Jutland 1916: WW1’s Greatest Sea Battle

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Essential information

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This attraction is currently closed
National Maritime Museum, Ground floor

Our free Jutland 1916 gallery at the National Maritime Museum was opened to mark the centenary of the Battle of Jutland, the largest sea battle of the First World War. The display presents the compelling story of the ships, technology, strategy and impact of the battle on both the men who fought and their families.

The Battle of Jutland, 1916

Involving a total of 279 ships on 31 May 1916, the North Sea bore witness to 'Der Tag', a major clash between the British Grand Fleet and the German High Seas Fleet. Both sides suffered heavy losses in ships and men, with over 8500 lives lost in the action. But despite being the biggest naval surface engagement to date, Jutland was one of the most keenly-felt disappointments of the war, with neither side achieving a decisive victory.  

Hear the personal stories 

Jutland 1916: WW1’s Greatest Sea Battle will place the battle within the wider context of the First World War, and examine the action itself through audio-visual content created with the grandson of Admiral Sir John Jellicoe, Commander-in-Chief of the Grand Fleet. Visitors will also learn of the battle and the broader experience of serving aboard British and German warships. 

The exhibition also takes visitors beyond the action of the battle and uncovers stories of the aftermath of the battle, from the incredibly personal accounts of the sailors and their families to the broader views of the nations and navies on either side of the conflict and the media reports driving them.

"It is fitting that the Centenary of the Battle of Jutland be marked with this Exhibition at the National Maritime Museum, home to so many reminders of our island story."

Admiral Sir Philip Jones, First Sea Lord and Chief of Naval Staff

See incredible objects for the first time

The Jutland story will be told through objects such as paintings, photographs, ship models and plans, sailor-made craft work and medals, many of which are on display for the first time. One of the first objects visitors will encounter will be a 14ft-long shipbuilder's model of HMS Queen Mary, one of the largest battle cruisers involved at Jutland and destroyed in the battle, leaving only 18 survivors. The material on display will be accompanied by eyewitness accounts from both sides.

The gallery will also include material from the Deutsches Marinemuseum and the Bundesarchiv relating to the German perspective of the battle, explaining the naval arms race from the German side and the everyday experience of the German sailor in the First World War.

Royal Navy First World War Lives at Sea

Search our unique free resource based on transcriptions of Royal Navy service records from the First World War:

Search the Royal Navy First World War Lives at Sea website

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