Between 1914 and 1916 it was under the command of Admiral Sir John Jellicoe in his flagship HMS Iron Duke.
'Dreadnought' battleships carried guns more destructive than almost any land artillery, while battlecruisers were faster, with similar firepower but lighter armour. A fleet of battlecruisers, led by Admiral David Beatty in HMS Lion, was used to scout ahead of the main force. At sea, the larger warships sailed with a screen of smaller cruisers and flotillas of destroyers, capable of protecting them from submarines or from torpedo attacks by enemy destroyers.
In the years leading up to the First World War, the German navy had grown more powerful, but in 1916 it had fewer of the most modern battleships and battlecruisers than the British. It deployed in a similar formation, with the High Seas Fleet commanded by Admiral Scheer in SMS Friedrich der Grosse, and a battlecruiser vanguard led by Admiral Hipper in SMS Lützow.
Learn about the Battle at sea >