt Crawford Maclachlan
HMS Superb (flagship): Capt Edmond Hyde Parker
HMS Canada: Capt William Coldingham Masters Nicholson
4th Division: VAdm Sturdee
HMS Benbow (flagship): Capt Henry Wise Parker
HMS Bellerophon: Capt Edward Francis Bruen
HMS Temeraire: Capt Edwin Veale Underhill
HMS Vanguard: Capt James Douglas Dick
1st Battle Squadron (Battleships)[e]: VAdm Sir Cecil Burney, K.C.B., K.C.M.G.; Chief of Staff : Cdre Edmund Percy Fenwick George Grant; flag lieutenant: Lt Cdr James Buller Kitson
Fifth Division: RAdm Ernest Frederick Augustus Gaunt, C.M.G.
HMS Colossus (flagship): Capt Alfred Dudley Pickman Rogers Pound
HMS Collingwood: Capt James Clement Ley
HMS St. Vincent: Capt William Wordsworth Fisher, M.V.O.
HMS Neptune Capt Vivian Henry Gerald Bernard
Sixth Division: VAdm Burney
HMS Marlborough (flagship): Capt George Parish Ross
HMS Revenge: Capt Edward Buxton Kiddle
HMS Hercules: Capt Lewis Clinton-Baker
HMS Agincourt: Capt Henry Montagu Doughty
Two squadrons of Armoured Cruisers and one squadron of Light Cruisers were attached to the main body of the Grand Fleet to act as a scouting force. [f]
1st Cruiser Squadron[g] (Armoured Cruisers): RAdm Sir Robert Keith Arbuthnot, 4th Baronet, K.C.B., M.V.O.†
HMS Defence* (flagship): Capt Stanley Venn Ellis†
HMS Warrior*: Capt Vincent Barkly Molteno
HMS Duke of Edinburgh: Capt Henry Blackett
HMS Black Prince*: Capt Thomas Parry Bonham†
2nd Cruiser Squadron (Armoured Cruisers)[h]: RAdm Herbert Leopold Heath, M.V.O.
HMS Minotaur (flagship): Capt Arthur Cloudesley Shovel Hughes D’Aeth [i]
HMS Hampshire: Capt Herbert John Savill
HMS Shannon: Capt John Saumarez Dumaresq, M.V.O.
HMS Cochrane: Capt Eustace La Trobe Leatham
4th Light Cruiser Squadron: Cdre Charles Edward Le Mesurier
HMS Calliope: Cdre Le Mesurier
HMS Constance: Capt Cyril Samuel Townsend
HMS Comus: Capt Alan Geoffrey Hotham
HMS Caroline: Capt Henry Ralph Crooke
HMS Royalist: Capt the Hon. Herbert Meade, D.S.O.
Light cruisers attached for repeating visual signals
HMS Boadicea: Capt Louis Charles Stirling Woollcombe, M.V.O. (attached to 2nd B.S.)
HMS Active: Capt Percy Withers (attached to Fleet Flagship)
HMS Blanche: Capt John Moore Casement (attached to 4th B.S.)
HMS Bellona: Capt Arthur Brandreth Scott Dutton (attached to 1st. B.S.)
Other ships under direct command of the Commander-in-Chief[j]
HMS Abdiel: Cdr Berwick Curtis (destroyer-minelayer)
HMS Oak: Lt Cdr Douglas Faviell, M.V.O. (destroyer)
The main body of the Grand Fleet was escorted by 46 destroyers and flotilla leaders organized into three flotillas.[k]
Commodore, Destroyer Flotillas, Grand Fleet: Cdre James Rose Price Hawksley, M.V.O. in HMS Castor (11th Destroyer Flotilla)
4th Destroyer Flotilla [l]: Capt Charles John Wintour†
HMS Tipperary* (flotilla leader): Capt Wintour†
first half-flotilla/4th D.F.
HMS Spitfire: Lt Cdr Clarence Walter Eyre Trelawney
HMS Sparrowhawk* : Lt Cdr Sydney Hopkins
HMS Garland: Lt Cdr Reginald Stannus Goff
HMS Contest: Lt Cdr Ernald Gilbert Hoskins Master
Group 8 /4th D.F.[m]
HMS Owl: Cdr Robert Gerald Hamond
HMS Hardy: Cdr Richard Anthony Aston Plowden
HMS Mischief: Lt Cdr the Hon. Cyril Augustus Ward, M.V.O. (from 12th D.F.)
