-H.M.S. Hood Reference Materials-
ADM 116/2219: Cruise of the Special Service Squadron 1923-24
Updated 04-Dec-2008

This document is a modern transcription of a portion of Admiralty record ADM 116/2219. The original record concerns planning for the the famous Empire Cruise of the Special Service Squadron of 1923-1924. The original file is held at the The National Archives at Kew, London. This Crown Copyrighted material is reproduced here by kind permission of The National Archives.

Chainbar divider

Planning Stage

 

Gunnery Programme whilst on Cruise

 

Individual Document Transcriptions

- Pages 5 and 6 -

1st Sea Lord

I am considering the desirability, pending the proposed redistribution of Fleets, of sending a really representative Squadron of our most modern ships round the Empire (a) in order to follow up any agreements for co-operation at the Imperial Conference by creating Dominion interest and enthusiasm so that such agreements may be really carried out; (b) to let the local forces in Australia and elsewhere not only see our standard of work etc. but have an opportunity of doing joint exercises etc., and getting in touch generally, as a prelude to some more permanent system of interchange and co-operation; (c) to give our own ships more experience of long distance cruises and of waters practically unvisited by the Navy at large for nearly 20 years.

I discussed this idea with C.-in-C. Atlantic Fleet (whose ships would presumably be the ones borrowed for the purpose) and I attach a rough estimate of the route, fuel, consumption etc., made by his staff. My present idea is that the Squadron composed of say "Hood" and "Repulse" and a Squadron of modern light cruisers should during or immediately after the Conference, say some time in November, go (1) to South Africa, staying there three or four weeks; (2) India - Bombay or Trincomalee - stopping for a few days only; (3) Singapore (4) Australia and New Zealand where they should spend say two or even three months doing joint exercises etc.; (5) Vancouver (6) Panama Canal, and W. Indies and Bermuda; (7) Eastern Canada and Newfoundland for say a month before returning home.

I should like you to consider the possibility of getting part or whole of the China Squadron and possibly one or more of the Australian ships to meet our Fleet at Singapore and proceed together to Australia (with a view to future closer association between China Squadron and Australian Navy); also of leaving one of our cruisers behind in Australia for 6 months and taking and Australian cruiser with our Fleet to Canada and W.I. - this not only as experience to Australians but in order to show Canada what Australians are doing. There is also the question of paying courtesy visits en route at San Francisco and Seattle on the U.S. West Coast and one or more U.S. east coast ports.

There will, of course, have to be a supplementary estimate for fuel and I should like this worked out both for our ships and for the Australian ships (they would naturally find their own supplementary).

If an Australian ship came home with our Fleet via Canada, she might then be attached to A.F. for a while and go back vis Mediterranean. This bigger scheme would, I think, supersede the present proposal for an exchange of cruisers with Australia if that is only to come off towards the end of the year.

 

(Initials illegible)

24.3.23

 

Manuscript entry below signature

DCNS

(Rest illegible)


- Page 7 -

OD 1029/23

The attached itinerary for a cruise of a Squadron consisting of 2 Battle Cruisers and 5 Light Cruisers of the "D" Class is suggested as a basis for discussion, with the following remarks in reference to the proposals of the First Lord and C-in-C., Atlantic Fleet.

 

(a) Trincomali has been selected in preference to Bombay, as it appears desirable to favour Ceylon rather than India, in view of the desire to encourage interest in the development of Columbo and Trincomali for naval purposes.

(b) As regards Sydney, it is open to doubt whether the HOOD could negotiate the narrow passage at the entrance of the harbour with safety. Further information is desired on this point.

(c Mombasa, Esquimalt, Seattle, Tacoma, Bermuda and Boston are considered impracticable for Battle Cruisers, and it is proposed that they should be visited by Light Cruisers only.

(d) Georgetown, Demerara, which is mentioned by the C-in-C., Atlantic Fleet, has been omitted, as Battle Cruisers could not approach within 17 miles of the town.

(e) Dunedin, New Zealand, has been omitted owing to its unsuitability for the accommodation of a Squadron.

2. It is requested that D. of N. will remark on the suitability of the Ports selected and on D.O.D.'s observations; that D.o.S. will give an estimate of the cost of fuel (including that of oilers), stores, coal, etc., and that D. of .D. will remark upon how refits of HOOD, REPLUSE, and vessels of the First Light Cruiser Squadron would be affected if these vessels are selected for the cruise.

3. After action by D. of N, D. of S, and D. of D. it is requested that these papers may be returned to D.O.D. for further remarks.

Signed

?Carter?

D. O. D.

30.4.23


- Page 8 -

OD1029/23

The itinerary has been examined and remarks are offered below concerning certain of the ports.

Concur with (c), (d) and (e) of D.O.D's minute of 30/4/23. With regard to (b), see remarks below on Sydney.

St. Helena

The anchorage is open and on a very narrow shelf in deep water (28 to 30 fathoms) and is not considered very suitable for a squadron of this size, unless it is important that the visit should be made.

Dar-es-Salaam

The visit will be paid in the N.E. Monsoon period and at this time a considerable swell may be expected in the bay.

Freemantle

Anchorage in Gage Roads, but Light Cruisers might go inside Freemantle Harbour.

 

Albany

It might be possible to berth Light Cruisers in Princess Royal Harbour but enquiries should be made of local Authorities.

 

Adelaide

Light Cruisers could go up harbour and berth alongside.

 

Melbourne

Dredging is in progress in Port Phillip Channel and latest information on depths should be obtained from local Authorities.

 

Sydney

Battle Cruisers, with the aid of tugs could negotiate the turns. It is considered that 2 additional mark buoys would require to be laid, and it is understood that this was done in the case of "RENOWN". There is room for 2 Battle Cruisers to moor off Naval establishment, Garden Island, but they would rather seriously obstruct the approach to the port, and local Authorities should be consulted as to berthing. Light Cruisers could be accommodated at Mooring Buoys.

