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British Carrier design - 10/15/2004 12:13:03 AM   
madmickey

 

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The British were responsible for a great number of carrier innovations but their carriers were obviously design as an auxiliary to the main battle fleet in Atlantic.
They had a small amount of planes with limited sortie ability and they were armoured.
The Illustrious class carried 33 planes (1/2 fighter and 1/2 torpedo bomber) with 153 sorties. The Indomitable 45 planes with 225 sorties. Did the British Navy ever try to increase it sortie amount? Did they ever consider carrier versus carrier action as well? TB great against BB, DB and FB better against carriers.

The Yorktown carried 90 planes with 540 max sortie and the Essex had 720 max sorties.
Even US escort carrier had 21 planes with 300 max sortie. In comparison to a max sortie limit of 150 for British escort carriers which would have been designed after start of war.

< Message edited by madmickey -- 10/14/2004 10:14:48 PM >
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RE: British Carrier design - 10/15/2004 12:26:12 AM   
fbastos


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While the British carriers had much less airplanes, their armoured decks were definitely a plus - they had no major damages from Kamikaze attacks, for example. The US found that so desirable that the CVA types incorporated the armored deck concept (but then the Midway class failed miserably due to other problems).

F.

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RE: British Carrier design - 10/15/2004 12:30:19 AM   
tanker4145

 

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I don't have anything useful to add, except I was wondering the same thing. I love learning more about ship development and it amazes me how smart some of you are on this. Not only do I love the game, but I love how much I'm learning about fairly obscure stuff.

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RE: British Carrier design - 10/15/2004 12:34:15 AM   
Tiornu

 

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No Essex class carrier suffered permanent damage from kamikaze attack. However, Illustrious did.
British armored-box carriers were more vulnerable to kamikaze attack but more resistant to kamikaze hits.
The only British carriers with the hangar armor were the Illustrious and Implacable classes. The concept was a mistaken one, and DK Brown has commented that the RN would have been better off with an Ark Royal sequel.
Very little could be done to increase the avgas loads of the armor-box carriers. I believe it was Victorious that used up 20% of her avgas stores in a single strike against a target in the NEI.

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RE: British Carrier design - 10/15/2004 12:39:45 AM   
madmickey

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Tiornu

No Essex class carrier suffered permanent damage from kamikaze attack. However, Illustrious did.
British armored-box carriers were more vulnerable to kamikaze attack but more resistant to kamikaze hits.
The only British carriers with the hangar armor were the Illustrious and Implacable classes. The concept was a mistaken one, and DK Brown has commented that the RN would have been better off with an Ark Royal sequel.
Very little could be done to increase the avgas loads of the armor-box carriers. I believe it was Victorious that used up 20% of her avgas stores in a single strike against a target in the NEI.

In addition having a small amount of fighter is a handicap. Plus you have limited strike aircraft leaving you more vulnerable.

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RE: British Carrier design - 10/15/2004 12:48:48 AM   
fbastos


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quote:

No Essex class carrier suffered permanent damage from kamikaze attack. However, Illustrious did.


Franklin almost sunk and had the entire aft deck destroyed out of a single bomb hit... it was certainly not permanent as the flight deck was basically rebuilt...

About Illustrious, I find this on the net:

"
In 1945, as part of the British Pacific Fleet, along with two of her sister-ships, Formidable and Victorious, she covered the landings at Okinawa where she won her last Battle Honour. While in the Pacific she was hit by two Kamikaze aircraft, but, unlike her American counterparts, suffered minimal damage due to her armoured flight deck.
"

It's true that Illustrious got permanent damage, but I thought it was from Italy, when she was the subject of repeated attacks while escorting the convoys to Malta. Didn't double-check that, though... I'm repeating from memory.

Thanks,
F.

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RE: British Carrier design - 10/15/2004 12:59:43 AM   
fbastos


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quote:

In addition having a small amount of fighter is a handicap. Plus you have limited strike aircraft leaving you more vulnerable.


Yeah, that's true if you have really good aircrafts. The British didn't have that by themselves, though, and more than one person thought that a carrier would not be able to sustain herself against land-based aircrafts. Truth to be said, much of the success of the US carriers in the Pacific was due to advantage of the F6F over the Jap aircrafts; if the Japs had anything like a FW-190D, the thin decks of US carreirs would be much more of a problem.

