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Source: "Tactical Problem VI: Maneuvered 13-24 February, 1921 as Tactical Maneuver VIII," Record Group 4, Box 14, Folder 1, Naval Historical Collection, Naval War College, Newport, RI. 

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Battle of Jutland War Game at the US Naval War College, Class of 1922


British Battlecruisers that Fought at Jutland


The Battle of Jutland (31 May–1 June 1916), fought between Britain’s Grand Fleet and Imperial Germany’s High Seas Fleet,  was the largest naval battle of World War I, and one of the largest in recorded history, involving around 250 warships and tens of thousands of sailors. It was also the only fleet action fought between modern battleships (dreadnoughts) until the latter stages of World War II.  

Although not as deadly as the worst land battles, Jutland was the bloodiest naval battle of the war. The Grand Fleet lost 14 ships and 6,000 sailors, most of them aboard three large battlecruisers destroyed with few survivors. The High Seas Fleet suffered the loss of 2,500 sailors and 11 ships, including one battlecruiser and one pre-dreadnought battleship. Based on the losses inflicted against the larger British fleet, the German Navy claimed victory. However, the battle was a strategic success for Britain: The High Seas Fleet remained confined to the North Sea, preserving British naval supremacy for the remainder of the war.

Although the United States did not enter World War I until April 1917, Jutland became a topic of intense study during and after the war on our side of the Atlantic, particularly at the U.S. Naval War College in Newport, Rhode Island, the Navy’s main center for doctrinal and strategic innovation in the interwar years. The curriculum at Newport was based on elaborate war games intended to train officers for fleet command and Jutland loomed large in those games.

Although Jutland was an important source of data on modern naval warfare, the War College did not constantly refight Jutland in the interwar years. Instead, the experience of that battle affected the rules of the war games and set the expected pattern for future engagements. While Jutland was frequently recreated on the game board as a sort of “staff ride” for War College students, it was rarely the subject of formal war games, which, understandably, tended to include the American fleet as a participant, with a focus on projected scenarios from future wars.

[1]

The game reproduced below, from February 1921 is rare—possibly unique—in the War College’s records, as a game that actually attempted to refight key episodes from Jutland using faithfully recreated British and German fleets from 1916.

This game is part of research associated with a forthcoming Naval History and Heritage Command (NHHC) book on war gaming in the interwar Naval War College by Dr. Norman Friedman. It demonstrates some important mechanics of War College gaming during that period, and also marks the Jutland centenary. Future games posted to the NHHC website will focus on important sessions that helped set U.S. Navy strategy in the interwar years.

Bibliography and Further Reading

Hattendorf, John B. Sailors and Scholars: the Centennial History of the U.S. Naval War College. Newport, RI: Naval War College Press, 1984.

Lillard, John M. Playing War: Wargaming and U.S. Navy Preparations for World War II. Lincoln, University of Nebraska Press, 2016.

Naval Historical Collection. “100 Years of Learning: The Battle of Jutland at the Naval War College.” http://www.usnwcarchive.org/exhibits/show/nwc-battle-jutland

Nofi, Albert A. To Train the Fleet for War: The U.S. Navy Fleet Problems, 1923–1940. Newport, RI: Naval War College Press, 2010.

Sims, Rear Admiral William S. “The Practical Officer.” Speech given to December 1919 Naval War College class. Record Group 12, Box 1, Folder 20, Naval Historical Collection, Naval War College, Newport, RI.

Spector, Ronald. Professors of War: The Naval War College and the Development of the Naval Profession. Newport, RI: Naval War College Press, 1977.

Vlahos, Michael. The Blue Sword: The Naval War College and the American Mission, 1919–1941. Newport, RI: Naval War College Press, 1980.

[2]

Class of 1922

Tactical Problem VI

(Tac.87)

First Situation

Based on Battle of Jutland – Time 3:48 p.m., May 31

BLUE Situation (British)1 

Motive: - (1) Training in quick decision

              (2) Analysis of Battle of Jutland 

General Situation:- BLUE and RED (Germany) are at War. BLUE fleet cruising in the North Sea prepared for eventualities. RED fleet cruising in the North Sea seeking to cut out minor detachments of the BLUE fleet. Neither fleet knows the other is out until contact is made and then does not know what force of the enemy is at sea beyond those in sight. 

Special Situation: - The BLUE Battle Cruiser Fleet [BCF], composed of BCF, 6-CC [Battle Cruisers] speed 27 [knots]—5-BS [5th Battle Squadron], 4-BB [battleships] speed 25—1-LCS [1st Light Cruiser Squadron], 4-CL [light cruisers] speed 28—2-LCS, 4-CL speed 28—3-LCS, 4-CL speed 28—1-F [1st Destroyer Flotilla], 1-CL, 9-DD [destroyers] speed 28—9-F, 8-DD speed 28—13-F, 1-Cl, 10-DD speed 29 cruising 60 miles to SSE of the Battle Fleet has made contract with the RED Scouting force composed of 5-CC—5-CL and 32-DD and at 3:48 p.m., the two forces have taken the stations for battle as shown on the game board.2 

Required: - (1) A written decision by each member of the BLUE force based on a mental estimate of the situation.3
(2) Signals sent by S.O. [signal officer]–BCF4
(3) Initial fire distribution.

