East Africa and Zanzibar

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East Africa and Zanzibar Command
HMS Sheba(1941-42)
HMS Tana(1942-45)
Ensign of the Royal Navy animated.gif
CountryFlag of Aden 1937 to 1963.png Colony of Aden (1941-1942)
Flag of Kenya 1921 to 1963.png British Kenya (1942)
AllegianceFlag United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.gif United Kingdom
BranchNaval Ensign of the United Kingdom.svg Royal Navy
H.M.Naval BaseAden, (1941-1942)
Kilindini, Mombassa, (1942)
FirstRear-Admiral Arthur Duncan Read
LastRear-Admiral Charles Gage Stuart

East Africa and Zanzibar was a naval command area of the Royal Navy established in January 1941 and was active until 2 September 1942 when it was renamed to East Africa.

The command was controlled and directed by an officer called Naval Officer-in-Charge, East Africa and Zanzibar, then later Flag Officer, East Africa and Zanzibar who was headquartered at the Royal Navy base HMS Sheba at Aden, British Yemen.


The Royal Navy was active in East African waters from as early as the 1850s. Elements of the Royal Navy from the East Indies were involved in suppressing the slave trade in the 1860s. In 1873 the Admiralty established an East Coast of Africa Station as a naval command of the Royal Navy located at Zanzibar. It was a sub-command of the East Indies Station then later Cape of Good Hope Station.

During the First World War, the Commander-in-Chief at the Cape, Admiral King-Hall, expended much effort to destroy the elusive German light cruiser Königsberg. In 1919 the East Coast of Africa Station was deactivated.

During the Second World War an East African command was reformed in January 1941 and was called East Africa and Zanzibar however this command was headquartered at the British naval base at Aden, Yemen known as HMS Sheba. It was under the control and direction of the Flag Officer, East Africa and Zanzibar until 2 September, 1942.[1]

On 3 September, 1942 the Flag Officer, East Africa and Zanzibar moved to Kilindini, Mombassa, Kenya. The former East Africa and Zanzibar command was renamed to East Africa as was his title to Flag Officer, East Africa.[2]

Naval HQ Aden

Naval Officer-in-Charge, East Africa and Zanzibar (1941-May 42)

Naval Officer-in-Charge, East Africa and Zanzibar
Rank Flag Name Term Notes/Ref
1 Commander RN Commander Rank Insignia.png A Ferguson 29 January, 1941 - 5 May 1942. [3]

Flag Officer-in-Charge, East Africa (May 1942)

Flag Officer, East Africa and Zanzibar (May-Sep 1942)


  1. Houterman, Hans; Koppes, Jeroen. "Royal Navy (RN) Officers 1939-1945 - Stuart, Charles Gage". www.unithistories.com. Netherlands: Houterman and Koppes. Retrieved 1 March 2021. Flag Officer East Africa & Zanzibar [HMS Sheba] - Flag Officer East Africa [HMS Tana]
  2. Houterman and Koppes.
  3. Admiralty, British. (February 1942) The Navy List Bi Monthly. Flag Officers in Commission. H.M.S.O. London. England. p.1110.