Cape of Good Hope Station

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Cape of Good Hope Station
HMSgib.jpg
The cruiser HMS Gibraltar, flagship of the Cape of Good Hope Station in the early 1900s
Active 1795–1939 [1]
Country  United Kingdom
Branch Naval Ensign of the United Kingdom.svg Royal Navy
Type Fleet
Garrison/HQ Table Bay, Simonstown, South Africa

The Cape of Good Hope Station was an operational command of the Royal Navy and one of the geographical divisions into which the British Royal Navy divided its worldwide responsibilities. It was formally the units and establishments responsible to the Commander-in-Chief, Cape of Good Hope. the station operated from 1795 to 1939.

History[edit]

Admiralty House, Simonstown


From 1750 to 1779 the Cape of Good Hope became strategically important due to the increasing competition between France and Great Britain for control of the seas.[2] In 1780 Holland joined the American Revolutionary War[3] in alliance[4] with France and Spain against Great Britain; the British Government were aware of the consequences should the Cape of Good Hope fall and the impact it would have on its trade links with India and put a plan into place to capture the Cape and circumvent its use by the enemy. The first attempt was subject to prolonged delays and the fact that the French were able to reinforce their defences enabled them to successfully defend it from the British attack. From 1781 to 1791 various attempts[5] were made to capture the station: all failed and it remained under the control of France and the French were successful in attacking and disrupting the trade cargo of the East India Company's ships that were travelling between Asian subcontinent and Europe.[6] In 1792 hostilities temporarily ceased and by 1793 the Directors of the East India Company expressed their concern[7] about the cape being retained by the French. The British government and the Admiralty decided to act and successfully retook it in 1795:[8] the first Naval base was established at Table Bay.[9]

In 1802 the British government agreed to restore the Cape to the Dutch control but this was not finalized until 1803 and lasted until 1806[10] when a new British Administration under William Pitt cancelled the agreement between both countries and re-took the cape once more in 1807 [11] which effectively from this point on remained under British control. In 1811 the Royal Navy decided it wanted to move from its current base to a new base at Simon's Town bay; however the initial facilities took approximately three years to complete and were not ready until 1814.[12] From 1815 to 1849 the base was mainly used for re-fitting and repair work on vessels and acted as a port of call for nautical surveyors who were mapping the region. During the 1850s and 1860s improvements were made to the dockyard facilities with some being re-built in order to accommodate larger ships. On 17 January 1865, it was combined with the East Indies Station to form the East Indies and Cape of Good Hope Station; however, the station was recreated as a separate station on 29 July 1867. From 1870, it absorbed the former West Africa Squadron.[13] By the start of the Second Boer War in 1899 a long period of relative peace had existed; the station became the main base for British Forces disembarking and embarking during the war and for supplies and equipment being shipped from Britain for the duration of the conflict.[14]

In 1910 a new East Dock was built together with a dry dock facility which proved timely in the event of the breakout of the First World War. From 1914 to until 1919 its primary tasks was to seek out and destroy German commerce raiding forces.[15] During the interwar period it resumed the work of maintaining and refitting vessels stationed there and those travelling en-route to Asia. In 1939, at the start of the Second World War, the base played an early prominent role in the Battle of the Atlantic, and the hunt for the German pocket battleship Admiral Graf Spee, that led to the Battle of the River Plate. After the conclusion of that engagement the station ceased as a command operations center with the senior naval staff moving to the newly formed South Atlantic station headquartered at Freetown. The naval base remained as part of that command until 1957.[16] In 1958 the British government handed over the facility to the South African Navy.[17]

Commanders-in-Chief[edit]

The commanders-in-chief were:[18]
Commander-in-Chief, Cape of Good Hope Station

Note: from 1803-06 a Dutch colony

Note:Incomplete list of commanders from 1853 to 1857
Commander-in-Chief, Cape of Good Hope Station and West Africa Station

Commander-in-Chief, East Indies & Cape of Good Hope Station

Commander-in-Chief, Cape of Good Hope Station and West Africa Station

Commander-in-Chief, Africa Station

Note: Command transferred to Commander-in-Chief, South Atlantic Station in 1939.

Sources[edit]

