Great story!(adding my humble praise to everyone else's)

So, with suitable humility, and in the interests of helping give this TL the perfection it deserves, re:

in OTL at least, even though it was the Battle Cruiser *Fleet*, it would seem, by no means inappropriately IMHO, that Beatty did not in fact enjoy C-in-C status in this command.

Rather, the online copy of Jellicoe's "The Grand Fleet", at https://www.naval-history.net/WW1Book-Adm_Jellicoe-Grand_Fleet.htm#7 at what appears to be p.203 refers to Beatty's designation as "Vice-Admiral Commanding the Battle Cruiser Fleet".

Cheers, and keep up the great work!

Thank you, glad you are enjoying it.
To some degree, my use of that phrase is lazy shorthand for to avoid repeating myself.

You are correct, the man in charge of the BCF was never officially 'C-in-C'. Beatty was subordinate to Jellicoe, and the BCF was technically part of the Grand Fleet. I haven't changed that in the story.
However, there are rather a lot of ifs and buts in there, as Beatty did act with considerable independence, both personally and professionally, and the simple fact that he was at Rosyth and Jellicoe was at Scapa meant that orders and reports tended to flow to/from London rather than through Jellicoe. It's fair to say the two seem to have worked reasonably well together, but Beatty was often testing the limits.
In the story, he's just been given 5BS, so he would almost undoubtedly feel he had even more of a fleet than he did OTL.

There's one of the contradictions about Beatty - he did try to encourage independent action and thinking among his officers (although not always very successfully, it has to be said). However, when he became C-in-C Grand Fleet, he rather brought the BCF back into the fold, renaming it the 'Battle Cruiser Force'
 

GarethC

Donor
There's one of the contradictions about Beatty - he did try to encourage independent action and thinking among his officers (although not always very successfully, it has to be said). However, when he became C-in-C Grand Fleet, he rather brought the BCF back into the fold, renaming it the 'Battle Cruiser Force'
It's significantly less hazardous to one's career to encourage independent action and thinking among one's captains, that it is do do so among one's admirals.
 
It's significantly less hazardous to one's career to encourage independent action and thinking among one's captains, that it is do do so among one's admirals.
:)
His perspective changed too.

He spent the morning railing against the man ...
... then he became the man who could lose the war in an afternoon.
 
Stavanger 6 - The Turn
Stavanger 6 - The Turn

At 5.13, Admiral Beatty had just minutes to make one of the most important decisions of the battle, and indeed, of his life; which way should he sail?
Ahead of him to starboard were the battleships of the High Seas Fleet. On his port beam were the battlecruisers of the 1st Scouting Group. Logically, he could only do one of three things, a fact that the bridge plot promptly confirmed, even if some of the exact positions were still vague.

He could charge ahead, perhaps turning a few points to port, to try to cut off the German battlecruisers. This was what he had been trying to do for the last hour, and it was still at least an idea to consider. His ships were faster than the Germans, and he could outrun the HSF, even if he closed with it for a short while in the interim. That, however, assumed that he could sustain current speeds. His ships were already damaged, and a lucky hit could leave any of them helpless in the path of the oncoming battleships.
Alternatively, he could turn to port, to immediately close to shorter ranges with the German battlecruisers. With the powerful fast battleships of 5BS in support, he should be able to smash them, or at least cripple them for despatch by destroyers. However, even if 1SG were wiped out a short-range battle would be risky, and his squadron might be left as a collection of lame ducks.
The last option, of turning about to starboard and heading North could be called ‘retreat’, and that was not the way the Admiral naturally thought. However, he still had the sea room to do it; to turn around, briefly steering towards the HSF, but staying out of its range, or at extreme range. This option would only be possible if it were done within the next few minutes. It would probably disengage him from the German battlecruisers, or at least convert that battle to a maximum-range action. However, it might also encourage the High Seas Fleet to pursue him, and it therefore stood a chance of fulfilling one of his primary roles. He wasn't here to win a new Trafalgar on his own (although that would be incomparably glorious), but rather to lure the German fleet - all or part of it - onto the guns of the Grand Fleet, which he knew was steaming south-east somewhere around 50 miles to the north-west.

