United States Battleship Division Nine (World War I)
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United States Battleship Division Nine was a division of four, later five, dreadnought battleships of the United States Navy's Atlantic Fleet that constituted the American contribution to the British Grand Fleet during World War I. Although the U.S. entered the war on 6 April 1917, hesitation among senior officers of the U.S. Navy as to the wisdom of dividing the American battle fleet prevented the immediate dispatch of any capital ships for service in the war zone. Following a direct request from the British Admiralty and a series of high level staff meetings, American opinion changed, and Battleship Division Nine joined the Grand Fleet on 7 December 1917. Within that organization, the Division served as the Sixth Battle Squadron.
|United States Battleship Division Nine|
|Branch||United States Navy|
|Size||Four, later five, ships|
|Engagements||World War I|
|Commander||Rear Admiral Hugh Rodman|
While serving with the Grand Fleet, Battleship Division Nine was forced to adapt quickly to unfamiliar British methods and standards. New signals and maneuvers were adopted relatively smoothly, while more stringent gunnery standards proved more difficult to achieve. On a personal level, relations between American and British officers and men were notably cordial.
Throughout 1918, the Division participated in all major Grand Fleet exercises and deployments, as well as conducting several detached convoy missions in the North Sea. Following the signing of the Armistice on 11 November 1918, Battleship Division Nine was present for the surrender of the German High Seas Fleet on 21 November 1918. On 1 December 1918, the Division departed from the Grand Fleet to return to the U.S.
Although Battleship Division Nine's service was limited mainly to convoy duty and the maintenance of the blockade of the German coast, its presence greatly augmented the strength of the Grand Fleet, thus making major combat between the British and German fleets even more unlikely in 1918. By helping to keep the High Seas Fleet effectively blockaded in port, Battleship Division Nine played a role in ensuring Allied control of the oceans.