Ambrose's Flotilla

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Ambrose's Flotilla, a formation of submarines of the Royal Navy named for their depot ship, was seemingly established in December, 1917 when Ambrose was given a single submarine to take care of and Vulcan's Flotilla was soon thereafter taken over for some time.

History

December, 1917

Ambrose, which served in the Tenth Cruiser Squadron earlier in the war, is given L 2.[1]

At Coast of Ireland Station, Southern Division
Depot Ship
Ambrose
Submarines
L 2

January, 1918

Vulcan's Flotilla is merged into the mix, but Ambrose is the depot ship and has a Captain (S) aboard. The result is a flotilla of two depot ships and eight submarines. [2]

At Coast of Ireland Station, Southern Division
Depot Ship, Captain (S)
Ambrose
Depot Ship
Vulcan
Submarines
E 23 E 32 E 54
H 5 H 8
L 1 L 2 L 7

February, 1918

The new submarines L 3 and L 4 join. The flotilla is now two depot ships and ten submarines. [3]

At Coast of Ireland Station, Southern Division
Depot Ship, Captain (S)
Ambrose
Depot Ship
Vulcan
Submarines
E 23 E 32 E 54
H 5 H 8
L 1 L 2 L 3 L 4 L 7

March, 1918

The new submarines L 5 and L 8 join. H 5 was rammed and sunk by a merchant ship on 6 March, replaced by H 21, which was last serving with the Eighth Submarine Flotilla in January. The flotilla is now two depot ships and twelve submarines.[4][5]

At Coast of Ireland Station, Southern Division
Depot Ship, Captain (S)
Ambrose
Depot Ship
Vulcan
Submarines
E 23 E 32 E 54
H 8 H 21
L 1 L 2 L 3 L 4 L 5 L 7
L 8

Although the Navy List would indicate otherwise, a post-war Technical History would indicate that the flotilla was sent to Portsmouth at the end of March to ward off enemy surface craft that might operate against Allied lines of supply.[6]

April, 1918

H 21 leaves to join the Eighth Submarine Flotilla, and Vulcan and H 8 are cast out to re-institute Vulcan's Flotilla. H 5 leaves for an undiscovered assignment, replaced by H 21, which was last serving with the Eighth Submarine Flotilla in January. The flotilla is now one depot ship and ten submarines.[7]

Operating out of Portsmouth
Depot Ship, Captain (S)
Ambrose
Submarines
E 23 E 32 E 54
L 1 L 2 L 3 L 4 L 5 L 7
L 8

May, 1918

The flotilla is now providing "miscellaneous service", which I presume means a continuing Portsmouth deployment. E 23 is paid off and E 32 has left for an undiscovered assignment. L 6 has joined. The flotilla is now ten submarines and, presumably, a depot ship.[8]

Operating out of Portsmouth[Inference]
Depot Ship, Captain (S) (?)
Ambrose*
Submarines
E 23* E 54
L 1 L 2 L 3 L 4 L 5 L 6
L 7 L 8

This roster would apply until July.[9]

July, 1918

E 23 has left to join Platypus's Flotilla. The flotilla is now nine submarines and, presumably, a depot ship.[10]

Operating out of Portsmouth[Inference]
Depot Ship, Captain (S) (?)
Ambrose*
Submarines
E 54
L 1 L 2 L 3 L 4 L 5 L 6
L 7 L 8

August, 1918

E 54 has gone to Gibraltar. The flotilla is now eight submarines and, presumably, a depot ship.[11]

Operating out of Portsmouth[Inference]
Depot Ship, Captain (S) (?)
Ambrose*
Submarines
L 1 L 2 L 3 L 4 L 5 L 6
L 7 L 8

This arrangement would apply until some time between September and November.

November, 1918

No Supplements were found for September or October, but by November the flotilla is at Devonport. L 7 is detached, and L 8 has been dropped, though she'd reappear in the next month. Ambrose herself is still not explicitly mentioned, but presumably present. The flotilla is now seven submarines and likely a depot ship.[12]

At Devonport
Depot Ship, Captain (S) (?)
Ambrose*
Submarines
L 1 L 2 L 3 L 4 L 5 L 6
L 7*

December, 1918

Ambrose herself is not explicitly mentioned. L 8 has rejoined, and L 7 is no longer noted as detached. The flotilla is now eight submarines and, presumably, a depot ship.[13]

At Devonport
Depot Ship, Captain (S) (?)
Ambrose*
Submarines
L 1 L 2 L 3 L 4 L 5 L 6
L 7 L 8

This arrangement would apply until March, 1919.[14]

March, 1919

As part of the fleet-wide reorganization of submarine flotillas, the flotilla is now designated as Sixth Submarine Flotilla.[15]

Redesignated as Sixth Submarine Flotilla
The flotilla would not again be called "Ambrose's Flotilla"

Captains (S)

Dates of appointment given:

Footnotes

  1. Supplement to the Monthly Navy List. (December, 1917). p. 17.
  2. Supplement to the Monthly Navy List. (January, 1918). p. 17.
  3. Supplement to the Monthly Navy List. (January, 1918). p. 17.
  4. Supplement to the Monthly Navy List. (March, 1918). p. 18.
  5. Supplement to the Monthly Navy List. (January, 1918). p. 13.
  6. The Technical History and Index, Vol. 1, Part 1. p. 7.
  7. Supplement to the Monthly Navy List. (April, 1918). pp. 13, 18.
  8. Supplement to the Monthly Navy List. (May, 1918). p. 19.
  9. Supplement to the Monthly Navy List. (June, 1918). p. 19.
  10. Supplement to the Monthly Navy List. (July, 1918). pp. 18, 19.
  11. Supplement to the Monthly Navy List. (July, 1918). pp. 19, 22.
  12. Supplement to the Monthly Navy List. (November, 1918). pp. 17.
  13. Supplement to the Monthly Navy List. (July, 1918). pp. 19, 22.
  14. Supplement to the Monthly Navy List. (January, 1919). p. 17 and Supplements through March.
  15. Supplement to the Monthly Navy List. (March, 1919). p. 14.
  16. Dunbar-Nasmith Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/90/89. f. 89.
  17. Dunbar-Nasmith Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/90/89. f. 89.
  18. Talbot Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/49/120. f. 65.
  19. The Navy List. (December, 1919). p. 725.
  20. Talbot Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/49/120. f. 65.

Bibliography

See Also


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