7th Cruiser Squadron

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7th Cruiser Squadron
Ensign of the Royal Navy animated.gif
Active1913
Disbanded1941
CountryFlag United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.gif United Kingdom
AllegianceBritish Empire
BranchNaval Ensign of the United Kingdom.svg Royal Navy
TypeSquadron
Commanders
In CommandRear/Vice/Admiral Commanding, 7th Cruiser Squadron

The 7th Cruiser Squadron or Seventh Cruiser Squadron was a formation of Cruisers of the Royal Navy, it was formed and disbanded four times from June to September, 1913, July to October, 1914, January 1915 to October, 1916 and finally July 1940 to March 1941.

It was commanded by the Rear-Admiral or Vice-Admiral Commanding, 7th Cruiser Squadron.

History

The 7th Cruiser Squadron (also Cruiser Force C in 1914) was created on the Nore Station as part of the reorganisation of the Royal Navy's home fleets which took effect on 1 May 1912. It formed part of the Third Fleet of the Home Fleets and effectively served as a reserve force stationed on the south coast of England.

The squadron was composed mainly of five of the six armoured cruisers, which had been transferred from the 6th Cruiser Squadron of the former divisional structure of the Home Fleets, and already considered obsolescent despite being fewer than 12 years old.[1] Their status meant that most of the time they were manned by "nucleus crews" an innovation introduced by Admiral Sir John "Jackie" Fisher a few years earlier. Their ships' complements of 700 men plus officers were only brought up to full strength for maneuvers or mobilisation. The nucleus crews were expected to keep the ships in a seaworthy condition the rest of the time.

The 1913 maneuvers illustrate the system. In June, the command of squadrons was announced by the Admiralty. As a reserve formation, the 7th Cruiser Squadron had no flag officer until 10 June, when Rear-Admiral Gordon MooreThird Sea Lord—was given the command upon taking leave from the Admiralty.[2] He hoisted his flag in Bacchante on 15 July.[3]

All ships of the squadron would have been brought up to strength with men from other parts of the navy and from the Royal Naval Reserve. The manœuvres took place and on 9 August Rear-Admiral Moore struck his flag and on the 16th the squadron was reduced back to reserve commission.[4]

Upon the outbreak of First World War with Germany in 1914, the Second and Third Fleets of the Royal Navy were combined to form a Channel Fleet. The 7th Cruiser Squadron. From 26–28 August 1914, the squadron was held in reserve during the operations which led to the Battle of Heligoland Bight.[5] The squadron was reformed for the third time on 18 July 1940 and was placed under the command of Rear-Admiral, Edward de Faye Renouf. It was a unit within the Northern Patrol Force then under the command of Vice-Admiral Sir Max Horton. In March 1941 the squadron was disbanded.

In Command

Included:[6]

  1. Rear-Admiral Archibald G. H. W. Moore, 15 July, 1913 – 9 August, 1913
  2. Rear-Admiral Arthur H. Christian, 13 July, 1914 – 26 July, 1914
  3. Rear-Admiral Henry H. Campbell, 1 August, 1914 – 6 October, 1914
  4. Rear-Admiral Arthur W. Waymouth, 14 January, 1915 – 6 April, 1915
  5. Rear-Admiral Henry L. Tottenham, 7 April, 1915 – 25 October, 1915
  6. Rear-Admiral Herbert L. Heath, 24 October, 1915 – 5 June, 1916
  7. Rear-Admiral Edward de F. Renouf, 18 July, 1940 – 6 March, 1941
  8. Rear-Admiral Irvine G. Glennie, 6 March, 1941 – 11 May, 1941

References

  1. Jane's Fighting Ships 1914. p. 61.
  2. The Times. The Naval Manœuvres. Official Appointments and Notices.Tuesday 10 June 1913. page 5 Issue 40234. Column B.
  3. The Times. Naval and Military Intelligence. Official Appointments and Notices. Friday 4 July 1913. page 6. Issue 40255. Column C.
  4. The Times. Naval and Military Intelligence. Official Appointments and Notices. 11 August 1913. |page 13. Issue 40287. Column C.
  5. Osborne. Heligoland Bight. p. 44.
  6. Harley, Simon (12 March 2021). "Seventh Cruiser Squadron (Royal Navy) - The Dreadnought Project". www.dreadnoughtproject.org. Harley and Lovell. Retrieved 1 November 2021.