Eleventh Submarine Flotilla (Royal Navy)

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The Eleventh Submarine Flotilla was a formation of submarines of the Royal Navy established in December 1915 to support the Grand Fleet.

History

December, 1915

The flotilla is established as the first to directly support the Grand Fleet. It starts with Titania as depot ship and D 7 and D 8 have come from the Eighth Submarine Flotilla.[1][2]

Supporting the Grand Fleet
Depot Ship
Titania
Submarines
D 7 D 8

January, 1916

Mastiff has joined from the Tenth Destroyer Flotilla and E 30 has joined, apparently newly placed in service.[3][4]

An amendment to the Grand Fleet Battle Orders from this month adds a single page of "Submarine Instructions", referencing this flotilla alone. These remained in effect through the Battle of Jutland. These instructions spell out that the flotilla would eventually consist of six "G" and six "J" class submarines, four destroyers (though it appears this was downgraded to just two) and Titania when it completed forming up at Blyth, though "D" and "E" class submarines would be employed pending the arrival of enough "J"s. It would take until September for the forecast strength and composition of submarines to be realised. The operational idea for operating with the Grand Fleet was that the submarines would sortie from Blyth along one of several variant and tunable routes in hopes that this would permit operation with the fleet in the mid or southern North Sea. Once a rendezvous was effected, the submarines were to be deployed in two groups, 10-12 miles 45 degrees off the bow of the fleet – a nearly impossible task. They were to attempt to fire at the enemy fleet or to sink disabled enemy ships. Failing this, they were to proceed toward Heligoland to try to cut off the enemy's retreat.[5]

Supporting the Grand Fleet
Depot Ship
Titania
Destroyer
Mastiff
Submarines
D 7 D 8 E 30

February, 1916

The new destroyer Talisman has replaced Mastiff, which has been promptly returned to the Tenth Destroyer Flotilla. The flotilla is a depot ship, a destroyer and three submarines.[6]

Supporting the Grand Fleet
Depot Ship
Titania
Destroyer
Talisman
Submarines
D 7 D 8 E 30

March, 1916

The flotilla is still coming up to strength, joined here by four new "G" class submarines, as foretold by the January GFBOs. The flotilla is now comprised of a depot ship, a destroyer and seven submarines.[7]

Supporting the Grand Fleet
Depot Ship
Titania
Destroyer
Talisman
Submarines
D 7 D 8 E 30
  G 1 G 2 G 4 G 5

April, 1916

The newly commissioned E 43 has joined. The flotilla is now comprised of a depot ship, a destroyer and eight submarines.[8]

Supporting the Grand Fleet
Depot Ship
Titania
Destroyer
Talisman
Submarines
  D 7 D 8 E 30 E 43
  G 1 G 2 G 4 G 5

May, 1916

The flotilla really grows with the arrival of eight new vessels: destroyer Trident, three new "G" and four new "J" class submarines. The flotilla is now comprised of a depot ship, two destroyers and fifteen submarines.[9]

Supporting the Grand Fleet
Depot Ship
Titania
Destroyers
Talisman Trident
Submarines
  D 7 D 8 E 30 E 43
  G 1 G 2 G 3 G 4
G 5 G 6 G 10
  J 1 J 2 J 3 J 5

This roster would apply until August.[10]

Battle of Jutland

Jellicoe signalled the Admiralty on the night of May 30th that the Eleventh was ready and available for orders should the Admiralty (rather than he) wish to issue them.[11]

Rather than implement the cumbersome rendezvous described in the Grand Fleet Battle Orders, the Admiralty doled the submarines out for more surgical purposes, perhaps due to the lack of "J" class submarines giving the flotilla insufficient speed to obtain the required position.[12] In the mid-morning of the 31st, the Admiralty directed by land telegraphy that[13]

Send one Destroyer and four Submarines to Lat. 54° 30' N., Long. 4° 0' E., to wait orders by wireless. Above position will be called rendezvous 01, and Submarines may be ordered to new positions described by true bearing and distance from it. In absence of further orders Destroyer and Submarines should return after being 24 hours at rendezvous.