That's my humble opinion, anyway. And I take the opportunity of talking about the F6F to salute a very brave fellow, catapult officer Lt Chewning helping the pilot on the picture below. Picture from www.aviation-history.com

F.




Attachment (1)

< Message edited by fbastos -- 10/14/2004 11:01:06 PM >

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RE: British Carrier design - 10/15/2004 1:00:49 AM   
Onime No Kyo


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The British had a completely "British" approach to carrier combat. In the halls of the British admiralty it had been held as dogma since Nelson's days that the Royal Navy would only be effective if its ships and sailors were significantly better trained and prepared for combat than their adversaries. The same idea was then applied to the naval air arm, which is why they never saw the comparatively small airgroups as an issue. This is despite the fact that it took them a looong time to actually wrest control of the fleet air arm away from the RAF (which is why their naval air hardware, arguably, sucked).

As for British CV durability, they did not really consider carriers as a supporting force. They saw them as a vital component of naval operations. However, they realised that any CV vs CV engagement is pretty much a mutual anihilation scenario. They predicted (quite rightly, as Coral See had shown, and Midway was supposed to show, except that that was a fluke as was agreed in another thread on this forum) that in future CV combat if your 4 CVs engaged their 3 CVs, you were likely to lose 2 of yours for 3 of theirs. Thus, they saw carrier survivability as very importaint which is why Brit CVs are so heavily armored. Also, they were designed to operate in large numbers from numerous, well-supported bases where they could rearm and resupply (in the Indian ocean as well as Atlantic and the Med). US carriers were designed to operate in the vast Pacific with no source of supply for miles. IIRC, the British pre-war battle plan called for 6 fleet carriers in the Indian ocean. Overal, they planned on having 15 or 16 CVs altogether. That strategy called for UK CVs to clear the area of enemy CVs as a first step. The remaining carriers could then assist the battle line in doing its thing.

On the question of TB vs DB....torpedoes are pretty much universally acknowledged to be the most dangerous thing for a ship. While naval engiering had created a whole host of things to counteract bomb damage, no one had ever come up with a truly effective way of counteracting torpedoes (it has been shown fairly conclusively by experience that bulges and crumple zones are nice, but they dont really work). So if you were designing a strategy around heavily armored, fast carriers with a comparatively small AG, and highly trained pilots, which are intended to fight other CVs, TBs are the way to go.

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RE: British Carrier design - 10/15/2004 1:18:49 AM   
madmickey

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Onime No Kyo

The British had a completely "British" approach to carrier combat. In the halls of the British admiralty it had been held as dogma since Nelson's days that the Royal Navy would only be effective if its ships and sailors were significantly better trained and prepared for combat than their adversaries. The same idea was then applied to the naval air arm, which is why they never saw the comparatively small airgroups as an issue. This is despite the fact that it took them a looong time to actually wrest control of the fleet air arm away from the RAF (which is why their naval air hardware, arguably, sucked).

As for British CV durability, they did not really consider carriers as a supporting force. They saw them as a vital component of naval operations. However, they realised that any CV vs CV engagement is pretty much a mutual anihilation scenario. They predicted (quite rightly, as Coral See had shown, and Midway was supposed to show, except that that was a fluke as was agreed in another thread on this forum) that in future CV combat if your 4 CVs engaged their 3 CVs, you were likely to lose 2 of yours for 3 of theirs. Thus, they saw carrier survivability as very importaint which is why Brit CVs are so heavily armored. Also, they were designed to operate in large numbers from numerous, well-supported bases where they could rearm and resupply (in the Indian ocean as well as Atlantic and the Med). US carriers were designed to operate in the vast Pacific with no source of supply for miles. IIRC, the British pre-war battle plan called for 6 fleet carriers in the Indian ocean. Overal, they planned on having 15 or 16 CVs altogether. That strategy called for UK CVs to clear the area of enemy CVs as a first step. The remaining carriers could then assist the battle line in doing its thing.

On the question of TB vs DB....torpedoes are pretty much universally acknowledged to be the most dangerous thing for a ship. While naval engiering had created a whole host of things to counteract bomb damage, no one had ever come up with a truly effective way of counteracting torpedoes (it has been shown fairly conclusively by experience that bulges and crumple zones are nice, but they dont really work). So if you were designing a strategy around heavily armored, fast carriers with a comparatively small AG, and highly trained pilots, which are intended to fight other CVs, TBs are the way to go.