Assumptions: - 1. Wind WNW—force 3.
2. Sun WSW—low
3. Visibility 30,000 yards.
4. Sea moderate.
5. No aircraft used with any effect
6. Submarines in vicinity.

______________

1 In War College games and Navy planning, countries were represented by colors. For example, “Blue” represented the United States, “Red” the United Kingdom, and “Black” Germany. In this case, the colors serve as generic indicators of opposing sides.

2 Somewhat unusually, the two sides started in contact with one another. In many games at the War College, scouting was of the utmost importance, and opposing fleets started well out of visual range from each other.

3 The Estimate of the Situation, a decision-making process involving a statement of the mission, an assessment of enemy forces, an assessment of friendly forces, and the available courses of action, was one of the key concepts taught at the War College from approximately 1912. It was easily scalable to actual operations and was utilized to great effect by the Navy in strategic and operational planning from World War I on.

4 The War College was not just designed to teach officers tactics, strategy, and the like—the school placed a great emphasis on how to disseminate clear and unambiguous orders to subordinates. Real-world battles like Jutland—where the BCF’s signal officer made serious errors—highlighted the importance of clearly-written orders.

[3]

RED Situation (German)

Motive: - (1) Training in quick decision

               (2) Analysis of Battle of Jutland

General Situation: - BLUE and RED (Germany) are at War. BLUE fleet cruising in the North Sea prepared for eventualities. RED fleet cruising in the North Sea seeking to cut out minor detachments of the BLUE fleet. Neither fleet knows the other is out until contact is made and then does not know what force of the enemy is at sea beyond those in sight.

Special Situation: - The Red Scouting Force composed of SD-1 [1st Scouting Division/Group, I. Aufklärungsgruppe], 5-CC speed 27—SD-11 [actually the 2nd Scouting Division/Group— probably a mistyping of the German II. Aufklärungsgruppe], 4-CL speed 26, F-IX [9th Torpedo Boat Flotilla, IX. Torpedoboots-Flottille], 9-DD speed 285—3-HF [3rd Half-Flotilla, 3. Halbflottille], 1-CL, 4-DD, speed 26—4-HF, 5-DD speed 28—11-HF, 5-DD, speed 28—12-HF, 4-DD speed 28, cruising 40 miles to [northward] of Battle Fleet has made contact with the Blue Battle Cruiser Fleet composed of—4-BB—5-CC—14-CL—27-DD and at 3:48 p.m., the two forces have taken stations for battle as shown on the game board.

Required: - (1) A written decision by each member of the RED force based on a mental estimate of the situation
(2) Signals sent by S.O. [signal officer]—SD-1
(3) Initial fire distribution.

Assumptions: - 1. Wind WNW—force 3.
2. Sun WSW—low
3. Visibility 30,000 yards.
4. Sea moderate.
5. No aircraft used with any effect
6. Submarines in vicinity.

_____________

5The closest equivalent to the German vessels called “torpedo boats” were destroyers in the American and British navies.

[4]

The Maneuver

1. The forces will be placed on the maneuver board behind screens at the beginning of the day, for the particular special situation that is to be considered on that day. The RED and BLUE sections of the class will be assembled on opposite sides of the board, and the screens will be opened so that each side sees its own forces but not those of the enemy. When each side has become satisfied with the composition, organization, and position of its own forces, all screens will be removed so that both sides may see the complete situation.

2. Each member of the class will provide himself with a pad and pencil and with a signal book, and upon removal of the screen will (as [standard operating procedure]) make a mental estimate of the situation as presented, after which he will write and hand in the following:

(a) Decisions
(b) First move of own BBs and CCs with any signals necessary.
(c) Signals that he may desire to send, if any, to units other than those under his own immediate command as force commander. (He is in immediate command of main body)6
(d) Diagram showing initial fire distribution of main body

3. The [D]irector of Maneuver will take time from the moment at which the screens are removed from the board until the requirements of Par. 2 above have been complied with. As it would not be probable that, in actual warfare, one’s own decision be actually written, the period of one minute will be deducted by the Director from the elapsed time as described above (or such other period as experience with the game may [be] indicated to him as appropriate).

4. After the above has been complied with the game will start, with the officers previously designated as commanders. To the above described time interval will be added the time necessary under the tactical rules to get through any [signals]s sent, according to their character; and during the resultant interval each unit of the command will be moved at discretion of unit commanders. Individual tactical unit commanders will take the initiative as they may deem necessary; the time required to start such movements being according to the tactical rules; this without waiting for instructions from the force commander.

5. After the initial move, the procedure will be as usual except that when a move is called for it must be in the hands of the Director within three minutes, or the force concerned will be required to continue as in the previous move.

_____________

6 Note again the importance of effectively conveying orders, not just developing them. Also note that all officers involved in the exercise, not just those designated as fleet commanders, were asked to create a “mental estimate of the situation” and a set of preliminary orders to familiarize them with the mindset of a fleet commander.