To charge ahead was far too risky; it meant sailing straight for the German coast. Aside from the enemy fleet, there might be submarines, new minefields or supporting torpedo-boats ahead. For a few tantalising moments, he considered ordering his squadrons to turn together to port. In a few minutes, he could be within 10,000 yards of the enemy battlecruisers, where his 15" and 13.5" guns should be able to deal death blows to anything in their sights. However, he could see the enemy’s flotillas of destroyers, which would no doubt be launched at his ships in a desperate bid to disrupt any such attack. A short-range, pell-mell action would be a gamble; could he sink a few German battlecruisers without losing more ships himself?
Maybe he could, but not when there was a greater chance; to lure the entire German fleet - battleships and battlecruisers - into the same sort of trap that they had clearly prepared for him.

At 5.15, orders were passed, and flags were soon hoisted to Lion's mast, to ‘Turn in line 14 points to starboard’. The signal was executed just a minute later. Even if the whole fleet hadn't read it, it would be repeated, and the Admiral knew that any sensible Captain would see what was intended.

During these moments of deliberation, the battle continued to rage. Both squadrons were more active in their evasive manoeuvring, which threw off their own shooting as much as their enemy's. Repulse hit Goeben on the thin forward belt just forward of A-turret, but internally there was little damage. Behind Beatty's squadron, 5BS was still shooting at shorter range. One of Barham's shells opened up another hole in Derfflingers' bow and broke yet more seams, including a bulkhead to the torpedo flat, while another sent splinters around the forepeak. Parts of a 15" shell penetrated Seydlitz's belt abreast E-turret, although the neighbouring magazines were flooded by this stage anyway. Another broke up on her belt amidships, resulting in no damage. Valiant's shooting at Moltke continued to do serious harm, as B-turret was hit between the barbette and the face. The shell failed, but splinters and damage to the armour plates jammed the turret. A near miss (or possibly an underwater hit) shook up the bow once again, breaking more rivets and bending plates. The sea was now making its way into almost all her bow compartments. Another hit the roof of D-turret, bursting inside and blowing the side and rear of the turret off. There was a severe fire in the working chamber, but fortunately the survivors in the magazine were quick enough to close doors and flood the compartment.
Goeben was hit on her midships secondary battery, knocking out the two forward guns, while a shell punched a neat hole through her bow, fortunately well above the waterline. The newest ship in the squadron, HMS Royal Oak, was having turret and communication problems, and the few salvos she fired didn’t worry the Von der Tann.

By now, Admiral Hipper had recognised that the threat lay in the mighty super-dreadnoughts, rather than in the battlecruisers that he knew he had already damaged. Although his flagship continued to fire at the Lion, with no obvious result, the rest of the squadron turned their guns on 5BS, now at closer range than the British battlecruisers. Barham was soon hit both fore and aft, although with little effect on her fighting ability. With just four operational guns, Seydlitz had little effect on Malaya, but at least her splashes might help to throw off the battleship's deadly accurate shooting. By now, the damaged Moltke was having communication problems, and though she once straddled Valiant, she did not hit home.
Despite her bridge and one of her directors being destroyed, Goeben's shooting continued to be very good, and she hit Warspite twice. One shell wrecked accommodation spaces aft, while the other hit above the waterline near the bow. The shock cracked open seams and the explosion started a fire in a mess in front of A turret.
Remarkably, it was the Von der Tann that did the most damage, as a shell penetrated Royal Oak’s hull aft and exploded close to Y barbette. The shock and sound stunned the crew inside, but the armour prevented anything entering and the deck kept splinters out of the magazine. Nevertheless, a fire began to rage on the mess deck around the barbette.

At the front of the line, the British battlecruisers followed each other in their starboard turns north. As they did so, each briefly headed directly towards the plumes of smoke and the lumpy outline of ships that lay to the southeast; the entire German fleet.

