Levant Command

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Levant Command/Station
Ensign of the Royal Navy animated.gif
ActiveFebruary to December, 1943
CountryUnited Kingdom
AllegianceBritish Empire
BranchRoyal Navy
Part ofMediterranean Station (1944-1946)
Garrison/HQHMS Nile, Alexandria, Egypt, (1943-1946)

The Levant Command also known as the Levant Station was naval command of the British Royal Navy from February to December, 1943

History

Shore-based naval area commands in the Mediterranean and Middle East theatre had historically reported to the Commander-in-Chief, Mediterranean Station. In 1940, responsibility for the Red Sea area was transferred from the Commander-in-Chief, East Indies to the Mediterranean Fleet and did not revert until 1942. Following a meeting in London, the Chiefs of Staff Committee signaled on 2 February 1943 to Admiral Sir Andrew Cunningham, Commander-in-Chief, Mediterranean, that:[1]

1). The Mediterranean will be divided into two commands:(a) the area to the west line A to B to be the Mediterranean Command. (b) the area to the East of the above line to be the Levant Command which will include the Red Sea. 2). For the present the line A to B will be the line running from the Tunisian/Tripolitanian border to a position in Latitude 35 degrees North, Longitude 60 degrees East, thence to Cape Spartivento (Italy).[1]

Between 1943 and 1945 the shore commands reporting to C-in-C Levant were Tunisia (1943); North Africa, (1943-1944), Sicily (July–September 1943); Taranto September 1943- May 1945; Western Italy September 1943-October 1944; Northern Mediterranean Area October 1944, and Western Mediterranean (January 1943- January 1944 & July 1944 -1945). The dockyards at Gibraltar and Malta continued as major bases supporting the new organisation.[2] In December 1943 the command was renamed Levant and Eastern Mediterranean.[3]

In August 1946 the command was re titled the Flag Officer, Middle East, part of the tri-service British Middle East Command, until 1959.[4]

In 1958 the post of Commander-in-Chief, East Indies was abolished, and his remaining naval forces were reassigned to the joint services Middle East Command in Aden. In 1959, the naval forces of the Persian Gulf Division and Red Sea Division, previously administered by Commander-in-Chief, East Indies, were merged under the Commodore, Arabian Seas and Persian Gulf.[5] In 1962 that station was re-titled back to Middle East and it existed until 1967. From that time, following the withdraw of all British Forces in the Arabian Sea, Persian Gulf, Red Sea, the command was abolished.

In Command

Commander-in-Chief, Levant (Feb-Aug 1943)

Commander-in-Chief, Levant Station (Oct-Dec 1943)

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 (Viscount), Andrew Browne Cunningham Cunningham of Hyndhope (2006). The Cunningham Papers: Selections from the Private and Official Correspondence of Admiral of the Fleet Viscount Cunningham of Hyndhope. Farnham, England: Ashgate Publishing, Ltd. pp. 68–69. ISBN 9780754655985.
  2. Watson, Dr Graham. "Royal Navy Organization in World War 2, 1939-1945". naval-history.net. G. Smith, 19 September 2015. Retrieved 2 July 2018.
  3. Grehan, John; Mace, Martin (2014). "Introduction". The War at Sea in the Mediterranean 1940-1944. Barnsley, England: Pen and Sword. p. xi. ISBN 9781473837140.
  4. "The Western Powers and the ME". Middle East Record. The Moshe Dayan Center. 2: 90. 1961. Retrieved 2 July 2018.
  5. Roberts, John (2009). Safeguarding the Nation: The Story of the Modern Royal Navy. Barnsley, England: Seaforth Publishing. p. 18. ISBN 9781848320437.