THE BATTLE OF JUTLAND. THE AFTERMATH.

On June 1st 1936, the 20th Anniversary of the Battle of Jutland/Skager Rak, in a Nazi Rally, Admiral Raeder gave a speech in which he emphasised the fact that all war-time animosities had been forgotten and that the Germans had always regarded the British as honourable and chivalrous opponents, of the same race and character as themselves. The British dead, said Admiral Raeder, were being commemorated as well as the German. The Fuhrer himself gave no address but at the close of the ceremony passed through the ranks of uniformed men massed in the arena to deposit a wreath in the Hall of Honour beneath the Memorial, while the band played the soldiers song  “I have a comrade”. The flags of the Navy League were lowered in salute and the guns of the fleet thundered in the distance. This is that song/tune from YouTube:-

 

AT THE OFFICIAL LEVEL, no British response to Admiral Raeder's speech was ever penned or mooted, and that the stand-off status quo was maintained into WW2 and thereafter!

[BACK IN 1916, THE BATTLE WAS  SOMETIMES REFERRED TO AS THE BATTLE OFF JUTLAND, OR IF YOUR WERE GERMAN, BATTLE OF SKAGER RAK - note two words in German lingo]]

and

WHY DON'T WE HAVE GENTLEMEN LIKE THIS ONE YOU WILL SOON READ OF, WHO TELLS IT AS IT IS, OR WAS?  Answer, because being PC is more important than telling the truth!

But first, an object which like so many on the internet cannot be taken at face value and requires an interpretation so that we all understand just what is going on. Note, THE LEFT HAND IMAGE. There is nothing wrong with the image to follow, it's of its time so the year is not necessary to state, but the fault lies with the web publisher, out of time, so it is crucial that we know the year being talked about or written about. The right hand image  is a by-and-by picture of those long lost days ago. Note the  venue, the date, the time strangely 3rd June @ 3 pm, and the year/anniversary year =  ???? - Supported by several admirals and their ladies, the Band of the Irish Guards, and two prominent clerics. The chief speaker, the Dean of Durham appointed 1913 to 1918 was a fire-brand, opposing teetotalism, and socialism and he defended the right of the clergy to express doubts on the virgin birth and the bodily resurrection. From that information, we can gather that this event was was either the 2nd or 3rd Jutland Anniversary, but his seniority as a Dean might have suggested 1918 as opposed to 1917 i.e., the the second anniversary.

 

Staying with the left  image, the clue to what the day/date/time viz Friday May 31st at 7pm refers to is in the small print near the top of the icon picture which says "Established 1818.....", so, rather unclearly, it is 1918 and five and a half months [roughly]  before Armistice day on the proverbial 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month. From that we ascertain that it is the second anniversary of the Battle of Jutland.

Down towards the bottom of the picture it states "A Striking Film showing how the Society deals with Torpedoed  Crews etc."

No doubt all three speakers were interesting, but my money would be on the top billing,  Lord Jellicoe: what a dynamic event that must have been!

However the Chairman interested me because I have read other things he has spoken of but in much less combative mannerisms than he used on this occasion. I had to look elsewhere for details of his speech and found it, delivered to introduce the speakers.

This, from a peer of the realm, high ranking as a Marquess [in order Baron, Viscount, Earl and Marquess] and having just stepped down from being the leader of the house of lords and more importantly a Knight of the Garter, a monarch's personal gift for just a handful of people, struck the chord of my devout patriotic endeavour, and I wanted you to know about it. This is the Marquess:-

However, just a bit of text before I show you his introduction. Most of you I am certain know of the famous national pride which were it able to do so, would blast the roof of the Royal Albert Hall into nearby Kensington Gardens, and here I am thinking about the famous 'Last night of the Proms' and the incomparable 'Remembrance Concert' given in the presence of Her Majesty. This gathering and at this stage  in the war, with the Royal Navy near completing its job of starving Germany into utter chaos and certain defeat, would, I believe, have surpassed our routine patriotic concerts as a one-off concert without comparability, but, and sadly, without the Royal Family in attendance.. The Germans, from day one, had claimed that they were the victors of Jutland [Skager Rak] and as we Brit's quietly and with reverence celebrated each passing anniversary, the German's were in pugilistic-mode, gathering huge momentum come the 1930's when Adolf Hitler took the salute at ceremonies in Berlin. It wasn't until the 20th anniversary [1936] and on neutral ground, Gothenburg, Sweden, that the British ex pats living in Sweden with the German ex pats celebrated the anniversary together.  At no time has Britain and Germany as States attended an anniversary together!  That said, you will see that the under-belly of the Kaiser's Imperial Navy soon passed the mantle of competitive battle hatred down to the NAZI Navy, who, for fleeting moments, were overtly in the forgiving and forgetting mode, well disposed to commemorating the naval dead of Britain alongside their own naval dead of WW1, whilst suggesting explicitly,  that we were indeed anglo-saxon brothers  of equal merit both socially and as men in arms, ergo, the deaths of British sailors were mourned with those of the German Imperial Navy. More of that in a minute, but suffice to say, we did not reciprocate at any point, thinking of the Germans as being sub-human having human natures comparable to those of carnal beasts given their WW1 bestiality records, Army and the Submarine Service in particlar. It is sad that we Brit's did not enter into the Entente Cordiale which by 1936 was being encouraged and invited by the then well established Nazi regime outwardly trying to repair relationships with Great Britain, while gearing-up for a more evil war shortly to be thrust upon the world.

