(source: Public Record Office ADM 186/55: CB1548 German Navy Tactical Orders)
Kiel, 14th July 1914.
Gg. 1068 A.
The basic principle is that the Fleet Flagship is not tied down to any one position.
When not otherwise ordered, the Fleet Flagship is to proceed as follows:-
1. When the whole Fleet is in single line ahead, and consists of two or three Squadrons, the
Fleet Flagship will take station ahead of the second squadron in the line, and when there are four
squadrons, ahead of the third squadron in the line.
2. With the Fleet in line abreast, she takes up the station corresponding to her position when
the Fleet is in single line ahead.
3. During the approach (Flottenvorbereitungsformation) with the Fleet formed in Squadrons, the Fleet Flagship takes station:-
(a) When two or four Squadrons are present, two and a half cables ahead of the centre of the line joining the leading ships of the Squadrons;
(b) When three Squadrons are present, ahead of the centre Squadron, and two and a half
cables in advance of the line joining the leading ships of the two other Squadrons.
4. During the "approach" with the Fleet formed in Divisions: the Fleet Flagship takes station
ahead of that division which would be astern of her when the Fleet is in single line ahead, on the
line joining the leading ships of the Divisions.
5. During the "approach" with the Fleet in a deep order the Fleet Flagship takes station two
and a half cables ahead of the centre of the line joining the leading ships of the two leading
6. In the cruising order she takes station two and a half cables ahead of the starboard line.
The Fleet Flagship takes station independently according to (I) above, having regard to "General Rules for changes of Formation."
When altering course in succession, with the Fleet in columns of Squadrons or columns of
Divisions, the Squadron or Division immediately in rear of the Fleet Flagship will turn in
succession in her wake.
Should the Fleet Flagship, in such a case, desire to remain attached to the force ahead of her, a signal will be made by semaphore to the
leading ship of the force following, "Do not follow"; whereupon the leading ship will turn out of the line independently. In alterations of course in
succession with the Fleet in Columns of Squadrons, the Fleet Flagship commences to turn before the executive signal has been hauled down.
(a) If stationed ahead of a column, she conforms to the motions of that column.
(b) If stationed ahead of the Centre of the Line joining the leading ships of two columns, she
carries out the movement for the alteration of line of bearing independently.
The change of the positions of the Columns does not affect the position of the Fleet Flagship,
and she does not make any change, but keeps her original station in the order.
As a basic principle the Fleet Flagship is not to be taken into consideration when applying the rules concerning guides. Should she wish to take guide of the Fleet, she hoists the Guide Pendant.
In Orders consisting of Several Files (sic) or Ranks (sic), the Fleet Flagship counts as belonging to the Column (file, rank) in respect to her character as Guide of the Column (File, Rank), see Drill Regulations for the Fleet, No. 23, last clause and No. 24.
Any alteration of speed for station keeping or the purport of any semaphore message to the next astern, such for instance, as altering the distance apart of columns, is carried out by the Fleet Flagship and any forces astern of her independently.
Movements and larger alterations of the position of the Columns, which need a General Signal for their execution, will be ordered by the Flagship of the Force (Squadron or Division) astern of the Fleet Flagship, and will be carried out by all ships of the Column, including the Fleet Flagship.
Return to German Navy Tactical Orders
to WWI The Maritime War Return
to WWI Archive main page.
Return to WWI The Maritime War
Return to WWI Archive main page.