Royal Fleet Auxiliary

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Royal Fleet Auxiliary

The Royal Fleet Auxiliary was first established in 1905 to provide coaling ships for the Navy in an era when the change from sail to coal as the main means of propulsion meant that a network of bases around the world with coaling facilities or a fleet of ships able to supply coal were necessary for a fleet to operate away from its home country. Since the Royal Navy of that era possessed the largest network of bases around the world of any fleet, the RFA at first took a relatively minor role.