Dreadnoughts of the High Seas Fleet
The Imperial Navy achieved some important operational feats. At the
Battle of Coronel, it inflicted the first major defeat on the Royal Navy in over one hundred years, although the German squadron of ships was subsequently defeated at the
Battle of the Falkland Islands, only one ship escaping destruction. The Navy also emerged from the fleet action of the Battle of Jutland having destroyed more ships than it lost, although the
strategic value of both of these encounters was minimal.
The Imperial Navy was the first to operate
submarines successfully on a large scale in wartime, with 375 submarines commissioned by the end of the First World War, and it also operated
zeppelins. Although it was never able to match the number of ships of the Royal Navy, it had technological advantages, such as better shells and propellant for much of the Great War, meaning that it never lost a ship to a catastrophic magazine explosion from an above-water attack, although the elderly
SMS Pommern sank rapidly at Jutland after a magazine explosion caused by an underwater attack.