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Vice Admiral Beatty hurriedly attacked

with his six giant battle cruisers and

turned to the southeastward in the hope

of cutting off the German squadron

from its base. The German squadron

changed its course correspondingly, and

the two squadrons were presently running

on nearly parallel but somewhat converging courses. A little before four o'clock,

both sides opened fire, the range being

then approximately nine miles. For some

time, the battle continued without notable

incident when suddenly the great British

battle cruiser Indefatigable blew up and

disappeared. Shortly afterward the superb

Queen Mary likewise blew up in a great

burst of smoke and flame. Exactly what

happened to these immense ships was

not disclosed; the world at large was left

in ignorance as to whether they had been

struck by torpedoes from submarines,

had been hit in their magazines by shells,

or had been destroyed by some new and

diabolical device. By the two disasters

more than a thousand men lost their

lives, while the British navy was diminished

by about forty-six thousand tons.

The Germans now had five battle

cruisers to Beatty's four, but Beatty's

four swift dreadnoughts, under Rear

Admiral Thomas, came up most opportunely and joined in the battle. Their

powerful long-range guns much more

than restored the balance. The German ships received fearful punishment, and the destruction of some or

all of them would doubtless have followed had not the main German fleet

under Admiral von Hipper appeared

in sight. Beatty thereupon gave up

the chase and turned northward in

the direction of Jellicoe's immense

fleet of dreadnoughts. Beatty hoped

to draw the whole German fleet after

him, and he succeeded. He had informed Jellicoe by wireless of what

was transpiring, and the whole of

Jellicoe's monster fleet was steaming

southward as fast as steam would

drive it.

The British battle cruisers were

swifter than those of the Germans,

while their dreadnoughts had the

same advantage over the German

dreadnoughts. Beatty was able,

therefore, practically to choose his

distance, and was able to repay some

of the damage he had sustained. Von

Hipper's flagship, the immense Luetzow, of 28,000 tons, received such

injuries that he was forced to transfer

his flag to the Moltke, and the

Luetzow ultimately went down.

A little before six o'clock, Jellicoe's

fleet was sighted by Beatty's cruisers.

At 6:20, Rear Admiral Hood's Third Battle

Cruiser Squadron, which was in advance

of the main battle fleet, entered the engagement and approached within 8,000 yards

of the leading German ships. Admiral

Hood's flagship, the Invincible, of 17,250

tons, one of the participants in the Falkland Island Battle, was sunk by a heavy

shell, and only six of the 75.0 men were