This was sent out Wednesday on the Society of Daisy yahoo group (bunch of older recreational wargamers more into imagi-nations…). IIRC, the original tile floor was in the building next to the ENEWS site, was covered with picnic tables and had a coke machine behind the speaker… Would have loved to have been there for this game!
Wargaming the Centennial of the Battle of Jutland
The May 31st, 1916 encounter between the Royal Navy and the Kaiser’s Grand Fleet of Jutland may well be the single most analyzed naval battle in history. For certain, it influenced the thinking of tacticians and strategists in Great Britain, Germany, and not least in the US Navy.
To commemorate the centennial of the largest naval battle of World War I, the US Naval War College yesterday recreated the battle using wargaming techniques used in the period between World War I and II.
NEWPORT, R.I. – A U.S. Naval War College (NWC) wargame based on a real World War I battle that had been studied intensely by World War II military leaders, such as Fleet Admirals Chester W. Nimitz, Ernest J. King and William F. Halsey, was reenacted at the school, May 10.
The game employed the same methods and technology used a century ago to understand the maritime strategy and tactics in the 1916 World War I maritime encounter known as, the Battle of Jutland.
The Battle of Jutland was fought between Great Britain and Germany off the coast of Denmark and was the largest maritime engagement of World War I. The encounter was studied closely during the time between the two world wars at NWC and was the basis for much of the naval strategy used in World War II.
“The idea here was to put together a memorial event that would commemorate the centenary of Jutland but at the same time highlight what that battle meant to the Naval War College and our education efforts,” said Rear Adm. P. Gardner Howe III, president NWC. “It created an experience that tied us to our past while getting us to think about our future. It exceeded my expectations.”
(U.S. Navy photo by Chief Mass Communication Specialist James E. Foehl/Released)
Video of the wargame will be released on May 31, the 100th anniversary of the battle at the Naval War College’s Facebook page.
In The Two Ocean War, Samuel Elliot Morrison talks quite a bit about how the NWC in the interwar era transformed from a sleepy little school where not much of anything of consequence was done, to an intellectual powerhouse that fundamentally helped shape the US Navy’s strategy in World War II, particularly in the Pacific theater.
The prime tool NWC used was wargaming. First, future fleet leaders would wargame a battle from the past, learning in the process how and why leaders often made the decisions they did. Building on that experience, the school could then construct scenarios that the fleet was likely to encounter in the future, and explore possible courses of action, gleaning the strengths and weaknesses of the various plans.
After the war, one admiral remarked that nothing happened in the Pacific that hadn’t been gamed out to some degree before the war, with the exception of the Kamikaze attacks of the last year of the war.