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World War 1 Era at Sea

 

ROYAL NAVY ESTIMATES 1919-1920
Summary of Naval Activities since the Armistice and Statistical Tables relating to the War


Arranged by Gordon Smith, Naval-History.Net

One of the 11,677 torpedoes manufactured in Britain during the war, on board HM Destroyer Zubian (Jon Richards, click to enlarge)  
 
 

 

Introduction

This official Government statement is not only interesting for the light it throws on the first post-World War 1 naval estimates, but for two other little known areas:

(1) The many calls on the Royal Navy in the first year after the "War to End all Wars".

(2) The sheer size and growth in size of the Royal Navy in World War 1. Also the immense amount of national treasure and  resources needed to wage a major maritime war. Of the many statistics, one stands out - "Rough estimate of Minesweeping Rope expended 8,825,500 fathoms. (52,953,000 feet or 8,715 nautical miles)".

My thanks to Don Kindell for bringing this document to my attention.

     

STATEMENT of the FIRST LORD OF THE ADMIRALTY

Explanatory of the NAVY ESTIMATES, 1919-1920

 

Contents

 

I. - STATEMENT EXPLANATORY OF THE NAVY ESTIMATES 1919-1920

 

II. - SUMMARY OF NAVAL ACTIVITIES SINCE THE ARMISTICE

 

(A) - EMPLOYMENT OF THE FLEET - North Sea, Baltic, North Russia, Black Sea, Caspian Sea, Siberia,  General Service Abroad (Adriatic, Danube, Aegean, Egypt, Red Sea, China, other Foreign Stations, H.M.S. "Renown,"), Home Waters (Assistance to Civil Power, Mine Patrols, Atlantic Flight, Exercises, Cruises, and Ceremonies), Mine Clearance, Belgian Coast Reconstruction.

 

(B) READJUSTMENT TO PEACE CONDITIONS - Fleet at Home, Foreign Stations (Mediterranean, America, Australia), Demobilisation of Personnel, Naval Pay, Naval Education, Revision of Shipbuilding Programme, Disposal of Ships and Stores, Revision of Works Programme, Admiralty Outport Establishments, Admiralty Office Personnel, Naval Staff Organisation, Scientific Research, Naval Forces of India and the Dominions (Australia, Canada)

 

APPENDIX - Losses of H.M. Ships (including, certain Auxiliary Vessels), 11th November 1918 - 11th November 1919.

 

III. - STATISTICAL TABLES RELATING TO THE PERIOD OF THE WAR

 

I. - Numbers of H.M. Ships at the Outbreak of War and at Date of the Armistice.

II. - H.M. Ships and Auxiliary Vessels completed between 4th August 1914 and 11th November 1918

III - (a) Losses of H.M. Ships from all causes between 4th August 1914 and 11th November 1918

III. - (b) Losses of Auxiliary Vessels on Admiralty Service

IV. - Statement showing Numbers borne in H.M. Fleet

V. - Statement showing the Number of Casualties in the Royal Navy (excluding R.N. Division, but including R.N. Air Service to 31st March 1918) from 4th August to 11th November 1918

V. - Statement showing the Number of Casualties in the Royal Navy Division from 4th August to 11th November 1918

VII - Medical Statistics

VIII. - Transportation by Sea

IX. - Number of Persons other than those in direct Government Services engaged in Manufacturing and Supplying Naval Equipment, Naval Ordnance, Naval Stores, &c., and engaged on Naval Construction and Repair of Merchant Vessels.

X. - Naval Ordnance, Torpedo, Mining, and Anti-Submarine Equipment, Fuel, and Stores: (i) Guns Mounted for Naval Service; (ii) Guns and Mountings issued 4th August 1914 to 31st October 1918; (iii) Torpedoes and Torpedo Equipment of Ships; (iv) Mines, Depth Charges (v) Paravanes; (vi) Minesweeping Rope; (vii) Searchlight Equipment; (viii) Naval Stores (General); (ix) Victualling Stores (Provisions, Clothing, and Mess Gear); (x) Fuel; (xi) Works, New Buildings, Defences, &c., &c.

 

 

 


 

 

I. - STATEMENT EXPLANATORY OF THE NAVY ESTIMATES 1919-1920

 

The Navy Estimates for 1919-20 as now presented to the House of Commons amount to a net sum of £157,528,800.

           

This amount exceeds the forecast of £149,200,000 shown in the White Paper presented last March by £8,328,800.

 

As was pointed out to the House of Commons at the time, the forecast made in March, although the best that could be made in the circumstances actually existing, was not in any sense a detailed estimate, the data for preparing which were not then available.

 

Since March additional items of expenditure - some of which could not be fore­seen, whilst others, such as the improvement in pay for the personnel of the Navy, were foreseen, but could not be estimated for - have matured for inclusion in these Estimates.

           

The chief of these items are as follow:

 

Additional pay and pensions for the officers of the Fleet

£2,400,000

Additional pay and pensions for the men of the Fleet

8,000,000

Increase in rates of war gratuities and extension to mercantile officers employed in the Naval Service

3,000,000

Transfer to Navy Votes of expenditure on account of hire of vessels for naval purposes and freight of fuel and stores, which during the war was borne by the Ministry of Shipping

6,500,000

Extra provision required for reconditioning or hired vessels

2,750,000

Special requirements of fuel, &c. owing to the presence of the Fleet in Russian waters and Eastern Mediterranean.

4,250,000

 

The total of the additional items of expenditure was slightly over £27,000,000.

 

On the other hand, the progress of the peace negotiations and the consequent ascertainment of many factors that were quite uncertain last March, and further, the close review which the Admiralty have since made of all services and expenditure, have made it possible to set off a reduction of £19,000,000 against the additional items referred to.

 

This reduction is accounted for to the extent of £9,000,000 by increased appropriations in aid, chiefly in respect of receipts from the A1lies for fuel supplies and the sale of stocks of coal owing to the withdrawal of coal burning ships from the Navy.

 

The resulting increase of £8,328,500 would have been less by about £3,000,000 but for the question that the proceeds of the sale of surplus naval war property dealt with by the Disposals Board should be credited to the Ministry of Munitions and not to the Admiralty.

 

In considering these Estimates, it should be remembered, in the first place, that their amount bears little relation to the requirements of the Navy for the current year. A large proportion of the sum required is to pay for work done and services rendered prior to the Armistice, for work put in hand before the Armistice and so far carried out that it was not economical for it to be cancelled, for war gratuities on demobilisation, for the pay and victualling of surplus personnel, and for other purely dead-weight war expenditure. No comparison can therefore profitably be made between the total figure and that of the pre-war Estimates. Moreover, even if it were possible to disentangle the "normal" or "peace" expenditure, any such comparison would still be entirely fallacious until due allowance has been made for the fact that all material and services cost roughly twice what they did before the war.

 

In the second place, it should be borne in mind that the conclusion or the Armistice, so for from finding the war effort of the nation on the decline, found us at the height of our endeavour to win the war, and with every kind of production and activity to that end at its maximum. That this was so in the case of the Naval effort will be seen from the following figures giving the actual expenditure during the (complete) war years:

 

Year £
1915-16 205,733,597 net
1916-17 209,877,218 net
1917-18 227,388,891 net
1918-19 325,000,000 (estimated).

 

Even these enormous figures, however, do not indicate fully the steep curve at the height of which we stood in November 1918. The weekly rate of expenditure on the Navy at the time of the Armistice was actually about £6,750,000, or at the rate of more than £350,000,000, a year.

 

I append a summary of naval activities since the Armistice, and a1so some statistical tables illustrating the size of the naval forces employed during the war and the provision which had to be made for their upkeep.

 

WALTER H. LONG

Admiralty,

            1st December 1919

 

 


 

 

II. - SUMMARY OF NAVAL ACTIVITIES SINCE THE ARMISTICE

 

 

(A) - EMPLOYMENT OF THE FLEET.

 

The conclusion of the Armistice, while freeing the Navy from its main task of opposing the German Fleet, left several subsidiary campaigns uncompleted, besides opening new theatres of operations in the Baltic and Black Seas.

 

NORTH SEA.

