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Who Won The Battle Of Jutland And Where Was It Fought?

Almost 250 ships took part, creating a scale of battle not seen since.

31/05/2016 16:10 | Updated 31 May 2016

One hundred years ago British and German ships engaged in a 36-hour conflict off the coast of Denmark which would leave both sides with devastating losses and change the course of the First World War.

The Battle of Jutland became the largest naval battle of the war, claiming the lives of 8,645 seamen.

Almost 250 ships took part on Wednesday, 31st May, 1916, creating a scale of battle that has not been seen since.

 Where Was The Battle Of Jutland Fought?

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The battle took place 90 miles off the Danish coast at Jutland Bank in the North Sea between the world's two largest and most powerful navies: The British Royal Navy's Grand Fleet and Imperial German Navy's High Seas Fleet.

Who Won The Battle Of Jutland?

The outcome of who won or lost is often disputed. Some see it as a tactical loss but a strategic victory for Britain.

Control of the North Sea was at stake.

Both nations claimed victory - Germany because of the 6,094 British losses compared to the 2,551 men it sacrificed - but Britain had seriously weakened the enemy's naval capability.

The confrontation, at what would become the halfway point of the war, came after British Grand Fleet set out for the Jutland Bank in the North Sea, to repel German forces attempting to break a British blockade.

Germany's naval power and trade routes were restricted by the outcome, while Britain's naval dominance was confirmed for the rest of the war, helping force a German surrender in 1918.

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Prime Minister David Cameron has today joined descendants of those who fought at the Battle of Jutland for a centenary service to remember the 8,645 seamen who died.

The service was held at the UK's most northerly cathedral in Kirkwall, Orkney, where Mr Cameron and German President Joachim Gauck are expected to attend.

The Princess Royal represented the Royal family at the memorial at St Magnus Cathedral where thousands of ceramic poppies have been installed in tribute to the war dead and a specially-commissioned piece of music by the late composer and Orkney resident Sir Peter Maxwell Davies was performed. 

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More than 100,000 men took part in the battle.

Descendants of those who fought at Jutland have been invited to join the commemorations, which will continue with a service at Lyness Cemetery on the island of Hoy - the final resting place for more than 450 service personnel who died in the war, including sailors killed at Jutland.

The cemetery stood close to Scapa Flow, from where the British Grand Fleet set out for the Jutland Bank.

The Government said the commemorations will remember all those who lost their lives while also paying tribute to the role of the Royal Navy and the Orkney Islands in the 1914-18 conflict.

Commemorative events marking the Jutland centenary have previously been held at Rosyth and South Queensferry on the Firth of Forth, from where the Battlecruiser force set sail ahead of the battle on May 31 1916.

Vessels From The Battle Of Jutland

  • HMS 'Lion', left, and HMS 'Queen Mary'
    Hulton Archive via Getty Images
    HMS 'Lion', left, is shelled and HMS 'Queen Mary', right, is blown up by German shells during the Battle of Jutland.
  • German battlecruiser 'Seydlitz'
    Photo 12 via Getty Images
    German battlecruiser 'Seydlitz', She took part in the Battle of Jutland (May 31, 1916), World War I.
  • British cruiser 'Warrior'
    Photo 12 via Getty Images
    British cruiser 'Warrior', She took part in the Battle of Jutland (May 31, 1916), World War I.
  • British cruiser 'Iron Duke'
    Photo 12 via Getty Images
    British cruiser 'Iron Duke', launched in 1912, she was the flagship of Admiral Jellicoe during the Battle of Jutland (1916), World War I.
  • British battlecruiser 'Indefatigable'
    Photo 12 via Getty Images
    British battlecruiser 'Indefatigable', She took part in the Battle of Jutland (May 31, 1916), World War I.
  • British cruiser 'Iron Duke'
    Photo 12 via Getty Images
    British cruiser 'Iron Duke', Launched in 1912, she was the flagship of Admiral Jellicoe during the Battle of Jutland (1916), World War I.
  • German light cruiser 'Frauenlob'
    Photo 12 via Getty Images
    German light cruiser 'Frauenlob', She took part in the Battle of Jutland (May 31, 1916), World War I.
  • Battlecruiser HMS Queen Mary
    Universal History Archive via Getty Images
    The Battlecruiser HMS Queen Mary, Sunk In The Battle Of Jutland During World War I. From The Year 1916 Illustrated.
  • The British Grand Fleet
    ullstein bild via Getty Images
    The British 'Grand Fleet' is on her way to take part in the naval battle.
  • SMS Seydlitz
    Past Pix via Getty Images
    SMS Seydlitz, Battle-Cruiser, Displacement- 25000 tons, Launched- In April 1912 by Blohm & Voss and completed in May 1913, Dimensions(feet)-656 x 93, 3 x 28, HP- 63000, Speed- 26, 5kts, Armaments- 10 x 11inch, 12 x 6inch, 12 x 24pounder, 4 x 14pounder anti-aircraft, 4 x 20inch torpedo tubes, machine guns, Actions - Battle of Jutland.
  • British battlecruiser 'Lion'
    Photo 12 via Getty Images
    British battlecruiser 'Lion', The 'Lion' sailed under the flag of Admiral Beatty during the Battle of Jutland (May 31, 1916), World War I.
  • German Battle Cruiser, Lutzow
    Universal History Archive via Getty Images
    The German Battle Cruiser, Lutzow, Badly Damaged By The British Fleet In The Battle Of Jutland Bank, During World War I. From The Year 1916 Illustrated.
  • HMS Queen Mary
    ullstein bild via Getty Images
    Explosion on the British battleship 'HMS Queen Mary' during the Battle of Jutland, 31 May 1915.
  • ullstein bild via Getty Images
    The 1st German armoured cruiser squadron in the morning before the battle
  • SMS Seydlitz
    ullstein bild via Getty Images
    The heavily damaged German battlecruiser 'SMS Seydlitz' is burning.
  • Albert Harlingue via Getty Images
    World War I, Episode of the Battle of Jutland (on May 31/June 1st, 1916). Repairing a leak with cloth on a German destroyer-torpedo boat.
  • HMS Tiger
    Windmill Books via Getty Images
    HMS Tiger, turret at Jutland.
  • SMS Seydlitz
    ullstein bild via Getty Images
    German battlecruiser 'SMS Seydlitz' of the reconnaissance squadron is opening fire.
  • SMS Schleswig-Holstein
    ullstein bild via Getty Images
    German battleship 'SMS Schleswig-Holstein' in combat 
  • ullstein bild via Getty Images
    Scene of the battle: in front is a torpedo boat with launching tube ready to fire, at the back a British cruiser and striking British shells that were meant for another German torpedo boat
  • HMS Chester
    ullstein bild via Getty Images
    Garnet hit at the British ship 'HMS Chester' - June 1916 
  • British cruiser 'Invincible'
    ullstein bild via Getty Images
    The sinking of the British cruiser 'Invincible'. Bow and rear are jutting out of the sea, the torpedo boat destroyer 'Badger' is approaching from the right to rescue the six survivors.
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