Far East Fleet (United Kingdom)

The British Eastern Fleet then later the East Indies Fleet and the Far East Fleet (also called the Far East Station) was a fleet of the Royal Navy which existed between 1941 and 1971.

Eastern Fleet (1941–44)
East Indies Fleet (1944–52)
Far East Fleet (1952–71)
HMS Renown in 1944 with other Eastern Fleet ships
Active1941–1971
Country United Kingdom
Branch Royal Navy
TypeFleet
Garrison/HQTrincomalee Naval Base, Ceylon
Singapore Naval Base (postwar)
EngagementsLoss of Prince of Wales and Repulse
Indian Ocean raid
Battle of Madagascar
Operation Dukedom
Operation Livery
Commanders
Notable
commanders
James Somerville
Bruce Fraser

In 1904, the British First Sea Lord, Sir John Fisher, ordered that in the event of war the three main commands in the Far East, the East Indies Squadron, the China Squadron, and the Australian Squadron, should all come under one command called the Eastern Fleet based in Singapore. The Commander-in-Chief on the China Station would then take command. During the First World War, the squadrons retained their distinct identities and 'Eastern Fleet' was used only as a general term. The three-squadron structure continued until the Second World War and the beginning of hostilities with the Empire of Japan, when the Eastern Fleet was formally constituted on 8 December 1941, amalgamating the East Indies Squadron and the China Squadron.[1]

During the war, it included many ships and personnel from other navies, including those of the Netherlands, Australia, New Zealand, and the United States. On 22 November 1944 the Eastern Fleet was re-designated East Indies fleet and continued to be based in Trincomalee. Following its re-designation its remaining ships formed the British Pacific Fleet.[2] In December 1945 the British Pacific Fleet was disbanded and its forces were absorbed into the East Indies fleet. In 1952 The East Indies Fleet was renamed the Far East Fleet. After the Second World War the East Indies Station continued as a separate command to this one until 1958. In 1971 the Far East Fleet was abolished and its remaining forces returned home, coming under the command of the new, unified, Commander-in-Chief Fleet.

Background

Until the Second World War, the Indian Ocean had been a British "lake". It was ringed by significant British and Commonwealth possessions and much of the strategic supplies needed in peace and war had to pass across it: i.e. Persian oil, Malayan rubber, Indian tea, Australian and New Zealand foodstuffs. Britain also utilised Australian and New Zealand manpower; hence, safe passage for British cargo ships was critical.[3]

At the outbreak of war, Nazi Germany's Kriegsmarine used auxiliary cruisers (converted merchant ships) and the "pocket battleship" Admiral Graf Spee to threaten the sea lanes and tie down the Royal Navy. In mid-1940, Italy declared war and their vessels based in Italian East Africa posed a threat to the supply routes through the Red Sea. Worse was to come when the Japanese declared war in December 1941 and, after Pearl Harbor, the sinking of the battleship Prince of Wales and battlecruiser Repulse, and the occupation of Malaya, Singapore and the Dutch East Indies, there was an aggressive threat from the east.[4]

This threat became a reality during the Indian Ocean raid when an overwhelming Japanese naval force operated in the eastern Indian Ocean, sinking an aircraft carrier and other warships, and disrupting freight traffic along the Indian east coast. At this stage, the Chief of the Imperial General Staff, General Sir Alan Brooke wrote:[5]

We were hanging by our eyelids! Australia and India were threatened by the Japanese, we had temporarily lost control of the Indian Ocean, the Germans were threatening Iran and our oil, Auchinleck was in precarious straits in the desert, and the submarine sinkings were heavy.

Early war years

Until 1941, the main threat to British interests in the region was the presence of German commerce raiders (auxiliary cruisers) and submarines. The fleet had trade protection as its first priority and was required to escort convoys and eliminate the raiders. The Germans had converted merchant ships to act as commerce raiders and allocated supply ships to maintain them. The location and destruction of these German raiders consumed much British naval effort until the last raider – Michel – was sunk in October 1943.[6]

