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

I wonder if rather than the pointless misery making this seems - it isnt i fact justified as the UK wouldnt have the infrastructure to support these and the effort of supporting a dozen or so ships scatterred about would be disproportionate.


Far better to keep the UK fleet at 1 common standard in those circumstances even if on an individual ship basis it seems a retrogade step.

As for the ice cream machines - could the UK a nation with rationing in place have run them - would there be access to the ingredients.


Then of course theres the UK Specific requirements - see fuel stowage mentioned a few posts above - these modifications may have necessitated the removal of some of this equipment if only to gain access - in which
case not reffiting it would be quicker.


Would be interesting to know the rationale -
Would not ships spares for ships made in the US ,get those spares from the US?

realistically how many spares does one need for a Bunk? a Washing machine is fairly simple technology, I've seen images of GI's make them in the field at Normandy from junk so the RN could not knock up a pulley and belt drive?

Ice cream machines OK, but you got rum and whiskey, gin for the canteens
 
I can see the argument that stopping .303 Browning production to start .50 Browning production would have been seen to stop the flow of guns needed at a critical time.

There you have the 2pdr / 6pdr problem in a nut shell

6pdr is not only more effective but also simpler and faster to produce than the 2pdr
But you need to stop all AT gun production for several months to retool

Its July 1940 what do you do.

Obviously thanks to my 2020 hindsight goggles i trust in the RAF the RNs ability to thwart sealion* and know i can go 6 pdr without risk.




* Points about the channel itself thwarting it not withstanding - Thread here for the inevitable posts viz the unmentionable Aquatic mammal
 
Would not ships spares for ships made in the US ,get those spares from the US?
Where necassery of course but it may be better to keep that requirement to the bare minimum

I dont know the time line on the ships or the operational side but if its a case the ships only going half way then handing over to the USN / its permanently on arctic convoys then it isnt visiting the US - Im chucking out possibles rather than solid justifications

realistically how many spares does one need for a Bunk?
I wasnt really thinking of those - although theres differrent type of bedding - perhaps fears over fires with matresses

a Washing machine is fairly simple technology, I've seen images of GI's make them in the field at Normandy from junk so the RN could not knock up a pulley and belt drive?

Plumbing, valves, electrics - connectors I dont know


It may be the removal of this kit was a pointless petty waste - it may be it was logical and in some cases necassery - I suspect both at times.
the Thruxt of my argument was little more than without knowing the whys its not safe to conclude it was pointless.


Ice cream machines OK, but you got rum and whiskey, gin for the canteens
Dont confuse luxeries and necessities
 
Apparently the near war with Italy in 1934 is what prompted the RN to adopt armored decks once they realized that they could never neutralize the land based aircraft.

Which considering the confines of the med and in spite of all the nay sayers was probably the right call
 
Two things: my grandad the incredible commie sailor commissioned a US built escort carrier. As a radio and radar bloke he was extremely impressed not so much by the technology (US copies of ours) but the quantity and quality of spare components, instruments, tools, and documentation supplied with it.

Second, this thread has gone round the whole story about why the RN built smaller, armoured carriers, and has arrived at the point that radar changed everything, like it did with air defence in general.

What I want to know, though, is why the RN didn't hoist this point in earlier. They weren't wrong that the warning time for Ju88 crossing the destroyer screen wouldn't be enough for a deck launched interception. That was why the Air Ministry sponsored radar, after all. And the RN did care about radar - it had gunlaying radar in service by 1939, the whole point about fighter direction was using the gunnery radar to direct the fighters.

The RAF was building the Dowding system of command and control around the radars, the voice radios, and the HF/DF as a blue force tracker (which the Navy invented!) but somehow the RN had to discover this the hard way.
 
There you have the 2pdr / 6pdr problem in a nut shell

6pdr is not only more effective but also simpler and faster to produce than the 2pdr
But you need to stop all AT gun production for several months to retool

Its July 1940 what do you do.

Obviously thanks to my 2020 hindsight goggles i trust in the RAF the RNs ability to thwart sealion* and know i can go 6 pdr without risk.




