You are not logged in.
Naval Action - 5th November 1916 in the Great War - The Wartime Memories Project -

The Wartime Memories Project

- Naval Action - 5th November 1916 in the Great War -


Great War>The Battles
skip to content


This website uses cookies. By continuing to use this site you agree to accept cookies.


If you enjoy this site please consider making a donation.



    Site Home

    Great War

    Search

    Add Stories & Photos

 Features

    Allied Army

    Day by Day

    War in the Air

    Prisoners of War

    The Royal Navy

    Training for War

    The Battles

    Those Who Served

    Hospitals

    Civilian Service

    Women at War

    Life on Home Front

    Central Powers Army

    Central Powers' Navy

    Library

    World War Two

 Submissions

    Add Stories & Photos

    Time Capsule

 Information

    Help & FAQ's

    Our Facebook Page

    Volunteering

    News

    Events

    Contact us

    Great War Books

    About


Research your Family History.











World War 1 One ww1 wwII greatwar great

Naval Action - 5th November 1916



5th November 1916 Naval Action - 5th November 1916  The Naval Action on the 5th November 1916 was fought between a Royal Navy submarine and a dreadnought squadron of the Imperial German Navy. It took place in the months after the Battle of Jutland and is significant as it signalled a major shift in German naval policy.

Background

On the 2nd November 1916, the German U-boat U-30 suffered a mechanical failure while patrolling off the Norwegian coast. She sent a distress signal which was answered by U-20 returning from patrol around Ireland. They met and both U-boats set off for the Danish coast where they were to be met off the Bovsberg Light. The British meanwhile had intercepted this wireless traffic and dispatched a destroyer force to intercept them, but were unsuccessful. However, on the 4th November, both U-boats went aground during the evening fog. The German Admiralty were concerned that the Danes would intern the two U-boats or that the British would find them. They were also mindful of the reputation of U-20 and her skipper who were responsible for the sinking of the ocean Lusitania. Admiral Scheer dispatched a salvage group, with a cover force comprising destroyers of the 4th Half-Flotilla and the battlecruiser SMS Moltke. These were followed by four dreadnoughts of 3rd Battle Squadron (SMS König, Grosser Kurfürst, Kronprinz and Markgraf). This move was also detected by the British, who alerted the submarine HMS J1, which was on patrol in the area. On the evening of 5 November, J1 encountered the Battle squadron and was in a position to attack.

Action

On the 5th November, J1 was submerged on patrol in the North Sea, 30 miles south-west of Horns Reef. Her skipper, Commander NF Laurence, had been alerted to the approach of the German forces and, at 1150 in heavy seas, he spotted the four dreadnoughts of 3rd Battle Squadron only 2 miles away. Laurence went deeper to manoeuvre into a firing position, but on returning to periscope depth, he found that the dreadnoughts had altered course and were moving away. Surfacing to take advantage of J1's higher surface speed, but risking detection by the Squadron's destroyer escort, Laurence again moved into a firing position and at 1208 dived to launch four torpedoes. Two of these hit, striking Grosser Kurfurst astern and Kronprinz on the bow. Both were damaged, but were able to return to base under their own steam. J1 had not been detected by any of the screening destroyers during her approach and they were unable to make an effective counterattack. Laurence remained submerged until 1430 and on surfacing found the area was clear. The two damaged dreadnoughts were able to return to base, but both were under repair in drydocks for several months. The other German forces were able to return to base without further incident. U-30 was also able to return to base, but U-20 was unrecoverable and was scuttled to avoid capture. Laurence was awarded a Bar to his Distinguished Service Order for this action.