On 10 June 1940, the entry of Italy into the war introduced a new threat to the oil supply routes from the Persian Gulf, which passed through the Red Sea to the Mediterranean. The Italians controlled ports in Italian East Africa and Tianjin, China. The Italian Royal Navy (Regia Marina) presence in the Red Sea, Indian Ocean, and the western Pacific Ocean consisted of destroyers, submarines, and a small number of armed merchantmen. The majority of these were based at Massawa in Eritrea as part of the Italian Red Sea Flotilla, including seven destroyers and eight submarines. Damage to British destroyers at this time included Kimberley which was crippled by Italian shore batteries.[7]

The Italian naval forces in East Africa were caught in a vice. To put to sea invited heavy British reaction, while to stay in ports threatened by British and Commonwealth forces became impossible. In 1941, during the East African Campaign, these ports were captured by the British.[8]

Singapore

Before the fall of Singapore, the Eastern Fleet's naval base at Singapore (HM Naval Base) was part of the British Far East Command. British defence planning in the area was based on two assumptions. The first was that the United States would remain as an effective ally in the western Pacific Ocean, with a fleet based at Manila, which would be available as a forward base for British warships.[9] Secondly, the technical capabilities and aggression of the Imperial Japanese Navy were underestimated. In these circumstances, with the Japanese fleet engaged by the United States Navy (USN), the Admiralty planned to send four obsolescent Revenge-class battleships to Singapore to provide defensive firepower and a British presence. The British assumptions were destroyed on 7 December 1941: the impact of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor denied substantial USN support to the British defence of the "Malay barrier" and made impossible the relief of American garrisons in the Philippines. Furthermore, Japanese capabilities exceeded expectations.[10]

After the fall of France in June 1940, Japanese pressure on the Vichy authorities in French Indochina resulted in the granting of base and transit rights, albeit with significant restrictions. Despite this, in September 1940, the Japanese launched an invasion of that country.[11] The bases thus acquired in Indochina allowed extended Japanese air cover of the invasion forces bound for Malaya and for the Dutch East Indies. In these circumstances, Prince of Wales and Repulse, which were dispatched to intercept the invasion force, were vulnerable to concerted air attacks from the Japanese bases in Indochina and, without their own air cover, they were sunk in December 1941.[12]

After the sinking of Prince of Wales and Repulse, Admiral Sir Geoffrey Layton assumed command of the Eastern Fleet. The fleet withdrew first to Java and, following the Fall of Singapore, to Trincomalee, Ceylon (now Sri Lanka). In March 1942, Admiral Sir James Somerville arrived in Ceylon and assumed command from Layton.[13]

Indian Ocean retreat

When Admiral Somerville inspected the base at Trincomalee, its deficiencies were clear to him. He found the port inadequate, vulnerable to a determined attack, and open to spying. An isolated island base with a safe, deep anchorage in a suitably strategic position was required. Addu Atoll, in the Indian Ocean, met the requirements and it was secretly developed as a fleet anchorage.[14]

The Eastern Fleet was divided into two: Force A and Force B. Force A consisted of the battleship Warspite and two fleet aircraft carriers.[15] Force B was based on the slow Revenge-class battleships of the 3rd Battle Squadron, based at the fleet's new operational base at Kilindini near Mombasa in Kenya and relatively safe from the Japanese fleet. Neither individually nor together could the two Eastern Fleet forces challenge a determined Japanese naval assault.

Following the Japanese capture of the Andaman Islands, the main elements of the Fleet retreated to Addu Atoll in the Maldives. Following Fleet losses from Chuichi Nagumo's Indian Ocean raid in early 1942,[16] the Fleet moved its operational base to Kilindini near Mombasa in Kenya, as their more forward fleet anchorages could not be adequately protected from Japanese attack. The fleet in the Indian Ocean was then gradually reduced to little more than a convoy escort force as other commitments called for the more modern, powerful ships.

In May 1942, the Eastern Fleet supported the invasion of Madagascar, Operation Ironclad. It was aimed at thwarting any attempt by Japanese vessels to use naval bases on the Vichy French controlled territory. During the invasion, vessels of the Eastern Fleet were confronted by vessels of the French Navy and submarines of the Imperial Japanese Navy.[17]

