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[Micro-Debate] Theoretically, The Battle Of Jutland Was A German Victory

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All stages have been completed. The voting points distribution and the result are presented below.

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0
6
Sources points
2
4
Spelling and grammar points
2
2
Conduct points
2
2

With 2 votes and 8 points ahead, the winner is ...

oromagi
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Two weeks
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Round format:
R1 - Arguments
R2 - Rebuttals
R3 - Defence and conclusion

Definitions:
Theoretically - “In a way that relates to the theory of a subject or area of study rather than its practical application”
The Battle Of Jutland - “ The Battle of Jutland (German: Skagerrakschlacht, the Battle of Skagerrak) was a naval battle fought between Britain's Royal Navy Grand Fleet, under Admiral Sir John Jellicoe, and the Imperial German Navy's High Seas Fleet, under Vice-Admiral Reinhard Scheer, during the First World War. ” (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Jutland)
Victory - “ An act of defeating an enemy or opponent in a battle, game, or other competition”

Concession or full forfeiture is immediate loss.

Round 1
Pro
I would first like to thank my opponent for his enthusiasm, and best of luck to you in the following rounds.

I. High Seas Fleet 

Ia. The Germans' single and simple aim for their fleet under Reinhard Scheer, was only to a lure out, trap and destroy a portion of the British fleet. [1]

II. Grand Fleet

IIa. The British's, based at Scapa Flow's, goal was to annihilate Scheer's navy. [2]

III. Admirals

IIIa. On the British side, Sir John Jellicoe and Sir David Beatty.

IIIb. The Germans had Franz von Hipper, and Reinhold Scheer.

IV. Engagement

IVa. Hipper brought 5 ships south to lure Beatty squadron of battle cruisers and 4 battleships into the Germans' range. 

IVb. Half an hour later, 2 of Beatty's ships blew up and his flagship, Lion, plus Warspite sustained magazine damage. He now only had 4 ships against 5.

IVc. Engardine's seaplane failed to spot the High Seas Fleet after Beatty's line turned.

IVd. Beatty's orphan squadron, after charging Hipper's battle cruisers, lost one ship to a magazine explosion.

IVe. A British armoured cruiser squadron charged Hipper's fleet again to sink the damaged Wiesbaden, but one British ship was sunk and two crippled.

IVf. Jellicoe's fleet deployed in line-ahead, crossing Scheer's T.

IVg. Scheer performed a battle turn-away, and conducted a mass torpedo attack, hitting Marlborough.

IVh. Scheer worked around the British's rear, and hit Colossus twice.

IVi. After dark, the Germans hit 6 destroyers and 2 armoured cruisers.

V. Conclusion

Va. To first examine each fleet's aims, we can see that the Germans had actually achieved their goal, by destroying the British rear. [3]

Vb. On the other side, however, the British had failed miserably, as they had neither managed to restore their Black Sea trade route that was broken by the Goeben [4] nor had they managed to extirpate the High Seas Fleet, thus not accomplishing their goal.

Vc. Thus, we can see that one side managed to accomplish their goal while the other did not. This equates to victory.

Vd. Jutland also gave a morale boost to the Germans, which is the defining factor of a war, and what powers a nation through.

I rest my case.

VI. Sources


[2] Black, Jeremy, Jutland's Place in History, Pg. 16, ISBN 9781107150140

[3] Friedman, Norman, Naval Firepower, Battleship Guns And Gunnery In The Dreadnought Era, ISBN 9781848321854

Con
thx, VonKlempter
2500count = pls. forgive abbr.

THEORETICALLY, the BATTLE of JUTLAND was a GERMAN VICTORY

CON accepts PRO's DEFINITIONS

OBJECTION:
  • The word "theoretically" as defined by PRO brings no semantic value to this thesis
    • Jutland was the 'practical application' and the result is well documented
    • The outcome of the Battle of Jutland is debatable but not theoretical

B of P:


"When two parties are in a discussion and one makes a claim that the other disputes, the one who makes the claim typically has a burden of proof to justify or substantiate that claim especially when it challenges a perceived status quo"

CON interprets the resolution to mean that PRO must prove victory, contradicting the far less conclusive verdict of history.

