Third Light Cruiser Squadron (Royal Navy)

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The Third Light Cruiser Squadron was a formation of light cruisers in the Royal Navy. Founded in early 1915, it was one of 3-4 such squadrons tasked with screening the Grand Fleet during operations.

It operated throughout the war and beyond. In September 1924 it was re-designated the Third Cruiser Squadron as post-war operations suggested the wisdom of merging heavy and light cruiser operations.

Rear-Admirals Commanding

Dates of appointment given:

Second in Command

History

The formation would be a small force of light cruisers, usually four to six in number, tasked with screening the Battle Cruiser Fleet alongside the First Light Cruiser Squadron, Second Light Cruiser Squadron and (from July 1917 onward) the Sixth Light Cruiser Squadron.

March, 1915

The Squadron was founded in January or February of 1915. Its initial strength was two light cruisers.[16]

Screening the Battle Cruiser Fleet
Light Cruisers
FalmouthRAdmRN.png Yarmouth

April, 1915

Liverpool and Gloucester have joined, bringing the strength to four light cruisers. The roster would remain constant until some time in July.[17]

Screening the Battle Cruiser Fleet
Light Cruisers
FalmouthRAdmRN.png Yarmouth Liverpool Gloucester

August, 1915

Liverpool has dropped; she would appear, attached to the Grand Fleet, some time in October. Her departure reduced the strength to three light cruisers. The roster would remain constant until some time in September.[18]

Screening the Battle Cruiser Fleet
Light Cruisers
FalmouthRAdmRN.png Yarmouth Gloucester

October, 1915

Birkenhead has joined, bringing the squadron back up to four light cruisers. The roster would next change some time in December, 1915.[19]

Screening the Battle Cruiser Fleet
Light Cruisers
FalmouthRAdmRN.png Yarmouth Gloucester Birkenhead

January, 1916

Gloucester has left. The roster would next change some time in March.[20]

Screening the Battle Cruiser Fleet
Light Cruisers
FalmouthRAdmRN.png Yarmouth Birkenhead

April, 1916

Gloucester has re-joined, bringing the squadron back up to four light cruisers.[21]

Screening the Battle Cruiser Fleet
Light Cruisers
FalmouthRAdmRN.png Yarmouth Birkenhead Gloucester

May, 1916

Gloucester is now marked as being "temporarily" with the squadron, and Chester has joined, bringing the strength to five light cruisers.[22]

Screening the Battle Cruiser Fleet
Light Cruisers
FalmouthRAdmRN.png Yarmouth Birkenhead Gloucester* Chester

Battle of Jutland

The cruisers now have a seaplane carrier attached. Chester as also at the battle, but was detached to screen the Third Battle Cruiser Squadron in company with the unaffiliated light cruiser H.M.S. Canterbury.[23]

July, 1916

Gloucester is still marked as being "temporarily" with the squadron, and Chatham has joined, bringing the strength to six light cruisers.[24]

Screening the Battle Cruiser Fleet
Light Cruisers
FalmouthRAdmRN.png Yarmouth Birkenhead Gloucester* Chester Chatham

August, 1916

Gloucester has finally left, leaving five light cruisers.[25]

Screening the Battle Cruiser Fleet
Light Cruisers
FalmouthRAdmRN.png Yarmouth Birkenhead Chester Chatham

September, 1916

Flagship Falmouth has left, handing her rol to Chatham and leaving four light cruisers. The roster would next change some time in November.[26]

Screening the Battle Cruiser Fleet
Light Cruisers
ChathamRAdmRN.png Yarmouth Birkenhead Chester

December, 1916

The large light cruiser Courageous is expected to join "shortly", and Birkenhead has taken over as flagship, giving a paper strength of five cruisers. The roster would next change some time in November.[27]

Screening the Battle Cruiser Fleet
Light Cruisers
BirkenheadRAdmRN.png Yarmouth Chatham Chester Courageous*

January, 1917

The large light cruiser Glorious is now also expected to join "shortly", and Birkenhead has taken over as flagship, giving a paper strength of six cruisers. The roster would next change some time in January or February.[28]

Screening the Battle Cruiser Fleet
Light Cruisers
BirkenheadRAdmRN.png Chatham Yarmouth Chester Courageous* Glorious*

March, 1917

The large light cruisers joined in January or February making a strength of six cruisers. Chatham is once again the flag. The flagship assignment would change during the month.[29]

Screening the Battle Cruiser Fleet
Light Cruisers
ChathamRAdmRN.png Birkenhead Yarmouth Chester Courageous Glorious

April, 1917

Glorious is now acting as flagship, with the same six cruisers comprising the formation. The roster would next change some time in June.[30]

Screening the Battle Cruiser Fleet
Light Cruisers
GloriousRAdmRN.png Chatham Birkenhead Yarmouth Chester Courageous

July, 1917

Furious will be joining "shortly", making seven cruisers on paper. The roster would next change some time in August.[31]

Screening the Battle Cruiser Fleet
Light Cruisers
GloriousRAdmRN.png Chatham Birkenhead Yarmouth Chester Courageous
Furious*

