HISTORIANS may be forced to revise the story of one of the greatest naval surrenders after a collection of 66 telegrams sent to the German High Seas Fleet in 1918 surfaced.

Oonagh Drage, militaria specialist at Tennants Auctioneers in Leyburn, North Yorkshire, said she hoped the handwritten notices sent from the wireless room of HMS Repulse would shed new light on the end of the First World War.

All but three of the telegrams bear the captain’s red stamp and reveal the sequence of events and tensions between the Royal Navy and their German counterparts following years of conflict and the battles of Dogger Bank and Jutland.

The well-preserved documents, which are dated from the day after Armistice Day, November 12, to November 26, 1918, dictate the terms of surrender of 176 U boats and 70 ships and how torpedoes and aircraft were to be disarmed.

The telegrams were sent by the captain of HMS Repulse, the fastest warship with the heaviest firepower in the Royal Navy at the time which took part in the Second Battle of Heligoland Bight in 1917, on behalf of the government.

One message demands the German High Command ends its “cruel treatment” of British prisoners of war, many of whom had died after forced marches without food.

While food shortages in Germany were pushing civilians towards starvation, the telegram threatens to take the British soldiers’ treatment into account when considering supplying food to the defeated country.

Another telegram demands a report on the sinking of a German submarine, and warns the High Command if it was due to carelessness or had been deliberate, the Armistice had been breached.

Ms Drage said the telegrams, which have an estimate of between £1,500 and £2,000, had been held for many years by a private collector, whose son had decided to sell them at auction.

She said: “I have never seen any telegrams like this before and they tell a story.

“It has been difficult to put an estimate on the lot, how do you value something you have never come across before?”

The telegrams will be offered at a militaria sale, which also includes a personal account and drawings of the Battle of Jutland by a Royal Navy commander, will be held at the auctioneers on November 27.