Battenberg Cup

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US Navy 020627-N-0382M-001 Battenberg Cup presentation aboard ship.jpg

The Battenberg Cup is an award given annually as a symbol of operational excellence to the best ship or submarine in the United States Navy Atlantic Fleet. The cup was originally awarded as a trophy to the winner of cutter or longboat rowing competitions between crews of American and British naval ships. In more recent years it has been presented to the Battle Efficiency "E" winner selected as the best all-around ship of the Fleet based on crew achievements. These include performance in competition for Atlantic Fleet Sportsmanship Award, TYCOM Sailor of the Year Award, Golden Anchor Award (for retention), Captain Edward F. Ney Memorial Award (for food service), and command excellence awards. Other information, such as operating schedules, commitments and unusual factors contributing to the nomination may also be considered.


In 1905, Prince Louis of Battenberg, commanding the five ships of the Royal Navy's 2nd Cruiser Squadron, visited the United States, making port visits in New York City, Annapolis and Washington, D.C. Shortly after his return to England, Battenberg sent the cup to Rear Admiral Robley Evans who at the time commanded the US North Atlantic Fleet. Battenberg requested the trophy become a challenge cup between enlisted men of the two navies. The challenge rules were set up for cutter racing, including a provision that British sailors could compete with their American counterparts “whenever a ship holding the cup would fall in with a British Man-O-War.” Only once in 34 years of competition (in 1907 during the Jamestown Exposition in Norfolk, Virginia) and 52 challenges did the Americans lose the cup to the British.

The rowing competition was discontinued due to World War II and never resumed. The cup was present at the attack on Pearl Harbor on 7 December 1941 aboard USS West Virginia, the last ship to win the cup. It survived the sinking of the West Virginia during the attack and remained aboard as she was raised, refitted and returned to the war. The ship retained custody of the cup until her decommissioning in 1947 when the cup was displayed at several Navy commands. It was eventually placed in the Navy Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C. until the competition reemerged in 1978 with new criteria.

The side of the 3-foot-high (0.91 m), silver-plated cup is engraved, "To the enlisted men of the North Atlantic Fleet from their British cousins of the 2nd Cruiser Squadron. In grateful remembrance of the many kindnesses, tokens of good fellowship and wonderful entertainments that were given to them in cordial friendship by their comrades across the sea." It features the crossed ensigns of the US Navy and Royal Navy.


The 1939 Battenberg Cup whaleboat race at Pearl Harbor.
Arizona (BB-39) whaleboat crew with the Battenberg Cup, 1931.


  1. ^ "USS Minnesota wins 2019 Battenberg Cup Award". Retrieved 4 June 2020.
  2. ^ "Norfolk-based USS Monterey named best surface ship in Navy". Retrieved 4 June 2020.
  3. ^ "Hartford Presented 2017 Cup Battenberg Cup Award; Recognized as Best Ship in the Atlantic Fleet". Retrieved 4 June 2020.
  4. ^ "Recognizing the Best of the Fleet". Retrieved 4 June 2020.
  5. ^ "Alaska receives Battenberg Cup". Retrieved 28 September 2018.
  6. ^ [1]
  7. ^ This story was written by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class (SW/AW) Yasmine Muhammad. "Ike Receives Battenberg Cup". Retrieved 28 September 2018.
  8. ^ "USS George H. W. Bush Gets Fleet's Highest Recognition". Retrieved 28 September 2018.
  9. ^ "The Mirror: Local & World News, Sports & Entertainment in Jacksonville, FL". The Mirror. Retrieved 28 September 2018.
  10. ^ This story was written by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Phil Beaufort. "U.S. Fleet Forces Presents Kearsarge with Battenberg Cup". Retrieved 28 September 2018.
  11. ^ This story was written by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class (AW) Glen Dennis. "Enterprise Wins Battenberg Cup". Retrieved 28 September 2018.
  12. ^ This story was written by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Nathaniel Moger. "Ike Receives the Battenberg Cup". Retrieved 28 September 2018.
  13. ^ "USS John F. Kennedy (CV 67) Mediterranean Cruise Book 1983-84". Retrieved 28 September 2018.
  14. ^ "All Hands Magazine" (PDF). Retrieved 28 September 2018.
  15. ^ "All Hands Magazine" (PDF). Retrieved 28 September 2018.
  16. ^ Stillwell, Arizona, 56.
  17. ^ Stillwell, Arizona, 42.
  18. ^ Stillwell, Arizona, 31.


  • Stillwell, Paul. Battleship Arizona; An Illustrated History. Annapolis, Maryland: Naval Institute Press, 1991. ISBN 0-87021-023-8. OCLC 23654474.