Don't you just love all that shooting and hanging, especially for the cruel and barbaric Hun?  Can you imagine somebody like Jeremy Corbin saying something like that, at any time? Lord Crewe was a staunch liberal and did many good things in Parliament for old age pensioners, children, families and for the general good of the nation. He was extremely rich by inheritance but was also very generous!

The Germans explicitly believed that they had defeated the Royal Navy at Jutland and still do to this very day. From 1916 until their utter defeat in WW2, they overtly paraded their trappings of naval warfare at every available moment, but essentially, for every Jutland Anniversary, mustering all the pomp and German arrogance they could assemble which for the first fifty years of the 20th century were the undoing of their cruel, perverse and detestable nation. Britain, although I wish it were otherwise, played the 'gentleman's game', playing the war down, and for many of the anniversaries of Jutland over the years, could not even produce a national broadsheet with Jutland stories of substance and pride.

 These first three files [1 and 2 parts of same story] do indeed show the German intention as far back as 1936, although as you will see, the revelries started way way back in 1916/1917. Navy to navy one can learn a lot from reading these files.


and they set the scene for the German way of thinking for just over five hours [or so] of fighting at Jutland in a war which was to last over four years resulting in a very rough and crude  time-based fraction of [hours in combat], or in decimal format 0.0001 of the war. It is estimated that the overall sea time for the IGN in WW1 [not counting Graf Spee's defeat at the very beginning of the war in December 1914 which was an almighty victory for the RN and Admiral Sturdee [see http://www.godfreydykes.info/The%20first%20RN%20battle%20of%20the%20Falklands.htm ]  was just 11% whereas for the RN it was off-the-clock! As for our first Falklands War, I am ever surprised that Admiral Sturdee and his South Atlantic squadron were not put forward as THE British naval heroes of that war, for the damages they meted out to the IGN far out did those at Jutland, as well as coming home with most of his ships intact and relatively few casualties, leaving nothing but mayhem for the defeated Germans in his wake.

Staying with the way Germany celebrated, as reported in British broadsheet newspapers, let's look at just a few more files in chronological order:-

The_Times_1917-06-01 KAISER AND THE GERMAN VICTORY.jpg

The_Times_1921-05-31  German victory film for Berlin.jpg

The_Times_1922-06-01 GERMANS CELEBRATE THEIR VICTORY AT JUTLAND.jpg

The_Times_1924-06-02 GERMANS CELEBRATE JUTLAND.jpg

The_Times_1925-05-30 GERMAN NAVAL HISTORY.jpg

The_Times_1926-06-15 german graves honoured but not british for jutland.jpg

The_Times_1932-05-28 ADMIRAL VON HIPPER.jpg

The_Times_1934-06-01 germans celebrate beating the british at jutland.jpg

The_Times_1935-06-01 STREET NAMES IN BERLIN CHANGES TO WAR OFFICERS NAMES.jpg

The_Times_1936-05-23 Brownshirts ROW A GREAT DISTANCE FOR GERMAN CEREMONIES.jpg

If we now compare that, like with like, for news of British celebrations and Anniversaries, then there is not much to report.

Deep into the 1920's MP's were still demanding a Jutland Report which never came. Lord Jellicoe was given the plumb job as the 1st Sea Lord but he didn't impress the Prime Minister Lloyd George who sacked him and then as far as Parliament and the media were concerned, he was whisked off to New Zealand out of the firing line. Half the Brit's didn't know what was happening and wondered if we really did win the battle, whilst the other half argued the merits and demerits without any really knowing what they were talking about. There was no expert witness available [or willing] to set the record straight. Reading in British newspapers about how the country or at least the navy celebrated their great win [tactical or strategic] was, on many occasions, a non event, a delivery which  amounted to a series of brief snippets, which naturally put further doubts into the minds of the great British public!