[5]

Details

Commanders of forces will be detailed as follows:

First Situation

Blue
C-in-C with battle fleet S.O.
BCF
5 BS
1 LCS
2 LCS
3 LCS
1 F
9 F
13 F
 
Plotter with BCF
Plotter with C-in-C
CofS [Chief of Staff] and Signal Officer with BCF

Red
C-in-C with battle fleet S.O.
SD-I
SD-II
F IX
3 HF
4 HF
11 HF
12 HF
 
Plotter with SD-1
Plotter with C-in-C
CofS and Signal Officer with SD-1
 

When the game is played the two C-in-C’s with their Plotters will occupy separate rooms adjacent to the game board and will plot the approach maneuvers of the Battle Fleets and will send out reference position signals at 15 minute intervals to their own forces as per C S P 422. The Plotters for BCF and SD-I will plot the maneuvers of the forces on the game board and make tactical scouting reports and reference position signals to their respective C-in-C’s. BLUE reference position signals will be based on the two following messages sent during the Battle of Jutland:-

At 3:40 pm BCF to C-in-C.
“Urgent. Enemy Battle Cruisers, five in number bearing NE; Destroyers, large number, bearing NE, course unknown. Position of reporting ship Lat 55° 53’ N, Long 5° 28’ E.”

At 3:40 C-in-C—General
“Reference position 3:30 pm. 57° 45’ N—4°32’ E.”

Courses given above are magnetic, variation 13° W.

Red Reference positions will be based on following positions at 3:48 pm.

C-in-C in High Sea Fleet
Lat. 56-25 N
Long. 6-13 E

SD-1
Lat. 56-55 N
Long. 5-48 E

[6]

BLUE Battle Fleet comprises:

Battle Fleet. 24 BB, speed 21—3 BCS—3 CC, speed 25—1 CS [Cruiser squadron], 4 OCA [Old Armored Cruisers], speed 20—2-CS, 4 OCA, speed 20, 4-LCS, 5 CL, speed 28—4 F, 1 CL, 16 DD, speed 28—11 F, 1 CL, 15 DD, speed 28, 12-F, 1 CL, 15 DD, speed 28—HF, 4 DD, speed 28

RED High Seas Fleet Comprises

FF [Fleet Flagship]—1 BB, speed 21

BS III Div. 5 [5th Division, 3rd Battle Squadron—III. Geschwader], 4 BB, speed 23

BS III Div 6,  3 BB, speed 21

BS I, 8 BB, speed 21—BS II, 6 OBB [Old Battleships], speed 187—SD-4 4 CL, speed 26—F III, 1 CL, 9 DD, speed 26—F V 9 DD, speed 28—F VII, 9 DD, speed 28—1 HF, 5 DD, speed 28

The organization of umpires will be as give in Serial 709, Mod. 1 of 8 November 1921 expect that Cmdr. [R.P.] Craft will relieve Cmdr. [R.B.] Coffey as gun fire scorer and Col. [B.H.] Fuller [USMC]8 will act as submarine plotter.

For Tactical Problem VI, all four situations, the BLUE CinC will be Captain [Harris] Laning9 and the RED CinC, Captain [P.N.] Olmstead

For the First Situation the BLUE BCF will be Cmdr. [I.F] Dortch, the RED SD-1 will be Cmdr. [Conant] Taylor

For the Second Situation the BLUE BCF will be Cmdr. [Gordon] Haines, the RED SD-1 will be Cmdr. [Archibald G. Stirling]10

For the Third Situation BLUE BCF will be Cmdr. [Owen] Bartlett, RED SD-1 will be Cmdr. [R.S.] Galloway

For the Fourth Situation BLUE BCF will be Cmdr. [Leo F.] Welch, RED SD-1 will be Cmdr. [Ralph C.] Parker.11

_____________

7 Unlike the all-dreadnought Grand Fleet, the High Seas Fleet contained a squadron of pre-dreadnought battleships. Known as the “five minute ships”—so called because of how long they were expected to last in combat against newer battleships—they were slower and less well armed than the High Seas Fleet’s other battleships, slowing the tactical speed of the entire formation.

8 Later major general and Commandant of the Marine Corps (1930–34).

9 Harris Laning eventually rose to the rank of admiral, commanding the Battle Force of the United States fleet in 1936–37. He also served as president of the Naval War College from 1930–33, where he played a major role in formulating what eventually because the U.S. Navy’s war plan for Japan.

10 Later captain. His father, Yates Stirling Sr., and his brother, Yates Stirling Jr., were both rear admirals. 

11 Later captain; early in his career he took part in the cruise of the Great White Fleet. At the end of his career in World War II, he served on the staff of Adm. Chester W. Nimitz. After the war, he was recalled to active duty and helped Samuel E. Morison write his history of the Navy in World War II.

[7]

While times were taken for the following situations, the situations themselves were really not quick decisions in so much as the situations were from the Battle of Jutland, with which the class were more or less familiar.12

The times taken by the two sections are averaged for each of the four situations as tabulated below:

  1st Sit. 2nd Sit. 3rd Sit. 4th Sit. Av. all Sits.
Blue Section: 7m-21s 2m-00 1m-43s 2m-07s 3m-18s
Red Section 6m-49s 0m-50s 1m-54s 2m-37s 3m-03s

____________

12 Some of the tactical games at Newport were “quick decision games,” designed to teach students how to assess tactical situations, develop a course of action, and effectively communicate it to subordinates under intense time pressure. In this case, the relatively rapid turnaround time for orders came from the familiarity the students had with the Battle of Jutland; all four “situations” in this exercise began at well-known—and heavily analyzed—decision points from the engagement.

