The National Museum of the Royal Navy's Jutland Centenary exhibition opened in May 2016 at Portsmouth Historic Dockyard (Photo: Centenary News)

Was Jutland the battle that won the First World War? - Debate

Posted on on 08 January 2017
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British and German naval historians will discuss a century of controversy over the Battle of Jutland in a debate organised by the National Museum of the Royal Navy, Portsmouth, on 2 February 2017.

Broadcaster and historian Dan Snow is to chair a panel taking questions from the public about the biggest naval clash of the Great War in 1916.

Suggested themes include: did the battle win the war? What of the social impact on Britain and Germany? Are blockades ever morally justified and why does Jutland matter today?

Ticket-holders are asked to submit questions online by January 27 - more event details below.

The debate (rescheduled from last year) promises to get to the heart of a battle that has divided opinion for 100 years, says the National Museum of the Royal Navy (NMRN).

Jutland commemorated on the Portsmouth Naval Memorial, overlooking the approach to Portsmouth Harbour (Photo: Centenary News)

Joining the panel is Dr Stephan Huck, Director of the Deutches Marinemuseum (German Naval Museum), Wilhemshaven, whose 2016 Centenary exhibition was entitled 'Skagerrak: Seeschlacht ohne Sieger' - Jutland: The Unfinished Battle.

"In the aftermath of the Skagerrakschlacht (The Battle of Jutland) it occupied an important place of remembrance for German society and particularly the German Navy," Dr Huck explains.

"However it became largely forgotten in the second half of the 20th century. The centenary of the First World War offered the chance to bring the history of the Battle of Jutland back to light.

"It gave the opportunity to describe the battle as an important turning point in the history of the First World War: despite the declared victory it prompted the decision to restart unrestricted U-boat warfare with the fatal consequence of the entry of the United States into the war.

"Now with the distance of a hundred years it is possible to objectively compare the British and the German view on the battle and the circumstances that led to it. Both exhibitions and events like this debate enable us to present both perspectives and to pay tribute to those involved."

Also on the panel are  Nick Hewitt (above) curator of NMRN's current exhibition 'Jutland 1916, The Battle That Won The War'; Dr Andrew Gordon, author of The Rules of the Game; and Dr Laura Rowe, lecturer at the University of Exeter whose primary research interest focuses on the social and cultural history of the First World War and the Royal Navy in particular.

'Jutland 1916 - The Big Debate' takes place at 'Action Stations', Portsmouth Historic Dockyard, on 2 February 2017 at 7pm. Ticket information hereTicket buyers are urged to submit their questions online for consideration before January 27th.

Source: National Museum of the Royal Navy

Images: Centenary News

Posted by: CN Editorial Team