The Royal Navy had ruled the sea unchallenged for 100 years since Nelson triumphed at Trafalgar. Yet when the Grand Fleet faced the German High Seas Fleet across the grey waters of the North Sea near Jutland the British battleships and cruisers were battered into a draw, losing far more men and ships than the enemy. The Grand Fleet far outnumbered and outgunned the German fleet so something clearly had gone wrong. The public waited for the official histories of the battle to be released to learn the truth, but month after month went by with the Admiralty promising, but failing, to publish an account of Jutland. Questions were raised in Parliament (twenty-two times) yet still no official report was produced, due to objections from Admiral Beatty. This led to Admiral Bacon producing his own account of the battle, called The Jutland Scandal in 1925. Two years later the man instructed to write the official report, Rear-Admiral Harper, decided to publish his account independently, under the title The Truth About Jutland. Together, these two books lay bare the facts about Jutland and reveal the failings of senior officers and the distortions of the early historians.Produced as one volume for the first time, this book tells the truth about the scandal that developed following the largest battle ever fought at sea.
John Ernest Troyte Harper was born in New Zealand on 29 May 1874, joining the Royal Navy in 1888. He died in 1949. Reginald Hugh Spencer Bacon, from Wiggonholt in West Sussex, joined the Royal Navy in 1877, at the age of just fourteen or fifteen. He passed away in 1947.