Grand Fleet

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Grand Fleet
Ensign of the Royal Navy animated.gif
ActiveAugust 1914
DisbandedApril 1919
CountryUnited Kingdom
AllegianceBritish Empire
BranchRoyal Navy
TypeNaval Fleet
Size160 Ships
Part ofDepartment of Admiralty
Naval BaseScapa Flow. Orkney Islands (1914-1918) Rosyth Dockyard Forth of Forth, Scotland (1918-1919)
EngagementsBattle of Jutland
FirstAdmiral Sir John Jellicoe.
LastAdmiral Sir David Beatty

The Grand Fleet was the main fleet of the Royal Navy during the First World War from August 1914 until April 1919 when it was renamed the Atlantic Fleet. The fleet retained a hierarchy of battle squadrons, cruiser squadrons, and destroyer flotillas throughout the conflict.[1]

Command of the fleet was vested in an Admiral known as the Commander-in-Chief, Grand Fleet.[2]


The Grand Fleet in the Firth of Forth, Scotland in 1919.

The Grand Fleet was assembled in August 1914 by combining the 1st Fleet with main formations of the 2nd Fleet of the Home Fleets, at the time the Grand Fleet included 25–35 state-of-the-art Capital Ships.[3] The Grand Fleet was based first at Lyness Naval Base, Scapa Flow in the Orkney Islands until 20 April 1918, it then moved to Rosyth Dockyard on the Firth of Forth, Scotland.[4] It took part in the biggest fleet action of the war – the Battle of Jutland – in June 1916. In April 1919 the Grand Fleet was it was disbanded. It's formations were then used to create the new Atlantic Fleet.[5]

Naval HQ

Commander-in-Chief, Grand Fleet

Chief of Staff to the Commander-in-Chief, Grand Fleet

Second-in-Command, Grand Fleet

Commodore, Flotillas, Grand Fleet
Captain of the Fleet, Grand Fleet

Components in this Command


Unit From To Ref
1st Battle Squadron December 1914 March 1919
2nd Battle Squadron December 1915 March 1919
3rd Battle Squadron April 1916 April 1918
4th Battle Squadron February 1915 March 1919
5th Battle Squadron October 1915 March 1919
6th Battle Squadron October 1915 December 1917
6th Battle Squadron (USN) December 1917 March 1919
Battle Cruiser Force November 1916 April 1919
Battle Cruiser Fleet February 1915 November 1916
1st Cruiser Squadron December 1914 May 1916
1st Cruiser Squadron January 1917 March 1919
2nd Cruiser Squadron May 1916 March 1919
3rd Cruiser Squadron March 1915 June 1916
6th Cruiser Squadron 1914 February 1916
7th Cruiser Squadron January 1915 May 1916
Light Cruiser Force July, 1917 April, 1919
1st Light Cruiser Squadron August 1914 November 1918
2nd Light Cruiser Squadron January 1915 November 1918
3rd Light Cruiser Squadron February 1915 November 1918
4th Light Cruiser Squadron June 1915 November 1918
6th Light Cruiser Squadron June 1917 November 1918
7th Light Cruiser Squadron March 1918 November 1918
1st Destroyer Flotilla January 1915 May 1916

Shore Establishments

Naval Anchorages


  1. Watson, Dr Graham (27 October 2015). "Royal Navy Organisation and Ship Deployment, 1914-1918; Grand Fleet". Gordon Smith. Retrieved 12 November 2019.
  2. Watson. 27 October 2015.
  3. Watson. 27 October 2015.
  4. Watson. 27 October 2015.
  5. Watson. 27 October 2015.