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Royal Navy, "Pax Britannica", 1815-1914

 

FROM IMPERIAL POLICEMAN TO NORTH SEA BATTLE FLEET: THE EVOLUTION OF BRITISH NAVAL DEPLOYMENT 1900-1914


by Dr Graham Watson, retired from HIstory Dept, Cardiff University

King Edward VII, 1901-1910, and below, battleship HMS King Edward VII (believed in Public Domain/Maritime Quest, click to enlarge) return to "Pax Britannica", 1815-1914



Introduction


My sincere thanks to Graham Watson for all the work he has put into this important account of the Royal Navy leading up to the outbreak of World War 1. Not just the ship deployments, but the organisation itself. It has certainly cleared up for me numerous problems trying to sort out the fleets early in the war.

Graham informs us that the principal source for this work is the Navy List. They were supplemented by Arthur Marder's 'From Dreadnought to Scapa Flow'. His first volume gives an account of the policy of changing the location and fleet composition in the period 1904-1914. Books on individual types of ships such as Oscar Parkes and R A Burt on battleships, and Roger Morris on cruisers have supplemented the basic Navy List data.

Gordon Smith, Naval-History.Net.







1. THE EVOLUTION OF BRITISH NAVAL DEPLOYMENT 1900-1914



HM Battleship Canopus at Malta (Maritime Quest)

In 1900, the prime purpose of the Royal Navy was to protect and defend the Empire; patrol and protect the trade routes; and to show a British naval presence in areas of concern, such as the Mediterranean. 

For these tasks the ships of the Royal Navy were allocated to a number of geographic stations, of which only the Mediterranean was described as a fleet.    These were:

- Mediterranean Fleet
- East Indies Station
- China Station
- Australian Station
- Africa Station
- America and West Indies Station
- Pacific Station

Few fully operational warships were stationed in Home Waters.  Most ships were distributed between the three traditional home commands:

- Nore Command
- Plymouth Command
- Portsmouth Command

A small force of battleships comprised the Channel Squadron, which could be reinforced by the older battleships and cruisers of the Coast Guard.  The ships on Coast Guard duty were distributed around the ports of the United Kingdom as guard ships- a visible but not very effective presence.

Between 1901 and 1913, the Royal Navy changed from this imperial role to a battle fleet designed and prepared for conflict in the North Sea.  This was in response to the perceived threat brought about by the enlargement of the German Fleet.   This process was aided by the generally beneficial attitude towards other navies which might have posed a threat elsewhere in the world- the French, the Americans and the Japanese.

The transition to the North Sea took place in stages, largely as an attempt to disguise the move, and so not provoke a response from Germany. Although a major focus of the period is on the introduction of the 'dreadnought' type battleship, and the increased allocation of armoured cruisers, torpedo boat destroyers, and submarines, the establishment of tactical and administrative  organisations such as squadrons and flotillas must be examined.

In 1900, there were no fleets, squadrons or flotillas such as existed by 1914. Ships seemed to have been allocated without too much thought to coherence of class, type, and fighting ability. Apart from the Mediterranean Fleet, there were few, if any, subordinate flag officers, to provide tactical leadership for training and operations.

By 1914, uniformly constituted battle squadrons, cruiser squadrons, destroyer flotillas, and submarine flotillas, with appropriate flag officers in command, had been created in home waters.

Their creation marks the transition to the fleet organisation of the twentieth century.

The pace and nature of this change is summarised below. They were most obvious and frequent in  the organisation of warships in home waters; to  a lesser extent in the Mediterranean and China Stations. The other geographic stations either remained largely untouched, or were abolished.





2. FLEET ORGANISATION 1900-1914


HM Destroyer Acheron (Photo Ships)


The changes can be summarised in five time periods:


(1) 1900-1904

The Channel Squadron -
renamed The Channel Fleet, 9.1901
  5 battleships
  The Cruiser Squadron

The Coast Guard - unofficially termed 'The Home fleet' when mobilised for summer manoeuvers. Renamed The Home Fleet, 2.1903
  9 battleships-scattered around the coast
  4 cruisers

In November 1904 the Channel and Home Fleets were re-organised into The Channel Fleet, the Home Fleet, and the Atlantic Fleet. The extra battleships were provided by ships withdrawn from the Mediterranean Fleet and China Station. 

Nore Command
  torpedo boat destroyers

Plymouth Command
  torpedo boat destroyers

Portsmouth Command
 torpedo boat destroyers

The Mediterranean Fleet
12 battleships
cruisers         
torpedo boat destroyers

As there was no alteration of status in the surviving stations listed below after 1905, they are not included in later lists. Their composition remained largely unchanged.  The Admiralty plan was that the ships of the China, Australian and East Indies Stations would form a single 'Eastern Fleet' on mobilisation.
 
The China Station
5 battleships [battleships withdrawn by 8.1905]
cruisers
torpedo boat destroyers

The Australian Station - became the responsibility of the Royal Australian Navy 1913
cruisers

The East Indies Station
cruisers

The Cape & West Africa Station
cruisers

South American Station - Station abolished in 1904
cruisers

The North America and West Indies Station (NA&WI) - Station abolished 10.1904 and replaced by 4th Cruiser Squadron based in UK
cruisers
 
The Pacific Station - Station  abolished 10.1903
cruisers
  

(2) January 1905-February 1907

The Channel Fleet - based at Dover
  12 battleships- increased to 18 by 1907
  1st Cruiser Squadron
  Channel Fleet Flotilla, 1, 2, 3, 4 Divisions

The Atlantic Fleet - based at  Gibraltar to reinforce either the Channel Fleet or the Mediterranean Fleet
  8 battleships- increased to 9 by 1907
  2nd Cruiser Squadron
  Atlantic Fleet Flotilla-1906

The Home Fleet - ships at a lesser state of readiness-with nucleus crews. They were split into 3 divisions:

Nore Division
7 battleships
destroyer flotilla

Portsmouth Division
4 battleships
destroyer flotilla
submarine flotilla

Devonport Division
2 battleships - increased to 4 by 1907
destroyer flotilla
submarine flotilla

also 4th Cruiser Squadron - for training cruises to West Indies (see NA&WI above)

The Mediterranean Fleet
8 battleships
3rd Cruiser Squadron
Mediterranean Destroyer Flotilla


(3) March 1907-March 1909

The Channel Fleet - Remained the fully-manned battle fleet in home waters, merged in 3.1909 with the Home fleet and became the 2nd Division, Home Fleet  
14 battleships
1st Cruiser Squadron
Channel Fleet Flotilla  Split into 1DF & 3DF in 3.1909

The Home Fleet - Merged in 3.1909 with the Channel fleet and became 1st Division, Home Fleet. This period sees the beginning of the allocation of dreadnoughts to the Nore as being the nearest base for the North Sea.  Ships in the Nore Division had full crews, and the others had 3/5th crews.

Nore Division
7 battleships plus HMS Dreadnought, to which were added battle-cruisers in 1908
Home Fleet Flotilla - in 3.1909 split into 2DF & 4 DF
5th Cruiser Squadron
also for local defence:
Nore Flotilla
Nore Submarine Flotilla - formed October 1907

Portsmouth Division - split between 3rd and 4th Divisions 3.1909
5 battleships
also for local defence:
Portsmouth Flotilla
Portsmouth Submarine Flotilla

Devonport Division - split between 3rd and 4th Divisions 3.909
3 battleships
also for local defence:
Devonport Flotilla
Devonport Submarine Flotilla

and 4th Cruiser Squadron-continues training cruises to West Indies

The Atlantic Fleet - continued in its role as reinforcement for either the Channel Fleet of the Mediterranean Fleet.
8 battleships
2nd Cruiser Squadron
no destroyers

The Mediterranean Fleet
6 battleships
3rd Cruiser Squadron
Destroyer Flotilla


(4) March 1909-April 1912

The ships in home waters were grouped into a single fleet - the Home Fleet. Within that fleet there were two levels of availability. The ships of the 1st and 2nd Divisions were fully operational, while those of the 3rd and 4th divisions were partially manned.  The Atlantic Fleet and Mediterranean Fleet continued as separate entities.

The Home Fleet

1st Division - became 1st Battle Squadron in 5.1912
7 dreadnoughts
1st Cruiser Squadron
1st Destroyer Flotilla

2nd Division - became 2nd Battle Squadron in 5.1912
10 pre-dreadnoughts
2nd Cruiser Squadron
2nd Destroyer Flotilla

3rd/4th Divisions - administered by a single flag officer of Vice Admiral rank

Nore
8 pre-dreadnoughts
3rd Destroyer Flotilla
Nore Submarine Flotilla, split into III and VII Submarine Flotillas, 4.1910
 
Portsmouth
4 pre-dreadnoughts
4th Destroyer Flotilla
Portsmouth Submarine Flotilla
split into II and IV Submarine Flotillas, 4.1910
V Submarine Flotilla formed as training unit, 4.1910

Devonport
3-7 pre-dreadnoughts
5th Destroyer Flotilla- to Mediterranean 1911, replaced by 7th Destroyer Flotilla
Devonport Submarine Flotilla
split into I Flotilla and VI Flotilla [a training unit],  4.1910-

also
4th Cruiser Squadron - continues cruises to West Indies
6th Destroyer Flotilla - commands a variety of tbd's from each home port

The Atlantic Fleet - became 3rd Battle Squadron 4.1912
7 pre-dreadnoughts
5th Cruiser Squadron

The Mediterranean Fleet - became 4th Battle Squadron 4.1912
6 pre-dreadnoughts
6th Cruiser Squadron
Destroyer Flotilla- replaced by 5th Destroyer Flotilla in 1911


(5) May 1912-July 1914

The final concentration of British naval power in home waters took place on 1st May 1912 when a new organisation was established -

The Home Fleets.

