Fourth Battle Squadron (Royal Navy)

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The Fourth Battle Squadron was a formation of battleships in the Royal Navy.

History

The Fourth Battle Squadron was originally born out of the battleship force of the Mediterranean Fleet, which until Mid-1912 had traditionally been seen as the front-line active force in the Royal Navy. With the reforms announced by First Lord of the Admiralty Winston Churchill in March, 1912, the Mediterranean battleship Squadron eventually became the Fourth Battle Squadron of the First Fleet.

In minutes submitted and approved by the Board of Admiralty on 8 July, 1914, it had been decided that by April, 1917, the Fourth Battle Squadron would consist solely of eight Revenge class dreadnought battleships.[1]

Command of the Fourth Battle Squadron

The Vice-Admiral Commanding the Battle Squadron commanded one division. The Rear-Admiral Second-in-Command commanded the other division.

Vice-Admiral, Fourth Battle Squadron

Dates of appointment given:

Rear-Admiral, Fourth Battle Squadron

Dates of appointment given:

Also, Thomas Henry Martyn Jerram at some point.[Fact Check]

History

May, 1912

In February, 1912 the battleships Africa and Hindustan of the Third Battle Squadron joined the Fourth temporarily.

December, 1912

[30]
At a strength of just four pre-dreadnoughts, at this point the squadron was half the size of the majority of her peers.

December, 1913

[31]
Only Cornwallis remains from last year's edition. Duncan and Russell have been moved over to the Sixth Battle Squadron, while Dreadnought and the two most modern pre-dreadnoughts have been transferred in from other squadrons.

July, 1914

[32]

Attached: scout cruiser Blonde

5 August, 1914

At the outbreak of the First World War the Squadron was composed solely of 12-inch gunned dreadnoughts as follows.[33] The requisitioned battleship Agincourt was about to be commissioned and had already been earmarked for service in the Squadron. Agamemnon has been moved elsewhere.

At outbreak of war, the scout cruiser Blonde, Captain A. C. Scott was attached.[34]

September, 1914

The squadron acquired Erin to bring its strength to a very eclectic five dreadnoughts.[35]

Attached: scout cruiser Blonde

This line-up would last until November or December.[36][37]

December, 1914

The squadron acquired Benbow and Emperor of India to bring its strength to a diverse dreadnoughts, now meriting a second flagship. Dreadnought has ceded her flagship role, and another cruiser has attached.[38]

Attached: scout cruiser Blonde, third class protected cruiser Sapphire

This line-up would last just one month.

January, 1915

The Squadron has lost a cruiser.[39]

Attached: scout cruiser Blonde

This line-up would last until June.[40][41][42]

June, 1915

A powerful new dreadnought, Queen Elizabeth has brought the strength up to eight.[43]

Attached: scout cruiser Blonde

This line-up would last until September.[44][45]

September, 1915

Canada has brought the strength up to nine.[46]

Attached: scout cruiser Blonde

This line-up would last just one month.

October, 1915

Queen Elizabeth was transferred to the newly-created Fifth Battle Squadron.[47]

Attached: scout cruiser Blonde

This line-up would last just one month.

November, 1915

Superb was transferred in from the First Battle Squadron in exchange for Agincourt, and Erin left to join the Second Battle Squadron.[48]

Attached: Blonde

This line-up would last until January, 1916.[49]

January, 1916

The third class protected cruiser Blanche has attached as a second cruiser, coming from the Third Battle Squadron.[50]

Attached: Blonde, Blanche

This line-up would last until Mid-May.[51][52][53][54]

Battle of Jutland

Dreadnought had been relegated to use as a spare by May 16th or earlier, and Emperor of India had both gone into refit in May, and consequently missed the Battle of Jutland. Luckily, Royal Oak had become available for service. Blonde also seems to have missed the battle.

Attached: Blanche

June, 1916

Blonde was detached some time before the Battle of Jutland, for work in "Home Waters or on detached service". Benbow, Emperor of India and Canada have transferred to the First Battle Squadron while Hercules, Neptune, Collingwood, Colossus, St. Vincent and Vanguard have joined from that same formation.[55] [56]

Attached: Blanche

This line-up would persist until October, 1916.[57][58][59]

October, 1916

scout cruiser Blonde rejoined the Squadron from Fifth Battle Squadron.[60] [61]

Attached: Blanche, Blonde

This line-up would persist until December.[62]

December, 1916

Now, it is third class protected cruiser Blanche who detaches for work in "Home Waters or on detached service".[63]

Attached: Blonde

This line-up would persist until April, 1917.[64][65]

April, 1917

Blonde transfers to the First Battle Squadron, leaving the Squadron without a light cruiser. An armed boarding steamer has replaced her.[66]

Attached: armed boarding steamer Template:UK-KingOrry

This line-up would persist until Jun.[67][68]

June, 1917

Bellerophon replaces Colossus as second flagship.[69]

Attached: armed boarding steamer Template:UK-KingOrry

This line-up would last one month.

