Jutland Documents

This discussion appeared on MARHST-L in September 1999, and the posts are reproduced here here by permission of their respective authors.

from Keith Allen (KEACLA1@AOL.COM)

Two of the main Admiralty studies that appear in discussions of the postwar Jutland controversy are the Harper Record, an analysis critical of Beatty that was largely suppressed by him, although published in modified form by HMSO in 1927; and the Admiralty "Staff Appreciation," severely critical of Jellicoe, which was published in much tamer form as the "Admiralty Narrative" in 1924. Although much toned down the latter was still sufficient to provoke a protest from Jellicoe (as much in defense of Evan-Thomas as of himself) which was published as an appendix to the Narrative, together with a series of rather curt footnotes by the Admiralty writers rebutting the admiral's points.

Have either the unedited Harper Record--of which apparently only three or four copies survived--or the original "Staff Appreciation" ever appeared in print? The Naval Records Society published much valuable material on the Jutland controversy in "The Jellicoe Papers" and "The Beatty Papers," including in the former a lengthy memorandum by Harper detailing the suppression of his study. But for some reason neither the Naval Records Society nor anyone else has published the originals of these studies, to my knowledge--although it is hard to believe that there could be official censorship of them at this late date.

From Peter Beeston (ionia@HALENET.COM.AU)

Cmd. 270 (1927) "Reproduction of the Record of the Battle of Jutland" - by Captain J.E.T. Harper and others - substantially the unpublished and disputed "Harper Record" of 1919 but without the diagrams. Published by HMSO. I do not have it but it is included in Marder's Bibliography to "From the Dreadnought to Scapa Flow".

I do have J.E.T. Harper's "The Truth about Jutland", London. John Murray, 1927, which is worth reading.

As you know, most of the copies of the Naval Staff Appreciation were destroyed but I see that there is a copy in the library of the Univrersity of California at Irvine (Marder) plus a few in the UK. The Admiralty "Narrative of the Battle of Jutland" (London, HMSO, 1924) is essentially the Naval Staff Appreciation without the judgements and criticisms (Marder).

Last Updated: 31 October, 1999.

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