Battle of Jutland anniversary event
Almost exactly 100 years ago, on 31st May 1916, two of the greatest naval forces in history faced each other in the North Sea. Sixty ‘Dreadnoughts’, huge armoured ships with guns firing half-ton shells, were expected to fight a battle of annihilation. This was an uncharted conflict, the first time whole battlefleets had clashed for a hundred years, and new untested tactics had been invented for them. These tactics used a strange mixture of geometry and calculus, and a lot of dogma and guesswork. The only chance to test the new doctrine in practice had happened in two small collisions during the preceding years: in the southern ocean at the Battle of the Falklands and in the North Sea at the Battle of Dogger Bank. In the end, the great clash at Jutland was only half-fought: after a `Run to the South’ resulted in grievous losses for the British battlecruisers, the `Run to the North’ finished without the two battleship fleets becoming fully engaged.
In soon-to-be-published work the speakers have shed new light on the controversies and tactical dilemmas around the battle using a mixture of mathematical insight and historical detective work. Building on these insights we will ponder the merits of the two forces' tactics and the possible implications of failure for both sides.
This event is a mixture of lecture, wargame and simulation. We will introduce and explain the background to the battle including the events at the Falklands and at Dogger Bank, as well as the nature of the new tactics and some of the mathematics behind them. Then we'll recreate the battle using scale models on the floor of the lecture theatre, with the speakers and some of the audience taking on roles. Will the battlefleets fight it out, as never happened in reality? And will the maths prove to be correct? We look forward to finding out!
Please note the change of venue from that previously advertised.