The ships of 5BS were still heading south, but in Valiant’s Y-turret, the British position seemed very hopeful. Midshipman Coles had been snatching glances at their target through his periscope, in between feeding rates to the Lieutenant seated next to him. As he later wrote,
‘At about 5.20, we had a Moltke-class battlecruiser in our sights, and we were hitting her hard. There was a lot of smoke about, but I could see her heavily on fire aft and down by the bow.
Lt. Ericson kept adjusting the inclination and I was busy with range-rate, so I could only glance at her. The next time I had a clear look, I saw she was falling out of line, and then a minute or so later, I couldn’t see her. She must have gone, and we all cheered.’


The last few minutes of what was later called ‘The Dash to the South’ were characterised by rather poor shooting as the visibility worsened, British ships began their turns and Hipper took evasive action. The only notable exception was HMS Malaya, who hit Derfflinger three times. The German ship’s belt barely defeated a shell abreast B-turret, while a hit on the belt underwater fractured seams close to the starboard aft boiler room, letting water into wing bunkers. The last exploded near her stern, putting the steering gear out of action. Despite her damage, Derfflinger was still fighting hard, as one of her shells exploded near Malaya's water line aft, leading to flooding in stern compartments abaft the rudder. Goeben's fire on Warspite was good too, as a shell that glanced off the side of A-turret buckled the framing and jammed the turret, while another shattered harmlessly against the battleship's thick armour belt.

As the battlecruisers began to turn, Admiral Evan-Thomas debated whether to turn his squadron immediately. The flags on Lion’s mast were indistinct through the smoke, but the fact that the battlecruisers were turning spoke for itself. Equally importantly, the message had been relayed to Barham that the German battlefleet had been sighted to the southwest.
He had fallen nearly three miles astern of Beatty's fast ships, and a turn now would put him ahead of them on their new course. However, he was still closely engaged with the Germans and obviously doing damage, while to take station ahead of the flagship was unlikely to be what Beatty intended. As Lion completed her turn to the north and closed rapidly on the starboard side, signals were repeated, and Evan-Thomas began his turn, to take station immediately astern of the battlecruisers.

Some fifteen thousand yards away, Hipper’s smoke-filled view meant that his reaction was slower, but he followed the British in their turn to starboard, trying to stay in contact. If he could remain in action, they would have to fight on both sides of their line. However, as the rest of 1SG started to turn, SMS Moltke was no longer an effective fighting ship. She had been hit hard, with flooding in every compartment forward of the magazines. A, B and D turrets were out of action, and any of their surviving crews were trying to plug leaks. Her bow wave was starting to wash over the deck, and at 5.28, she signalled the flagship, 'Am unable to maintain speed'.
Her battle with the British was over, and Admiral Hipper responded by ordering her to continue south and make for home. Her battle with the sea had just begun.
 

Deleted member 94680

Another excellent update.

A shame Souchon's war ended as such, but these are the fickle favours of fate.
 
Another excellent update.

A shame Souchon's war ended as such, but these are the fickle favours of fate.
A bit of a pause for breath ... 5BS are going to need it.

Souchon is still alive and kicking, aboard the Ostfriesland, where he's in command of I Geschwader (the older dreadnoughts).
I'd bet that about now he'd be wishing he still had the Goeben's speed, while being unaware of the fate of his former bridge crew.
 

Deleted member 94680

Souchon is still alive and kicking, aboard the Ostfriesland, where he's in command of I Geschwader (the older dreadnoughts).
I'd bet that about now he'd be wishing he still had the Goeben's speed, while being unaware of the fate of his former bridge crew.

Oh, my apologies, I must’ve missed that bit. I suppose reassignment from Goeben to the 1. Geschwader counts as a promotion, although one wonders if someone with Souchon’s temperament would see it as such.
 
Oh, my apologies, I must’ve missed that bit. I suppose reassignment from Goeben to the 1. Geschwader counts as a promotion, although one wonders if someone with Souchon’s temperament would see it as such.
True enough, although a Vice-Admiral's flag goes with it, and maybe he'll get something better ... if the war lasts that long.
 
