East Africa Station

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East Africa Station
Naval Ensign of the United Kingdom.svg
Active1862–1962
CountryUnited Kingdom
AllegianceBritish Empire
BranchRoyal Navy
Part of
  • East Indies Station (1862-1918)
  • Cape of Good Hope Station (1918-1938)
  • East Indies Station (1939-1941)
  • Eastern Fleet (1942-1945)
  • East Indies Station (1945-1958)
Garrison/HQHMS Tana (RN base, Kilindini, Mombasa, Kenya, (1914–1945)

The East Africa Station and originally known as East Coast of Africa Station (1862–1919) was a military unit of the British Royal Navy administered by the Flag Officer, East Africa and initially a sub-command of the East Indies Station then later Eastern Fleet from 1862 to 1962.

History[edit]

During the 1850s and 1860s the British Royal Navy was operating in the Indian Ocean off the coast of East Africa fighting to suppress the Eastern Slave trade operating out of Zanzibar up to the North Coast of the Arabian Sea.[1] Between 1862 and 1872 the British established an East Africa Squadron [2] as part of the East Indies Station. In 1873 treaties were signed between Great Britain and the Sultanates of Muscat and Oman and Zanzibar allowing for a permanent naval presence on the Zanzibar coast.[3] However Britain's real intentions in East Africa was to stop other European naval powers from establishing any similar bases in the region, and the station's purpose was to protect British trade interests passing through the Western Indian Ocean.[4] In the early twentieth century HMNB Zanizibar was primarily used as a coaling station.[5] Prior to World War I British naval operations were gradually scaled down.

The East Coast of Africa Station was re-established in 1914, with bases in the British East Africa Protectorate, subordinate to the East Indies Station.[6] The East Africa Station eventually had two bases; one in Tanganyika and the other at Zanzibar. Its principal role was to protect British commerce from German surface raiders – seen as a priority in 1914–1915.[7] The command existed until 1918, when the Cape of Good Hope Station was assigned East Coast of Africa duties. During the inter-war period the command was scaled down to non-operational status.

The Kilidini (Kenya) station was re-established in September 1939 at the start of the Second World War, while Kenya was a British colony. Kilindini became the temporary home of the British Eastern Fleet from early 1942 until the Japanese naval threat to Colombo, Ceylon (now Sri Lanka) had subsided by January 1945.[8] Reserve units serving under this command included the Tanganyika Naval Volunteer Force[9] and the Zanzibar Naval Volunteer Force.[10] Following the Second World War the station became the main headquarters for the Royal East African Navy from 1952 to 1962.

Administration[edit]

World War I[edit]

Naval Officer-in-Charge, Zanzibar[edit]

Rank Insig Name Term Notes/Ref
Naval Officer-in-Charge, Zanzibar
1 Commander Generic-Navy-O5.svg Oswald C. M. Barry 20 November 1918–1919 [11] (later Captain).

Senior Naval Officer, Tanganyika[edit]

Rank Insig Name Term Notes/Ref
Senior Naval Officer, Tanganyika
1 Lieutenant-Commander Generic-Navy-O4.svg Leonard Spain 12 September 1918 – April 1919 [12]

Officer Commanding, RNAS East Indies Naval Air Station.[edit]

Rank Insig Name Term Notes/Ref
Officer Commanding, RNAS East Indies Naval Air Station
1 Commander Generic-Navy-O4.svg Robert Gordon January, 1915– September 1915

Second World War[edit]

Senior British Naval Officer, Kilindini (Kenya)[edit]

Rank Insig Name Term Notes/Ref
Senior British Naval Officer, Kilindini (Kenya)
1 Commander Generic-Navy-O5.svg D. E. Blunt (retd) 1 September 1939 – April 1942 [13]

Flag Officer, East Africa and Admiral Superintendent, H.M. Dockyard, Kilindini[edit]

Rank Flag Name Term Notes/Ref
Flag Officer, East Africa
1 Rear-Admiral Flag of Rear-Admiral - Royal Navy.svg Peter Reid April 1942 – October 1942 [14]
2 Commodore UK-Navy-OF6-Flag.svg Charles G. Stuart October 1942 – 8 February 1943
3 Rear-Admiral Flag of Rear-Admiral - Royal Navy.svg Charles G. Stuart 8 February 1943 – 11 January 1944. [15]
4 Rear-Admiral Flag of Rear-Admiral - Royal Navy.svg Richard Shelly Benyon 11 January 1944 - November 1944 [16]
5 Commodore UK-Navy-OF6-Flag.svg Sir Philip Bowyer November 1944 - 1945

Commodore, Naval Air Stations, East Africa[edit]

Rank Flag Name Term Notes/Ref
Commodore, Naval Air Stations, East Africa
1 Rear-Admiral UK-Navy-OF6-Flag.svg F. Elliott 19 August 1943 – 1 January 1945 [17]

Air units in this command[edit]

Various units that served in this command included:

Units Date Notes
RNAS Kilidini 1942-44 Station name: HMS Kipanga
RNAS Mackinnon Road 1942-44 Station name: HMS Tana Kipanga II
RAF Port Reitz 1942-44 used by the Fleet Air Arm as a land base of the BEF

Naval units in this command[edit]

Various units that served in this command included:[18]

