East Africa Station

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
East Africa Station
Naval Ensign of the United Kingdom.svg
Active1939-1945
CountryUnited Kingdom
BranchRoyal Navy
Part of
  • East Indies Station (1939-1941)
  • Eastern Fleet (1942-1945)
  • East Indies Station (1945-1958)
Garrison/HQHMS Tana (RN base, Kilindini, Mombasa, Kenya (1939–1945)

The East Africa Station was a naval command area of the British Royal Navy administered by the Flag Officer, East Africa.

History[edit]

During the 1850s and 1860s the 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] An East African Squadron was active in suppressing slavery in 1869,[2] part of the East Indies Station. The mission of Sir Bartle Frere in 1869 "produced.. a recommendation that a guardship be permanently stationed off the Zanzibar coast."[3] 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] Rawley writes that Captain George Sulivan and his successor directed the activities of the old ship-of-the-line HMS London, reequipped as both prison and hospital, with some success. London served as a base for cruisers operating against the slaving dhows, for four years.[5]

In the early twentieth century HMNB Zanizibar was primarily used as a coaling station.[6] Prior to World War I British naval operations were gradually scaled down.

As the likelihood of war with Germany increased, the Commander-in-Chief, Cape Station, Rear Admiral Herbert King-Hall, moved his ships in order to counter the threat posed by the German light cruiser Königsberg, based at Dar es Salaam. On 31 July 1914, the British protected cruiser HMS Pegasus sighted Königsberg leaving Dar es Salaam, but was unable to keep track of the faster German cruiser.[7][8] King-Hall recognised that Königsberg outclassed Pegasus and intended that Pegasus should operate with the cruiser Astraea while his flagship Hyacinth operated independently to protect the trade routes around the Cape, but on 12 August, the Admiralty ordered Astraea to join Hyacinth off the Cape to escort troop convoys, leaving Pegasus unsupported at Zanzibar.[9] On 20 September 1914, Königsberg surprised and sank Pegasus in the Battle of Zanzibar.

Königsberg then retreated into the Rufiji River to repair her engines. Before the repairs could be completed, British cruisers located Königsberg; the Navy List for April 1915 lists on the East Coast of Africa under Part XI, Other Foreign Stations, page 22 (1363), the light cruisers Hyacinth, HMS Weymouth, and HMS Pioneer. Unable to steam into the river to destroy Konigsberg, the Royal Navy ships set up a blockade. After several attempts to sink the ship during the Battle of Rufiji Delta, the British sent two monitors, Mersey and Severn, to destroy the German cruiser. On 11 July 1915, the two monitors got close enough to severely damage Königsberg, forcing her crew to scuttle the ship. After the seizure of German East Africa, the Royal Navy added a base in Tanganyika to the existing one at Zanzibar.

British forces' principal role was to protect British commerce from German surface raiders – seen as a priority in 1914–1915.[10]

A base at Kilidini in Kenya was re-established in September 1939 at the start of the Second World War; Kenya was a British colony. Kilindini became the temporary home of Force B, the old R-class battleships of the Eastern Fleet, along with other ships, from early 1942, until the Japanese naval threat to Ceylon (now Sri Lanka) subsided.[11]

During this period at least two naval air stations were established: RNAS Kilidini (HMS Kipanga) ; RNAS Mackinnon Road (HMS Kipanga II) both used 1942-44. RAF Port Reitz nearby was also used by the Fleet Air Arm while the Eastern Fleet was in the area.

Local European naval reserve forces included the Tanganyika Naval Volunteer Force[12] and the Zanzibar Naval Volunteer Force.[13] Following the Second World War Kilidini became the headquarters for the Royal East African Navy from 1952 to 1962.

RN posts in East Africa, First World War[edit]

The operation against the Konigsberg was commanded by Rear-Admiral King-Hall, Commander-in-Chief of the Cape Station.

Naval Officer-in-Charge, Zanzibar 1918-19[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 [14] (later Captain).

Senior Naval Officer, Tanganyika 1918-19[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 [15]

Officer Commanding, RNAS East Indies Naval Air Station 1915[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

Commander and posts Second World War[edit]

Rank Flag Name Title Term Notes/Ref
Flag Officer, East Africa
1 Rear-Admiral Flag of Rear-Admiral - Royal Navy.svg A.D. Read Flag Officer East Africa and Zanzibar April 1942 – October 1942 [16]
2 Commodore UK-Navy-OF6-Flag.svg Charles Stuart October 1942 – 8 February 1943
3 Rear-Admiral Flag of Rear-Admiral - Royal Navy.svg Charles Stuart 8 February 1943 – 11 January 1944. [17]
4 Rear-Admiral Flag of Rear-Admiral - Royal Navy.svg Richard Shelley Flag Officer East Africa. From 1 February 1944 also appointed Admiral Superintendent HM Dockyard Kilindini 11 January 1944 - January 1945 [18]
5 Commodore UK-Navy-OF6-Flag.svg Sir Philip Bowyer-Smyth Commodore East Africa 25 November 1944 - July 1945 [1]