The CinC Home Fleets had direct command of the First Fleet; and a Vice Admiral commanded the Second and Third Fleets.  Each of the three fleets represented a different level of availability.  The First Fleet was composed of ships in full commission; the Second Fleet of ships with 50% manning levels; and the Third Fleet with ships laid up in reserve under care and maintenance parties. 

Patrol Flotillas and Submarine Flotillas were established outside this organisation.

The original attention to withdraw battleships from Malta to Gibraltar as 4th Battle Squadron, First Fleet, drew such criticism the Admiralty established the 1st Cruiser Squadron at Malta in January 1913, to which was added the 2nd Battle-cruiser Squadron in August 1913.


THE HOME FLEETS

FIRST FLEET

1st Battle Squadron
1st Cruiser Squadron - to Battle-cruiser Squadron 1.13
1st Destroyer Flotilla

2nd Battle Squadron
2nd Cruiser Squadron
2nd Destroyer Flotilla

3rd Battle Squadron
3rd Cruiser Squadron
3rd Destroyer Flotilla

4th Battle Squadron
4th Cruiser Squadron
4th Destroyer Flotilla

SECOND FLEET

5th Battle Squadron
5th Cruiser Squadron

6th Battle Squadron
6th Cruiser Squadron

Training Squadron - established at Queenstown 2.1913

PATROL FLOTILLAS
 [u/c Admiral of Patrols]

6th Destroyer Flotilla, Portsmouth
7th Destroyer Flotilla, Devonport
8th Destroyer Flotilla, Chatham
9th Destroyer Flotilla, Sheerness

SUBMARINE FLOTILLAS

I Submarine Flotilla, Devonport - split into 1st and 3rd Flotillas, 4.1913
II Submarine Flotilla, Portsmouth - split into 2nd and 8th Flotillas, 4.1913
III Submarine Flotilla, Nore - retitled 5th Flotilla, 4.1913
IV Submarine Flotilla, Portsmouth - retitled 4th Flotilla, 4.1913
VII Submarine Flotilla, Nore - split into 6th and 7th Flotillas, 4.1913
The 9th Submarine Flotilla was formed at Lamlash 4.1914
        
THIRD FLEET

7th Battle Squadron
8th Battle Squadron

7th Cruiser Squadron
8th Cruiser Squadron
9th Cruiser Squadron
10th Cruiser Squadron
11th Cruiser Squadron

Nore Local Defence Flotilla
Portsmouth Local Defence Flotilla
Devonport Local Defence Flotilla 

Note on the Transition of the Home Fleets to the Grand Fleet and Channel Fleet, 1912-1914

From May 1912, the CinC Home Fleets had overall responsibility for the three fleets, and he was also CinC First Fleet.  A Vice Admiral - under him - commanded both the Second and Third Fleets. They became separate commands on mobilisation.

Until his departure in August 1914, Admiral Sir George Callaghan was CinC Home Fleets as well as CinC First Fleet. Vice Admiral Sir Frederick Hamilton commanded the Second and Third Fleets. He was succeeded by Vice Admiral Sir Cecil Burney in December 1913.  

On mobilisation, Callaghan was replaced by Sir John Jellicoe as CinC Grand Fleet [the renamed First Fleet], Sir Cecil Burney became CinC Channel Fleet, and Vice Admiral Sir Alexander Bethell moved from the War College to take over the Third Fleet.

end of Home Fleets

       
MEDITERRANEAN

some cruisers, but not formed as a squadron
5th Destroyer Flotilla
1st Cruiser Squadron from 1.1913
2nd Battle-cruiser Squadron  from 8.1913





  
3. DISTRIBUTION OF BATTLESHIPS 1900-1914


(1) 1900-1904


HMS Jupiter (Cyber Heritage)

Coast Guard/Home Fleet Channel Sqn/Fleet Mediterranean Fleet China Station-8.05

Benbow-4.04
Camperdown-6.03
Collingwood-6.03
Howe-10.01
Rodney-2.01
Nile-2.03
Trafalgar-8.02
12.00-Hood-12.01
2.01-Anson-5.04
4.01-Revenge
10.01-Empress of India
12.01-Resolution
8.02-Royal Sovereign
2.03-Royal Oak
6.03-Hood
5.04-Swiftsure
5.04-Triumph
5.04-Exmouth

In Reserve

10.03-Goliath
6.04-Canopus
6.04-Resolution    

Resolution-11.01
Repulse-4.02
Majestic
Magnificent
Prince George-6.04
Jupiter
Hannibal
2.04-Victorious
2.04-Caesar
7.04-Illustrious

Renown [FF]-5.04
Hood-4.00
Ramillies [F]-8.03
Revenge-6.00
Royal Oak-6.02
Royal Sovereign-8.02
Empress of India-11.01
Caesar-2.04
Illustrious-7.04
Canopus-4.03
Ocean-1.01
Victorious-9.03
9.01-Implacable
10.01-Formidable
10.01-Hood-12.02
1.02-Bulwark [F]
2.02-Irresistible
4.02-Vengeance
6.02-London
6.02-Repulse-11.03
12.02-Venerable
2.03-Russell-1.05
6.03-Exmouth-1.05
10.03-Montagu-1.05
11.03-Duncan-1.05
11.03-Albemarle-1.05
4.04-Prince of Wales
9.04-Queen

Barfleur-1.02
Centurion-8.01
Victorious-3.00
3.00-Goliath-10.03
11.00-Glory-10.05
1.01-Ocean-8.05
8.01-Albion-8.05
6.03-Vengeance-8.05
8.03-Centurion-8.05


(2) January 1905-March 1907


HMS Albion (Photo Ships)

Home Fleet Channel Fleet Atlantic Fleet
Mediterranean Fleet

Nore Division

Goliath-1.06
Ramillies
Repulse
Royal Oak-1.07
Hood-1.07
5.05-Albion
8.05-Ocean-1.06

Portsmouth Division
Canopus-5.05
8.05-Revenge
12.06-Majestic-2.07
12.06-Glory
1.07-Royal Sovereign

Devonport Division
8.05-Hannibal-1.07
8.05-Vengeance-5.06
1.07-Royal Oak
1.07-Hood
2.07-Resolution
2.07-Repulse

Revenge-8.05
Royal Sovereign-2.07
Caesar
Hannibal-8.05
Swiftsure
Triumph
Albemarle
Cornwallis
Duncan
Exmouth
Montagu
Russell
8.05-Albion-4.06
8.05-Prince George
9.05-Jupiter
10.05-Glory-10.06
1.06- Goliath
1.06- Canopus
1.06- Ocean
4.06-Illustrious
4.06-Victorious
5.06-Vengeance
10.06-Mars
1.07-Hannibal

Majestic-11.06
Magnificent-11.06
Mars-3.06
Jupiter-9.05
Hannibal-2.05
Victorious-1.07
Caesar-3.05
Illustrious-9.05
2.05-Prince George-7.05
3.05-Commonwealth
3.05-King Edward VII
6.05-New Zealand
7.05-Dominion
7.05-Hindustan
7.05-Canopus-1.06
11.06-Africa
11.06-Britannia

Implacable
Formidable
Irresistible
London
Bulwark
Venerable
Prince of Wales
Queen


(3) March 1907-March 1909


HMS Hibernia (Maritime Quest)

Home Fleet Channel Fleet Atlantic Fleet
Mediterranean Fleet

Nore Division

Majestic-6.08
Magnificent-2.09
Bulwark
London-6.08
Dreadnought [F]
5.08-Vengeance
6.08-Victorious
10.08-Swiftsure
1.09-Bellerophon

Portsmouth Division
Prince George
Goliath
Canopus-3.08
Jupiter
Glory-9.07

Devonport Division
Mars
5.07-Caesar
5.07-Hannibal
6.08-Majestic

King Edward VII [F]
Africa
Britannia
Commonwealth
Dominion
Hibernia
Hindustan
New Zealand
Illustrious-6.08
Ocean-6.08
Vengeance-5.08
Hannibal-5.07
Swiftsure-10.08
Triumph

Exmouth [F]-11.08
Albemarle
Cornwallis
Duncan-11.08
Russell
Albion-8.08
Caesar-5.07
11.08-Queen
2.09-Prince of Wales

Queen [F]-12.08
Prince of Wales-2.09
Implacable-2.09
Formidable-4.08
Irresistible-1.08
Venerable-1.08
9.07-Glory
1.08-Canopus
4.08-Ocean
11.08-Exmouth [F]
12.08-Duncan


(4) April 1909-April 1912


HMS Bellerophon (Maritime Quest)

Home Fleet -
1 & 2 Divisions
Home Fleet -
3 & 4 Divisions
Atlantic Fleet Mediterranean Fleet

1st Division

Dreadnought [FF]
Bellerophon
5.09-Superb
5.09-Temeraire
1.10-Collingwood
1.10-St Vincent
2.10-Vanguard
5.11-Neptune [FF]
7.11-Colossus
7.11-Hercules
1.12-Orion
4.12-Monarch

