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

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.
If anything, with the HSF gone, and thus the bulk of British destroyers freed from fleet duties, I would expect an earlier shift to the convoy system.

A Trafalgaresque victory at Jutland has probably no short term effects on the land war. But it will give the Royal Navy complete control on the seas at the same time it will greatly reduce the strain exerted upon it. This is no good news for the Germans since this means the British have more ressources to throw against the U-boats should they come out in force again (which they will, the Germans won't have the choice now); more ressources to send into the ongoing Channel campaign; and more ressources to help tighten the blockade.

I don't know if the turnip winter can get worse than what it historically was, but yeah if such a thing is possible I'd guess the destruction of the High Seas Fleet is a good start...
 
Let's assume that as someone above mentioned, contact is made much earlier in the day. RN losses are the same. However the Germans lose the Lutzow, Seydlitz, Derflinger (happened or nearly did). They also lose Konig, Markgraf and Grosser Kurfurst in the initial engagement with 5BS and the Grand Fleet (Konig was very lucky OTL). Late evening action between 2BS, 1BCS and the second squadron accounts for the Schliesen before the squadron can escape into the murk. A better performance by British destroyers in the night means the loss of Pommern and Rheinland. The mine hit on the Ostfriesland on the way back is catastrophic not minor.

This leaves about one battle squadron's worth of dreadnoughts, even with the arrival of the Baden's and a gutted scouting group

The British are elated but nonetheless lick their wounds as they reflect on Beatty's losses. The battlefleet is triumphant and Jellicoe the hero of the day. With the glory to Jellicoe an enquiry considers the shooting and actions of the battlecruiser fleet in closer detail. Beatty receives much criticism for his handling of the BCF and associated practices.

Manpower is one of the big pay offs - the RN decommissions all predreadnoughts and its remaining home based armoured cruiser squadrons as quickly as possible to free up crews for escorts and light forces. Superb, Temeraire, Bellerophon and Dreadnought deploy to the Mediterranean.

Grand fleet destroyers are made available for escort duties and the Dover patrol and Harwich force are reinforced to dominate the southern north sea.

On the other side Scheer is relieved as the Kaiser throws a fit at the loss of his lovely ships. An more extreme return to the risk averse position taken with the fleet under Ingenhol takes place. Unrestricted U boat warfare is recommenced as a result of the grim turnip winter. German morale is shaken and there are reports of some units being reluctant to take offensive operations and an increase in communist propaganda. Some worker/soldier councils are set up and rapidly suppressed but a seed has been sown....
 
'Der Tag' turning into a second 'Tsushima' isn't going to make much of an impression on the Germany army if only to say 'we may have lost a bargaining chip'. The submarine and mines had already rendered the North Sea into a sort of 'no mans land' such that the RN may not be able to capitalise on it's victory but then Trafalgar didn't end the Napoleonic wars either - it's still 'boots on the ground' that counts.

After Jutland, whether the HSF existed or not, it didn't really have an impact on the shape of the rest of the war apart from sewing the seeds of revolution that ended the war.

The best thing the RN could do with it's new found supremacy is run convoys through the Baltic to keep the Russians in but even this will still incur losses.
 
Sailing supplies to Russia via the Baltic?

Did Russia even depend on any supplies from Britain in WWI? this is not LL - WWII style?

If the HSF is out of the picture, Germany might turn to building motorboats and destroyer escorts. Cheap and nasty things in confined spaces (like the Danish straits and the Baltic.

But the thing is: nothing will really change: Germany is still blockaded and Britain is still 'ruling the waves'.

Longer-term changes will happen of course. What could those be?

1) Air scouting is a must. Admittedly, the North Sea is limited compared to Pacific, but the lesson could be obtained.
2) Overall command and control of the battle is a must. This points to radar and air cover (Radar was known by the Germans already in 1904).
3) Plunging fire is a death warrant.
4) Whether carriers would be imagined is a good point
5) Destroyers and other 'early-warning' ships are necessary
6) Big guns only have so much impact unless the fire can be controlled far better

More?
 
I can see German morale on the frontlines collapse upon hearing the news
Possibly not
There was a service rivalry not to the extent of Imperial Japan but it was there
The generals would say" the Admirals have failed Germany it is now up to us to defend the Fatherland. It would be easier to defend the Fatherland if the Navy's budget was redirected towards the army
 
It would be easier to defend the Fatherland if the Navy's budget was redirected towards the army
The Navy's budget built Krupp into the largest employer in Europe.
Did Russia even depend on any supplies from Britain in WWI? this is not LL - WWII style?
This is what the Gallipoli campaign was for and then they tried supply through Murmansk. Supplies directly into Petrograd may hold off the revolution.
 