Stavanger 7 - Jaws
Stavanger 7 - Jaws

When he received the news that Admiral Hipper had sighted British forces to the north of him, Admiral Scheer had turned the High Seas Fleet north, having previously sailed north-east to gain sea room in the hope of being able to trap part of the British fleet between himself and Hipper. At 3.28, he had ordered his squadrons up to 18 knots, the fastest that they could reasonably achieve while staying together. Even then, the pre-dreadnought ships of II Geschwader would struggle; 18 knots was their absolute top speed, even in the best conditions. By 4.15, he had completed his turn to the north, he knew that Hipper was engaged with the British Battlecruiser Fleet and that he had succeeded in turning them to the south. The trap was set, and the sooner his ships joined battle, the better. However, even now, he decided to keep the modern ships together, and he signalled the dreadnought battleships of I Geschwader to make their best speed of about 20 knots. His flagship, and the other ships of III Geschwader could go faster than that, but an extra knot or two was not worth the price of leaving over a third of his firepower behind.

Just before five o'clock, Scheer’s scouting destroyers sighted ships ahead to starboard, and at 5.05, they reported being engaged by an enemy light cruiser. A few minutes later, they reported being in action with a cruiser squadron and were withdrawing in the face of heavy fire. Not all of them were quick enough, as G22 was left sinking by at least three 6" shells. By 5.20, the British scouts were pushing their reconnaissance as far as they dared; even though they had seen the German line, HMS Cordelia and HMS Inconstant kept closing to reconnoitre in depth and establish the enemy’s strength. In doing so, they came within range of the guns of the leading German ships. The four ships of the ‘Konig’ class opened fire on them, and remarkably managed a hit, despite the range never being less than 17,000 yards. The shell exploded forward of Inconstant’s foredeck mount, killing the gun’s crew, blowing open a hole on the foc’sle and wrecking the winch room below. The nimble cruiser promptly turned away, and despite being regularly drenched by splashes and with leaks near the bow, she managed to escape out of range. However, new and better targets beckoned, in the shape of Beatty's battlecruisers.
As his battleships opened fire on the British scouts, Scheer received reports of Beatty's ships turning away from Hipper and reversing course, so the sooner he closed and engaged, the better. At 5.22, he ordered all ships to make best possible speed, allowing the newest ‘Konig’ and ‘Kaiser’ classes and his brand-new Bayern to increase to over 22 knots. As the British battlecruisers completed their turns, the two fleets were left on slowly converging courses, with the faster British drawing ahead; but only very slowly. Speed lost in the turn and the damage to various ships left Beatty's squadron at little more than 24 knots, while Scheer's leading ships were by this time pushing their engines hard to reach close to 23 knots. The British battlecruisers remained elusively out of range, but the length of the British line meant that their rear was not so lucky.

At 5.36, the leading German battleships opened fire on the five ships of the Fifth Battle Squadron. They were shooting at extreme range and for the first few minutes the shells fell short, but at 5.45, one of Kurfurst's shells finally connected with HMS Barham.
Evan-Thomas’ slower turn and his slower ships meant that the range to the rearmost ships was down to just under 19,000 yards, and both sides found their targets. The ships of 5BS clearly saw the threat to the southwest, and the German battlecruisers were becoming elusive targets as they swung around to the North to follow the British. Drifting smoke from the run south obscured sights for both sides, so soon after they completed the turn, they were ordered to turn their guns around and direct their fire at the High Seas Fleet.