July, 1917

Bellona arrives from work in "Home Waters or on detached service".[70][71][72]

Attached: scout cruiser Bellona, armed boarding steamer Template:UK-KingOrry

This line-up would last just the month.

August, 1917

Vanguard was lost to internal explosion in July, and scout cruiser Bellona transferred out to the First Battle Squadron.[73]

Attached: armed boarding steamer Template:UK-KingOrry

This line-up would last until October.[74]

October, 1917

Colossus resumed its role as second flagship.[75]

Attached: armed boarding steamer Template:UK-KingOrry

This line-up would last until January, 1918.[76][77]

January, 1918

Boadicea attached, coming from work in "Home Waters or on detached service".[78][79]

Attached: corvette Boadicea, armed boarding steamer Template:UK-KingOrry

This line-up would last until May.[80][81]

May, 1918

Dreadnought attached, coming from the now-disbanded Third Battle Squadron.[82][83]

Attached: corvette Boadicea, armed boarding steamer Template:UK-KingOrry

This line-up would last until September or October.[84]

October, 1918

Temeraire and Superb were detached for service in the Aegean Squadron.[85]

Attached: corvette Boadicea, armed boarding steamer Template:UK-KingOrry

This line-up would last until January, 1919.[86]

January, 1919

Template:UK-KingOrry was detached.[87]

Attached: corvette Boadicea

This line-up would last just the month.

February, 1919

The Squadron appears to be have been dispersed in February, with Dreadnought, Hercules and Neptune going to Rosyth, Colossus to Devonport, and St. Vincent to Portsmouth, Collingwood to Devonport and Bellerophon to the Nore to become gunnery schools.[88] The Squadron ceased to exist on 30 March, 1919.[89]

