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.
Tag Archives: Jutland
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.