September, 1917

The three large light cruisers have departed to form the First Cruiser Squadron, reducing this Squadron to four light cruisers, with no ship being marked as the flagship. The roster would next change some time in X, though a flagship would be designated in December 1917.[32]

Screening the Battle Cruiser Fleet
Light Cruisers
Chatham Birkenhead Yarmouth Chester

January, 1918

Chatham is once again acting as flagship, with the same four light cruisers comprising the formation. The roster would next change some time in March.[33]

Screening the Battle Cruiser Fleet
Light Cruisers
ChathamRAdmRN.png Birkenhead Yarmouth Chester

April, 1918

Yarmouth paid off at some point in February.[34]

Screening the Battle Cruiser Fleet
Light Cruisers
ChathamRAdmRN.png Birkenhead Chester Yarmouth*

May, 1918

Yarmouth remains paid off until some time in June, and Southampton has joined. The roster would remain the same for some time.[35]

Screening the Battle Cruiser Fleet
Light Cruisers
ChathamRAdmRN.png Birkenhead Chester Southampton Yarmouth*

July, 1918

Yarmouth ceased being paid off in June, but the roster remains as before.[36]

Screening the Battle Cruiser Fleet
Light Cruisers
ChathamRAdmRN.png Birkenhead Chester Southampton Yarmouth*

August, 1918

Yarmouth has left to join the Second Light Cruiser Squadron, leaving four light cruisers. This roster would apply until some time in January 1919.[37]

Screening the Battle Cruiser Fleet
Light Cruisers
ChathamRAdmRN.png Birkenhead Chester Southampton

February, 1919

The flotilla was disbanded some time in January. A new incarnation of it would be born some time in February.[38]

Flotilla is Disbanded
Sent to The Nore "temporarily"
Chatham Chester
Sent to Portsmouth "temporarily"
Birkenhead Southampton

March, 1919

A new 3 L.C.S. is created in the Mediterranean. The starred ships are expected to join "shortly".[39]

In the Mediterranean, based on Malta
Light cruisers
Cardiff*RAdmRN.png Calypso* Caradoc Ceres

April, 1919

Cardiff and Calypso are still expected to join, and Centaur has newly joined. The formation is not specifically listed under Malta.[40]

In the Mediterranean
Light cruisers
Cardiff*RAdmRN.png Calypso* Caradoc Centaur Ceres

May, 1919

The ships now all appear to have arrived. This roster would apply until at least X.[41]

In the Mediterranean
Light cruisers
CardiffRAdmRN.png Calypso Caradoc Centaur Ceres

November, 1919

Concord is now expected "shortly".[42] The Service Record of Rear-Admiral Hope indicates that Calypso took over flagship duties on 1 November, followed swiftly by Centaur on 9 November.[43]

In the Mediterranean
Light cruisers
CardiffRAdmRN.png Calypso Caradoc Centaur Ceres Concord*

December, 1919

Centaur is now flagship, and Concord has arrived. Though Hope's Service Record indicates that Cardiff resumed her role as flagship on 12 December,[44] the Navy List indicates that Centaur was still such on 1 January, 1920. This arrangement would apply until some time in January, 1920.[45]

In the Mediterranean
Light cruisers
Cardiff Calypso Caradoc CentaurRAdmRN.png Ceres Concord

February, 1920

Cardiff is once again flagship.[46]

In the Mediterranean
Light cruisers
CardiffRAdmRN.png Calypso Caradoc Centaur Ceres Concord

March, 1920

Dublin has joined, "temporarily". This status would prove rather persistent, however, as she would not leave before November. Things did not otherwise change until some time in October, 1920.[47]

In the Mediterranean
Light cruisers
CardiffRAdmRN.png Calypso Caradoc Centaur Ceres Concord
Dublin*

November, 1920

Dublin is still here "temporarily", and Centaur has temporarily taken flagship duties..[48]

In the Mediterranean
Light cruisers
Cardiff Calypso Caradoc CentaurRAdmRN.png Ceres Concord
Dublin*

December, 1920

Dublin has left. Centaur retains temporary flagship duties. This arrangement would persist until at least the end of the year, but our Navy List library grows much more sparse after 1 January, 1921.[49]

In the Mediterranean
Light cruisers
Cardiff Calypso Caradoc CentaurRAdmRN.png Ceres Concord

January, 1923

Cardiff is again flagship. Other formations in the Mediterranean at this point are the Fourth Battle Squadron and the Seventh Destroyer Flotilla and Eighth Destroyer Flotilla, as well as some sloops, minesweepers and an aircraft carrier, H.M.S. Pegasus.[50]

In the Mediterranean
Light cruisers
CardiffRAdmRN.png Calypso Caradoc Centaur Ceres Concord

July, 1924

Centaur and Concord have left. Other formations in the Mediterranean at this point are a downsized Fourth Battle Squadron and the Third Destroyer Flotilla and Fourth Destroyer Flotilla, as well as some sloops, minesweepers and assorted craft.[51]

