Coordinates: 50°45′05″N1°08′12″W / 50.75140°N 1.13667°W
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Spithead is an area of the Solent and a roadstead off Gilkicker Point in Hampshire, England. It is protected from all winds except those from the southeast. It receives its name from the Spit, a sandbank stretching south from the Hampshire shore for 5 km (3.1 mi). Spithead is 22.5 km (14.0 mi) long by about 6.5 km (4.0 mi) in average breadth. Spithead has been strongly defended since 1864 by four Solent Forts, which complement the Fortifications of Portsmouth.
The Fleet Review is a British tradition that usually takes place at Spithead, where the monarch reviews the massed Royal Navy.
The Spithead mutiny occurred in 1797 in the Royal Navy fleet at anchor at Spithead. It is also the location where HMS Royal George sank in 1782 with the loss of more than 800 lives.
In the operetta H.M.S. Pinafore by Gilbert and Sullivan, the character "Buttercup" is referred to as "The rosiest, roundest, and reddest beauty in all Spithead".
In the book series about the naval officer Horatio Hornblower by C. S. Forester, the main protagonist starts off his career by becoming seasick in calm weather on Spithead.
The Solent is a strait between the Isle of Wight and mainland Great Britain. It is about 20 miles long and varies in width between 2+1⁄2 and 5 mi, although the Hurst Spit which projects 1+1⁄2 mi (2.4 km) into the Solent narrows the sea crossing between Hurst Castle and Colwell Bay to just over 1 mi (1.6 km).
HMS Ocelot (S17) is an Oberon-class diesel-electric submarine which was operated by the Royal Navy.
HMS Camperdown was a Battle-class destroyer of the Royal Navy (RN). She was named after the Battle of Camperdown, a naval engagement between the British and Dutch that took place in 1797, and which resulted in a British victory.
HMS A3 was an A-class submarine built for the Royal Navy in the first decade of the 20th century. She sank in 1912. The wreck is a Protected Wreck managed by Historic England.
HMS Bulwark was one of five London-class pre-dreadnought battleships built for the Royal Navy at the end of the 19th century. The Londons were a sub-class of the Formidable-class pre-dreadnoughts. Completed in 1902 she was initially assigned to the Mediterranean Fleet as its flagship. The ship then served with the Channel and Home Fleets from 1907 to 1910, usually as a flagship. From 1910 to 1914, she was in reserve in the Home Fleet.
Portsmouth Harbour is a 1,264.2-hectare (3,124-acre) biological Site of Special Scientific Interest between Portsmouth and Gosport in Hampshire. It is a Ramsar site and a Special Protection Area.
HMS Royal George was a ship of the line of the Royal Navy. A first-rate with 100 guns on three decks, she was the largest warship in the world at the time of her launch on 18 February 1756. Construction at Woolwich Dockyard had taken ten years.
HMS Hawke, launched in 1891, was the seventh British warship to be named Hawke. She was an Edgar-class protected cruiser. In September 1911 the Hawke collided with the ocean liner RMS Olympic. The damage smashed the Hawke's bow and damaged the stern of the Olympic.
The International Fleet Review was the most recent Royal Navy review, continuing a tradition going back to the 15th century. It took place on 28 June 2005, as part of the Trafalgar 200 celebrations to commemorate the 200th anniversary of the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805. For the celebrations to mark Her Majesty's Diamond Jubilee in 2012, instead of a Fleet Review such as marked that of Queen Victoria, there was a cavalcade of boats down the Thames.
A fleet review or naval review is an event where a gathering of ships from a particular navy is paraded and reviewed by an incumbent head of state and/or other official civilian and military dignitaries. A number of national navies continue to hold fleet reviews. Fleet reviews may also include participants and warships from multiple navies.
HMS Caledonia was a broadside ironclad of the Prince Consort class. Originally laid down as a two-decker steam ship of the line of the Bulwark class, Caledonia was converted on the building stocks into an armoured frigate.
HMS Artemis (P449) was an Amphion-class submarine of the Royal Navy, built by Scotts Shipbuilding & Engineering Co. of Greenock and launched 28 August 1946. The submarine sank while refueling in 1971, was raised and sold for breaking up in 1972.
HMS Surprise was a Bay-class anti-aircraft frigate of the British Royal Navy. In commission from 1946 to 1965, she served in the Mediterranean Fleet as a Despatch Vessel for the Commander-in-Chief. Although principally employed for the use as a yacht by the CinC, Surprise was also deployed in its operational role as an anti-aircraft frigate. The archaic term "Despatch Vessel" was replaced by "Flag Frigate" in 1961.
HMS Sea Scout was a S-class submarine of the third batch built for the Royal Navy during World War II. She survived the war and was sold for scrap in 1965.
HMS Seneschal was a S-class submarine of the third batch built for the Royal Navy during World War II. She survived the war and was sold for scrap in 1965.
HMS Sea Devil was a S-class submarine of the third batch built for the Royal Navy during World War II. She survived the war and was sold for scrap in 1966.
Alan William John West, Baron West of Spithead, is a retired admiral of the Royal Navy and formerly, from June 2007 to May 2010, a Labour Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State at the British Home Office with responsibility for security and a security advisor to Prime Minister Gordon Brown. Prior to his ministerial appointment, he was First Sea Lord and Chief of the Naval Staff from 2002 to 2006.
HMS Empress of India was one of seven Royal Sovereign-class pre-dreadnought battleships built for the Royal Navy during the 1890s. The ship was commissioned in 1893 and served as the flagship of the second-in-command of the Channel Fleet for two years. She was transferred to the Mediterranean Fleet in 1897, during which time Empress of India was assigned to the International Squadron blockading Crete during the uprising there. She returned home in 1901 and was briefly assigned as a coast guard ship in Ireland before she became the second flagship of the Home Fleet. The ship was reduced to reserve in 1905 and accidentally collided with the submarine HMS A10 the following year. Empress of India was taken out of service in early 1912 and accidentally struck a German sailing ship while under tow. She was sunk as a target ship in 1913.
The sixth HMS Hazard was a Dryad-class torpedo gunboat of the Royal Navy. She was launched in 1894 and was converted into the world's first submarine depot ship in 1901. She collided with the submarine A3 on 2 February 1912, killing 14 men, and was herself sunk in collision with SS Western Australia on 28 January 1918.
752 Naval Air Squadron was a Naval Air Squadron of the Royal Navy's Fleet Air Arm. Formed in May 1939, at RNAS Ford as an Observer Training Squadron, it was active through to 1945 as part of No.1 Observer School. Ford was attacked in August 1940 and the squadron moved to RNAS Lee-on-Solent for a one month stay. From November 1940, through to disbandment in October 1945, it operated at RNAS Piarco, Trinidad.