[8]

Organization for Tactical Exercises on Maneuver Board.13

Class of 1922

Director—Captain [D.W.] Blamer. In general charge. Orders moves to be made 

Assistant Director—Commander [H.A.] Baldridge. Sees that moves are made in accordance with Fleet Standing Orders, that smoke screens are plotted correctly, shifts screens on board. Prepares history of maneuver. 

Chief Mover—Colonel [G.C.] Reid [USMC]. All move blanks are turned in to the Chief Mover, who checks up, and distributes move blanks when move is ordered. 

Chief Signal Officer—Colonel [James C.] Breckenridge [USMC]14. All signals are turned in to the Chief Signal Officer, who decides when the signals become effective, and distributes them at the proper time. 

Torpedo Scorers—Captain [B.B.] Wygant, Cmdr. [W.M.]Garton [Medical Corps (MC), USN], Major R.H. Smith [Coast Artillery Corps (CAC), USA]. All torpedo fire blanks are turned in to the torpedo scorers, who plot the track of all torpedoes, decide upon hits, and give notice to Division Commanders of the approach of torpedoes. Plot track of all ships. 

Gun Fire Scorers—Against Capital Ships—Col. [Michael J.] Lenihan [USA]15, Lt. Col [W.H.]Raymond [CAC, USA] , Cmdr. [R.W.] Plummer [MC, USN], Maj. [J.F.] Cottrell [CAC, USA]. All fire distribution blanks covering the fire of all classes of vessels against capital ships, BB-OBB-CC, are turned in to Colonel Lenihan, who scores gun fire and announces loss of speed and sinking of vessels. 

Against Other Ships—Cmdr. [I.C.] Johnson, Colonel [Louis McCarty Little [USMC].16 All fire distribution blanks covering the fire of all classes of vessels against any ships other than capital

_____________

13 As the following list shows, running war games was a manpower-intensive process. Scoring gunfire and torpedo hits were matters of considerable mathematical complexity. Note that, apart from Cmdrs. I. C. Johnson and R. B. Coffey, all of the officers involved in running the war games, as opposed to participating in them, were War College Staff or officers from the Army, the Marine Corps, and the Navy’s Medical Corps whose career paths would not involve potential squadron or fleet command. 

14 Later lieutenant general; Breckenridge had a long career in the Corps, including service in the Philippines during the Spanish-American War and Central America after World War I. In the 1920s and 1930s, he served two stints as the commandant of the Marine Corps Schools at Quantico. While there, he changed the curriculum to focus on amphibious warfare doctrine.

15 Temporarily promoted to brigadier general during World War I, Lenihan commanded the 83rd Brigade, 42nd Infantry Division during the Meuse-Argonne offensive and afterwards the 153rd Brigade, 77th Infantry Division.

16 Later major general, and assistant commandant of the Marine Corps (1935–37). The son of Navy Captain William McCarty Little, who played a major role in the early Naval War College, especially the development of Newport’s war-gaming system. During World War I, the younger McCarty Little served on the American Naval Planning Section, London, one of the early attempts to create a planning general staff in the U.S. Navy. That planning section used methods derived from the Naval War College—including the “Estimate of the Situation”—to plan naval operations and lay out postwar naval strategy. Returning veterans of the London Planning Section created the organization that would become the OpNav War Plans Division in 1918–19.

[9] 

ships are turned in to Cmdr. [R.B.] Coffey, who scores gun fire and announces loss of speed and sinking of vessels.

Submarine Plotter—Colonel [B.H.] Fuller [USMC]. Submarine Commanders are assigned separate rooms adjacent to game board, and will retire to assigned rooms when their submarines submerge.17 They will, when submerged, make tracing of move which will be collected by Cmdr. Craft who will make decisions regarding their maneuvers.

Smoke Screen Plotter—Lt. Col. [R.S] Hooker [USMC]. Plots smoke screens.

Movers—All division commanders move their own vessels. The Chief of Staff or Assistant will move the Fleet Flagship.

Fire Distribution—The Chief of Staff or Assistant turns in main battery fire distribution blanks for all ships of the Battleship Class, BB, OBB. Division Commanders make out fire distribution blanks for CC, CL, DD, and secondary battery on BB and OBB

Torpedo Fire—Division Commanders make out all torpedo fire blanks including torpedo fire from battleships.

Commander-in-Chief: The Commander-in-Chief will assign a Chief of Staff, who will also be a signal officer, a Fleet Plotter, and Division Commanders to all classes of vessels, so far as numbers allow: BB-OBB-CC-CL-DD-Submarine. Rotation in assignments is required.

Motive: To Expedite the Game

___________

17 This system was designed to simulate the limited field of view from a submerged submarine by preventing the officers playing submarine captains from seeing the entire tactical situation on the main game board.

