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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

RammyLad1
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How vital to the Royal Navy were the oilfields at Basra, Mesopotamia. I have always been under the impression that ships of that time were coal fired.

Duncan

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Hi Duncan,

The switch to oil fired warships began prior to WW1 and therefore a stable source for fuel oil was essential to keep the more modern ships running. Not only that you also needed oil for lubrication for an increasing mechanised military. However oil was also sourced from the US.

Will

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Thanks for the replies. My late Grandfather joined the Royal Navy in 1925 and spent 25 years in the service eventually rising to the rank of chief stoker. I always imagined that his time would have been spent shovelling coal. By his time in the service most of the ships must have run on oil. The rank of stoker must have been something carried over from the old days.

Duncan

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