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 [19]

Senior British Naval Officer, Kilindini[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 [20]

Naval units in this command[edit]

Various units that served in this command included:[21]

Units Date Notes
Three cruisers, monitors HMS Mersey and HMS Severn, an armed merchant cruiser 1915 allocated to East Africa
4 cruisers, 2 AMCs, 2 monitors, 1 kite balloon ship 1916 allocated to East Africa; HMS Manica, kite balloon ship, April–November 1916.
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[22]
Zanzibar Naval Volunteer Force 1939–1942 ditto
East African Naval Force 1942 – 13 May 1952 formed from the merger of TNVF and ZNVF into one command [23]
Royal East African Navy 13 May 1952 - 1962 EANF renamed in May 1952 [24]

Notes[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. ^ James A. Rawley (1988). "Book Review: Raymond C. Howell, "The Royal Navy and the Slave Trade"". 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. ^ Rawley 1988, 184.
  6. ^ Hazell's Annual. Aylesbury, England: Hazell, Watson & Viney. 1905. p. 74.
  7. ^ Corbett 1920, p. 152
  8. ^ Naval Staff Monograph No. 10 1921, pp. 17–20
  9. ^ Naval Staff Monograph No. 10 1921, pp. 21–25
  10. ^ 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.
  11. ^ Argyle, C.J. (1976). Japan at war, 1937–45. London: A. Barker. p. 111. ISBN 9780213165864.
  12. ^ https://www.iwm.org.uk/collections/item/object/205057956
  13. ^ Navy List Quarterly Volume 1. H.M. Stationery Office. January 1945. p. 352.
  14. ^ The Navy List. London, England: H.M Stationery Office. May 1919. p. 877.
  15. ^ The Navy List: Supplement. London, England: H.M. Stationery Office. April 1919. p. 9.
  16. ^ Kindell, Don. "Eastern Fleet, Admiralty War Diary 1942". www.naval-history.net. Gordon Smith, 14 July 2011. Retrieved 5 July 2018.
  17. ^ 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.
  18. ^ Houterman, J.N. "Royal Navy (RN) Officers 1939-1945 - S:". unithistories.com. Houterman and Kloppes. Retrieved 4 July 2018. On 14 March 1964 Shelley changed his surname to Benyon by deed poll.
  19. ^ The navy list. London, England: London : His Majesty's Stationery Office. 1944. pp. 2182–2183.
  20. ^ "Flag Officers in Commission etc.". The Navy List. London, England: H. M. Stationery Office. August 1940. p. 874.
  21. ^ 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.
  22. ^ "TANGANYIKA'S NAVY, C. 19 OCTOBER 1944". Imperial War Museums. Imperial War Museum, UK. Retrieved 5 July 2018.
  23. ^ Page, Malcolm (2011). King's African Rifles: A History. Pen and Sword. p. 264. ISBN 9780850525380.
  24. ^ Page, Malcolm (2011). King's African Rifles: A History. Pen and Sword. p. 264. ISBN 9780850525380.

References[edit]

  • Argyle, C.J. (1976). Japan at war, 1937-45. London: A. Barker. ISBN 9780213165864.
  • Corbett, J. S. (1923). Naval Operations. History of the Great War Based on Official Documents by Direction of the Historical Section of the Committee of Imperial Defence. III. accompanying Map Case (1st ed.). London: Longmans, Green & Co. OCLC 867968279. Retrieved 2 November 2016.
    • May 1915 to June 1916, Dardanelles, evacuation, destruction of SMS Königsberg; SS Arabic and HMS Baralong (Baralong incidents), Irish Easter Rising, air raid on Schleswig air base and Battle of Jutland. Draft copied circulated during controversy about failures at Jutland and changes were instigated by Admiral David Beatty about his performance. Republished 1940 incorporating information from German official history, alterations for Beatty not restored; republished IWM-BP ndj 1995, IWM-NMP pbk. 2003.
  • 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.
  • The Navy List. 1944, Quarterly Volume 1 (1945). London, England: H.M. Stationery Office.
  • Sudans Twentyyear Refugee Dilemma". The International Journal of African Historical Studies, Africana Publishing Company. Vol. 21 (1–2): 184.
  • 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]

  • Commodore later Rear Admiral Charles G. Stuart, career summary [2]