What if the Royal Navy totally destroyed the German fleet at Jutland?

An interesting fact about Jutland is that it if the British had better communications and intelligence and better decision making under Jellicoes part, they really could have delt truly severe damage to the German fleet. So what if the British were able to catch the Germans before they reached the horn? Could this prevent the German U boat campaign, thus leading to less damaged British supplies? Could this make Germany surrender earlier? Could Britain even try to invade Wilhelmshaven to put more pressure on Germany proper?
 
In general I give Jellicoe a very admiral able mark for his decision making during Jutland. I do agree that better communications would have helped.

Perhaps the British improve their ammunition handling practice and save a bc or two and get a better run of naval shells leading to more detonations and less duds.

Anyway after a dominating victory from the Royal Navy against the German Navy I would suspect that the Germans would move more (and not less) towards uboats.

The Royal Navy can mitigate this after a successful Jutland by releasing ships for escort duty. Another way to mitigate the uboat threat would be to run the Zeebruges and Ostend raids with ships that aren't the bottom of the barrel.

Britain won't be invading Wilhelmshaven. Coastal defense guns and minefields means you can't push an invasion against the German coast.

I don't feel that the destruction of a significant portion of the German Fleet would have a massive effect on the German decision to surrender.
 
No bearing on the U-Boat campaign other than to make it more necessary for the Germans.
No bearing on German surrender because the Germans are already blockaded. No one likes the navy anyway. Victory will come through defeating the French.
Yes they could try. The UK will have a huge RN floating around with nothing to do if it isn't a blockading cruiser. So expect lots of "Baltic Plans". The sane heads can only win for so long. Something will be tried. Eg the OTL carrier raid on Williamshaven. They don't have to be totally stupid about it.


One of the more interesting results would be the death of large ship building. Depending on the timing this could kill HMS Hood.
 
I'm honestly not sure it changes all that much. The Grand Fleet might be able to send more Battleships to the Mediterranean, but other than that I don't see the strategic calculus shifting massively. Britain is likely still barred from Baltic operations, unless this victory is exceedingly overwhelming in nature.

It might affect the home front, but German victories elsewhere in 1915 could probably offset a major loss at Jutland.
 
No bearing on the U-Boat campaign other than to make it more necessary for the Germans.
No bearing on German surrender because the Germans are already blockaded. No one likes the navy anyway. Victory will come through defeating the French.
Yes they could try. The UK will have a huge RN floating around with nothing to do if it isn't a blockading cruiser. So expect lots of "Baltic Plans". The sane heads can only win for so long. Something will be tried. Eg the OTL carrier raid on Williamshaven. They don't have to be totally stupid about it.
I wish I knew enough about interwar naval development to put together a timeline where that raid actually happened. Carriers would be seen as a decisive weapon far earlier I'd imagine.
 
A decisive British victory at Jutland isn't going to end the war overnight, (total destruction of the HSF is A.S.B.) but when the news leaks to the Central Powers public they'll take a heavy hit to their morale. They'll know the blockade can't be broken, they'll be afraid of British landings and they'll begin losing confidence in their leaders. Add to that the huge casualties the Germans are taking at Verdun and will soon take at the Somme followed by a long hungry winter and by spring things could look decidedly shaky for the Central Powers on the home front. Then they get news the US has entered the war.
 
If the German HSF is truly removed as a threat, British resources which otherwise went to the very expensive maintenance of the Grand Fleet can be redistributed. If the HSF is sunk, its men are largely dead (or captured?) which diminishes the pool for crews for U-boats.
 
If the HSF is reduced to impotence the GF can cover the sweeping of the mines in the Kattegat/Skaggerak and open up a supply route to Russia through the Baltic. I doubt there's be serious landings or anything, but the sort of pressure that was applied to the German forces on the Flanders coast could be applied to the North Sea and Baltic coast, imagine Monitors or pre-dreads conducting close, observed bombardment along the German Baltic coast, the Germans would have to divert significant resources into fortifying vulnerable areas.
 
I think it would be very unlikely for the entire HSF to be sunk at Jutland - the weather conditions alone would allow a number of vessels to evade destruction and wait until night fall

That being said had the Grand fleet found the HSF a few hours earlier, which is not that great a POD (i.e. HMS Engadine plays a greater role? 5th Battel Squadron sees the message to change course and follows Beatty earlier) then it would certainly get its head kicked in and would very likely suffer very heavy losses.