* Points about the channel itself thwarting it not withstanding - Thread here for the inevitable posts viz the unmentionable Aquatic mammal
In 1940 the British Purchasing Commission contracted with Remington firearms in Ilion NY to build 400K .303 M1903 Springfield rifle. It had a No.4 front sight unit and bayonet lug, SMLE style cut to the buttstock and a simple "L" rear sight. eventually US Ordnance put a stop to it as it was realized the US would need Remington turning out '03's for the US and they had to be .30US chambering.

The Stocks were eventually made into the "Scant" grip stock for the 03A3's and some of the stamping technology developed wound up in the 03A3 as well

 
Two things: my grandad the incredible commie sailor commissioned a US built escort carrier. As a radio and radar bloke he was extremely impressed not so much by the technology (US copies of ours) but the quantity and quality of spare components, instruments, tools, and documentation supplied with it.

Second, this thread has gone round the whole story about why the RN built smaller, armoured carriers, and has arrived at the point that radar changed everything, like it did with air defence in general.

What I want to know, though, is why the RN didn't hoist this point in earlier. They weren't wrong that the warning time for Ju88 crossing the destroyer screen wouldn't be enough for a deck launched interception. That was why the Air Ministry sponsored radar, after all. And the RN did care about radar - it had gunlaying radar in service by 1939, the whole point about fighter direction was using the gunnery radar to direct the fighters.

The RAF was building the Dowding system of command and control around the radars, the voice radios, and the HF/DF as a blue force tracker (which the Navy invented!) but somehow the RN had to discover this the hard way.
The RN actually fairly quick to develop fighter direction. Part of the issue was that radar was brand new and had to be incorporated into existing doctrine and tactics, which meant major shifts in the mindset of officers. For instance,the RN used signal intelligence very successfully in WWI and were therefore very conscious of emitting signals. Radio silence was strictly enforced, and therefore radar doctrine at the beginning of the war was one scan per hour, with continuous scanning only when aircraft were sighted. Fighting a war while coming to grips with revolutionary technology meant that it just took a while to learn the necessary lessons.

The first attempt of fighter control was during the Norway campaign but the technology wasn’t there. The Ark Royal didn’t even have radar so they used the one on HMS Sheffield, and the controller communicated with the fighters using Morse. It took awhile to get the necessary radars and radios to the fleet, but by late 1940 a system had been developed , and by 1941 a fighter direction school was created to standardize tactics. Given how new radar was, two years doesn’t look too bad.
 
I can see the argument that stopping .303 Browning production to start .50 Browning production would have been seen to stop the flow of guns needed at a critical time. And mind it is not just guns

It's mounting points, flex chutes, feedways, firing solenoids, ammo racking, charging and heating systems
It wasnt unfamiliar technology and none of the above couldnt have been made or adjusted to suit. The Hurricane adaption was already a known quantity. The Russians even did it later, when they fitted their 12.7s and 23mm guns to the Hurricane,so it wasn't impossible.
 
There you have the 2pdr / 6pdr problem in a nut shell

6pdr is not only more effective but also simpler and faster to produce than the 2pdr
But you need to stop all AT gun production for several months to retool

Its July 1940 what do you do.

Obviously thanks to my 2020 hindsight goggles i trust in the RAF the RNs ability to thwart sealion* and know i can go 6 pdr without risk.




* Points about the channel itself thwarting it not withstanding - Thread here for the inevitable posts viz the unmentionable Aquatic mammal
Remember also that the aircraft production system went from being a fairly staid, slow-to-change system, based around large factories and masses of male manpower, heavily unionised and tied to the apprentice system and within months went over to dispersed manufacture, mass adoption of female labour, union rules suspended, blackout, ARP, small workshops churning out parts and so on. It wouldnt have been beyond the system to build the 6 pdr in the same fashion.
 

PhotEx

On ROPS
On ROPs
HMS TRACKER

Outfitted as an ASW carrier H.M.S. Tracker carried out twelve convoy escort runs on transatlantic, Russian and Gibraltar routes between September 1943 and November 1944. On September 27th Tracker, having been at sea for four days with Canadian Escort Group 4 (E.G. 4) on her first operational voyage, was switched to join Captain Walker's E.G. 2 and provide air cover for the west bound convoy HX258 Liverpool to Halifax, Nova Scotia.