2nd Division
King Edward VII [F]
Africa
Britannia
Commonwealth
Dominion
Hibernia
Hindustan
New Zealand [12.11-renamed Zealandia]
Irresistible-5.10
Bulwark-3.10
1.11-Lord Nelson
5.11-Agamemnon

3rd Division
Nore

Caesar-4.11
Magnificent-2.11
Victorious-1.11
3.10-Bulwark [F]
2.11-Irresistible
Portsmouth
Illustrious-5.12
Jupiter-5.12
3.10-Albemarle-1.12
Devonport
Hannibal
Majestic
Mars
1.11-Victorious
2.11-Magnificient
4.11-Caesar

4th Division
Nore

Canopus
Glory
8.09-Albion
2.10-Ocean
Portsmouth
Prince George-8.11
Devonport
8.11-Prince George

Albemarle-3.10
Cornwallis-8.09
Russell-7.09
Queen
Prince of Wales
5.09-Implacable
5.09-Formidable
10.09-Venerable
2.10-London

Canopus-12.09
Ocean-2.10
Duncan
Exmouth
Swiftsure
Triumph
7.09-Russell
8.09-Cornwallis


(5) May 1912-August 1914


HMS Iron Duke in 1920's (Maritime Quest)

First Fleet Second Fleet Third Fleet Overseas

Neptune [FF]-11.12
King George V [FF]-7.14
Iron Duke [FF]

1st Battle Squadron
Dreadnought-12.12
Bellerophon-3.14
Superb
Temeraire-7.14
Collingwood
St Vincent
Vanguard
11.12-Neptue
12.12-Colossus

2nd Battle Squadron
Colossus-12.12
Hercules
Orion
Monarch
Conqueror
Thunderer
Agamemnon-9.13
Lord Nelson-9.13
3.13- Ajax
6.13- Centurion
10.13-Audacious     

3rd Battle Squadron*
King Edward VII
Africa
Britannia
Commonwealth
Dominion
Hibernia
Hindustan
Zealandia

4th Battle Squadron
Duncan-5.13
Exmouth-7.13
Russell-9.13
Cornwallis-3.14
12.12-Dreadnought
9.13-Agamemnon
9.13-Lord Nelson
3.14-Bellerophon
7.14-Temeraire

5th Battle Squadron

Prince of Wales
Queen
Bulwark
London
Venerable
Formidable
Implacable
Irresistible

6th Battle Squadron
Swiftsure-3.13
Triumph-8.13
Albemarle
5.13-Duncan
7.13-Exmouth
9.13-Russell
3.14-Cornwallis

7th Battle Squadron
[Devonport]

Caesar
Jupiter
Hannibal
Illustrious
Majestic
Magnificent
Mars
Prince George
Victorious

8th Battle Squadron
[Pembroke Dock]

Albion
Canopus
Glory
Goliath
Ocean

TS, Nore
Vengeance

Mediterranean

* 3BS detached to Adriatic 1.12-6.13

East Indies

3.13-Swiftsure
[in reserve]

China
8.13-Triumph
[in reserve]





  

4. DISTRIBUTION OF ARMOURED CRUISERS AND BATTLE-CRUISERS 1902-1914


(1) 1902-1904


HMS Sutlej (Cyber Heritage/Terry Phillips)

Home Fleet
The Cruiser Squadron
Mediterranean Fleet China Station
Australian Station

5.02-Sutlej
11.02-Hogue-5.04
11.02-Good Hope [F]-3.05
1.03-Drake-12.04
10.03-Kent
11.03-Bedford
11.03-Donegal
12.03-Berwick
12.03-Monmouth
3.04-Essex

4.02-Aboukir
11.02-Bacchante
4.04-Lancaster
5.04-Suffolk
11.04-Leviathan

5.01-Cressy
6.03-Leviathan-11.04
12.03-King Alfred
5.04-Hogue

1.04-Euryalus


(2) January 1905-March 1907


HMS Good Hope (Photo Ships)

1st Cruiser Squadron,
Channel Fleet


Good Hope [F]
Essex-3.05    
Donegal-9.05
Kent-8.05
Monmouth-1.06
6,05-Antrim
8.05-Hampshire
9.05-Roxburgh
10.05-Devonshire
1.06-Argyll

2nd Cruiser Squadron,
Atlantic Fleet

Drake [F]
Bedford-1.06
Berwick-3.06
Cornwall-12.06
Cumberland-11.06
1.06-Black Prince
3.06-Duke of Edinburgh
3rd Cruiser Squadron,
Mediterranean


Bacchante [F]-1.05
Aboukir-6.05
Lancaster
Suffolk
Leviathan [F]    
6.05-Carnarvon
11.06-Bacchante [F]
4th Cruiser Squadron,
for NAWI cruises


5.06-Euryalus
5.06-Hogue
5.06-Sutlej
Home Fleet, Portsmouth

12.04-Cressy-2.07
2.05-Bacchante-11.06
3.06-Berwick
Home Fleet, Devonport

Niobe
3.06-Essex
6.06-Donegal
12.06-Cornwall
China Station

King Alfred [F]
Hogue-5.06
Sutlej-5.06
10.05-Donegal-6.06
5.06-Kent
5.06-Monmouth
2.07-Bedford
Australian Station

Euryalus-2.06  [not replaced]


(3) March 1907-March 1909


HMS Hampshire (Photo Ships)

1st Cruiser Squadron,
Channel Fleet


Good Hope [F]-12.08
Argyll
Hampshire-12.08
Roxburgh-12.08
3.07-Black Prince
3.07-Duke of Edinburgh
12.08-Drake [F]


2nd Cruiser Squadron,
Atlantic Fleet


Drake  [F]-12.08
Antrim-9.08
Devonshire
Carnarvon
12.08-Good Hope [F]
3rd Cruiser Squadron,
Mediterranean


Bacchante [F]
Aboukir
Lancaster
Suffolk
4th Cruiser Squadron,
for NAWI cruises


Euryalus
Hogue-5.08
Sutlej
Cressy
Cumberland
1.08-Cornwall
5th Cruiser Squadron,
Home Fleet


Leviathan [F]-3.08
Achilles
Cochrane
Natal
Warrior
3.08-Shannon [F]
5.08-Minotaur
2.09-Defence
Home Fleet/Nore
(battlecruisers)

6.08-Invincible
1.09-Inflexible
3.09-Indomitable
China Station

King Alfred [F]
Bedford
Kent
Monmouth
Reserve

Portsmouth

Essex

Devonport
Donegal
Cornwall-1.08
3.08-Leviathan


(4) April 1909-April 1912


HMS Inflexible (Photo Ships)

1st Cruiser Squadron,
Home Fleet

Invincible
Inflexible
Indomitable
2.11-Indefatigable
(battlecruisers)
Defence
Minotaur
2nd Cruiser Squadron,
Home Fleet


Shannon [F]
Achilles
Cochrane
Natal
Warrior
Good Hope-8.09
4th Cruiser Squadron,
for NAWI

Leviathan [F]
Berwick
Cornwall
Cumberland
Donegal
Essex
Cressy- 8.09

5th Cruiser Squadron,
Atlantic Fleet

Drake [F]
Black Prince
Duke of Edinburgh
Argyll
Devonshire-8.09
6th Cruiser Squadron,
Mediterranean 
3rd & 4th Divisions China Station

Bacchante [F]
Aboukir
Lancaster
Suffolk
12.11-Hampshire

Nore

Antrim
Hogue
8.09-Cressy

Portsmouth
Hampshire-12.11
Roxburgh
Euryalus-.11

Devonport

Carnarvon
Sutlej
8.09-Devonshire
.11-Euryalus

King Alfred [F]
Bedford-lost 21.8.10
Kent
Monmouth
.10-Minotaur [F]


(5) May 1912-July 1914


HMS Princess Royal (Photo Ships)

1st Cruiser Squadron, 
1st Battlecruiser Sqn, First Fleet
, 1.13

Invincible-8.13
Inflexible-11.12
Indomitable-8.13
Indefatigable-12.13
Defence-11.12
6.12-Lion
11.12-Princess Royal
9.13- Queen Mary
12.13-New Zealand [det  to NZ 11.12-12.13]
2nd Battlecruiser Squadron,
Mediterranean

11.12-Inflexible
8.13-Invincible
8.13-Indomitable
12.13-Indefatigable


1st Cruiser Squadron, Mediterranean 1913-

Defence [F]
Black Prince
Duke of Edinburgh
Warrior
2nd Cruiser Squadron,
First Fleet

Achilles
Cochrane
Natal
Warrior-.13
.13-Shannon [F]
3rd Cruiser Squadron,
First Fleet

Shannon [F]-12.12
Drake-12.12
Good Hope-12.12
Argyll
Lancaster-12.12
Black Prince-.13
Duke of Edinburgh-.13
4th Cruiser Squadron,
First Fleet for NAWI

Leviathan [F]-2.13
Berwick
Cornwall
Cumberland
Donegal-1.14
12.12-Aboukir-.13
12.12-Lancaster
1.14-Essex


5th Cruiser Squadron,
Second Fleet

Antrim-12.12
12.12-Carnarvon   
12.12-Lancaster-.13
.13-Kent [refit]
.13-Monmouth
6th Cruiser Squadron,
Second Fleet

12.12-Good Hope [Portsmouth]
.13-Leviathan [Nore]
.13-Drake [Portsmouth]
.13-King Alfred [Portsmouth]
7th Cruiser Squadron,
Third Fleet, Nore

Bacchante
Cressy
Euryalus
Hogue
Sutlej
12.12-Aboukir
China Station


Minotaur
King Alfred-11.12
Hampshire
Kent-8.13
Monmouth-.13
11.12-Defence-.13






5. DISTRIBUTION OF PROTECTED CRUISERS 1900-1914


Largely designed for trade protection and imperial policing, protected cruisers  were widely scattered amongst the various commands and stations, and, often spent long periods in those commands.  They were classified as 1st Class, 2nd Class, and 3rd Class.  First Class mounted 9.2" guns; Second Class had 6" guns, and Third Class only 4" guns. Up to 1904/5, the Royal Navy operated a large number of protected cruisers. Many of the older vessels did not survive Admiral Fisher's axe in 1904-1905, and many of the survivors were reduced to reserve or ancilliary roles. As no new ships were commissioned after 1904, their diminished steadily before 1914.

