Battle of Heligoland Bight

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The First Battle of Heligoland Bight was a naval battle of the First World War, fought on 28 August 1914. The British planned to attack German patrols off the north-west German coast.

The Harwich Force of two light cruisers, HMS Fearless and HMS Arethusa, accompanied by 31 destroyers, made a raid upon German shipping located close to the German naval base at Heligoland.

Acting as cover for the Harwich Force was the First Battle Cruiser Squadron, recently arrived from Scapa Flow and under the command of Vice Admiral Beatty. His squadron consisted of the battlecruisers HMS New Zealand and HMS Invincible, plus three cruisers.

The Harwich Force began the action by sinking the German destroyer V-187 at around 7am on 28 August. Not entirely surprised by the British attack, the Germans hastily deployed SMS Frauenlob and SMS Stettin, joined shortly afterwards by four other light cruisers, including Rear Admiral Leberecht Maass's flagship, SMS Cln.

Finding his force outgunned by the German defence and under increasing fire, with Arethusa heavily damaged, Commander Tyrwhitt called Beatty for urgent assistance at 11.25am. Beatty, some 25 miles to the north, hurried to Tyrwhitt's assistance, arriving at 12.40pm. In time to save Tyrwhitt, Beatty's squadron sank SMS Mainz, SMS Cln, and SMS Ariadne and damaged a further three other cruisers.

Retreating hurriedly under the cover of mist, the Germans had lost 712 killed and 419 captured men, as opposed to just 32 British fatalities.

External link

See also

pl:Bitwa pod Helgolandem (1914)

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