One weeks leave per watch was announced two days later, as the ship took a short breather before switching convoy routes for her next trip; Tracker left the Clyde on the 25th [March 1944] for Loch Ewe were the convoy was assembling. Tracker escorted the round trip convoys JW/RA58 to Murmansk, Northern Russia in company with HMS Activity; part of the out bound convoy was the USS MILWAUKEE being delivered to the Russian Navy, under Lend-lease agreements. Tracker re-embarked 846 squadron for this trip, operating 12 Avengers and 7 Wildcats, the later disposed of a FW 200 on 31st March.
Together with 8819 squadrons Wildcats on board Activity they destroyed 6 German reconnaissance planes, Her aircraft assisted in sinking the German submarine U288 on 3 April 1944; U-288 was sunk in the Barents Sea south-east of Bear Island, Norway, in position 73.44N, 27.12E, by depth charges and rocket attacks by Swordfish of Activity's 819 Sqdn and Avengers & Wildcats of 846 Sqdn from HMS Tracker. She also participated in sinking U-355 and damaging U-362, U-673 & U-990. The destruction of the six aircraft made it impossible for the submarines to receive accurate position information about the convoy's whereabouts and scuppered a carefully laid trap.

HMS TROUNCER

Convoy escort - ASW.

HMS TRUMPETER

Outfitted as an Anti Submarine Warfare carrier, Trumpeter's first operations, in late 1943 and early 1944, were ferrying aircraft and escorting North Atlantic convoys from New York to the Clyde. In the summer of 1944 she was allocated to the Home Fleet and assigned 846 naval air squadron, equipped with Avenger and Wildcat aircraft for offensive operations.

Between August and December 1944 she took part in a series of offensive operations against enemy shipping in the North Sea and against enemy occupied Norway including Operation' Goodwood', the naval sir attacks on the German battleship Tirpitz.

In early 1945 she undertook escort duties with Russian convoys before being returned to anti-shipping operations in the North Sea. Trumpeter was to take part in the last air strike of the European War on May 4th;
her aircraft shared the sinking of the German Submarine U711 with aircraft from HMS Queen. Trumpeter was next tasked with providing air cover for the Allied liberation of Denmark.

HMS VINDEX

From Wikipedia: index was commissioned in December 1943, and moved to Gourock for working up.[9] By this stage of the war, the Royal Navy had enough escort carriers available not only to double them up on a convoy escort but to permanently detach one to work with a "hunter killer group" operating outside the convoy system. The 2nd Escort Group still under the command of Captain Frederic John Walker was the group chosen with Vindex as the carrier. As she would not be supported by another carrier Vindex's air group was formed from the experienced 825 Naval Air Squadron, with a complement of 12 Fairey Swordfish Mk IIs and six Sea Hurricanes IICs. Even though there were 12 Swordfish on board they had only eight crews so the Sea Hurricanes carried out some of the daylight anti-submarine patrols. The Sea Hurricanes had been fitted with four racks for the same RP-3 rockets used by the Swordfish to attack submarines.[10]

Leaving Lough Foyle in Northern Ireland on 9 March 1944, the 2nd Escort Group moved to the area believed to hold the highest concentration of U-boats. On the night of 12 March, Swordfish on patrol had 28 contacts on their air to surface vessel radar (ASV). Their first attack was unsuccessful: two depth charges were dropped that failed to explode (believed to be caused by faulty safety clips) and during the attack the rear gunner in the Swordfish was killed by the U-boats anti-aircraft guns. The depth charges were dropped short on a second attack and failed to explode on a third attack during the same night.[11] On the night of 15 March, two Swordfish got an ASV contact ahead of the escort group. Unable to see anything in the darkness, they dropped flares and sea markers over the location. When the escort group arrived they picked up a contact on their ASDIC and the U-653 was sunk. Weather conditions were still not good for flying, and in the following days a Swordfish returning from a night patrol landed in the sea alongside the carrier and the crew were reported missing, believed killed. A pitching deck caused one Swordfish to crash into the sea on take-off and engine failure caused the crash of another Swordfish. One Swordfish clipped the island superstructure, losing 4 ft (1.2 m) off both wing tips when taking off. The pilot managed to get the aircraft into the air, circled around while jettisoning his depth charges, and landed again without mishap. Landing on the heaving deck was just as dangerous as taking off: two Sea Hurricanes and two Swordfish missed the arrestor wires and ended up crashing into the safety barriers.[12]

