The Creation of the Flanders
The origins of the Flanders flotillas lie in the disputes between the various German naval commands. As we have seen, the value of the Flanders coastline was recognized early in the war by Admiral von Tirpitz and he took steps, by creating the MarineDivision, to take advantage of this favorable geographic position. However, due to the compromises that attended the creation of the MarineDivision and its peculiar position as a hybrid naval-military unit, no provision was made for the assignment of light naval forces to the division. Once the coast was occupied, it was up to Admiral von Schröder to persuade the higher commands to assign him the light forces he needed in order to make full use of the Flanders positions. This proved to be a very difficult task.
During October 1914, while the Bartenbach Commission was engaged in studying the Belgian harbors, a memorandum discussing the type of operations that could be carried out from the [Triangle] was written by Rear-Admiral Paul Behncke. In the memorandum Behncke examined the possibilities for action by submarines, torpedo-boats, and minelayers. He made a very strong argument for the employment of submarines in Flanders, stating that the geographic position of the new bases would allow the submarines to spend more time on station. The