[10]

First Situation—Jutland (15:48)18

1. [Rear Admiral Franz von] Hipper’s course 123°; line of bearing 308-123; speed 24.19

2. [Vice Admiral David] Beatty’s course 100°; line of bearing 302-122; speed 24.20

3. [Rear Admiral Hugh] Evan-Thomas course 65°; line of bearing-column; speed 22.21

4. Neither side has “gas” or “smoke” penalty (see p. 162 Official Dispatches—Jutland).22

5. Hipper has (spray) penalty (See von Hase’s account).23

6. Wind WNW; sea moderate.

7. Hipper has broadside fire.

8. Beatty has bow fire.24

9. Neither side has [aircraft] or kite balloons.

10. Hipper has Beatty in silhouette (see pp. 147 and 192 Official Dispatches-Jutland).25

11. Beatty has “roll” penalty: Hipper has none.

_____________

18 This situation simulates the very start of the battle, later called “the run to the south,” when the British Battle Cruiser Fleet and the German 1st Scouting Group encountered each other.

19 Franz von Hipper was the commander of the High Seas Fleet’s 1st Scouting Group at the Battle of Jutland, where he survived the sinking of his flagship, the battlecruiser SMS Lützow. For a brief period near the end of the war, he was the commander of the entire High Seas Fleet.

20 Beatty, the commander of the British Battle Cruiser Fleet at Jutland, succeeded Adm. Jellicoe as commander of the Grand Fleet in late 1916 when Jellicoe became First Sea Lord. After the war, Beatty served as First Sea Lord from 1919 to 1927.

21 Hugh Evan-Thomas commanded the 5th Battle Squadron at Jutland. Comprised of Queen Elizabeth-class “fast battleships,” the 5th BS was temporarily assigned to the Battle Cruiser Fleet before the battle to allow the 3rd Battle Cruiser Squadron to conduct firing exercises in Scotland. After the battle Beatty and Evan-Thomas sparred over the 5th BS’s role at Jutland; most historians now agree that signaling errors from Beatty’s flagship pushed the squadron out of position at least twice during the early stages of the battle.

22 Battle of Jutland: Official Despatches (London: His Majesty’s Stationary Office, 1920), was a collection of after- action reports and signal logs from the battle produced by the Admiralty after the war.

23 Korvettenkapitän (roughly equivalent to the USN’s lieutenant-commander) Georg von Hase was the gunnery officer aboard the German battlecruiser Derfflinger during the battle, and wrote a memoir, Kiel and Jutland [Kiel und Skagerrak] shortly after the war.

24 Based on their positions at the beginning of the battle, the German ships were judged to have the ability to fire broadsides—with their front and rear guns—at their opponent, while the British ships were restricted to their forward guns.

25 With the sun behind the British at the start of the engagement, Beatty’s ships were silhouetted against the horizon, easing German ranging, while the German ships were difficult for the British to pick out against the afternoon haze. 

[11]

First Situation

Red Commander, Commander SD-I (Cmdr. Taylor)

Decision: To engage enemy on southerly courses.

Signals: Form column.

Fire Distribution: Each CC fire at opposite enemy CC, the rear CC dividing fire on the two rear enemy CCs.

Blue Commander, Commander BCF (Cmdr. Dortch)

Decision: To engage immediately on southerly course.

Signals: Form column: course 170°

Fire Distribution: Each CC fire at opposite enemy CC, the leaders concentrate on enemy leading ship.26

Average times to hand in decisions for:

BLUE Section: 7m-21s

RED Section: 6m-49s.

____________ 

26 This, roughly, was Beatty’s distribution of fire at the beginning of the battle. In reality, two ships missed his signal and fired at the wrong ships.

[12]

 

MOVE27 BLUE RED
1 Decision of Commander BCF: To engage on southerly courses immediately. Tactical decision (1) BCF form column course 170°. At end of move (1) BCF had following penalties (a) Roll, smoke, gas and silhouette, bow fire. Decision of Commander SD-I: Engage enemy on southerly courses. Tactical decision SD-I form column course 165. At the end of this move RED CCs have “spray penalty.”
2 9 F which was fouling the range with smoke changed course to the right and passed under the stern of BCF. 13 F which had fouled the range with smoke steamed to the South trying to get ahead of BCF—2 LCS attempted to get ahead of BLUE Fleet. 5 BS together with 1 F changing course to SE concentrating on BCF. 1st and 3rd LCS steaming to the SE SD-I steamed to the South on course 170. 9 F and 3rd and 11th HF attempting to get ahead of Scout Div. I. Scout Div. II steering off to the Eastward to get out of gun fire, 5 BS which opened fire on them.
3 Continued Continued
4 The 5 BS steaming at maximum speed closing the BCF which have been slowed down to 20 knots since Move 1 in order to effect a concentration and to allow the 13 F and 2 LCS to get ahead.28 NOTE:  The smoke from the coal burner DD of the 13 F is fouling the range for the BCF and 2 LCS.29 9 F and the 3-11 HF had now gained a position from 3000-5000 yards on starboard bow of SD-I and their smoke is beginning to foul the range interfering with the fire of RED CCs.
5 Damage at the end of Move 5, BLUE CL-14 of the 13 F damaged 40%. BCF changed course to 155. CL-5 of the 3 HF damaged 50% at a speed loss of 25%
6 BLUE forces continued except the 1 F changed course to the rear to take up station at rear of 5 BS 9 F and 3-11 HF changed course to the left retiring and move 7 continued
7 Damage end of Move 7
CC-4 10%
     5 20
     6 30
     7 30
     8 30
     9 1030
Damage end of Move 7:
CC-1 40%
     2 20
     3 10
     4 40
     5 20

__________

27 The standard length of a “move” in the tactical war game was 3 minutes.

28 When steaming at their top speed, the ships of the BCF were faster than the 5th Battle Squadron. In the real battle, Beatty’s pursuit of the German battlecruisers left his battleships behind. In this game, Commander Dortch decided that the extra firepower provided by the battleships was worth a reduction of speed. As noted below in the entry for Move 8, Dortch also had the 5th Battle Squadron turn to the southeast sooner than the formation did in the actual battle.