(1) 1900-1905

First class
Second class
Third class


HMS St George (Photo Ships)
  HMS Brilliant (Cyber Heritage)
 HMS Pelorus (Photo Ships)


First class Second class Third class
Cruiser Training Squadron Diadem-.02
Niobe-11.02
St George-11.02
11.02-Endymion-12.04
4.03-Edgar-3.04
5.03-Hawke-12.04
5.04-Theseus-1.05
Juno-11.02
Minerva-11.02
9.00-Hyacinth-.03
01-Brilliant-.03
.02-Medusa-.03
.02-Medea-.03 

Home Fleet 1903-1905
2.03- Dido-1.05
.03- Venus-.04
.04- Juno-.05

Channel Sqn/Fleet
Arrogant-.01
Furious-6.02
6.02-Doris-.05
.03-Hermes-.05
Pactolus-. 03
Pelorus-.01
.01-Prometheus-.04
Mediterranean Fleet
Astraea-.00
Dido-.00
Isis-.02
Thetis-.02
Venus-.01
Vindictive-2.04
1.01-Diana
3.01-Naiad-6.04
.01-Gladiator-11.03
.02- Intrepid-.04
5.02-Hermione-8.04
1.03-Furious-1.05
.04-Astraea-7.04
.04-Venus
6.04-Minerva
Barham
.00-Pyramus-.04
11.00-Pioneer-1.05
.01-Pandora-.04
.01-Pegasus-.05
North America & West Indies



Crescent-10.02
6.02-Ariadne-8.05
Indefatigable-5.05
Tribune-.04
.00-Charybdis-.05
10.02-Retribution-.04
.04-Highflyer
Pallas-11.04
Pearl-.01
Proserpine-.01
.00-Psyche-.02
South American Station


Flora-.01
.01-Cambrian-.05
.03-Brilliant-.04
Pegasus-.01
.03-Blanche-.04
Cape & West Africa 4.00-Argonaut-2.04
3.01-Gibraltar-6.04
3.04-Crescent


Doris-6.01
Forte
Magicienne-3.01
Sappho-.02
.00-Sybille-lost 16.1.01
Philomel-.02
.04-Barrosa-.05
East Indies Station
Eclipse-.01
.01-Highflyer-.03
.01-Fox
Marathon-.01
Melpomene-.00
Pomone-.04
China Station Aurora-.02
Orlando-.02
Undaunted-.00
Terrible-10.02
Endymion- 9.02
4.00-Argonaut-2.04
.01-Blenheim-3.04
.02-Powerful
3.02-Amphitrite
1.04-Andromeda  
Bonaventure-.01
Iphigenia-.00
.00-Astraea-.01
6.00-Dido-12.01
4.01-Talbot-8.04
5.01-Eclipse-.04
.02-Thetis
.03-Sirius
.03-Iphigenia
.04-Bonaventure
7.04-Astraea 

Barrosa-12.01
Barracouta-.03
.00-Blanche-.03
.03-Barrosa-.04
Pique
Philomel-3.02
12.01-Pearl-11.04
Australian Station Royal Arthur
Katoomba-.05
Mildura-.05
Ringarooma-.04
Tauranga-.05
Wallaroo-.05
2.01-Phoebe
.03-Psyche
Pacific Station

 

Narcissus-.01
.01-Imperieuse-.02
1.02-Grafton-.05
Amphion-.04
Arethusa-.03
Leander-.01
Phaeton-.03
.03-Bonaventure-.04


Reserve Fleet

Nore 2.02-Diadem-3.05
2.04-Argonaut
.04-Pique
.04-Vindictive

Portsmouth Gibraltar-3.01
Europa-1.05
2.02-Andromeda-12.03
3.03-Spartiate-1.05
.03-Powerful-.05


 Devonport 11.02-Niobe .04-Rainbow



(2) 1906-1914

First class

Second class

Third class


HMS Crescent
HMS Doris
(all Photo Ships)

HMS Pegasus
         

First class Second class Third class
Channel Fleet/Home Fleet



1.05- Dido-.07
.05- Juno-.10
.07-Talbot-.09
.09-Isis-.10

Atlantic Fleet-1912


Arrogant-.09
2.08-Venus-.12
.09-Doris-.10

Minelayer Squadron, Nore


.07-Andromache
.07-Iphigenia
.07-Naiad
.08-Apollo
.08-Latona
.09-Intrepid
.09-Thetis

Training Sqn, Queenstown 1.13-
Crescent
Royal Arthur
Edgar
Endymion
Gibraltar
Grafton
Hawke
Theseus


Mediterranean Fleet



Diana-.13
Venus-2.08
Minerva-8.12
.05-Juno-.05
Barham-.12
Philomel-2.09
7.09-Medea-.13
4th Cruiser Sqn, NA & WI



1.05-Gibraltar-5.05
1.05-Hawke-8.06
1.05-St George-8.06
2.05-Edgar-2.06
7.05-Royal Arthur-5.06
9.05-Eclipse-.06
.05-Isis-.07

Newfoundland Fisheries
1.05-Sappho-.11
1.05-Scylla-.13
2.05-Latona- 5.06
1.06-Indefatigable-1.10
.06-Brilliant-.11
10.12-Sirius-.13

Cape & West Africa Crescent-6.07



Forte-6.07
4.07-Hermione-4.09
4.09-Forte-6.13
2.13-Hyacinth
4.13-Astraea
.08-Pandora-.12
East Indies Station




 

Fox-1.07
Hermes-.07
1.07-Highflyer-7.08
.08-Hyacinth-2.13
2.11-Highflyer-11.13
7.08-Fox
.05-Perseus-9.13
.05-Proserpine-.08
.09-Philomel-.13
China Station


   
Andromeda-7.06
3.05-Diadem-4.07
Iphigenia-5.06
Bonaventure-5.06
Astraea-.11
.05-Flora-.13

Australian Station





Royal Arthur-.06
.06-Powerful-.09
Challenger-10.12
11.05-Encounter
12.05-Cambrian-1.14
Phoebe-12.05
Psyche
Pegasus-.12
Prometheus-.11
7.05-Pioneer
.06-Pyramus
.13-Philomel

Reserve Fleet

Nore Argonaut-6.09
1.05-Europa-12.05
1.05-Endymion-.12
.05-Gibraltar-.06
8.05-Amphitrite-2.07
5.06-Edgar-.07
6.06-Andromeda-.07
.06-Hawke-2.13
Pique-.11
Vindictive-.12
.05-Charybdis-.10
.07-Dido-.12
.11-Astraea-.13 

Portsmouth 1.05-Grafton-1.13
8.05-Ariadne-.13
.05-Terrible-.12
12.05-Spartiate-.13
.06-Royal Arthur- 1.13
10.06-Argonaut-7.14
.07-Edgar-1.13
.07-Crescent-1.13
4.07-Diadem-7.14
.09-Powerful-.13
.09-Hawke-1.13.12-Endymion-1.13 
Gladiator-lost 25.4.08
Furious-.12
Hermione-.07
.06-Doris-.08
.07-Eclipse-7.14
.07-Terpsichore-.13

 Devonport Niobe-9.10
1.05-Theseus-1.13
1.06-Europa-7.14
.06-St George-.09
.06-Gibraltar-1.13
2.07-Amphitrite-.14
.07-Andromeda-9.13 
Rainbow-.10
.05-Aeolus-.11
.06-Sirius-.11
.06-Spartan-to HS
.07-Iris-.09
.11-Charybdis


Firth of Forth
Retribution-.11

      


  

6. SCOUT CRUISERS 1905-1914


Cruisers of this type had two main roles.  They would lead and give gunfire support to destroyer flotillas; and they could be attached to battle squadrons for signal repeating duties.
 
