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Naval Warfare | First World War


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The First World War was as much a battle for control of the seas as it was any battlefield.

Naval power was a considerable asset to those nations committed to the fighting of World War 1. The two main sea-going forces were the High Seas Fleet of the German Empire and the Grand Fleet of the British Royal Navy. The major naval encounter to take place during the conflict became the Battle of Jutland - taking place from May 31st to June 1st, 1916 near the Danish coast - which involved some 250 warships of all types including battleships, battlecruisers and destroyers. Casualties totaled over 8,600 souls altogether and over 150,000 tons was sunk. The British Navy lost more material during the fighting than did the Germans but the British could claim that the German Fleet was now contained. As there was no decisive outcome to the battle, both sides naturally claimed the victory. Regardless, the German High Seas Fleet was denied access to the Atlantic for the remainder of the war and forced the service to avoid direct contact with its enemy going forward.
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