H.M.S. Agincourt at the Battle of Jutland

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Officers

Captain: Henry Montagu Doughty
Commander: N. Scott
Engineer Commander: Reginald William Skelton
Lieutenants: Horatio Westmacott - 6-inch Control Officer

Report of Proceedings

No. 171/02.

H.M.S. Agincourt,

10th June 1916.


SIR,

 IN accordance with your signal, I have the honour to submit the following report on the action of 31st May, as far as H.M.S, "Agincourt" was concerned.

At 6. 0 p.m. The ship's position was Lat. 57° 7' N., Long. 5° 41' E. ; course, 134°; speed, 20 knots.
6. 8. Altered course to 122°.
6.17. Altered course to 45°—thereby deploying into line : "Agincourt" now being rear ship of the line.
At 6.12 p.m. Our Battle Cruisers and flashes of enemy's guns came into sight from just on the port bow to the starboard bow, crossing from right to left. Shortly after this, the Fifth Battle Squadron was seen following our Battle Cruiser Squadron and firing at the enemy, but the flashes of these enemy ships' guns only came into sight through the mist one at a time.

The Lion was noted to have a fire on board, which was apparently put out.

Our Light Cruisers and Destroyers appeared to hang about just in front of the 6th Division, and thus came in for some of the enemy's projectiles not apparently intended for them.

A clear view of the enemy could not be obtained, but from general opinion the enemy ships first fired on were Battle Cruisers.

6.14. Enemy shots falling near the ship.
6.16. Salvo straddled Hercules while deploying.
6.17. Turned into line after Hercules.
6.18. Marlborough opened fire; but the range was not yet clear of our own ships for "Agincourt."
6.24. Opened fire on enemy Battle Cruiser; range, 10,000 yards. Target could just be made out, but her number in their line could not be stated with accuracy. Hits had been obtained on this ship when the smoke from our own Armoured Cruisers blotted out the enemy vessels, one of which was very heavily hit.
6.25. Speed by signal—14 knots.
6.32. Opened fire again on same ship. Another hit was observed, but mist made it impossible to be certain of fall of shot.

Our own line of fire was now blocked by our own Destroyers. Fore Control observed a Battle Cruiser, apparently crippled, heading in the opposite direction and flashing FU by searchlight. Fire was then opened on enemy four-funnelled Cruiser, thought to be the Roon.

6.34. Lost sight of enemy.
6.36. Course, 111°.
6.48. Course, 104°.
6.55. Observed Marlborough struck by torpedo or mine on the starboard side. A few minutes after, the periscope of a submarine was seen passing the ship on starboard side. This could be seen from the Control Top and not from the Bridge or Conning-tower.
7. 0. Course, 168°; speed, 18 knots.
7, 4. Turrets opened fire again on enemy three-funnelled Cruiser. Marlborough was firing at her. She was apparently already disabled and on fire, but was floating when she passed cut of sight.
7. 6. Four enemy Battleships, apparently their 5th Division, appeared out of the mist, two of which showed clearly against the mist. Opened fire on one of these: range, 11,000 yards; at least four straddles were obtained and effective hits seen.
7. 8. Enemy torpedo just missed astern. It had been reported from aloft, and course was altered. This was probably fired by a submarine.
7.17. Enemy fire straddled ship. Enemy destroyers were now observed approaching from enemy's lines.
7.18. 6-in. guns opened on them. When five hits had been observed on the first one fire was shifted to another; two hits were observed on her before she was lost in the mist. Enemy destroyers made a smoke screen which hampered the turrets firing during the time enemy ships turned away.
7.35. Track of two torpedoes running parallel observed approaching. Course altered to avoid torpedoes ; passed ahead.
7.41. Submarine reported starboard side ; turned away to avoid.
7.45. Course, 185°; speed, 15 to 17 knots.
7.50. Passed a wreck on port hand.
8. 3. Course, 258° ; 17 knots.
8.25. Torpedo track on starboard side ; turned at full speed; torpedo broke surface about 150 yards on starboard bow.

During the night three distinct sets of firing occurred : the first being on starboard quarter; the second two points on quarter; the third right astern.

A ship or Destroyer closed "Agincourt" at high speed during the night, her track very visible. I did not challenge her, so as not to give our Division's position away. She altered course and steamed away.

2.30. Vice-Admiral shifted his Flag to Revenge.
3.52. Zeppelin in sight. Opened with 6-in. guns and 3-in. anti-aircraft. Apparently no hits were obtained on Zeppelin ; she went away towards the East.

T.N.T. common were used throughout the action.

Rounds fired :—

12-in. guns 144 rounds.
6-in. guns 111
"
Anti-aircraft guns 7
"

I have much pleasure in reporting the smooth working of everything on board and the happy alacrity and discipline of all hands. No direct hits were made on "Agincourt," but several splinters came on board, doing very minor damage.


 I have the honour to be,

 Sir,

 Your obedient Servant.

 H. M. DOUGHTY,

The Vice-Admiral Commanding Captain.

First Battle Squadron.

H.M.S. Royal Oak.

Footnotes

Bibliography

  • Admiralty (1920). Battle of Jutland 30th May to 1st June 1916: Official Despatches with Appendices. Cmd. 1068. London: His Majesty's Stationary Office.