Indian Ocean strikes

After the departure of the main battle forces during February 1942, the Indian Ocean was left with mostly escort carriers and older battleships as the core of its naval forces. Allied advances in the Mediterranean and northern Europe during 1943 and 1944, however, released naval resources. As a result, more British aircraft carriers entered the area; added to the force were the battlecruiser Renown, the battleships Howe, Queen Elizabeth, Valiant and supporting warships. Preparations were put in hand for a more aggressive stance in the Indian Ocean and for British naval participation in the Pacific theatre. Agreement had been reached, after objections from Admiral Ernest King USN, but new procedures would need to be learnt by naval crews and Fleet Air Arm (FAA) aircrew. To this end, Operation Diplomat, a training exercise, took place in late March, 1944. The objective was for the fleet to rendezvous with a group of tankers (escorted by the Dutch cruiser HNLMS Tromp) and practice refuelling at sea procedures. The ships then rendezvoused with United States Navy Task Force 58.5, the aircraft carrier USS Saratoga and three destroyers.[18]

Admiral King requested that, during April, the Eastern Fleet should engage Japanese forces in their area and hold them there to reduce the opposition to an American seaborne assault on Hollandia (now Jayapura) and Aitape on the north coast of Netherlands New Guinea. An airborne attack by the Eastern Fleet (including Task Force 58.5) on Sabang, off Sumatra was executed (Operation Cockpit).[19] Surprise was achieved: military and oil installations were heavily damaged by the attacks, aggravating Japanese fuel shortages. The American involvement was extended to capitalise on the success with a second attack, this time on Surabaya, eastern Java, on 17 May (Operation Transom). The distances for this operation necessitated replenishment at sea. Again, the defenders were unprepared and significant damage was inflicted on the port and its military and oil infrastructures. Saratoga and her destroyers returned to the Pacific from 18 May after what Admiral Somerville called "a profitable and very happy association of Task Group 58.5 with the Eastern Fleet".[18]

At the end of August 1944, Admiral Somerville was relieved as Commander-in-Chief Eastern Fleet by Admiral Sir Bruce Fraser, former Commander-in-Chief Home Fleet.[13] The Eastern Fleet was greatly augmented by units intended for the Pacific and on 4 January 1945, the carriers Indomitable and Indefatigable carried out an attack on oil refineries at Pangkalan Brandon in Sumatra (Operation Lentil). The final attacks were flown as Force 63 was en route for Sydney, Australia to become the British Pacific Fleet. Operation Meridian One and Operation Meridian Two were air attacks upon the oil refineries at Pladjoe, north of Palembang, Java and at Soengei Gerong, Sumatra. Although successful, these were not as smooth as earlier attacks. Three crews (nine men) of Fleet Air Arm were captured by the Japanese during the Palembang raid. They were taken to Singapore where they were tortured and imprisoned; finally in August 1945 they were executed by the Japanese military authorities four days after the Japanese surrender.[20]

On 15–16 May 1945, the British carried out Operation Dukedom; the 26th Destroyer Flotilla (composed of Saumarez, Venus, Verulam, Vigilant and Virago) sank the Japanese heavy cruiser Haguro in the Malacca Straits using torpedoes.[19]

Post-war

After the war, the Fleet was once again based at the Naval Base at Singapore. It took part in the Malayan Emergency and the Confrontation with Indonesia in the 1960s. By 1964, the fleet on station included Victorious, Centaur, Bulwark, Kent, Hampshire, 17 destroyers and frigates, about ten minesweepers and five submarines.[21]

The Flag Officer Second-in-Command Far East Fleet, for most of the postwar period a rear admiral, was based afloat, and tasked with keeping the fleet "up to the mark operationally". Some also held the appointment of Flag Officer Commanding 5th Cruiser Squadron, probably including Rear Admiral E.G.A. Clifford CB, who was flying his flag in HMS Newcastle on 12 November 1953. Meanwhile, the fleet commander, a vice admiral, ran the fleet programme and major items of administration 'including all provision for docking and maintenance' from his base in Singapore.[22]

The fleet was disbanded in 1971, and on 31 October 1971, the last day of the validity of the Anglo-Malayan Defence Agreement, the last Commander, Far East Fleet, Rear Admiral Anthony Troup, hauled down his flag.[23]

Administration of the command

Following initial problems due to Japanese forces striking in the Indian Ocean area in April 1942, most of its main capital ships transferred to the East Coast of Africa command at Kilidini, Mombasa, Kenya. Other forces were spread around other bases in the Western Indian Ocean area. By 1943 it had nearly recovered. From October 1943, the fleet was the maritime component of South East Asia Command, including responsibilities other than the SEAC area. The fleet reached full operational strength again by 1944. On 22 November 1944 the British Pacific Fleet was established using the remaining ships of the Eastern Fleet after it was renamed the East Indies Fleet.[24] The East Indies Station remained as a separate command until 1958.