29 By World War I, the most modern British warships were powered by oil instead of coal. Among other advantages, oil-fueled ships produced less smoke.

30 This section highlights one of the weaknesses of war gaming as practiced at Newport. The most shocking outcome of the actual battle was the explosion of three British battlecruisers, mostly due to poor ammunition-handling procedures. The rules used for gaming at the War College did not allow for an analogous catastrophic destruction of large warships.

[13]

 

MOVE BLUE RED
8 BCF has now gone into line of bearing 155° which clears this force from smoke and gas. They are now no longer in silhouette due to light smoke screen laid by 9th F. 13 F started smoke screen and is getting ready to launch torpedo attack against SD-I.  
NOTE: The reason for the damage on RED CC-4 at end of 7th move was due to the fact that the Flagship of the 5 BS was firing at the range 20000 [-] 21000 yds free from smoke and gas. In the Battle of Jutland this 5 BS did not get into the action until about this stage of the game but in the game as played this force turned immediately to SE at 1546 when the game started. 5 BS endeavoring to form on line of bearing 155-335 to clear itself from smoke and gas31

Damage
CC-5 20%
       6 40
       7 40
       8 30
       9 10
       4 10
SD-I altered course together to 135° to get out of effective gun fire of 5 BS. F-IX and [3rd] -11th HF
 
Damage
CC-1 40%
       2 20
       3 30
       4 70 50% [speed] loss
       5 40
9 Forces continued. 13 F getting ready to launch torpedo attack. 1 DD sunk.
Damage
CC-7 50%  20% [speed] loss.
Continued.
Damage
CC-4 sunk
      1 50%
      5 50%

___________

31 Line ahead was considered the standard battle formation. With ships arrayed in a single-file line, with the enemy ideally directly to port or starboard, fields of fire were clear, and each ship in the formation could use its maximum firepower. However, the smoke generated by each ship’s engines and gunfire could interfere with visibility and accuracy for following ships. One way to avoid that was the line-of-bearing formation, where each ship traveled in the same direction, slightly behind and to one side of the ships in front of it. In this case, each ship in the 5th Battle Squadron is stationed to the north-northwest of the ship in front of it. In real life, this would allow gunnery officers a clearer view of the enemy. On the board game, it avoids an accuracy penalty for smoke and gas.

[14]
10 BCF changed course together to 95° in pursuit of enemy CC’s. 9 F changed course to the North takes station in rear of BCF 13 F and 2 LCS continued on to the SE. 5 BS altered course to the [Eastward] in pursuit of enemy CC’s 1 DD sunk SD-1 changed course to the left 30° retiring to the Eastward, being badly punished.

Damage
CC-1 60%
       2 40
       3 60
       5 red[uced] to 5 knots
11 Forces continued Forces continued

Damage
CC-5 sunk.
12 Continued
6 DDs sunk by gun fire. 

Damage
CC-5 30%
       6 60
       7 50
       8 50
       9 20
       4 10
Continued

Damage
CC-3 5 knots only
          1 DD sunk
13
14
15
16
17
Movements as per blue print. BCF turns to left
(North) to avoid torpedoes. CC-5 ([HMS] Lion) sunk
by 2 torpedoes. [Light cruiser] Southampton sights
and reports High Sea Fleet.
Movements as shown on
blueprint. Van High Sea Fleet
sights Southampton 16th move
(1636).

Third Situation32 

Based on Battle of Jutland—Time 6:10 p.m., May 31 

BLUE Situation (British)

MOTIVE: - (1) Training in quick decision.

                 (2) Analysis of Battle of Jutland.

___________

32 The second situation, a continuation of the battlecruiser action, has not been copied. This situation simulates the meeting of the two main fleets. Scheer did not anticipate meeting the entire Grand Fleet and initially reversed course for home, before reversing course again and heading back toward the Grand Fleet. After encountering the Grand Fleet’s battleships again, Scheer once again turned back for Germany.

[15]

GENERAL SITUATION: - BLUE and RED are at War. BLUE fleet cruising in the North Sea prepared for eventualities. RED fleet cruising in the North Sea seeking to cut out minor detachments of the BLUE fleet. Neither fleet knows the other is out until contact is made and then does not know what force of the enemy is at sea beyond those in sight.

SPECIAL SITUATION: - The BLUE Battle Fleet in Cruising Formation No. 3 has joined the BLUE Battle Cruiser Fleet which is engaged with the RED Scouting Detachment and the High Sea[s] Fleet. One RED Light Cruiser and two BLUE destroyers have been disabled.