 

The services of the Navy were called upon in assisting to enforce the actual terms of the Armistice. Immediately upon its conclusion, the Grand Fleet was engaged in taking over the German ships for internment, and escorting them to Scapa Flow, whilst the Harwich Force took over the surrendered German Submarines. A portion of the main Fleet was constantly employed in watching the ships interned at Scapa Flow up to the 21st June, when the German ships were scuttled by their own crews.

 

On the 3rd December 1918, H.M.S. "Hercules" accompanied by a light cruise and four destroyers, proceeded to German waters with the Allied Naval Armistice Commission. These ships returned on the 20th December, and since that date one, and on occasions two, light cruisers have been visiting German ports on duties connected with the Armistice terms. Four destroyers have been allocated to convey provisions, despatches, &c., to these ships. H.M. Ships have also assisted various commissions in the enforcement of agreements as to the surrender of materiel and German merchant shipping. The number or German merchant ships surrendered up to 22nd November was 346.

 

BALTIC.

 

When, on the conclusion of the Armistice, the entrance to the Baltic Sea was again opened to surface ships, a naval force proceeded to the Baltic with the primary object of ensuring the supply of arms and munitions to Esthonia and Latvia. This force originally consisted of five light cruisers, nine destroyers and two auxiliary ships. The Admiral in Command was instructed that the policy of H.M. Government was to prevent the destruction of the Esthonian and Latvian provinces by external agency. He was, therefore, to employ his forces as necessary to prevent aggression by Bolshevik forces against those territories.

 

The British force operated in the Gulfs of Finland and Riga, and off the Coast or Latvia until early in January 1919, when ice conditions forced a withdrawal to Copenhagen. Several refugees were brought away from Libau and Riga.

           

During this time the Bolshevik advance in Courland had progressed and on the withdrawal of the British ships Riga fell into the hands of the Red Army.

 

In January the naval force was reduced, hut periodical visits to Libau were arranged.

 

Early in April ice conditions once more permitted navigation of the Gulf of Finland, and the menace to the Baltic States from Bolshevik ships again necessitated the presence of British ships at Reval. This fact and the further complication introduced by the attitude of the Germans in failing to evacuate their troops rendered essential a gradual increase in the strength of the British naval forces.

 

The duties falling on H.M. ships, in pursuance of the policy of aiding the national Governments of the Baltic States, have consisted principally in their presence at threatened ports, ,especially where the representatives on shore of the Allied Governments have required support, and also in the control of shipping and supplies in the Baltic.

 

Active hostilities were opened on 31st May, 1919, when a Bolshevik battleship and four small vessels, accompanied by bombing aircraft, came put from Kronstadt. Fire was opened first by the Bolshevik vesse1s on our ships and this fire was returned. The discrepancy in strength of the two forces, the Bolshevik fleet counting battleships among its units, necessitated the war being carried into the enemy's camp to ensure the safety of our ships against surprise attack by superior forces.  

 

On the 17th June a Bolshevik cruiser was sunk by a single coastal motor boat in the Gulf of Finland. An equally daring and gallant attack was carried out by a small flotilla of coastal motor boats on Kronstadt Inner Harbour on the 18th August. The flotilla made its way through the chain at forts to the harbour and torpedoed several vessels lying at anchor. The attack was carried out in co-operation with units of the Royal Air Force, whose assistance was of the greatest value.

 

Allied ships have from time to time been associated with the British forces.

 

The political and military situation in the Baltic has remained confused throughout the autumn. An attempt to capture Petrograd by the North-West Russian Army under General Yudenitch, assisted by Esthonian forces, gave Promise of success, but was followed by failure and retreat. The withdrawal of H.M. Ships from the Eastern Baltic was subsequently ordered so as to coincide with the formation of ice,

 

NORTH RUSSIA.

 

At the time of the Armistice, the following British warships were in North Russian waters:

 

At Archangel, two monitors, four gunboats, and icebreaking vessels;

At Murmansk, battleship "Glory";

At Pechanga, Russian cruiser "Askold" (manned by a British crew); with 20 small craft, which were distributed as their services were required.

           

"Askold" was withdrawn in March 1919 and paid off. 250 Royal Marines, who had been operating under the military on shore, returned to the United Kingdom in June l919.

 

Early in 1919 it was decided to reinforce the Naval Expedition at Archangel in order that operations might be undertaken on the River Dwina as soon as the ice conditions permitted.

 

The ships allocated for this purpose were: One light cruiser, six monitors, two gunboats, four minesweepers, a sloop, an aircraft carrier, a repair ship, and a large number of auxiliaries and small craft.

 

These vessels assembled at Murmansk at the beginning of May, and proceeded to Archangel when the ice conditions allowed, the White Sea being open to navigation by the 5th June.

 

The River Dwina, however, was clear of ice early in May, and this allowed the river craft, which had been iced in at Archangel during the winter, to commence operations before the White Sea was open. By the 15th May two gunboats were engaged on the River Vaga, while two monitors and two gunboats were co-operating with the military forces at Kurgomen on the River Dwina.

 

By the middle of June the reinforcements from Great Britain had arrived at Archangel, and the Archangel River Expeditionary force supported the military forces in their operations on the Dwina during the summer.

 

On the 21st July news was received of a mutiny among the Russian troops co-operating with the British at Onega as the result of which a force of about 850 Royal Marines was despatched from the United Kingdom to Murmansk to act under the military authorities, the monitor "Erebus" armed with 15-inch guns, being sent to the White Sea at the same time.

 

In consequence of the turn which events took, it was decided that the plans, already made for the evacuation of North Russia before the winter set in should be proceeded with at once, as soon as the necessary transport could be sent out. To facilitate the evacuation, a heavy blow was to be delivered against the Bolsheviks, thus enabling the North Russians to occupy our positions as we withdrew.

 

An advance up the river ended with the capture of Chidinova and Borok, in which the River Force participated, being in action during the second week in August against the Bolshevik Flotilla. On the withdrawal of the expedition the river was heavily mined, this measure effectively impeding the movements of enemy craft.

 

Throughout all the river operations valuable assistance was rendered by seaplanes of the R.A.F. in reporting the dispositions of the enemy and in spotting for our gunfire and bombing the enemy's positions.

 

The evacuation of the British and Allied forces from Archangel was completed without hitch by the 27th September. All the naval forces were withdrawn except two monitors. These could not be brought down stream owing to the shallowness of the water and were demolished in the river after they had been dismantled and all material of value removed.

 

With the exception or a few transport craft, and two minesweepers which were wrecked during minesweeping operations, these were the only ships lost by the expedition.          

 

The war vessels and other craft evacuated from Archangel proceeded to Murmansk to assemble there for final departure to the United Kingdom. The evacuation of Murmansk was completed by the 12th October.

 

BLACK SEA.

 

Since the arrival of the Allied Fleets at Constantinople after the cessation, of hostilities, British naval forces have been engaged in enforcing the terms of the Armistice with Turkey and in assisting General Denikin and his Volunteer Army in operations against the Bolsheviks.

 

When the Bolsheviks had occupied Sebastopol and had driven the Volunteer troops from the greater part of the Crimea, the support of the British ships held up the attempted Bolshevik advance into the Kertch peninsula and eventually enabled the Volunteer Army to recapture the whole of the Crimea. Similarly in the Sea of Azov and elsewhere the Volunteer Army was supported by the gunfire of our ships.

 

When the Volunteer Army had retaken Nicolaief from the enemy they were supported by our ships in the landing operations that led up to the recapture of Odessa. In fact, the co-operation of the British Navy rendered possible the expulsion of the Bolsheviks from the whole or the northern coast of the Black Sea.

 

CASPIAN SEA.

 

Before the Armistice the importance of the control of the Caspian for the defence of our Indian interests had been realised, and ships had been taken over and manned by British naval personnel. After the Armistice this policy was actively developed. The use of the Sea was denied to the Bolsheviks; Baku was occupied and its oil supply was made available for the Russian Volunteer forces; and the right flank of the British forces in the Caucasus was protected.

 

Our ships operated in the Northern Caspian during General Denikin's advance towards Astrakhan. Several actions were fought with the Bolsheviks, culminating in a very gallant attack on the 21stMay 1912, on the Bolshevik Fleet at Fort Alexan­drovsk, where they had established a base. Several of the enemy ships were sunk, and the remainder fled to Astrakhan. After this action the Bolsheviks never again showed fight on the Caspian Sea and their demoralisation greatly assisted General Denikin in holding Tsaritsyn, a place of capital strategic importance. The ships have now been handed over to the Russian Volunteer forces, and the British personnel withdrawn.