HMS Midge: Lt Cdr James Robert Carnegie Cavendish
second half-flotilla/4th D.F.
HMS Broke (flotilla leader): Cdr Walter Lingen Allen
3rd Division/4th D.F.
HMS Porpoise: Cdr Hugh Davenport Colville
HMS Unity: Lt Cdr Arthur Macaulay Lecky
4th Division/4th D.F.
HMS Achates: Cdr Reginald Becher Caldwell Hutchinson, D.S.C.
HMS Ambuscade: Lt Cdr Gordon Alston Coles
HMS Ardent*: Lt Cdr Arthur Marsden
HMS Fortune*: Lt Cdr Frank Goodrich Terry†
11th Destroyer Flotilla[n]
HMS Castor (light cruiser): Cdre Hawksley
first half-flotilla/11th D.F. 1st Division/11th D.F.
HMS Ossory: Cdr Harold Victor Dundas
HMS Martial: Lt Cdr Julian Harrison
HMS Magic: Lt Cdr Gerald Charles Wynter
HMS Minion: Lt Cdr Henry Clive Rawlings
2nd Division/11th D.F.
HMS Mystic: Cdr Claud Finlinson Allsup
HMS Mons: Lt Cdr Robert Makin
HMS Mandate: Lt Cdr Edward McConnell Wyndham Lawrie
HMS Michael: Lt Cdr Claude Lindsay Bate
second half-flotilla/11th D.F.
HMS Kempenfelt (flotilla leader): Cdr Harold Ernest Sulivan
3rd Division/11th D.F.
HMS Marne: Lt Cdr George Bibby Hartford
HMS Milbrook: Lt Charles Granville Naylor
HMS Manners: Lt Cdr Gerald Cartmell Harrison
4th Division/11th D.F.
HMS Moon: Cdr (Acting) William Dion Irvin
HMS Mounsey: Lt Cdr Ralph Vincent Eyre
HMS Morning Star: Lt Cdr Hugh Undecimus Fletcher
12th Destroyer Flotilla[o]: Capt Anselan John Buchanan Stirling
HMS Faulknor (flotilla leader): Capt Stirling
first half-flotilla/12th D.F.
1st Division/12th D.F.
HMS Obedient: Cdr George William McOran Campbell
HMS Mindful: Lt Cdr John Jackson Cuthbert Ridley
HMS Marvel: Lt Cdr Reginald Watkins Grubb
HMS Onslaught: Lt Cdr Arthur Gerald Onslow, D.S.C.†
2nd Division/12th D.F.
HMS Maenad: Cdr John Pelham Champion
HMS Narwhal: Lt Cdr Henry Victor Hudson
HMS Nessus: Lt Cdr Eric Quentin Carter
HMS Noble: Lt Cdr Henry Percy Boxer
second half-flotilla/12th D.F.: Cdr Norton Allen Sulivan
HMS Marksman (flotilla leader): Cdr Norton Allen Sulivan
HMS Opal: Cdr Charles Geoffrey Coleridge Sumner
HMS Nonsuch: Lt Cdr Herbert Inglis Nigel Lyon
HMS Menace: Lt Cdr Charles Astley Poignand
HMS Munster: Lt Cdr Spencer Francis Russell
HMS Mary Rose: Lt Cdr Edwin Anderson Homan
3rd Battle Cruiser Squadron
This squadron, temporarily attached to the Grand Fleet from the Battle Cruiser Fleet, was stationed ahead of the main body, with the intention that it join Beatty when the action began. The commander of the 3rd Battle Cruiser Squadron was RAdm the Hon. Horace Lambert Alexander Hood K.C.B., D.S.O., M.V.O.†
HMS Invincible* (flagship): Capt Arthur Lindesay Cay†
HMS Inflexible: Capt Edward Henry Fitzhardinge Heaton-Ellis, M.V.O.
