Chapter 1: The sinking of Beatty's battlecruiser squadron Hipper sighted Beatty’s battlecruisers at 15:22 and turned his battlecruisers south at 15:45 before initiating fire at 15:48. Optimal conditions with an overcast cloud obscured the silhouette of Hipper’s cruisers and several hits were made with a hit that wrecked the Q turret on Lion and killing dozens of crew members including the turret commander*. 2 minutes later Indefatiguable begun taking critical hits and blew up at 16:04.The action intensified with the second battlesquadron entering range between 16:06 and 16:15, but the reversal of the odds did not save queen HMS queen Mary which blew up after salvos from Seydlitz as well as the Derfflinger at 16:26. HMS queen Mary was followed to its watery grave by HMS Lion at 16:28 when flash fire from the Q turret ignited the underneath magazine. The loss of HMS Lion did not prevent the remaining HMS Prince Royal, HMS Tiger and New Zealand from maintaining pursuit with HMS Barham, Valiant, Warspite and Malaya not far behind. With Lion out of the picture heavy and concerted fire was raining down on on HMS Prince Royal that was in close pursuit and the result of heavy damage on the bridge meant the signals from the 2nd light scouting cruisers were not relayed onwards. The fleets continued to run south at 16:40 when HMS Prince Royal received multiple hits and was slowed by a severe and worsening list to port. The pattern repeated itself and the German battlecruisers now concentrated on the lead HMS Tiger and New Zealand. HMS Tiger blew up at 16:52, while New Zealand sailed onwards despite receiving several hits from the German BC's. It was after the explosion on HMS Tiger that the high seas fleet opened fire on the New Zealand, ripping her apart over the next 7 minutes. We might ask ourselves why no orders came forth from New Zealand which became flagship after the loss of HMS Lion, as the battlecruisers were clearly being ripped apart, but it seems evident that damage to the bridge or communication systems were part of the earlier dame received on New Zealand. With two exploding ships between them it might be understandable that Evan-Thomas took some time realizing that what was dead ahead of him and closing awfully fast was the entire seas fleet, and it was only as he passed the smouldering and sinking parts of New Zealand approximately 8 minutes later that Evan-Thomas realized that a substantial portion of the high seas fleet was heading towards him. Should he have known? Under these conditions and in poor visibility, whith the intelligence briefing stating that Scheer's battleline was still in Wilhelmshaven***, one can perhabs appreciate that he did not turn tail, before he had an understanding of the situation. By then it was too late. The 4 ships of the 2nd battle squadron signaled to turn and initiated their turn at 1705, but with a closing speed of approximately 40 knots the Queen Elizabeth battleships entered into a knife fight with the main body of the high seas fleet while trapping destroyers and scouting cruisers between them. In the ensuing melee, the 2 of the 4 British battleships was destroyed with serious damage to the remaining two ships over the next 30 minutes, but not without dealing crippling damage to SMS Westfalen. The Markgraf and Kronprinz also took serious damage with each losing a turret and Kronprinz taking in water after a penetrating hit close to the waterline. Ultimately, Scheer stopped the pursuit as scouting forces, which had advanced to cut off the british forces, sighted the Grand fleet steaming south-east. When the Germans disengaged at 17:35 Beatty’s battlecruiser squadron had been annihilated and both the battleships Warspite and Barham had been sunk, and with them the commander of the fifth battlesquadron Evan-Thomas. The Germans in return had to leave SMS Westfalen behind with the British in pursuit, but there was no question that the Germans had reached their objectives on this day. *The POD, IOTL he was mortally wounded, but ordered the flooding of the magazine which IOTL saved the ship at 16.28. ** In OTL Evan Thomas saw Beatty’s battlecruiser squadron heading north between the battlesquadron at 16.48 and at 16.55 initiated their turn. With a closing speed of approximately 40 knots the difference in distance to the order to turn is about 12 km. ***An OTL mistake from room 40 Edit: serious damage added to markgraf and Kronprinz second edit: Elaborated section of the maiming of New Zealand, absence of signals from Packingham on New Zealand and the slowness by which Evan-Thomas reacted to the situation.