The Anniversary of The Channel Dash - 1942 - and the wider RN Fleet Air Arm during the Second World War

PhotEx

On ROPS
On ROPs
That is your opinion.

and you are wrong.




U Boat losses, all theatres, May 1943

U563 - VLR aircraft
U440 - VLR aircraft
U418 - VLR aircraft
U775 - VLR aircraft
U304 - VLR aircraft
U436 - Warship
U467 - VLR aircraft
U414 - Warship
U752 - Swordfish
U569 - Avenger
U303 - Submarine
U258 - VLR aircraft
U954 - Warship
U273 - VLR aircraft
U657 - Warship
U646 - VLR aircraft
U128 - VLR aircraft/Warship
U463 - VLR aircraft
U182 - Warship
U266 - VLR aircraft
U176 - Warship
U640 - VLR aircraft
U753 - Warship/VLR aircraft
U456 - Warship/VLR aircraft
U186 - Warship
U89 - Swordfish/Warship
U528 - Warship/VLR aircraft
U381 - Unknown cause
U663 - VLR aircraft
U447 - VLR aircraft
U209 - VLR aircraft
U630 - Warship
U531 - Warship
U438 - Warship
U192 - Warship
U125 - Warship
U638 - Warship
U659 - Collision with U439
U439 - Collision with U659
U109 - VLR aircraft
U465 - VLR aircraft
 

Yokel

LE
Not the truth but go believe it if you want to

I was referring to @PhotEx and his strange logic based on partial truths and selective facts.

He might argue that if someone ate twelve doughnuts from shop x and put weight on, but someone else ate one doughnut a day from shop y with no weight gain, then it proves that shop y ones contain less calories.

He might also say that if armed criminals held up a bank, and they scarpered when they found out that the firearms team are on the way, then the firearms team was useless.
 

PhotEx

On ROPS
On ROPs
I was referring to @PhotEx and his strange logic based on partial truths and selective facts.

He might argue that if someone ate twelve doughnuts from shop x and put weight on, but someone else ate one doughnut a day from shop y with no weight gain, then it proves that shop y ones contain less calories.

He might also say that if armed criminals held up a bank, and they scarpered when they found out that the firearms team are on the way, then the firearms team was useless.

hate to break this to you, but we weren’t trying to stop U Boat attacks on the convoys, the convoys were used as the bait to draw the U boats to destruction.
you also seem to have completely missed the huge efforts the RAF put into the Bay of Biscay to kill U Boats, turning it into a killing field.
It was, whether you like it or not, and clearly you don’t, overwhelmingly VLR aircraft what done it in May 1943, killing half the U Boats.
The tiny number of Escort carriers didn't do it, the stars of the show were VLR aircraft finally available in adequate numbers, like the B-24 Liberators.
 
Not quite.

Only around 220 Rose-Rice Tail Turrets were built by the Rose Brothers company as the turrets were hand made and the company itself was only small and unable to mass produce them.

1 Group Bomber Command Lancaster's received most of the Rose-Rice Tail Turrets built.
IIRC some Halifaxs also were fitted with twin .50 tail turrets in one of the marks (B mk III?) and a Sunderland Mark V? was to carry them but few of those were acquired, there was also Lanc use of Preston Green belly turrets with a .50

P-Gtur001 (1).jpg
 

Yokel

LE
and you are wrong.




U Boat losses, all theatres, May 1943

U563 - VLR aircraft
U440 - VLR aircraft
U418 - VLR aircraft
U775 - VLR aircraft
U304 - VLR aircraft
U436 - Warship
U467 - VLR aircraft
U414 - Warship
U752 - Swordfish
U569 - Avenger
U303 - Submarine
U258 - VLR aircraft
U954 - Warship
U273 - VLR aircraft
U657 - Warship
U646 - VLR aircraft
U128 - VLR aircraft/Warship
U463 - VLR aircraft
U182 - Warship
U266 - VLR aircraft
U176 - Warship
U640 - VLR aircraft
U753 - Warship/VLR aircraft
U456 - Warship/VLR aircraft
U186 - Warship
U89 - Swordfish/Warship
U528 - Warship/VLR aircraft
U381 - Unknown cause
U663 - VLR aircraft
U447 - VLR aircraft
U209 - VLR aircraft
U630 - Warship
U531 - Warship
U438 - Warship
U192 - Warship
U125 - Warship
U638 - Warship
U659 - Collision with U439
U439 - Collision with U659
U109 - VLR aircraft
U465 - VLR aircraft

The contribution of the Swordfish flying from the escort carriers was to deter. If the U boats sighted an aircraft they would crash dive. The problem for the U boats was that they lost surface manoeuvrability, which the Wolfpack tactics depended on.

