Commander-in-Chief, Levant

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Commander-in-Chief, Levant
Naval Ensign of the United Kingdom.svg
Active1943-1967
CountryUnited Kingdom
AllegianceBritish Empire
BranchRoyal Navy
Part of
Garrison/HQHMS Nile, Alexandria, Egypt, (1943-1946)
HMS Stag and HMS Osiris (1948-1950ish)
HMS Jufair, Manama, Bahrain, (1950ish-1959)
HMS Sheba, Steamer Point, Aden, (1959-1967)

The Commander-in-Chief, Levant was a senior administrative shore commander of the Royal Navy whose post was established in February 1943. The British Chiefs of Staff Committee ordered at that time that the Mediterranean Fleet was to be divided into two commands; one responsible for naval operations involving ships, and the other administrative and support, responsible for shore establishments.[1] His subordinate establishments, and staff were sometimes informally known as the Levant Command or Levant Station,[2] In December 1943 the title was changed to Flag Officer, Levant and East Mediterranean.[3] In January 1944 the two separate commands were re-unified into a single command with FOLEM merging back into Commander-in-Chief Mediterranean Fleet.[4]

In August 1946 the appointment name was changed to Senior British Naval Officer and Flag Officer Liaison, Middle East. In 1958 the East Indies Station was abolished, and its remaining units were transferred to MEC at Aden. In 1959 the former east indies Persian Gulf and Red Sea divisions were renamed the Arabian Seas and Persian Gulf Station [5] until 1962 when the commands name was changed back to its previous name. In October 1967, MEC in Aden was abolished, and the remaining naval forces 'East of Suez' were transferred to the Far East Fleet.[6]

History[edit]

In 1940, responsibility for the Red Seas area of operations was to be transferred from the Commander-in-Chief, East Indies to the Mediterranean Fleet and did not revert until 1942. Previously responsibility for shore-based area commands in the Mediterranean and Middle East theatre lay with the Commander-in-Chief Mediterranean Fleet. Following a meeting in London, the Chiefs of Staff Committee signaled on 2 February 1943 to Admiral Sir Andrew Cunningham Naval Command, in the Mediterranean.[7]

1). The Mediterranean will be divided into two commands:(a) the area to the west line A to B to be the Mediterranean command. (b) the area to the East of the above line to be the Levant command which will include the Red Sea. 2). For the present the line A to B will be the line running from the Tunisian/Tripolitanian border to a position in Latitude 35 degrees North, Longitude 60 degrees East, thence to Cape Spartivento (Italy).[7]

Between 1943 and 1945 its subordinate shore commands were Tunisia (1943); North Africa, (1943-1944), Sicily (July–September 1943); Taranto September 1943- May 1945; FO West Italy September 1943.43-October 1944; Northern Mediterranean October 1944; Western Mediterranean (January 1943- January 1944 & July 1944 -1945). Gibraltar Dockyard and Malta Dockyard continued as major bases in support of the new organisation.[8] In December 1943 the command was renamed Levant and Eastern Mediterranean.[9] Post World War Two further re-organization of this command continued. In August 1946 the command became a maritime component of unified the tri-services British Middle East Command with the naval element administered by the Flag Officer, Middle East until 1959.[10]

In 1958 the post of Commander-in-Chief, East Indies was abolished, and his remaining naval forces were reassigned to the joint services Middle East Command in Aden. In 1959, the naval forces of the Persian Gulf Division and Red Sea Division, previously administered by the East Indies command were merged to form the Arabian Seas and Persian Gulf Station.[5] In 1962 that station was re-titled back to Middle East and it existed until 1967. From that time, following the withdraw of all British Forces in the Arabian Sea, Persian Gulf, Red Sea, the command was abolished.

Levant Command, February to December 1943[edit]

Commander-in-Chief, Levant[edit]

Post holders included:[11]

Rank Flag Name Term Notes/Ref
Commander-in-Chief, Levant [12]
1 Vice-Admiral Flag of Vice-Admiral - Royal Navy.svg Vice Admiral Sir Henry Harwood February – 5 June 1943 [11]
2 Admiral Flag of Admiral - Royal Navy.svg Sir John Cunningham 5 June 1943 – August 1943 [11]
3 Vice-Admiral Flag of Vice-Admiral - Royal Navy.svg Vice Admiral Sir Algernon Willis 14 October – December, 1943 [11]

Levant and East Mediterranean Command December 1943 to August 1946[edit]

Flag Officer, Levant and East Mediterranean[edit]

Note:From January 1944 the post holder reported to the Commander-in-Chief Mediterranean Fleet

Rank Flag Name Term Notes/Ref
Flag Officer, Levant and East Mediterranean [12]
3 Vice-Admiral Flag of Vice-Admiral - Royal Navy.svg Sir Bernard Rawlings 28 December 1943 – -October 1944 [11]
4 Vice-Admiral Flag of Vice-Admiral - Royal Navy.svg Sir William G. Tennant October 1944 - August 1946 [13][11]