 

Brisbane

The least depth of water on leading line is 33 feet. Springs rise 7 feet, neaps 4 feet.

 

Aukland

Least depth in approach is 5.25 fathoms. Tides rise 9 ft. Battle Cruisers could probably berth alongside as swinging room in the harbour is restricted, but local Authorities should be consulted.

 

Honolulu

Light Cruisers could lie alongside; Battle cruisers lie outside. The holding ground is not good but safe during the summer. Anchorage in 13 - 20 fathoms.

 

Esquimault

There are three Mooring Buoys in the harbour but it would be well to ascertain from local Authorities whether they are suitable for Light Cruisers to lie at. If these buoys are not available there are

3 berths with 1.75 cables swinging room

1 berth with 1.5 cables swinging room

so that one Light Cruiser would have to anchor outside.

Vancouver

Battle Cruisers would have to enter and leave at High Water slack.

 

Jamaica

The approach to Port Royal is very awkward for Battle Cruisers particularly in leaving, and it is considered that the North and Westward edges of Gun Cay should be buoyed so that the Eastern Channel can be used with a greater degree of safety.

 

St. Lucia

There is no swinging room in the harbour, but it is considered that 2 Light Cruisers could berth alongside each other at the North Wharf.

 

Quebec

Least depth of water in South Traverse is 5 fathoms. (Channel dredged to 30 feet in two places), but the tide can be arranged.

Note: The visit to the West Indies is during the Hurricane Season.

 

Signed

?Symonds?

Director of Navigation

9th May 1923

Stamped Received

Director of ?Stores?

11th May 1923


- Page 9 -

OD1029/23

It is estimated that 110,000 tons of oil fuel would be expended by H.M.Ships during the world cruise as detailed in the enclosed proposed itinerary, which would involve an excess expenditure of 53,000 tons over the normal allowance. The estimated excess cost would amount to £160,000. The proportionate excess expenditure falling on the current year would amount to £97,000.

It is assumed that this Squadron would fuel at the following ports:-

Portsmouth

Sierra Leone

Cape

Mombasa

Trincomali

Singapore

Adelaide

Brisbane

Aukland

Fiji

Honolulu

San Francisco

Jamaca

Trinidad Bermuda

Halifax

Freighting of fuel to these ports would not cause any appreciable excess bunker consumption of oilers employed in transport.

With regard to sea stores it is estimated that the value of issues in excess of the normal would be approximately £50,000 for the 7 vessels for the whole period. Of this amount about £30,000 would represent the excess over current years estimate, making a total excess for the current year on account of fuel and naval stores of about £127,000.

 

Signed

 

?AG Cocks?

Director of Stores

17/5/23

Stamped Received

Dockyard Branch

18 May 1923

- Reverse of Page 9 and Page 10 -

"REPULSE" and "HOOD". Are due for refit in April and May, 1924 respectively.

They were last docked November-December, 1922, and April-May, 1923 respectively, and arrangements have been made for "REPULSE" to dock at Rosyth in December, 1923.

In view of the extent of the cruise in question, it is considered both vessels should be docked in October, and have essential repairs made good before starting. Dockings to be carried out at Rosyth, and repairs to be advanced as far as possible concurrently. Remainder of necessary repair work to be carried out at vessels' manning ports (Chatham and Devonport respectively), as it is presumed both vessels will give leave to crews before the cruise.

The docking of these two vessels at Rosyth in October may involve some delay in the completion of "TIGER".

Their refits would be undertaken on return from the cruise.

With regard to the five "D" Class cruisers, the present approved arrangements are as follows:-

"DAUNTLESS" - Completed refit at Chatham on 5.5.23. Next refit is due in April 1924.

"DEHLI"/"DUNEDIN" - To refit at Chatham in August, 1923

"DANAE" - To refit at Chatham in December, 1923

"DRAGON" - To refit at Chatham in January, 1924

As "DEHLI" and "DUNEDIN" are due to refit in August, they should not require attention again before the cruise, but it will be necessary to anticipate the dates of refits of "DANAE" and "DRAGON" and these two vessels could be dealt with at Chatham in October 1923.

The "DAUNTLESS" should be docked before proceeding on the cruise and have essential repairs effected, and this could be done at Devonport during October when it is presumed vessel will be giving leave prior to starting.

In view of the programme for the cruise, it is for decision whether awning arrangements for tropical services are to be put in hand where not already supplied.

As the Light Cruisers will be absent from Home for about 12 months, it may be necessary for these vessels to have a docking about May or June, 1924, i.e. six months after leaving England. The arrangements for these intermediate dockings as, and when, necessary, could probably best be made by the Flag Officer of the Squadron. The expense so involved would affect the Estimates for 1924-25.

Their refits would be undertaken on return to England.

The foregoing arrangements would involve some additional expense for earlier dockings and repairs to "HOOD" and "DAUNTLESS", and perhaps some repairs to "REPULSE".

This additional liability is, however, not a serious matter and can probably be met by re-arrangements and possibly slight delays of other Programme arrangements, without involving an excess on the total amounts at present allowed for Dockyard work during the current year.

 

Signed

?Brian Bartlet?

D.of D.

31/5/23


- Page 11 -

Manuscript entry:

Submitted

If this cruise materialises presumably "Dunedin" and "Chatham" would exchange crews in New Zealand about July 1924, in which case adjustments to crew of "Dunedin" would have to be made before vessels leave England.

Relief of RA LCS would also be necessary.

Signed

?Carter?

D.O.D.