(1) 1905-February 1907


HMS Amethyst (Cyber Heritage)

Home Fleet/4CS

1.05-Diamond
Channel Fleet

Topaze
2.05-Sapphire   [DF]
4.05-Sentinel
9.05-Patrol
Atlantic Fleet

3.05-Amethyst
7.05-Pathfinder [DF]
Reserve

10.05-Adventure [N]
6.06-Attentive [N]
9.05-Forward [P]
9.05-Foresight  [P]
7.05-Skirmisher [D]


(2) March 1907-March 1909

HMS Patrol (Cyber Heritage)

Home Fleet

Topaze
Adventure [1DF]
Pathfinder  [Nore]
Patrol [Portsmouth]
Sentinel  [Devonport]
Channel Fleet

Sapphire  [DF]
Skirmisher
.07-Diamond
10.07-Forward
Atlantic Fleet

Diamond-.07
Amethyst
Reserve

Attentive [N]
Foresight [P]


(3) April 1909-April 1912


HMS Attentive (Photo Ships)

Home Fleet Home Ports South America Reserve

1 DF

Adventure-4.11
Pathfinder-8.10
6.09-Boadicea
8.10-Patrol
11.10-Blanche

2 DF
Foresight-8.10
Skirmisher-8.10
2.10-Bellona
4.11-Adventure
12.11-Active
.12-Attentive

3 DF/Nore
Diamond
Patrol-8.10
8.10-Forward
8.10-Foresight

4 DF/Portsmouth
Topaze
Forward-8.10
8.10-Pathfinder
8.10-Skirmisher

5 DF/Devonport
Sapphire
Sentinel

7 DF/Devonport
5.11-Blonde

8 DF/Nore
.11-Amethyst

Amethyst-.11

None


(4) May 1912-July 1914


HMS Amphion (Cyber Heritage/Terry Phillips)

Battle Squadrons 4.13- First Fleet Home Ports Reserve

1 BS-Boadicea
2 BS-Bellona
3 BS-Blanche
4 BS-Blonde
5 BS-Diamond
         Sapphire
6 BS-Topaze

1 DF

Blonde-4.13
7.13-Attentive-1.14
10.13-Fearless

2 DF
Adventure-7.13
Attentive-7.13
Bellona-4.13
Active

3 DF
Forward
Boadicea-4.13
3.13-Amphion

4 DF
Topaze-.13
Skirmisher-7.13
Blanche-4.13

5 DF
Sentinel-.13

6 DF, Portsmouth
7.13-Adventure
7.13-Foresight
.13-Sentinel
1.14-Attentive

7 DF, Devonport
Sapphire-.13
7.13-Skirmisher

8 DF, Nore
Amethyst
10.13-Pathfinder

9 DF, Nore
Diamond-.13
.13-Sentinel-.13
1.14-Patrol

Queenstown
.13-Patrol-1.14

Foresight  [N]-7.12
Patrol         [N]-.13
Pathfinder [P]-10.13






7. LIGHT CRUISERS 1910-1914





HMS Liverpool (Photo Ships)
HMS Weymouth (Photo Ships)

A new type of medium size cruiser for trade protection duties which were often assigned to the battle fleets for reconnaissance duties.

Home Fleet/First Fleet Mediterranean Other Stations China
1st Light Cruiser
Squadron.13-

 
9.10-Glasgow-5.11
10.10-Liverpool-.13
12.10-Bristol-5.14
1.11-Gloucester-1.13
9.11-Falmouth
10.11-Dartmouth-9.13
10.11-Weymouth-6.13
11.12-Southampton
12.12-Chatham-7.13
3.13- Dublin-7.13
2.14- Birmingham
4.14- Lowestoft
4.14- Nottingham
.14-Liverpool


4.12-Yarmouth-8.13
1.13-Gloucester
.13-Liverpool-.14
6.13-Weymouth
7.13-Chatham
7.13-Dublin


West Indies

5.14-Bristol

South America
5.11-Glasgow

East Indies
9.13-Dartmouth





10.10-Newcastle
8.13-Yarmouth






8. SLOOPS AND GUNBOATS





HMS Dwarf (Photo Ships)
HMAS Torch
(Australian War Memorial)

Employed on foreign stations as an economical supplement to the protected cruisers.

West Indies
.02-Alert-.06
.02-Fantome-.06


West Africa
Dwarf  

South America
Basilisk-.04
Cape
.02-Beagle-.06
.02-Odin-.11
.06-Rinaldo-.12

East Indies Station
.02- Merlin-.06
.06- Alert-.14
.11- Odin



China Station
Algerine-.06
Vestal-.05
Bramble
Britomart
Thistle
.01-Mutine-.06
.01-Phoenix-.03
.01-Rinaldo-.06
.02-Espiegle-.05
.04-Cadmus
.04-Clio
.06-Rosario-.10
Australia
Torch-1914



Pacific
Condor-.01
.01-Shearwater
.06-Algerine

 



  
9. TORPEDO GUNBOATS



HMS Jason (Photo Ships)
HMS Skipjack (Photo Ships)

Predecessors of the torpedo-boat destroyers which were employed in a number of support roles.

Coast Guard
Gleaner-.05 [Gravesend]
Spanker-.04 [Portland]
Speedwell-.05 [Queensferry]
Alarm-.07 Hull]
Circe-.07 [Harwich]
Leda-.08 [Southampton]
Onyx-.07 [Humber]
Renard-.05 [Harwich]
.02-Skipjack-04 [Kingstown]
.02-Nebe-.05 [Portland]


RNR tenders
Antelope-.10
.02-Hazard-  ??
.04-Halcyon-.08
.05-Hebe-.06
.07-Leda-.08
Fishery Protection
.05-Harrier-.06
.06-Skipjack-.08
.09-Halcyon


Tenders, Home Ports
.05-Gossamer-.08 [Chatham]
Sheldrake-.05 [Sheerness]
Jaseur-.03
.03-Niger-.09
.06-Dryad
.06-Harrier
[all four Portsmouth]
Sharpshooter-.08
Harrier-.01
[both Devonport]

Submarine depot ships
.07-Onyx
5.10-Hebe
6.10-Antelope-14
?-Hazard
Minesweepers in  the Home Fleet, converted 1907-
Circe
Gossamer
Hebe-5.10
Jason
Leda
Niger
Seagull
Skipjack
Spanker
Speedwell
Speedy
Mediterranean
Halcyon-.00
Hazard-.00
Hussar-.04
.02-Dryad-.04
.02-Harrier-.06
.07-Hussar-.14

Torpedo-boat carriers, in Mediterranean

Hecla-.04
Vulcan-.05







10. DESTROYER FLOTILLAS 1900-1914


HMS Acheron, Acheron/I-class (Photo Ships)

Notes:

All Torpedo Boat Destroyers (tbd's) were renamed destroyers; not to be confused with the smaller Torpedo Boats (tb's)

The older destroyers were originally designated 27 or 30-knotters, and subsequent ships were members of the River, Tribal, Beagle and Acorn-classes etc; many of them in the same class had different appearances, including the numbers and sizes of funnels. In 1913, the 30-knotters were allocated to classes B-D depending on their funnel numbers and the remaining classes renamed as follows:

A-class -  27-knotters
B-class - four-funnelled 30-knotters
C-class - three-funnelled 30-knotters
D-class - two-funnelled 30-knotters
E-class Rivers
F-class Tribals
G-class Beagles
H-class Acorns
I-class - Acherons
K-class - Acastas
L-class - Laforeys



OVERVIEW OF DEPLOYMENT IN HOME WATERS


  (1) 1895-1905

All tbd's distributed between the three home commands. No information as to whether the boats were in full commission, reduced commission or reserve

Nore Flotilla
Portsmouth Flotilla
Devonport Flotilla

(2) 1905-1907

Channel Fleet Flotilla - 1st, 2nd 3rd Divisons
Atlantic Fleet Flotilla - disbanded 1906
Nore Flotilla
Portsmouth Flotilla
Devonport Flotilla

from this period, the normal composition of an active flotilla was 20 boats, and, as designs evolved, all the boats in a flotilla would be of the same class.

(3) 1907-1909

Channel Fleet-
1st Destroyer Flotilla
3rd Destroyer Flotilla
Home Fleet-
2nd Destroyer Flotilla
4th Destroyer Flotilla
Nore Flotilla
Portsmouth Flotilla
Devonport Flotilla

(4) 1909-1912

Home Fleet - 1st Division
1st Destroyer Flotilla
Home Fleet - 2nd Division
2nd Destroyer Flotilla
Home Fleet - 3rd Division
3rd Destroyer Flotilla, Nore
4th Destroyer Flotilla, Portsmouth
5th Destroyer Flotilla, Devonport
6th Destroyer Flotilla - distributed between the three home ports   
7th Destroyer Flotilla 1911-1912  [to 1DF 1912]
Nore Local Flotilla
Portsmouth Local Flotilla
Devonport Local Flotilla

(5) 1912-1914

First Fleet-
1st Destroyer Flotilla
2nd Destroyer Flotilla
3rd Destroyer Flotilla
4th Destroyer Flotilla
Patrol Flotillas-
5th Destroyer Flotilla - to Mediterranean 1913
6th Destroyer Flotilla, Portsmouth
7th Destroyer Flotilla, Devonport
8th Destroyer Flotilla, Chatham
9th Destroyer Flotilla, Sheerness/Harwich
Home Commands-
Nore Local Flotilla
Portsmouth Local Flotilla
Devonport Local Flotilla

   
OVERVIEW OF DEPLOYMENT OVERSEAS

Mediterranean-
deployed from 1895-
retitled 5th Destroyer Flotilla 1911

China-
deployed from 1897 as local flotilla at Hong Kong

Esquimalt, British Columbia-
two tbd's deployed 1895-1904

Bermuda-
two tbd's deployed 1897-1903   





DESTROYER FLOTILLA DEPLOYMENTS


(1) 1900-January 1905

All tbd's distributed between the three home commands:
Nore Flotilla, Portsmouth Flotilla, Devonport Flotilla


HMS Ribble, River/E-class (Photo Ships)

