Orkneys and Shetlands Command

From Naval History Archive
Jump to navigationJump to search
Orkneys and Shetlands Command
Ensign of the Royal Navy animated.gif
Active(1914-1920), (1939-1945)
CountryUnited Kingdom
AllegianceBritish Empire
Branch Royal Navy
TypeStation
Part ofHome Fleet (1939-1945)
Garrison/HQLyness
Commanders
FirstAdmiral Sir Stanley Cecil James Colville.
LastVice-Admiral Sir Henry Harwood.

The Orkneys and Shetlands Command was a major naval command of the Royal Navy commanded by the Admiral Commanding, Orkneys and Shetlands, who was charged with the administration of the Orkneys and Shetland Islands and operating and defending the fleet base at Scapa Flow that was the main anchorage for both the Home Fleet and Grand Fleet at various times.[1] During World War Two, Orkneys and Shetlands was a subordinate command of the Home Fleet.[2]

History

Map showing the extent of the Orkneys and Shetland Command in 1942 courtesy of Gordon Smith https://www.naval-history.net/

The Orkney and Shetland command was usually only formed at the outbreak of war to provide for the defence and administration of the main base for the Home Fleet. The duties of the Admiral Commanding were laid down as being responsible, under the orders of the Commander-in-Chief, Home Fleet, for administration of naval defences, naval establishments, and shore duties generally in Orkney and Shetland.[3]

During the First World War Rear-Admiral Commanding, Scapa Flow and during the Second World War, Rear-Admiral, Scapa served under him, with a position similar to that of an Admiral Superintendent of a dockyard port. Directly under his orders were the Northern Patrol, Shetlands Patrols, the Officer Commanding Troops Orkney, the Officer Commanding Troops Shetlands, the Admiralty Port Officer Kirkwall, the Rear-Admiral commanding the local minefields and the officers responsible for the extended defences, the local defence flotilla and the Orkney Trawler Patrols. He was responsible for the patrolling of the area from Wick to Cape Wrath.[4]

During World War Two the command was reactivated on the outbreak of war on 3 September 1939 to provide for the defence and administration of the main base for the Home Fleet with Flag Officer Commanding, Orkney's and Shetlands reporting directly to the Commander-in-Chief, Home Fleet until 1945. It was also the base for the Northern Patrol.

Naval HQ

ashore at Lyness

Admiral Commanding, Orkney's and Shetlands

Vice-Admiral Commanding, Orkney's and Shetlands

Flag Officer Commanding, Orkney's and Shetlands

Naval Sub Commands

# Station In Command
1. Orkney Admiral-Superintendent, Orkney
2. Lyness Naval Base Admiral-Superintendent Lyness
3. Scapa Rear-Admiral Commanding, Scapa
4. Shetlands Rear-Admiral Commanding, Shetlands

Components

Naval Formations in this Command

# Unit Location
1. 5th Minesweeper Flotilla Scapa
2. 6th Minesweeper Flotilla ditto
3. 21st Minesweeper Flotilla ditto
3. Scapa Flow Auxiliary Patrol ditto
4. Scapa Local Defence Flotilla Scapa

Major Naval Formations receiving shore support

# Unit Dates
1. Grand Fleet 1914-1919
2. Atlantic Fleet 1919-1920
3. Home Fleet 1939-1945

References

  1. Harley, Simon; Lovell, Tony (15 September 2017). "Orkneys and Shetlands - The Dreadnought Project". dreadnoughtproject.org. Harley and Lovell. Retrieved 14 November 2019.
  2. Horan, Mark E.; Kindell, Donald; Niehorster, Dr. Leo. "Home Fleet, Royal Navy, 3.09.39". www.niehorster.org. niehorster.org. Retrieved 5 September 2020.
  3. Harley, Simon; Lovell, Tony (15 September 2017). "Orkneys and Shetlands - The Dreadnought Project".
  4. Harley, Simon; Lovell, Tony (15 September 2017). "Orkneys and Shetlands - The Dreadnought Project".