Sub-commands, 1943 to 1946[edit]

Naval Officer-in-Charge, Aden[edit]

Commander, Levant Area[edit]

Commodore, Algeria[edit]

Flag Officer, North Africa[edit]

Rank Flag Name Term Notes/Ref
Flag Officer, North Africa [12]
1 Rear Admiral Flag of Rear-Admiral - Royal Navy.svg Geoffrey Watkins 12 May – December, 1943 retired[14]

Flag Officer, Northern Area, Mediterranean[edit]

Rank Flag Name Term Notes/Ref
Flag Officer, Northern Area, Mediterranean [12]
1 Rear Admiral Flag of Rear-Admiral - Royal Navy.svg John A. V. Morse 25 October 1944 – August, 1945 [14]

Flag Officer, Sicily[edit]

Rank Flag Name Term Notes/Ref
Flag Officer, Sicily [12]
1 Rear Admiral Flag of Rear-Admiral - Royal Navy.svg Rhoderick McGrigor 13 July – September, 1943 [14]

Flag Officer, Taranto Area[edit]

Rank Flag Name Term Notes/Ref
Flag Officer, Taranto and Adriatic [12]
1 Rear Admiral Flag of Rear-Admiral - Royal Navy.svg Arthur Peters 13 September – 15 November 1943 and liaison Italy[14]
2 Rear Admiral Flag of Rear-Admiral - Royal Navy.svg Rhoderick McGrigor 15 November 1943 ditto[14]

Flag Officer, Tunisia[edit]

Rank Flag Name Term Notes/Ref
Flag Officer, Tunisia [12]
1 Admiral Flag of Admiral - Royal Navy.svg Sir Gerald C. Dickens 12 May – December, 1943 retired[14]

Flag Officer, Western Italy[edit]

Rank Flag Name Term Notes/Ref
Flag Officer, Western Italy [12]
1 Rear Admiral Flag of Rear-Admiral - Royal Navy.svg John A. V. Morse 30 July – August, 1943 [14]

Flag Officer, Western Mediterranean[edit]

Rank Flag Name Term Notes/Ref
Flag Officer, Western Mediterranean [12]
1 Rear Admiral Flag of Rear-Admiral - Royal Navy.svg Charles Morgan October 1943 - January, 1944 [14]

Rear-Admiral, Alexandria[edit]

Middle East Command, 1946 to 1959[edit]

Rank Flag Name Term Notes/Ref
Senior British Naval Officer and Flag Officer Liaison, Middle East
1 Rear-Admiral Flag of Rear-Admiral - Royal Navy.svg Henry W. U. McCall 11 August 1946-9 September 1948 [15][16] HMS Stag
2 Rear-Admiral Flag of Rear-Admiral - Royal Navy.svg Albert L. Poland 4 September 1948-March 1950 [17] HMS Stag
3 Rear-Admiral Flag of Rear-Admiral - Royal Navy.svg Ian M.R. Campbell March 1950-June 1952 [18] HMS Osiris
Rank Flag Name Term Notes/Ref
Flag Officer, Middle East
1 Rear-Admiral Flag of Rear-Admiral - Royal Navy.svg Graham H. Stokes June 1952-April 1954 [11]
2 Rear-Admiral Flag of Rear-Admiral - Royal Navy.svg Patrick W. Brock April 1954-March 1956 [11]
3 Rear-Admiral Flag of Rear-Admiral - Royal Navy.svg Anthony C.C. Miers March 1956 – 1958 [11]

Arabian Seas and Persian Gulf Station, 1959 to 1962[edit]

Flag Officer, Arabian Seas and Persian Gulf[edit]

Post holders included:

Rank Flag Name Term Notes/Ref
Flag Officer, Arabian Seas and Persian Gulf
1 Commodore UK-Navy-OF6-Flag.svg G. F. M. Best October 1959 - August 1960 [19]
2 Rear-Admiral Flag of Rear-Admiral - Royal Navy.svg A.A. Fitzroy Talbot August 1960 - August 1962 [11]

Middle East Command, 1962 to 1967[edit]

Flag Officer, Middle East[edit]

Post holders included:[11]

Rank Flag Name Term Notes/Ref
Flag Officer, Middle East
1 Rear-Admiral Flag of Rear-Admiral - Royal Navy.svg John E. Scotland August 1962-August 1964 [11]
2 Rear-Admiral Flag of Rear-Admiral - Royal Navy.svg Peter N. Howes August 1964-September 1966 [11]
3 Rear-Admiral Flag of Rear-Admiral - Royal Navy.svg John E.L. Martin September 1966-September 1967 [11]

References[edit]

