Red Sea

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Red Sea
HMS Hastings(1934-35)
HMS Egret (1939)
HMS Sheba
HMS Stag
Ensign of the Royal Navy animated.gif
Active1846–1942
CountryFlag United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.gif United Kingdom
BranchNaval Ensign of the United Kingdom.svg Royal Navy
TypeStation
Part of
HM Naval BaseAden, Colony of Aden, (1941-42)

The Red Sea was a naval command area of operations of the Royal Navy as one of the geographical divisions into which it divided its worldwide responsibilities. It operated from 1846 until 18 May 1942 when the command was renamed Red Sea and Canal Area.

History

Historically, the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden have formed a highway linking Europe, Africa, and Asia. During the nineteenth century, the waterway became one of the British Empire’s principal sea lines of communication, particularly after the opening of the Suez Canal in 1869. The Admiralty created mobile naval formations to operate in this area from as early as 1846 when the Red Sea Division was formed it was based out of Aden. During World War One the Red Sea command was unified with the Egypt command to form the Egypt and Red Sea Station until 1920.

During World War Two the Red Sea Area encompassed to the east Saudi Arabia had close ties with Britain, and at the southern end of the Red Sea, Aden was a British colony. On the west shore were Egypt and the Anglo-Egyptian Sudan, and further south French and British Somaliland. In between the Sudan and Somaliland were the linked Italian colonies of Eritrea, Ethiopia (Abyssinia) and Italian Somaliland. Bordering them to the south was British Kenya.

In Command

Map of the Red Sea Area of Operations in 1939. © Gordon Smith https://www.naval-history.net

Senior Officer in the Red Sea (1884-86)

Senior Officer in the Red Sea
Rank Flag Name Term Notes/Ref
1 Commodore 2nd Class Commodore 2nd class command flag RN from 1864.png Robert Henry More-Molyneux 1884 – 1886 [1]

Senior Officer, Red Sea Sloops (1934)

Senior Officer, Red Sea
Rank Insig Name Term Notes/Ref
1 Captain RN Captain Rank Insignia.png the Hon. Claude Preston Hermon-Hodge 31 March 1934 – July, 1934 [2]

Senior Officer, Red Sea (1934-35)

Senior Officer, Red Sea
Rank Insig Name Term Notes/Ref
1 Captain RN Captain Rank Insignia.png the Hon. Claude Preston Hermon-Hodge July, 1934 – October, 1935 [3]

Senior Naval Officer, Red Sea (1939-40)

Senior Naval Officer, Red Sea
Rank Insig Name Term Notes/Ref
1 Captain RN Captain Rank Insignia.png John Campbell Annesley 2 June 1939 – 19 January 1940 [4]
2 Captain RN Captain Rank Insignia.png H. E. Horan 19 January 1940 – 29 June 1940 [5]

Flag Officer Commanding, Red Sea (1941-42)

Flag Officer Commanding, Red Sea
Rank Flag Name Term
1 Rear-Admiral Rear Admiral command Flag RN from 1864.png Ronald Hamilton Curzon Hallifax 21 October 1941 to 15 February 1942 [6]
2 Vice-Admiral Vice Admiral command Flag RN from 1864.png Ronald Hamilton Curzon Hallifax 15 February 1942 to 17 May 1942 [6]

References

  1. The London Gazette, https://www.thegazette.co.uk/London/issue/25483/page/2867/data.pdf, thegazette.co.uk, HM Government, London, page=2867,23 June 1885, Number 25483
  2. Admiralty, British (July 1934). "Flag Officers in Commission". The Navy List. London: H.M.S.O. p. 198.
  3. Admiralty, British (October 1935). "Flag Officers in Commission". The Navy List. London: H.M.S.O. p. 198.
  4. Houterman, J.N. "Royal Navy (RN) Officers 1939-1945 - A". www.unithistories.com. Houterman and Koppes. Retrieved 2 March 2021.
  5. Kindell, Don. "Admiralty War Diaries: Loss of HMS Khartoum, June 1940". www.naval-history.net. Gordon Smith. Retrieved 2 March 2021.
  6. 6.0 6.1 The Navy List. London, England: H. M. Stationery Office. December 1942. p. 1340.