Lecture of Opportunity | John Maurer: A history lesson on the Battle of Jutland

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Professor John Maurer, "Battle of Jutland," Lecture of Opportunity, U.S. Naval War College, May 31, 2016. This year marks the 100th anniversary of the Battle of Jutland, the largest sea fight of World War I. On May 31, 1916, the main fleets of Germany and Great Britain clashed in a hard-fought battle in the North Sea off Denmark’s Jutland peninsula. The battle was a trial of strength at sea between the fleets of a rising challenger, with aspirations to world power, and the reigning superpower, accustomed to thinking itself the indispensable leader of the international system. On the outcome of this battle in the cold waters of the North Sea (or so it was widely thought), nothing less than the fate of empires was at stake. To whom did the future belong—the rising power or the keeper of the system? A single day of combat between the steel giants making up the British and German fleets could decide the vital question of world power or decline for these competing empires. Professor Maurer’s lecture examines the background to the battle, the course of the battle on the day itself, the strategic consequences of the battle, and concludes with some “so what” thoughts about what we in the twenty-first century might learn from remembering an important battle. Bio: Dr. John H. Maurer serves as the Alfred Thayer Mahan Professor of Sea Power and Grand Strategy in the Strategy and Policy Department. ***** Disclaimer: The views expressed are the speaker's own and may not necessarily reflect the views of the Naval War College, the Department of the Navy, the Department of Defense, or any other branch or agency of the U.S. Government.

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