Battle of Jutland

HMS Warspite and Malaya during the battle of Jutland

HMS Warspite and Malaya during the battle of Jutland

On May 31, 1916, the British and German navies clashed in the North Sea, off the coast of Denmark, in the Battle of Jutland, the biggest naval battle of World War I. The battle lasted about 12 hours and engaged more than 100,000 men on 250 ships.

Chance Encounter

The Battle of Jutland began on the afternoon of May 31, 1916, after a chance encounter in the North Sea between Vice-Admiral Sir David Beatty’s British Battle Cruiser Fleet and German Rear-Admiral Franz Hipper’s scouting squadron. Hipper was able to lure Beatty south toward the main German High Seas Fleet, which the British were unaware was at sea.

When Beatty saw that the German Fleet was at sea and that he was headed straight toward it, he had his ships reverse course. He in turn began drawing the Germans toward the larger British Grand Fleet, under Admiral Sir John Jellicoe.

Battle Continues

Since the Germans didn’t know Jellicoe’s fleet was at sea, Jellicoe was able to arrange his ships at a right angle to the oncoming German ships and “cross the T,” allowing the British the superior position. The fierce battle continued, and the Germans eventually turned away, launching torpedoes in their wake.

Jellicoe positioned his ships between the Germans and their home harbor to try to force a fight the next day. However, despite some skirmishes that night, the German ships were able to get around the British fleet in the dark.

Aftermath, Casualties & Impact

When the Germans reached their home port, they declared victory, as the British had lost more men and ships. The British losses totaled 6,094 sailors killed and 14 ships sunk, while German losses were 2,551 killed and 11 ships sunk.

However, the British emerged with what many historians consider a strategic victory, since the status quo that had existed before the battle was maintained: the British fleet controlled the North Sea and Germany was under blockade.

Learn more about the Battle of Jutland through historical newspapers from our archives. Explore newspaper articles, headlines, images, and other primary sources below.


Articles and Clippings about the Battle of Jutland

U.S. newspaper front page says U.S. newspaper front page says "Germans win big victory" at Jutland; includes image of the battle Fri, Jun 2, 1916 – Page 1 · The Pittsburgh Press (Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania) · Newspapers.comU.S. newspaper covers Battle of Jutland and includes photos of some of the ships involvedU.S. newspaper covers Battle of Jutland and includes photos of some of the ships involved Sat, Jun 3, 1916 – 1 · Press and Sun-Bulletin (Binghamton, New York) · Newspapers.comBritish newspaper prints articles about the Battle of Jutland 3 days after battleBritish newspaper prints articles about the Battle of Jutland 3 days after battle Sat, Jun 3, 1916 – 7 · The Guardian (London, Greater London, England) · Newspapers.comLondon Times coverage of Battle of Jutland, including a map of the North Sea where battle occurredLondon Times coverage of Battle of Jutland, including a map of the North Sea where battle occurred Sat, Jun 3, 1916 – Page 8 · The Times (London, Greater London, England) · Newspapers.comCanadian newspaper front page with headlines calling Jutland Canadian newspaper front page with headlines calling Jutland "great naval victory" for British Sat, Jun 3, 1916 – 1 · The Vancouver Sun (Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada) · Newspapers.comNewspaper from Canada with front page headlines highlighting British Newspaper from Canada with front page headlines highlighting British "big losses" at Jutland Sat, Jun 3, 1916 – 1 · The Windsor Star (Windsor, Ontario, Canada) · Newspapers.comMap of Map of "probable scene of action" of the Battle of Jutland printed a few days after battle Sat, Jun 3, 1916 – 1 · Calgary Herald (Calgary, Alberta, Canada) · Newspapers.comDescription of some of the British and German ships lost at the Battle of JutlandDescription of some of the British and German ships lost at the Battle of Jutland Sat, Jun 3, 1916 – Page 8 · The Times (London, Greater London, England) · Newspapers.comBritish newspaper prints German perspective and reaction to the Battle of JutlandBritish newspaper prints German perspective and reaction to the Battle of Jutland Sat, Jun 3, 1916 – Page 7 · The Times (London, Greater London, England) · Newspapers.comAdditional German perspectives on the Battle of Jutland and reactions to the battleAdditional German perspectives on the Battle of Jutland and reactions to the battle Mon, Jun 5, 1916 – Page 10 · The Times (London, Greater London, England) · Newspapers.comSecond day of coverage by British newspaper about the Battle of JutlandSecond day of coverage by British newspaper about the Battle of Jutland Mon, Jun 5, 1916 – 5 · The Guardian (London, Greater London, England) · Newspapers.comStatement by Winston Churchill (former First Lord of the Admiralty) on the Battle of JutlandStatement by Winston Churchill (former First Lord of the Admiralty) on the Battle of Jutland Mon, Jun 5, 1916 – 5 · The Guardian (London, Greater London, England) · Newspapers.comHigh-ranking British naval officer gives Associated Press interview about the Battle of JutlandHigh-ranking British naval officer gives Associated Press interview about the Battle of Jutland Mon, Jun 5, 1916 – 5 · The Guardian (London, Greater London, England) · Newspapers.comBritish Admiral Lord Beresford argues that British won the Battle of JutlandBritish Admiral Lord Beresford argues that British won the Battle of Jutland Mon, Jun 5, 1916 – 6 · The Guardian (London, Greater London, England) · Newspapers.comAnnouncement by the British Secretary of the Admiralty about the Battle of JutlandAnnouncement by the British Secretary of the Admiralty about the Battle of Jutland Mon, Jun 5, 1916 – Page 8 · The Times (London, Greater London, England) · Newspapers.comBritish First Lord of the Admiralty A.J. Balfour gives opinion on the effects of Battle of JutlandBritish First Lord of the Admiralty A.J. Balfour gives opinion on the effects of Battle of Jutland Sat, Aug 5, 1916 – Page 13 · The Sydney Morning Herald (Sydney, New South Wales, Australia) · Newspapers.comBritish newspaper claims America believes British account of Battle of Jutland over German accountBritish newspaper claims America believes British account of Battle of Jutland over German account Mon, Jun 5, 1916 – Page 8 · The Times (London, Greater London, England) · Newspapers.comBritish newspaper prints firsthand, eyewitness accounts of the Battle of JutlandBritish newspaper prints firsthand, eyewitness accounts of the Battle of Jutland Mon, Jun 5, 1916 – Page 9 · The Times (London, Greater London, England) · Newspapers.comEarly list of British officers and men killed and wounded in the Battle of JutlandEarly list of British officers and men killed and wounded in the Battle of Jutland Mon, Jun 5, 1916 – Page 11 · The Times (London, Greater London, England) · Newspapers.comAustralian editorial reacts to news of the Battle of JutlandAustralian editorial reacts to news of the Battle of Jutland Mon, Jun 5, 1916 – Page 6 · The Age (Melbourne, Victoria, Australia) · Newspapers.comOn 50th anniversary, On 50th anniversary, "debate still rages" over who won the Battle of Jutland Tue, May 31, 1966 – 5 · Red Deer Advocate (Red Deer, Alberta, Canada) · Newspapers.com
"Battle of Jutland," Newspapers.com Topics (https://www.newspapers.com/topics/world-war1/battle-of-jutland/ : accessed September 17, 2019)