CON1:  KAISER's FOLLY

  • By 1914, the British [BR} had most powerful Navy in the world for more than 200 yrs
    • Unchallenged for more than a century
    • controlled access to German [DE] ports via English Channel and North Sea
  • DE had no realistic hope of defeating BR Navy but
    • pursued a policy of 2/3 BR naval power hoping BR would not risk overseas Empire by challenging a large enough fleet
    • This cost 1/3rd of DE Military budget (1/5th overall DE budget) 1890-1914
  • DE overall strategy was FR, RU likeliest opponents
    • But Naval Arms race foolishly provoked BR into Triple Entente, isolating DE
    • DE badly underestimated BR resolve to dominate international waters
CON2: OBJECTIVES
DE
BR
  • Contain High Seas Fleet
    • success: 0 DE ships broke blockade
  • Force decisive battle
    • It did not seem so in the short term but after one minor sortee in Aug, Scheer gave up on Fleet, turned to submarine warfare
      • unrestricted raids on shipping forced US into war
        • hastening DE surrender
          • eventual success
Round 2
Pro
I thank my opponent for his response, but I ask that you write properly, as I have difficulties understanding the acronyms.

I. Definitions

Ia. 
Jutland was the 'practical application' and the result is well documented
The result of Jutland makes no practical application to the modern society, so I would like this debate not to be on what impact Jutland has on the society.

II. Refutation of CON 1

IIa.
By 1914, the British [BR} had most powerful Navy in the world for more than 200 yrs
The original power of the Royal Navy doesn't matter in this debate, sir.

IIb.
  • DE had no realistic hope of defeating BR Navy but
    • pursued a policy of 2/3 BR naval power hoping BR would not risk overseas Empire by challenging a large enough fleet
    • This cost 1/3rd of DE Military budget (1/5th overall DE budget) 1890-1914
Again, I beg my opponent not to drag size and budget into this debate, for they hold no value.

IIc.
DE badly underestimated BR resolve to dominate international waters
And vice versa. [1]

III. Refutation Of CON 2

IIIa. 
The DE needed to break the blockade, open Atlantic trade
No, according to Distant Victory, page XCIV by Daniel Allen Butler [2], "Germany's High Seas Fleet intended to lure out, trap, and destroy a portion of the Grand Fleet"

IIIb.
Beatty's BR 1 & 2 Battlecruiser Squadrons were badly damaged but then the Grand Fleet chased the High Seas Fleet home
The High Seas Fleet fulfilled its objective, then, as "Beatty's BR 1 & 2 Battlecruiser Squadrons were badly damaged". [3]

IIIc.
BR still had 23 dreads and 4 bcruisers while DE was down to 10 dreads
The British had to cover all its colonies, so it's actually not a lot of ships. Being battle-ready does not mean being victorious.

IV. Other refutations

IVa.
Contain High Seas Fleet
No, destroy.

IVb.
Force decisive battle
It was not decisive, as the Germans were still intact.

V. Conclusion

V. My opponent has not given a correct objective for each belligerent.

V. My opponent has partly taken the debate out of context by comparing battle-readiness, size without consideration for other factors, and budgets.

VI. Sources

[1] Black, Jeremy, Jutland's Place in History, Pg. 16, ISBN 9781107150140

[2] Butler, Daniel Allen, Distant Victory: The Battle of Jutland and the Allied Triumph in the First World War, ISBN 9780275990732

[3] Fawcett, Bill, How to Lose a War at Sea: Foolish Plans and Great Naval Blunders, ISBN 9780062069092
Con
thx,

THEORETICALLY
  • The word  as defined by PRO brings no semantic value to this thesis
    • PRO argues (wrongly) that Jutland had no impact, which does not explain "theoretically"
PRO made no reply re: burden of proof: PRO must prove victory

I.

The Germans' single and simple aim for their fleet under...was only to a lure out, trap and destroy a portion of the British fleet
  • PRO's source actually says
    • "Germany's High Seas Fleet intended to lure out, trap, and destroy a portion of the Grand Fleet, as the German naval force was insufficient to openly engage the entire British fleet. This formed part of a larger strategy to break the British blockade of Germany and to allow German naval vessels access to the Atlantic"
      • PRO edited out the essential "larger strategy" sentence and added the words "single" and "only," entirely changing the sources' meaning.

II.

The British's....goal was to annihilate Scheer's navy.
  •  Wiki says:
    • "Royal Navy pursued a strategy of engaging and destroying the High Seas Fleet, thereby keeping German naval forces contained and away from Britain and her shipping lanes"
  • PRO's source, Black actually says,
    • "Jellicoe only needed to avoid losing"

III.

  • No argument to refute

IV.

  • No argument

V.