How many Japs carriers were sunk by the British, how many were sunk by the Yanks?
The mist famous uses of British carriers were an attack on Toranto and jamming the steering of the Bismark.
Torpedo bombers are not as accurate as dB.
Other than sub how many Japs carriers were sunk by torpedo versus DB/FB.
Listen the British did not used their carrier for amphibious landing on Burma/Malaysia coast until April 1945, Why?
You would also need 3 british carriers to match 1 US CV for airplane and 5 illustrious to match essex in max sortie.
In addition, first strike are very important and have a small amount of planes is not a good idea.
The American carrier sunk a whole bunch of Japs BB, which are far more heavily armoured than a British carrier.
Also have a mix of DB with TB is ideal for a strike in a coordinated attack

< Message edited by madmickey -- 10/14/2004 11:30:06 PM >

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RE: British Carrier design - 10/15/2004 1:27:45 AM   
Onime No Kyo


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quote:

ORIGINAL: madmickey

quote:

ORIGINAL: Onime No Kyo

The British had a completely "British" approach to carrier combat. In the halls of the British admiralty it had been held as dogma since Nelson's days that the Royal Navy would only be effective if its ships and sailors were significantly better trained and prepared for combat than their adversaries. The same idea was then applied to the naval air arm, which is why they never saw the comparatively small airgroups as an issue. This is despite the fact that it took them a looong time to actually wrest control of the fleet air arm away from the RAF (which is why their naval air hardware, arguably, sucked).

As for British CV durability, they did not really consider carriers as a supporting force. They saw them as a vital component of naval operations. However, they realised that any CV vs CV engagement is pretty much a mutual anihilation scenario. They predicted (quite rightly, as Coral See had shown, and Midway was supposed to show, except that that was a fluke as was agreed in another thread on this forum) that in future CV combat if your 4 CVs engaged their 3 CVs, you were likely to lose 2 of yours for 3 of theirs. Thus, they saw carrier survivability as very importaint which is why Brit CVs are so heavily armored. Also, they were designed to operate in large numbers from numerous, well-supported bases where they could rearm and resupply (in the Indian ocean as well as Atlantic and the Med). US carriers were designed to operate in the vast Pacific with no source of supply for miles. IIRC, the British pre-war battle plan called for 6 fleet carriers in the Indian ocean. Overal, they planned on having 15 or 16 CVs altogether. That strategy called for UK CVs to clear the area of enemy CVs as a first step. The remaining carriers could then assist the battle line in doing its thing.

On the question of TB vs DB....torpedoes are pretty much universally acknowledged to be the most dangerous thing for a ship. While naval engiering had created a whole host of things to counteract bomb damage, no one had ever come up with a truly effective way of counteracting torpedoes (it has been shown fairly conclusively by experience that bulges and crumple zones are nice, but they dont really work). So if you were designing a strategy around heavily armored, fast carriers with a comparatively small AG, and highly trained pilots, which are intended to fight other CVs, TBs are the way to go.

How many Japs carriers were sunk by the British, how many were sunk by the Yanks?
The mist famous uses of British carriers were an attack on Toranto and jamming the steering of the Bismark.
Torpedo bombers are not as accurate as dB.
Other than sub how many Japs carriers were sunk by torpedo versus DB/FB.
Listen the British did not used their carrier for amphibious landing on Burma/Malaysia coast until April 1945, Why?


The plans that I mentioned did not incude the US being involved. In fact, just as all pre war plans, it was a "best case scenario", basically a long wish list of things which also included 6-7 BB in the Indian Ocean as well as 3 full divisions and 250 aircraft in Singapore. As with most plans, it did not survive contact with the enemy.

So....by the time the war started, the Brits had nowhere near the number of CVs they planned on in addition to the losses they took in the ETO. By the time that enough Brit carriers arrived in the Pacific, the USN had deep sixed pretty much everything Japanese that floated.

British amphib ops depended more on amphib assets and cooperation and sharring of assets between the allies more than it had to do with CV availibility.

I'm just telling you what I know about pre-war plans as I had been told/read about them.

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RE: British Carrier design - 10/15/2004 1:30:35 AM   
pompack


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Don't forget the role of doctrine.

RN doctrine was driven by the belief that "the bomber will always get through". RN doctrine was to shelter all a/c in the hanger. The carriers were designed to protect both the ship and the "main battery" from the effects of (relatively) small bomb hits. Since this doctrine reduced the a/c complement to what would fit in the hanger, the ordnance stores were sized to this small compliment (and to the concept of quick return to near by basis for resupply).

