SMS Blücher was the last armored cruiser built by the German Empire. She was designed to match what German intelligence incorrectly believed to be the specifications of the British Invincible-class battlecruisers. At the Battle of Dogger Bank on 24 January 1915, Blücher was slowed significantly after being hit by gunfire from a British battlecruiser. Under heavy fire from the British ships, she was sunk, and British destroyers began recovering the survivors. However, the destroyers withdrew when a German zeppelin began bombing them, mistaking the sinking Blücher for a British battlecruiser. The number of casualties is unknown, with figures ranging from 747 to around 1,000. Blücher was the only warship lost during the battle.
 At the beginning of WW1 the disused roller skating rink at Aldwych was taken over by the War Refugees’ Committee for use as a facility to provide humanitarian and medical aid to Belgian refugees, many of whom spoke only Flemish.