Since the days of the Battle of Trafalgar, the Royal Navy had been the acknowledged as the most powerful maritime force on the planet. Britain could boast more warships, and particularly more Dreadnoughts and battle-cruisers than any other nation. But the Germans had undertaken an enormously-expensive ship-building programme designed to place the Kaiserliche Marine on an equal footing with the Royal Navy. Since the outbreak of war between the two nations in 1914, the British public had waited in eager anticipation for the moment when the opposing battlefleets would meet at sea.
After a number of smaller engagements, major elements of the British Grand Fleet and the German High Seas Fleet, finally faced each other across the grey seas of the North Sea off Jutland. Instead of the great victory that the British expected, the result was disappointingly inconclusive, with the Grand Fleet losing more men and more ships than the Germans.
In this insightful and unique investigation into the battle, naval historian Richard Osborne draws on the words of the key players to resolve the many disputes, controversies and myths that have surrounded this battle throughout the intervening 100 years.
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