On 24 March, with its engine shot up and crew injured, a Swordfish attempted to land on Vindex. It crash landed on the flight deck, coming to a stop 8 ft (2.4 m) from the end of the flight deck. Leaking petrol set the wreckage on fire, the crew were rescued, but the fire exploded one of two depth charges stuck on their racks, blowing a 8 ft × 4 ft (2.4 m × 1.2 m) hole in the flight deck. After 16 days at sea, Vindex returned to port. With two days flying lost because of the weather conditions, the Swordfish had amassed a creditable 275 flying hours and 122 deck landings by day and night. The Sea Hurricanes contributed another 47 hours flying and 39 deck landings.

At the end of April 1944, Vindex joined the 5th Escort Group. On 6 May, a patrolling Swordfish was contacted by two of the escort frigates reporting they were in contact with a submerged U-boat. The frigates carried out a depth charge attack and forced U-765 to the surface. Despite anti-aircraft fire from the U-boat, the Swordfish dropped two of its depth charges which broke the submarine in half] Flying became dangerous in the heavy seas and poor visibility. One Sea Hurricane was damaged beyond repair after a serious crash into the safety barrier and another crashed into the sea with the loss of the pilot. The Swordfish crews fared little better three aircraft and one crew were lost during the same period. On 9 May, Vindex's aircraft lift broke down with a burnt out motor, the crew had to resort to manually cranking the lift up or down taking an hour to go each way. They eventually repaired the lift by moving the capstan motor through holes burned into the bulkheads.[ During the second deployment by Vindex her aircraft had flown over 400 sorties in 13 days, but the strain on the aircrews began to show and only 35 per cent of the original Swordfish crews were still with the ship when they returned to port. It was during this second deployment that one of the ships officers, Sub-Lieutenant J.M. Morrison invented a blind landing system soon to be used on all the Royal Navy carriers. He modified an ASV radar set which was placed on the flight deck. The system employed the Air Directing Officer guiding aircraft to within 5 mi (4.3 nmi; 8.0 km) of the ship. They could then be picked up on the ASV and brought in astern of the carrier at a height of 75 ft (23 m).[16]

On 15 August, Vindex and Striker joined convoy JW 59 the first Arctic convoy to Russia of the year. Vindex still had 825 Naval Air Squadron on board but they were now equipped with the Swordfish Mk III. This version of the biplane had a Rocket-assisted take off system (RATOG) and a new ASV radar in a dome on the underside of the aircraft. The extra weight reduced the crew to two, doing away with the Telegraphist-Air-Gunner. There was a full complement of 12 Swordfish and eight Sea Hurricanes (two unassembled spares) on board. The larger Striker had 12 Swordfish and 12 Grumman Wildcats. The Swordfish claimed their first success on 22 August, sinking U-344, followed by U-354 on 24 August.[17] Her rocket armed Sea Hurricanes also claimed a U-boat damaged. Neither convoy JW 59 or the returning RA 59A lost any ships.

Russian convoy JW 61 which sailed on 20 October had for the first time three escort carriers, Vindex, Nairana and Tracker. This was a large convoy of 62 merchant ships with a large escort group. Vice-Admiral Frederick Dalrymple-Hamilton was in command, with Vindex as his flagship. Nairana had 835 Naval Air Squadron with 14 Swordfish IIIs and six Wildcat VIs on board for what would be their first Arctic convoy. Vindex had a re-formed 811 Naval Air Squadron with the same aircraft types and numbers. The third carrier—Tracker—had 10 Grumman Avengers and six Wildcats. The short Arctic days meant that most flying would be at night. The three carriers worked a system eight hour watches, one would be the duty carrier with its aircraft aloft, the second would be on standby with its aircraft arranged on deck ready to scramble and the third resting. The two Swordfish equipped squadrons because of their better night flying equipment shared the night time hours while Tracker's Avengers worked the daylight hours The strength of the convoys escort may have deterred the Germans and no U-boats or reconnaissance aircraft were detected, until the convoy approached the Kola Inlet, even then the heavy escort prevented any attack and the convoy reached port safely.