HMS Indomitable: Capt Francis William Kennedy
HMS Canterbury [p]: Capt Percy Molyneux Raws
HMS Chester [q]: Capt Robert Neale Lawson
attached destroyers [r]
HMS Shark* : Cdr Loftus William Jones†
HMS Ophelia: Cdr Lewis Gonne Eyre Crabbe (Admiralty M class)
HMS Christopher: Lt Cdr Fairfax Moresby Kerr
HMS Acasta: Lt Cdr John Ouchterlony Barron
German Battlecruiser Fleet, Commander Vice Admiral Hipper
SMS Lützow* (flagship): Capt Victor Harder
SMS Derfflinger: Capt Johannes Hartog
SMS Seydlitz: Capt Moritz von Egidy
SMS Moltke: Capt Johannes von Karpf
SMS Von der Tann: Capt Hans Zenker
Scouting Force Light Cruisers
2nd Scouting Group (II. Aufklärungsgruppe) [O] : RAdm Friedrich Bödicker
SMS Frankfurt (flagship): Capt Thilo von Trotha
SMS Elbing* : Cdr Rudolf Madlung
SMS Pillau: Cdr Konrad Mommsen(GE)
SMS Wiesbaden*: Cdr Fritz Reiß†
Scouting Force Torpedo Boats
Second Leader of Torpedo-Boats: Cdre Paul Heinrich
SMS Regensburg (light cruiser; flagship Second Leader of Torpedo-Boats): Cdr Bruno Heuberer[P]
2nd Torpedo-Boat Flotilla (II. Torpedoboots-Flottille): Cdr Heinrich Schuur
SMS B98 (lead boat, flotilla): Lt Theodor Hengstenberg
3rd Half-Flotilla (3. Halbflottille): Lt Cdr Heinrich Boest
SMS G101 (lead boat, half-flotilla): Lt Rudolf Schulte
SMS G102: Lt von Barendorff
SMS B112: Lt August Claussen
SMS B97: Lt Leo Riedel
4th Half-Flotilla (4. Halbflottille): Lt Cdr Adolf Dithmar
SMS B109 (lead boat, half-flotilla): Lt Victor Hahndorff
SMS B110: Lt August Vollheim
SMS B111: Lt Heinrich Schickhardt
SMS G103: Lt Fritz Spiess
SMS G104: Lt Georg von Bartenwerffer
6th Torpedo-Boat Flotilla (VI. Torpedoboots-Flottille): Lt Cdr Max Schultz
SMS G41 (lead boat, flotilla): Lt Hermann Boehm
11th Half-Flotilla (11. Halbflottille) [Q]: Lt Wilhelm Rüman
SMS V44 (lead boat, half-flotilla): Lt Karl von Holleuffer
SMS G87: Lt Siegfried Karstens
SMS G86: Lt Kurt Grimm
12th Half-Flotilla (12. Halbflottille): Lt Rudolf Lahs
SMS V69 (lead boat, half-flotilla): Lt Robert Stecher
SMS V45: Lt Martin Laßmann
SMS V46: Lt Bruno Krumhaar
SMS S50: Lt Philipp Recke
SMS G37: Lt Wolf von Trotha
9th Torpedo-Boat Flotilla (IX. Torpedoboots-Flottille): Lt Cdr Herbert Goehle
SMS V28 (lead boat, flotilla): Lt Otto Lenssen
17th Half-Flotilla (17. Halbflottille): Lt Hermann Ehrhardt
SMS V27* (lead boat, half-flotilla): SLt Hartmut Buddecke
SMS V26: Lt Hans Köhler
SMS S36: Lt Franz Fischer
SMS S51: Lt Werner Dette
SMS S52: Lt Wilhelm Ehrentraut
18th Half-Flotilla (17. Halbflottille): Lt Cdr Werner Tillessen
SMS V30 (lead boat, half-flotilla): SLt Ernst Wolf
SMS S34: Lt Otto Andersen
SMS S33: Lt Waldemar von Münch
SMS V29* : Lt Erich Steinbrinck†
SMS S35* : Lt Friedrich Ihn†
German Fleet of the High Seas, Commander-in-Chief (Chef der Hochseeflotte): VAdm Reinhard Scheer in SMS Friedrich der Grosse
Chief of Staff: Capt Adolf von Trotha; Chief of Operations: Capt Magnus von Levetzow(GE)
3rd Battle Squadron (III. Geschwader) (Battleships) [A]: RAdm Paul Behncke; flag lieutenant: Lt Cdr Frhr Ernst von Gagern
5th Division: RAdm Behncke
SMS König (flagship): Capt Friedrich Brüninghaus
SMS Grosser Kurfürst: Capt Ernst Goette
SMS Kronprinz: Capt Constanz Feldt
SMS Markgraf: Capt Karl Seiferling
6th Division: RAdm Hermann Nordmann
SMS Kaiser (flagship): Capt Walter Frhr von Keyserlingk(GE)
SMS Prinzregent Luitpold: Capt Karl Heuser
SMS Kaiserin: Capt Karl Sievers
