On 28 August 1914, British Commander Tyrwhitt, using two light cruisers, the Fearless and Arethusa, and several other destroyers, sunk two German torpedo boats in the bight, a semi-enclosed body of water close to northern Germany. Used to shelter German ships and thought to be a launch-pad for German assaults on Great Britain, the objective was to drive German ships into open sea, where Vice-Admiral Sir David Beatty’s force were waiting to attack. However, two of Arethusa’s guns jammed and the Germans soon outgunned the British ships. Beatty travelled 25 miles (40 km) to assist Tyrwhitt. At 12.42 hours, his Battle Cruiser Squadron opened fire, sinking three German cruisers, including the Mainz and the Ariadne. The aftermath caused both the Allies and Germany to rethink their naval tactics. The Kaiser decided to use defensive mines, while the British, who had lost contact with several ships, needed to improve their communications.
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