German, 1 BB / 2 CL / 16 DD The most painful loss is the modern and powerful Bayern, having succumbed to her wounds after the Sunderland Action. The pair of light cruisers were lost off the Frisian Islands against enemy cruisers, while destroyer attrition has been alarmingly high.
British, 14 BB / 4 B / 4 CA / 10 CL / 21 DD Dreadnoughts galore! British Admirals must be quaking in their boots. A surprising number were lost in night actions, but Sunderland saw seven sunk. The lion's share of their heavy losses were older models, so the Grand Fleet still deserves that name, especially with the new ships coming off the lines.
Curiously, no battlecruisers have copped it for either side. Perhaps speed really is armour.
It's 1917, and there is a lot on my desk. The first documents to sign, when the New Year's cards and drinks are moved aside, are slips approving the withdrawal of a number of older warships. The powers that be seem to think that the High Seas Fleet needs to trim some fat, so to the chopping block go the oldest light cruisers - München, Stuttgart, Danzig, Stettin and Hamburg. Although they've made a good account of themselves, they are too slow for the pace of modern battle, and their decommissioning will partially solve our manpower issues. The old A-boats are being pulled out too.
A more concerning prospect is the loss of a dozen U-boats to grand plans for an unrestricted campaign in the Atlantic. Having a large number of subs on hand was a great boon to fleet operations last year, owing to their sighting reports and the occasional torpedo, so this will be a real dent in my ability to know what's going on out there. Sometimes I think we are on the cusp of breaking the blockade, but clearly few other Germans are as optimistic as I. Perhaps they think using the subs to starve the British will make them give up.
The Treasury have managed to fenagle funding for replacements to the light cruisers I just struck from the books. These should arrive in autumn next year, if we can stave off shortages. More immediately, two more cruisers, Graudenz and Regensburg, have been sent to replace their 4-inch guns with 6-inch ones as well as receiving a few minor modifications:
Before and after.
With all this cruiser bureaucracy over, the next minefield is set to be laid this turn.
Our small minelayer force files past Borkum in the morning. Over the wireless comes a report of a British cruiser force, sweeping towards Jutland from the West, so an airship is despatched from the base at Tønder to go and have a look.
The Zeppelin crew confirm the sighting. I decide to send out the battlecruisers, in the hope of intercepting the enemy close to home waters, or at least covering the minelayers. While they build up steam, our cruisers let slip their deadly cargo.
We steam around as the minelayers return, but in the long night it seems to be a waste of coal. In the end, the only action this turn is the brave last stand of a blockade runner whose luck ran out.