What was the only major naval battle in the First World War?

There was only one major naval encounter in World War I. BBC History Revealed magazine investigates...

Photo of the Battle of Jutland

On 31 May 1916, the British and German fleets met in the North Sea, and over the next two days the largest naval clash of the war would take place.


The battle of Jutland began when British naval intelligence informed admirals John Jellicoe and David Beatty that the German High Seas Fleet had left port. Soon the British Grand Fleet had set sail in hot pursuit.

Over the next day, the two fleets traded punches without landing a knock-out blow. The Royal Navy lost more ships than its German counterpart. But, perhaps more significantly, Jutland seemed to confirm that the British fleet was still the world’s dominant naval force. The German High Seas Fleet had been forced to retreat to port, and wouldn’t challenge the Royal Navy in the North Sea again.


This article was taken from BBC History Revealed magazine