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3647 THE TWENTIETH CENTURY.-THE GREAT WAR.

which the British deemed it proper discreetly to veil at the time. The loss of

the Queen Mary, the Indefatigable, and

other ships was due to armor-piercing

shells setting off magazines. The German

long range, high-angle fire proved particularly effective, and the British experience

in this and other battles showed conclusively that their battle cruisers were

not heavily enough armored, particularly

about the decks. Although the German

guns were of smaller calibre than those of

the British, they had a very flat trajectory

and, furthermore, could be elevated several

degrees more than those of the British.

The Germans had practiced shooting at

extremely long ranges, and made exceedingly good practice in the long-distance

duel with the British battle cruisers. The

German heavy shells plunged through the

poorly protected decks of the British

ships and wrought great havoc. This

defect in the construction of their ships

the British made haste to remedy after

the battle. Admiral Jellicoe says:

"The relative values of protection and

gun power had frequently engaged my

serious attention. It was also a subject

of much discussion among writers on naval

matters, some of whom went to the length

of suggesting that all available weight

should be put into gun power, and that

ships should be left practically without

armor. Their views were based on the

argument that the best defense is a powerful offensive. Although this argument

is very true when applied to strategy, the

war has shown its fallacy as applied to

materiel. The loss of the Good Hope,

Monmouth, Queen Mary, Indefatigable, Invincible, Defense, and Warrior, and the

considerations to which these losses gave

rise, convinced naval officers afloat, even

if they did not convince others less intimately associated with the fleet during

the war, that ships with inadequate defensive qualities are no match for those

which possess them to a considerably

greater degree, even if the former are

superior in gun power. The conviction

was strengthened by the knowledge which

we had obtained that German ships, far

more frequently hit by gun fire, torpedo,

or mine than many of our ships that

sank, were yet taken safely into port

owing partly to their defensive qualities,

but partly to the limitations of our armor piercing shell at that time ....A point of

considerable interest which should also

be mentioned because it was to prove

important, was that the Germans possessed

a delay-action fuse, which, combined with

a highly efficient, armor-piercing projectile,

ensured the burst of shell taking place

inside the armor of British ships instead

of outside, or while passing through the

armor, which was the case with British

shells of that date fired against the thick

German armor."

It seems to be beyond question that

German warships were generally capable

of standing more punishment without

sinking than was the case with the British

ships. This fact is noticeable not only

in the Battle of Jutland but in other

encounters. In the conflict of the Falkland Islands the Gneisenau and Scharnhorst

were battered for hours before they sank.

In running fight between the battle cruiser

squadrons in January, 1915, the Blucher

was hit scores of times but did not go to

the bottom until after she had been torpedoed. The Goeben, in Turkish waters,

was repeatedly hit by shells, was mined

and also bombed, yet, though once beached,

she remained afloat till the end of the war.

This, in part, was due to the lack of effectiveness of the British shells but still more

to better German armor and construction.

In his book Admiral Jellicoe bluntly admits that his reason for not forcing the

fighting after nightfall was because he

deemed the risk too great. He says:

"The greater efficiency of German searchlights at the time of the Jutland action,

and the greater number of torpedo tubes

put in enemy ships, combined with superiority in destroyers, would, I knew, give the

Germans the opportunity of scoring heavily

at the commencement of such an action."

One of the many brave deeds of this battle is thus described by Admiral Jellicoe:

"The attack of the British destroyers

was carried out with great gallantry and