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Jutland

At the battle of Jutland in 1916, Admiral David Beatty, commanding one arm of the British fleet, was caught unprepared by the German navy.

A fierce battle ensued in which the Lion was hit, the Indefatigable exploded, and the Queen Mary (with a crew of 1,200) was sunk. "There seems to be something wrong," Beatty drily observed, "with our bloody ships today!"

[The problem? As naval designers had not realized that long-range shells would drop from above, the British ships had heavily armored sides but virtually unprotected decks!]

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