Nore Flotilla Portsmouth Flotilla Devonport Flotilla

27 kts tbd's
Contest-1902
Dasher-1902
Haughty
Porcupine-1904
Salmon
Snapper
Spiteful-1902
Sturgeon
Swordfish
Zebra-1902
1901-Hardy
1902-Havock
1902-Hornet
1902-Ranger
1902-Sunfish
1903-Spitfire
1904-Charger
1904-Conflict
1904-Dasher
1904-Hasty
1904-Hunter
1904-Opossum
1904-Skate               
1904-Starfish

30 kts tbd's-
Angler-1902
Ariel-1901
Avon-1904
Bittern-1904
Cheerful-1904
Mallard-1901
Mermaid
Stag-1902
1900-Albatross-1902
1901-Lee-1904
1902-Greyhound      
1902-Racehorse
1902-Roebuck
1902-Star
1902-Dove

River class [Felixstowe]
1904-Derwent
1904-Eden
1904-Ribble
1904-Teviot
1904-Usk
1904-Welland

27kts tbd's-    
Charger-1902
Daring-1902
Hardy-1901
Hasty-1904
Havock-1902
Hunter-1904
Lightning
Ranger-1902
Starfish-1904
Surly
Teazer
Wizard
1901-Zephyr
1902-Conflict-1904
1902-Fervent
1902-Zebra
1904-Porcupine

30 kts tbd's-
Chamois-1901
Crane-1902
Fawn-1902
Flirt
Flying Fish-1902
Star-1904
Sylvia-1904
Violet-1904                      
1900-Brazen
1900-Electra
1900-Kestrel
1900-Peterel
1900-Recruit
1900-Spiteful
1900-Viper-lost 3.8.01
1900-Vulture
1901-Bullfinch
1901-Dove
1902-Syren
1904-Success  

Unknown allocation
1901-Cobra-lost 1.9.01

27 kts tbd's-

Decoy-lost 13.8.04
Ferret
Fervent-1902
Lynx 
Opossum-1904
Shark-1904
1902-Char
1902-Contest
1902-Daring
1902-Dasher-1904
1902-Skate-1904

30 kts tbd's-
Fairy
Gipsy
Leven
Leopard
Osprey
Panther-1902
Thrasher-1902
Wolf
1901-Falcon
1901-Ostrich
1901-Thorn
1901-Tiger-1904
1901-Vigilant-1904
1902-Angler-1903
1902-Express
1902-Lively
1902-Recruit
1902-Sprightly
1902-Success
1902-Vixen
1903-Arab
1904-Avon
1904-Bittern
1904-Lee
1904-Sylvia
1904-Violet

River class
1904-Blackwater



(2) January 1905-February 1907


HMS Havock, 27 knotter (later A-class) (Cyber-Heritage)
HMS Colne, River/E-class (Photo Ships)

Channel Fleet Atlantic Fleet
Jan 1905-Feb 1906 Feb 1906-Feb 1907 Jan 1905-Feb 1906 (disbanded)

1st Division-
Tbd's
Fervent-1905
Flirt
Kestrel
Peterel
Rocket
Teazer
Velox
Vigilant
Wizard 

2nd Division-
Tbd's
Greyhound             
Mermaid                
Racehorse              
Roebuck                
Wolf
River-class
Ribble
Teviot
Usk
1905-Gala

3rd Division-
Tbd's
Bittern-1905
Fairy-1905
Lee-1905
Osprey
Vixen
1905-Express
1905-Leopard
River-class
Blackwater
Kennet
Waveney

1st DF-
Tbd's
Crane                   
Fawn                    
Kangaroo             
Myrmidon           
Peterel                 
Syren 
River-class
Boyne
Derwent
Doon
Garry
Kale
Ribble

2nd DF-
Tbd's
Earnest               
Griffon                
Panther               
Quail                   
Seal                     
Sprightly 
River-class
Exe
Ness
Nith
Swale
Ure
Wear

3rd DF-
Tbd's
Arab               
Cheerful         
Express           
Mermaid        
Ostrich            
Roebuck    
River-class
Arun
Foyle  2.06-
Itchen
Liffey
Moy
Ouse
               
4th DF-
Tbd's
Falcon             
Recruit            
Success           
Thorn               
Violet                
Vulture
River-class
Cherwell  2.06-
Colne
Dee
Erne
Ettrick
Welland
 

Tbd's

Bat
Coquette          
Crane
Cynthia
Cygnet
Fawn
Flying Fish
Kangaroo
Myrmidon
River-class
Cherwell
Foyle


Nore Flotilla Portsmouth Flotilla Devonport Flotilla
  
27kts tbd's-
Charger
Conflict
Dasher
Hardy
Hasty
Haughty
Havock
Hunter-1906
Opossum-1907
Ranger
Salmon
Skate-1905
Snapper                 
Starfish-1906
Sturgeon-1906
Sunfish-1907
Swordfish-1907
Teazer
Wizard
Zebra

30kts tbd's-
Dove
Mermaid-1905
Racehorse-1905
Roebuck-1905
Star-1905
1906-Fawn-1907
1906-Locust-1907
1906-Orwell-1907
1906-Wolf 

27 kts tbd's-
Fervent
Lightning
Porcupine
Shark
Zebra
Zephyr
1906-Hunter
1906-Rocket

30 kts tbd's-
Brazen
Bullfinch
Electra
Kestrel
Peterel-1905
Spiteful
Syren-1905
Vulture
1906-Coquette
1906-Cygnet
1906-Cynthia
1906-Flirt-1907
1906-Flying Fish-1907
1906-star
1906-Vigilant

River class-
Gala

27 kts tbd's-
Contest
Daring
Ferret
Lynx
1905-Starfish
1905-Sturgeon

30 kts tbd's-
Arab-1905
Avon
Bittern-1905
Express-1905
Fairy-1905
Falcon-1905
Gipsy
Lee-1905
Leopard-1905
Leven
Lively-1905
Osprey-1905
Ostrich-1905
Recruit-1905
Sprightly-1905
Sylvia
Thorn-1905
Violet
Vixen-1905
Wolf-1905

River class-
Blackwater-1905
Chelmer
Jed 



(3) March 1907-March 1909



HMS Falcon, 30-knotter, C-class (Photo Ships)
Loss of HM Destroyer Tiger, 30 knotter (later C-class) in 1908 (Cyber Heritage/Terry Phillips)

Channel Fleet Home Fleet
1st DF and 3rd DF
both nucleus crews

Cruiser leaders:
Diamond, 3rd class
Forward, scout
Sapphire, 3rd class
Skirmisher, scout
2nd DF and 4th DF
both full complements

Cruiser leaders:
Adventure, scout
Topaze, 3rd class
River class
Arun
Blackwater
Chelmer
Colne
Derwent
Doon
Foyle
Itchen
Jed
Kale
Kennet
Liffey
Moy
Ouse
Tbd's
Arab
Avon
Cheerful
Crane
Express
Falcon
Flying Fish
Leven
Mermaid
Ostrich
Racehorse
Syren

At Portland
Bat
Flirt
Leopard
Peterel
River class
Boyne
Cherwell
Dee
Erne
Ettrick
Exe
Gala-27.4.08 lost
Garry
Ness
Nith
Ribble
Rother
Swale
Teviot
Ure
Usk
Wear
Welland
4.08-Waveney
Tbd's
Earnest
Lively
Locust
Myrmidon
Panther
Sprightly
Thrasher


Tribal class
3.08-Cossack
4.08-Mohawk
4.08-Tartar
12.08-Gurkha


Nore Flotilla Portsmouth Flotilla Devonport Flotilla

27 kts tbd's-
Charger
Conflict
Dasher
Hardy
Hasty
Haughty-1908
Havock-1909
Hornet-1909
Ranger-1909
Salmon-1908
Snapper-1908
Teazer
Wizard
Zebra

30 kts tbd's-
Bullfinch
Dove
Griffon
Quail
Seal
Sprightly
Thrasher
Wolf

27 kts tbd's-
Fervent
Hunter
Lightning
Porcupine
Rocket
Swordfish
Zephyr
1908-Haughty

30 kts tbd's-
Brazen
Coquette
Cygnet
Cynthia
Electra
Fawn-HF/2DF by 3.09
Kangaroo
Kestrel
Spiteful
Star
Thorn
Tiger-lost 2.4.08
Velox
Vigilant
Vulture

27 kts tbd's-
Contest
Daring
Lynx
Spitfire
Starfish
Sturgeon
Sunfish
Swordfish

30 kts tbds-
Fairy-to HF/2DF by 3.09
Gipsy
Greyhound
Osprey
Roebuck
Sylvia
Violet
Vixen



(4) April 1909-April 1912

HOME FLEET FLOTILLAS

In 1911 most of the flotillas were re-organised, and so, the tables for this period are presented in two time-periods - 1909-1911 and 1911-1912.

The 1st and 2nd Destroyer Flotillas - and later the 7th Destroyer Flotilla were fully manned. The rest had reduced complements.