The Eastern Fleet consisted of three basic elements; the battle fleet that included its main components battleships and carriers, battleships and supporting vessels; the submarine force to hinder Japan from using sea lanes between Burma and Singapore; and. often forgotten, and a large supporting escort force responsible for protecting convoy roues between Suez (Red Sea) and India, and between the Cape of Good Hope and India.[25]

Commander-in-Chief, Eastern Fleet

Post holders included:[13][26]

RankFlagNameTerm
Commander-in-Chief, Eastern Fleet
1AdmiralSir Tom S.V. PhillipsOctober – 10 December 1941
2Vice-AdmiralSir Geoffrey Layton10 December 1941 – 12 February 1942
3Vice-AdmiralSir James Somerville12 February 1942 – 6 April 1942 (promoted to Adm.
4AdmiralSir James Somerville6 April 1942 – 22 August 1944
5AdmiralSir Bruce A. Fraser22 August 1944 -December 1944 – becomes C-in-C British Pacific Fleet

Commander-in-Chief, East Indies Fleet

Post holders included:[13][27]

RankFlagNameTerm
Commander-in-Chief, East Indies Fleet
1AdmiralSir Arthur J. PowerNovember 1944 – December 1945 [28]
2Vice-AdmiralSir Clement Moody15 December 1945 – 8 March 1946 [29]
2Vice-AdmiralSir Denis BoydMarch 1946 – January 1948
3AdmiralSir Denis BoydJanuary 1948 – January 1949 [30]
4Vice-AdmiralSir Patrick BrindJanuary 1949 – February 1951
5Vice-AdmiralSir Guy RussellFebruary 1951 – January 1952

Commander-in-Chief, Far East Fleet

Post holders included:[13][31]

RankFlagNameTerm
Commander-in-Chief, Far East Fleet
1Vice-AdmiralSir Guy RussellJanuary 1952 – March 1953
2Vice-AdmiralSir Charles LambeMarch 1953 – April 1955
3Vice-AdmiralSir Alan Scott-MoncrieffApril 1955 – October 1957
4Vice-AdmiralSir Gerald GladstoneOctober 1957 – April 1960
5Vice-AdmiralSir David LuceApril 1960 – November 1962
6Vice-AdmiralSir Desmond DreyerNovember 1962 – January 1965
7Vice-AdmiralSir Frank TwissJanuary 1965 – June 1967
8Vice-AdmiralSir William O'BrienJune 1967 -September 1969
9Vice-AdmiralSir Derek EmpsonSeptember 1969 – April 1971
10Vice-AdmiralSir Anthony TroupApril – November 1971

Fleet Headquarters

Chief of Staff, Eastern Fleet

Included:[32]

RankFlagNameTerm
Chief of Staff, Eastern Fleet
1Rear-AdmiralArthur F. E. PalliserDecember 1941 – January 1942
2CommodoreRalph A. B. EdwardsMarch 1942 – August 1944
Chief of Staff, East Indies Fleet

Included:[33]

RankFlagNameTerm
Chief of Staff, East Indies Fleet
1CommodoreEdward M. Evans-LombeAugust 1944 – October 1944
2Rear-AdmiralEdward M. Evans-LombeOctober 1944 – March 1946
3CommodoreStephen H. CarlillMarch 1946 – August 1948
4CommodoreGeoffrey F. BurghardAugust 1948 – September 1950
5CaptainRalph L. FisherSeptember 1950 – January 1952
Chief of Staff, Far East Fleet

Included:[34]

RankFlagNameTerm
Chief of Staff, Far East Fleet/Station
1CaptainRalph L. FisherJanuary – October 1952
2CommodoreLaurence G. DurlacherOctober 1952 – September 1954
3CommodoreGeorge A. F. NorfolkSeptember 1954 – October 1956
5CommodoreChristopher H. HutchinsonOctober 1956 – March 1959
6Rear-AdmiralRonald E. PortlockMarch 1959 – April 1961
7Rear-AdmiralBryan C. DurantApril 1961 – July 1963
8Rear-AdmiralFrancis B. P. Brayne-NichollsJuly 1963 – July 1965
9Rear-AdmiralDennis H. MasonJuly 1965 – December 1967
10Rear-AdmiralIan D. McLaughlanDecember 1967 – February 1970
9Rear-AdmiralJohn A. Templeton-CotillFebruary 1970 – March 1971

