Channel Force

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Channel Force
Ensign of the Royal Navy animated.gif
Ensign of the Royal Navy
Active3 September - 7 October 1939
AllegianceFlag United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.gif United Kingdom
BranchNaval Ensign of the United Kingdom.svg Royal Navy
Garrison/HQPortland Base, Dorset, England
In CommandRear-Admiral Commanding, Channel Force
FirstRear-Admiral Lancelot Ernest Holland
LastRear=Admiral Lancelot Ernest Holland

The Channel Force was a formation of the British Royal Navy during World War Two that was based at Portland, England from September to October 1939.


The Channel Force was a powerful squadron established at Portland Base on 3 September 1939 with ships from both Portsmouth Command and Plymouth Command.[1] Its purpose was to deal with any attempt by the Germans to operate light forces in the southern part of the North Sea, certain cruisers and destroyers were detached from the Home Fleet to be based on the Humber. It was under direct operational control by the Admiralty as part of the Portsmouth Command until 7 October 1939 when it was dispersed.[2]

In Command

Rear-Admiral Commanding, Channel Force

Rear-Admiral Commanding, Channel Force
Rank Flag Name Term
1 Rear-Admiral Rear Admiral command Flag RN from 1864.png Lancelot Ernest Holland 3 September - 7 October 1939.[3]


# Formation/Units # Ref
1 3rd Battle Squadron 2 [1][3]
2 Aircraft Carriers 2 [1][3]
3 Cruisers 3 [1][3]
4 12th Destroyer Flotilla 10 [1][3]
5 18th Destroyer Flotilla 10 [1][3]
Total ships: 27


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 Watson, Dr Graham. "Royal Navy Organisation in World War 2, 1939-1945". Gordon Smith, 19 September 2015. Retrieved 3 July 2021.
  2. Roskill, S.W. (2004). "IV". The war at sea : 1939-1945 : history of the second world war. Uckfield, Eng.: Naval and Military Press. p. 44. ISBN 1843428032.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 Niehorster, Dr. Leo. "Channel Force, Royal Navy, 3.09.39". Leo Niehorster, 1 May 2001. Retrieved 3 July 2021.