Military Wiki
Grand Fleet
Grand Fleet Assembly (front).jpg
The First Fleet assembles for the King's review on 18 July 1914
Active 1914–1919
Country  United Kingdom
Allegiance British Empire
Branch Royal Navy
Type Naval Fleet
Size ~160 ships
Engagements Battle of Jutland
Sir John Jellicoe
Ceremonial chief Sir David Beatty

The 2nd Battle Squadron of the Grand Fleet in 1914. From left to right the ships are: King George V, Thunderer, Monarch and Conqueror.

The Grand Fleet was the main fleet of the British Royal Navy during the First World War.


It was formed in August 1914 from the First Fleet and elements of the Second Fleet of the Home Fleets and it included 35–40 state-of-the-art capital ships. It was initially commanded by Admiral Sir John Jellicoe. He was succeeded by Admiral Sir David Beatty in 1916. The Grand Fleet was based first on Scapa Flow in the Orkney Islands and later at Rosyth on the Firth of Forth and only took part in one fleet action during the war – the indecisive Battle of Jutland.

In April 1919 the Grand Fleet was disbanded with much of its strength forming a new Atlantic Fleet.

The Grand Fleet sailing in parallel columns in WW1

Order of battle

Not all the Grand Fleet was available to put to sea at any one time, because ships required maintenance and repairs. For a list of the ships which were part of the Grand Fleet at the time of the Battle of Jutland in May 1916 see the article Order of battle at Jutland. The order of battle of the Grand Fleet at the end of the war appears in Naval order of 24 October 1918.

Actual strength of the fleet varied through the war as new ships were built and others were sunk, but the numbers steadily increased as the war progressed and the margin of superiority over the German fleet progressed with it. After the United States entered the war, United States Battleship Division Nine was attached to the Grand Fleet as the Sixth Battle Squadron, adding four, and later five, dreadnought battleships.

External links

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