British Grand Fleet
The Grand Fleet was the main fleet
Naval fleet
A fleet, or naval fleet, is a large formation of warships, and the largest formation in any navy. A fleet at sea is the direct equivalent of an army on land....

 of the British
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

 Royal Navy
Royal Navy
The Royal Navy is the naval warfare service branch of the British Armed Forces. Founded in the 16th century, it is the oldest service branch and is known as the Senior Service...

 during the First World War
World War I
World War I , which was predominantly called the World War or the Great War from its occurrence until 1939, and the First World War or World War I thereafter, was a major war centred in Europe that began on 28 July 1914 and lasted until 11 November 1918...



It was formed in 1914 by the British Atlantic Fleet combined with the Home Fleet and it included 35-40 state-of-the-art capital ships. It was initially commanded by Admiral Sir John Jellicoe
John Jellicoe, 1st Earl Jellicoe
Admiral of the Fleet John Rushworth Jellicoe, 1st Earl Jellicoe, GCB, OM, GCVO was a British Royal Navy admiral who commanded the Grand Fleet at the Battle of Jutland in World War I...

. He was succeeded by Admiral Sir David Beatty
David Beatty, 1st Earl Beatty
Admiral of the Fleet David Richard Beatty, 1st Earl Beatty, GCB, OM, GCVO, DSO was an admiral in the Royal Navy...

 in 1916.

The Grand Fleet was based in Scapa Flow
Scapa Flow
right|thumb|Scapa Flow viewed from its eastern endScapa Flow is a body of water in the Orkney Islands, Scotland, United Kingdom, sheltered by the islands of Mainland, Graemsay, Burray, South Ronaldsay and Hoy. It is about...

 in the Orkney Islands
Orkney Islands
Orkney also known as the Orkney Islands , is an archipelago in northern Scotland, situated north of the coast of Caithness...

 and only took part in one fleet action during the war - the indecisive Battle of Jutland
Battle of Jutland
The Battle of Jutland was a naval battle between the British Royal Navy's Grand Fleet and the Imperial German Navy's High Seas Fleet during the First World War. The battle was fought on 31 May and 1 June 1916 in the North Sea near Jutland, Denmark. It was the largest naval battle and the only...


After the war the Grand Fleet was disbanded with much of its strength forming a new Atlantic Fleet.

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 ships which were present at the Battle of Jutland in May 1916 see the article, Order of battle at Jutland
Order of battle at Jutland
This is the complete order of battle for the Battle of Jutland in 1916.Note: dates given are those of commissioning.-Summary:-British forces:The Grand Fleet listed in order from van to rear following deployment, 6:30pm 31st May...

. A number of others missed the battle for one reason or another. 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. This led to a slowly less cautious approach to the war as the strength increased. The fleet was at its weakest at the start of the war, when it was also least experienced at this sort of warfare and a number of minor but embarrassing losses occurred because of this inexperience. After the United States entered the war, United States Battleship Division Nine
United States Battleship Division Nine (World War I)
United States Battleship Division Nine was a division of four, later five, dreadnought battleships of the United States Navy's Atlantic Fleet that constituted the American contribution to the British Grand Fleet during World War I. Although the U.S. entered the war on 6 April 1917, hesitation among...

 was attached to the Grand Fleet as the Sixth Battle Squadron
6th Battle Squadron (United Kingdom)
The British 6th Battle Squadron was a Royal Navy squadron consisting of Battleships serving in the Grand Fleet.-August 1914:In August 1914, the 6th Battle Squadron was based at Portland and comprised a number of the older pre-dreadnought battleships. These included: and transferred to the 5th...

, adding four, and later five, dreadnought battleships.

External links

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