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SMS Seydlitz

ass="error">Template loop detected:sfn The German ships returned fire with every gun available, and at 21:32 hit both Lion and Princess Royal in the darkness. The maneuvering of the German battlecruisers forced the leading I Battle Squadron to turn westward to avoid collision. This brought the pre-dreadnoughts of the II Battle Squadron directly behind the battlecruisers, and prevented the British ships from pursuing the German battlecruisers when they turned southward. The British battlecruisers opened fire on the old battleships; the German ships turned southwest to bring all of their guns to bear against the British ships.

By 22:15, Hipper was finally able to transfer to Moltke, and then ordered his ships to steam at towards the head of the German line. Only Seydlitz and Moltke were in condition to comply; Derfflinger and Von der Tann could make at most , and so these ships lagged behind. Seydlitz and Moltke were in the process of steaming to the front of the line when the ships passed close to Stettin, which forced the ship to drastically slow down to avoid collision. This forced Frauenlob, Stuttgart, and München to turn to port, which led them into contact with the 2nd Light Cruiser Squadron; at a range of , the cruisers on both sides pummeled each other. Konteradmiral Ludwig von Reuter decided to attempt to lure the British cruisers towards Moltke and Seydlitz. Nearly simultaneously, the heavily damaged British cruisers broke off the attack. As the light cruisers were disengaging, a torpedo fired by struck Frauenlob, and the ship exploded. The German formation fell into disarray, and in the confusion, Seydlitz lost sight of Moltke. The ship was no longer able to keep up with Moltke‍ '​s 22 knots, and so detached herself to proceed to the Horns Reef lighthouse independently.

At 00:45, Seydlitz was attempting to thread her way through the British fleet, but was sighted by the dreadnought and noted as a "ship or Destroyer". Agincourt‍ '​s captain did not want to risk giving away his ship's position, and so allowed her to pass. By 01:12, Seydlitz had managed to slip through the British fleet, and she was able to head for the safety of Horns Reef. At approximately 03:40, she scraped over Horns Reef. Both of the ship's gyro-compasses had failed, so the light cruiser Pillau was sent to guide the ship home. By 15:30 on 1 June, Seydlitz was in critical condition; the bow was nearly completely submerged, and the only buoyancy that remained in the forward section of the ship was the broadside torpedo room. Preparations were being made to evacuate the wounded crew when a pair of pump steamers arrived on the scene. The ships were able to stabilize Seydlitz‍ '​s flooding, and the ship managed to limp back to port. She reached the outer Jade river on the morning of 2 June, and on 3 June the ship entered Entrance III of the Wilhelmshaven Lock. At most, Seydlitz had been flooded by of water.

The gray gun barrel has a large gouge in the center where a British shell had struck it.
A 28 cm gun barrel from Seydlitz damaged in the Battle of Jutland.

Close to the end of the battle, at 03:55, Hipper transmitted a report to Scheer informing him of the tremendous damage his ships had suffered. By that time, Derfflinger and Von der Tann each had only two guns in operation, Moltke was flooded with 1,000 tons of water, and Seydlitz was severely damaged. Hipper reported: "I Scouting Group was therefore no longer of any value for a serious engagement, and was consequently directed to return to harbor by the Commander-in-Chief, while he himself determined to await developments off Horns Reef with the battlefleet."

During the course of the battle, Seydlitz was hit 21 times by heavy-caliber shells, twice by secondary battery shells, and once by a torpedo. The ship suffered a total of 98 of her crew killed and 55 wounded. Seydlitz herself fired 376 main battery shells and scored approximately 10 hits.

Later operations

On 15 June 1916, repair work to Seydlitz began in the Imperial Dockyard in Wilhelmshaven, and continued until 1 October. The ship then underwent individual training, and rejoined the fleet in November. With his previous flagship Lützow at the bottom of the North Sea, Hipper again raised his flag in Seydlitz. On 4 November, Seydlitz and Moltke, along with the II Division, I Battle Squadron, the III Battle Squadron, and the new battleship Bayern sailed to Bovbjerg on the Danish coast, in order to retrieve the stranded U-boats U-20 and U-30.

Late 1917 saw the High Seas Fleet beginning to conduct anti-convoy raids in the North Sea between Britain and Norway. In October and December 1917, two British convoys to Norway were intercepted and destroyed by German cruisers and destroyers, prompting Beatty, now the Commander in Chief of the Grand Fleet, to detach several battleships and battlecruisers to protect convoys. This presented to Scheer the opportunity for which he had been waiting the entire war: the chance to isolate and eliminate a portion of the Grand Fleet. At 05:00 on 23 April 1918, the High Seas Fleet left harbor with the intention of intercepting one of the heavily escorted convoys. Wireless radio traffic was kept to a minimum to prevent the British from learning of the operation. By 14:10, the convoy had still not yet been located, and so Scheer turned the High Seas Fleet back towards German waters.


A line of large warships. Thick black smoke pours from their funnels as they steam through choppy seas.
Seydlitz, followed by the remaining five German battlecruisers, Moltke, Hindenburg, Derfflinger, and Von der Tann steaming into internment at Scapa Flow

Seydlitz capsized in Scapa Flow

Seydlitz was to have taken part in what would have amounted to the "death ride" of the High Seas Fleet shortly before the end of World War I. The bulk of the High Seas Fleet was to have sortied from their base in Wilhelmshaven to engage the British Grand Fleet; Scheer—by now the Großadmiral of the fleet—intended to inflict as much damage as possible on the British navy, in order to retain a better bargaining position for Germany, whatever the cost to the fleet. While the fleet was consolidating in Wilhelmshaven, war-weary sailors began deserting en masse. As Von der Tann and Derfflinger passed through the locks that separated Wilhelmshaven's inner harbor and roadstead, some 300 men from both ships climbed over the side and

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