Second Fleet (United Kingdom)

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Second Fleet
Active1 May 1912–1914
Country United Kingdom
Branch Royal Navy
Vice-Admiral Sir Cecil Burney, Vice-Admiral Sir Frederick T. Hamilton

The Second Fleet was a reserve formation of the Royal Navy that briefly existed before the First World War.


Formed on 1 May 1912 from the Third Division of the Home Fleet, its ships were manned by a nucleus crew during peacetime, but were intended to be manned by men from the naval schools when mobilised.[1] It reported directly to the Commander-in-Chief, Home Fleets. The fleet was mobilised in late July 1914 as tensions increased between Great Britain and Imperial Germany and remained on active duty until war was declared on 4 August.[2] It reformed the Channel Fleet upon the declaration of war and consisted of the Fifth and Sixth Battle Squadrons, equipped with a total of 15 pre-dreadnought battleships and the majority of the Home Defence Patrol Flotillas.[3]


Rank Flag Name Term
Vice-Admiral Commanding Second Fleet [4]
1 Vice-Admiral Flag of Vice-Admiral - Royal Navy.svg Sir Frederick T. Hamilton May 1912-December 1913
2 Vice-Admiral Flag of Vice-Admiral - Royal Navy.svg Sir Cecil Burney December 1913-August 1914


Included [5]
Unit Notes
1 5th Battle Squadron (8 battleships) [6]
2 6th Battle Squadron (5-7 battleships) [7]
3 5th Cruiser Squadron (3-4 light cruisers) [8]
4 6th Cruiser Squadron 3-4 armoured cruisers) [9]
5 7th Destroyer Flotilla 20 destroyer-12 torpedo boat) [10]


  1. ^ Wragg, p. 24
  2. ^ Marder, p. 432
  3. ^ Corbett, p. 12
  4. ^ Government, H.M. (October 1913). "Flag Officers - Vice Admirals". The Navy List. H.M. Stationery Office. p. 87.
  5. ^ Harley, Simon; Lovell, Tony. "Second Fleet (Royal Navy) - The Dreadnought Project". Harley and Lovell, 25 May 2014. Retrieved 2 August 2017.
  6. ^ Harley and Lovell. 2014
  7. ^ Harley and Lovell. 2014
  8. ^ Harley and Lovell. 2014
  9. ^ Harley and Lovell. 2014
  10. ^ Harley and Lovell. 2014


  • Corbett, Julian. Naval Operations to the Battle of the Falklands. History of the Great War: Based on Official Documents. I (2nd, reprint of the 1938 ed.). London and Nashville, Tennessee: Imperial War Museum and Battery Press. ISBN 0-89839-256-X.
  • Marder, Arthur J. (2013) [1961]. From Dreadnought to Scapa Flow: The Royal Navy in the Fisher Era. I: The Road to War 1904–1914. Annapolis, Maryland: Naval Institute Press. ISBN 9781-59114-259-1.
  • Wragg, David (2006). Royal Navy Handbook 1914–1918. Stroud, UK: Sutton Publishing. ISBN 0-7509-4203-7.

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