The first to connect was a stray shell, probably from Kronprinz, which punched through Valiant's stern above the waterline without exploding. The gunnery of the newest and most powerful German ship, the Bayern, soon proved to be excellent. She had the largest rangefinders of any ship present, and her powerful 15" guns were aimed at HMS Royal Oak. Her first hit failed to explode, but the shell entered under the conning tower and punched through the armoured communications tube inside the superstructure, severing most of the lines and wires leading to the ship's main director. From now on, Royal Oak would be firing using her aft control position, and it took her relatively inexperienced crew several valuable minutes to sort out the change of director control, meaning that for some time, her gunnery was largely ineffective.
The fire of the other British ships was good, and the crews of 5BS soon settled into a routine of steady salvos. The lead German ship, Grosser Kurfurst, was hit by a 15" on her belt abreast A-turret, but this was easily defeated by the thick armour. Markgraf was not so lucky; a shell was defeated by the main belt, but another went over her thin aft belt and burst inside, starting a fire in crew quarters, with smoke being drawn down into the starboard aft engine room, where the crew were forced to don gas masks to continue with their duties. Perhaps the worst hit was on Kronprinz, where the director and rangefinder atop the conning tower were smashed by a direct hit on the thickly armoured structure. Splinters went back, killing almost half the bridge crew, but control was soon re-established from aft. Konig was hit once, although the shell broke up on the belt between D and E-turrets.
With control re-established from aft, Royal Oak’s gunnery rapidly improved and she hit Bayern twice, on C and D barbettes. The thick Krupp armour kept the shells out, but a chunk of shattered shell knocked the port gun of C-turret out of its cradle, while D-turret was out of action for several minutes as the crew dealt with the effects of shock on both men and machines.

At the head of the British line, Beatty's flagship Lion was suffering the unfolding effects of Lutzow's earlier gunnery. Her port engine room was flooding slowly, and broken seams and leaky bulkheads in a half-dozen other compartments were adding to a pronounced list to port. Orders had been given to flood several starboard wing compartments, but it was the engine room that was the problem. The loss of the aft dynamo room had plunged the entire aft end of the ship into darkness, including the engine rooms. Emergency lights and lanterns were available, but their dim light made plugging leaks in oily water all the more difficult. With the list and increased draught, the ship's speed had fallen, and in the port engine room, some of the men were up to their waists in water as they struggled to plug leaks or to keep the engines turning.
At 5.41 the guns had been silent for several minutes, following a sharp turn. The electric pumps had failed, and the steam-powered ash expulsion pumps were clogged. If the battle had temporarily subsided, slowing down for a few minutes would allow crews to connect lines and unclog vents instead of desperately trying to keep the semi-submerged engines running. On the voice-pipe to the bridge, the Chief Engineer asked if Lion could reduce speed, or preferably stop the port engine for a few minutes.
Captain Chatfield's reply remains iconic even today;
'Reducing speed would not be convenient at present, Chief; the whole German Fleet’s behind us'.

Amid the flickering of oil lamps and the glint of torches on the wet, oil-covered gangways of the port engine room, Lion's crew kept the shafts turning. Nevertheless her speed continued to fall, and at 5.47 Beatty signalled the next astern, HMS Panther, 'Take the lead. Pass me to port'. However, Panther could do no better herself. Her own engine rooms had suffered damage, and flooding forward was limiting her speed too. Her crew also failed to pass on the instruction to the next astern, and so all the battlecruisers slowed down to the new top speed of Panther and Lion; just over 24 knots.

Much as the Admiral wished to press on as fast as he could and work his way ahead of the German fleet, this damage kept the battlecruisers in range of the Germans. However, it also gave them more targets to shoot at, and increased the amount of fire they had to bear in return.
It would provide a valuable distraction at a crucial point in the battle.

Stav 3.png
 
So the most powerful and modern ships are going to be the ones that take the most damage, bad for the Germans as their best units fall behind the battle as they take damage.

Any of the RN ships that take engine casualties are going to be on a bit of a sticky wicket as the rest of the high seas fleet have a pop as they go past, losing some of the QE and Royal class will hit hard, but would give impetus to getting the Admiral class laid down and started to replace any losses.

Another great chapter, keep em coming.
 
Welp lets hope the Grand Fleet shows up soon
Although it's nearing 6 pm, nautical twilight at Stavanger is not due until after midnight - and then there is only 2 hours real darkness.

Going to be hard for the HSF to escape in darkness - especially as they are much further North than at Jutland.

