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5th Battle Squadron (United Kingdom)

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Active  1914–1919
Branch  Royal Navy
Country  United Kingdom
Size  Squadron
5th Battle Squadron (United Kingdom)

The British 5th Battle Squadron was a squadron consisting of battleships. The 5th Battle Squadron was initially part of the Royal Navy's Home Fleet. During the First World War, the Home Fleet was renamed the Grand Fleet.


August 1914

In August 1914, the 5th Battle Squadron was based at Portland, and consisted of a number of pre-dreadnought battleships. These were:

  • HMS Prince of Wales
  • HMS Bulwark
  • HMS Implacable
  • HMS Irresistible
  • HMS Formidable
  • HMS London
  • HMS Queen
  • HMS Venerable
  • Following the loss of HMS Bulwark in 1914, HMS Lord Nelson and Agamemnon were transferred from the 6th Battle Squadron. With the commissioning of the five fast battleships of the Queen Elizabeth class, the remaining pre-dreadnoughts were sent to the Mediterranean. HMS Queen Elizabeth herself was delayed in joining the squadron, instead taking part in the Dardanelles Campaign until May 1915.

    Battle of Jutland

    In 1916, the 5th Battle Squadron—under the command of Rear Admiral Hugh Evan-Thomas— was temporarily transferred to David Beatty's Battlecruiser Fleet. On 31 May, four ships of the Squadron served with distinction in the battle of Jutland. These were:

  • HMS Barham Flagship of Rear Admiral H. Evan-Thomas; Captain A. W. Craig;
  • HMS Valiant Captain M. Woollcombe;
  • HMS Warspite Captain E. M. Philpotts;
  • HMS Malaya Captain the Honourable A. D. E. H. Boyle;
  • In the clash with the German I Scouting Group under Admiral Franz von Hipper, the 5th Battle Squadron "fired with extraordinary rapidity and accuracy" (according to Reinhard Scheer), damaging the battlecruisers SMS Lützow and Seydlitz and a number of other German warships.

    Three of the Queen Elizabeths received hits from German warships during the engagement, yet they all returned home, though Warspite—whose steering was jammed—was targeted by the German line, taking 15 hits and coming close to foundering.

    After the battle, HMS Queen Elizabeth—which had missed the battle due to being in dock—rejoined the squadron.


    Commanders were as follows:

  • Rear-Admiral Bernard Currey 1914-1915
  • Rear-Admiral Sir Hugh Evan-Thomas 1915-1918
  • Rear-Admiral Sir Arthur Leveson 1918-1919
  • References

    5th Battle Squadron (United Kingdom) Wikipedia

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