Typed entry:

The dates of

a. last commissioning,
b. next commissioning,

of the vessels in question are as follows:-

 

Date last Date due to

Commissioned recommission

 

"REPULSE" January, 1922 August, 1924

"HOOD" May, 1923 November, 1925

"DAUNTLESS" November, 1918 August, 1923

"DEHLI" May, 1919 April, 1924

"DUNEDIN" September, 1919 August, 1923

"DANAE" January, 1923 July, 1925

"DRAGON" April, 1923 October, 1925

 

Assuming that the cruise commences in January, 1924, and ends in January, 1925, there would be no dislocation of the recommissioning arrangements, except in the case of "REPULSE" and "DEHLI".

In the case of "REPULSE", however, the recommissioning of that ship would presumably have to be deferred from August, 1924, till return to England in January, 1925, irrespective of refit arrangements. Similarly the recommissioning of "DEHLI" would have to be deferred from April, 1924 till after January, 1925, or alternatively advance to December, 1923. This latter alternative would be preferable, and the necessary adjustment of the programme could be effected.

As regards possible exchange of crews of "DUNEDIN" and "CHATHAM", concur with D.O.D.

 

Signed

?JLLMcClintock?

D.M.D.

4th June, 1923


- Page 12 -

Whilst the proposals entailed in the suggested cruise round the Empire would undoubtedly be of value from many points of view the question must be considered in all its bearings. The following disadvantages are pointed out in regard to sending a squadron of battle cruisers.

  1. Some of the harbours proposed are either unsuitable, or hazardous for ships of such length, heavy tonnage and draught, as battle cruisers.
  2. Whilst it would be of value to the Empire to see our newest and largest ships with a view to obtaining the active co-operation of the Dominions in providing navies of their own it is possible that if battle cruisers are sent, it may produce an entirely opposite effect and might discourage rather than stimulate the Dominions from making an increased naval effort. They might reason in this way:- "We cannot hope to maintain ships of such size ourselves, and if we cannot have the best and biggest, we will not have anything at all." Some remarks furnished at the request of D.O.D. by Commander Spooner (who has lately returned from service on the Staff of the Australian Navy Board) are attached in this connection. They represent Commander Spooner's personal opinion only, not that of the Commonwealth Navy Board. It is considered that they are of value as indicating, possibly, the opinion of a certain section of the people of Australia.
  3. Dislocation of Fleet exercises. The absence for nearly a year of one of our most important squadrons must produce a deterious effect on the training of the Fleet; although the compensating advantages mentioned at (c) of paragraph 1 of the First Lord's Memo. must also be taken into consideration.
  4. The expense, £127,000 - £140,000,-and interference with the docking and refitting arrangements which are inseparable from the absence of so many units for a prolonged period.

2. In order to avoid the arrival of the squadron in the West Indies during the hurricane season, it is desirable that the cruise, is approved, should commence two months later than the date originally proposed, and that the ships should leave Portsmouth about the middle of January and arrive at Jamaca about the middle of October, when the hurricane season will be over.

 

Signed

?Carter?

D.O.D.


6-6-23

Manuscript entry at the foot of the letter above:

Commander Spooner's remarks are of interest - and on the whole I am in favour of limiting the Squadron to Lt Cruisers if such a cruise is undertaken.

RK

6.6.23


Manuscript memo on the reverse of page 12

First Lord,

The detailed ?costing? is attached with ?remarks? as to the difficulties attending such large vessels as Battle Crs visiting certain Harbours. The point raised by the D.O.D. is one requiring consideration. I am prepared to accept the dislocation of training and loss of a certain amount of efficiency thereby if the Political Situation will be improved by a visit of Battle Crs to the Dominions and it is considered it will be a good advertisement. But we must be quite sure of this before embarking upon so costly a cruise.

 

Signed:

(monograph appearing like an uppercase "B")

11.6


- Page 13 -

C.N.S.

My feeling is that the Dominions will want the best we have got, and we want to make them feel something of what the Navy is like. But I think we might consult them as to what they would like themselves, holding ourselves in readiness to send the Battle Cruisers if they wish to have them.

Commander Spooner raises the question of sending a ship of the "Hawkins" Class. Could we spare the Flagship from China Squadron? Also, would submarine X1 be ready to join such a long cruise by January?

I am not quite clear about D.O.D's suggestion of leaving in January and arriving in West Indies in October. Surely that leaves things rather late for getting to Quebec?

 

Signed

Monograph ?JSA?

13.6.23

Return to Top

With reference to the points raised by the First Lord.

(1). It is not practicable to spare "HAWKINS", the Flagship of the C-in-C. China, to visit Australia, and there is no other ship of that class ready.

(2) "X.1." will be completed about the end of November, 1923, and at least two months will be required for trials after completion. In any case, it is not desirable to send a new vessel of an untried type on a cruise of such length before her capabilities have been thoroughly tested.

(3). The Hurricane Season in the West Indies is from June to October and it is, therefore, inadvisable for Squadron to arrive there until well on in October or early November. As navigation in the Gulf of St. Lawrence is not considered safe after 15th November on account of ice, a visit to Montreal will be impracticable. This point was overlooked when advancing the date of the cruise.

(4). A revised programme has been substituted for the one originally attached. Attention has been paid to weather conditions so far as possible, but it is impracticable in a cruise of such dimensions to ensure good weather seasons being encountered everywhere.

 

RK

25.6.23

 

Manuscript entry below the above typed letter (reverse of page 13)

 

CNS

Is the hurricane season really so serious a difficulty? Is it much more important that the Squadron should visit Montreal & Quebec than that it should spend any time in the WI or have any functions there? Why not start from here in Nov. as originally suggested & get to the St. Lawrence in September of early October?

 

?JSA?

