Jutland: The Naval Staff Appreciation

Jutland, the largest naval battle of the First World War, was the most controversial engagement in the Royal Navy’s history. Falling well short of the total victory expected by the public, it rapidly sparked argument and ill-will within the Royal Navy, including disagreements among those in its highest echelons, many of whom had been directly involved in the battle. The first attempt to produce even an objective record was delayed and heavily censored, but this was followed by a more ambitious scheme to write a no-holds-barred critique of the fleet’s performance for use in training future officers at the Naval Staff College. This became the now infamous Naval Staff Appreciation, which was eventually deemed too damaging, its publication canceled and all proof copies ordered destroyed. Mentioned in virtually every book on Jutland since, but unavailable to their authors, the document has developed an almost legendary status of a book too explosive to publish. However, despite the order to destroy, a few copies survived. Transcribed from one of the copies, Jutland reveals this long-hidden work for the first time. It contains expert modern commentary and explanatory notes to put it in proper context. Now everyone interested in Jutland can read this book and judge for themselves.