Aden

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HM Naval Base, Aden
HMS Norfolk III (1936-37)
HMS Sheba
Ensign of the Royal Navy animated.gif
Active1839–1967
CountryFlag of Aden 1937 to 1963.png British Aden
AllegianceFlag United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.gif United Kingdom
BranchNaval Ensign of the United Kingdom.svg Royal Navy
TypeNaval Base & Station
Part ofEast Indies Station (1839-1917)
Garrison/HQRN Base, Aden, Steamer Point, Aden
Colony of Aden, (1937-1963)

Aden was a naval command and base of the British Royal Navy originally established in 1839 in Aden, South Yemen on the Arabian Peninsula. [1] At various times it encompassed a shore base, naval formations and other ships not attached to other formations. Command of the station was usually vested in a Captain or Commodore the commanding officers title varied throughout its existence. From 1946 until 1967 it was a subcommand of the Middle East Command.[2]


History

Map of the HQ Aden Station in 1965 showing the location of the naval base at Steamer Point
19th Century

In 1839 the Royal Navy carried out an operation called the Aden Expedition led by Captain Henry Smith under orders from the Commander-in-Chief, East Indies in the south east Arabian Peninsula its occupation of Aden was mainly for strategic reasons as Aden provided control of the entrance to the Red Sea a naval base was first established here at the same time.[3] In 1869 the Suez Canal was opened and the British Empire established a number of protectorates in Southern Arabia mainly as a shield against further expansion by the Ottoman Empire who were occupying the rest of Yemen.[4] In the 19th century and early twentieth century it was a major coaling station that sat on an important trade route from India.[5]

World War Two

During World War Two the main naval formation based in Aden was the Red Sea Force.[6] On 16 March 1941 the station was involved in Operation Appearance which was a British landing in British Somaliland against troops of the Italian Army. The naval task group Force D was assembled at Aden Naval Base for the operation. The British and Empire forces from the United Kingdom, British India, Australia and South Africa conducting Appearance made the first successful Allied beach landing of the war and retook the colony.[7]

Area of Responsibility

The station was responsible for the Gulf Aden area of command. The The Gulf of Aden, formerly known as the Gulf of Berbera, is a deepwater gulf amidst Yemen to the north, the Arabian Sea and Guardafui Channel to the east, Somalia to the south, and Djibouti to the west. In the northwest, it connects with the Red Sea through the Bab-el-Mandeb strait, and in the southeast, it connects with the Indian Ocean through the Guardafui Channel. To the west, it narrows into the Gulf of Tadjoura, in the Horn of Africa. The Gulf of Aden separates the Arabian peninsula with the Horn of Africa/

In Command

Aden Naval Base in 1960

Senior Naval Officer, Aden (1839-1905)

Naval Officer-in-Charge, Aden (1935-1946)

Commanding Officer, HM Naval Base, Aden (1936-1946)

Commanding Officer, HM Naval Base, Aden
Rank Flag Name Term Notes/Ref
1 Captain RN Captain Rank Insignia.png Douglas B. Fisher 15 September, 1935 – 29 June, 1936 [8]
2 Acting-Captain RN Captain Rank Insignia.png P.L. Gunn 8 July, 1939 – 29 May 1942 [9][10]
3 Commodore 2nd Class Commodore 2nd class command flag RN from 1864.png Charles Arthur Aiskew Larcom 29 May 1942 – February, 1943 [11] [12]
4 Commodore 2nd Class Commodore 2nd class command flag RN from 1864.png Edward Arthur Aylmer 25 March 1944 – July, 1945 [13]
5 Captain RN Captain Rank Insignia.png Waldemar W. P. Shirley-Rollison 15 arch, 1946 - April, 1946 [14]

Other officers

Naval Transport Officer in Charge, Aden (1917-1936)

Naval Transport Officer in Charge, Aden
Rank Flag Name Term Notes/Ref
1 Acting Commander RN Commander Rank Insignia.png Charles Arthur Scott, 1917 – 29 June, 1936 (retired)[15]
1 Acting Commander RN Commander Rank Insignia.png Charles Arthur Scott, 15 September, 1935 – 29 June, 1936 (retired)[16]

Components

Naval Bases

# Naval Bases Ref
1 HM Naval Base, Aden

Naval Formations

# Naval Formations Ref
1 Aden Division
2 Aden Patrol
3 Force D [17]
4 Red Sea Division
5 Red Sea Force [18]

Other Naval Facilities

# Wireless Stations Ref
1 Aden Coaling Station
2 Aden Wireless Station

References

  1. The Navy List. London, England: H.M. Stationery Office. November 1939. p. 240.
  2. Walker, Jonathan (2014). Aden Insurgency: The Savage War in Yemen 1962–67. Barnsley, England: Pen and Sword. p. 90. ISBN 9781783375615.
  3. Ram, Krishnamurthy Venkat (2009). "Conclusion". Anglo-Ethiopian Relations, 1869 to 1906: A Study of British Policy in Ethiopia. New Dehli, India: Concept Publishing Company. p. 241. ISBN 9788180696244.
  4. Innes-Robbins, Simon (22 June 2018). "A Short History Of The Aden Emergency". Imperial War Museums. London, England: Imperial War Museums. Retrieved 1 October 2018.
  5. Anderson, Ewan W. (2014). Global Geopolitical Flashpoints : an Atlas of Conflict. London, England: Taylor and Francis, Routledge. p. 8. ISBN 9781135940942.
  6. Bertke, Donald A.; Kindell, Don; Smith, Gordon (2011). WORLD WAR II SEA WAR: FRANCE FALLS, BRITAIN STANDS ALONE: Day-to-Day Naval Actions from April 1940 through September 1940. Lulu Bertke Publishing. p. 99. ISBN 9781937470005.
  7. Collins. IN., Instructor Lieutenant D.J.E.; Clancey, Patrick; Jewell, Larry. "HyperWar: The Royal Indian Navy (Chapter 4)". www.ibiblio.org. HyperWar Foundation. Retrieved 17 August 2019.
  8. Harley, Simon; Lovell, Tony (21 August 2018). "Aden - The Dreadnought Project". www.dreadnoughtproject.org. Harley and Lovell. Retrieved 1 October 2018.
  9. "Flag Officers in Commission". The Navy List. London, England: H.M. Stationery Office. December 1941. p. 937.
  10. Niehorster, Dr. Leo. "East Indies Station, Royal Navy, 3.09.39". niehorster.org. L. Niehorster. Retrieved 2 October 2018.
  11. "Flag Officers in Commission". The Navy List. London, England: H.M. Stationery Office. February 1943. p. 1422.
  12. Niehorster, Leo. "World War II unit histories & officers". www.unithistories.com. L. Niehorster. Retrieved 3 July 2018.
  13. "Flag Officers in Commission". The Navy List. London, England: H. M.Stationary Office. October 1944. p. 2262.
  14. Houterman, J.N. "Royal Navy (RN) Officers 1939-1945 - S". www.unithistories.com. Houterman and Koppes. Retrieved 1 October 2018.
  15. Harley, Simon; Lovell, Tony (21 August 2018). "Aden - The Dreadnought Project". www.dreadnoughtproject.org. Harley and Lovell. Retrieved 1 October 2018.
  16. Harley, Simon; Lovell, Tony (21 August 2018). "Aden - The Dreadnought Project". www.dreadnoughtproject.org. Harley and Lovell. Retrieved 1 October 2018.
  17. HyperWar Foundation.
  18. HyperWar Foundation.