 

An incidental but important feature of the presence of the British Navy in both the Caspian and Black Seas has been the re-opening for trade of districts that had been closed to British enterprise for five years past.

 

SIBERIA.

 

A British man-of-war has been maintained at Vladivostok, and has worked in co-operation with the British Military Mission supporting Admiral Koltchak. Naval guns were mounted on an armoured train which, was used with conspicuous success on the Ufa front. These guns were afterwards mounted in barges and steamers on the River Kama) being finally turned over to the Russians, and the British naval personnel being withdrawn.

 

GENERAL SERVICE ABROAD.

 

Besides the active operations that had to be undertaken in Russian waters, the Navy has played a prominent part in assisting to maintain peace and order throughout the world during the unrestful period of resettlement that has followed the Armistice.

 

Adriatic. In the Adriatic, British light cruisers and destroyers co-operated with Allied forces in controlling the situation at Austrian ports and on the Dalmatian coast.

 

Danube. Gunboats and motor launches have been employed on the Danube in enforcing the terms of the Armistices.

 

Aegean. In the Aegean Sea the Navy, besides maintaining communications from Malta to our forces in the Black Sea, took part in the operations during which Allied forces were landed at Smyrna.

 

Egypt. During the disturbances in Egypt the Navy kept open communications by wireless and assisted generally in controlling the situation.

           

Red Sea. In the Red Sea the Navy co-operated with the Military in operations at Hodeida and on the Somaliland coast. British ships were also employed until the end of August in controlling the dhow traffic in the Red Sea.

 

China. The river patrols on the Yangtze and West River have been re-established, and the British Commander-in-Chief has carried out a cruise on the former river, the British flag being shown again at many ports where it has not been seen since before the war, and at ports on the West River tributaries where the White Ensign has never previously been seen. 

 

Other Foreign Stations. At the present time the principal ports of all stations are being visited for the purpose of showing the flag where it has not been seen since before the war, and, where necessary, preserving order and protecting British subjects.

 

H.M.S. "Renown." H.M.S. "Renown" left Portsmouth on the 5th August to convey Captain H.R.H. the Prince of Wales to Canada and was met at St. John's by two light cruisers, which subsequently returned to England. After visiting the West Indies and Rio de Janeiro - the latter place in order to return a visit paid by a Brazilian Squadron to England - "Renown" returned to New York where she embarked H.R.H. and sailed for Halifax and England on 22nd November, escorted by a light cruiser.

 

HOME WATERS.

 

Assistance to Civil Power. The situation in Ireland has necessitated the fairly continuous employment in Irish waters of six destroyers, three sloops, and l6 motor launches. These numbers have been increased temporarily from time to time.

 

During the period of industrial unrest that has fo1lowed the Armistice in Great Britain, the Navy has been called upon to help the Government in maintaining essential public services.

 

1,500 officers and men were engaged on pumping duty in the West Yorkshire coalfield during the coal strike of July and August.

           

In August, H.M.S. "Valiant" and two destroyers were stationed at Liverpool in case they were required during the police strike.

           

During the railway strike in September and October, ships were used for carrying food round the coast, especially for the carriage of yeast, and for conveying military forces; others were held in readiness for diverting seaborne traffic and maintaining wireless communications. Personnel was landed for the protection of certain vulnerable positions and the working of various dockgates and power stations round the coast.

 

Mine Patrols. Destroyers have been employed to cope with the drifting mine danger at various points, mainly on the East Coast.

 

Atlantic Flight. Two battle-cruisers were stationed in the Atlantic to assist in the flight of the rigid airship H. 34 to and from the United States.

 

Exercises, Cruises, and Ceremonies. In view of the many calls on the Fleet for other purposed, little opportunity has occurred for fleet exercises or cruises.

 

Squadrons of the Atlantic Fleet paid a visit to French Ports in April, and officers and men of the Squadrons were entertained in Paris by the French Government, together with Admiral of the Fleet Sir David Beatty, who had hauled down his flag a few days earlier.

 

Representative detachments from the Fleet took part in the Victory marches both in Paris (14th July) and London (19th July). A portion of the Atlantic Fleet paid a visit to the Thames during this week, and visits to it were arranged for Members of the Houses or Parliament.

 

The summer cruise of the Atlantic Fleet commenced on the 2nd September, visits being paid by units of the Fleet to various seaports round the British coast. Exercises were subsequent1y carried out.

 

MINE CLEARANCE.

 

One of the largest tasks that confronted the Allied Navies after the cessation of hostilities was that of clearing the seas of mines, which had been used in this war on a quite unprecedented scale.

 

The waters to he swept were distributed among the Allies according to their resources, those allotted to the British comprising the coasts of the British Isles, the North Sea, as far east as Long. 4˚ E., and various areas in the Mediterranean and abroad.

 

Some idea of the task involved may be gathered from the fact that during the war no less than 1,360 minefields or groups of mines were laid by the Germans in proximity to our coast, totalling some 11,000 mines, about 90 per cent. of which were laid by submarines; in waters abroad to be cleared by the British about 60 fields or groups, totalling some 1,200 mines, about 60 per cent of which were laid by, submarines, while British mines, which had also to be swept up, numbered about 65,000 in home waters and 8,000 in the Mediterranean.

 

The arrangements for the organisation of the Mine Clearance Service had been worked out in detail before the Armistice, and were brought into force on the 1st December 1918. Home waters were divided into areas and placed under mine clearance officers, who received operational orders direct from the Admiralty; mine clearance officers were also appointed to act under the Commanders-in-Chief abroad. Other bases were established at Lervikstord in Norway and at Zeebrugge and Ymuiden.

 

The number of mines known to have been laid during the war being no criterion of the number remaining to be swept up, it was decided to cover all localities in which mines were laid twice, and where necessary, three times; and forces were allocated to the various mine clearance officers with a view to this work being accomplished by the end of November 1919. When operations were fairly started about 1,000 vessels were employed in all areas. By the 1st April 1919 these had been reduced to 421, by 1st July to 285, and by 17th October to under 100.

 

The ships employed were at first manned by the officers and men who had been engaged on minesweeping and patrol duties during the war. In order to enable these men to take their proper turn for demobilisation if they so desired, this arrangement was speedily replaced by one under which volunteers for this special duty were invited to sign on for a period of three months, receiving extra pay for the risks involved.

 

This was a temporary expedient only until a distinct mine clearance force could be formed, on a definite engagement to serve until the 30th November 1919. On the inauguration of this force on the 1st April 1919, volunteers came forward in large numbers, and the force was quickly brought up to its authorised strength of about 600 officers and 15,000 men.    

 

In spite of the re-arrangements and complications involved by these changes in the manning system, the difficulties have been so successfully overcome by the officers concerned in the organisation and operation of the force, that the work of mine clearance has been accomplished we11 within the scheduled time. The discipline of the force was good and its spirit excellent.           

 

It was laid down as the primary princip1e in the clearance operations that all possible precautions were to be taken to obviate loss of life. Risks had frequently to be taken; in the northern barrage, for example, mines had been laid only 6 feet below the surface at low water, while the slight tidal range was nullified, as a rule, by motion caused by the sea. Here a special form of sweep was devised which to a large extent protected the vessels engaged; and generally risks were reduced to a minimum by working tidal restrictions and uti1ising the co-operation of aircraft as much as possible. So well were precautions observed that the total loss of life during the operations has amounted only to the very low figure of 0.6 per cent.

 

Mine clearance operations in the areas allotted to Great Britain are now complete, and these areas are open to navigation and are, it can be confidently asserted, free of moored mines. Until the minefields, for which Great Britain is not responsible are cleared, drifting mines will continue to be present for some time, and will constitute a small but unavoidable danger to navigation.

 

In addition to mine clearance operations proper, large areas have been bottom swept with particular regard to fishing grounds.

 

This form of sweeping is still in progress, and will be continued after 30th November by the Post-War Minesweeping Flotilla (manned by permanent naval ratings) as opportunity occurs.

 

BELGIAN COAST RECONSTRUCTION.

 

Under the direction of the Admiralty various works of salvage and reconstruction have been carried out on the Belgian coast at the cost of the Belgian Government.