Aftermath

Following this action, Scheer came under criticism from Pless, the Naval chief of staff, and the Kaiser himself, who felt that risking so many capital ships of the High Seas Fleet and having two dreadnoughts put out of action, for the sake of two U-boats, was inappropriate. However, Scheer defended himself robustly, stating that it was imperative to give the men of the U-boat arm the fullest possible support. He also stated that Germany's naval strategy should be to concentrate all her efforts on the U-boat offensive. Henceforth the main role of the German surface fleet should be to ensure the safety of the U-boat force. It was a major demonstration of the shift in German naval policy to the war on commerce by her U-boat arm.

If you can provide any additional information, please add it here.



Want to know more about Naval Action - 5th November 1916?


There are:1 articles tagged Naval Action - 5th November 1916 available in our Library

  These include information on officers service records, letters, diaries, personal accounts and information about actions during the Great War.


Those known to have served in

Naval Action - 5th November 1916

during the Great War 1914-1918.

    The names on this list have been submitted by relatives, friends, neighbours and others who wish to remember them, if you have any names to add or any recollections or photos of those listed, please Add a Name to this List


    Looking for help with Family History Research?   

    Please see Family History FAQ's

    We are unable to provide individual research free of charge, but do offer a paid service at competitive rates, the small profit from these services will be put towards the costs of keeping this website running. For more information please see our Research Services Leaflet

    Can you help?

    The Wartime Memories Project is run by volunteers and this website is funded by donations from our visitors.

    If the information here has been helpful or you have enjoyed reaching the stories please conside making a donation, no matter how small, would be much appreciated, annually we need to raise enough funds to pay for our web hosting or this site will vanish from the web. In these difficult times current donations are falling far short of this target.

    If you enjoy this site please consider making a donation.


    Announcements

    • The Wartime Memories Project is the original WW1 and WW2 commemoration website

      This website has been running for 16 years and receives in excess of a million hits per month. The website and our group will continue long after the 2014-18 events are over. We hope that people will continue to support us by submitting material and stories in addition to submitting to the new websites set up for the anniversary.

    • We are looking for volunteers to help with researching the activities of units of the Royal Artillery, Royal Engineers, Territorial Force, Regular Army, Pals Battalions, Kitchener's New Armies, Voluntary Organisations and the Ships of the Royal Navy. We currently have a huge backlog of stories and historical documents which need to be edited or transcribed for display online, if you have a good standard of written English, an interest in the two World Wars and a little time to spare online we would appreciate your help. For more information please see our page on Volunteering.

    Wanted: Digital copies of Group photographs, Scrapbooks, Autograph books, photo albums, newspaper clippings, letters, postcards and ephemera relating to the Great War. If you have any unwanted photographs, documents or items from the First or Second World War, please do not destroy them. The Wartime Memories Project will give them a good home and ensure that they are used for educational purposes. Please get in touch for the postal address, do not sent them to our PO Box as packages are not accepted.





    We are now on Facebook. Like this page to receive our updates, add a comment or ask a question.

    If you have a general question please post it on our Facebook page.


    June 2017

        Please note we currently have a backlog of submitted material, our volunteers are working through this as quickly as possible and all names, stories and photos will be added to the site. If you have already submitted a story to the site and your UID reference number is higher than 232065 your submission is still in the queue, please do not resubmit without contacting us first.

    World War 1 One ww1 wwII greatwar great
    Did you know? We also have a section on World War Two. and a Timecapsule to preserve stories from other conflicts for future generations.






    Want to know more about Naval Action - 5th November 1916?


    There are:1 articles tagged Naval Action - 5th November 1916 available in our Library





    Recomended Reading.

    Available at discounted prices.







    Links


      Suggest a link















      The Wartime Memories Project is a non profit organisation run by volunteers.

      This website is paid for out of our own pockets, library subscriptions and from donations made by visitors. The popularity of the site means that it is far exceeding available resources.

      If you are enjoying the site, please consider making a donation, however small to help with the costs of keeping the site running.


      Hosted by:

      The Wartime Memories Project Website

      is archived for preservation by the British Library





      Website © Copyright MCMXCIX - MMXVII
      - All Rights Reserved