The British Carrier Strike Fleet after 1945

The British Carrier Strike Fleet after 1945

Author: David Hobbs

Publisher: Pen and Sword

ISBN: 9781848324121

Category: History

Page: 640

View: 788

“A comprehensive study of the bittersweet post WWII history of British naval aviation . . . will become a standard reference for its subject.”—Firetrench In 1945 the most powerful fleet in the Royal Navy’s history was centered on nine aircraft carriers. This book charts the post-war fortunes of this potent strike force; its decline in the face of diminishing resources, its final fall at the hands of uncomprehending politicians, and its recent resurrection in the form of the Queen Elizabeth class carriers, the largest ships ever built for the Royal Navy. After 1945 “experts” prophesied that nuclear weapons would make conventional forces obsolete, but British carrier-borne aircraft were almost continuously employed in numerous conflicts as far apart as Korea, Egypt, the Persian Gulf, the South Atlantic, East Africa and the Far East, often giving successive British Governments options when no others were available. In the process the Royal Navy invented many of the techniques and devices crucial to modern carrier operations angled decks, steam catapults and deck-landing aids while also pioneering novel forms of warfare like helicopter-borne assault, and tactics for countering such modern plagues as insurgency and terrorism. This book combines narratives of these poorly understood operations with a clear analysis of the strategic and political background, benefiting from the author's personal experience of both carrier flying and the workings of Whitehall. It is an important but largely untold story, of renewed significance as Britain once again embraces carrier aviation. “Makes a timely and welcome appearance . . . will make compelling reading for those with serious concern for our naval affairs.”—St. Andrews in Focus

The Dawn of Carrier Strike

The Dawn of Carrier Strike

Author: David Hobbs

Publisher: Pen and Sword

ISBN: 9781473879942

Category: History

Page: 400

View: 723

Among all the celebrations of the RAF’s centenary, it was largely forgotten that the establishment of an independent air force came at a cost – and it was the Royal Navy that paid the price. In 1918 it had been pre-eminent in the technology and tactics of employing aircraft at sea, but once it lost control of its own air power, it struggled to make the RAF prioritize naval interests, in the process losing ground to the rival naval air forces of Japan and the United States. This book documents that struggle through the cash-strapped 1920s and ’30s, culminating in the Navy regaining control of its aviation in 1937, but too late to properly prepare for the impending war. However, despite the lack of resources, British naval flying had made progress, especially in the advancement of carrier strike doctrine. These developments are neatly illustrated by the experiences of Lieutenant William Lucy, who was to become Britain’s first accredited air ‘ace’ of the war and to lead the world’s first successful dive-bombing of a major warship. Making extensive use of the family archive, this book also reproduces many previously unseen photographs from Lucy’s album, showing many aspects of life in the Fleet Air Arm up to the end of the Norway campaign. Although it is beyond the scope of this book, in November 1940 the inter-war concentration on carrier strike was to be spectacularly vindicated by the air attack on the Italian fleet at Taranto – it inspired the Japanese to a far larger effort at Pearl Harbor the following year, but the Royal Navy had shown the way.

Aircraft Carriers

Aircraft Carriers

Author: Norman Polmar

Publisher: Potomac Books, Inc.

ISBN: 9781597973441

Category: History

Page: 576

View: 352

Aircraft Carriers is the definitive history of world aircraft carrier development and operations. Norman Polmar’s revised and updated, two-volume classic describes the political and technological factors that influenced aircraft carrier design and construction, meticulously records their operations, and explains their impact on modern warfare. Volume I provides a comprehensive analysis of carrier developments and warfare in the first half of the twentieth century, and examines the advances that allowed the carrier to replace the battleship as the dominant naval weapons system. Polmar gives particular emphasis to carrier operations from World War I, through the Japanese strikes against China in the 1930s, to World War II in the Atlantic, Mediterranean, Arctic, and Pacific theaters. It begins with French inventor Clément Ader’s remarkably prescient 1909 description of an aircraft carrier. The book then explains how Britain led the world in the development of aircraft-carrying ships, soon to be followed by the United States and Japan. While ship-based aircraft operations in World War I had limited impact, they foreshadowed the aircraft carriers built in the 1920s and 1930s. The volume also describes the aircraft operating from those ships as well as the commanders who pioneered carrier aviation. Aircraft Carriers has benefited from the technical collaboration of senior carrier experts Captain Eric M. Brown and General Minoru Genda as well as noted historians Robert M. Langdon and Peter B. Mersky. Aircraft Carriers is heavily illustrated with more than 400 photographs—some never before published—and maps. Volume II, which is forthcoming from Potomac Books in the winter 2006-2007 (ISBN 978-1-57488-665-8), will cover the period 1946 to the present.