 

The work included the dredging of the port of Ostend, the repair of the large maritime dock and the reconstruction of the lock gates; the erection of a semi-­permanent fixed bridge over the Nouvel Avant-Port in place of the swing bridge destroyed by the Germans, the provision of 15 travelling cranes of portal type, the reconstruction of the railway system in the docks, and other works. At Zeebrugge the damaged swing bridges over the entrance lock to the Zeebrugge-Bruges Canal have been rebuilt, the caissons closing the lock entrance and other portions of the lock repaired, the gap in the viaduct leading to the Mole restored, and 10 travelling cranes of portal type have been erected on the Mole. All this work has now been completed.

 

Dredging operations commenced at Ostend at the end of January and continued night and day. At the same time salvage work was carried on upon the remains of H.M.S. "Vindictive" and of small craft which had been sunk in the harbour by the Germans. By the 15th June salvage and dredging had been carried so far that cross­-channel services into Ostend could be resumed without involving delays due to tides.

 

At Zeebrugge the s.s. "Brussels" which bad been sunk off the end of the Mole, and various smaller craft, were lifted and the cranes, railway wagons and other gear that the Germans had thrown into the harbour, salved.

 

 

(B) READJUSTMENT TO PEACE CONDITIONS.

 

The many duties that devolved upon the Fleet during the clearing-up period militated against rapid demobilisation or an early return to peace strength.

 

FLEET AT HOME.

 

Between the 1lth November 1918 and the signing of the peace treaty in June, it was necessary to keep the F1eet in Home waters at a very full strength, both on account of operational necessities, especially in the Baltic (the ships for which are provided from the Home organisation), and because active measures might have been necessary to induce the Germans to sign the peace treaty.

 

Early in December 1918, however, orders were given for a considerable number of ships in Home Waters to proceed to their Home ports and grant their crews the 28 days demobilisation leave that had been specially approved. These ships were those required to prepare for Foreign Service, or to reduce to "Home Fleet" status or Reserve, so that by the end of March many squadrons that had been in existence at­ the time of the Armistice had already disappeared.

­

A further reorganisation was made when Admiral of the Fleet Sir David Beatty, hauled down his flag on the 7th April. On that date the Grand Fleet ceased to exist and the new Atlantic Fleet came into being. It was at first intended that a Home Fleet should be formed of ships manned by nucleus crews; but considerations of economy necessitated an additional reduction, and the ships designated for the Home Fleet are now to be laid up "in reserve".

 

When this reduction has been effected, the position of the fully-commissioned fleet at home, as compared with the Grand Fleet at the time of the Armistice, will be as follows:

 

Units

Reduced from

to

Battle Squadrons

4

2

Battle Cruiser Squadrons

2

1

Cruiser Squadrons

2

0

Flying Squadron

1

1 ship

Light Cruiser Squadrons

7

2

Destroyer Flotillas

6

4

Submarine Flotillas

6

3 of much smaller size

Fleetsweeping Flotillas

3

0

Minelayers

1 squadron and 1 flotilla

1 ship

 

Apart from the main fleets, the auxiliary patrol organisation comprised at the time of the Armistice 27 separate areas or commands with bases round the coast. The Auxiliary Patrol was broken up after the Armistice, and the 27 commands have by now been reduced to the five Commander-in-Chiefs' commands at Chatham, Devonport, Portsmouth, Rosyth, and Queenstown. A few other bases have been retained temporarily to cope with the work of demobilisation and reconditioning, both which duties will shortly cease.

 

Large destroyer and submarine forces, additional to those already enumerated, were attached to 12 of these local commands. These have been laid up, with the exception of four small defence flotillas based respectively on Chatham, Portsmouth, Devonport and the Firth of Forth, and of the Irish force mentioned on p.8. Three semi-independent submarine-hunting forces which had been constituted prior to the Armistice, have been similarly disbanded.

 

The majority of the ships withdrawn from the various Home commands have been placed in the Reserve or on the list of ships for disposal. A certain number have been attached to the Gunnery, Torpedo, Wireless, and Navigation Schools for training and experimental purposes; the number of these is greater than before the war, in accordance with the policy that special attention must be paid to training and experimental work. With the same object, peace establishment's for training in submarine and anti-submarine work are being maintained at Portsmouth and Portland. Vessels are being detailed for surveying and fishery protection duties.

 

FOREIGN STATIONS

 

The large forces of armed merchant cruisers, ocean escorts, and smaller vessels which were employed on convoy duty against submarines and raiders have been demobilised.   

 

Mediterranean. The Mediterranean Station at the end of the war was under a Commander-in-­Chief, with five sub-divisions, each under a Rear-Admiral or Commodore, viz.: ­Gibraltar, Malta, the Adriatic, the Aegean, and Egypt. This territorial arrangement is being superseded by the peace organisation, which comprises a Commander-in-Chief, one Rear-Admiral in the Battle Squadron, one Rear-Admiral commanding the Light Cruiser Squadron; and Officers-in-Charge of the bases at Malta and Gibraltar. Officers are being retained temporarily in command of the Egyptian and Aegean divisions to complete the process of demobilisation, and to be available in any political emergency that may arise from the disturbed conditions of these areas.

 

The battleships, light cruisers, and torpedo craft which were employed in the Mediterranean at the time of the Armistice have all returned and the process of replacing them by more modern vessels is nearly complete. A large proportion of the auxiliaries on the station have been returned to their owners, and the remainder are being brought home as rapidly as the progress of demobilisation and the political situation allows. The assistance rendered by naval craft to the Army and Air Force in their arrangements for demobilisation and evacuation of bases has affected the rate of withdrawal.

 

America. The commands of the coast of America consisted at the Armistice of three stations, North America and West Indies, East Coast of South American and Pacific Coast of America. These have been replaced by two commands under the Commander-in-Chief, North America and West Indies and the Commander-in-Chief, South America respectively. The old ships on these and on the Africa, China, and East Indies Stations have been withdrawn, and the more modern ships which are replace them are being sent out as crews become available.

 

Australia. The Australian Station has reverted to the control of the Commonwealth Government.     

 

DEMOBILISATION OF PERSONNEL.

 

The strength of the Navy at the date of the Armistice (including the Mercantile Marine Reserve, but excluding the Royal Naval Division) was 415,162. Of these, 36,243 were officers and 378,919 men. About 24,000 officers and 235,500 men were serving on engagements expiring at the conclusion of the War.

 

The following figures show the progress of demobilisation up to the middle of November

 

Number Demobilised (including M.M.R. and excluding R.N.D.)

Mid-Month

Officers

Men

January

February

March

April

May

June

July

August

September

October

November

1,800

4,000

6,000

8,200

11,500

13,600

16,100

17,400

18,600

19,700

20,900

25,000

92,000

140,000

168,000

189,000

202,000

213,000

220,000

226,000

229,000

232,000

 

The demobilisation of officers and men serving in Home waters was carried out under a standardised procedure from all ships and establishments concurrently, thus avoiding the use of dispersal centres.

 

Owing to the number of ships that had still to be kept in commission, demobilisa­tion had at first to be kept carefully in hand; but in spite of this it was found possible to release over 7,000 officers and 154,000 men by the end of March.

 

The repatriation of the Colonial Naval Reserves, amounting to over 2,000, and of about the same number of men who had come from abroad to join the Imperial Naval Forces, was effected at a comparatively early stage.

 

The strength of the Women's Royal Naval Service was at the time of the Armistice 4,821 of all ranks. This force has now been demobilised.

 

Apart from the demobilisation of officers and men due for discharge, it is intended to reduce the permanent personnel of the Navy by the end of December to somewhat below the total voted for 1914-15. Men who apply for their discharge will therefore be permitted to take it, provided that they belong to branches in which a surplus exists, and that the total numbers so discharged do not exceed a certain figure; and a higher standard of character and ability than was possible during the war will be insisted upon in future. both for first entry and for re-engagement. The extent of subsequent reductions will depend upon the strength at which the Fleet is to be maintained in future years, a question which is being considered in connection with the provision required for 1920-21.

 

NAVAL PAY.

 

One of the most urgent needs at the time of the Armistice was the preparation of revised scales of pay for the officers and men of the Fleet. The existing rates had been increased but slightly during the previous 60 and had quite lost touch with the prevailing value of money and the salaries and wages obtainable in civil life.

