The defeats of the british navy

Sep 2012
3,705
Bulgaria
#71
Of coarse losses dont mean everything. History is full with tactical victories / strategic defeats. The very definition of tactical victory based on losses is when the lost ships and KIA of the 'losing side' in this particular case outweigh these of the 'winning side'.
 
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Corvidius

Ad Honorem
Jul 2017
2,551
Crows nest
#72
Let's look at what each side wanted to achieve by coming to battle. The British wanted to engage all of the High Seas Fleet, and Beatty's force had the job of drawing them to Jellicoe. Scheer had no intention of engaging the entire might of the Grand Fleet as he knew he would lose. The task of Hipper was not to draw Jellicoe to Scheer, but to draw Beatty to Scheer, and destroy his force. On the tactical level the two aims were different, and on the tactical level Beatty succeeded and Hipper failed, a fact hidden by the loss of three British battlecruisers to the German one. After the failure of Hipper to bring Beatty under the guns of Scheer, and the success of Beatty in bringing Scheer to Jellicoe, the only option for Scheer was to retire from the field, which he did. The screams and shouts that followed are entirely about the loss of British ships and lives, and the failure to understand the reasons why Jellicoe was unable to force a decisive battle. The Gefechtskehrtwendung carried out by Scheer was brilliant of course, but that he had to do it was an admission that he was unwilling to engage Jellicoe. The "death ride" of Hipper's battlecruisers was an act of desperation in the face of a tactical defeat.
 
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pugsville

Ad Honorem
Oct 2010
8,663
#73
Of coarse losses dont mean everything. History is full with tactical victories / strategic defeats. The very definition of tactical victory based on losses is when the lost ships and KIA of the 'losing side' in this particular case outweigh these of the 'winning side'.
But what is the criteria is not losses alone don;t make then you need more to argument than that the Royal Navy suffered more loses alone.. Otherwise Stalingrad *IS* a German tacical victory.

Whats the criteria for a German tactical victory at Jutland? Does tactical victory imply some degree of tactical dominance of the Battle?
 
Feb 2011
1,005
Scotland
#74
I agree- if you are having to rely upon a generalised Wikipedia definition of the term 'tactical victory' without regard to the facts of the action - which demonstrate both a British strategic and tactical victory - there is a degree of desperation to the connotation.

The German High Seas Fleet was outmanoeuvred and forced to withdraw at speed to escape destruction.

That the Germans should have suggested this angle following the battle is hardly surprising but it falls into the realms of propaganda rather than reality.
 
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Corvidius

Ad Honorem
Jul 2017
2,551
Crows nest
#75
[QUOTE="benzev, post: 3138195, member: 9453"That the Germans should have suggested this angle following the battle is hardly surprising but it falls into the realms of propaganda rather than reality.[/QUOTE]

The German official history of the battle essentially shows that their claims to victory were based entirely on their fewer losses in men and ships, and ignores them being slow to admit all of their losses until the 7th June. Initially only admitting to the loss of two ships, not including Lützow at that time, or later of admitting the appalling condition of capital ships such as Seydlitz and Derfflinger, and never any mention that the High Seas Fleet had run away to avoid a general action, a fact that cannot be ignored, but is of course...
 

Linschoten

Ad Honoris
Aug 2010
15,663
Welsh Marches
#76
Jutland was not exactly a brialliant success for the Royal Navy, but it cannot rationally regarded as a defeat; the crucial point was that the Germans failed to achieve their tactical aim, but Beatty (who is certainly open to criticism from armchair admirals in some regards) did draw Scheer to Jellicoe, who would have engaged with him if he had not withdrawn during the night to avoid that very thing. So whatever else this may have been, it was not a German victory either tactically or strategically. What the Germans did do was achieve some tactical success, but because they failed to achieve their main tactical aim, this became a strategic defeat for them. The German fleet never risked another encounter with the British fleet, and the British fleet maintained its superiority in spite of suffering greater losses at Jutland. (I think I am just repaeating in different words what Corvidius has already said. :))
 
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Linschoten

Ad Honoris
Aug 2010
15,663
Welsh Marches
#78
In Norway, yes, although this was a strange situation (one only has to think of the battles of Narvik, where the Germans lost quite a few ships but the allies didn't achieve anything by it).
 
Feb 2011
13,513
Perambulating in St James' Park
#80
OK I admit you guys got me on that one and I showed bias in my historical perspective :p

You gotta cut me some slack though, I'm ex Royal Naval Reserve with family history in the Navy and I was born in Chatham. It's quite hard to remain neutral when talking about the destruction of the fleet and the burning of your home town...
 
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