Operational and shore sub-commands

Vice-Admiral, Commanding 3rd Battle Squadron & Second-in-command, Eastern Fleet

Included:[35][36]

RankFlagNameTerm
Vice-Admiral, Commanding 3rd Battle Squadron & Second-in-command, Eastern Fleet
1Vice AdmiralSir Algernon Willis26 February 1942 – February 1943
2Rear-AdmiralWilliam G. TennantFebruary–October 1943
3Vice-AdmiralSir Arthur PowerJanuary 1944 – November 1944
4Vice-AdmiralSir Harold WalkerNovember 1944 – 1946
Rear-Admiral, Commanding, 5th Cruiser Squadron and Second-in-Command, East Indies Fleet/Far East Fleet

Included:

RankFlagNameTerm
Rear-Admiral, Commanding, 5th Cruiser Squadron and Second-in-Command, East Indies Fleet/Far East Fleet
1Rear-AdmiralAlexander Madden1948 – 1950 [37]
2Rear-AdmiralWilliam Andrewes17 December 1950 – October 1951 [38]
3Rear-AdmiralEric Clifford CBcirca 1953
4Rear-AdmiralGerald Gladstone1953 – 1955 [39]
Flag Officer Second-in-Command Far East Fleet

Included:

RankFlagNameTerm
Flag Officer Second-in-Command Far East Fleet
1Rear-AdmiralLaurence Durlacher1957–1958
2Rear-AdmiralVaryl Begg1958–1960
3Rear-AdmiralMichael Le Fanu1960–1961
4Rear-AdmiralJohn Frewen1961–1962
5Rear-AdmiralJack Scatchard1962–1964
6Rear-AdmiralPeter Hill-Norton1964–1966
7Rear-AdmiralCharles Mills1966–1967
8Rear-AdmiralEdward Ashmore1967–1968
9Rear-AdmiralAnthony Griffin1968–1969
10Rear-AdmiralTerence Lewin1969–1970
11Rear-AdmiralDavid Williams1970–1971
Rear-Admiral, Eastern Fleet, Aircraft Carriers

Included:[40]

Note:also commanding naval air stations
RankFlagNameTerm
Rear-Admiral, Eastern Fleet, Aircraft Carriers
1Rear-AdmiralDenis Boyd18 February 1941 – December 1942 [41]
2Rear-AdmiralClement Moody1 December 1943 – August 1944
Flag Officer, (Air), East Indies Fleet

Included:[42]

Note:commanding Aircraft Carriers and naval air stations
RankFlagNameTerm
Flag Officer, (Air), East Indies Fleet
1Rear-AdmiralClement MoodyAugust 1944 – November 1944
2Rear-AdmiralReginald H. PortalNovember 1944 – March 1946
3Rear-AdmiralCharles H.L. WoodhouseMarch – July 1946
4Rear-AdmiralRobin BridgeJuly 1946 – February 1947
5Vicer-AdmiralGeorge E. CreasyFebruary 1947 – 1948
Flag Officer, Ceylon

Included:[43]

RankFlagNameTerm
Flag Officer, Ceylon
1Rear-AdmiralArthur Read14 May 1942 – August 1943
2Rear-AdmiralVictor H. DanckwertsAugust 1943 – March 1944, (died in office)
3Rear-AdmiralGresham NicholsonMarch 1944 – 1945
4Rear-AdmiralJohn Mansfield1945 -10 April 1946
Flag Officer, Commanding Red Sea and Canal Area
RankFlagNameTerm
Flag Officer, Commanding Red Sea and Canal Area
1Rear-AdmiralRonald H. C. Hallifax18 May 1942 – 6 November 1943 [44] (died in office)
2Rear-AdmiralJohn Waller6 November – 28 December 1943 [44]
3CommodoreDouglas Young-Jamieson28 December 1943 – 31 October 1944 [45]
Flag Officer Commanding, Royal Indian Navy