The USN doctrine was driven by the concept of the mass strike. Since it was not possible to design enough fast elevators to quickly move a/c from the hanger to the flight deck for takeoff nor was it feasible to design a/c with enough spare fuel capacity to loiter for hours while a strike was launched, USN doctrine was to permanently place a/c on the flight deck (and fuel and arm those a/c on the flight deck) and utilize the hanger for maintenance and storage for spare a/c. This required an enormous investment in training to perfect that intricate ballet of deck spot and re-spot (as well as a design requirement that carriers be able to make full speed in reverse to allow landing over the bow). In addition, it required many design risk features such as flight deck fuel outlets, and a willingness to accept weather damage to a/c exposed on deck. The payoff was it not only allowed a “surge” strike package, it doubled the total number of a/c that could be carried.

When the RN joined the USN in the Pacific in ’44, they modified their practices and began carrying a substantial number of a/c on the flight deck. While this allowed an increase in the number of a/c carried, it only made the stores requirement (both ordnance and avgas) worse.

This over-simplifies an enormously complicated subject but it does (I hope) illustrate the doctrinaire concepts that drove the designs for the British armored carriers.

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RE: British Carrier design - 10/15/2004 1:34:51 AM   
fbastos


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quote:

How many Japs carriers were sunk by the British, how many were sunk by the Yanks?


Nobody denies the point: US carriers have like 2x-4x more striking power than the British ones.

I nevertheless understand the point of the British Admiralty: a carrier will have zero striking power if it is sunk, and when faced against the formidable power of Germany and Italy, they understood they should protect their carriers well.

It's quite a similar point between German and British heavy cruisers. Ton per ton the British ones were much more powerful, while the Germans had greater survivability. This quite reveals which side expected to punish, and which expected to be punished on the minds of both navies during the late 30s.

F.

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RE: British Carrier design - 10/15/2004 1:35:56 AM   
madmickey

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Onime No Kyo

The plans that I mentioned did not incude the US being involved. In fact, just as all pre war plans, it was a "best case scenario", basically a long wish list of things which also included 6-7 BB in the Indian Ocean as well as 3 full divisions and 250 aircraft in Singapore. As with most plans, it did not survive contact with the enemy.

So....by the time the war started, the Brits had nowhere near the number of CVs they planned on in addition to the losses they took in the ETO. By the time that enough Brit carriers arrived in the Pacific, the USN had deep sixed pretty much everything Japanese that floated.

British amphib ops depended more on amphib assets and cooperation and sharring of assets between the allies more than it had to do with CV availibility.

I'm just telling you what I know about pre-war plans as I had been told/read about them.


I am Canadian and heard more than enough British Empire BS about the Armerican being the reason why the British failed.
The British could have used ak ship like the Japs to attack the big coastline.
They could have transferred ships from Europe to east.
Were British amphib even used in anvil which was August 1944.

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RE: British Carrier design - 10/15/2004 1:47:30 AM   
madmickey

 

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Also when the Americans had slightly superior number and better planes they were pretty much impregnable against Japs carrier ever hear of 2nd Battle of Philippine Sea.

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RE: British Carrier design - 10/15/2004 2:48:05 AM   
Tiornu

 

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Illustrious was permanently damaged by a kamikaze and bomb impact in the water alongside her hull.
I do not believe that the armor of British carriers was meant specifically to make the ships more durable. It was to protect the air group. Only the hangar area had extra armor.
It's correct to note that the armored box did nothing to counter torpedoes and offered no protection whatsoever to other ships.
I'm trying to think of "a whole bunch" of Japanese carriers that were sunk by American carriers and were far more heavily armored than British carriers.

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RE: British Carrier design - 10/15/2004 2:52:38 AM   
madmickey

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: madmickey



The American carrier sunk a whole bunch of Japs BB, which are far more heavily armoured than a British carrier.
Also have a mix of DB with TB is ideal for a strike in a coordinated attack


posted 11:30:06 OPM 10/14/2004
Tiornu

Is a BB a carrier?


"I'm trying to think of "a whole bunch" of Japanese carriers that were sunk by American carriers and were far more heavily armored than British carriers."