Beattie's reduction in speed to 24kn may be viewed with hindsight as a tactical masterstroke to draw the HSF further forward.
 
Oh my days. I'm so busy this afternoon with work that I tried to stay away from AH.com - but I could not help but sneak a peek to see if there had been an update and ended up staying to read it.

Great update - with even more Dun Dun DUNNNNNNNN ! :eek:
 
Well the Molkte's crippled and sounds to be in the same kind of situation as the OTL Sedlitz, sans the torpedo hit. The British light forces screening the BCF might need to something brave and either interpose to threaten a torpedo attack or actually launch one. RN DD's though were generally built to kill torpedo boats, and had less torpedo tubes than their German counterparts. But gained greater seaworthyness and heavier guns, making them superior gun platforms in the usually rough North sea, and their artillery made them punchy little things against the generally smaller German DD's and torpedo boats.

I don't think RN doctrine was really overly focused on using the torpedoes as the main offensive weapon for their DD's, their job was screen, scout, and protect, the torpedoes were there as a nice bonus and did work pretty well when they made attacks. But a RN torpedo salvo from massed destroyers wouldn't be as potentially dangerous as a German one. But its still a threat the Germans can't ignore.

But at 24 knots the BCF is going to be in trouble, the Koenig's were capable of hitting 24 knots if they flogged the guts out of their engines and they did that in OTL jutland in the chase of the BCS and 5th BS.

Beatty's really got his ass near the fire, and he's going to need Jellico to pull him out of it at this rate.

Also in the OTL Jutland, there was one hit on a German ship that could have been fatal and one that could have caused chaos.

The fatal hit was seemingly a round from the Iron Duke that slammed into the hull of the Koenig herself and didn't go off, despite punching through the hull and bulkheads to come to rest in the powder room of the German BB's A turret. If it had worked the blast probably would have killed the Koenig and killed the leadership of the squadron at the moment of the turn away.

The chaotic hit was caused when IIRC the Makgraff or Kronprinz was hit well aft by a 15-inch shell that came to a halt near the gear for her rudder controls. And then promptly refused to work. If that had gone off she'd not have been able to make the turn during the 1st battle turn away and that could have thrown the German line into chaos.
 
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SsgtC

Banned
Damn. Beatty really got his ass in a sling this time. He better pray that the Grand Fleet is close or he's gonna get handed his head on a silver platter by the HSF
 
Although it's nearing 6 pm, nautical twilight at Stavanger is not due until after midnight - and then there is only 2 hours real darkness.

Going to be hard for the HSF to escape in darkness - especially as they are much further North than at Jutland.

It's not quite that bad (or good, depending on who you're rooting for). I've called the battle Stavanger as it's the closest major port in Norway that is reasonably well known.
There are several other places it could have been named after - but the Battle of Egersund or Battle of Rogaland doesn't quite have the same ring to it.

However, it is still taking place very much off the mouth of the Skagerrak, around 57N, 4E, on 31st July. On that basis (using British times), Sunset is around 21.00, Civil Twilight ~21.49. Nautical twilight ends 23.08 - but forget gunnery at other than very short range after about 22.00.
No long-range action can then happen until about 03.30-04.00.
Full night/astro twilight is about 3 1/2 hours, but black ships show up better than any other colour at night.
(I think your analysis is excellent BTW, but perhaps you're thinking the battle is a bit further north - not unreasonably, as I have never said other than "Stavanger")

Beattie's reduction in speed to 24kn may be viewed with hindsight as a tactical masterstroke to draw the HSF further forward.
He's currently wanting more speed ... not that such inconvenient facts will stop him taking any and all credit afterwards.
 
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IIRC the clash between the Grand Fleet and the HSF only lasted about 20 - 40 minutes in total taking into account the three battle turns. The 3rd and final turn away (the 2nd being the turn towards) was desolving into chaos in the OTL fight. Instead of all turning neatly in sequence it was a mass of turns to port and starboard with the lines getting really bunched up as ships had to slow or swerve to avoid colisions as they were under a truly staggering amount of fire from scores of ships.
 