 

Committees were appointed to suggest new scales in detail, and pending their reports ad interim increases were brought into force as from the 1st February 1919.

 

The revised rates were finally approved by the Government in Ma 1919, and besides effecting a considerable simplification in the scales in force at the time of the Armistice, provided a substantial increase over those scales. This increase, though varying between the different ranks and ratings, averaged about 100 per cent.

 

At the same time the scale of allowances for officers and men, of half and retired pay for officers, and of long service pensions for men, were brought under review, and improvements in them were effected.

 

NAVAL EDUCATION.

 

During the war it was not possible to give officers and men normal courses of instruction, with the result that on the conclusion of the Armistice there were considerable arrears to be made up.       

 

All the Naval Educational Establishments, many of which had been closed during the war, were re-opened as soon as possible, and every effort has been made to resume fully the teaching of professional subjects. In addition a series of educational courses, each lasting six months has been instituted at Cambridge for junior Officers who had been unable owing to the war to complete their full training in the cadet colleges. The first of these courses was begun in January last.

 

The R.N. College, Keyham, which during the war was used for the training of special entry cadets, is now being used, as was previously intended for the training of Engineer Officers.

 

Reference is made below, under the heading "Naval Staff Organisation," to the institution of a Naval Staff College at Greenwich.

 

REVISION OF SHIPBUILDING PROGRAMME.

 

Of the vessels under construction at the time of the Armistice, those were completed whose construction had proceeded so far that cancellation would have been uneconomical having regard to the possibility of their useful employment upon naval and other work. The following table shows the numbers involved and their disposal according to their various classes:

 

Type

Ordered and Under Construction 11.11.18

Since Cancelled

Completed 31.10.19

To be completed

Battle Cruisers

4

3

-

1

Light Cruisers

21

4

8

9

Flotilla Leaders

11

4

4

3

Destroyers

97

40

41

16

Patrol Boats

1

-

1

-

Submarines

73

33

20

20

Aircraft Carriers

 

 

 

 

Minelayers

2

2

-

-

Twin Screw Mine Sweepers

99

36

57 (a)

6

Paddle Mine Sweepers

5

5

-

-

Patrol Gunboats

56

31

24

1

Trawlers

259

215 (b)

44

-

Drifters

206

173 (c)

31

2

Boom Defence Vessels

29

1

26

2

Tugs

99

43 (d)

47

9

Seaplane Towing Lighters

23

29

4

-

"24" Class

11

2

8

1

Mooring Vessels (excluding Motor Boats)

7

-

4

3

Total

1,005

611

319

75

(a)         Including 133 building cancelled for the Navy completing for private use

(b)         Including 109 (ditto)

(c)         Including 25 (ditto)

(d)         Including 6 completed as Surveying Vessels

DISPOSAL OF SHIPS AND STORES.

 

The following statement gives the number of ships sold by the Admiralty since the Armistice up to the 24th November 1919, including obsolete warships sold for breaking up:

           

Battleship

Cruisers

Destroyers

Torpedo Boats

Gunboats

Submarines

Sloops

Whalers

Yachts

Motor Boats

Motor Launches

Tugs

Trawlers

Drifters

Miscellaneous

German submarines (sold on Allies account)

2

2

42

22

7

11

2

5

8

3

67

3

167

39

11

56

 

In addition, considerable quantities of material as part of liquidations of contracts have been dealt with.        

 

Numbers of small craft and large arisings from dockyards, ships, and local depots all over the country have been sold by arrangement with the Disposals Board, to whom the proceeds or sale will accrue.

 

REVISION OF WORKS PROGRAMME.

 

The programme of the construction of works on shore has been revised on the same basis as the ship building programme.  

 

Twenty-nine works, estimated to cost £198,595l., which had been approved, but had not been commenced at the date of the Armistice, were cancelled.

           

Fifty-four works, estimated to cost £2,444,401 which were in progress, have been stopped, an average of 45 per cent. on each work having been completed.     

 

Eleven works, estimated to cost £889,535, are being completed on revised lines at an average reduction of 35 per cent. on the scale of the original proposals.

 

ADMIRALTY OUTPORT ESTABLISHMENTS.

 

The reduction of the material and personnel of the Navy has a1ready begun to have its effect upon the amount of work thrown upon the corresponding Civil Establishments, and a considerable decrease in the staff has been effected.

 

Home. The following is a comparison of the numbers employed on the 11th November 1918 and 1st November 1919:­

           

 

(a) Office Staff:

11th Nov. 1918

1st Nov. 1919

Men

6,615

6,031

Women

3,205

1,692

 

______

______

Totals

9,820

7,723

 

 

 

(b) Industrial Staff

105,024

85,832

 

The Victualling Depot at Grangemouth and the Naval Gun Factory at Westhoughton have been closed; the Naval Yard at Invergordon, the Torpedo Depot at Harwich, the Mining Depots at Immingham and Lyness, and the Naval Ammunition Factory at Alexandria, are in process of closing. Commercial premises at Grangemouth which had been requisitioned for the purposes of a mining depot have been surrendered.

 

As regards the Dockyards, the volume of refitting and reconditioning work to be performed required for a time the retention of almost the full numbers employed during the war. The Admiralty have also adopted the policy of diverting to the Dockyards the work of completing ships under construction in private yards which still require a considerable amount of work but are too far finished to be cancelled, thus facilitating the output of merchant shipbuilding in the private yards

 

The point, however, was reached in the autumn when the diminished amount of naval work falling upon the Dockyards made it necessary to begin to reduce the numbers of workpeople employed to something approaching pre-war numbers. A scheme of gradual reduction was therefore arranged for, under which discharges at the average rate of 800 workpeople would for the present be made weekly from the

Home Dockyards as a whole. It was believed that this gradual rate of reduction would enable the bulk of the men affected to find employment in the merchant shipbuilding centres where the supply of labour is stated to be inadequate. During November it appeared that this expectation was not being fully realised, and the whole question is now receiving the most careful consideration with the object of alleviating the situation as much as possible.         

 

A committee has been set up under the presidency of Lord Colwyn, and including representatives of the Government, the workpeople and the localities concerned, to investigate the possibility of uti1ising for commercial purposes such part of the building and repairing facilities at the Yards as are not required for naval work in the immediate future, and it is hoped that the advice received from this committee will be of considerable assistance to the Admiralty.

 

Foreign. At the time of the Armistice some 19,400 were employed in these Establishments and a reduction of between 3,500 and 4,000 had peen effected by the end of October 1919, while discharges are still proceeding.       

 

ADMIRALTY OFFICE PERSONNEL.

 

The reduction in the Admiralty staff made between the 11th November 1918 and the 1st November 1919 was as follows

 

Staff

11th Nov. 1918.

1st Nov. 1919.

Men

6,065

5,554

Women

4,572

2,907

 

_____

_____

Totals

10,637

8,461

 

The process of reduction will continue steadily, but it must be borne in mind that for the time being the work of the Department has been considerably augmented in various direction's as a result of demobilisation. The following are instances of the additional work devolving upon the staff:

 

Issue of war gratuities to naval officers and men to the amount of £11,500,000.

Revision of rates of pay of all officers and men and payment of arrears consequent on the ante-dating of the new schemes.

Preparation of rolls for issue of prize money.

Preparation of rolls for award of war medals and clasps.

 

The staff required for these temporary purposes to some extent neutralises the large reductions made in other directions.

 

NAVAL STAFF ORGANISATION

 

At the outbreak of the war, both the development of the Naval Staff organisation and the provision of more adequate means of training officers for Naval Staff work were receiving close attention.

 

The experience of the war has not only provided confirmation, if any were needed, of the great importance of these two subjects, but has also made it easier to decide what are the best lines to follow in dealing with them.

 

As regards the Naval Staff organisation, it is intended that this shall comprise eight directorates, viz., Plans, Operations, Local Defence, Communications, Intelligence, Trade, Gunnery and Torpedo, and Training and Staff Duties.

 

At the Armistice the number of Officers in the Naval Staff was 336. This had been reduced by October 1919 to 170, and it is estimated that a reduction to 120 can be effected by the end of the year. It is possib1e that the complement may be still further reduced when some of the pressing problems arising out of the war have been dealt with, but an adequate and well-organised Naval Staff must consist of considerably larger number's than were included in the embryonic War Staff that existed before the war.

