Formed on 1 May 1912 from the 4th Division of the Home Fleet, its elderly ships were ordinarily only manned by a small maintenance crew during peacetime, but were intended to be manned by naval reservists when mobilised. It was conducting a test mobilisation in July 1914 as tensions increased between Great Britain and Imperial Germany and was only partially demobilised before full mobilisation was ordered on 2 August. At this time it consisted of the 7th and 8th Battle Squadrons of pre-dreadnought battleships and five squadrons of cruisers.
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Marder, Arthur J. (2013) . From Dreadnought to Scapa Flow: The Royal Navy in the Fisher Era. I: The Road to War 1904–1914. Annapolis, Maryland: Naval Institute Press. ISBN 9781-59114-259-1.
Wragg, David (2006). Royal Navy Handbook 1914–1918. Stroud, UK: Sutton Publishing. ISBN 0-7509-4203-7.