Wednesday, March 22, 2006


It’s May 1916. The British Grand Fleet is moored in the peaceful harbour of Scapa Flow off the North Coast of Scotland.

Unchallenged since the Battle of Trafalgar, the global dominance of the British Royal Navy is seemingly assured. But this is all about to change.

The Battle of Jutland between Britain and Germany was the largest naval action of all time. It was a confrontation that the British wanted. An opportunity to unleash their lethal super weapons of the day – the great ships they called Dreadnoughts – and to prove that Britain still ruled the waves.

Yet, in the cold grey waters of northern Europe, the showdown ended in carnage on a scale few could have imagined. Today the ships with their vast gun turrets and thousands of shells still litter the sea bed.

Nine thousand lives were lost, the majority British. Thousands were blown apart in three catastrophic explosions.

Now, using the latest modern science, Battlefield Detectives investigates and asks: what went wrong? Why was Jutland so disastrous for the Royal Navy? And could it be that, in losing the battle, they won the naval war?


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