Note: Under the East Indies Station at the outbreak of World War Two back as a separate command post war,

RankFlagNameTermNotes/Ref
Flag Officer Commanding, Royal Indian Navy
1Vice-AdmiralSir Herbert FitzherbertDecember 1941 -22 March 1943
2Vice-AdmiralJohn Henry Godfrey22 March 1943 – 15 March 1946
Flag Officer, East Africa and Admiral Superintendent, H.M. Dockyard, Kilindini
Within the Eastern Fleet command from April 1942 to September 1943 then transferred back under East Indies Station
RankFlagNameTermNotes/Ref
Flag Officer, East Africa
1Rear-AdmiralPeter ReidApril 1942 – October 1942
2CommodoreCharles G. StuartOctober 1942 – September, 1943
Flag Officer, Malaya

Note: Commanding naval forces and establishments in Malaya including HMNB Singapore his title change would as his areas of responsibility increased.[46]

Flag Officer, Malaya and Forward Areas
Flag Officer, Malayan Area
Commodore, Amphibious Forces, Far East Fleet
Commodore (D), Commanding, Eastern Fleet Destroyer Flotillas
RankFlagNameTerm
Commodore (D), Commanding, Eastern Fleet Destroyer Flotillas
1CommodoreS. H. T. Harliss9 June 1942 – December 1942 [44]
2CommodoreAlbert. L. PolandApril 1944 – October 1944 [47]
3CommodoreStephen H. CarlillMarch 1946 – August 1948
4CommodoreGeoffrey F. BurghardAugust 1948 – September 1950
Commodore-in-Charge, Hong Kong

Note: The Commodore, Hong Kong was based at HMS Tamar he was responsible for administrating all naval establishments in Hong Kong including HMNB Hong Kong and exercised operational control over all royal navy ships in that area.[48]

Commodore, Naval Air Stations, East Africa
Within the Eastern Fleet command from April 1942 to September 1943 then transferred back under East Indies Station
Senior Officer, Royal Naval Establishments, India
RankFlagNameTerm
Senior Officer, Royal Naval Establishments, India
1Rear-AdmiralOliver BevirJune 1944 – July, 1945 [47]
Senior Naval Officer, Persian Gulf

The Senior Naval Officer, Persian Gulf was responsible for administering the Persian Gulf Station a military formation of the Royal Navy. initially located at Basra, in Mandatory Iraq then later Juffair, Bahrain from 1901 to 1972. It was part of the East Indies Station then the Eastern Fleet, then the East Indies Fleet before being place back under the command of East Indies Station.[49]

Included:[44]

Notes: From February 1963 the remaining destroyer and frigate squadrons in the Far East Fleet were gradually amalgamated into Escort Squadrons. All were disbanded by the end of December 1966. Those in the Far East Fleet became the 1st, 2nd and 3rd Far East Destroyer Squadrons.

