1915: The Battle of Dogger Bank begins

Lion made it back to port but was out of action for several months.

Painting of SMS V5 engaging HMS Lion
Painting of SMS V5 engaging HMS Lion

TODAY marks the beginning of the  Battle of Dogger Bank, a was a naval engagement on 24 January 1915, near the Dogger Bank in the North Sea, between squadrons of the British Grand Fleet and the German High Seas Fleet.

The British had intercepted and decoded German wireless transmissions, gaining advance knowledge that a German raiding squadron was heading for Dogger Bank and ships of the Grand Fleet sailed to intercept the raiders.

The British surprised the smaller and slower German squadron, which fled for home.

During a stern chase lasting several hours, the British caught up with the Germans and engaged them with long-range gunfire.

The British disabled Blücher, the rearmost German ship and the Germans put the British flagship HMS Lion out of action.

Due to inadequate signalling, the remaining British ships stopped the pursuit to sink Blücher and when the ship had been sunk, the rest of the German squadron had escaped.

The squadron returned to harbour, with some ships so badly damaged as to require extensive repairs.

Lion made it back to port but was out of action for several months.

The British had lost no ships and suffered few casualties, the Germans had lost Blücher and most of its crew and the action was considered a British victory.

Both navies replaced commanders who were thought to have shown poor judgement and made changes to equipment and procedures, to remedy failings observed during the battle.

War Life