  • Miller, Nathan. Broadsides: The Age of Fighting Sail, 1775-1815 . New York: John Wiley & Sons, Inc. 2000.
  • Rodger, N.A.M. The Command of the Ocean: A Naval History of Britain, 1649-1815. New York and London: W.W. Norton and Company, 2004.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Walker, Eric Anderson (1963). The Cambridge History of the British Empire. CUP Archive. p. 879. Retrieved 19 November 2016. 
  2. ^ Duigan, Peter; Gann, L. H. (1978). South Africa: War, Revolution, or Peace?. Hoover Press. p. 10. ISBN 9780817969936. 
  3. ^ "Dutch and British Coastal Fortifications at the Cape of Good Hope (1665 to 1829)". sahistory.org.za. South African History Online, 2015. Retrieved 26 November 2016. 
  4. ^ Robbins, Louise E. (2002). Elephant slaves and pampered parrots : exotic animals in eighteenth century Paris ([Online-Ausg.] ed.). Baltimore [u.a.]: Johns Hopkins University Press. p. 54. ISBN 9780801867538. 
  5. ^ "Dutch and British Coastal Fortifications at the Cape of Good Hope (1665 to 1829)". sahistory.org.za. South African History Online, 2015. Retrieved 26 November 2016. 
  6. ^ Tucker, Spencer C. (2009). A Global Chronology of Conflict: From the Ancient World to the Modern Middle East [6 volumes]: From the Ancient World to the Modern Middle East. ABC-CLIO. p. 1303. ISBN 9781851096725. 
  7. ^ Mackay, David (1985). In the Wake of Cook: Exploration, Science & Empire, 1780-1801. Victoria University Press. p. 31. ISBN 9780864730251. 
  8. ^ Baines, Edward (1817). History of the Wars of the French Revolution, from the Breaking Point of the War in 1792, to the Restoration of a General Peace in 1815: Comprehending the Civil History of Great Britain and France, During that Period .--. Longman, Hurst, Rees, Orme and Brown. p. 146. 
  9. ^ Robbins, Louise E. (2002). Elephant Slaves and Pampered Parrots: Exotic Animals in Eighteenth-Century Paris. JHU Press. p. 54. ISBN 9780801867538. 
  10. ^ Hore, Peter (2012). Dreadnought to Daring: 100 Years of Comment, Controversy and Debate in The Naval Review. [S.l.]: Seaforth Publishing. p. 200. ISBN 9781848321489. 
  11. ^ Ward, Peter A. (2013). British naval power in the East, 1794-1805 : the command of Admiral Peter Rainier (1. publ. ed.). Woodbridge: Boydell Press. p. 231. ISBN 9781843838487. 
  12. ^ Goosen, C (1973). South Africa's Navy - the first Fifty years. W. J. Flesch & partners. pp. 131–132. ISBN 0 949989 02 9. 
  13. ^ West Africa Squadron
  14. ^ "South Africa 1899 - 1902". 1st The Queen's Dragoon Guards. Retrieved 26 November 2016. 
  15. ^ Friedman, Norman (2011). British Cruisers: Two World Wars and After. Seaforth Publishing. pp. 76–79. ISBN 9781848320789. 
  16. ^ Wilson, Alastair. ""Mrs Bathurst" Notes on the text". kiplingsociety.co.uk. The Kipling Society, Page 339, line 2, April 29 2008. 
  17. ^ "1956 to 1958". HMS Ceylon Association. Retrieved 26 November 2016. 
  18. ^ Hiscocks, Richard. "Cape Commander-in-Chief 1795-1852". morethannelson.com. morethannelson.com. Retrieved 19 November 2016. 
  19. ^ Barnard, Lady Anne Lindsay; Cordeur, Basil Le (1999). The Cape Diaries of Lady Anne Barnard, 1799-1800: 1799. Cape Town: Van Riebeeck Society, The. p. 27. ISBN 9780958411257. 
  20. ^ "Christian, Sir Hugh Cloberry, Rear Admiral, 1747-1798 Biographical Details". Royal Museums Greenwich, 1798-02-26 - 1798-11-04. Retrieved 19 November 2016. 
  21. ^ "Bertie, Admiral Sir Albemarle". The annual biography and obituary for the year 1825. Vol. 9. London: Longman, Hurst, Rees, Orme, Brown, and Green. 1825. p. 396. 
  22. ^ Clarke, James Stanier; McArthur, John (2010). The Naval Chronicle: Volume 28, July-December 1812: Containing a General and Biographical History of the Royal Navy of the United Kingdom with a Variety of Original Papers on Nautical Subjects. Cambridge University Press. p. 260. ISBN 9781108018678. 
  23. ^ Napoleon & Betsy: Recollections of the Emperor Napoleon on St Helena. Fonthill Media. 2016. p. 80. ISBN 9781781551356. 
  24. ^ Great Britain H.M. Stationery Office,, House of Commons; State Library, Bavarian (1 January 1821). "Journals of the House of Commons, Digitized 23 Jun 2010". Vol 76. H.M. Stationery Office: p. 794. 
  25. ^ Walker, Eric Anderson (1963). The Cambridge History of the British Empire. CUP Archive. p. 879. Retrieved 19 November 2016. 
  26. ^ Marshall 1827, p. 119.
  27. ^ Colbourn, H. "The United Service Magazine, 1830". p. 249, The University of Wisconsin - Madison Digitized, 12 Apr 2010. Retrieved 19 November 2016. 
  28. ^ Bethell, Leslie (2009). The Abolition of the Brazilian Slave Trade: Britain, Brazil and the Slave Trade Question. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. p. 122. ISBN 9780521101134. 
  29. ^ Bethell, Leslie (2009). The Abolition of the Brazilian Slave Trade: Britain, Brazil and the Slave Trade Question. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. p. 122. ISBN 9780521101134. 
  30. ^ Bethell, Leslie (2009). The Abolition of the Brazilian Slave Trade: Britain, Brazil and the Slave Trade Question. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. p. 122. ISBN 9780521101134. 
  31. ^ Authors, Various (2013). The Nautical Magazine and Naval Chronicle for 1840. New York: Cambridge University Press. p. 459. ISBN 9781108053921. 
  32. ^ "Colonial Magazine and Commercial Maritime Journal". Fisher, son. p.253, Digitized by the University of Minnesota,18 Jun 2014. 1 January 1844. Retrieved 19 November 2016. 
  33. ^ "The New Commander for the Cape". nla.gov.au. Morning Chronicle, 10 Jan 1846. Retrieved 19 November 2016. 

External links[edit]