They also kept the Condors at bay.

Sinking the enemy submarine is part of ASW. So is making life as hard as possible for them.

hate to break this to you, but we weren’t trying to stop U Boat attacks on the convoys, the convoys were used as the bait to draw the U boats to destruction.
you also seem to have completely missed the huge efforts the RAF put into the Bay of Biscay to kill U Boats, turning it into a killing field.
It was, whether you like it or not, and clearly you don’t, overwhelmingly VLR aircraft what done it in May 1943, killing half the U Boats.
The tiny number of Escort carriers didn't do it, the stars of the show were VLR B-24 Liberators.

I am sure that the RAF Bay of Biscay campaign was after May 1943.

We weren't trying to stop U boat attacks on the convoys..

That is one of the stupidest statements I have ever heard.

@Dunservin what do you make of the assertions by @PhotEx and his logic?
 
A major pilot grumble was that the Bf109E had 2 x 13mm (.50”) calibre guns as well as a 20mm cannon.
This meant that getting in the sights of a B109E was a certain silk letdown, there firepower was orders of magnitude heavier.
Hang on the Emil had 8mm cowling guns until the G5 variant with the 13mm
 
That is not a Preston-Green Gun Mount.

Those Machine Guns are the standard .303 Browning's. That is an F.N. 64 Turret l believe.

Yep - photo is mis-captioned. I have a feeling that might be an Boulton-Paul experimental turret, which looked similar to the FN64. Preston-Green was a much less sophisticated affair...
 

Yokel

LE
What is it with your running off crying rather than arguing your case?

I have argued my case, but possibly not as well as others with the experience of being taught naval history at BRNC, or dare I say it, are of an age where they have probably known naval veterans of the Second World War.

I am also aware of the dictum about wrestling with a pig.

Sigh....

Not often you’re wrong, but yet again you’re wrong again



I was referring specifically to the campaign from 1942 onwards.

Back to the escort carrier:

RN Escort Carriers Home Page - a listing of them and records for each ship's service, including convoy battles.

The Fleet Air Arm on Arctic Convoys

Fighting the U boats - Fairey Swordfish
 
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The UK constructed five escort carriers and another used only for trials. All the rest were constructed on the W coast of the USA. The RN considered some aspects of their construction to be sub-standard, the main one being the storage of bulk petrol, not helped by the loss of HMS Dasher. Their planned use of the type was also very different from the USN's, the Arctic convoys were attacked by large numbers of anti-shipping aircraft as well as U-boats so needed to operate and direct a fighter defence.

The USN, led by our old mate Ernie King, at one point complained that it took six months to bring a RN escort carrier into action as opposed to a fraction of that for the USN and asked the Combined Chiefs of Staff to reallocate a significant number of RN carriers to them.

But, their point ignored several factors: the new escort carriers were launched on the W coast so had to be brought through the Panama Canal and up to New York within the US convoy system; they were then loaded with aircraft, but as ferry carriers and so incapable of action; on reaching the UK they had to be refitted with a safer petrol system, radar and lots of other British widgets; then allocated an air group and worked up. For ASW the standard air group was based around a squadron of Swordfishes which combined the best mix of operability on the smaller flight decks, ability to fly in all weathers and armament. Fighters varied but in the N Atlantic Wildcats were probably the most common.

On occasion RN escort carriers were used as small strike carriers (Salerno and the Indian Ocean), caused by the lack of the real thing rather than their suitability. The Seafires used at Salerno suffered from their weak undercarriage, the E Fleet used Hellcats as much as anything.
 
On the other hand, and very much in keeping with the theme of this thread, how much more expensive would producing them be in terms of metals etc, and hours taken, and the same with the ammunition? The situation in 1940 was desperate, France had fallen, the BEF had lost virtually everything larger than a rifle, and things like lend lease had not started.
The RAF and Air Ministry would have been familiar with the .50 from other aircraft such as the P-36 and P-40 and mass producing it would have required about as much engineering and industrial effort as making the .303 machine gun. The technical knowledge to fit it into the Hurricane would surely have been in Hawker's hands. I doubt if Fairey wouldn't have spoken to Hawker about it, as setting up for and completing the task to have them in the air by May 1940 was probably started in 1939. I believe that consideration to fitting cannon to future fighters was already in the thoughts of the Ministry/industry/RAF even as far back as 1937.
 