Fleet Flagship (Flaggschiff der Hochseeflotte) [B]
SMS Friedrich der Grosse: Capt Theodor Fuchs
1st Battle Squadron (I. Geschwader) (Battleships) [C]: VAdm Ehrhard Schmidt; flag lieutenant: Lt Cdr Wolfgang Wegener
1st Division: VAdm Schmidt
SMS Ostfriesland (flagship): Capt Ernst-Oldwig von Natzmer
SMS Thüringen: Capt Hans Küsel
SMS Helgoland: Capt Friedrich von Kameke
SMS Oldenburg: Capt Wilhelm Höpfner
2nd Division: RAdm Walter Engelhardt
SMS Posen (flagship): Capt Richard Lange
SMS Rheinland: Capt Heinrich Rohardt
SMS Nassau: Capt Robert Kühne
SMS Westfalen: Capt Johannes Redlich
2nd Battle Squadron (II. Geschwader) (Battleships) [D]: RAdm Franz Mauve(GE); flag lieutenant: Lt Cdr Willy Kahlert
3rd Division: RAdm Mauve
SMS Deutschland (flagship): Capt Hugo Meurer
SMS Hessen: Capt Rudolf Bartels
SMS Pommern* : Capt Siegfried Bölken†
4th Division: RAdm Frhr Gottfried von Dalwigk zu Lichtenfels
SMS Hannover (flagship): Capt Wilhlem Heine
SMS Schlesien: Capt Friedrich Behncke
SMS Schleswig-Holstein: Capt Eduard Varrentrapp
4th Scouting Group (IV. Aufklärungsgruppe) (light cruisers) [E]: Kom Ludwig von Reuter; flag lieutenant: Lt Cdr Heinrich Weber
SMS Stettin (flagship): Cdr Friedrich Rebensburg
SMS München: Lt Cdr Oscar Böcker
SMS Frauenlob*: Cdr Georg Hoffman†
SMS Stuttgart: Cdr Max Hagedorn
SMS Hamburg: Lt Cdr Gerhard von Gaudecker [F]
German torpedo boats (Große Torpedoboote) were the equivalent of British destroyers [G].
First Leader of Torpedo-Boats: Cdre Andreas Michelsen
SMS Rostock* (light cruiser; flagship 1st Leader of Torpedo-Boats): Cdr Otto Feldmann [H]
1st Torpedo-Boat Flotilla (I. Torpedoboots-Flottille) [I]
1st Half-Flotilla (1. Halbflottille)[J]: Lt Conrad Albrecht
SMS G39 (lead boat, half-flotilla): SLt Franz-Ferdinand von Loefen
SMS G40: Lt Richard Beitzen
SMS G38: Lt Hermann Metger
SMS S32: Lt Hermann Froelich
3rd Torpedo-Boat Flotilla (III. Torpedoboots-Flottille): Lt Cdr Wilhelm Hollmann
SMS S53 (lead boat, flotilla): Lt Friedrich Götting
5th Half-Flotilla (5. Halbflottille) [K]: Lt Theophil Gautier
SMS V71 (lead boat, half-flotilla): SLt Friedrich Ulrich
SMS V73: Lt Martin Delbrück
SMS G88: Lt Hans Scabell
6th Half-Flotilla (6. Halbflottille)[L]: Lt Cdr Theodor Riedel† [M]
SMS V48* (lead boat, half-flotilla): Lt Friedrich Eckoldt†
SMS S54: Lt Otto Karlowa
SMS G42: Lt Bernd von Arnim
5th Torpedo-Boat Flotilla (V. Torpedoboots-Flottille): Lt Cdr Oskar Heinecke
SMS G11 (lead boat, flotilla): Lt Adolf Müller
9th Half-Flotilla (9. Halbflottille): Lt Gerhard Hoefer
SMS V2 (lead boat, half-flotilla): Lt Gerhard Hoefer
SMS V4*: Lt Armin Barop
SMS V6: SLt Hans Behrendt
SMS V1: SLt Hans Röthig
SMS V3: Lt Manfred von Killinger
10th Half-Flotilla (10. Halbflottille): Lt Friedrich Klein
SMS G8 (lead boat, half-flotilla): SLt Ernst Rodenberg
SMS V5: SLt Paul Tils
SMS G7: Lt Johannes Weinecke
SMS G9: Lt Hans Anschütz
SMS G10: SLt Waldemar Haumann
7th Torpedo-Boat Flotilla (VII. Torpedoboots-Flottille): Lt Cdr Gottlieb von Koch
SMS S24 (lead boat, flotilla): Lt Max Fink
13th Half-Flotilla (13. Halbflottille): Lt Georg von Zitzewitz
SMS S15 (lead boat, half-flotilla): SLt Christian Schmidt
SMS S17: Lt Hans-Joachim von Puttkammer
SMS S20: Lt Albert Benecke
SMS S16: Lt Walter Loeffler
SMS S18: Lt Bruno Haushalter
14th Half-Flotilla (14. Halbflottille) [N]: Lt Cdr Hermann Cordes
SMS S19 (lead boat, half-flotilla): SLt Georg Reimer
SMS S23: Lt Arthur von Killinger