26/6


- Page 15 -

The hurricane season is a serious matter. 3 Light Cruisers were in grave peril for some hours in Bermuda in Sept 22 and had it not been for a lull of about 1/2 hour "Constance" would probably have been wrecked. If the WI are left out of the cruise the Squadron could leave England in November on the attached cruise C

RK

29/6/23

- Page 19 -

D.O.D.

In accordance with your instructions, I submit the following opinion on the probably effect which a visit of a squadron to Australia would have on public opinion there, in regard to the Navy.

I assume that at the forthcoming Imperial Conference, Australia may be advised may be advised, inter alia, that, as her present squadron is obsolete, it should be replaced by new ships at an early date. I assume also, that such a policy would be acceptable to the present Australian Government and that they would be able to advance it with a good chance of success.

If Australia was considering a replacement programme for her cruisers, the new ships would presumably be at least as heavily armed as "HAWKINS", and I believe that a visit by a ship of that class, or a modern Light Cruiser Squadron, would prove a useful incentive.

Further, I believe that a visiting squadron would have a good effect on the R.A.N. ships, especially if it was mainly a business visit and included combined exercises and practices. Incidentally, it would direct public attention to the importance of oil fuel supplies. (The R.A.N. squadron is mainly coal burning.)

I am doubtful whether the visit of a squadron containing Capital Ships would have as good a general effect. It will be beyond the financial capacity of Australia to acquire or maintain capital ships for many years to come, and their presence may tend to discourage proposals to build lesser ships, which might appear to the public, to be of doubtful value in comparison.

Furthermore, a visit of capital ships to Australia might give rise to undue confidence in the power and mobility of the British Fleet, and might tend to stifle an inclination to improve the local navy, which latter is the only form of Empire naval contribution that it is wise to advocate. The visit of H.M.S. "RENOWN" in 1921 appeared to me to make Australians dissatisfied with their own ships and to question the wisdom of retaining them, but it did not occasion any public agitation for their replacement.

A visiting British squadron to Australia should encourage recruiting for the R.A.N., especially if an arrangement had been concluded for a regular exchange of R.A.N. ships with other stations, thus providing foreign service for Australian personnel, and avoiding the stagnation which is the worst feature of a small navy.

Signed

CA Spooner

COMMANDER, R.N.

27-4-23


paper clipping attached to the above:

AUSTRALIAN NAVY'S

INDEPENDENCE

(FROM OUR OWN CORRESPONDENT)

MELBOURNE, APRIL 26

Mr. Bruce, Commonwealth Prime Minister,

referring to the Imperial Conference,

says that no Empire defence scheme

involving the discontinuance of the

Australian Navy as an independent unit

would have his support. Australia, he

declares, "would not look at it."

 

 

 


- Page 122 -

Memorandum from Naval Secretary

9th October, 1923

Referred to:

4th S.L.

2nd S.L.

1st S.L.

1 Lord

4 S.L.

Deputy Secy

 

EMPIRE CRUISE

Status of Rear Admiral Field

 

MEMORANDUM AND MINUTE

I should be much obliged if you would remark on the following:-

It is presumed that the Squadron consisting of "HOOD" and "REPULSE" and 1st Light Cruiser Squadron will be detached from the Atlantic Fleet Command for the purpose of the Empire Cruise and placed under the command of Rear Admiral Field who should then have the status of a "Rear Admiral in Command of a large Independent Command".

It is understood that this status carries with it the following priviliges:-

  1. Direct dealings with the Admiralty.
  2. Adjustment of Table Money as considered desireable.
  3. Increase of allowances to staff who will have much extra work thrown upon them.

A warrant for ordering Courts Martial will be required.

The question of the title of the Squadron. I.e. Detached of Flying Squadron will need to be considered.

 

Signed:

?? Hodges

Naval Secretary

9.10.23


- Page 141 -

Memo from "Head of M"

 

On other papers the Board have approved of rear Admiral Field being given the status of a Flag Officer in a large independent command while service as Rear Admiral Commanding the combined squadron – the squadron being treated as a "detached Squadron" – and the date suggested for the change, namely 5th November, would be suitable.

2.- The question arises of a suitable title for the combined squadron. Titles traditional in the Royal Navy for squadrons sent on detached service are "Particular Service Squadron" or "Special Service Squadron". Of these the latter is considered preferable.

3. Should it be considered necessary to give a title more definitive of the object of the cruise, "Empire Cruise Squadron" is suggested. The designation "Imperial Cruise Squadron would be more euphonious, but would be technically incorrect, as the ships and ships’ companies participating in the cruise will be British, and particular care has always been taken to avoid the use of the word "Imperial" in circumstances in which Dominion susceptibilities might be arouses. It seems desirable to avoid using any title which might be in the least controversial, and on the whole the designation "Special Service Squadron" is suggested as the most suitable.

?? Cotton??

For HEAD OF M.

19th October, 1923

manuscript below

The word "Imperial" has sinister connotations for some minds:- much more than the word "Empire"

The term "Cruising Squadron" is free from objection, if not too satisfactory otherwise.

Alex Hunt

19/10

Return to Top


- Page 143 -

H.M.S. "Hood"

18th October, 1923

Sir,

Be pleased to submit for the consideration of Their Lordships that, in my opinion, now that the Empire Cruise of the Battle Cruiser Squadron and 1st Light Cruiser Squadron has received official sanction, it is most desirable that this combined Squadron should be constituted as a separate Command as soon as convenient as the ships taking part have been detached to their Home Ports by the Commander in Chief, Atlantic Fleet, to prepare for the Cruise.

2. It will be necessary for me, some time before the Squadron sails, to compile and issue various orders in regard to uniform regulations, entertainments, fuelling, stores provisions etc., for information and compliance by all concerned, and, until the Squadron is officially constituted and I receive an appointment in command, I have no authority to issue these most necessary orders.