 

Two year's before the war a course of training for War Staff officers had been instituted at the War College; but on the 4th June 1919 a separate Naval Staff College was opened at Greenwich. The course lasts for 12 months, and there are, at present taking it, 16 Naval, two Military, and two Air Force Officers. So far as can be judged at the present stage it promises to prove of great benefit, not only to the Navy directly, but also in furtherance of the co-operation between the Services.

 

On the first inception of a Staff College the course must be tentative, and it may take a few years before it assumes a definite form; much must depend upon the practical results of the course, as shown by the subsequent staff work of those officers who will pass through the College during the first few sessions.

 

The War College, which is a separate institution, devoted to the higher naval education of more senior officers, will be re-opened early next year.

 

In addition an introductory war course has been included in the syllabus for junior officers at Cambridge. It is hoped to continue this course in the future, as it is very desirable that those officers who have a bent for Naval Staff work should both "find themselves" and become known to the Admiralty at an early stage.

 

SCIENTIFIC RESEARCH.

 

The Admiralty have since the Armistice given close attention to the question of the provision or supply of experimental types of newly-designed material, and to the policy to be adopted in regard to research for naval purposes.

 

A scientific adviser to the Admiralty was appointed in the latter part of the war, and the post will be placed on a permanent footing under the title of Director of Scientific Research. The officer holding this position will maintain the closest possible touch with all outside institutions and scientific bodies which are investigating problems in pure or applied research having a more or less direct bearing on possible naval requirements, This will ensure that the Admiralty do not waste effort and money in undertaking experimental research work which is already in progress elsewhere.

 

NAVAL FORCES OF INDIA AND THE DOMINIONS.

 

At the request of the Governments of India and the Dominions, Admiral of the Fleet Viscount Jellicoe is engaged on a tour of the Empire in H.M.S. "New Zealand." Lord Jellicoe is reporting to each Government his recommendations for the reorganisation and development of the local naval forces. The views of the various Governments on these reports must be ascertained and discussed with them before a naval policy for all parts of the Empire can be formulated.

 

In the meantime the Dominion Governments have been asked whether they wish to have any vessels that are on the Admiralty list of ships for disposal in addition to the following ships which have been already allocated:

 

Australia

 

Submarine Flotilla

"Platypus" (Depot ship) and Jl, J2, J3, J4, J5, J7.

Flotilla Leader

"Anzac"

T.B.D.'s

 

"Stalwart", "Success", "Swordsman", "Tasmania", "Tattoo" (All temporarily in reserve in Eng1and)

Sloops (Minesweeping)

"Geranium", "Mallow", "Marguerite"

           

Canada.

 

Submarines

H14, H15.

 

 



APPENDIX.

 

Losses of H.M. Ships (including, certain Auxiliary Vessels)

11th November 1918 - 11th November 1919.

 

Classification

Name

Date

Place

Cause of Loss

Cruiser

Cochrane

28.11.18

On passage from Scapa to Liverpool

Ashore

Light Cruiser

Cassandra

5.12.18

Baltic

Mined

Monitors

M.25

17.9.19

North Russia

Demolished

 

M.27

17.9.19

North Russia

Demolished

Sloops

Gentian

16.7.19

Baltic

Mined

 

Myrtle

16.7.19

Baltic

Mined

Destroyers

Vittoria

1.9.19

Baltic

Torpedoed by submarine

 

Verulam

4.9.19

Baltic

Mined

Minesweepers

Erin's Isle

7.2.19

Off Nore

Mined

 

Cupar

5.5.19

North Sea

Mined

 

Kinross

16.6.19

Aegean

Mined

 

Sword Dance

24.6.19

White Sea

Mined

 

Duchess of Richmond

26.6.19

Aegean

Mined

 

Fandango

3.7.19

White Sea

Mined

 

Princess Mary II

2.8.19

Aegean

Mined and beached

Submarines

G.11

22.11.18

Howick

Wrecked

 

L.55

Missing since 4.6.19

Baltic

Missing

Yachts

Goissa

15.11.18

Dardanelles

mined

 

Iolaire

1.1.19

Stornoway

Wrecked

Trawlers

Nodzu

1.1.19

Off Nash Point, Bristol Channel

Wrecked

 

Glenboyne

4.1.19

North Foreland

Mined

 

Frostaxe

30.4.19

Off Owers Light Vessel

In collision

Drifters

I. and J.

1.1.19

Newhaven

Wrecked

 

John Robert

1.2.19

En route Messina to Alexandretta

Presumed mined

 

Philorth

24.2.19

En route Syra to Malta

Foundered

 

London County

28.10.19

North of Beadnell

Wrecked

Motor Launches

M.L. 121

22.12.18

Seine Bank

Foundered after collision

 

M.L. 566

22.12.18

Off Cape Barfleur

Swamped and abandoned

 

M.L. 18

29.9.19

On passage from Norway

Abandoned derelict and sunk

 

M.L. 62

29.9.19

"

"

 

M.L. 191

29.9.19

"

"

Coastal Motor Boats

24 A

18.8.19

Baltic

Lost in attack on Bolshevik Fleet at Kronstadt

 

79 A

18.8.19

"

"

 

62 BD

18.8.19

"

"

 

67 A

18.8.19

"

"

Mercantile Fleet Auxiliary

Race Fisher

31.1.19

Stratoni

Wrecked and abandoned (hulk sold)

Store Carrier

Volturnus

1.11.19

Near the Skaw

Mined

Hospital Carriers

Edinburgh Castle

24.9.19

North Russia

Demolished

 

Lord Morton

24.9.19

"

"

 

 


 

 

III. - STATISTICAL TABLES RELATING TO THE PERIOD OF THE WAR

 

 

I. - Numbers of H.M. Ships at the Outbreak of War and at Date of the Armistice.

(Ships in the Naval Service of the Dominion Governments are included.)

 

Types

4th August 1914

11th November 1918

Warships

No.

Displacement Tonnage

No.

Displacement Tonnage (Gross Tonnage in italics is additional)

Dreadnought Battleships

20 (a)

423,350

33

775,850

Pre-Dreadnought Battleships

40

539,385

17 (b)

258,900

Total

60

1,012,735

50

1,034,750

 

 

 

 

 

Battle Cruisers

9

187,800

9

206,300

Cruisers

46

510.650

27 (c)

304,950

Light Cruisers

62

260,100

82 (d)

344,330

Gunboats

28

16,641

52

22,784

Coast Defence Vessels

-

-

1

5,700

Monitors

-

-

33

106,130

Sloops

11

11,330

11

11,738

Fleet Sweeping Vessels (Sloops)

-

-

106

132,800

Flotilla Leaders

1

2,207

26

42,634

Torpedo Boat Destroyers

215

142,546

407

363,695

Torpedo Boats

106

17,906

94

15,831

Submarines

76

30,983

137

131,658

Aircraft Carriers

1

5,600

13

79,077 (5,375)

P. and P.C. Boats

-

-

62

38,932

Minelaying Vessels

7

24,200

8

52,800 (4,298)

Repair Ships

2

20,900

7

38,458 (1,219)

Depot Ships

22

86,845

49

312,728

Armed Merchant Cruiser

(e)

-

29

(297,968)

Armed Boarding Steamers

-

-

20

(32,617)

Special Service Ships

-

-

50

(25,000)

Coastal Motor Boats

-

-

66

545

Miscellaneous

2

2,780

15

1,288 (16,361)

 

_____

_________

_____

_________

Total Warships

648

2,333,223

1,354

3,247,078 (382,838)

 

_____

_________

_____

_________

Auxiliary Patrol Service

 

 

 

 

Yachts

-

-

57

(37,000)

Patrol Gunboats

-

-

30

20,724

Whalers

-

-

18

4,704

Trawlers

12

5,667

1,520

(350,000)

Drifters

 

-

1,365

(113,000)

Minesweepers - Paddle or Screw

-

-

156

68,645 (37,600)

Motor Launches

-

-

507

18,252

Motor Drifters and Motor Boats

-

-

74

(5,300)

 

_____

_______

_____

__________

Total Auxiliary Patrol Service

12

5,667

3,727

118,325 (542,900)

 

_____

_______

_____

__________

 

 

 

 

 

GRAND TOTAL

660

2,338,890

5,081

3,365,403 (925,738)

 

(a)         One newly commissioned 7th August 1914 not included

(b)         Excluding 12 Pre-Dreadnought Battleships converted from their original type to Depot Ships &c.