  1. ^ (Viscount), Andrew Browne Cunningham Cunningham of Hyndhope (2006). The Cunningham Papers: Selections from the Private and Official Correspondence of Admiral of the Fleet Viscount Cunningham of Hyndhope. Farnham, England: Ashgate Publishing, Ltd. p. 69. ISBN 9780754655985.
  2. ^ Stewart, Ninian (2013). The Royal Navy and the Palestine Patrol. Cambridge, England: Routledge. p. 178. ISBN 9781135283506.
  3. ^ Roskill, S.W. (2004). The war at sea : 1939-1945 : history of the second world war. Uckfield, Eng.: Naval and Military Press. p. 422. ISBN 9781843428053.
  4. ^ Stewart, Ninian (2013). The Royal Navy and the Palestine Patrol. Cambridge, England: Routledge. p. 27. ISBN 9781135283506.
  5. ^ a b Roberts, John (2009). Safeguarding the Nation: The Story of the Modern Royal Navy. Barnsley, England: Seaforth Publishing. p. 18. ISBN 9781848320437.
  6. ^ Peterson, J. E. (2016). Defending Arabia. Cambridge, England: Routledge. p. 106. ISBN 9781317229995.
  7. ^ a b (Viscount), Andrew Browne Cunningham Cunningham of Hyndhope (2006). The Cunningham Papers: Selections from the Private and Official Correspondence of Admiral of the Fleet Viscount Cunningham of Hyndhope. Farnham, England: Ashgate Publishing, Ltd. pp. 68–69. ISBN 9780754655985.
  8. ^ Watson, Dr Graham. "Royal Navy Organization in World War 2, 1939-1945". naval-history.net. G. Smith, 19 September 2015. Retrieved 2 July 2018.
  9. ^ Grehan, John; Mace, Martin (2014). "Introduction". The War at Sea in the Mediterranean 1940-1944. Barnsley, England: Pen and Sword. p. xi. ISBN 9781473837140.
  10. ^ "The Western Powers and the ME". Middle East Record. The Moshe Dayan Center. 2: 90. 1961. Retrieved 2 July 2018.
  11. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n Mackie, Colin. "Royal Navy Senior Appointments from 1865: Commander-in-Chief, Levant: Flag Officer, Middle East" (PDF). gulabin,com. C. Mackie, p. 171, June 2018. Retrieved 3 July 2018.
  12. ^ a b c d e f g h i Watson, Dr Graham. "Royal Navy Organization in World War 2, 1939-1945". naval-history.net. Gordon Smith, 19 September 2015. Retrieved 3 July 2018.
  13. ^ Cook, Chris (2006). The Routledge Guide to British Political Archives: Sources Since 1945. Cambridge, England: Routledge. p. 192. ISBN 9780415327404.
  14. ^ a b c d e f g h Niehorster, Leo. "World War II unit histories & officers". www.unithistories.com. L. Niehorster. Retrieved 3 July 2018.
  15. ^ http://www.unithistories.com/officers/RN_officersM2.html
  16. ^ http://www.family-crests.com/family-crest-coat-of-arms/last-names/scottish-surname-history-m.html
  17. ^ http://www.unithistories.com/officers/RN_officersP2.html
  18. ^ http://www.unithistories.com/officers/RN_officersC.html
  19. ^ "OP SHIPS". Naval Review. 47: 105. 1959.

Sources[edit]

  • Cook, Chris (2006). The Routledge Guide to British Political Archives: Sources Since 1945. Cambridge, England: Routledge. ISBN
  • Grehan, John; Mace, Martin (2014). "Introduction". The War at Sea in the Mediterranean 1940-1944. Barnsley, England: Pen and Sword. ISBN 9781473837140.
  • Mackie, Colin. (2018) "Royal Navy Senior Appointments from 1865" (PDF). gulabin.com. C. Mackie.
  • Peterson, J. E. (2016). Defending Arabia. Cambridge, England: Routledge. ISBN 9781317229995.
  • Roberts, John (2009). Safeguarding the Nation: The Story of the Modern Royal Navy. Barnsley, England: Seaforth Publishing. ISBN 9781848320437
  • Roskill, S.W. (2004). The war at sea : 1939-1945 : history of the second world war. Uckfield, Eng.: Naval and Military Press. ISBN 9781843428053.
  • "The Western Powers and the ME". Middle East Record. The Moshe Dayan Center. 2: 90. 1961.
  • (Viscount), Andrew Browne Cunningham Cunningham of Hyndhope (2006). The Cunningham Papers: Selections from the Private and Official Correspondence of Admiral of the Fleet Viscount Cunningham of Hyndhope. Farnham, England: Ashgate Publishing, Ltd. ISBN 9780754655985.
  • Watson, Dr Graham. "Royal Navy Organization in World War 2, 1939-1945". naval-history.net. G. Smith, 19 September 2015.