Units Date Notes
3 cruisers, 2 monitors, AMC 1915 allocated to East Africa
4 cruisers, 2 AMC's, 2 monitors, 1 kite balloon ship 1916 ditto
3 cruisers, 2 monitors, 1 AMC, 1 sloop, 1 gunboat 1917 ditto
4th Cruiser Squadron 1942 as part of Eastern Fleet transferred to Kilidini
Tanganyika Naval Volunteer Force 1939–1942 minesweeping, coast watching and coastal patrol duties and manning of signal stations[19]
Zanzibar Naval Volunteer Force 1939–1942 ditto
Eastern Fleet April 1942 – November 1943 The Commander-in-Chief, Eastern Fleet with his whole force was transferred to Kilindini.[20]
East African Naval Force 1942 – 13 May 1952 formed from the merger of TNVF and ZNVF into one command [21]
Royal East African Navy 13 May 1952 - 1962 EANF renamed in May 1952 [22]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Howell, Raymond (1987). The Royal Navy and the slave trade. London: Croom Helm. p. 119. ISBN 9780709947707.
  2. ^ Society, the Church Missionary. "The slave trade of east Africa". wikisource.org. The Church Missionary Society, 1869. Retrieved 4 July 2018.
  3. ^ "Sudans Twentyyear Refugee Dilemma". The International Journal of African Historical Studies. Africana Publishing Company. 21 (1–2): 184.
  4. ^ Davis, Paul. "The Frere mission to Zanzibar". www.pdavis.nl. P. L. Davis, 2010–2018. Retrieved 4 July 2018.
  5. ^ Hazell's Annual. Aylesbury, England: Hazell, Watson & Viney. 1905. p. 74.
  6. ^ Friedman, Norman (2014). Fighting the Great War at Sea: Strategy, Tactic and Technology. Barnsley, England: Seaforth Publishing. p. 121. ISBN 9781848321892.
  7. ^ Watson, Dr Graham. "Royal Navy Organisation and Ship Deployment, Inter-War Years 1914–1918". naval-history.net. Gordon Smith, 27 October 2015. Retrieved 4 July 2018.
  8. ^ Argyle, C.J. (1976). Japan at war, 1937–45. London: A. Barker. p. 111. ISBN 9780213165864.
  9. ^ https://www.iwm.org.uk/collections/item/object/205057956
  10. ^ Navy List Quarterly Volume 1. H.M. Stationery Office. January 1945. p. 352.
  11. ^ The Navy List. London, England: H.M Stationery Office. May 1919. p. 877.
  12. ^ The Navy List: Supplement. London, England: H.M. Stationery Office. April 1919. p. 9.
  13. ^ "Flag Officers in Commission etc.". The Navy List. London, England: H. M. Stationery Office. August 1940. p. 874.
  14. ^ Kindell, Don. "Eastern Fleet, Admiralty War Diary 1942". www.naval-history.net. Gordon Smith, 14 July 2011. Retrieved 5 July 2018.
  15. ^ Wells, Anne Sharp (2000). The Anglo-American "special relationship" during the Second World War : a selective guide to materials in the British Library. [London]: Eccles Centre for American Studies, The British Library. p. 25. ISBN 0712344268.
  16. ^ Houterman, J.N. "Royal Navy (RN) Officers 1939-1945 - S:". unithistories.com. Houterman and Kloppes. Retrieved 4 July 2018.
  17. ^ The navy list. London, England: London : His Majesty's Stationery Office. 1944. pp. 2182–2183.
  18. ^ Watson, Dr Graham. "Royal Navy Organisation and Ship Deployment, Inter-War Years 1914–1918". www.naval-history.net. Gordon Smith, 27 October 2015. Retrieved 5 July 2018.
  19. ^ "TANGANYIKA'S NAVY, C. 19 OCTOBER 1944". Imperial War Museums. Imperial War Museum, UK. Retrieved 5 July 2018.
  20. ^ Puddefoot, Geoff (2010). Ready For Anything: The Royal Fleet Auxiliary 1905–1950. Barnsley, England: Seaforth Publishing. p. 129. ISBN 9781848320741.
  21. ^ Page, Malcolm (2011). King's African Rifles: A History. Pen and Sword. p. 264. ISBN 9780850525380.
  22. ^ Page, Malcolm (2011). King's African Rifles: A History. Pen and Sword. p. 264. ISBN 9780850525380.

Sources[edit]

  • Argyle, C.J. (1976). Japan at war, 1937-45. London: A. Barker. ISBN 9780213165864.
  • Friedman, Norman (2014). Fighting the Great War at Sea: Strategy, Tactic and Technology. Barnsley, England: Seaforth Publishing. ISBN 9781848321892.
  • Hazell's Annual. Aylesbury, England: Hazell, Watson & Viney. 1905.
  • Houterman, J.N. "Royal Navy (RN) Officers 1939–1945 – S:". unithistories.com. Houterman and Kloppes.
  • Howell, Raymond (1987). The Royal Navy and the slave trade. London: Croom Helm. ISBN 9780709947707.
  • Navy List (1945), Quarterly Volume 1. H.M. Stationery Office.
  • Sudans Twentyyear Refugee Dilemma". The International Journal of African Historical Studies. Africana Publishing Company. 21 (1–2): 184.
  • The navy list. (1944), London, England: London : Her Majesty's Stationery Office.
  • Watson, Dr Graham. (2015) "Royal Navy Organisation and Ship Deployment, Inter-War Years 1914–1918". naval-history.net. Gordon Smith.
  • Wells, Anne Sharp (2000). The Anglo-American "special relationship" during the Second World War : a selective guide to materials in the British Library. [London]: Eccles Centre for American Studies, The British Library. ISBN 0712344268.

External links[edit]