< Message edited by madmickey -- 10/15/2004 1:16:36 AM >

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RE: British Carrier design - 10/15/2004 3:07:58 AM   
Onime No Kyo


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quote:

ORIGINAL: madmickey

quote:

ORIGINAL: Onime No Kyo

The plans that I mentioned did not incude the US being involved. In fact, just as all pre war plans, it was a "best case scenario", basically a long wish list of things which also included 6-7 BB in the Indian Ocean as well as 3 full divisions and 250 aircraft in Singapore. As with most plans, it did not survive contact with the enemy.

So....by the time the war started, the Brits had nowhere near the number of CVs they planned on in addition to the losses they took in the ETO. By the time that enough Brit carriers arrived in the Pacific, the USN had deep sixed pretty much everything Japanese that floated.

British amphib ops depended more on amphib assets and cooperation and sharring of assets between the allies more than it had to do with CV availibility.

I'm just telling you what I know about pre-war plans as I had been told/read about them.


I am Canadian and heard more than enough British Empire BS about the Armerican being the reason why the British failed.
The British could have used ak ship like the Japs to attack the big coastline.
They could have transferred ships from Europe to east.
Were British amphib even used in anvil which was August 1944.


What I intended to say was that there were factors OTHER THAN carrier availibility that did not allow the UK to launch amphib operations, one of which seems to have caused that response. I apologise if I did not state my case clearly enough.

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RE: British Carrier design - 10/15/2004 3:17:01 AM   
Onime No Kyo


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quote:

ORIGINAL: madmickey

Also when the Americans had slightly superior number and better planes they were pretty much impregnable against Japs carrier ever hear of 2nd Battle of Philippine Sea.


Philippine Sea was definitely not a scenario envisioned in 1938. You are talking about a late war effort of desperation. The plans being referred to here are pre-war, that is pre-operational losses in ships and pilots. By 1944 both the Japanese army and navy air arms were spent. For all intents they existed only on paper. They could not have hoped to fight the UNS on anything near even terms even if they did have bigger numbers and better planes because they did not have the experienced pilots to fly them nor the logistics to support it all (for any length of time at least).

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RE: British Carrier design - 10/15/2004 4:39:36 AM   
Tiornu

 

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"Is a BB a carrier?"
Only in two cases.
I'm not sure what point of comparison you're attempting. As stated before, the armored box of the British carriers was not there to preserve the ship but to preserve the air group. It did, of course, create a "shadow" from splinter damage, but that's the only survivability factor that we can indisputably attribute to an armored box in the face of heavy weapons.

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RE: British Carrier design - 10/15/2004 5:25:24 AM   
madmickey

 

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Tiornu
I thought you were mocking my word in a previous post because the Taiho the only Jap carrier with more deck armour than the British carrier 95 to 75 was sunk by a sub. The Shinano (largest Carrier until the current Enterprise) with 75 deck armour was also sunk by a sub.

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RE: British Carrier design - 10/15/2004 5:40:16 AM   
Onime No Kyo


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Tiornu

"Is a BB a carrier?"
Only in two cases.
I'm not sure what point of comparison you're attempting. As stated before, the armored box of the British carriers was not there to preserve the ship but to preserve the air group. It did, of course, create a "shadow" from splinter damage, but that's the only survivability factor that we can indisputably attribute to an armored box in the face of heavy weapons.


I really think that there was more to it Tiornu. Simply protecting the AG would not have served a useful purpose. The carrier still had to have an operable deck (or at least one that can be repaired in a short span of time) even after sustaining damage.

So I think the idea was to create a CV that was as survivable after bomb damage as possible. I think they also had crumple zones and compatrmentalization against torpedo hits but as I mentioned before there is only so many precautions you can take against torpedoes.

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RE: British Carrier design - 10/15/2004 5:56:59 AM   
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When the British designed their carriers they made for the war in Europe first, even for the Americans the PTO was second to the war in Europe.

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RE: British Carrier design - 10/15/2004 6:32:30 AM   
Arsaces

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Belce

When the British designed their carriers they made for the war in Europe first, even for the Americans the PTO was second to the war in Europe.


Yes this is the fundamental point. The British carriers were designed to operate against the Italians and the Germans - a task which they performed admirably. These were the primary adversaries of the RN. Operations against Japan could only be envisioned outside the context of a European war. Once war had begun in Europe, events in Asia were beyond the power of the Royal Navy to affect and had to be abandoned to the discretion of the Americans. The US had the ressources and the wealth to fight a two ocean war - the UK did not.