SMS V189: SLt Wilhelm Keil
A few years ago there was talk of a remake of the 1955 film The Dam Busters, which was based on the true story of Operation Chastise during World War Two, thus far the talk seems to have come to nothing. So what has this got to do with racial slurs? Quick history lesson – shortly before the start of Chastise the pet dog of the officer who lead the attack was killed. A black Labrador, this animals’ name was Ni**er and in remembrance of his dead pet, the officer decided that the ni**er would also be the code word used to indicate that a dam had been breached. The 1955 film was true to this historical detail. When it was suggested that the film be remake there was in short an immediate argument about whether this detail should be changed. Cue the usual screams of indignation from the usual suspects in these kinds of arguments.
So how is this relevant?
Well as I may have previously mentioned my current work in progress is a time travel piece. Now I’m not going to spoiler my own work but assuming travel backwards is involved, then change in attitudes have to be addressed. Stand today in a park with a dog leash shouting ni**er and you’ll probably get arrested or beaten up, back in 1943 or 1955 using the word was fine. Go back only few decades and homosexuality was outright illegal in most places, while the word ‘gay’ had on a day to day basis a very different meaning from its modern use. Last but by no means least the old favorite of sexism one that continues to dog us. Depending on time and place attitudes and prejudices have varied and it is worth noting I don’t mean that the 21st century is the high point of human civilization; some more primitive cultures would see us as closed minded on some topics.
For the writer this presents a bit of challenge. Having a say a young black woman walk down a street dressed in trousers in Elizabethan England without comment let alone slur is immediately asking for a pretty serious suspension of disbelieve* but equally having a section of your book that reads like a Klu Klux Klan newsletter is probably going to turn readers off. Time travel doesn’t even have to be involved. One of the reasons I sometimes struggle with some sword and sorcery type fantasy is the sheer lack of prejudice found in some of it, again breaking the immersion. Prejudice in whatever flavor, is one of the less pleasant things that makes up humans, a world without it immediately runs into serious problems with believably. Equally very believable prejudices and hatreds can add great depth, providing motivations for both individuals and peoples as a whole.
Fiction is of course of its time and for its time, meaning that sometimes the most egregious prejudices are the unthinking ones. If you read old science fiction, what you will often come across is the sole female character who’s role within the story is to have thing explain to her and thereby the audience; it often dates the material even more than things like spaceships with cigarette dispensers. However this kind of sexism/racism/homophobia offers a way to show different attitudes without having to choke your work and possibly turn off your readers with abusive language. As with so many things there isn’t really one right answer and it is something that a writer is going to have to make a judgement call on.
* Yes I know Doctor Who did it.