The People of Gibraltar

1909 - The Great White Fleet - Awesome

In 1907 US President Theodore Roosevelt sent a sizeable naval fleet on a mission to circumnavigate the globe. Known as the Great White Fleet. It was meant to show off the US Navy's latest war ships as well as to demonstrate American's growing military power. After a year and a half the ships gathered in Gibraltar on the 31st of January 1909 for the last leg home. 

Panoramic view of the fleet made up of four postcards as created by a Tangier photographer.

Other warships of the Russian, French, and Dutch and Danish warships as well as units of the Royal Navy happened to be in port at the time. The result was one of the most awesome concentrations of naval hardware ever seen anywhere up to that date and only fractionally surpassed later - also in Gibraltar - during the period encompassing WW II.

On February 5th to celebrate their visit, massed bands played at the Grand Parade. In the evenings Main Street will have been absolutely packed solid with sailors both drunk and sober, much to the satisfaction of the owners of shops, restaurants and bars and to the lesser delight of the general population.  

The photographs below were taken while the Great White Fleet was in Gibraltar.

The Rock taken from the Neutral Ground during the visit of the Great White Fleet ( 1909 )

Map of the harbour as visualised by an American sailor