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The Reserve Fleet was a Royal Navy formation of decommissioned vessels which could be brought to a state of readiness at time of war.
In the early years of the 18th century ships were "laid up in ordinary" at various British naval bases so establishing the Reserve Fleet as a repository for serviceable but decommissioned ships.
The Reserve Fleet was brought to readiness for the First World War. It continued to exist in the inter-war years but in 1930 the Admiralty reduced it in size on the basis that war was unlikely in the ensuing 10 years (the Government's Ten Year Rule). At the start of the Second World War the Reserve Fleet, under the command of Vice Admiral Sir Max Horton, was again brought to a state of readiness. Some 15,000 men were called up in May 1939 to man the Reserve Fleet which became ready for service on 15 June 1939. During the 1950s ships were regularly 'cocooned' for the Reserve Fleet and it ceased to exist in 1960.