The BLUE Forces now comprise the Battle Fleet, 24-BB speed 21—3 BCS, 3-CC speed 25—1-CS, 4-OCA speed 20—2-CS, 4-OCA speed 20—4-LCS, 5-CL speed 28—4-F, 1-CL, 15-DD speed 28—HF, 4-DD speed 28 - and the Battle Cruiser Fleet comprising: BCF, 4-CC speed 27—5-BS, 4-BB speed 25, 1-LCS, 4-CL speed 28—2-LCS, 4-CL speed 28—3-LCS, 4-CL speed 28, 1-F, 1-CL, 9-DD speed 28—9-F, 8-DD speed 28—13-F, 1-CL, 8-DD speed 26.33

The RED Forces comprise the High Sea[s] Fleet: 16-BB, 6-OBB—6-CL – 33-DD—and the Scouting force 5-CC – 4-CL and 30-DD.

At 6:10 the 5-BS reported to the BLUE C-in-C that the High Sea[s] Fleet was in sight [bearing] 145° true. At this time the vessels were [disposed] as shown on the game board.

REQUIRED: - (1) A written decision by each member of the BLUE force based on a mental estimate of the situation giving the direction and order of deployment of the BLUE forces.
(2) Signals sent the C-in-C.
(3) Initial fire distribution.

ASSUMPTIONS: - 1. Wind WSW—force 3
2. Sun Low—WNW
3. Visibility—18,000 yards.
4. Sea smooth.
5. No aircraft used.
6. Submarines in vicinity.

______________

33 The balance of forces here is not based on prior “situations” from this war game. Instead, it reflects the state of affairs during the actual battle, after two British battlecruisers had been destroyed in the early stages.

[16]

RED Situation (German)

Motive: - (1) Training in quick decision

             (2) Analysis of Battle of Jutland 

General Situation: - BLUE and RED (Germany) are at War. BLUE fleet cruising in the North Sea prepared for eventualities. RED fleet cruising in the North Sea seeking to cut out minor detachments of the BLUE fleet. Neither fleet knows the other is out until contact is made and then does not know what force of the enemy is at sea beyond those in sight. 

Special Situation: - The RED Scouting Force engaged with the enemy BCF is steaming down to join the High Seas Fleet. One RED Light Cruiser and two BLUE Destroyers have been disabled. The RED Scouting Force now comprises SD-I, 5-CC speed 27—SD-II, 3-CL speed 26—F-IX, 7-DD speed 28—3-HF, 1-CL, 4-DD speed 26—4-HF, 5-DD speed 28—11-HF, 5-DD speed 28—12-HF, 4-DD speed 28

The High Seas Fleet is composed of: BS-III, Div. 5—4-BB speed 23—BS-III Div. 6 - 3-BB speed 21—BS-I, 8-BB speed 21—BS-II, 6-OBB, speed 18—SD-4, 4-CL speed 26—F-III, 1-CL, 9-DD speed 26—F-V, 9-DD speed 28—F-VII, 9-DD speed 28—1-HF, 5-DD speed 28, and FF, 1-BB, speed 23.

The BLUE Battle Cruiser Fleet comprises 4-BB – 4-CC—14-CL and 23-DD

At 6:10 SD-I, reports enemy battle fleet bearing NE (3-BCS mistaken for battle fleet).

REQUIRED: - 1. A written decision by each member of the RED force based on a mental estimate of the situation giving the decision of the RED C-in-C.
2. Signals sent by the C-in-C.
3. Initial fire distribution. 

ASSUMPTIONS: - (1) Wind WSW—force 3
(2) Sun Low—WNW
(3) Visibility - 12,000 yards.
(4) Sea smooth.
(5) No aircraft used.
(6) Submarines in vicinity.

[17]

First Playing

Third Situation

RED C-in-C (Captain Olmsted)

Decision:  To return to Horn’s Reef34

Signals: Battleship Divisions columns right, course 150°

             No fire distribution

BLUE C-in-C (Captain Laning)

Decision: To engage decisively on southeasterly courses.

Tactical Decisions:  (1) To deploy on left center division on course 120°.

                            (2) To use 15 knots speed during deployment.

Fire Distribution: To fire on any ships that may become visible during deployment.

Average time to hand in decisions for:

BLUE section 1m-43s

RED section    1m-54s           

__________

34 Horns Reef is a shallow area of the North Sea off the coast of Denmark. During the war, the area was heavily mined and considered the northern edge of Germany’s coastal defense network. Without German charts showing mine-free routes through the area, British pursuit of the High Seas Fleet through the reef would have been intolerably dangerous.

[18]

Third Situation

First Playing

MOVE BLUE RED
1 BLUE forces deploying on the port wing division.
BCF engaging SD-I at 14000 yds. Visibility was
changed as played to 14000 yds at opening of game
High Seas Fleet going column
right, head of division
movement.
2 Continued. CCs and DDs attempting to gain a
position in the van of the Grand Fleet
Continued
3 Continued Continued. At the end of the
3rd move 5 DDs of F XI were
sunk
4 Grand Fleet still deploying
3 BCS attempting to join up with BCF 1st and 2nd LCS
with 9 and 13 F standing to the S.

Damage CC-5 60%  20% sp loss
6 10
7 10
9 10
Two DDs of RED F XII sunk
All forces continued

Damage CC-3 10%
      4 10
5 Continued Continued.35

NOTE:

As the High Seas Fleet was retiring at full speed towards Horn’s Reef and the visibility did not allow for their being seen by the BLUE forces, game was called as no fight would ensue in the time allowed for the game.