Various units that served in this command included:[50][51]
Naval UnitsBased atDateNotes
Battle FleetTrincomalee naval base9 January 1943 to 4 May 1945
Force ATrincomaleeMarch 1942 to June 1942
Force BTrincomalee/KilidiniMarch 1942 to June 1942
1st Aircraft Carrier SquadronTrincomalee then Singapore Naval BaseOctober 1945 to October 1947
21st Aircraft Carrier SquadronTrincomaleeMarch 1945 – December 1945
1st Battle SquadronTrincomaleeMarch 1942 to 1942
3rd Battle SquadronTrincomaleeJanuary 1942 to December 1945
4th Cruiser SquadronTrincomalee then Singapore Naval BaseDecember 1947 to July 1954
5th Cruiser SquadronTrincomalee then Singapore Naval BaseJanuary 1942 – May 1960
2nd Destroyer FlotillaTrincomaleeFebruary 1942 to June 1943
4th Destroyer FlotillaTrincomaleeApril 1943 to November 1944
6th Destroyer FlotillaTrincomaleeJune 1945 –
7th Destroyer FlotillaTrincomaleeJanuary 1942 to April 1945
8th Destroyer FlotillaSingapore1947 to July 1951re-designated 8th DSQ
11th Destroyer FlotillaTrincomaleeFebruary 1943 – 1945transferred from Med Fleet
24th Destroyer FlotillaTrincomaleeJanuary to May 1945
26th Destroyer FlotillaTrincomaleeJanuary 1945
1st Destroyer SquadronSingapore1950 to April 1960
8th Destroyer SquadronSingaporeJuly 1951 – May 1963renamed 24th ESQ
1st Far East Destroyer SquadronSingaporeDecember 1966 to 1 November 1971
2nd Far East Destroyer SquadronSingaporeDecember 1966 to 1 November 1971
3rd Far East Destroyer SquadronSingaporeDecember 1966 to December 1970
1st Escort FlotillaSingapore1946 to 1954
21st Escort SquadronSingaporeMay 1964 to December 1966
22nd Escort SquadronSingaporeMay 1963 to June 1964became 29th Escort Squadron
24th Escort SquadronSingaporeMay 1963 to December 1966renamed from 8th DSQ
25th Escort SquadronSingaporeJanuary 1963 to May 1964renamed from 6th FSQ
26th Escort SquadronSingaporeMay 1963 to December 1966renamed from 3FSQ
29th Escort SquadronSingaporeJune 1964 to December 1966
30th Escort SquadronSingaporeSeptember 1964 to December 1965
3rd Frigate SquadronSingaporeMay 1949– 1954, January 1958 to May 1963renamed 26th ESQ
4th Frigate SquadronSingaporeJanuary 1949 to August 1954
4th Frigate SquadronSingaporeJanuary 1956 – December 1960
4th Frigate SquadronSingaporeSeptember 1961 to September 1962
5th Frigate SquadronSingaporeDecember 1959 to December 1962
6th Frigate SquadronSingaporeDecember 1960 to September 1961
6th Frigate SquadronSingaporeSeptember 1962 to January 1963renamed 25th ESQ
6th Mine Counter-Measures SquadronSingapore1962 to 1971
8th Mine Counter-Measures SquadronHong Kong1962 to 1967
6th Minesweeper FlotillaTrincomaleeJanuary 1945 to July 1947transferred to Singapore
6th Minesweeper FlotillaSingaporeAugust 1947 to 1951placed in reserve
6th Minesweeper SquadronSingapore1951 to June 1954new formation
104th Minesweeper SquadronSingapore1960 to 1962
120th Minesweeper SquadronHong Kong Naval Base1952 to 1962
7th Minesweeper FlotillaTrincomaleeFebruary 1945
2nd Submarine FlotillaTrincomaleeJanuary 1945
4th Submarine DivisionSydneyMay to October 1949
7th Submarine DivisionSingapore1959
4th Submarine FlotillaTrincomaleeJanuary 1942 to October 1947
4th Submarine FlotillaSingaporeOctober 1947 to December 1948
6th Submarine FlotillaTrincomaleeFebruary to August 1944
2nd Submarine FlotillaTrincomaleeJanuary 1945
4th Submarine FlotillaTrincomalee then SingaporeJanuary 1942 to October 1947
6th Submarine FlotillaTrincomaleeFebruary to August 1944
7th Submarine SquadronSingapore1966 to 1971
Persian Gulf DivisionJuffair Naval BaseJanuary 1942 to January 1954
Red Sea DivisionAden Naval BaseFebruary 1942 to January 1954
60th Escort GroupTrincomaleeJanuary to May 194511 ships
Aden-Bombay-Colombo GroupsAden/Bombay/Colombo4 February 1944 to January 1945ABC 30 escorts
Aden Escort ForcesAden4 February 1944 to January 194515 escorts
Ceylon Escort ForcesColombo9 January 1943 to 4 February 194410 escorts
Kilidini Escort ForcesKilidini4 February 1944 to January 19458 escorts
Kilidini Escort ForcesKilidiniJanuary to May 194514 ships
Royal Indian Navy Escort ForcesBombay4 February 1944 to January 19458 escorts
Single units also in this command
River-class frigatesTrincomaleeMay to September 194520 ships
SloopsTrincomaleeMay to September 194519 ships
CorvettesTrincomaleeMay to September 194518 ships

List of ships

During World War II, the British Eastern Fleet included, from time to time, a number of warships from the British Dominions of Australia and New Zealand as well as other Allied nations, such as, France (Free French Navy), the Netherlands, and the United States.

