This is discussion archived from a time before the current discussion method was installed.
Describe Types Of Naval Ships Discussion
Actually Battlecruisers suffered more from miss-management than any lack of speed. Battlecruisers were originally intended as heavy scout ships to locate and report on the location of the enemy fleet while using it's large guns to obliterate the smaller cruisers traditionally used as fleet scouts and to hunt the scouts of opposing fleets. If the enemy fleet sent something that could actually threaten a Battlecruiser, like one of their Battleships, the Battlecruiser would have the advantage in speed and be able to escape (shaving off a foot-thick layer of steel from your hull does wonders in that regard.)
However, at the battle of Jutland (the first major battle to feature significant numbers of Battlecruisers), the Admirals in charge of the contending fleets couldn't resist the temptation to take the big-gun Battlecruisers off scouting duty and stick them into their battle-lines to bolster their firepower, a task for which they were spectacularly unsuited and they suffered horribly trading shots with ships they were never intended to face head-on.