Source 3

A report by Admiral Beatty on the loss of the Indefatigable, published in the London Gazette. (ADM 137/301)


In such a conflict as raged continuously for five hours it was inevitable that we should suffer severe losses. It was necessary to maintain touch with greatly superior forces in fluctuating visability, often very low. We lost “INVINCIBLE”, “INDEFATIGABLE” and “QUEEN MARY”, from which ships there were few survivors. The casualties in other ships were heavy, and I wish to express my deepest regret at the loss of so many gallant comrades, officers and men. They died gloriously. Exceptional skill was displayed by the Medical Officers of the Fleet. They performed operations and tended the wounded under conditions of extreme difficulty. In some cases their staff was seriously depleted by casualties, and the inevitable lack of such esentials as adequate light, hot water, &c., in ships damaged by shell fire, tried their skill, resource and physical endurance to the utmost. As usual, the Engine Room Departments of all shops displayed the highest qualities of technical skill, discipline and endurance. High speed is a primary factor in the tactics of the squadrons under my command, and the Engine Room Departments never fail.

« Return to Jutland: Death at sea

3. Look at Source 3. This is a report on the loss of the Indefatigable, published in the London Gazette. It was made by Admiral Beatty, the Naval officer in command of the 1st Battle cruiser squadron during the battle.

  • Is any reason for the ‘severe losses’ given in this statement?
  • What does the Admiral think of the men who died?
  • Is there any sign of the Admiral being concerned at the reasons for the losses of these ships?