(c)         Excluding 10 Cruisers - ditto -

(d)         Excluding 10 Light Cruisers - ditto -

(e)         Approximate

(f)           Several fitting out at this date

 

Other Auxiliary Vessels

 

In addition to the above the principal Auxiliary Vessels employed on Admiralty Service included:

 

Type

4th Aug. 1914

11th Nov. 1918

Commissioned Escort Ships

Squadron Supply Ships

Flotilla Supply Ships

Colliers

Oilers

Store Ships

Frozen Meat Ships

Officers' Mess Ship

Mine Carriers

Ammunition Ships and Carriers

Hospital Ships

 

 

Total

-

*

*

65

32

-

*

-

*

-

*

_____

 

97

9

_

_

283

225

8

4

1

4

27

9

_____

 

570

 

* Several fitting out at this date

 

 

II. - H.M. Ships and Auxiliary Vessels completed between 4th August 1914 and 11th November 1918

 

(A.) - Tonnage completed annually as compared with Pre-War Output.

 

Period

Warships -

Approximate Displacement Tonnage

Auxiliaries - Approximate Displacement Tonnage

Average for two years preceding the war

179,800

5,000*

4th August 1914 to 30th June 1915

1st July 1915 to 30th June 1916

1st July 1916 to 39th June 1917

1st July 1917 to 30th June 1918

1st July 1918 to 11th November 1918

 

Totals

343,320

522,239

370,601

269,884

96,046

________

1,602,090

12,573

62,869

340,010

273,354

92,305

________

754,111

 

* Estimated

 

 

(B.) - Number and Tonnage of each Type completed

 

Warships

 

No.

Approximate Displacement Tonnage

Battleships

Battle Cruisers

Cruisers

Light Cruisers

China Gunboats

Coast Defence Vessels

Monitors

Sloops

Flotilla Leaders

Torpedo Boat Destroyers

Submarines

Aircraft Carriers

P. and P.C. Boats

Repair Ships

Depot Ships

Coastal Motor Boats

 

Total H.M. Ships

 

15 (a)

3

3

36 (b)

28

2 (c)

38 (d)

124

28 (e)

255 (f)

146

8 (g)

63

2 (g)

8 (g)

83

______

842

394,750

81,500

56,300

143,050

9,308

11,400

114,255

155,430

45,565

272,895

151,380

67,457

39,957

9,538

48,645

660

______

1,602,096

 

(a) Includes two purchased from Turkey and one from Chile.

(b) Includes one built for Royal Australian Navy and two purchased from Hellenic Government.

(c) Purchased from Norwegian Government.

(d) Includes three purchased from Brazilian Government.

(e) Includes four purchased from Chilean Government.

(f) Includes one purchased from Portuguese Government and four from Hellenic Government, three ex-Turkish vessels, three built for Royal Australian Navy.

(g) Includes merchant vessels purchased and reconstructed

 

Auxiliary Vessels

 

No.

Approximate Displacement Tonnage

Patrol Gunboats

Whalers

Trawlers

Drifters

Paddle Minesweepers

Twin Screw Minesweepers

Tunnel Minesweepers

Boom Defence Vessels

Coast Guard Cruiser

Oilers

Petrol Carriers

Water Carriers

Tugs

Salvage Vessels

Mooring Vessels

Seaplane Towing Lighters

 

Total Auxiliary Vessels

30

15

282

85

34

55

10

32

1

64

3

1

23

2

6

28

______

671

 

26,727

5,040

151,422

16,777

27,422

43,000

2,825

9,300

883

432,987

3,072

12,788

15,280

1,200

4,548

840

______

754,111

 

 

GRAND TOTAL H.M. SHIPS AND AUXILIARY VESSELS

 

1,513

 

2,356,201

 

 

 

Of the vessels shown in Table B. at the outbreak of war, excluding warships under construction for Foreign Powers subsequently taken over for the Royal Navy, there were on order or laid down:

 

Battleships

Battle Cruisers

Light Cruisers

Flotilla Leaders

Torpedo Boat Destroyers

12

3

17

4

18

Submarines

Aircraft Carriers

Depot Ships

Coast Guard Cruisers

Oilers

25

1

1

1

7

 

 

III - (a) Losses of H.M. Ships from all causes between 4th August 1914 and 11th November 1918

 

Type

Total Number lost

Total Displacement Tonnage Lost (Gross Tonnage in italics is additional)

Battleships

Battle Cruisers

Cruisers

Light Cruisers

Gunboats and Torpedo Gunboats

River Gunboats

Coast Defence Ships

Monitors

Sloops

Flotilla Leaders

Torpedo Boat Destroyers

Torpedo Boats

Submarines

Aircraft Carriers

Patrol Boats

Minelayers

Armed Merchant Cruisers

Armed Boarding Steamers

Coastal Motor Boats

 

Total

13

3

13

12 (a)

5

2

1

5

18

3

64

11

54 (b)

3

2

1 + (1)

17

13

13

______

223 (31)

200,735

63,00

158,300

46,255

4,235

(c)

5,700

8.125

22,630

5,204

52,045

2,230

43,649

27,488

1,226

11,000 (6,000)

(179,169)

(23,779)

85

______

651,907 (c)

(208,948)

 

(a)         Including 6 Light Cruisers sunk as blockships at Zeebrugge and Ostend

(b)         Including 7 Submarines destroyed at Helsingfors to avoid capture and 1 blown up at Zeebrugge Mole

(c)         River Gunboats "Comet" and "Shaitan," tonnage uncertain

 

 

III. - (b) Losses of Auxiliary Vessels on Admiralty Service

 

Type

Total Number lost

Gross Tonnage Lost (plus 5 Minesweepers of 3,990 Displacement Tonnage)

Hospital Ships

Frozen Meat Ships

Store Carriers

Ammunition Ship

Mine Carriers

Minesweepers

Auxiliary Patrol Paddlers

Fleet Messengers

Commissioned Escort Ships

Miscellaneous

Colliers

Oilers

Special Service Ships

Tugs

Yachts

Whalers

Admiralty Trawlers

Hired Trawlers

Hired Drifters

Motor Launches

Motor Boats

 

Total

2

1

4

1

2

13 + 5

2

9

3

3

244

44

29

14

13

2

18

246

139

24

6

______

810 + 5

15,199

1,730

4,779

2,030

4,496

7,758 + 3,990

679

11,602

22,082

4,698

714,613

216,445

35,760

3,503

7,179

347

4,719

56,300

10,809

864

61

______

1,125,743 + 3,990

 

 

Excluding 2 Motor Boats and 2 Special Service Ships whose tonnage is uncertain

 

 

IV. - Statement showing Numbers borne in H.M. Fleet

 

-

15th July 1914

15th August 1914

15th November 1918

Royal Navy, Royal Marines &c.

(other than Retired, Pensioners, or Reserves)

Entered for hostilities only

Retired Officers and Pensioners

Royal Fleet Reserve

Royal Naval Reserve

Royal Naval Reserve (Trawler Section

Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve

Colonial Reserves

 

Total

146,047

 

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

______

146,047

(a)

147,667

 

-

6,970

27,395

13,510

3,130

2,345

-

______

201,017

(a)

188,537

 

74,437

12,346

19,180

23,453

37,145

50,218

2,000

______

407,316

(b)

(a) R.N.A.S. included                             (b) R.N. Division included

 

 

Expansion of Naval Personnel

15th July 1914 to 15th November 1918

(a)         Gross

(b)         Net (i.e. making allowance for 63,842 officers and men in reserve branches, not mobilised in July 1914)

261,269

197,427

Women's Royal Naval Service

Nil to 4,821

R.N.A.S.

