NOSTALGIA: The might of the Royal Navy's Mediterranean Fleet in Malta
We're off to the Med today and three superb pictures which will stir the hearts of many of you who served in Malta and lots of you who simply have an interest in the Royal Navy.
My colleague Bob Hind passed them to me having collected them from reader George Millener.
The British Mediterranean Fleet was one of the most prestigious commands in the navy for the majority of its history, defending the vital sea link between the UK and the majority of the British Empire in the eastern hemisphere.
The first commander-in-chief for that fleet may have been named as early as 1665 and the fleet existed until 1967.
In 1800, the British took Malta, which was to be handed over to the Knights of Malta under the Treaty of Amiens. When the Napoleonic Wars resumed in 1803, the British kept Malta for use as a naval base.
After Napoleon’s defeat, the British continued their presence in Malta and turned it into the main base for the Mediterranean Fleet.
In the 1890s, the Mediterranean Fleet was the largest single squadron of the Royal Navy, with 10 first-class battleships—double the number in the Channel Fleet—and a large number of smaller warships.[5