Allies in Air Power

Allies in Air Power

Author: Steven Paget

Publisher: University Press of Kentucky

ISBN: 9780813180342

Category: History

Page: 314

View: 871

In the past century, multinational military operations have become the norm; but while contributions from different nations provide many benefits—from expanded capability to political credibility—they also present a number of challenges. Issues such as command and control, communications, equipment standardization, intelligence, logistics, planning, tactics, and training all require consideration. Cultural factors present challenges as well, particularly when language barriers are involved. In Allies in Air Power, experts from around the world survey these operations from the birth of aviation to the present day. Chapters cover conflicts including World War I, multiple theaters of World War II, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, the Gulf War, Kosovo, the Iraq War, and various United Nations peacekeeping missions. Contributors also analyze the role of organizations such as the UN, NATO, and so-called "coalitions of the willing" in laying the groundwork for multinational air operations. While multinational military action has become commonplace, there have been few detailed studies of air power cooperation over a prolonged period or across multiple conflicts. The case studies in this volume not only assess the effectiveness of multinational operations over time, but also provide vital insights into how they may be improved in the future.

British Aircraft Carriers 1939–45

British Aircraft Carriers 1939–45

Author: Angus Konstam

Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing

ISBN: 9781849080804

Category: History

Page: 48

View: 318

With war against Germany looming, Britain pushed forward its carrier program in the late 1930s. In 1938, the Royal Navy launched the HMS Ark Royal, its first-ever purpose-built aircraft carrier. This was quickly followed by others, including the highly-successful Illustrious class. Smaller and tougher than their American cousins, the British carriers were designed to fight in the tight confines of the North Sea and the Mediterranean. Over the next six years, these carriers battled the Axis powers in every theatre, attacking Italian naval bases, hunting the Bismark, and even joining the fight in the Pacific. This book tells the story of the small, but resilient, carriers and the crucial role they played in the British war effort.

The Fleet Air Arm and the War in Europe, 1939–1945

The Fleet Air Arm and the War in Europe, 1939–1945

Author: David Hobbs

Publisher: Seaforth Publishing

ISBN: 9781526799821

Category: History

Page: 440

View: 954

For the first time, this book tells the story of how naval air operations evolved into a vital element of the Royal Navy’s ability to fight a three-dimensional war against both the Kriegsmarine and Luftwaffe. An integral part of RN, the Fleet Air Arm was not a large organization, with only 406 pilots and 232 front-line aircraft available for operations in September 1939. Nevertheless, its impact far outweighed its numbers – it was an RN fighter that shot down the first enemy aircraft of the war, and an RN pilot was the first British fighter 'ace' with 5 or more kills. The Fleet Air Arm’s rollcall of achievements in northern waters went on to include the Norwegian Campaign, the crippling of Bismarck, the gallant sortie against Scharnhorst and Gneisenau as they passed through the Channel, air attacks on enemy E-boats in the narrow seas, air cover for the Russian convoys, air attacks that disabled Tirpitz, and strikes and minelaying operations against German shipping in the Norwegian littoral that continued until May 1945. By the end of the war in Europe the FAA had grown to 3243 pilots and 1336 aircraft. This book sets all these varied actions within their proper naval context and both technical and tactical aspects are explained with 'thumb-nail' descriptions of aircraft, their weapons and avionics. Cross reference with the Fleet Air Arm Roll of Honour has been made for the first time to put names to those aircrew killed in action wherever possible as a mark of respect for their determination against enemy forces on, above and below the sea surface which more often than not outnumbered them. The Fleet Air Arm and the War in Europe completes David Hobbs’ much-praised six-volume series chronicling the operational history of British naval aviation from the earliest days to the present.