At 2 p.m., Cyclops responded that she had sent Talisman and submarines G 2, G 3, G 4 and G 5. At 10 p.m., Talisman wirelessed submarines G 6 and E 43 to inform them her detachment would be entering their patrol area at 1 a.m.. At 2.07 of June 1st, the Admiralty directed Talisman to detach two submarine to Lister Deep to sink any damaged enemy ships found there.[14]

After the battle, Titania was asked to dispatch a submarine to go sink the any floating remains of Invincible to prevent the capture of materials and G 10 was assigned the task. She departed Blyth on the morning of the 3rd, but returned on the 6th after a 48 hour search revealed no sign of the lost battle cruiser.[15]

August, 1916

Two more "J" class subs join. The flotilla is now comprised of a depot ship, two destroyers and seventeen submarines.[16]

Supporting the Grand Fleet
Depot Ship
Titania
Destroyers
Talisman Trident
Submarines
  D 7 D 8 E 30 E 43
  G 1 G 2 G 3 G 4
G 5 G 6 G 10
J 1 J 2 J 3 J 4 J 5 J 6

September, 1916

A reshuffle of submarine flotillas across the fleet reduces the Eleventh in size and also reduces some of the submarine type diversity in various flotillas. G 10 departs to join a new-fangled Tenth Submarine Flotilla which will also be screening the Grand Fleet, effectively blunting the apparent loss in strength here. D 7 and D 8 have left to join the Third Submarine Flotilla on the East Coast, and E 30 and E 43 have gone to the Ninth Submarine Flotilla. The Eleventh flotilla is now comprised of a depot ship, two destroyers and twelve submarines of just two classes.[17]

Supporting the Grand Fleet
Depot Ship, and flag ship from October
Titania
Destroyers
Talisman Trident
Submarines
G 1 G 2 G 3 G 4 G 5 G 6
J 1 J 2 J 3 J 4 J 5 J 6

In October, Titania would embark a Captain (S). This roster would apply until July, 1917.[18]

July, 1917

The Grand Fleet now has four submarine flotillas attached to it, and Trident has transferred to the Thirteenth Submarine Flotilla to help spread the destroyer strength evenly. The flotilla is now comprised of a depot ship, one destroyers and twelve submarines of just two classes.[19]

Supporting the Grand Fleet
Depot Ship, and flag ship from October
Titania
Destroyers
Talisman
Submarines
G 1 G 2 G 3 G 4 G 5 G 6
J 1 J 2 J 3 J 4 J 5 J 6

This roster would apply until October.[20]

October, 1917

Trident has come back from the Thirteenth Submarine Flotilla "temporarily". The flotilla is now comprised of a depot ship, two destroyers and twelve submarines.[21]

Supporting the Grand Fleet
Depot/Flagship
Titania
Destroyers
Talisman Trident
Submarines
G 1 G 2 G 3 G 4 G 5 G 6
J 1 J 2 J 3 J 4 J 5 J 6

November, 1917

Trident is gone (indeed, if ever she arrived), transferred to the Sixth Destroyer Flotilla as part of the Dover Patrol in exchange for Tartar. J 7 has also joined. The flotilla is now comprised of a depot ship, two destroyers and thirteen submarines.[22][23]

Supporting the Grand Fleet
Depot/Flagship
Titania
Destroyers
Talisman Tartar
Submarines
G 1 G 2 G 3 G 4 G 5 G 6
J 1 J 2 J 3 J 4 J 5 J 6
J 7

This roster would apply until January, 1918.[24]

January, 1918

G 6 has been sent to the Tenth Submarine Flotilla, seemingly to balance the Grand Fleet's submarine forces. The flotilla is now comprised of a depot ship, two destroyers and twelve submarines.[25]

Supporting the Grand Fleet
Depot/Flagship
Titania
Destroyers
Talisman Tartar
Submarines
G 1 G 2 G 3 G 4 G 5
J 1 J 2 J 3 J 4 J 5 J 6
J 7