3.I suggest, as it is understood that the ships taking part in the Cruise will disperse to the Home Fleet on the conclusion of the Spithead Review on 3rd November, a convenient date to give effect to this reorganisation would be 5th November.

I have the honour to be,

Sir,

Your obedient servant,

(signed)

FLField

Rear-Admiral Commanding

Battle Cruiser Squadron

 

The Secretary,

Admiralty,

Copy to C. in C. Atlantic Fleet.

Return to Top


ADM116/2219 Page 144

 

24th October 23

M.01225/23

 

The Commander-in-Chief,

Atlantic Fleet

 

I am to inform you that on the 5th November and for the duration of the World Cruise, the Battle Cruiser Squadron and the 1st Light Cruiser Squadron will be constituted a detached squadron with the title of "Special Service" Squadron.

2. The Special Service Squadron will be placed under the Command of rear Admiral Sir Frederick L. Field, K.C.B., C.M.G., who will be given the Acting Rank of Vice Admiral while in command of the Squadron to date 5th November.

3. On and after the 5th November correspondence for Vice-Admiral Field will be addressed to the Vice Admiral Commanding Special Service Squadron. The title of rear Admiral Commanding 1st Light Cruiser Squadron will remain unchanged and correspondence will be addressed accordingly.

4. Copies of this letter have been sent to:-

The rear Admiral Commanding,

Battle Cruiser Squadron.

The Rear Admiral Commanding,

1st Light Cruiser Squadron.

 

BY COMMAND OF THEIR LORDSHIPS

Return to Top

ADM116/2219 Page 146

Rear Admiral Sir Frederick L. Field, K.C.B., C.M.G.

H.M.S. "HOOD"

M.01225/23

24th October 23

Sir,

I am commanded by My Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty to acquaint you that they have selected you to assume Command of the Battle Cruiser Squadron and the 1st Light Cruiser Squadron, during the forthcoming World Cruise.

2. These Squadrons will be constituted a detached Squadron with the title of "Special Service" Squadron on 5th November, on which date you are to assume Command of the combined Squadron. You will be given the Acting rank of Vice Admiral to date 5th November and you are to hoist your Vice Admiral's Flag in H.M.S. "HOOD" on that date accordingly.

3. A further communication will be made regarding your Court Martial Warrant, Table Money, Flag and other allowances etc.

4.On and after the 5th November official correspondence intended for you will be addressed to the Vice Admiral Commanding Special Service Squadron. The title Rear Admiral Commanding, 1st Light Cruiser Squadron will remain unchanged and correspondence will be addressed accordingly.

I am,

Sir,

Your obedient Servant

 

Unsigned


 

- Page 243 -

 

Imperial Cruise Exercise Order No. 1

Battle Cruiser Exercise Order No. 80

 

DIVISIONAL TORPEDO PRACTICE

 

One week’s notice will be given before this exercise is carried out.

 

Ships taking part

1. Firing ships: - "Hood" and "Repulse"
Target ships:- 1st Light Cruiser Squadron
Objects of the Practice

To exercise divisional torpedo firing.

 

Method of carrying out the Practice

2. At 0800 target ships will be stationed 16,000 yards Green 90° from "Hood."
Signal "CDE" :- Target line will alter course and speed within the following limits:
Speed 9-13 knots. Course 0° - 30° towards firing ships
The course and speed decided upon by target ships are to be maintained until torpedoes have passed

 

Speeds

3. The squadron is to have steam for 16 knots by 0800.

4. The firing ships will be manoeuvered as necessary to exercise control during the run and time will be given to enable a plot to be carried out.

 

Torpedoes

5. Two A.W. and one S.F. torpedo will be fired from each ship by Divisional Control.

Range:- 14,000 yards. Speed:- 25 knots.

Depth:- 28 feet, charged to 2,500lbs.

Oil track and Holmes’ light are to be used.

"Hood’s" collision heads to be marked by one black band.

A second torpedo is to be loaded in submerged tubes and the time of loading recorded.

 

Torpedo Control

6. Torpedo fire will be opened by Divisional Control signal from "Hood".

5° Run abaft is to be allowed for submerged tubes.

"Repulse" is to use a 2° P.I.L. correction

 

Procedure on Firing

7. A searchlight is to be trained on to the target ships and switched on when 1st torpedo is fired and switched off when all torpedoes have been fired.

Pdt. 1 is to be hoisted directly three torpedoes have been fired.

Mark buoys with distinguishing flags are to be dropped by firing ships on tracks of torpedoes at the instant of firing.

 

Recovery of Torpedoes

8. When all torpedoes have been fired, firing ships will be turned to follow up torpedoes.

When torpedoes have crossed the target line, target ships are to close surfaced torpedoes and remain in their vicinity until the arrival of the firing ships.

 

Records required

10. Firing ships:-

(a) Form S. 308a

(b) Tracing of Torpedo Plot

(c) Range and bearing of leading target ship on signal "CDE".

Target ships:- Forms S.308d

Course and speed of the target line

Range and bearing of "Hood" at signal "CDE" and at moment of firing torpedoes.

Time.- Time of signal "CDE" is to be recorded by all ships

 

F.L. FIELD

VICE ADMIRAL COMMANDING,

 

SPECIAL SERVICE SQUADRON

"Hood" at sea

Lat. 38° 26’ N., Long. 11° 54’ W.

30th November 1923


 

ADM116/2219Page 245

IMPERIAL CRUISE EXERCISE ORDER No. 4

(BATTLE CRUISER EXERCISE ORDER No.83)

 

SIERRA LEONE TO CAPETOWN

Time and weather permitting, the following programme of exercises will be carried out on passage to Capetown:-

Date

Battle Cruisers

Light Cruisers

Thursday, 13th December - U.B. III H.F. trials as requisite
Friday, 14th December T.S.Trials. Day S.Lt. Exercises. T.S.Trials. Day S.Lt. Exercises.
Saturday, 15th December Crossing the Line Ceremony. Crossing the Line Ceremony.
Monday, 17th December Independent drills Independent drills
Tuesday, 18th December Practice A. (sub cal.).

