memoirs, art and fragments by Thomas Milner

Posts tagged ‘scheer’

Something wrong with our bloody ships today

Algeria 1971

After driving south from Annaba for about an hour we reached Tebessa, at the foot of the Tellian Atlas Mountains. From there we started to climb. The road wound steeply up through the shady forest, round and up, round and up we went until we eventually came out on to a high plateau which we then traversed.

To the west the rocky mountain ridges bore down on us menacingly,

In a brutish way,

On a Jutish day,

Like a squadron of grey battleships steaming in line during the battle of Jutland in 1916, where the British Grand Fleet under admiral Sir John Jellicoe met the German High Seas Fleet under the command of admiral Scheer.

These two enormous fleets straddled practically the whole of the North Sea although only the forward squadrons of each side actually met – Beatty’s heavy battle-cruisers made contact with the German heavy cruisers under admiral Hipper.

The German gunnery was extremely accurate – something wrong with our bloody ships today Beatty remarked on the deck of his famous flagship H.M.S. Lion with superb panache, as three of his battle-ships, the Indefatigable, the Queen Mary and the Queen Elizabeth blew up and sank in quick succession.



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