The Battle of Heligoland Bight, on August 28th, 1914, was the first naval battle of the war, as the British High Fleet engaged German patrols in the North Sea. The British aimed not only to ambush the German cruisers, but also to draw in the German fleet to a decisive battle and destroy as many enemy ships as possible. Germany lost several ships in the battle, as small skirmishes and duels between single cruisers and destroyers were fought, and barely escaped a catastrophe only by poor communications on the British side. Scarred by that experience, German naval strategy changed to a defensive stance for most of the war, judging that their fleet was outgunned in a straighforward engagement with the Royal Navy. The Battle of Jutland in 1916 served only to confirm this judgement.