In January 1916 Vizeadmiral Scheer took command of the High Sea Fleet. This aggressive and pugnacious leader embarked upon a vigorous offensive program which culminated in the greatest clash between dreadnought capital ships the world had seen. Although outnumbered almost two to one, Vizeadmiral Scheer conducted a provocative operation on 31 May 1916. Who would prevail: the massive preponderance of British heavy calibre cannon, or the aggressive tactics of the street fighter Scheer?Manning the ships of both sides were the technically skilled and talented seamen who were prepared to carry out their duties loyally and courageously until the very end. Over 8,500 men perished in less than 10 hours of fighting, a horrendous loss, even by World War One standards. This book gives voice to many of the German Navy participants, from a German perspective, on this tumultuous battle fought over 100 years ago. These men gave their all and are gone now, but not forgotten.
Gary Staff is a former airline pilot but he has been fascinated with naval history, and specifically with the Imperial German Navy (Kaiserlischmarine) for decades. He has visited archives in Britain, Germany and elsewhere to study, and often translate for the first time, official documents relating to this subject. His previous books for Pen & Sword are The Battle for the Baltic Islands 1917; Battle on the Seven Seas and German Battlecruisers of World War One. He lives in Australia.