Some excellent posts by Onime No Kyo, by the way.

Cheers,

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RE: British Carrier design - 10/15/2004 7:20:39 AM   
Tiornu

 

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Sorry, madmickey, if it seemed I was mocking your observation. That certainly wasn't my intent. If you're contention is that a British carrier's armor would not have defeated an American aerial attack any more than a Japanese battleship's (or carrier's) armor would, I would agree with you.
On other points:
If the British intended the armored flight deck to keep the flight deck in service after a bombing attack, they executed the idea rather poorly. The flight deck armor covered only a small portion of the flight deck. In fact, if you look at all the bombs that hit British armored carriers, you'll see that hits against the armor were rare in the extreme.
The armored carriers had a conventional TDS.
"When the British designed their carriers they made for the war in Europe first...." This is the common belief, but it is not correct. The primary theater anticipated for these carriers was the Far East. The primary foe was Japan, not Italy or Germany--which didn't have any carriers.

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RE: British Carrier design - 10/15/2004 7:33:59 AM   
madmickey

 

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Arsaces and Belce in the first post it was mentioned that that British carrier were designed for helping battle fleet in Atlantic, but that is no reason why the ship had such limited ability. The Japanese understood that you need dive bomber and torpedo bombers. A TB alone is too vulnerable on an attack on CV.
What would have happen if the German had built a few Graf Zeppelin class CV?
The last fleet carrier class commissioned in 1944 was the Implacable; 60 planes, 30 fighter, 15 Firefly (finally) and 15 Barracuda still only 285 max sortie. In addition as previously mentioned the British CVE designed after war began had 150 max sortie while the USA had 300 max sortie. When the Kamikaze attack started the American adjusted their plane components by adding F4U fighter-bomber instead of some dive-bomber and F6F.
It seem that junior officer had bright idea about airplane component but the senior commander (who were frequently aristocrats were sleeping).

Even in the Falkland the limits of the Harrier on small carrier was that you could not create air supremacy and the Royal Navy lost a bunch of ship for that reason.
.

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RE: British Carrier design - 10/15/2004 7:45:28 AM   
madmickey

 

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In addition the British carrier limited 1st strike ability made it too vulnerable to being sunk.
As I said before the American sank a lot of Jap battleship with deck armour from 145 to 212 do you really think that an Illustrious with deck armour of 75 was invulnerable.
The USA only lost one CVL and a few CVE once they obtained F6F and a couple (not certain number) of those CVE were sunk by Naval Gun fire in Battle of Leyte.
Good planes with great crew in plenitful number is your protection not 75 deck armour over 25 deck armour.

< Message edited by madmickey -- 10/15/2004 5:51:29 AM >

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RE: British Carrier design - 10/15/2004 7:49:32 AM   
Ron Saueracker


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Anyone set their RN Albacores/Swordfish to night ops and have then launch night strikes vs shipping of the CVs? I've yet to see Vildebeests, Albacores or Swordfish attack shipping at night. Hat Cats do it, but thats it.

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RE: British Carrier design - 10/15/2004 7:50:38 AM   
Tiornu

 

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The Illustrious design had 75mm flight deck plating. This was deemed sufficient for resisting 500-lb SAP bombs. How well this would have fared against Vals, I cannot say. I would not be optimistic.

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RE: British Carrier design - 10/15/2004 8:01:32 AM   
madmickey

 

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Tiornu agree with you. The game does not model USN having AP bombs, but the USN had AP bombs if the Jap carriers were arrmoured than the USN would have used AP against them. As I said before more fighter are the real protection. In the Falkland the Harrier had a limited range with no air refueling therefore the Argentine could make it really messy for the British.

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RE: British Carrier design - 10/15/2004 8:18:02 AM   
fbastos


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quote:

In the Falkland the Harrier had a limited range with no air refueling therefore the Argentine could make it really messy for the British.


More messy you mean by sinking all the British ships? 6 ships sunk and several more damaged is messy enough, not counting the 13 bomb hits that didn't detonate (what probably saved 6 more ships from being sunk).

The British Navy as usual fought valiantly and with great professionalism, but the fact that they were beaten so badly by a Third World country flying 1950s Skyhawks with iron bombs (plus 2 Super Etendard with no more than 6 operational Exocets, or something like that) raised a lot of eyebrows around.

F.

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