HMS Bonetta, 30-knotter/B-class (Navy Photos)
HMS Zulu, Tribal/F-class (Navy Photos)

Table 1 - 1909-1911

1st Destroyer Flotilla 2nd Destroyer Flotilla 3rd Destroyer Flotilla
Nore
4th Destroyer Flotilla
Portsmouth
Cruiser/leaders:
Adventure, scout-6.10
Pathfinder, scout
6.10-Patrol, scout
Swift, destroyer

Blackwater-lost 6.4.09
Boyne
Derwent
Doon
Garry
Ribble

Cossack
Gurka
Maori
Mohawk
Tartar
3.10-Zulu
6.10-Viking
Scout cruiser leaders:
Foresight-4.10
Skirmisher-.10
4.10-Adventure
.10-Attentive

Crane-1910
Earnest
Fawn-1910
Flirt-1910            
Lively
Orwell
Peterel-1910
Sprightly
Thrasher
Exe
Ness
Nith
Swale
Test
Ure
Wear
4.09-Amazon
6.09-Saracen
8.09-Nubian
9.09-Afridi
10.09-Crusader
Cruiser leaders:
Diamond, 3rd class
Attentive, scout-8.10
8.10-Foresight, scout


Albacore
Arab
Cheerful
Express
Greyhound
Racehorse
Roebuck

Arun
Cherwell
Dee
Eden
Erne
Ettrick
Foyle
Itchen
Kale
Liffey
Moy
Ouse
Rother






Bat
Conflict
Flying Fish
Gipsy
Leven
Mermaid
Ostrich
Recruit
Spiteful
Star
Syren
Vigilant
Wizard

Kale
Teviot
Usk
Welland
5th Destroyer Flotilla,
Devonport
6th Destroyer Flotilla 7th Destroyer Flotilla
(forming 1909/10)

Cruiser leaders:
Sapphire, 3rd class
Sentinel, scout

Avon
Bittern
Bullfinch
Dove
Fairy
Griffon
Leopard
Locust
Osprey
Panther
Quail
Seal
Success
Sylvia
Thorn
Violet
Vixen
Wolf




Chatham
Brazen
Charger
Conflict
Dasher
Fervent
Hasty
Lightning
Porcupine
Teazer
Wizard
Vulture
Zebra
Zephyr

Portsmouth
Coquette
Cygnet
Cynthia
Haughty
Hunter
Kestrel
Rocket-1910
Shark-1910
Spiteful
Surly
Velox

Devonport
Bonetta
Daring
Havock
Lee-lost 5.10.09
Lynx
Opossum
Ranger
Salmon
Sunfish
Starfish




Basilisk
Beagle
Bulldog
Foxhound
Grasshopper
Harpy
Mosquito
Nautilus
Racoon
Rattlesnake
Renard
Savage
Scourge
Scorpion
Wolverine



Table 2 - 1911-1912

The 1st, 2nd and 7th Destroyer Flotillas were fully manned.

1st Destroyer Flotilla 2nd Destroyer Flotilla 3rd Destroyer Flotilla
Nore
4th Destroyer Flotilla
Portsmouth
Cruiser/leaders:
Boadicea, scout
Blanche, scout
Blonde, scout
Swift, destroyer

Afridi
Amazon
Cossack
Crusader
Gurkha
Maori
Mohawk
Nubian
Saracen
Tartar
Viking
Zulu
Scout cruiser leaders:
Bellona
12.11-Active



Acorn
Alarm
Brisk
Cameleon
Comet
Fury
Goldfinch
Hope
Lark
Lyra
Martin
Minstrel
Nemesis
Nereide
Nymphe
Redpole
Rifleman
Ruby
Sheldrake
Staunch
Scout cruiser leaders:
Foresight
Patrol



Arun
Boyne
Cherwell
Dee
Derwent
Eden
Erne
Ettrick
Exe
Foyle
Itchen
Kale
Liffey
Moy
Ouse
Rother
Stour
Swale
Test
Teviot
Ure
Waveney
Wear






Angler
Bat
Bonetta
Boxer
Conflict
Crane
Desperate
Falcon
Fawn
Flirt
Flying Fish
Gipsy
Greyhound
Kangaroo
Leven
Mermaid
Myrmidon
Ostrich
Racehorse
Roebuck
Spiteful
Star
Vigilant
Wizard
5th Destroyer Flotilla,
Devonport
6th Destroyer Flotilla 7th Destroyer Flotilla
Cruiser leaders:
Sapphire, 3rd class
Sentinel, scout

Avon
Bittern
Bullfinch
Dove
Fairy
Griffon
Leopard
Locust
Osprey
Panther
Quail
Seal
Success
Sylvia
Thorn
Violet
Vixen
Wolf
1911-Coquette
1911-Cygnet
1911-Cynthia
1911-Mallard
1911-Stag




Chatham

Brazen
Fervent
Lightning
Porcupine
Recruit
Vulture
Zephyr

Portsmouth
Boxer
Conflict
Electra
Kestrel
Spiteful
Surly
Velox
Wizard

Devonport
Bruiser
Opossum
Ranger




Basilisk
Beagle
Bulldog
Foxhound
Grasshopper
Harpy
Mosquito
Nautilus
Racoon
Rattlesnake
Renard
Savage
Scourge
Scorpion
Wolverine







(5) May 1912-August 1914


FIRST FLEET DESTROYER FLOTILLAS
all fully manned


HMS Attentive, scout cruiser leader (Photo Ships)

HMS Bulldog, Beagle/G-class(Navy Photo)

1st Destroyer Flotilla 2nd Destroyer Flotilla 3rd Destroyer Flotilla, 4th Destroyer Flotilla,
Cruisers/leaders:
Swift, destroyer
7.13-Attentive, scout



Acheron
Archer
Ariel
Attacker
Badger
Beaver
Defender
Druid
Ferret
Forester
Goshawk
Hind
Hydra
Jackal
Lapwing
Lizard
Phoenix
Sandfly
Tigress
Scout cruiser leaders:
Bellona
12.11-Active
5.12-Adventure-10.13
10.13-Fearless

Acorn
Alarm
Brisk
Cameleon
Comet
Fury
Goldfinch
Hope
Lark
Lyra
Martin
Minstrel
Nemesis
Nereide
Nymphe
Redpole
Rifleman
Ruby
Sheldrake
Staunch
Scout cruiser leaders:
Boadicea
Forward-.13



Basilisk
Beagle
Bulldog
Foxhound
Grasshopper
Harpy
Mosquito
Nautilus - renamed Grampus
Pincher
Racoon
Rattlesnake
Renard
Savage
Scourge
Scorpion
Wolverine

All to Med as 5DF .13
Temporarily replaced by-
Amazon
Crusader
Maori
Viking
Scout cruiser leaders:
Blanche
Skirmisher



Amazon
Afridi
Cossack
Crusader
Gurkha
Maori
Mohawk
Nubian
Saracen
Tartar
Viking
Zulu

K-class, 1912/13:
Acasta
Achates
Ambuscade
Ardent
Christopher
Cockatrice
Contest
Fortune
Hardy
Lynx
Midge
Owl
Paragon
Porpoise
Shark
Sparrowhawk
Unity
Victor


PATROL FLOTILLAS
reduced complements


HMS Earnest, 30-knotter/B-class (Photo Ships)

5th Destroyer Flotilla
Devonport  March 1909-1913


6th Destroyer Flotilla
Portsmouth 5.12-
7th Destroyer Flotilla
Devonport 5.12-
8th Destroyer Flotilla
Chatham  5.12-
9th Destroyer Flotilla
Nore  5.12-
Cruiser leaders:
Sapphire, 3rd class
Sentinel, scout


Avon
Bittern
Bullfinch
Dove
Fairy
Griffon
Leopard
Locust
Osprey
Panther
Quail
Seal
Success
Sylvia
Thorn
Violet
Vixen
Wolf
1911-Coquette
1911-Cygnet
1911-Cynthia
1911-Mallard
1911-Stag
Scout cruiser leaders:
Sentinel-.13
6.13-Foresight
1.14-Attentive

Albatross
Bonetta-1913
Cheerful-1913
Crane
Fairy-1913
Falcon
Fawn
Flirt
Flying Fish-1913
Gipsy
Greyhound
Kangaroo
Leven
Mermaid
Myrmidon
Osprey-1913
Ostrich-1913
Peterel-1913
Racehorse
Recruit ?
Star-1913
Syren
ex Med-Angler

Added 1913/14-
Afridi
Amazon
Cossack
Crusader
Gurkha
Maori
Mohawk
Nubian
Saracen
Tartar
Viking
Zulu
Cruiser leaders:
Sapphire, 3rd class -.13
.13-Skirmisher, scout


Arab
Avon
Bittern-.14
Dove
Earnest
Express-.14
Griffon
Leopard
Lively
Orwell
Panther
Quail
Seal
Sprightly
Success
Sylvia
Thorn
Thrasher
Vigilant
Violet
Vixen
Wolf
Cruiser/leaders:
Amethyst, 3rd class-.14
10.13-Pathfinder, scout
.14-Sentinel, scout

1912-13
Torpedo boats

1913/14-
Tbd's:
Albacore
Bat
Cheerful
Express
Fairy
Flying Fish
Mallard
Osprey
Ostrich
Peterel
Stag
Star
Vigilant 
Cruiser/leaders:
Diamond, 3rd class -.13
.13-Sentinel, scout -.14
1.14-Patrol, scout  

Arun*
Boyne*
Cherwell*
Dee*
Derwent
Doon
Eden
Erne*
Ettrick
Exe*
Foyle
Itchen
Kale
Moy
Ness
Nith
Ouse
Rother
Stour
Swale
Test
Teviot
Ure*
Waveney
Wear
1914-Garry
1914-Liffey

* to GF Flotilla/Scapa LDF 1914 


LOCAL DEFENCE FLOTILLAS
reduced complements


HMS Boxer and Bruiser, both 27-knotter/A-class (Photo Ships)

Nore LDF Portsmouth LDF Devonport LDF
Brazen
Coquette
Cygnet
Electra
Fervent
Kestrel
Lightning
Porcupine
Recruit
Teazer
Zephyr
Boxer
Conflict
Roebuck
Spiteful
Surly
Velox
Wizard
Opossum
Ranger
Sunfish