The return convoy RA 61 was equally as successful with only one frigate damaged by a torpedo just after leaving Kola and Vindex had to take avoiding action after detecting a torpedo coming towards her.[20] Vindex's inexperienced squadron lost a Wildcat pilot when his plane crashed into the sea attempting to land back on board. A Swordfish crashed into the sea following a rocket assisted take off with the loss of the two man crew. Another Swordfish crashed on landing with the aircraft initially hung over the ship's side from its tail hook. When the hook gave way it crashed into the sea and only the pilot was rescued. The squadron in total lost or so severely damaged eight Swordfish and two Wildcats that they could not fly again.[21] From March to August 1945 the ship was part of the British Pacific Fleet attached to the 30th Aircraft Carrier Squadron.


Conclusions:

1. The escort carrier did make a difference - particularly in the Arctic
2. Their aircraft shot down enemy aircraft, sank U boats and enemy ships and hit targets ashore
3. HM Ships Audacity, Archer, Avenger, Biter, and Dasher took part in Atlantic operations prior to 31 May 1943 (when the Wolfpacks were withdraw by Donitz).​


Just posting an extract our a link is sufficient, not cutting and pasting War and Peace Vol 1, 2 and 3

Now can you explain how the Arctic Convoys under land based air attack in 1944 are Germaine to the Battle of the Atlantic, already long won in May 1943?
 

Yokel

LE
Just posting an extract our a link is sufficient, not cutting and pasting War and Peace Vol 1, 2 and 3

Now can you explain how the Arctic Convoys under land based air attack in 1944 are Germaine to the Battle of the Atlantic, already long won in May 1943?

I did post extracts. As demonstrated a number of escort carriers did operate in the Atlantic prior to May 1943 - and Donitz would have known more were on the way. This is the way with any new technology. Whilst the wolfpacks were withdrawn in May 1943, the Atlantic was still a theatre until the war ended. The last sinking by a U boat took place on 9 May 1945 - the day after VE Day.

The Arctic Convoys were another campaign in which they made a real difference.

The extracts also showed that the appearance of aircraft made U boats crash dive, the the Swordfish and escort ships worked together and communicated, and that fighters were directed using shipborne radar.
 
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The RN actually fairly quick to develop fighter direction. Part of the issue was that radar was brand new and had to be incorporated into existing doctrine and tactics, which meant major shifts in the mindset of officers. For instance,the RN used signal intelligence very successfully in WWI and were therefore very conscious of emitting signals. Radio silence was strictly enforced, and therefore radar doctrine at the beginning of the war was one scan per hour, with continuous scanning only when aircraft were sighted. Fighting a war while coming to grips with revolutionary technology meant that it just took a while to learn the necessary lessons.

The first attempt of fighter control was during the Norway campaign but the technology wasn’t there. The Ark Royal didn’t even have radar so they used the one on HMS Sheffield, and the controller communicated with the fighters using Morse. It took awhile to get the necessary radars and radios to the fleet, but by late 1940 a system had been developed , and by 1941 a fighter direction school was created to standardize tactics. Given how new radar was, two years doesn’t look too bad.

Right, but the RAF had a working integrated C3 network at the kickoff in 1939, and radar was no newer for them. The RN had been involved right from the beginning of radar, for surface search and gunnery ranging, which is why Sheffield even had radar!

The point about SIGINT is good; the pre-radar carrier doctrine was very much about stealth, signature management, SIGINT, and both reconnaissance and counter-reconnaissance in order to find the enemy before they found us. It was first, don't get spotted (so, onboard and reachback SIGINT and a few fighters to deal with enemy recce aircraft), second, tough it out if you have to (so, armour plate, deep design for survivability, and lots of AA guns).

If you look at, say, the Fulmar, its design makes a lot more sense when you realise it was at least as much a recce platform as a fighter. Lots of fuel to search the sea, and a thick wing with Fowler flaps to lift it off the deck. Two pairs of eyes to improve the chance of a positive visident. A dedicated navigator to ensure quality targeting information and to find the boat afterwards. A big radio fit to communicate the information. Guns and fighter-ish performance to fight through enemy counter-reconnaissance or to shoot down enemy reconnaissance.

