John de Robeck

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Sir John de Robeck, Bt
John Michael de Robeck.jpg
Sir John de Robeck
Born 10 June 1862
Naas, County Kildare, Ireland
Died 20 January 1928 (aged 65)
London, England, United Kingdom
Allegiance United Kingdom United Kingdom
Service/branch Naval Ensign of the United Kingdom.svg Royal Navy
Years of service 1875–1924
Rank Admiral of the Fleet
Battles/wars World War I
Awards Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the Bath
Knight Grand Cross of the Order of St Michael and St George
Knight Grand Cross of the Royal Victorian Order

Admiral of the Fleet Sir John Michael de Robeck, 1st Baronet GCB, GCMG, GCVO (10 June 1862 – 20 January 1928) was an Irish admiral in the British Royal Navy who commanded the Allied naval force in the Dardanelles during World War I.

De Robeck was born in Naas, County Kildare, Ireland, the second son of John Henry Edward Fock, fourth Baron de Robeck (1823–1904), to a family of Swedish/Estonian/German origin,[1] long settled in Ireland.

Dardanelles campaign[edit]

De Robeck joined the Royal Navy in 1875.[2] He was promoted to Captain on 1 January 1902.[3] In 1914 he was given command of the 9th Cruiser Squadron.[2]

He was second in command, to Admiral Sir Sackville Carden, of the Allied naval forces at the Dardanelles from February through March 1915, when he succeeded Carden in command.[2] He assumed command a mere three days before the planned attempt to force the Straits on 18 March.

The 1914/15 naval campaign to win the straits and push on to Constantinople was nearly successful, as the Turkish land-based artillery almost ran out of ammunition. However, mines laid in the straits sank or damaged five allied battleships.[2] The arrival of General Ian Hamilton and his troops gave Admiral de Robeck the possibility to turn over responsibility of taking the straits to the army.[2]

He went on to become Commander of the 2nd Battle Squadron of the Grand Fleet in November 1916.[4] In July 1919 he became Commander-in-Chief, Mediterranean Fleet also serving as British High Commissioner in Constantinople during Autumn 1919.[4] He became Commander-in-Chief, Atlantic Fleet from 1922 and retired in 1924.[2]

De Robeck was made a baronet in 1919 and appointed Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the Bath (GCB) in the 1921 New Year Honours.[5]


External links[edit]

Military offices
Preceded by
Sir Somerset Gough-Calthorpe
Commander-in-Chief, Mediterranean Fleet
Succeeded by
Sir Osmond Brock
Preceded by
Sir Charles Madden
Commander-in-Chief, Atlantic Fleet
Succeeded by
Sir Henry Oliver