See also

References

Notes

  1. Jackson, p. 289
  2. Hobbs, David. "THE BRITISH PACIFIC FLEET IN 1945 A Commonwealth effort and a remarkable achievement" (PDF). navy.gov.au. Royal Australian Navy. Retrieved 18 July 2018.
  3. "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon: The Indian Ocean and the Maritime Balance of Power in Historical Perspective" (PDF). Retrieved 2 September 2012.
  4. "Pearl Harbor Attack". Retrieved 2 September 2012.
  5. "Citizens of London by Lynne Olson". Archived from the original on 22 December 2011. Retrieved 2 September 2012.
  6. Muggenthaler, p. 282–287
  7. O'Hara, p.103
  8. Hammerton, John (editor) (25 April 1941). "South Africans Won the Race to Addis Ababa". The War Illustrated. London: William Berry (Volume 4, issue no. 86): 424.CS1 maint: extra text: authors list (link)
  9. Jackson, p.290
  10. "The Intelligence Failure At Pearl Harbor". Retrieved 2 September 2012.
  11. "L'Indochine française pendant la Seconde Guerre mondiale". Archived from the original on 5 February 2012. Retrieved 2 September 2012.
  12. Shores, et al., pp. 120–21
  13. Whitaker's Almanacks 1941 – 1971
  14. "Secret Port T on Addu atoll Maldives 1945". Maldives Culture. Retrieved 2 September 2012.
  15. Royal Navy in Pacific and Indian Oceans area
  16. Klemen, L. "Vice-Admiral Chuichi Nagumo". Forgotten Campaign: The Dutch East Indies Campaign 1941–1942. Archived from the original on 30 June 2012. Retrieved 2 September 2012.
  17. "Battle of Madagascar". Retrieved 2 September 2012.
  18. "Chapter 23 – The New Zealand Cruisers". Royal New Zealand Navy. Retrieved 2 September 2012.
  19. Jackson, p. 303
  20. "Appendix V – Execution By Japanese Of Fleet Air Arm Officers". Royal New Zealand Navy. Retrieved 2 September 2012.
  21. Grove, p. 266
  22. Hill, p. 219
  23. Grove, p. 307
  24. Watson, Dr Graham. "Royal Navy Organisation in World War 2, 1939–1945: EASTERN FLEET 1.1942-EAST INDIES FLEET 11.44-". www.naval-history.net. Gordon Smith, 19 September 2015. Retrieved 11 July 2018.
  25. Watson, Dr Graham. "Royal Navy Organisation in World War 2, 1939–1945: EASTERN FLEET 1.1942-EAST INDIES FLEET 11.44-". www.naval-history.net. Gordon Smith, 19 September 2015. Retrieved 11 July 2018.
  26. Mackie, Colin. "Royal Navy Senior Appointments from 1865". gulabin.com. Colin Mackie, July 2018. pp. 151–152. Retrieved 11 July 2018.
  27. Mackie, Colin. "Royal Navy Senior Appointments from 1865". gulabin.com. Colin Mackie, July 2018. pp. 151–152. Retrieved 11 July 2018.
  28. Heathcote, T. A. (2002). British Admirals of the Fleet: 1734–1995. Barnsley, England: Pen and Sword. p. 187. ISBN 9780850528350.
  29. Houterman, J.N. "Royal Navy (RN) Officers 1939–1945 – M". www.unithistories.com. Houterman and Kloppes, 2010–2018. Retrieved 22 July 2018.
  30. Houterman, J.N. "Royal Navy (RN) Officers 1939–1945 – B". www.unithistories.com. Houterman and Kloppes 2010–2018. Retrieved 22 July 2018.
  31. Mackie, Colin. "Royal Navy Senior Appointments from 1865". gulabin.com. Colin Mackie, July 2018. pp. 151–152. Retrieved 11 July 2018.
  32. Mackie, Colin. "Royal Navy Senior Appointments from 1865". gulabin.com. Colin Mackie, July 2018. p. 153. Retrieved 11 July 2018.
  33. Mackie, Colin. "Royal Navy Senior Appointments from 1865". gulabin.com. Colin Mackie, July 2018. p. 153. Retrieved 11 July 2018.
  34. Mackie, Colin. "Royal Navy Senior Appointments from 1865". gulabin.com. Colin Mackie, July 2018. p. 153. Retrieved 11 July 2018.
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