Lessons learned from the USN's 20s and 30s Fleet Problems exercises suggested that getting away the first airstrike would turn the battle, which the RN interpreted in the sense of slowing down an enemy who would probably run and forcing either a destroyer gang tackle or a gun line engagement. How you implemented that would be different in the context of a carrier-vs-carrier fight far from shore in the Pacific than it would be in the North Sea or the Mediterranean where land-based bombers would be all over you like flies on shit. But either way you could only do so if you could find the enemy first.

The Pacific-focused navies went for more aircraft to prevail in a dogfight between carrier-based fighters (and that included the RN during the design of Ark Royal and Eagle - they were thinking about Japan and possibly-maybe even the USN!). Everyone, though, thought shore-based aircraft would necessarily be faster and saw the first generation of all metal, twin engine bombers like the Dornier 17 as a revolution - that was why we invented radar - and so the armoured carrier concept arose from the need to avoid getting caught until you could find the enemy and deliver a strike that would give you an opportunity to finish the matter.

Radar flips all this because it becomes possible to intercept the bombers coming in, so the option of winning the air fight is back on the table and the option of toughing it out looks even worse than it was already (of course everyone, but everyone, hugely underestimated how much light AA they would need even with radar and droves of Hellcats in the air - late war carriers, and ships of all kinds, were just festooned with flak).

The Japanese, of course, didn't have radar until later but followed the idea of a big first-strike airwing to the logical conclusion.
 

PhotEx

On ROPS
On ROPs
Right, but the RAF had a working integrated C3 network at the kickoff in 1939, and radar was no newer for them. The RN had been involved right from the beginning of radar, for surface search and gunnery ranging, which is why Sheffield even had radar!

The point about SIGINT is good; the pre-radar carrier doctrine was very much about stealth, signature management, SIGINT, and both reconnaissance and counter-reconnaissance in order to find the enemy before they found us. It was first, don't get spotted (so, onboard and reachback SIGINT and a few fighters to deal with enemy recce aircraft), second, tough it out if you have to (so, armour plate, deep design for survivability, and lots of AA guns).

If you look at, say, the Fulmar, its design makes a lot more sense when you realise it was at least as much a recce platform as a fighter. Lots of fuel to search the sea, and a thick wing with Fowler flaps to lift it off the deck. Two pairs of eyes to improve the chance of a positive visident. A dedicated navigator to ensure quality targeting information and to find the boat afterwards. A big radio fit to communicate the information. Guns and fighter-ish performance to fight through enemy counter-reconnaissance or to shoot down enemy reconnaissance.

Lessons learned from the USN's 20s and 30s Fleet Problems exercises suggested that getting away the first airstrike would turn the battle, which the RN interpreted in the sense of slowing down an enemy who would probably run and forcing either a destroyer gang tackle or a gun line engagement. How you implemented that would be different in the context of a carrier-vs-carrier fight far from shore in the Pacific than it would be in the North Sea or the Mediterranean where land-based bombers would be all over you like flies on shit. But either way you could only do so if you could find the enemy first.

The Pacific-focused navies went for more aircraft to prevail in a dogfight between carrier-based fighters (and that included the RN during the design of Ark Royal and Eagle - they were thinking about Japan and possibly-maybe even the USN!). Everyone, though, thought shore-based aircraft would necessarily be faster and saw the first generation of all metal, twin engine bombers like the Dornier 17 as a revolution - that was why we invented radar - and so the armoured carrier concept arose from the need to avoid getting caught until you could find the enemy and deliver a strike that would give you an opportunity to finish the matter.

Radar flips all this because it becomes possible to intercept the bombers coming in, so the option of winning the air fight is back on the table and the option of toughing it out looks even worse than it was already (of course everyone, but everyone, hugely underestimated how much light AA they would need even with radar and droves of Hellcats in the air - late war carriers, and ships of all kinds, were just festooned with flak).

