Second Fleet Sweeping Flotilla (Royal Navy)

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The Second Fleet Sweeping Flotilla was a formation of fleet minesweepers of the Royal Navy. It was one of several attached to the Grand Fleet during the war, before being dissolved in late 1918.

History

Before mid-1916, a growing number of minesweeping vessels had been attached to the Grand Fleet, but by 1 July the growth rate was such that it was deemed fit to break the assemblage into three flotillas: the First, Second and Third. The First would retain Lupin, which had long borne the Senior Officer and nine other sweeping sloops. The Second would be a mix of ten sweeping sloops and older torpedo gunboats, while the Third would be comprised of twelve paddle minesweepers. It is not clear whether the man in Lupin remained the Senior Officer for all three flotillas, or merely of the First.

June, 1916 – c. February, 1917

The Second is formed with a strength of ten vessels.[1] Speedwell would be detached briefly around September/October of 1916, but be back in place by 1 November.

Attached to the Grand Fleet
Godetia Foxglove Larkspur Gentian Circe
Gossamer Jason Leda Skipjack Speedwell*

c. February, 1917 – March, 1917

The Senior Officer previously allotted to Lupin in the First Fleet Sweeping Flotilla is now borne in Godetia.[2]

Attached to the Grand Fleet
Senior Officer
Godetia
Sweeping Sloops and T.G.Bs.
Foxglove Larkspur Gentian Circe Gossamer Jason
Leda Skipjack Speedwell

March, 1917 – July, 1917

In classic Royal Navy fashion, things get complicated. Godetia has been exchanged with Lupin from the First Fleet Sweeping Flotilla. In this new arrangement, Lupin bears the Senior Officer and Godetia now bears the "Captain in Charge", which I presume means "in charge of Grand Fleet Fleet Sweepers." In addition to this, the torpedo gunboat Jason would be mined and lost on 7 April.[3]

Attached to the Grand Fleet
Senior Officer
Lupin
Sweeping Sloops and T.G.Bs.
Foxglove Larkspur Gentian Circe Gossamer Leda
Skipjack Speedwell

July, 1917 – August, 1917

Heythrop, Tedworth and Pytchley have joined, making the strength twelve.[4]

Attached to the Grand Fleet
Senior Officer
Lupin
Sweeping Sloops and T.G.Bs.
Foxglove Larkspur Gentian Circe Heythrop Gossamer
Leda Skipjack Speedwell Tedworth Pytchley

August, 1917 – September, 1917

Circe, Gossamer, Skipjack and Speedwell have left to work from Oban. This outflux was balanced by the arrival of Bicester, Croome, Garth and Zetland, maintaining a strength of twelve and homogenizing the composition around sweeping sloops.[5]

Attached to the Grand Fleet
Senior Officer
Lupin
Sweeping Sloops
Foxglove Larkspur Gentian Heythrop Tedworth
Pytchley Bicester Croome Garth Zetland

September, 1917 – October, 1917

Heythrop, Tedworth, Pytchley and Croome have left for the Third Fleet Sweeping Flotilla and Quorn has arrived, reducing the strength to eight.[6]

Attached to the Grand Fleet
Senior Officer
Lupin
Sweeping Sloops and Minesweepers
Foxglove Larkspur Gentian Bicester Garth Zetland Quorn

October, 1917 – X

Croome has swapped places with Garth in the Third Fleet Sweeping Flotilla, maintaining the strength ateight.[7]

Attached to the Grand Fleet
Senior Officer
Lupin
Sweeping Sloops and Minesweepers
Foxglove Larkspur Gentian Bicester Croome Quorn Zetland

Senior Officers

Footnotes

  1. Supplement to the Monthly Navy List. (July, 1916). p. 12 and Supplements through March 1917, save February which was not found.
  2. Supplement to the Monthly Navy List. (March, 1917). p. 12 and April's Supplement.
  3. Supplement to the Monthly Navy List. (March, 1917). p. 12 and Supplements through August.
  4. Supplement to the Monthly Navy List. (August, 1917). p. 12 and September's Supplement.
  5. Supplement to the Monthly Navy List. (September, 1917). pp. 12, 14 and October's Supplement.
  6. Supplement to the Monthly Navy List. (October, 1917). p. 12 and November's Supplement.
  7. Supplement to the Monthly Navy List. (November, 1917). p. 12 and X Supplement.

Bibliography

  • Dittmar, F.J.; Colledge, J.J. (1972). British Warships 1914–1919. London: Ian Allan.

See Also



British Minesweeping Formations
Minesweeping Flotillas
First | Second | Third | Fourth
Fleet Sweeping Flotillas
First | Second | Third | Sixth | Seventh | Eighth | Ninth | Tenth
Eleventh | Twelfth | Thirteenth | Fifteenth | Sixteenth | Eighteenth | Nineteenth
Twentieth | Twenty-first | Twenty-second | Twenty-third | Twenty-fourth