Well the Molkte's crippled and sounds to be in the same kind of situation as the OTL Sedlitz, sans the torpedo hit. The British light forces screening the BCF might need to something brave and either interpose to threaten a torpedo attack or actually launch one. RN DD's though were generally built to kill torpedo boats, and had less torpedo tubes than their German counterparts. But gained greater seaworthyness and heavier guns, making them superior gun platforms in the usually rough North sea, and their artillery made them punchy little things against the generally smaller German DD's and torpedo boats.

I don't think RN doctrine was really overly focused on using the torpedoes as the main offensive weapon for their DD's, their job was screen, scout, and protect, the torpedoes were there as a nice bonus and did work pretty well when they made attacks. But a RN torpedo salvo from massed destroyers wouldn't be as potentially dangerous as a German one. But its still a threat the Germans can't ignore.

Indeed, the Germans emphasised torpedo boat tactics far more (and they consequently referred to them as such, rather then the 'torpedo boat destroyers' of the RN). Both sides, but the British more so, tended to be rather parsimonious in their use of torpedoes, often firing only one weapon, when a 2nd WW commander would have fired a spread.


But at 24 knots the BCF is going to be in trouble, the Koenig's were capable of hitting 24 knots if they flogged the guts out of their engines and they did that in OTL jutland in the chase of the BCS and 5th BS.

Beatty's really got his ass near the fire, and he's going to need Jellico to pull him out of it at this rate.

Also in the OTL Jutland, there was one hit on a German ship that could have been fatal and one that could have caused chaos.

The fatal hit was seemingly a round from the Iron Duke that slammed into the hull of the Koenig herself and didn't go off, despite punching through the hull and bulkheads to come to rest in the powder room of the German BB's A turret. If it had worked the blast probably would have killed the Koenig and killed the leadership of the squadron at the moment of the turn away.

The chaotic hit was caused when IIRC the Makgraff or Kronprinz was hit well aft by a 15-inch shell that came to a halt near the gear for her rudder controls. And then promptly refused to work. If that had gone off she'd not have been able to make the turn during the 1st battle turn away and that could have thrown the German line into chaos.

He's probably made a better choice than going into close-range action with 1SG, but only if he gets away with it!

As you say, there was a good amount of luck on both sides at Jutland, and with just a few tiny changes the results could have been either better or worse for the RN.
That's apart from the strategic and tactical issues, which heavily favoured the Germans (IMO the Germans made one grave error, and got away with it, while the British made 4, and suffered for 2 or 3).
 
Indeed, the Germans emphasised torpedo boat tactics far more (and they consequently referred to them as such, rather then the 'torpedo boat destroyers' of the RN). Both sides, but the British more so, tended to be rather parsimonious in their use of torpedoes, often firing only one weapon, when a 2nd WW commander would have fired a spread.
Which in large part was due to both having less torpedoes aboard than their WW2 counterparts and the fact that both nations had fairly limited torpedo production capabilities compared to how quickly they could used up in a major fleet action/a series of smaller engagements(plus submarines were taking up a fair bit of said torpedo production capacity)...plus torpedoes were way more expensive than shells and wasting them would not look good at your next promotion board
 
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IIRC the clash between the Grand Fleet and the HSF only lasted about 20 - 40 minutes in total taking into account the three battle turns. The 3rd and final turn away (the 2nd being the turn towards) was desolving into chaos in the OTL fight. Instead of all turning neatly in sequence it was a mass of turns to port and starboard with the lines getting really bunched up as ships had to slow or swerve to avoid colisions as they were under a truly staggering amount of fire from scores of ships.

Indeed it did, and few ships fired for more than 10 or 15 minutes in total.
That's the one major German mistake I was talking about in my last post, saved by excellent ship handling, although night saved them when that started to break down on the 3rd turn together.
Lack of tactical awareness - Scheer blundered in to the GF not once but three times! - and got away with it.
 
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