I don't know if the turnip winter can get worse than what it historically was, but yeah if such a thing is possible I'd guess the destruction of the High Seas Fleet is a good start...
Not long ago we had a thread that ended up going into the possibility of the GF transiting into the Baltic:

From that experience I can say that I am not sure it is viable even if the HSF is destroyed. However if it is possible, the strategic plans laid out in 1904-1905 regarding RN goals in the Baltic (before such a thing was recognized as untenable) call for the East German port infrastructure to be destroyed by bombardment. These ports were much smaller and more lightly defended than those on the North Sea and were generally coastal rather than on estuaries. They were also critical to the Baltic trade with Sweden. Like in WW2 Germany used a significant amount of Swedish Iron ore in their war production as well as finished products such as ball bearings. Sweden was also the source for most of the turnips that gave the turnip winter its name. If the RN can successfully wreck these ports and keep their operation sporadic, or non-existent it seems like the turnip winter could in fact get even worse than OTL.
 
. The submarine and mines had already rendered the North Sea into a sort of 'no mans land'
The best thing the RN could do with it's new found supremacy is run convoys through the Baltic to keep the Russians in but even this will still incur losses.
Sailing supplies to Russia via the Baltic?
I seriously question if you can push merchant ships (or even warships past the Baltic) how do you deal with the mines and Subs? Even if you can, Germany will simply occupy Denmark and then close it with heavy guns....?

Did Russia even depend on any supplies from Britain in WWI? this is not LL - WWII style?
Yes, huge amounts of mostly US supplies and mostly on GB credit that was defaulted/written off after the revolution, with GB having to play the US for it all as the underwriter of the loans.
 
Well it won't be wiped out completely, thats impossible, but plenty of variables to really screw the HSF at Jutland.
As said, morale boost for the British is massive. Cooler heads will probably prevail in regards to any baltic campaigns, but more air raids on german ports, further evolving carrier aviation somewhat, though effectiveness will still be minimal at that stage. Gradual attempt to reopen the Baltic might ensue. If its successful it will be at a cost, its Germanys backyard but Russia getting supplies where they can actually be transported to the front could be worth it, but I'm nearly certain it'd cause heavy enough losses that it'd be called off. One would hope the battle had been won through the entire battlecruiser fleet getting gunnery runs through with the grand fleet, and the lessons from dogger bank being shoot better (is a look into shells at that stage being too much of a wank?), not faster. The Cats and British battlecruisers generally were durable when they didnt explode. Bit more aviation scouting ahead probably would've helped with communications, after that I think you've a best case scenario for a good british win. Mining around German ports in 1916-17-18 will be a lot more effective than earlier mines which were close to useless
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.
OTL Admirals probably won't be built, so you'll probably have something thats looks much more like a stepping stone to the G3s and on, something like K2 or 3 with 16 inch guns. Theres no rush with the Mackensens, good time to have a fast battleship designed from the ground up.
The british gunnery tests postwar might be different too...
 
It also might be of interest that the planned 1917/1918 carrier strike on the HSF in port was not an end goal so much as a preliminary operation. The intention was to neutralize the HSF so that the RN's forces could be applied directly to the Belgian ports supporting the U-Boat campaign. If the HSF is mostly neutralized by Jutland (or at least enough of it to make the RN confident they can deal with them) then a naval assault of some kind on Ostend and Zeebrugge could be in the cards for 1916/1917.
 
The Navy's budget built Krupp into the largest employer in Europe.

This is what the Gallipoli campaign was for and then they tried supply through Murmansk. Supplies directly into Petrograd may hold off the revolution.
Germany is in the middle of a war
The German Army would love are the Krupp works to start producing them artillery exclusively. Everyone would like extra artillery
With all that extra steel and money lying around, the Panzer even though not popular with the higher ranking officers should be able to get funding
 
Well tens of thousands of German sailors are going to be dead, so that's going to have some massive knock-ons

1) OK, it's probably not different from a major battle/offensive on the Western Front so it won't impact civilian life more, but it will hit families and communities less hard-hit by army losses, and probably seriously impact some of the ports
2) There's far less people around to transfer to the Uboat wing, especially trained officers
3) Operations in the Baltic are going to be relying on the old pre-dreadnoughts and coast defence ships now that dreadnoughts cannot be transferred there

Now, there are SOME new ships coming along, the Badens. If the Admiralty decides it's going to need a core of modern battleships it can devote resources to finishing all 4 off, completing the Mackensens, even look at the Salamis.
 
Sailing supplies to Russia via the Baltic?

Did Russia even depend on any supplies from Britain in WWI? this is not LL - WWII style?
Lack of feasible route was the whole problem. If a route is created, then Russia could start relying on WW1 version of L-L, historically there was little way of doing it (Murmańsk was specifically established for this purpose, but it was only created in autumn 1916).

If the HSF is out of the picture, Germany might turn to building motorboats and destroyer escorts. Cheap and nasty things in confined spaces (like the Danish straits and the Baltic.
The problem is that Baltic... still remains closed for British.

RN cannot sail any of their dreads through Oresund, it is too shallow. It was a problem during WW2, it will be a problem during WW1. Oresund allows only for 8m draught - and literally all dreads and even pre dreads have more than that.