729 to 55,066 by 15th March 1918 (a)

Coast-watching Service (Maximum numbers):

Civilian watchers

Boy scouts

 

2,400

1,700

 

                                    (a) R.N.A.S. transferred to R.A.F. on 1st April 1918

 

 

V. - Statement showing the Number of Casualties in the Royal Navy (excluding R.N. Division, but including R.N. Air Service to 31st March 1918) from 4th August to 11th November 1918

 

Type of Casualty

Officers

Men

Total

Killed in action (including died of wounds)

Died from other causes

Wounded in action

Wounded, not in action

Prisoners of War

Interned

Missing

 

Total

2,059

394

805

nil

179

44

15

______

3,496

20,148

10,926

4,072

313

726

227

32

______

36,444

22,207

11,320

4,877

313

905

271

47

______

39,940

 

 

V. - Statement showing the Number of Casualties in the Royal Navy

Division from 4th August to 11th November 1918

 

Type of Casualty

Officers

Men

Total

Killed in action (including died of wounds)

Died from other causes

Wounded in action

Prisoners of War

Interned

Missing

 

Total

439

12

777

60

37

6

______

1,331

7,298

456

19,373

2,844

1,577

181

______

31,729

7,737

468

20,150

2,904

1,614

187

______

33,060

 

 

VII - Medical Statistics

 

Medical Staff

July 1914

Nov. 1918

Medical Officers, R.N., R.N.V.R., &c.

Sick Berth Staff, including R.N.A.S.B.R.

Nursing Sisters

V.A.D.s

 

Total

 

555

1,503

70

-

______

2,128

1,771

4,057

297

534

______

6,659

Cases treated in Naval Hospitals

Cases treated in Naval Hospital Ships

Cases carried by Naval Medical Transport (trains)

348,386 in total

82,561 in total

74,572 in total

 

 

VIII. - Transportation by Sea

 

Statement of Personnel, Animals, Vehicles, &c., transported by Military Sea Transport, August 1914 to 30th November 1918

 

Personnel, Effectives

Personnel, Non-effectives

Prisoners

Animals

Vehicles

British Military Stores

Allied Stores of all kinds

20,778,671

2,927,143

158,861

2,240,495

506,486

46,502,486 tons

4,535,679 tons

 

 

 

IX. - Number of Persons other than those in direct Government Services engaged in Manufacturing and Supplying Naval Equipment, Naval Ordnance, Naval Stores, &c., and engaged on Naval Construction and Repair of Merchant Vessels.

 

Type of Work

Number employed, 1918

Naval construction in private yards

Naval repairs in private yards

Merchant vessels - Repairs in private yards

Admiralty "A" firms (i.e. those engaged to the extent of 75 per cent. of their total work on Admiralty manufactures, &c.)

140,000

50,000

64,000

154,000

Total

408,000

 

 

X. - Naval Ordnance, Torpedo, Mining, and Anti-Submarine Equipment, Fuel, and Stores

 

(i)  Guns Mounted for Naval Service

 

At

Heavy

Medium

Light

 

Calibre>

15"

14"

13.5"

12"

10"

9.2"

7.5" to 4"

Below 4"

Total

4th Aug. 1914

31st Oct. 1918

-

106

-

16

144

148

300

240

8

-

142

94

2,845

5,579

3,673

8,541

7,112

14,724

 

 

(ii)   Guns and Mountings issued 4th August 1914 to 31st October 1918

 

To

Heavy

9.2" and above

Medium

7.5" to 4"

Light

Below 4"

H.M. Ships*

Auxiliary Ships

Defensively Armed Merchant Ships

Allies

432

-

-

11

3,821

422

3,323

80

3,469

5,410

3,800

738

* The figures for H.M. Ships relate to guns only, and included purchases for reserve

 

 

(iii) Torpedoes and Torpedo Equipment of Ships

 

Torpedoes

For British Naval Forces

For Air Service

 

Total

 

For Allied Naval Forces

No.

11,060

607

______

11,667

 

322

 

Torpedo Equipment

Torpedo tubes

Air compressors

Steel reservoir bottle

No.

3,618

722

12,487

 

 

(iv)  Mines, Depth Charges

 

 

Mines of all types

Depth charges

For British Naval Forces

221,140

96,403

For Allies

257

5,256

 

 

(v)   Paravanes

(Manufactured for British Navy only)

 

 

Mine Cutting

Explosive

 

Total

No.

6,155

2,456

______

8,611

 

 

(vi)   Minesweeping Rope

 

Rough estimate of Minesweeping Rope expended 8,825,500 fathoms. (52,953,000 feet or 8,715 nautical miles)

 

 

(vii)   Searchlight Equipment

          

Provision was made for:

 

 (1) 864 searchlight equipment sets of a new type, and for 330 existing sets to be improved.

 (2) 3,710 searchlight projectors for auxiliary craft and for signalling purposes.

 

 

(viii)  Naval Stores (General)

 

The total money expenditure during the War on Naval Stores (excluding Fuel) for maintenance of Fleet and Construction and Repairs in Royal Dockyards was approximately £54,000,000, while that for Naval Stores (excluding Fuel) supplied to the Allies was approximately £5,640,000.

 

 

(ix)  Victualling Stores (Provisions, Clothing, and Mess Gear)

 

The total approximate money expenditure during the war was follows

 

For the Service of the Fleet

Supplied to the Allies

£45,000,000

800,000

 

 

(x)  Fuel

 

Coal. - The following figures represent the approximate amounts of coal shipped under Admiralty directions, or railed to the East Coast during the War:

 

 

(1) Shipped for H.M. Ships, Dockyards, Transport and Commercial Vessels at Home and Abroad:

            (a) British Coal

            (b) Coal from India, South Africa, &c.

 

(2) Despatched by rail, principally to East Coast Bases.

(3) Shipped for British Expeditionary Force.          ­

(4) Shipped for Allies prior to establishment of Ministry of Shipping.

 

Total

 

Tons

 

36,000,000

1,250,000

 

6,300,000

2,950,000

7,500,000

________

54,000,000

 

 

The maximum number of colliers employed at anyone time by the Admiralty for all services was 563

with an aggregate carrying capacity of about 2,147,000 tons.

The average number employed in Home Waters was about 200

Carrying capacity - 470,000 tons.

 

Apart from meeting Naval and Transport needs, the Admiralty undertook the responsibilities throughout for coal supplies to the British Expeditionary Force, for the U.S. Navy in British and Mediterranean waters, and also, until the establish­ment of the Ministry of Shipping, for the French and Italian Marine, the French State Railways and other services. The unavoidable dislocation of the bunkering trade necessitated provision being also made by the Navy for the bunkering of British Commercial and Allied Transports, and other vessels.

 

Oil Fuel.

 

The total amount of oil brought to British Bases throughout the war exceeded

 

Tons

10,000,000

 

 

Supplies derived from home sources

Issues to the Fleet

Issues to Allies (excluding U.S.N.)

In addition American Naval tankers imported which was distributed coastwise by small British craft to U.S. Naval Units.

 

350,000

9,100,000

500,000

560,000

 

 

Owing to the rapid increase in the oil-burning fleet and the high standard of consumption resulting from the anti-submarine campaign, convoy and escort systems, &c., the oil expenditure of 1914 had practically quadrupled four years later.

 

The available tankers being inadequate to cope either with the import require­ments or with the need for Fleet auxiliaries, a large building programme was projected in the early stages of the war and subsequently amplified. This programme resulted in the following additions to the oil-carrying fleet

 

Type

No.

Carrying Capacity (tons)

Cargo tankers

Fleet auxiliaries

52

49

380,000

96,000

 

The inadequacy of the supply of tankers and the large number of casualties to vessels en route, necessitated supplementing tanker imports from 1917 onwards by the use of double bottoms of cargo steamers.

 

Deliveries by this method amounted to 1,100,000 tons.

 

Petrol. - The great extension of the Naval Air Service and the introduction of petrol burning motor launches, coastal motor boats, and motor transport created an exceedingly high demand for petrol for Naval purposes. To meet requirements petrol installations were set up at numerous points round the coast of Great Britain and at certain stations abroad; supplies being regulated by rail or coastal transport.

 

 

(xi) Works, New Buildings, Defences, &c., &c.

 

The total expenditure incurred under the above heading during the war was £23,737,000.

 

The principal items were:

 

Improvements at Naval and Repair Bases

Naval Air Stations

Defences against submarine attack

Cordite Factory ­

£3,698,030

6,082,000

3,179,000

2,123,000

 

 

Printed under the authority of HIS MAJESTY'S STATIONERY OFFICE

 

 

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