The Japanese, of course, didn't have radar until later but followed the idea of a big first-strike airwing to the logical conclusion.

through their hands on experience in their Fleet Problems, USN, and off China, IJN, in the early 30’s, both the USN and IJN realised that not only could carriers operate near land, they could also achieve local air superiority.
They both also came to the same determination, a naval fighter needed performance at least as good, preferably better than land based fighters.

onwards and upward to the F4FU Corsair.... requirement issued February 1938
and A6M Zero.... requirement issued October 1937

and in the same time frame, Fairy were turning their poor light bomber into a FAA fighter, the lamentable Fulmar.
 

Yokel

LE
The OBSERVER in the Fulmar also would have been expected to spot for the fall of gunfire from big ships, and spark away with a Morse key. Another post mentions using Morse to communicate with fighters.

The Fulmar was in many ways a bodge, but was it our only chance for a monoplane fighter at the time? By the time rearmament started, the RAF had priority when it came to fighter design and production as we knew that Britain would be subject to air attack - not something the Americans or Japanese worried about.
 
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The OBSERVER in the Fulmar also would have been expected to spot for the fall of gunfire from big ships, and spark away with a Morse key. Another post mention using Morse to communicate with fighters.

Yes. As I say, a tactical (spotting) and operational (scouting) recce platform that could be expected to fight back rather than a fighter as such.

[sorry about the looker vs directional consultant thing]
 

PhotEx

On ROPS
On ROPs
The OBSERVER in the Fulmar also would have been expected to spot for the fall of gunfire from big ships, and spark away with a Morse key. Another post mention using Morse to communicate with fighters.

The Fulmar was in many ways a bodge, but was it our only chance for a monoplane fighter at the time? By the time rearmament started, the RAF had priority when it came to fighter design and production as we knew that Britain would be subject to air attack - not something the Americans or Japanese worried about.

Uh no…

Their Lordships in their infinite wisdom had decided navigating across an empty ocean and reporting back what he saw was beyond the wit and wisdom of a mere pilot, so naval aircraft had to carry a proper navigator, complete with a little chart table and a proper sighting compass.
It was a perfect example of desperately out fo touch hidebound thinking - they being completely unaware that the rest of the aviation world had cracked the problem a decade previously with those rather amazing new fangled devises, radios and instruments panel compasses
 

Yokel

LE
Yes. As I say, a tactical (spotting) and operational (scouting) recce platform that could be expected to fight back rather than a fighter as such.

[sorry about the looker vs directional consultant thing]

It did well to get so many kills then! Is there any way that the RN could have acquired a high performance fighter in the 1930’s?

Uh no…

Their Lordships in their infinite wisdom had decided navigating across an empty ocean and reporting back what he saw was beyond the wit and wisdom of a mere pilot, so naval aircraft had to carry a proper navigator, complete with a little chart table and a proper sighting compass.
It was a perfect example of desperately out fo touch hidebound thinking - they being completely unaware that the rest of the aviation world had cracked the problem a decade previously with those rather amazing new fangled devises, radios and instruments panel compasses

I seem to remember seeing an interview of an RAF Coastal Command veteran - who was less dismissive of the challenge of navigating long distances over the sea.

Anyway talk of slowing down the enemy makes me think of the attacks agsinst enemy ships at Matapan and against the Bismarck.

It also makes me think of the Swordfish etc detecting the U boat at long range, forcing them underwater, and passing the location of them to an escort.
 

PhotEx

On ROPS
On ROPs
It did well to get so many kills then! Is there any way that the RN could have acquired a high performance fighter in the 1930’s?

If it had been so desired, a suitable requirement could have been issued but hit wasn't.

France and Greece placed orders for the Grumman Wildcat even before WWII began in August 1939.
 

PhotEx

On ROPS
On ROPs
I seem to remember seeing an interview of an RAF Coastal Command veteran - who was less dismissive of the challenge of navigating long distances over the sea.

Rather a difference flying a thousand miles out over the North Atlantic and doing a round robin via Iceland and home to flying 200 miles from a carrier.
 

PhotEx

On ROPS
On ROPs
Anyway talk of slowing down the enemy makes me think of the attacks agsinst enemy ships at Matapan and against the Bismarck.

Of course, if we'd paid attention to the other carrier chaps, we'd have been using high performance scout dive bombers like the Douglas Dauntless and Aichi Val that having sent home a sighting report, sank the offending ships rather than 'slowing them down'
See Japanese ships off Midway and British ships off Ceylon
 

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