While the time given in the problem as issued was 6:10 pm when it came to playing the game the time was taken as 6:16 pm, the time [Admiral John R.] Jellicoe actually started to deploy. This same time 6:16 pm, was used for the 2d and 3d playing of the game.

__________

35 In this situation, the Blue player more or less followed Jellicoe’s actions on the day. The Red player copied Scheer’s immediate turn for home and, rather than turning back toward the Grand Fleet as Scheer did, made directly for the safety of Horns Reef.

[19]

Fourth Situation

RED Situation (German)

MOTIVE: (1) Training in quick decision

               (2) Analysis of Battle of Jutland

GENERAL SITUATION: - BLUE and RED are at War. BLUE fleet cruising in the North Sea prepared for eventualities. RED fleet cruising in the North Sea seeking to cut out minor detachments of the BLUE fleet. Neither fleet knows the other is out until contact is made and then does not know what force of the enemy is at sea beyond those in sight.

SPECIAL SITUATION: - The Battle Continues. Of the RED forces 1-CC and 1-DD have been sunk or disabled and 2-CC and 2-BB have received 45% damage. Of the BLUE forces 1-BB 1-CC – 2-OCA have been disabled or sunk and 1-BB torpedoed. The RED Scouting Force now comprises SD-I, 4-CC speed 27—SD-II, 3-CL speed 26—F-IX, 6-DD speed 28—3-HF, 1-CL, 4-DD speed 26—4-HF, 5-DD speed 28—11-HF, 5-DD speed 28—12-HF, 4-DD speed 28.

The High Seas Fleet comprises: BS-III, Div. 5—4-BB speed 23 -  BS-III Div. 6—3-BB speed 21—BS-I, 8-BB speed 21—BS-II, 6-[O]BB, speed 18—SD-4, 4-CL speed 26—F-III, 1-CL, 9-DD speed 26—F-V, 9-DD speed 28—F-VII, 9-DD speed 28—1-HF, 5-DD speed 28, and FF, 1-BB, speed 23.

The BLUE Battle Cruiser Fleet comprises 6-CC – 14-CL—23-DD. The BLUE Battle Fleet comprises 27-BB—4-OCA—7-CL – 50-DD.

At 7:15 the RED Fleet is being heavily hit. The vessels are disposed as shown on the game board.

REQUIRED: - (1) A written decision by each member of the RED force giving the C-in-C’s decision.
(2) Signals sent by C-in-C.
(3) Fire distribution.

ASSUMPTIONS: 1. Wind SW—force 2
2. Sun NWlow.
3. Visibility 10,000 yards.
4. Sea smooth.
5. No air craft used.
6. Submarines in vicinity.


[20]

Fourth Situation

RED C-in-C (Captain Olmstead)

Decision: To retire to southward and westward by simultaneous movements

Signals: To High Sea[s] Fleet: Ships right course 225°

To Destroyers: Cover turning movement with smoke.

No fire distribution.

 

BLUE C-in-C (Captain Tarrant)

Decision: To close and engage decisively.

Signals: Speed 17

Divs 3, 4, 5, 6, 5 BS ships right 30°

Divs 1, 2 column right 45°

Van light cruisers: Repel torpedo attacks.

 

Average time to hand in decisions for:

BLUE section: 2m-07s

RED section: 2m-37s

[21]
Move Blue Red
 1 Decision: To close and engage
decisively
NOTE: This decision differed
from that of Jellicoe at this
stage of the battle neglect[ing]
the torpedo danger.36 BCF and
BB Fleet changed course 30°
right closing range and
opening fire on all ships of
enemy fleet that are within
visibility range. The two
leading BB divisions, Divs 1
& 2 will probably not get into
action.

Decision: To retire to
[southward] and [westward]
by simultaneous movement.
NOTE: The decision of the
RED CinC will be noted was
the same as Admiral Scheer at
the battle of Jutland. RED
DDs at the van of the SF laid
smoke screen to cover retiring
movement of HSF. Smoke
screen very effective in
preventing gun fire during turn
away.

Torpedo Fire
XI HF fired 5 torpedoes at BB-21
XII HF fire 12 torpedoes at BB-21
IX F fired 18 torpedoes at BB-28

Damage CC-2 20%
      3 20%

2 Continued
Damage
CC-5 20%
Continued
2 DDs F II sunk
3 DDs F IX sunk
2 DDs HF XII sunk
3 Continued
Damage
CC-3 90% 50% sp loss
Scouting Division I changed
course to the North to seek
protection of smoke screen as
they are badly hammered by
BCF
Damage
CC-2 sunk
      4 sunk
4 Continued
Damage
Continued
Damage

____________

36 Jellicoe was heavily criticized after the war for his decision to turn away from a torpedo attack. The result of this game lends partial support to both sides of the debate. On one hand, one British battleship was damaged by torpedoes and one battlecruiser seriously damaged by gun fire on the game board. On the other, two German battlecruisers were sunk—in real life, only one German battlecruiser, SMS Lützow was sunk.

[22]
4 BB-25 hit by torpedoes
     26 lost 20% speed
CC-5 10%
5 Continued Continued.

[23]

[END] 

Published:Tue Aug 22 13:56:50 EDT 2017