Taranto

Taranto

Author: David Hobbs

Publisher: Seaforth Publishing

ISBN: 9781526793867

Category: History

Page: 456

View: 266

This is the first book to focus on the Fleet Air Arm's contribution to naval operations in the Mediterranean after the Italian declaration of war in June 1940. The Royal Navy found itself facing a larger and better-equipped Italian surface fleet, large Italian and German air forces equipped with modern aircraft and both Italian and German submarines. Its own aircraft were a critical element of an unprecedented fight on, over and under the sea surface. The best-known action was the crippling of the Italian fleet at Taranto, which demonstrated how aircraft carriers and their aircraft had replaced the dominance of battleships, but every subsequent operation is covered from the perspective of naval aviation. Some of these, like Matapan or the defence of the ‘Pedestal’ convoy to Malta, are famous but others in support of land campaigns and in the Aegean after the Italian surrender are less well recorded. In all these, the ingenuity and innovation of the Fleet Air Arm shines through – Taranto pointed the way to what the Japanese would achieve at Pearl Harbor, while air cover for the Salerno landings demonstrated the effectiveness of carrier-borne fighters in amphibious operations, a tactic adopted by the US Navy. The author's years of archival research together with his experience as a carrier pilot allow him to describe and analyse the operations of naval aircraft in the Mediterranean with unprecedented authority. This provides the book with novel insights into many familiar facets of the Mediterranean war while for the first time doing full justice to the Fleet Air Arm’s lesser known achievements.

The British Pacific Fleet

The British Pacific Fleet

Author: David Hobbs

Publisher: Pen and Sword

ISBN: 9781783469222

Category: History

Page: 480

View: 864

In August 1944 the British Pacific Fleet did not exist. Six months later it was strong enough to launch air attacks on Japanese territory, and by the end of the war it constituted the most powerful force in the history of the Royal Navy, fighting as professional equals alongside the US Navy in the thick of the action. How this was achieved by a nation nearing exhaustion after five years of conflict is a story of epic proportions in which ingenuity, diplomacy and dogged persistence all played a part. As much a political as a technical triumph, the BPF was uniquely complex in its make-up: its C-in-C was responsible to the Admiralty for the general direction of his Fleet; took operational orders from the American Admiral Nimitz; answered to the Government of Australia for the construction and maintenance of a vast base infrastructure, and to other Commonwealth Governments for the ships and men that formed his fully-integrated multi-national fleet.This ground-breaking new work by David Hobbs describes the background, creation and expansion of the BPF from its first tentative strikes, through operations off the coast of Japan to its impact on the immediate post-war period, including the opinions of USN liaison officers attached to the British flagships. The book is the first to demonstrate the real scope and scale of the BPFs impressive achievement.

British Aircraft Carriers

British Aircraft Carriers

Author: David Hobbs

Publisher: Seaforth Publishing

ISBN: 9781848321380

Category: History

Page: 384

View: 292

This book is a meticulously detailed history of British aircraft-carrying ships from the earliest experimental vessels to the Queen Elizabeth class, currently under construction and the largest ships ever built for the Royal Navy. Individual chapters cover the design and construction of each class, with full technical details, and there are extensive summaries of every ship's career. Apart from the obvious large-deck carriers, the book also includes seaplane carriers, escort carriers and MAC ships, the maintenance ships built on carrier hulls, unbuilt projects, and the modern LPH. It concludes with a look at the future of naval aviation, while numerous appendices summarise related subjects like naval aircraft, recognition markings and the circumstances surrounding the loss of every British carrier. As befits such an important reference work, it is heavily illustrated with a magnificent gallery of photos and plans, including the first publication of original plans in full colour, one on a magnificent gatefold.??Written by the leading historian of British carrier aviation, himself a retired Fleet Air Arm pilot, it displays the authority of a lifetime's research combined with a practical understanding of the issues surrounding the design and operation of aircraft carriers. As such British Aircraft Carriers is certain to become the standard work on the subject.

Fleet Air Arm Carrier War

Fleet Air Arm Carrier War

Author: Kev Darling

Publisher: Pen and Sword

ISBN: 9781473814325

Category: History

Page: 352

View: 796

This is the story of British naval flying from aircraft carriers, from its conception in World War One to the present day. It includes the types of aircraft and the men who flew them, the carriers and the evolution of their designs, the theatres of war in which they served and their notable achievements and tragedies. It traces navy flying from the early days of the biplane, through the rapid developments during World War Two to the post-war introduction of jet-powered flight. The British inventions of the angled flight deck and later vertical landing jets revolutionised sea warfare and allowed the carrier to play a vital part in many recent land wars when naval aircraft flew in support of Allied land forces.Although the British carriers have always been smaller than their American counterparts, the Royal Navy and its aircraft have always been in the van of the development of ships and aircraft. This is the proud history of British Naval flying and ships such as HMS Eagle, HMS Hermes, HMS Glorious, HMS Ark Royal and many more.