Dover Command

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Dover Command
HMS Lynx (1939-1946)
Ensign of the Royal Navy animated.gif
CountryFlag United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.gif United Kingdom
BranchNaval Ensign of the United Kingdom.svg Royal Navy
RoleArea of Responsibility
FirstVice Admiral Sir Bertram Home Ramsay
LastRear Admiral Henry Hugh Bousfield

Dover Command was a major naval command area of the Royal Navy during World War One and World War Two. Its operational commander was known as the Flag Officer Commanding, Dover.


During the Second World War, like Rosyth Command, and Orkneys and Shetlands Command, this former Great War command at Dover was re-established in 1939 to control and protect sea traffic in the Straits of Dover. It was formed by removing the Straits from Nore Command. Its function was to protect the supply lines to France. Its primary role failed disastrously during its supervision of the evacuation from Dunkirk code-named Operation Dynamo. Once the threat of a German invasion subsided in 1941, its continued existence as a separate command from Nore Command was perceived by some quarters as more to do with prestige. The command played a prominent part in the Normandy landings.

Naval HQ

Flag Officer Commanding, Dover (1939-45)

  1. Vice Admiral Sir Bertram Home Ramsay, (retd), 24 August 1939 – April 1942.
  2. Commodore, First Class Robert Lionel Brooke Cunliffe, 23 April 1942 – 1 August 1942.
  3. Vice Admiral Henry Daniel Pridham-Wippell, 1 August 1942 – June 1944.
  4. Admiral Sir Henry Daniel Pridham-Wippell, June 1944 – 10 July 1945.

Naval Officer-in-Charge, Dover (1945-46)

  1. Rear Admiral Henry Hugh Bousfield, 10 July 1945 – June 1946.


At various times it encompassed naval formations and other ships not attached to other fleets. In addition to shore establishments including, barracks, dockyards, depots, hospitals, refitting and re-supply bases, naval bases or victualling yards. Those components that were part of this station are shown below.[1] Note that components were not all permanently stationed at Dover; they were regularly re-assigned by the Admiralty. The base ship and headquarters at Dover was HMS Lynx, which paid off in 1946.

Shore establishments/sub commands included those at Dover, Dungeness, Dunkirk, Folkestone, Ramsgate, Selsey, the Dover dockyard, and HM Coastal Force Base, Folkestone

Naval Formations/Units

Formation/Unit Date/s Ref
11th Motor Torpedo Boat Flotilla
12th Motor Torpedo Boat Flotilla
14th Motor Gun Boat Flotilla
19th Destroyer Flotilla 1939–1940
19th Minelayer Flotilla
21st Minelayer Flotilla
2nd Motor Gun Boat Flotilla
2nd Motor Torpedo Boat Flotilla
3rd Submarine Flotilla 1914–1919
4th Submarine Flotilla 1914–1919
50th Minelayer Flotilla
50th Motor Launch Flotilla 1914–1919
51st Motor Torpedo Boat Flotilla
59th Motor Torpedo Boat Flotilla
5th Motor Torpedo Boat Flotilla
5th Submarine Flotilla 1914–1919
6th Destroyer Flotilla Jun. 1914–1919
6th Minesweeper Flotilla 1940–1944
9th Motor Torpedo Boat Flotilla
Dover Patrol
Downs Boarding Flotilla 1914–1919
Minesweeping Group 125
Minesweeping Group 126
Minesweeping Group 46
Minesweeping Group 61

Naval Sub Commands

Unit From To Ref
Dover 1914, 1939 1919, 1945
Dungeness 1939 1945
Dunkirk 1914, 1940 1919, 1942
Folkestone 1940 1944
Ramsgate 1915, 1939 1919, 1944
Selsey 1943 1944

Shore Establishments

Unit From To Ref
Dover Dockyard 1914, 1939 1919, 1945


  1. The Navy List. (Dec 1920). p.694.