Here are a few, but remember over the years there weren't many to be had:-

The_Times_1917-05-22  JUTLAND FIGHT THANKSGIVING.jpg

The_Times_1917-09-01 SEE IMPERIAL & FOREIGN NEWS AND BALLOON PASSING OVER JUTLAND.jpg

The_Times_1918-05-31 SECOND ANNIVERSARY OF JUTLAND.jpg

The_Times_1919-05-22 3rd anniversary.jpg

The_Times_1919-05-31 Jutland -- Unsettled questions.jpg

The_Times_1920-06-01 POW CELEBRATES JUTLAND IN AUSTRALIA.jpg

The_Times_1923-05-31 JUTLAND 7TH ANNIVERSARY.jpg

The_Times_1937-06-01 in memory of lord jellicoe.jpg

The_Times_1937-05-29 21ST ANNIVERSARY OF JUTLAND.jpg

The_Times_1938-06-01 jutland anniversary.jpg

The_Times_1940-06-01     JUTLAND DAY.jpg

The_Times_1966-04-14 50th anniversary of Jutland.jpg

captain roskill on beatty's involvement with the Jutland record.htm

All in all a lack lustre performance media-wise, or was it simply that there was no British tale to tell, nothing to boast about or even celebrate or commemorate all those lost British souls!

I've kept this newspaper cutting back, separate from all the others, for it was just the thing our navy [and indeed our country] wanted to hear, and from who better than the man in charge of the Admiralty in London namely the First Lord, who, as a civilian [an eminent politician] answers to Parliament for the smooth and efficient running of the navy exercised through his professional Board Members, the Sea Lords our great admirals.

"It would be an error, however, to suppose that the naval victory changed the situation: what it did was to confirm it.

Before Jutland and after it, the German Fleet was imprisoned.  The battle was an attempt to break the bars and burst the confining gates: it failed, and with its failure the High Seas Fleet, sank again into impotence."

So said Mr Arthur Balfour at the beginning of August 1916 in his excellent article on the "Fruits of Jutland". For my mind, it's a pity that such a document of this type wasn't issued from such an august high ranking member of the government on a yearly basis, if only for the rest of the war years.

The file below I have already mentioned in my text above. It is comforting to think that the gathering of ex pats was spontaneous and continued in perpetuity and perhaps easily given Sweden's neutrality. It deals with people, ordinary people and death, when the truth is that they would much have preferred to be back home as civilians not engaged in wholesale slaughter. They died, British and German alike, furthering the maniacal ego of a defunct member of an equally defunct Prussian Empire. Wilhelm II, after killing millions of people sought and gained sanctuary in Holland with the Dutch [what an obtuse bunch of people back then] harboring a mega mass killer to the surprise of millions of people world wide! 

Finally, it was not uncommon for sailors who had witness the slaughter at Jutland to buck the system, a system they considered had let them down so very badly.

The RN authorities decided that the Battle of Jutland did not warrant a celebration of a recording in history as a victory. As such no medals were struck or issued.

However, Spink & Son, the famous London medalist, had convinced the admiralty that they could make a medal which could be sold on a commercial basis, the proceeds being given to naval orphanages, to try and make the deaths of so many fathers more bearable. The admiralty readily agreed. The medals would be made of one design but in four different metals, one of "Best White Metal" selling for 1/- [one shilling = 5p]; one of "Real Bronze" for 5/-; one of "Solid Silver" for 15/- and one of "18 carat Gold" selling for an expensive price of £11 10/-

Because it was to be commercial enterprise, the admiralty did not make it known, and all advertising was done by Spink & Son of London, the only and official purveyor of the medal in whatever metal.

This advert comes from the Times Newspaper of late1916

Many sailors acquired the basic white metal medal and unofficially pinned it one their service medals, many, if they had one, on their LSGC medal, but come what may, they wore it on their chests and were proud to do so, dumfounded that a proper medal had not been approved if only to commemorate the many thousands who perished in that dreadfully short period of time of less that twenty four hours. Moreover, they could do, and did do, their own sums, and when the materiel losses of the Germans became known coupled with the German personnel lost, the refusal of a medal was indicative that the British had indeed been humiliated at Jutland, and well over half the world agreed with them.

 

That's all I have to say about the Jutland aftermath on the parochial subject of British newspaper coverage.  Goodbye.