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Skagerrak (Hardback)

The Battle of Jutland Through German Eyes

Jutland 1916

By Gary Staff
Imprint: Pen & Sword Maritime
Pages: 276
ISBN: 9781783831234
Published: 20th April 2016

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In January 1916 Vizeadmiral Scheer took command of the High Sea Fleet. This aggressive and pugnacious leader embarked upon a vigorous offensive program which culminated in the greatest clash between dreadnought capital ships the world had seen. Although outnumbered almost two to one, Vizeadmiral Scheer conducted a provocative operation on 31 May 1916. Who would prevail: the massive preponderance of British heavy calibre cannon, or the aggressive tactics of the street fighter Scheer?
Manning the ships of both sides were the technically skilled and talented seamen who were prepared to carry out their duties loyally and courageously until the very end. Over 8,500 men perished in less than 10 hours of fighting, a horrendous loss, even by World War One standards. This book gives voice to many of the German Navy participants, from a German perspective, on this tumultuous battle fought over 100 years ago. These men gave their all and are gone now, but not forgotten.

The book goes through the battle with a minute by minute description of the events of the battle. It is also heavily populated with maps (an absolute necessity for naval battles). The author also contends that the Warspite, which did a lazy circle through some of the battle, did so because of damage received from the German fleet.

This is an excellent addition to one's library, to see a different side and take on the events of the battle.

Read the complete review here.

A Wargamer's Needful Things

Gary Staff's Skagerrak: The Battle of Jutland Through German Eyes is a challenging place to start. Information rich, engaged with the battle's historiographical controversies, it is a fine book for those already studying the battle.

Read the complete review here.

Roads To The Great War Blog

I increased my knowledge of Jutland, and enjoyed Staff’s account. Recommended.

Naval SITREP, issue 52, April 2017 - reviewed by Larry Bond

The material for this fascinating work has been
culled from archives in Britain and Germany. Many
of those too have been translated for the first time and published here.

A volume thoroughly to be recommended to
students of the naval history of WWI.

Ships in Scale, November/December 2016 - reviewed by Roger Marsh

Gary Staff is the author of numerous books about the Imperial German Navy, its ships and battles. This book describes the battle of Jutland
(Skagerrak, in German) making use of official documents but much enlivened by the letters and individual descriptions of officers and crew
members who were actually there.

The Northern Mariner/Le marin du nord, Vol. XXVII, No. 1, January 2017 - C. Douglas Maginley

This account of Jutland from a German viewpoint – or Skaggerak as they call it - adds a new perspective to the growing pile of books in this Jutland centenary year. Scheer, “aggressive and pugnacious”, took command of the High Seas Fleet in January 1916. The German fleet offensive in 1916 commenced with more raids and bombardment on the UK East coast, advance U boat deployments in May and growing awareness of the need to disguise their fleet movements by wireless deception.

Jutland will always be fertile ground for debate and this book is a detailed and worthy contributor. Highly recommended.

Warship World - September/October 2016 - PCW-M

In short, alongside stories of remarkable experience and great heroism, Staff presents a picture of the Skagerrak fight which severely dents the British portrayal of the Jutland battle. The fight, in modern terminology, was asymmetrical because the Germans aimed to inflict damage on the British fleet and then retire to harbour, while the British sought to annihilate the German fleet as a fighting force. Both sides could, therefore, claim a victory – the British in having the enemy fleet in harbour and not in the North Sea and the Germans in keeping the fleet in being and as an effective force. The real loser, as Staff notes, was the Royal Navy, with its tradition of invincibility and aggressively pursuing an enemy now broken. Jellicoe and Beatty may not have lost the fleet in an afternoon, but over twenty-four hours they denuded it of a reputation earned before the days of Nelson.

Australian Naval Institute - John Johnston
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