This roster would apply until March.[26]

March, 1918

J 1 has been sent down to Gibraltar, replaced by the new boat L 15. The flotilla is now comprised of a depot ship, two destroyers and twelve submarines.[27]

Supporting the Grand Fleet
Depot/Flagship
Titania
Destroyers
Talisman Tartar
Submarines
G 1 G 2 G 3 G 4 G 5 L 15
J 2 J 3 J 4 J 5 J 6 J 7

April, 1918

Destroyer Moon has come from the Eleventh Destroyer Flotilla to replace Talisman, which has been sent to act as flotilla leader for the Third Destroyer Flotilla. The flotilla is now comprised of a depot ship, two destroyers and twelve submarines.[28][29]

Supporting the Grand Fleet
Depot/Flagship
Titania
Destroyers
Moon Tartar
Submarines
G 1 G 2 G 3 G 4 G 5 L 15
J 2 J 3 J 4 J 5 J 6 J 7

This roster would apply until June.[30]

June, 1918

L 16 has replaced L 15, which has gone to the Ninth Submarine Flotilla. The flotilla is now comprised of a depot ship, two destroyers and twelve submarines.[31]

Supporting the Grand Fleet
Depot/Flagship
Titania
Destroyers
Moon Tartar
Submarines
G 1 G 2 G 3 G 4 G 5 L 16
J 2 J 3 J 4 J 5 J 6 J 7

July, 1918

L 16 has left and joined the Tenth Submarine Flotilla. The flotilla is now comprised of a depot ship, two destroyers and eleven submarines.[32]

Supporting the Grand Fleet
Depot/Flagship
Titania
Destroyers
Moon Tartar
Submarines
G 1 G 2 G 3 G 4 G 5
J 2 J 3 J 4 J 5 J 6 J 7

August, 1918

G 10 has joined, coming from the Tenth Submarine Flotilla. The exchange of L 16 and G 10 appears to be to reduce type diversity to simplify maintainance. The flotilla is now comprised of a depot ship, two destroyers and twelve submarines.[33][34]

Supporting the Grand Fleet
Depot/Flagship
Titania
Destroyers
Moon Tartar
Submarines
G 1 G 2 G 3 G 4 G 5 G 10
J 2 J 3 J 4 J 5 J 6 J 7

This roster applied until some time between September and November.

November, 1918

J 6 has been removed, having been sunk in error on 15 August. She has been replaced by monitor submarine M 1, coming from the Sixth Submarine Flotilla. The flotilla is now comprised of a depot ship, two destroyers and twelve submarines.[35][36]

Supporting the Grand Fleet
Depot/Flagship
Titania
Destroyers
Moon Tartar
Submarines
G 1 G 2 G 3 G 4 G 5 G 10
J 2 J 3 J 4 J 5 J 7 M 1

December, 1918

M 1 has left to join the British Aegean Squadron. G 6 has come in from the Tenth Submarine Flotilla. The flotilla is now comprised of a depot ship, two destroyers and twelve submarines.[37][38]

Supporting the Grand Fleet
Depot/Flagship
Titania
Destroyers
Moon Tartar
Submarines
G 1 G 2 G 3 G 4 G 5 G 6
G 10 J 2 J 3 J 4 J 5 J 7

This roster would apply until March, 1919.[39]

March, 1919

The flotilla has been disestablished as part of a post-war reorganization. All the vessels would be placed into the new Fifth Submarine Flotilla with three more submarines thrown in.[40]

Captains (S)

Dates of appointment given:

