The Third Fleet was a reserveformation of the Royal Navy that briefly existed before the First World War. Formed on 1 May 1912 from the 4th Division of the Home Fleet, its elderly ships were ordinarily only manned by a small maintenance crew during peacetime, but were intended to be manned by naval reservists when mobilised. It was conducting a test mobilisation in July 1914 as tensions increased between Great Britain and Imperial Germany and was only partially demobilised before full mobilisation was ordered on 2 August. At this time it consisted of the 7th and 8th Battle Squadrons of pre-dreadnought battleships and five squadrons of cruisers.
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