Dover Patrol

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The Dover Patrol was a Royal Navy command based in Dover and Dunkirk.

It operated continuously through the end of the war, with its strength primarily comprised of the Sixth Destroyer Flotilla, the Fifth Submarine Flotilla, the Downs Boarding Flotilla, and at times a collection of monitors. Its primary mission was to monitor barriers and defences at the eastern end of the English Channel to prevent U-boats from gaining access to western areas.

It also harrassed German fortifications on the coast of occupied Belgium.

History

The command was instituted on 12 October, 1914 under the command of Rear-Admiral Horace Hood.[1]

Following the extra strain thrown on the Admiral of Patrols (Rear-Admiral George A. Ballard) and his staff caused by the beginning of minelaying and the evacuation of Antwerp, the Admiralty decided to create a separate command encompassing the patrols from the naval base at Dover, the naval base itself, and the Downs Boarding Flotilla. Command was transferred to Rear-Admiral The Honourable Horace L. A. Hood on 11 October, and he hoisted his flag on 13 October. He was given the title of "Rear-Admiral Commanding the Dover Patrol and Senior Naval Officer, Dover", with the short title "Rear-Admiral, Dover Patrol." His command consisted of the Sixth Destroyer Flotilla, Captain (D) Charles D. Johnson, the Third and Fourth Submarine Flotillas, the Downs Boarding Flotilla, and other vessels at Dover. [2]

Bombardment by the Dover Patrol was so effective that on 27 October, 1914, it denied 4th Ersatz Division of III Reserve Corps control of the locks at the mouth of the Ijezer, which Belgian engineers were attempting to open so as to flood the surrounding country to hamper the German advance.[3]

In March 1919, it was renamed the Dover Patrol Force,[4] and it rapidly frittered away from there, losing its destroyers and submarines, leaving only a collection of minesweepers and "P" Boats by May.[5]

In Command

Footnotes

  1. Naval Operations. Volume I. p. 224.
  2. Naval Staff Monographs. Volume XI. pp. 114-115.
  3. Sheldon. pp. 78-79.
  4. Supplement to the Monthly Navy List. (March, 1919). p. 13.
  5. Supplement to the Monthly Navy List. (May, 1919). p. 14.
  6. Supplement to the Monthly Navy List. (December, 1914). p. 6.
  7. Hood Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/43. f. 114.
  8. Supplement to the Monthly Navy List. (September, 1917). p. 4.
  9. Bacon Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/42. f. 262.
  10. Supplement to the Monthly Navy List. (November, 1918). p. 3.
  11. Keyes Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/43. f. 291.
  12. Keyes Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/43. f. 291.
  13. Squadrons and Senior Naval Officers in Existence on 11th November, 1918. f. 36.
  14. Dampier Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/42. f. 497.

See Also

Bibliography

  • Naval Staff, Training and Staff Duties Division (1924). Naval Staff Monographs (Historical): Fleet Issue. Volume X. Home Waters—Part I. From the Outbreak of War to 27 August, 1914. O.U. 5528 (late C.B. 917(H)). Copy at The National Archives. ADM 186/619.
  • Naval Staff, Training and Staff Duties Division (1924). Naval Staff Monographs (Historical): Fleet Issue. Volume XI. Home Waters—Part II. September and October 1914. O.U. 5528 A (late C.B. 917(I)). Copy at The National Archives. ADM 186/620.
  • Sheldon, Jack (2010). The German Army at Ypres 1914 and the Battle for Flanders. Barnsley: Pen & Sword Military. ISBN 978-1-84884-113-0.