The German heavy cruiser, SMS Blücher, capsizing during the Battle of Dogger Bank © IWM (Q 22687)

100 Years Ago Today: Battle of Dogger Bank in the North Sea

Posted on on 24 January 2015
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British warships sank the German cruiser, SMS Blücher, during the Battle of Dogger Bank on January 24th 1915.

Britain had gained access to German codes, allowing the Royal Navy to intercept Admiral Franz von Hipper's squadron in the North Sea. Hipper was the commander who'd attacked the British coastal towns of Scarborough, Whitby and Scarborough in December 1914.

The two sides clashed at Dogger Bank, a shallow area in the middle of North Sea known for its rich fishing grounds. The Germans suspected fishing boats of spying.

Surprised by the Royal Navy, Admiral Hipper turned for home. The British commander, Admiral Sir David Beatty, gave chase at high speed, sinking SMS Blücher.

But Beatty's flagship, the battlecruiser HMS Lion was badly damaged in the exchanges of fire with the German Navy, and had to be towed back to port for repairs.

The Germans suffered more than 1,000 casualties, including 954 dead. The British lost 15 dead and 32 wounded.

It was to be almost another 18 months before the British and German fleets met in force at the Battle of Jutland in 1916.

Centenary News reported from Scarborough on the bombardment centenary commemorations in December 2014. Click here to read a report by CN Editor, Nigel Dacre. 

Source: Wikipedia/various

Images courtesy of Imperial War Museum © IWM (Q 22687)

Posted by: Peter Alhadeff, Centenary News