North Sea Fleet
|North Sea Fleet|
Ensign of the White Squadron
|Role||Trade Protection, Blockade|
|Part of||Royal Navy|
|Garrison/HQ||Yarmouth Roads, Great Yarmouth, Ramsgate|
|First||Rear-Admiral of the Blue: John Byng|
|Last||Admiral of the White: Sir William Young|
|Admiral of the White: George Elphinstone, Viscount Keith.|
The North Sea has traditionally been an important command from the 13th to 15th centuries there was an Admiral of the North based at Yarmouth he commanded the Northern Fleet. During the 16th century Vice Admirals were appointed to the command of the North Sea Squadron though on an adhoc basis. From 1652-1654 Yarmouth used by the Royal Navy for stationing its North Sea Fleet during the First Anglo-Dutch War. A more permanent formation the was then established in 1745. In May 1804 in the middle of Napoleon's planned invasion of the United Kingdom (1803-1805) at the start of the War of the Third Coalition, although never carried out, was a major influence on British naval strategy and the fortification of the coast of southeast England.
The North Sea Fleet then under the command of Admiral of the White: George Elphinstone, Viscount Keith reached its largest composition consisting of some 170-179 ships (according to sources given) divided primarily between squadrons each commanded by competent admirals including one off Boulogne, France under Rear-Admiral of the Blue Thomas Louis, one in the Downs under Vice-Admiral of the White John Holloway, one off Flushing, Batavian Republic under Rear-Admiral of the White Sidney Smith, under Rear-Admiral of the Red Edward Thornborough, one at Texel, Batavian Republic, in Scotland one at Leith under Rear-Admiral of the White James Vashon and finally another stationed at Yarmouth Roads under Rear-Admiral of the Red Thomas Macnamara Russell together with a cruising and convoy force all reporting Lord Keith.
Commander-in-Chief, North Sea
Deputy Commander-in-Chief, North Sea Fleet
Second-in-Command, North Sea Fleet
- Rear-Admiral of the Blue: Andrew Mitchell, 1795 – 1796.
- Vice-Admiral of the Red: Richard Onslow, 1796 – 1800.
- Vice-Admiral of the Red: Philip Patton, 1803 – 1804.
- Vice-Admiral of the Red: John Holloway, 1804 – 1807.
- Vice-Admiral of the White: Bartholomew Rowley, 1807 - 1808.
- Rear-Admiral of the White: Sir Richard Strachan, 1809 – 1810.
Composition of the Fleet May 1804
|North Sea Fleet|
|Formation/Units||Ships of the Line||Fourth-Rate||Frigates||Sloops||Brigs||Other Ships||Total|
|Cruising & Convoy Forces||4||8||1||7||20|
|Off Le Havre||2||3||3||8|
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