Somebody had calculated that 8 x .303 was going to be enough ergo Hurri and Spit were armed with 8x .303. If I remember correctly they were ranged at around 800ft, however a shotgun approach (a spread) was considered the best method of hitting something that might be vital. By all accounts it wasn't very effective and German aircraft would just fly on after being hosed. The canons on the 109s carried a nasty punch however if the shells hit a Hurricane there was a chance that they'd just pass straight through without too much damage. Our Polish friends on the other hand zeroed their guns to 400 feet. Eight .303s zeroed together had the effective power of a canon and could cause serious damage.
It was called the "Dowding spread" and was supposed to create the aerial equivalent of a beaten zone for a bomber to fly through, but the vibration of the firing guns effectively cause that anyway so a more focused aiming of the guns was more effective. The Dowding spread was meant to be used with such tactics as "Fighter Attack Number 1", which was basically a curve of pursuit attack, firing all the time, so that the bomber was always under fire for several seconds. This type of attack was only usable if there was no fighter opposition and if the enemy gunner was not paying attention. .............................. The Poles and French had learned the hard way that a Dornier or Heinkel wasn't going to be brought down without a well aimed sustained burst, especially if the defensive gunners were doing their job. With regard to the Hurricane and other fabric covered fighters, when a 20mm shell struck the fabric, it usually punched through with exploding until it hit the structure underneath. In some cases, it simply passed through the aircraft without exploding or doing serious damage. That's why you see pictures of aircraft back at base with shredded fabric hanging off them.
 
There were still some early varients with just the hull guns in service @ BoB.
Some of the early E-1s were still in service, unconverted, by the time of the BoB, with four machine guns, less armour and the early canopy and it was said that the old sweats preferred them as they were lighter than the E-3 and -4.
 

PhotEx

On ROPS
On ROPs
The UK constructed five escort carriers and another used only for trials. All the rest were constructed on the W coast of the USA. The RN considered some aspects of their construction to be sub-standard, the main one being the storage of bulk petrol, not helped by the loss of HMS Dasher. Their planned use of the type was also very different from the USN's, the Arctic convoys were attacked by large numbers of anti-shipping aircraft as well as U-boats so needed to operate and direct a fighter defence.

The USN, led by our old mate Ernie King, at one point complained that it took six months to bring a RN escort carrier into action as opposed to a fraction of that for the USN and asked the Combined Chiefs of Staff to reallocate a significant number of RN carriers to them.

But, their point ignored several factors: the new escort carriers were launched on the W coast so had to be brought through the Panama Canal and up to New York within the US convoy system; they were then loaded with aircraft, but as ferry carriers and so incapable of action; on reaching the UK they had to be refitted with a safer petrol system, radar and lots of other British widgets; then allocated an air group and worked up. For ASW the standard air group was based around a squadron of Swordfishes which combined the best mix of operability on the smaller flight decks, ability to fly in all weathers and armament. Fighters varied but in the N Atlantic Wildcats were probably the most common.

On occasion RN escort carriers were used as small strike carriers (Salerno and the Indian Ocean), caused by the lack of the real thing rather than their suitability. The Seafires used at Salerno suffered from their weak undercarriage, the E Fleet used Hellcats as much as anything.

one of the curious British requirements for its US built escort carriers, was the deletion in a shipyard of many creature comforts, wasting months getting them into service.
A small example - US warships were all fitted with big plumbed in industrial washing machines, When supplied to the RN, these were duly ripped out. Jack was expected to dhobi in a bucket with a bar of soap. Other examples include ripping out ice cream making machines, hugely popular with the fortunate few who actually got them, bunks, hammocks lads! Bathtubs, lots of electric fans, washstands with hot water plumed into cabins.
Par example, the myth that Liberty Ships were cheap and nasty, not so. US spec ones came with all the above creature comforts, ones bought under Ministry of Transport contract didn’t.
Even though they were bought under Lend Lease, we obsessively chiselled every penny out of the order, and no creature comforts were allowed.
It was a happy British crew who got allocated a US spec Liberty Ship when a US order was put over in a rush.
 
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