To first examine each fleet's aims, we can see that the Germans had actually achieved their goal, by destroying the British rear.
  • PRO abridged both source's description of aims, missing big picture.  Brits kept fleet, maintained blockade
the British... neither managed to restore their Black Sea trade route that was broken by the Goeben
  • Goeben at Istanbul, not a Grand Fleet objective.  Irrelevant

nor had they managed to extirpate the High Seas Fleet
  • High Seas Fleet cowered for rest of war.  A paralyzed fleet not quite as good as a sunken fleet but almost as good and certainly a victory.
Thus, we can see that one side managed to accomplish their goal while the other did not
  • Germans failed to break blockade, gave up on battleships and switched to subs.  British kept their fleet and blockade, kept Germany locked down

Jutland also gave a morale boost to the Germans, which is the defining factor of a war, and what powers a nation through.
  • 100% false. 
    • Following [Jutland] the capital ships of the imperial navy had been confined to inactive service in harbor. The discipline and spirit of those who remained...inevitably suffered



Round 3
Pro
I thank my opponent,

I. Definitions

Ia. I repeat: Jutland does not impact modern society regardless of its debated outcome.

Ib. 
PRO must prove victory
I accept it, and believe that I already have.

II. Fleet Goals

IIa. 
  •  Wiki says:
    • "Royal Navy pursued a strategy of engaging and destroying the High Seas Fleet, thereby keeping German naval forces contained and away from Britain and her shipping lanes"
  • PRO's source, Black actually says,
    • "Jellicoe only needed to avoid losing"
First, Wikipedia says, "engaging and destroying the High Seas Fleet". Black meant that Jellicoe could not lose, and that he had to accomplish his aim of destroying the Germans, which he did not. [1]

III. Opponent's V Section

IIIa. 
PRO abridged both source's description of aims, missing big picture.  Brits kept fleet, maintained blockade
I only made the message more concise. The British were craving to destroy the Germans.

IIIb.
Goeben at Istanbul, not a Grand Fleet objective.  Irrelevant
My opponent has missed the big picture. Goeben was the Royal Navy's ultimate goal.

IIIc.
High Seas Fleet cowered for rest of war.  A paralyzed fleet not quite as good as a sunken fleet but almost as good and certainly a victory.
Not true. German U-Boats sunk 300,000 tons of shipping in February 1917.  [2]

IIId.
Germans failed to break blockade, gave up on battleships and switched to subs.  British kept their fleet and blockade, kept Germany locked down
What the Germans use don't matter. My opponent has admitted that the British had in fact failed to keep the subs pinned in, and failed to destroy them.

IIIe.
  • Following [Jutland] the capital ships of the imperial navy had been confined to inactive service in harbor. The discipline and spirit of those who remained...inevitably suffered
Roland J. Green, "The Germans were and are proud of the way that their navy had stood up to the British". The revolution had nothing to do with Jutland, only with a wild attack order.

IV. Sources

[1] Brooks, John (2005). Dreadnought Gunnery at the Battle of Jutland: The Question of Fire Control

[2] Gray, Edwyn A. (1994) The U-Boat War, 1914–1918
Con
PRO accepts burden to prove VICTORY,  but ignores the judgement of his own sources.


At a strategic level, the outcome has been the subject of a huge amount of literature with no clear consensus. The battle was widely viewed as indecisive in the immediate aftermath, and this view remains influential.


Although the British lost more ships and men at Jutland, the battle’s repercussions helped doom the Imperial German Navy


According to Friedman, what happened at Jutland "was that the German commander Admiral von Scheer, discovered to his surprise that he had no idea whatever of what was happening — he maintained no plot and the situation was far too complicated for anything less. In that sense he was profoundly defeated and the only important conclusion he drew was that he never wanted to fight the British fleet again."

CON and VOTERS don't have access to the rest of PRO's sources but even these seem to agree with INDECISIVE conclusion:

While the German High Seas Fleet could claim a tactical victory because it sank more ships and inflicted higher casualties on the Royal Navy's Grand Fleet than the British did to the Germans, the British could rightly claim that strategically they won the battle, for when it was over the German warships had retreated to the safety of their harbors, having failed in their objective of defeating the Grand Fleet in detail.
PRO argues that nothing matters except who lost more ships, that we should ignore historic impact, the financial and emotional costs of an immobilized fleet, the unavailability of coal, oil, metals, fertilizer , the loss of half of all trade due to the continued British blockade and focus solely on the fact that the British lost 14 ships while the Germans only lost 11.  The Germans returned to port and gave up on battleships forevermore.  They switched to submarine warfare as a desperate alternative and thereby brought the US into the war.  They never broke the blockade: Germany grew hungry and collapsed internally.  The rebellion began with the High Seas Fleet who rebelled rather than sail to face the British Fleet again , which sailors correctly believed would be suicide.  How can this be called a victory?

Custer's objective on the morning of Little Bighorn was to clear the Sioux village.  Custer achieved that objective.  Was Custer therefore victorious?

Thanks to VonKlempter , great topic
Thanks to all VOTERS for their kind consideration.
l