Footnotes

  1. "Cruiser Squadron and Battle Squadron Programme." The National Archives. ADM 1/8383/179. p. 14.
  2. Briggs Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/38. f. 168.
  3. Briggs Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/20. p. 654.
  4. Gamble Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/38. f. 507.
  5. Gamble Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/38. f. 507.
  6. Sturdee Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/39. f. 1256.
  7. Sturdee Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/87. f. 70.
  8. Browning Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/42. f. 309.
  9. Nicholson is noted as assuming temporary command. Nicholson Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/42. f. 290.
  10. Nicholson Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/42. f. 290.
  11. Nicholson Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/42. f. 457.
  12. His temporary replacement vacated the post. Nicholson Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/42. f. 290.
  13. Duff Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/42. f. 80.
  14. Duff Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/42. f. 80.
  15. Gaunt Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/42. f. 276.
  16. Gaunt Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/42. f. 276.
  17. Keyes Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/43. f. 291.
  18. Keyes Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/43. f. 277.
  19. Nicholson Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/42. f. 290.
  20. Nicholson Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/42. f. 457.
  21. The Navy List. (August, 1920). p. 697.
  22. Culme-Seymour Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/42. f. 477.
  23. Culme-Seymour Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/42. f. 217.
  24. The Navy List. (January, 1921). p. 697.
  25. Webb Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/43. f. 124.
  26. Kelly Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/89. f. 109.
  27. Kelly Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/89. f. 109.
  28. Watson Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/43. f. 214.
  29. Watson Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/43. f. 214.
  30. Handwritten notes in Albert Francis Barclay Bridges papers at The Caird Library at the National Maritime Museum. [BRG 1/1]
  31. Handwritten notes in Albert Francis Barclay Bridges papers at The Caird Library at the National Maritime Museum. [BRG 1/1]
  32. Admiralty Weekly Order No. 109 of 10 July, 1914.
  33. Naval Operations. Volume I. p. 439.
  34. Naval Operations. Volume I. p. 439.
  35. Supplement to the Monthly Navy List. (September 1914). p. 8.
  36. Supplement to the Monthly Navy List. (October, 1914). p. 8.
  37. Supplement to the Monthly Navy List. (December, 1914). p. 8.
  38. Supplement to the Monthly Navy List. (December, 1914). p. 8.
  39. Supplement to the Monthly Navy List. (January, 1915). p. 8.
  40. Supplement to the Monthly Navy List. (March, 1915). p. 10.
  41. Supplement to the Monthly Navy List. (April, 1915). p. 10.
  42. Supplement to the Monthly Navy List. (May, 1915). p. 10.
  43. Supplement to the Monthly Navy List. (January, 1915). p. 8.
  44. Supplement to the Monthly Navy List. (July, 1915). p. 10.
  45. Supplement to the Monthly Navy List. (August, 1915). p. 10.
  46. Supplement to the Monthly Navy List. (January, 1915). p. 8.
  47. Supplement to the Monthly Navy List. (October, 1915). p. 10.
  48. Supplement to the Monthly Navy List. (November, 1915). p. 10.
  49. Supplement to the Monthly Navy List. (December, 1915). p. 10.
  50. Supplement to the Monthly Navy List. (January, 1916). p. 10.
  51. Supplement to the Monthly Navy List. (March, 1916). p. 10.
  52. Supplement to the Monthly Navy List. (March, 1916). p. 10.
  53. Supplement to the Monthly Navy List. (April, 1916). p. 10.
  54. Supplement to the Monthly Navy List. (May, 1916). p. 10.
  55. Supplement to the Monthly Navy List. (June, 1916). pp. 10, 14.
  56. Supplement to the Monthly Navy List. (May, 1916). p. 10.
  57. Supplement to the Monthly Navy List. (July, 1916). p. 10.
  58. Supplement to the Monthly Navy List. (August, 1916). p. 10.
  59. Supplement to the Monthly Navy List. (September, 1916). p. 10.
  60. Supplement to the Monthly Navy List. (September, 1916). p. 10.
  61. Supplement to the Monthly Navy List. (October, 1916). p. 10.
  62. Supplement to the Monthly Navy List. (November, 1916). p. 10.
  63. Supplement to the Monthly Navy List. (June, 1916). p. 10.
  64. Supplement to the Monthly Navy List. (January, 1917). p. 10.
  65. Supplement to the Monthly Navy List. (March, 1917). p. 10.
  66. Supplement to the Monthly Navy List. (April, 1917). p. 10.
  67. Supplement to the Monthly Navy List. (May, 1917). p. 10.
  68. Supplement to the Monthly Navy List. (June, 1917). p. 10.
  69. Supplement to the Monthly Navy List. (June, 1917). p. 10.
  70. Supplement to the Monthly Navy List. (May, 1917). p. 14.
  71. Supplement to the Monthly Navy List. (June, 1917). p. 14.
  72. Supplement to the Monthly Navy List. (July, 1917). p. 10.
  73. Supplement to the Monthly Navy List. (August, 1917). p. 10.
  74. Supplement to the Monthly Navy List. (September, 1917). p. 10.
  75. Supplement to the Monthly Navy List. (October, 1917). p. 10.
  76. Supplement to the Monthly Navy List. (November, 1917). p. 10.
  77. Supplement to the Monthly Navy List. (December, 1917). p. 10.
  78. Supplement to the Monthly Navy List. (December, 1917). p. 14.
  79. Supplement to the Monthly Navy List. (January, 1918). p. 10.
  80. Supplement to the Monthly Navy List. (February, 1918). p. 10.
  81. Supplement to the Monthly Navy List. (March, 1918). p. 10.
  82. Supplement to the Monthly Navy List. (April, 1918). p. 13.
  83. Supplement to the Monthly Navy List. (May, 1918). p. 10.
  84. Supplement to the Monthly Navy List. (February, 1918). p. 10 and Supplements through October except September, which was not located.
  85. Supplement to the Monthly Navy List. (October, 1918). pp. 10, 22.
  86. Supplement to the Monthly Navy List. (February, 1918). p. 10 and Supplements through January 1919.
  87. Supplement to the Monthly Navy List. (January, 1919). pp. 10, 22.
  88. Supplement to the Monthly Navy List. (February, 1919). pp. 16, 17,20.
  89. Squadrons and Senior Naval Officers in Existence on 11th November, 1918. f. 5.

Bibliography

  • Corbett, Sir Julian S. (1920). Naval Operations. Volume I. London: Longmans, Green and Co..
  • Dittmar, F.J.; Colledge, J.J. (1972). British Warships 1914–1919. London: Ian Allan.


British Battle Squadrons
First Battle Squadron | Second Battle Squadron | Third Battle Squadron | Fourth Battle Squadron
Fifth Battle Squadron | Sixth Battle Squadron | Seventh Battle Squadron | Eighth Battle Squadron