Footnotes

  1. Supplement to the Monthly Navy List. (December, 1915). p. 12.
  2. Supplement to the Monthly Navy List. (November, 1915). p. 13.
  3. Supplement to the Monthly Navy List. (January, 1916). p. 12.
  4. Supplement to the Monthly Navy List. (December, 1915). p. 13.
  5. Golding. Grand Fleet Battle Orders. p. 46.
  6. Supplement to the Monthly Navy List. (March, 1916). p. 12.
  7. Supplement to the Monthly Navy List. (March, 1916). p. 12.
  8. Supplement to the Monthly Navy List. (April, 1916). p. 12.
  9. Supplement to the Monthly Navy List. (April, 1916). p. 12.
  10. Supplement to the Monthly Navy List. (June, 1916). p. 12 and Supplements through August.
  11. Battle of Jutland Official Despatches. p. 411.
  12. The inference that insufficient speed explains the abandonment of GFBO plans for the flotilla is courtesy of Dr. John Brooks in a Nov 25 2013 response to a group email.
  13. Battle of Jutland Official Despatches. p. 434.
  14. Battle of Jutland Official Despatches. pp. 443, 474, 478.
  15. Battle of Jutland Official Despatches. p. 28.
  16. Supplement to the Monthly Navy List. (August, 1916). p. 12.
  17. Supplement to the Monthly Navy List. (September, 1916). pp. 12, 13, 16.
  18. Supplement to the Monthly Navy List. (October, 1916). p. 12 and Supplements through July, 1917.
  19. Supplement to the Monthly Navy List. (July, 1917). p. 12.
  20. Supplement to the Monthly Navy List. (August, 1917). p. 12 and Supplements through October.
  21. Supplement to the Monthly Navy List. (October, 1917). p. 12.
  22. Supplement to the Monthly Navy List. (November, 1917). pp. 12, 15.
  23. Supplement to the Monthly Navy List. (October, 1917). p. 15.
  24. Supplement to the Monthly Navy List. (December, 1917). p. 12.
  25. Supplement to the Monthly Navy List. (January, 1918). p. 12.
  26. Supplement to the Monthly Navy List. (February, 1918). p. 12.
  27. Supplement to the Monthly Navy List. (March, 1918). pp. 12, 22.
  28. Supplement to the Monthly Navy List. (April, 1918). p. 12.
  29. Supplement to the Monthly Navy List. (March, 1918). p. 12.
  30. Supplement to the Monthly Navy List. (May, 1918). p. 12.
  31. Supplement to the Monthly Navy List. (June, 1918). pp. 12, 13.
  32. Supplement to the Monthly Navy List. (July, 1918). p. 12.
  33. Supplement to the Monthly Navy List. (August, 1918). p. 11.
  34. Supplement to the Monthly Navy List. (July, 1918). p. 12.
  35. Supplement to the Monthly Navy List. (November, 1918). p. 11.
  36. Supplement to the Monthly Navy List. (August, 1918). p. 16.
  37. Supplement to the Monthly Navy List. (December, 1918). pp. 11, 22.
  38. Supplement to the Monthly Navy List. (November, 1918). p. 11.
  39. Supplement to the Monthly Navy List. (January, 1919). p. 11 and Supplements through March, 1919.
  40. Supplement to the Monthly Navy List. (March, 1919). p. 12.
  41. The Navy List. (January, 1919). p. 920a.
  42. Sommerville Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/48/10. f. 413.
  43. Sommerville Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/48/10. f. 413.
  44. Talbot Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/49/120. f. 65.
  45. The Navy List. (January, 1921). p. 803.
  46. Talbot Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/49/120. f. 65.

Bibliography

See Also


Flotilla is disestablished
Not to be reinstituted during the Dreadnought Era
British Submarine Flotillas
First Submarine Flotilla | Second Submarine Flotilla | Third Submarine Flotilla | Fourth Submarine Flotilla
Fifth Submarine Flotilla | Sixth Submarine Flotilla | Seventh Submarine Flotilla | Eighth Submarine Flotilla
Ninth Submarine Flotilla | Tenth Submarine Flotilla | Eleventh Submarine Flotilla | Twelfth Submarine Flotilla
Thirteenth Submarine Flotilla | Fourteenth Submarine Flotilla | Fifteenth Submarine Flotilla | Sixteenth Submarine Flotilla
Ambrose's Flotilla | Mediterranean Fleet's Flotilla | Platypus's Flotilla | Vulcan's Flotilla | Hong Kong Flotilla