Southern route goes through Danish territorial waters. It allows dreadnoughts to be sailed, but Denmark allowing RN to sail through it is akin to Copenhagen declaring war against Germany. And If RN forces their way through Danish territorial waters, then Denmark may easily join Central powers.

Even without it, with neutral Denmark, southern route is very close to Germany. All types of light forces, minelayers, torpedo boats, would have a field day with harassing passage of Royal Navy. it is horrible environment to fight in.
 
Now, there are SOME new ships coming along, the Badens. If the Admiralty decides it's going to need a core of modern battleships it can devote resources to finishing all 4 off, completing the Mackensens, even look at the Salamis.

The only problem there is getting crews for them, and materials. Whilst the HSF literally cannot be wiped out, lets assume it gets badly roughed up with the following losses

4 x Koening Class Dreadnoughts
1 x Kaiser Class Dreadnought
1 x Ostrifrieland Class Dreadnoughts
1 x Nassau Class Dreadnought
3 x Deutschland Class Pre-Dreadnoughts

And of the 1st Scouting Group, the only survivor is Derfflinger, the rest (Moltke, Lutzow, Von Der Tan, Seydlitz) are all sunk as well as heavy losses among cruisers and assorted losses amongst German DD's and other ships being shot up or damaged.

To replace these, the Germans are going to have the resources available to build 2 Bayerns and 1 x Lutzow, if they put more resources into other ships, then it comes at the cost of artillery, machine guns, rifles and bullets. Fleet morale would be badly shaken and in a strategic sense, the High Seas Fleet has just had its eyes plucked out with the loss of 1st Scouting Group and various Cruisers being sunk. They've lost their scouting ability, and have no real way of replacing the lost ships in any appreciable number compared to what the UK's shipyards are going to be pumping out.

The High Seas Fleet simply won't be able to challenge the RN again, the RN could lay up some of its older Dreadnoughts or Battlecruisers, freeing up the crews for escorts, its a big morale boost for the Allies and the UK will throw Knighthoods and more at Jellico and god forbid, Beatty. It will be a morale hit for the Germans, any hope they have right away of breaking or loosening the blockade is gone. Fisher might get sexually aroused at the thought of his Baltic Plan getting dusted off, but as folks pointed out, the only way to do that is to go through Danish territorial waters and the Danes won't do that because they'll get invaded by the Germans, or join the Central Powers (Not that it helps much mind).
 
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With regard to the Baltic route to Russia I think it might be a bit like the German merchant U boats, but on a much larger scale. I think I read that pre war Russia imported fancy artillery shell fuzes, so the Baltic route might be used to fight through high value cargo a bit like the WW2 Malta convoys rather than the day to day trans-Atlantic convoys shipping oil and grain etc.
 
RN cannot sail any of their dreads through Oresund, it is too shallow. It was a problem during WW2, it will be a problem during WW1. Oresund allows only for 8m draught - and literally all dreads and even pre dreads have more than that.

Southern route goes through Danish territorial waters. It allows dreadnoughts to be sailed, but Denmark allowing RN to sail through it is akin to Copenhagen declaring war against Germany. And If RN forces their way through Danish territorial waters, then Denmark may easily join Central powers.

Even without it, with neutral Denmark, southern route is very close to Germany. All types of light forces, minelayers, torpedo boats, would have a field day with harassing passage of Royal Navy. it is horrible environment to fight in

I think the British would have a hard time getting their dreadnoughts through the Oresund but I’m not sure if it would be strictly impossible. I see the 8m depth thrown around a lot, but I haven’t been able to find anything much more authoritative than an unsourced Wikipedia article which verifies that. 8 meters is pretty close to the 9 or 10 meter draught of dreadnoughts. I bet that a lightened dreadnought (ammunition offloaded, not battle ready) could make it through the Oresund if it was will to accept the perils of maneuvers too hazardous for civilian vessels in peacetime. If there are friendly ports in the immediately vicinity of the Oresund, things like ship camels become an option as well.

I think the real problem would be that Denmark would have been invaded by Germany as soon as there’s a hint of a Royal Navy incursion into the Baltic. I just don’t know how much sealift capacity Germany would have had especially in the aftermath of a Jutland defeat: they need to occupy Funen and Zealand to have authoritative control over the Danish Straights.
 
We have had a thread on RN sailing along to the Baltic and a possible German invasion of Denmark.

If we look at German options after the HSF is gone, there are not many:

- Build more capital ships - takes years and the track record is not so great - Maybe not an option
- Subs: But what to do with them? Atlantic? Or maybe the mudflats of the Channel
- MTBs: used to disrupt the channel traffic to and fro France
- Mining of French ports

If Germany should realise that the Atlantic traffic is important, the more 'easy' one could be the transfer of men and materiel from UK to France - the Channel

Using limited resources (an MTB vs. battleship in cost) and focus on mining and MTB attacks evrey day could have an impact.

Is this an option?
 
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