Night S.Lt. Exercise.

Concentration Exercises. Night S.Lt Ex.
Wednesday, 19th December Practices B & C (H.A.) U.B. III H.F. crews

Ex. At smoke bursts.

Thursday, 20th December. Exercise ceremonial landing parties.

Night Action or Cruising Stations. Night S.Lt. Ex.

Exercise ceremonial landing parties.

Night Action or Cruising Stations. Night S.Lt. Ex.

Friday, 21st December As desired by Commanding Officers As desired by R.A.C. 1st L.C.S.
  1. Depth Charges will be dropped as desired by R.A.C. 1st L.C.S.
  2. P.V.’s will be run as ordered by signal.
  3. "HOOD" will fire target smoke shell for Light Cruisers on Wednesday, 19th , between Practices B and C.
  4. Time does not permit of opening out for Inclination Exercises or of carrying out torpedo running.

 

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Practice A. – 15" sub-calibre Throw-off firing – "HOOD" and "REPULSE"

 

  1. Object of the practice. To exercise new personnel.
  2. Method of carrying out the practice

"REPULSE" will be stationed 6,500 yards on beam of "HOOD".

"HOOD" and "REPULSE" will each carry out two runs, "HOOD" firing on the first two runs.

A Throw-off of 12° astern of target ship is to be used.

"REPULSE" will act as target ship for "HOOD" and vice versa.

Ranges for firing as desired by Commanding Officers.

Each run should not last for more than 10 minutes.

 

  1. Alterations of Course

Firing ship – as desired

Target ship – not more than 20° either side of the normal to avoid punishment.

2. Communication

Fall of shot is to be signalled by W/T type 34 or searchlight, the latter only being used if the former fails.

3. Ammunition expenditure. As desired by the Commanding Officers.

4. Records. Not required by Vice Admiral Commanding.

5. Speeds to be used and engaging sides will be signalled prior to the practice.


Practice B – H.A. firing – H.M.S. "REPULSE"

1. Object of the Practice. To exercise new H.A. personnel

2. Method of carrying out the practice.

"REPULSE" will be stationed 5,000 yards 30° on one quarter of "HOOD"

"HOOD" will act as flank marking ship.

On signal "AP" being made by the Admiral, "HOOD" is to fire target smoke shell to burst as follows:-

Series (a)

No. Bearing on side away from firing ship Height Range
1. 130° 8,000ft. 3,600 yds.
2. 150° 8,000ft 4,200 yds.

In series (a) the second round should be fired as soon as the flank marking ship considers the target has dissipated sufficiently to offer a poor target.

On signal AP again being made, "HOOD" is to fire target smoke shell to burst as follows at 2-minute intervals:-

 

Series (b)

No. Bearing on side away from firing ship Height Range
1. 150° 6,000ft. 3,000 yds.
2. 160° 4,000ft. 3,500 yds.
3. 180° 2,000ft. 4,500 yds.

In such series the firing ship is to shift target to each new burst as soon as it is observed.

Lewis guns should be manned for series (b), and should open fire if target comes within range.

 

Ammunition: Series (a) – 12 rounds; Series (b) – 14 rounds


Practice C – H.A. Firing "HOOD"

Object of the Practice. To exercise new H.A. personnel.

  1. Method of carrying out the practice.

"REPULSE" will be stationed 5,000 yards 30° on one bow of "HOOD".

"REPULSE" will act as flank marking ship and fire target smoke shell.

On signal AP being made by the Admiral "REPULSE" is to fire target smoke shell to burst as in paragraphs 2 – Practice B (Series (a)).

On signal AP again being made "REPULSE" is to fire target smoke shell to burst as in Paragraph 2 – Practice B (Series (b)).

In each series the firing ship is to shift target to each new burst as soon as it is observed.

Lewis guns should be manned for series (b), and should open fire if target comes within range.

 

Ammunition: Series (a) – 18 roundsd; Series (b) – 24 rounds.

 

Practices B and C

Records – as laid down in

C.B. 924, p.48, par. 7.

C.B. 1563, App D., p.51

C.B. 1602, p. 18 Sec VI

Reports should include remarks on behaviour of fuzes.

 

F.L. FIELD

VICE ADMIRAL COMMANDING

SPECIAL SERVICE SQUADRON

"HOOD" at Sierra Leone,

12th December, 1923

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ADM116/2219 Page 248

IMPERIAL CRUISE EXERCISE ORDER No. 5.

(BATTLE CRUISER EXERCISE ORDER No.84)

ZANZIBAR TO TRINCOMALI

The following practices will be carried out on passage from Zanzibar to Trincomali:-

Practice "A" 5.5" Special Throw Off Firing. "HOOD"

Practice "B" 4" M.A.C. Throw Off Firing. "REPULSE"

Practice "C" 15" Full Calibre 3/4 Charge Firing. "HOOD"

Practice "C" 15" Full Calibre 3/4 Charge Firing. "REPULSE"

 

PRACTICE "A" - 5.5" SPECIAL THROW OFF FIRING "HOOD"

1. Object of the Firing

To investigate the problem of finding the hitting deflection on opening fire with HOOD'S" secondary armament at long range. (Admiralty letter M/G.D. 3998/23 of 16. Nov. 23 and V.A.C.S.S.S. No. 17/2/2/ of 20. Nov. 1923)

1. Method of carrying out the firing

The firing will be carried out in two runs.

Two light cruisers will be stationed 13 miles ahead of "HOOD"

2. Run 1.

On signal CDE numeral 1 being made the rear light cruiser is to alter course 180° and steer the reciprocal course to the mean course of the squadron.