DEPLOYMENT OVERSEAS



Mediterranean Destroyer Flotilla 1900-1914


HMS Rattlesnake, Beagle/G-class (Photo Ships)

27 kts tbd's
Ardent-1911
Banshee-1911
Boxer-1911
Bruizer-1911
Dragon-1911

Added 1900-
Hardy-1911
Hornet-1902
Skate-1901 
Sunfish-1902
30 kts tbd's
Earnest-1906
Foam-1913
Griffon-1906

Added 1900-
Conflict-1901
Coquette-1905
Cygnet-1905
Cynthia-1905
Desperate-1911
Orwell-1906

Added 1901-
Ariel-lost 19.4.07
Chamois-lost
26.9.04
Kangaroo-1905
Mallard-1913
Myrmidon-1905

Added 1902-
Albatross-1913
Bat-1905
Crane-1905
Falcon-1905
Flying Fish-1905
Locust-1906
Panther-1906
Seal-1906
Stag-1911
Thrasher-1906

Added 1905-
Lively-1906
Quail-1906
Sprightly-1906

Added 1906-
Angler-1913

* many of the above were kept in reserve at either Malta or Gibraltar.      
River class 1904-5
Erne
Ettrick
Exe

River class 1909-13
Chelmer
Colne
Garry-1911?
Jed
Kenent
Usk-1911?
5th DF-G class 1913
Basilisk
Beagle
Bulldog
Foxhound
Grasshopper
Grampus
Harpy
Mosquito
Pincher
Racoon
Rattlesnake
Renard
Savage
Scourge
Scorpion
Wolverine


China Station Destroyer Flotilla 1900-1914


HMS Otter, 30 knotter/C-class (Photo Ships)

Tbds 1897-
Fame
Handy-1914
Hart-1911
Whiting

Added 1900-
Janus-1914
Otter        
            
Added 1901-
Taku-1914

Added 1903-
Sparrowhawk-lost 17.6.04

Added 1904-
Virago
River class 1904-1906
Arun
Dee
Itchen
Erne  1905-
Ettrick 1905-
Exe 1905-
River class 1911-
Ribble
Welland

1913-
Chelmer
Colne
Jed
Kennet


  Other Locations

Bermuda  1897-1903 Esquimalt 1898-1904
Quail
Sparrowhawk
Rocket
Virago-1903






  
11. COASTAL DESTROYERS, reclassed as TORPEDO BOATS


TBs 1-12 were named but these reverted to numbers on or just after completion. There were a total of 36 of this type. Note: this list does not include any of the earlier TB's


(1) Distribution 1906-1911


HM TB.7 (Photo Ships)

Nore Command Portsmouth Command Devonport Command

1906-
Gadfly/TB6
Glowworm/TB7

1907-
Gnat/TB8
Grasshopper/TB9
Greenfly/TB10
Moth/TB12

1908-
TB21
TB22
TB23
TB24
TB25
TB26
TB27
TB28
TB29
TB30

1909
TB31
TB32
TB33
TB34
TB35
TB36

1906-
Cricket/TB1
Dragonfly/TB2
Firefly/TB3
Sandfly/TB5

1907-
TB13
TB14
TB15
TB16

1908-
TB19
TB20

1907-
Mayfly/TB11

1908-
TB17
TB18


(2) Distribution 1911-1914


HM TB.27 (Photo Ships)

Nore LDF 1911-


TB6
TB7
TB8
TB9
TB10
TB11
TB12
TB17
TB18
TB19
TB20
TB23
8th Destroyer Flotilla,
Chatham 1911-


TB1-1914
TB2-1914
TB3-1914
TB4-1914
TB5-1914
TB13-1914
TB14-1914
TB15-1914
TB16-1914
TB21-1914
TB22-1914
TB24-1914
TB25-1914
(above to Devonport - right)
TB26
TB27
TB28
TB29
TB30
TB31
TB32
TB33
TB34
TB35
TB36
7th Destroyer Flotilla, Devonport 1914-

TB1
TB2
TB3
TB4
TB5
TB13
TB14
TB15
TB16
TB21
TB22
TB24
TB25



 

12. SUBMARINE DISTRIBUTION 1903-1914


The earliest classes of submarine - the Hollands, A, B and C classes - were deployed to the three home commands for use in local defence.  In 1910, three were sent to Hong Kong on similar duties.  In 1912, three went to Gibraltar, and three to Malta to provide local defence for those two bases.

With the arrival of the first sea-going class - the D class - submarines were available for offensive roles in the North Sea, and Mediterranean.

A more sophisticated organisation of submarines began in March 1910 when the boats at the three home ports were grouped into sections. These were upgraded to numbered flotillas in April 1913. Each command, group and flotilla was supported by at least one depot ship - usually an obsolete warship.


(1) Allocation to the Home Commands 1903-1910


HM S/M A.1 (Maritime Quest)

Nore Command Portsmouth Command Devonport Command

Depot ships
.07-Thames [Sheerness]
.08-Hebe  [Harwich]
1.09-Vulcan

C class
11.06-C1
11.06-C2
2.07-  C3
3.07-  C4
12.06-C5
1.07-  C6
5.07-  C7
5.07-  C8
6.07-  C9
11.09-C19
1.10-  C20
5.09-  C21
5.09-  C22
5.09-  C23
5.09-  C24
5.09-  C25
5.09-  C26
8.09-  C27
9.09-  C28
9.09-  C29
10.09-C30

Depot ships
Dolphin
.02-Hazard   
7.03-Thames-1907
4.08-Bonaventure

Hollands
2.03-No 1-1907
8.03-No 2-1907
1.03-No 3-1907
8.03-No 4-1907
2.03-No 5-1907
All reduced to reserve 1907

A class
7.03-A1-1907
6.04-A2-1906
7.04-A3-1906
7.04-A4-lost 16.10.05
2.05-A5-1907
3.05-A6-1907
7.05-A11-1907
9.05-A12-1907
4.05-A13-1907
All reduced to reserve - some re-commissioned 1910

B class
4.04-B1-1907
12.05-B2-1907
1.06-B4

C class
7.07-C10
9.07-C11-lost 14.7.09
1.08-C12
2.08-C13
3.08-C14
4.08-C15
6.08-C16
5.09-C17
7.09-C18

Depot ships
8.04-Forth
.07-Onyx

A class
4.05- A7-1907
5.05-A8-1907
5.05-A9-1907
6.05-A10-1907
All reduced to reserve 1907, but re-commissioned 1910

B class
1.06-B3
2.06-B5
3.06-B6
3.06-B7
4.06-B8
4.06-B9
5.06-B10
7.06-B11

C class
none


(2) Allocation to Sections 1910-1913 


HM S/M C.12 (Navy Photos)
 
Nore Command Portsmouth Command Devonport Command

III Section

Thames, depot ship
C1
C2
C3
C4
C5
C6
C7
C8
C9

VII Section
Vulcan, depot ship
C19
C20
C21
C22
C23
C24
C25
C26
C27
C28
C29
C30

II Section

Bonaventure, depot ship
C10
C12
C14
C15
C16
C17
C18
9.09-  D 1 [reserve to 1912]
3.11-  D2
9.11-  D3
11.11-D4
1.12-  D5
4.12-  D6
12.11-D7
3.12-D8

IV Section
Mercury, depot ship
A6
A11
A12
A13
C31
C32
C33
C34
C35
* A2 lost 6.2.12 in RF/Portsmouth

I Section
Forth, depot ship
B1
B2, lost 4.10.12
B3
B4
B5
B6-1912
B7-1912
B8-1912
B9-1912
B10-1912
B11-1912
 
 
(3) Allocation to Flotillas 1913-




HM S/M D.12 (Maritime Quest)
HM S/M E.1 (Navy Photos)

Nore Command Portsmouth Command Devonport Command

5 Submarine Flotilla
Thames, depot ship
C1
C2
C3
C4
C5
C6

6 Submarine Flotilla
Bonaventure, depot ship
C7
C8
C9
C10
C11
C12
C13

7 Submarine Flotilla  
Vulcan, depot ship
Alecto, depot ship
C19
C20
C21
C22
C23
C24
C25
C26
C27
C28
C29
C30

2 Submarine Flotilla
Dolphin, depot ship
A5
A6
A13
B1

4 Submarine Flotilla
Arrogant, depot ship
Hazard, depot ship
C17
C18
C31
C32
C33
C35

8 Submarine Flotilla
Maidstone, depot ship
Adamant, depot ship-1.14 to Chatham
D1
D2
D3
D4
D5
D6
D7
D8
5.13-E1
6.13-E2
5.14-E3
1.13-E4
6.13-E5
10.13-E6
3.14-E7
6.14-E8
6.14-E9

* D class scheduled to move to the Mediterranean later in 1914
** E class moves to Harwich summer 1914

1 Submarine Flotilla
A7-lost 16.1.14
A8   
A9

3 Submarine Flotilla
Forth, depot ship
B3
B4
B5
C14
C15
C16

9 Submarine Flotilla -forming 1914 for Lamlash
Pactolus, depot ship
A10
A11
A12


(4) Overseas Deployments

HM S/M B.4 (Navy Photos)

Gibraltar 1912- Malta  1912- Hong Kong 1910-
B6
B7
B8
B9
B10
B11
C36
C37
C38



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