Reserve Fleet (United Kingdom)
The Reserve Fleet was a Royal Navy formation of decommissioned vessels which could be brought to a state of readiness at time of war.
In the early years of the 18th century ships were "laid up in ordinary" at various British naval bases so establishing the Reserve Fleet as a repository for serviceable but decommissioned ships. In the 1820s, after the end of the Napoleonic War, more than 1,000 ships were laid up following budget cuts imposed by John Wilson Croker, First Secretary to the Admiralty, despite vehement opposition from serving officers.
The Reserve Fleet was brought to readiness for World War I. It continued to exist in the inter-war years but in 1930 the Admiralty reduced it in size on the basis that war was unlikely in the ensuing 10 years. At the start of World War II the Reserve Fleet, under the command of Vice Admiral Sir Max Horton, was again brought to a state of readiness. Some 15,000 men were called up in May 1939 to man the Reserve Fleet which became ready for service on 15 June 1939. During the 1950s ships were regularly 'cocooned' for the Reserve Fleet and it ceased to exist in 1960.
Flag Officers Commanding
Flag Officers Commanding included:
- 1919–1920 Vice-Admiral Sir Henry Oliver
- 1920–1922 Vice-Admiral Sir Richard Phillimore
- 1922–1923 Vice-Admiral Sir Douglas Nicholson
- 1923–1924 Vice-Admiral Sir William Goodenough
- 1924–1926 Vice-Admiral Sir Victor Stanley
- Mar – Oct 1926 Vice-Admiral Sir Rudolph Bentinck
- 1926–1928 Vice-Admiral Sir Hugh Watson
- 1928–1929 Vice-Admiral Sir William Boyle
- 1929–1930 Vice-Admiral Percival Hall-Thompson
- 1930–1932 Vice-Admiral Sir Frank Larken
- 1932–1934 Vice-Admiral Sir William Kerr
- 1934–1935 Vice-Admiral Edward Astley-Rushton
- 1935–1937 Vice-Admiral Sir Gerald Dickens
- 1937–1939 Vice Admiral Sir Max Horton
- 1944–1945 Rear-Admiral Charles Harris
- 1945–1947 Rear-Admiral Leslie Ashmore
- 1947–1948 Rear-Admiral Reginald Servaes
- 1948–1951 Vice-Admiral Sir Robin Bridge
- 1951–1953 Vice-Admiral Sir Henry McCall
- 1953–1954 Vice-Admiral Sir Ian Campbell
- 1954–1955 Vice-Admiral Sir John Eaton
- 1955–1956 Vice-Admiral Sir Peter Cazalet
- 1956–1958 Vice-Admiral Sir Richard Onslow
- 1958–1959 Vice-Admiral Sir Guy Sayer
- 1959–1960 Rear-Admiral John Grant
- "Admiral of the Fleet Sir John Fisher, 1st Baron Fisher of Kilverstone 1841–1920". National Archives. Retrieved 23 September 2012.
- Moretz, p. 82
- "Reserve Fleet". Orbat. Retrieved 23 September 2012.
- "Britain's Reserve Fleet 1939". British Pathe. Retrieved 23 September 2012.
- "Maritime War-The British Shore Organisation". The War at Sea. Retrieved 23 September 2012.
- "Reserve Fleet 1950". British Pathe. Retrieved 23 September 2012.
- "Royal Navy Maintenance and Supply Ships". Royal Navy Ships. Retrieved 23 September 2012.
- Senior Royal Navy Appointments
- Moretz, Joseph (2002). The Royal Navy and the Capital Ship in the Interwar Period: An Operational Perspective. Routledge. ISBN 978-0714651965.