The War at Sea
June 4 1916
To my dear Ethel,
The past couple of days have been an arduous battle for all of us here at the North Sea. Many men have lost their lives for us during this war but this battle that we have fought on the 31st was unlike any other I have fought. I presume that this battle will turn the favours to our side and hopefully will bring victory to Britain. Since this war began in 1914, the Germans have been depriving us from our basic needs, limiting our access to food and resources by attacking our merchant ships with U-boats. However, this battle that we fought at Jutland will turn the tables. This battle is one to be remembered. We have lost great numbers of men but because of their effort, we have proved our naval dominance over the Germans. This will prevent them from ever again breaking out in the North Sea and we will also have control over their supply routes.
We have lost too many men, not only during this battle at Jutland, but throughout this war at sea. Fourteen British ships were sunk during this battle, resulting in more than 6000 of us killed and 600 of us wounded. Not only this, approximately 200 of us were captured by the Germans. I pray for the families of these sailors that have fought bravely with us and for our country. On the Germans' side, we were able to sink eleven ships which resulted in the deaths of approximately 2000 Germans and 500 wounded. Unfortunately, we lost twice as many soldiers and more ships than the Germans. Though we, British are tough skinned, we have lost countless men that I shudder at the amount of families left behind. By now, we have most likely lost more than 10 000 sailors. The great number of these deaths at sea shall be remembered and their efforts have made a great impact for the advancement towards Britain's victory.
During this battle at Jutland, we were able to make great damages in the German's naval power. Luckily, we were able to have an advantage of knowing their plans in advance due to our knowledge of their codes. We had obtained a copy of the German codebook, which had been boarded by the Russian Navy in 1914. Due to this, we were able to know about German's activities beforehand. By brilliant tactics from Sir John Jellicoe, we were able to make serious damage on the German ships. I've heard from the news that Scheer, the German's Vice Admiral is avoiding any future encounters with the Grand Fleet because of our "great material superiority" and advantageous "military-geographical position."(History.com) However, I've heard that the Germans are going to increase their usage on U-Boats against our trade to strip us from our foods and resources. If Britain starves any further, I'm afraid that numerous deaths from this war are not only going to be at the battlefields but also at our home grounds.
However, now that we have control over the North Sea, we can control the German's supply routes. By doing this, we have an advantage of decreasing their amount of supplies for the war and then, turning the favour towards our side. The Germans depend on these goods, and without them, they are no match for our naval fleets. Hopefully, with these routes in control, the Germans will be deprived of their necessities and realize that it was our victory at the battle of Jutland and that this war is going to be our victory, not theirs.
This battle that we fought on May 31st and June 1st 1916 was one of the most memorable battles I have fought in. Some people say that it is the largest naval battle since this war and I do hope that label with stay with it. This battle will be marked in history as it was a proud achievement that may just lead us to victory for this long and dreadful war. Though this battle had numerous losses of British lives, because of their contribution, we were able to carve a path towards our success in this war by being able to have power over the North Sea and thus being in control of the supply routes of the Germans. Though this war may have a long way to go, this battle at Jutland is going to cut this long and grievous war short for the better. And the sooner it ends, the sooner we'll be safe together.
- "The War at Sea." Veterans Affairs Canada. N.p., 23 Oct. 2014. Web. 12 Feb. 2015.
- Baum, Daniel Jay, and Penny Mallette. "Unrestricted Submarine Warfare: German Purpose."Times Past: 1917. Toronto: IPI Pub., 1999. Print.
- Vodden, Christy, and Ian G. Dyck. "Canada And The War at Sea." A World Inside: A 150-year History of the Canadian Museum of Civilization. Gatineau, Québec: Canadian Museum of Civilization, 2006. Print.
- London, Charles. Jutland 1916: Clash of the Dreadnoughts. Westport, Conn.: Praeger, 2004. Print.
- "Battle of Jutland." History.com. A&E Television Networks. Web. 23 Feb. 2015.
- Michael, Duffy,. "Firstworldwar.com." First World War. 22 Aug. 2009. Web. 23 Feb. 2015.
- "Battle of Jutland." Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 11 Feb. 2015. Web. 23 Feb. 2015.