In the Mediterranean
Light cruisers
CardiffRAdmRN.png Calypso Caradoc Ceres

October, 1924

The formation was redesignated as the Third Cruiser Squadron some time between mid-August and October, 1924.[52][53]

Drill and Practice

In 1917, the squadron fired 16 practice torpedoes of which 13 or 81% were judged to be likely to endanger the enemy.[54]

See Also

Footnotes

  1. Squadrons and Senior Naval Officers in Existence on 11th November, 1918. p. 26.
  2. Napier Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/42. f. 440.
  3. Squadrons and Senior Naval Officers in Existence on 11th November, 1918. p. 26.
  4. Hunt Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/42. f. 354.
  5. Hunt Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/42. f. 354.
  6. Alexander-Sinclair Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/42. f. 361.
  7. Hunt Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/42. f. 354.
  8. Alexander-Sinclair Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/42. f. 361.
  9. The Navy List. (December, 1920). p. 741.
  10. Hope Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/43. f. 44.
  11. Hope Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/43. f. 44.
  12. Tyrwhitt Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/43. f. 125.
  13. Tyrwhitt Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/43. f. 125.
  14. Woollcombe Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/43. f. 267.
  15. Woollcombe Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/43. f. 267.
  16. Supplement to the Monthly Navy List. (March, 1915). p. 11 and January's Supplement, in which it is absent.
  17. Supplement to the Monthly Navy List. (April, 1915). p. 11 and Supplements through August, 1915.
  18. Supplement to the Monthly Navy List. (August, 1915). p. 11 and Supplements through October, 1915.
  19. Supplement to the Monthly Navy List. (October, 1915). p. 11 and Supplements through January, 1916.
  20. Supplement to the Monthly Navy List. (January, 1916). p. 11 and Supplements through April, 1916.
  21. Supplement to the Monthly Navy List. (April, 1916). p. 11.
  22. Supplement to the Monthly Navy List. (May, 1916). p. 11.
  23. Battle of Jutland Official Despatches. pp. 33, 46.
  24. Supplement to the Monthly Navy List. (July, 1916). p. 11.
  25. Supplement to the Monthly Navy List. (August, 1916). p. 11.
  26. Supplement to the Monthly Navy List. (September, 1916). p. 11 and Supplements through December.
  27. Supplement to the Monthly Navy List. (September, 1916). p. 11 and Supplements through December.
  28. Supplement to the Monthly Navy List. (January, 1917). p. 11 and Supplements through March 1917, excepting February's edition, which was not found.
  29. Supplement to the Monthly Navy List. (March, 1917). p. 11.
  30. Supplement to the Monthly Navy List. (January, 1917). p. 11 and Supplements through July.
  31. Supplement to the Monthly Navy List. (July, 1917). p. 11 and Supplements through September.
  32. Supplement to the Monthly Navy List. (September, 1917). p. 11 and Supplements through X.
  33. Supplement to the Monthly Navy List. (January, 1918). p. 11 and Supplements through April.
  34. Supplement to the Monthly Navy List. (April, 1918). p. 11.
  35. Supplement to the Monthly Navy List. (April, 1918). p. 11 and Supplements through July.
  36. Supplement to the Monthly Navy List. (July, 1918). p. 11.
  37. Supplement to the Monthly Navy List. (August, 1918). p. 11 and Supplements through February 1919.
  38. Supplement to the Monthly Navy List. (February, 1919). pp. 19, 20.
  39. Supplement to the Monthly Navy List. (March, 1919). p. 22.
  40. Supplement to the Monthly Navy List. (April, 1919). p. 22.
  41. Supplement to the Monthly Navy List. (May, 1919). p. 21 and Supplements and Navy Lists through .
  42. The Navy List. (November, 1919). p. 712.
  43. Hope Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/43. f. 23/44.
  44. Hope Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/43. f. 23/44.
  45. The Navy List. (December, 1919). p. 713 and Navy Lists through February 1920.
  46. The Navy List. (February, 1920). p. 712-13.
  47. The Navy List. (March, 1920). p. 712-13 and Navy Lists through November 1920.
  48. The Navy List. (November, 1920). p. 712-13.
  49. The Navy List. (December, 1920). p. 712-13 and Navy Lists of January 1921.
  50. The Navy List. (January, 1923). p. 707.
  51. The Navy List. (July, 1924). p. 207.
  52. "Flag Appointments." The Times (London, England), Wednesday, Aug 13, 1924; pg. 5; Issue 43729.
  53. "Naval & Military Intelligence." The Times (London, England), Tuesday, Oct 07, 1924; pg. 6; Issue 43776.
  54. Annual Report of the Torpedo School, 1917. p. 121.

Bibliography


Light Cruiser Squadrons of the Royal Navy
First Light Cruiser Squadron | Second Light Cruiser Squadron | Third Light Cruiser Squadron | Fourth Light Cruiser Squadron | Fifth Light Cruiser Squadron | Sixth Light Cruiser Squadron | Seventh Light Cruiser Squadron | Eighth Light Cruiser Squadron