When the range is 21,000 yards "HOOD" is to alter course to bring the light cruiser on a relative bearing of Red 40° .

"HOOD" is to open fire at 18,000 yards, firing deflection salvoes each spread 4 knots on either side of the estimated deflection.

After firing the first double, the fall of shot is to be awaited before continuing deflection salvoes of going into rapid salvoes.

3. Run 2

On signal CDE numeral 2 being made "HOOD" and the second light cruiser are to alter course so as to steer directly towards each other.

When the range is 21,000 yards "HOOD" is to alter course to bring the second light cruiser on a relative bearing of Red 40° the light cruiser continuing on a steady course.

"HOOD" is to open fire at 18,000 yards, firing 5 rapid salvoes spread at 4 knot intervals from 8 left to 8 right of the estimated deflection.

4. Speeds

Firing ship and target ships 20 knots.

5. Throw off

6° astern (i.e., to right) of light cruiser target ships.

6. Marking and communication.

The M.P.I. of fall of shot is to be signalled by W/T Type 33 bt target ships, wave 1290 metres. Spark is to be used if Type 33 fails.

S.P. is to be manned for communication if W/T fails.

Arrangements are to be made in "HOOD" for accurate direction marking.

7. Ammunition

Up to 6 rounds per gun practice projectiles full charges for each run.

8. Movements on completion of run.

On completion of each run the target ship's mevements will be ordered by signal.


PRACTICE "B" 4" M.A.C. THROW OFF FIRING "REPULSE".

9. Object of the firing.

To exercise guns' crews and main armament control personnel.

10. Method of carry out the firing.

Firing ships "REPULSE". Target ship "HOOD.

Previous to Practice "A", "REPULSE" will be stationed 14,000 yards on starboard beam of "HOOD".

On signal CDE numeral 3 being made "REPULSE" is to approah the target ship so as to open fire on a rough bearing of Red 60° at about 11,000 yards range.

The range is not to be below 8,500 yards during the run.

Salvoes are to consist of 3 guns each.

11. Alteration of Course.

Firing ship - As desired by Commanding Officer.

Target ship - Up to 30° either way to avoid punishment.

12. Speeds.

20 knots.

13. Throw off

6° astern of target ship.

14. Communications.

M.P.I. of fall of shot is to be signalled by W/T Type 34 by target ship, wave 1290 metres. Spark is to be used if Type 34 fails.

S.P. is to be manned for communication if W/T fails.

15. Ammunition

Up to 48 rounds practice projectiles full charge.


PRACTICES "C" AND "D". 15" FULLCALIBRE 3/4 CHARGE THROW OFF FIRINGS - "HOOD" AND "REPULSE"

16. Object of the firings.

To exercise turrets' crews and control of fire and to test material under tropical conditions.

Method of carrying out the firings.

"HOOD" and "REPULSE" will fire on separate runs, "HOOD" firing first.

18. Practice "C"

Firing ship "HOOD". Target ship "REPULSE".

"HOOD" will approach the target ship so as to open fire at about Green 70° at 17,000 yards.

During the run course may be altered as desired by Commanding Officer to avoid damage to boats etc.

19. Practice "D"

Firing ship "REPULSE". Target ship "HOOD".

"REPULSE" will appraoch so as to open fire at about Red 70° at 17,000 yards.

During the run course may be altered as desired by Commanding Officer.

20. Practices "C" and "D"

Course of target ship may be altered either way up to 30° to avoid punishment.

Preliminary positions will be signalled prior to each practice.

21. Speeds.

20 knots.

22. Spread.

A spread of 250 yards is to be assumed.

23. Communications.

Fall of shot is to be signalled by W/T Type 34, wave 1290 metres. Spark is to be used if Type 34 fails.

S.P. is to be manned for communication if W/T fails.

24. Ammunition.

Each ship 4 rounds per gun 3/4 charges practice projectiles.

Rounds are to be expended in the order A turret, B turret etc.

Single gun salvoes are to be fired.

RECORDS FOR PRACTICES "A", "B", "C" & "D".

25. In accordance with C.B. 924 and Addendum No. 1 and C.B. 1563. (In addition for Practice "A", a direction record showing fall of shot for direction as measured by sextant and also by star shell deflection device).

F.L. FIELD.

VICE ADMIRAL COMMANDING

SPECIAL SERVICE SQUADRON

"HOOD" at Zanzibar,

16th January 1924.

 

Distribution:-

"HOOD" and "REPULSE" 6 each

"DEHLI", "DANAE", "DAUNTLESS", "DRAGON" 4 each

R.A.C., 1st L.C.S. 4 copies

ADMIRALTY 6 copies

COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF, ATLANTIC FLEET 3 copies

ADM116/2219 Page 251

 

IMPERIAL CRUISE EXERCISE ORDER No. 6

(BATTLE CRUISER EXERCISE ORDER No. 85)

TRINCOMALI TO MALAY STATES

 

The and weather permitting, the following programme of exercises will be carried out on passgae:-

Date Battle Cruisers Light Cruisers
Thursday, 31st Jan. Intercommunication Exercise for concentration. Smoke Trial
Friday, 1st Feb. H.A. Firings (practices B & C - I.C.E.O.No. 4).

Optional Exercise Action

U.B. III trials at Battle Cruisers' smoke bursts. Optional Exercise Action.

Exercise LO.

Saturday, 2nd Feb. O.O.W. Manoeuvres O.O.W. Manoeuvres.
Monday, 4th Feb. Intercommunication Exercise for concentration -

2. SMOKE TRIALS

"DAUNTLESS" willcarry out Smoke Trial No. 2 (1st L.C.S. Minute No. 95 of 24th December, 1923, on "DAUNTLESS" submission No. 31 of 22nd December, 1923)

  1. H.A. FIRINGS & U.B. III TRIALS.

"HOOD" & "REPULSE" Will carry out I.C.E.O. No. 4, Practices B & C. The 1st L.C.S. will be stationed in line ahead 1.5 miles on one beam of "HOOD".

