Eastern Mediterranean Squadron

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Eastern Mediterranean Squadron
Ensign of the Royal Navy animated.gif
Active1914
Disbanded1917
CountryFlag United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.gif United Kingdom
BranchNaval Ensign of the United Kingdom.svg Royal Navy
TypeSquadron
Part ofMediterranean Fleet

The Eastern Mediterranean Squadron (EMS) [1] was a naval formation of the British Royal Navy created in 1914 and based at Mudros until 1916 when it moved its HQ to Salonika. [2] In 1917 it was renamed the British Aegean Squadron.[3]

For command purposes the Royal Navy was divided into a number of major or local stations, fleets or or other formations, each normally under an admiral or senior officer.[4]

History

Map of the Eastern Mediterranean from the book Naval Operations, Volume 2, December 1914 to Spring 1915 (Part 2 of 2) by Sir Julian S Corbett

At the beginning of the World War One, Great Britain's mishandling of relations with Turkey in part brought about that country's entry into the war on 31st October 1914. This created a threat to British naval interests in the Suez Canal and Red Sea (which were handled by the East Indies Station until August 1917.) The Turkish declaration of war opened up an opportunity for Britain and France to use their naval power to seize the Dardanelles, Bosphorus and Constantinople and so establish a maritime link with Russia. The British response was to create the Eastern Mediterranean Squadron, which became the largest British force in the Mediterranean for the rest of the war as part of the Mediterranean Fleet.[5] In August 1917 it was re designated the British Aegean Squadron for the remainder of World War One and when it was gradually disbanded from May to September 1919.[6]

Naval HQ

Vice-Admiral Commanding, Eastern Mediterranean Squadron

Chief of Staff, Eastern Mediterranean Squadron

Rear-Admiral, Second-in-Command, Eastern Mediterranean Squadron

Captain-in-Charge, Minesweepers, Eastern Mediterranean Squadron
  1. Commodore 2nd Class Algernon Walker-Heneage-Vivian, 15 June, 1915 – 5 December, 1916.[7][8]

Components under this Command

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.

Units and Formations by Date

Included:[9]

Type March 1915 June 1915 September 1915 January 1916 May 1916 January 1917
Battleships
13
8
10
12
4
5
Battle Cruisers
1
0
0
0
0
0
Cruisers
0
7
15
10
12
11
Light Cruisers
4
0
0
0
0
0
Seaplane Carriers
1
2
2
2
1
2
5th Destroyer Flotilla
16
0
31
23
31
0
Destroyers
0
21
0
0
0
29
Monitors
0
0
20
19
14
13
Sloops
0
0
4
6
7
8
Submarines
6
7
13
4
6
6
Total Ships
41
49
95
76
76
74

Naval Establishments

Bases and Sub Commands

Unit From To Ref
Alexandria 1916 1917
Mudros 1917 1917
Piraeus 1916 1917
Salonika 1916 1917

Dockyards

Unit From To Ref
Alexandria Dockyard 1914 1917

References

  1. Woodward, David R. (2009). World War I Almanac. New York, NY, USA: Infobase Publishing. p. 33. ISBN 9781438118963.
  2. Burt, R. A. (2013). British Battleships 1889-1904: New Revised Edition. Barnsley, England: Seaforth Publishing. p. 331. ISBN 9781848322745.
  3. Marder, Arthur J. (2014). From the Dreadnought to Scapa Flow: Volume V Victory and Aftermath January 1918-June 1919. Barnsley, England: Seaforth Publishing. p. 26. ISBN 9781848322035.
  4. "Records of Stations and Fleets". discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk. Kew, Surrey, England.: National Archives UK. 1702–1969. Retrieved 14 November 2019.
  5. Harley, Simon; Lovell, Tony (6 June 2020). "Eastern Mediterranean Squadron (Royal Navy) - The Dreadnought Project". www.dreadnoughtproject.org. Harley and Lovell. Retrieved 18 September 2018.
  6. Burt, R. A. (2013). British Battleships 1889-1904: New Revised Edition. Barnsley, England: Seaforth Publishing. p. 332. ISBN 9781848321731.
  7. Admiralty, British. (July 1916) The Navy List Quarterly. Flag Officers in Commission. H.M.S.O. London.England. p.22.
  8. Admiralty, British. (October 1916) The Navy List Quarterly. Flag Officers in Commission. H.M.S.O. London, England. p.9.
  9. Watson, Dr Graham (27 October 2015). "Royal Navy Organisation and Ship Deployment, First World War, 1914-1918, Mediterranean". www.naval-history.net. Gordon Smith. Retrieved 17 September 2020.