There was nothing wrong with the Grand fleets gunnery on the day - IIRC its average was greater than the HSF and certainly better than the Battle cruisers (not 1st BCS under Hood who had been withdrawn to the Grand fleet to allow them to practice).

Had the HSF spent more time then it would almost certainly have lost more ships crippled and sunk.

What effect would this have.

Well having lost X number of heavy units the HSF would have no chance of breaking the distant blockade (so as OTL) the difference being that the RN would know this and have to maintain a smaller force to ensure superiority in Dreadnought numbers to mask the remaining HSF.

This in turn means fewer cruisers and Destroyers required and frees up ships and RN personnel to man escorts and less need to build or keep building more capital ships

The morale boost would be incredible - a 2nd Trafalgar no less and no way for the Germans to spin it as anything else.

I do not see it shortening the war - possibly obliging the Germans to switch to USW earlier and therefore possibly bringing the USA into the war earlier - which in and of itself 'might' shorten the war although the US Army / AEF is unlikely to be ready earlier than it was.

An earlier than April 1917 USA Entry into the war might possibly keep the Russians in the war?

But I suspect not.

With heavier losses to their fleet the pool of officers and men available for the U-boats would likely be less and so they would 'possibly' have fewer Uboat's or lower quality crewed Uboat's leading to a less successful campaign

What undoubtedly would happen is the morale of the HSF would be shattered and we might see the 'rot' that led to the mutiny's of 1918 start earlier
 
That being said had the Grand fleet found the HSF a few hours earlier, which is not that great a POD (i.e. HMS Engadine plays a greater role?
Even better HMS Campania receives the orders to sail with the rest of the Grand Fleet. Maybe some of Campania's and Engadine's Short 184 torpedo bombers finish off some of the shattered HSF's lame ducks.
 
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Even more emphasis on battleships, one assumes.
Not really. There are hard limits on the abilities of the alternatives until the 30s.

OTOH fast battleships could be effected in random ways. The Mackensens might not be a thing. HMS Hood was hugely influential. Sure battleship speeds are creeping up via the QEs and Nagatos but Hood was a huge public signpost saying "here is the future". If Hood isn't built, who has been playing with fast capital ships? The inevitable G3 analogue will be an even bigger surprise quantum leap.

Oh, and no Washington. By 1920 the RN is seriously behind the curve. If there is a Washington expect three O3 analogues instead of two.
 
QEs and Nagatos but Hood was a huge public signpost saying "here is the future". If Hood isn't built, who has been playing with fast capital ships? The inevitable G3 analogue will be an even bigger surprise quantum leap.
The surviving I's are obsolete so I think it likely Hood is still built. The I's are too slow for the Battlecruiser Force and far too thinly armoured for the battle line.
 
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The surviving I's are obsolete so I think it likely Hood is still built. The I's are too slow for the Battlecruiser Force and far too thinly armoured for the battle line.
What is the threat? Refit and Repair are coming. The LLCs are coming but will be looked at closely. The Admirals are the counter for the new German battlecruisers but will construction on those continue?

OTL the UK gave up on the Admirals mid-war and barely bothered with Hood. There are other priorities. There are a couple of big cruisers that could be effected too. This is what I mean about it being random. It could go in all sorts of directions.
 
There are no viable aircraft that could threaten the ships. If victory is a crushing one then Britain will force the Baltic’s open to save Russia any way it can. The freed up ships would cover the de-mining effort. Denmark’s neutrality would be violated, at least water wise which may push them into CP camp or alternatively lower public perception of Britain abroad. I don’t see how Germans can stop it from happening however.

Morale is sky high. Jutland and Trafalgar are seen as being the same in importance. Jelicoe becomes the new Hood.
Russia might be saved from collapse and revolution.
Germany didn’t fight to the bitter end in WW1. They knew when they were defeated, when there’s no hope of winning and gave up. This moment may come sooner.
 
The Germans would have immediately announced a return to unrestricted submarine warfare, resulting in an American declaration of war during the late summer or early fall of 1916.
 
I'm with the couple of people who said the absence of HSF would lead the British to attempt operations in the Baltic Sea, in order to make it possible to send help to the Russians. I have no idea how well or badly that would have ended up going, but if it went well, that could be very good for the Entente.
 
The Germans would have immediately announced a return to unrestricted submarine warfare, resulting in an American declaration of war during the late summer or early fall of 1916.
Only now most of the Grand Fleet's destroyers will be available for escort duty once the Admiralty gets it's act together and begins forming Atlantic convoys. The RN's mine layers will also be a lot more active near the German coast.
 
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