"DRAGON" is to signal by Aldis Lamp the height of smoke bursts for each observation taken. The hieght is to be signalled in hundreds of feet.

Signals are to be acknowledged by firing ships by "T".

The Aldis Lamp is to be directed as follows:-

When "HOOD" is firing ship … on mainmast.

When "REPULSE" is firing ship … on after funnel.

 

F.L.FIELD.

VICE ADMIRAL COMMANDING

SPECIAL SERVICE SQUADRON.

 

The Rear Admiral Commanding

First Light Cruiser Squadron.

The Commanding Officers,

H.M. Ships of Special Service Squadron.

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ADM116/2219 Page 252

IMPERIAL CRUISE EXERCISE ORDER No. 7

(BATTLE CRUISER EXERCISE ORDER No. 86)

SINGAPORE TO FREEMANTLE

DIVISIONAL TORPEDO PRACTICE UNDER CONDITIONS OF

LOW VISIBILITY

The date of carrying out the practice will be communicated later

1. Ships taking part

Firing ships "HOOD" and "REPULSE"

Target ships 1st Light Cruiser Squadron.

2. Objects of the practice and conditions.

To exercise divisional firing under conditions of low visibility. The visibility is assumed to be three miles, and enemy vessels to be cruising in the vicinity.

3. Method of carrying out the practice.

Target line will be stationed, at a time to be signalled later, 10,000 yards on the starboard beam of battle cruisers.

When signal "HN" (columns to close) is made, battle cruisers and light cruisers will turn in succession 90° inwards and steer for each other. When the range has closed to 6,000 yards, the signal "CDE" will be made. Light cruisers will then alter course between 30° - 60° to starboard, speed 15 knots. Battle cruisers will turn in succession by signal, and, when steadied, will be ordered to open fire with torpedoes

4. Speeds

The Squadron is to have steam for 15 knots at a time to be communicated later.

5. Torpedoes

Two A.W. and one S.F. torpedoes will be fired from the port side from each firing ships.

Range 10,000 yards, medium speed setting, depth 22 feet; oil track and Holmes' Light is to be used.

"HOOD'S" collision heads are to be marked by one black band.

Pdt. 1 is to be hoisted directly three torpedoes have been fired.

6. Tubes

Submerged tubes should be in "condition B" as laid down in Torpedo Drill Book, 1923, page 50, and A.W. tubes in "first degree" (page 51).

7. Torpedo Control

The signal "78" (individual ships may open fire with torpedoes) will be made by flags.

Torpedoes should be fired from the night control position, and the firing officer should not be allowed to see the target line until "CDE" is made.

5° run abaft is to allowed for submerged tubes.

8. Procedure on Firing

A search light is to be trained on the target ships and switched on when the first torpedo is fired. It is to be switched off when all torpedoes have been fired.

9. Recovery of Torpedoes

When all torpedoes have been fired firing ships will be turned together to follow up torpedoes. When torpedoes have crossed the target line, target ships are to close surfaced torpedoes and remain in their vicinity until the arrival of the firing ships, but are to keep out of the way of the latter.

10. Records required

Firing ships:

a. Form S. 308a
b. Range and bearing of leading target ship on signal "CDE" ond on firing first torpedo.

Target ships:

(a) Form S.308d
(b) Course and speed of target line.

c. Range and bearing of "HOOD" at signal "CDE" and at moment of firing torpedoes.

Time of signal "CDE" is to be recorded by all ships.

 

F.L.FIELD.

VICE ADMIRAL COMMANDING

SPECIAL SERVICE SQUADRON.

"HOOD" at Singapore,

13th February, 1924.

Distribution:-

"HOOD" and "REPULSE"… 6 each

5 Light Cruisers… 4 each

R.A.C. 1st L.C.S…. 4 copies

Admiralty… 6 copies

Commander-in-Chief, Atlantic Fleet… 3 copies

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ADM116/2219 Page 254

IMPERIAL CRUISE EXERCISE ORDER No. 8

(BATTLE CRUISER EXERCISE ORDER No. 87)

 

SINGAPORE TO FREEMANTLE

 

Date Battle Cruisers Light Cruisers
Monday, 18th Feb. T.S. trial starting at 1000.

Concentration Exercise.

T.S. trial starting at 1000.

Concentration Exercise.

Tuesday, 19th Feb. Drills As decided by R.A.C. 1st L.C.S.
Wednesday, 20th Feb. Divisional Torpedo Practice (I.C.E.O.7). Divisional Torpedo Practice
Thursday, 21st Feb. H.A. Firings _ I.C.E.O. No. 4 (Practices B & C) starting at 0945. U.B.III height exercises during B.C.’s H.A. firing. Afterwards as decided by R.A.C.
Friday, 22nd Feb Exercise Action. Combined Inclination and Torpedo Control Exercise B – I.C.O. No. 37. Exercise action. Combined Inclination and Torpedo Control Exercise B – I.C.O. No. 37.
Monday, 25th Feb. Drills As decided by R.A.C. 1st L.C.S.
Tuesday, 26th Feb. Alternative day for incompleted exercises
  1. Battle Cruisers will carry out Revolution trials as convenient.

F.L.FIELD.

VICE ADMIRAL COMMANDING

SPECIAL SERVICE SQUADRON.

"HOOD" at Singapore,

15th February, 1924.

The Rear Admiral Commanding,

First Light Cruiser Squadron.

The Commanding Officers,


H.M. Ships of Special Service Squadron.