Harwich Force

From The Dreadnought Project
Jump to: navigation, search

The Harwich Force was a Royal Navy command during the First World War, based on the East Anglian port of Harwich.

History

The command was founded in April, 1914 as "Destroyer Flotillas of First Fleet," an administrative name it would sporadically bear for some time in the Navy Lists.[1]

From the outbreak of war, the Force was comprised of the Third Destroyer Flotilla (re-designated as the Ninth Destroyer Flotilla in September 1915) and the Tenth Destroyer Flotilla equipped with fast and modern ships and the Fifth Light Cruiser Squadron.

Around March, 1917, the Ninth Destroyer Flotilla would leave, but by this time 10 D.F. had been increased in strength to 27 destroyers whose modernity had been continuously refreshed. 5 L.C.S. would also be over twice as strong by this time, as well.

May, 1915

By May 1915, it was given the more aggressive-sounding name, Harwich Striking Force, then having the Fifth Light Cruiser Squadron with two light cruisers (with two others being completed) and two destroyer squadrons served by depot ship Dido, two light cruisers and two other leaders (one being completed), giving it a total of four light cruisers and thirty-two "L" and "M" class destroyers.[2]

June, 1915

The formations are now somewhat stronger.[3]

July, 1915

The formations are now somewhat stronger.[4]

August, 1915

The stray destroyer from last month is not longer affiliated.[5]

September, 1915

10 D.F. has gained a division leader and the lagging H.M.S. Melpomene.[6]

October, 1915

Third Destroyer Flotilla has been replaced by Ninth Destroyer Flotilla (largely, through re-naming), with three fewer "L" destroyers. This strength would persist through October.[7]

November, 1915

5 L.C.S. has gained a seaplane carrier, and 9 D.F. has gained a destroyer.[8]

Battle of Jutland

Main article: Harwich Force at the Battle of Jutland

April, 1917

9 D.F. has left the Force.[9]

May, 1917

10 D.F. has gained a second divisional leader and one more destroyer.[10]

June, 1917

10 D.F. has lost two destroyers in aggregate.[11]

July, 1917

10 D.F. has gained a third divisional leader and lost two more destroyers, leaving it with only "R" class. This strength and structure would last through at least August.[12]

September, 1917

10 D.F. has lost another destroyer, leaving it with twenty-three "Rs". This strength and structure would last through at least October.[13]

December, 1917

10 D.F. gained another flotilla leader and destroyer.[14]

January, 1918

5 L.C.S. gained another light cruiser and 10 D.F. lost three destroyers.[15]

1 December, 1918

Rear-Admirals and Commodores Commanding

The command was almost unique in having a single commander throughout the conflict.

Dates of appointment given:

See Also

Footnotes

  1. Supplement to the Monthly Navy List. (September 1914). p. 6.
  2. Supplement to the Monthly Navy List. (May, 1915). p. 13.
  3. Supplement to the Monthly Navy List. (June, 1915). p. 13.
  4. Supplement to the Monthly Navy List. (July, 1915). p. 13.
  5. Supplement to the Monthly Navy List. (August, 1915). p. 13.
  6. Supplement to the Monthly Navy List. (September, 1915). p. 13.
  7. Supplement to the Monthly Navy List. (October, 1915). p. 13, and subsequent Supplements.
  8. Supplement to the Monthly Navy List. (November, 1915). p. 13.
  9. Supplement to the Monthly Navy List. (April, 1917). p. 13.
  10. Supplement to the Monthly Navy List. (May, 1917). p. 13.
  11. Supplement to the Monthly Navy List. (June, 1917). p. 13.
  12. Supplement to the Monthly Navy List. (July, 1917). p. 13 and August's Supplement.
  13. Supplement to the Monthly Navy List. (September, 1917). p. 13 and Supplements through November.
  14. Supplement to the Monthly Navy List. (December, 1917). p. 13.
  15. Supplement to the Monthly Navy List. (January, 1918). p. 13.
  16. Supplement to the Monthly Navy List. (January, 1915). p. 6.
  17. Tyrwhitt Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/43. f. 125.
  18. Borrett Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/42. f. 505.

Bibliography