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A year and two weeks after the end of WWI, the Illustrated London News published this compelling graphical display comparing
the British naval losses at Jutland to three other great sea battles (Camperdown, the
The end result of the battle was mixed and still debated today; neither side could convincingly claim a conclusive victory from the affair.
The Royal Navy losses at
And while this graphical display places Jutland in a weak context with these other battles, and as pleasing as the thing is visually, the larger mark, the great lurking statistical and human beast lurking there in the mix of silhouettes and data, occurs about halfway down the far right column.
Here we see the losses for five ships: the Queen Mary, the Invincible, the Indefatigable, the Defence, and the Black Prince. Together, some 5066 men served aboard these vessels; at the end June 1, 1915, 5,059 of them would be dead. Everyone aboard the Indefatigable, Defence and Black Prince would be killed; 1 would survive on the Invincible, and 6 would survive the killing of the Queen Mary. Astonishing, really. And there are no other numbers like this on this chart.
As certain and as clear as this representation seems, and as straightforward and seemingly elementary as it looks, I was shocked to see the numbers for those five Royal Navy ships, a “hidden” history within a broad comparative analysis.
1. England: 28 battleships,
8 armoured cruisers, 26 light cruisers,
[The Queen Mary going down.]